Mediavine is a game changer for bloggers – and I had no idea about how much money I could have been earning for years!
I had been blogging for about seven years before I heard about the ad network Mediavine. I had not been running any ads as I couldn’t get my head around Google Adsense and the pay rates were so tiny, I just never bothered.
But all that changed when I applied and was accepted to join Mediavine and turn my advertising over to them to automate.
This post will show you how to quickly get your blog up to the required minimum session count (50,000 per month) for free, to apply for Mediavine and also how to get $60-$70 RPMs, which is what my blog is currently getting.
I spent the bulk of the last two years in various levels of Covid lockdowns, watching the bum fall out of the travel industry and traffic tank on travel blogs (while food, home schooling and DIY blogs went gangbusters!)
So I share the image below to encourage you and show you what this travel blog has been earning this past month and what my RPM is. (I will explain how RPM works below.)
The highest earning day I’ve had was just over $1000 when a post last Christmas went viral, but this time last year I was earning about $10 per day.
I have also been working on a couple of quick training modules in my How to Make Money Blogging series. So far they cover How to Write Great Content and Nailing Keyword Research, but this post is about how to get you across the line to qualify for Mediavine if you are enticingly close.
Actually, the 6 simple tips I share here are going to help increase your page views and sessions no matter what your goal.
*This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
But first, what is Mediavine?
Mediavine is a full-service ad management company for content creators. It has about 9,000 publishers (blogs) at last count and together all the blogs that are accepted into Mediavine benefit from the strength in numbers to get top advertising dollars.
It has been designed and engineered by bloggers for bloggers and many of the (incredibly helpful) staff are bloggers themselves and constantly test new products on their own sites before rolling it out.
Their main goal is to help bloggers increase their sessions, and therefore income.
The way the advertising works is a real time bidding system by online advertisers. The same way ads served to readers on all websites work.
As readers scroll through your posts the ads are lazy-loaded too. That means they are only served when the reader scrolls down to them, so that means your page still loads fast – because speed is one of the all-important Google metrics.
How much money can you make on Mediavine?
The answer depends on many factors! Some bloggers that I have been hearing from are making over $2,000 per day and some make $5. I bet some make a lot more than $2,000 too!
I’m making around $200-$300 per day. This year my goal is to make six figures from ad income from my blog and I have a strategy to do that, which I’ll tell you about below.
But to get to anywhere near these figures, it’s all about growing your session numbers (and page views, although that is a different metric). The more traffic your blog gets, the more money you’re going to make.
BUT all is not lost if your traffic is not that high, or has been stagnant lately. Read on for light at the end of your plateau’d tunnel!
Some niches also pay more than others, so it depends on the niche your blog is in as to how much money you’ll make. The food niche is the highest earner, followed by personal finance, lifestyle and travel.
I’ve also found it depends on what your content is about even within your niche.
US advertisers are looking primarily for content that American readers are searching for. (US advertisers pay more than other countries, so I am pursuing them!) And even then, they’re looking for content about specific destinations or attractions – like Disney, for example, instead of Oklahoma.
Consequently, you will find loads of US content on my blog and many of my newer posts (within the last 12 months) are on page 1 of Google.
I now have a small group of US-based freelancers I commission to create the best content on the web on the topic I am covering and provide them a list of keywords to include. You can read more about how to write great content and the AI tools I use to ensure that my posts rank on page 1 of Google very quickly in my How to Make Money Blogging tutorials.
The other thing to know is good content begets good content.
What I mean by that is, if you have a post that does really well on say New York City, then write more about NYC. If you have posts on how to cook eggs that is going crazy, add more posts about recipes with eggs and link them to your popular egg post so they will earn some love from that successful post.
How do you get into Mediavine?
As I mentioned above, Mediavine requirements say you need to have at least 50,000 sessions per month to be accepted into Mediavine. More sessions = more money.
Note: sessions are different to page views. Sessions are actions readers take on your page from start to finish, how long they spend there, what they click on, and are an indictor of how many places ads can be served on your pages.
Your site needs to have long-form content and you need a good reputation with Google Adsense (if you run Adsense that is).
Second sites also need 50,000 to be accepted by Mediavine (this used to be 25,000), and lots of bloggers have more than one blog where their second one was piggybacked onto the first main site to qualify. *NB, Mediavine of course reserves the right to choose which blogs get accepted. They turn down about 70% of applications!
What is RPM?
RPM stands for Rate Per Mille (not Revs Per Minute!). It is the rate you are paid for every thousand impressions. Mille means 1,000 as in millennium, millimetre (mm), millilitre (mls) if you cook in a country with metric measurements. It is also a standard term used in online advertising to describe 1,000 impressions.
The graph below shows you my RPM as at May 2022. That is, how much money I make per 1000 sessions.
The way it is calculated on your Mediavine dashboard is after the fact. It is a report of how well you did yesterday.
It’s important not to get too hung up comparing your RPMs with other bloggers as there are so many factors that go into the rate you are paid (your niche, the location of your readers, the topic within your niche) that it’s better to focus on increasing your session numbers, and RPM will follow.
However knowing your RPM is helpful to gauge how you are doing and to see which posts earned you higher money – so you can write more on those topics.
In the chart below you can see that some of my posts far outstrip others in terms of RPM (and make a lot more money), so I want to write more content on those higher topics, and ensure those higher paying posts link to other posts on my blog and hopefully people will click through and stay reading longer.
How do I get my sessions up?
Great question! The all-important question and this is why you’re here, right?
The reason I wrote this post is because I was just messaging a fellow blogger making some suggestions about how she could get her sessions up as she was on 45,000 per month and so close to qualifying.
I thought I would write this post after she was grateful for these six tips I gave her, in case it helps you too.
Here are the easiest ways to get your session count up, especially if you are close to 50,000. If you do these six things, you’ll hit the magic number in days!
1 Add paragraph breaks
This is super effective and super easy! Start with your 10-20 most popular posts and have a look at them on mobile.
Are you seeing a huge wall of text with no paragraph breaks? Are sentences rolling on and on?
Break up your sentences into just one or two per paragraph. Each paragraph break creates more opportunity for ads to be placed.
Plus, from a user experience, it’s way easier on the eye, so it really is best practice – and the upside is it will make you more money.
2 Increase font size
Just increasing your font size by 1 point will make a difference to the space available for ads to be served. But aim for about 18 points for the main body text.
This is also another win for your readers, who are our priority after all!
I know, your tiny type might look aesthetically pretty, but if it’s hard to read on mobile, you’re missing out on readers sticking with it and you’re leaving money on the table because they give up.
3 Add H2 and H3 headers
Breaking up your text with headers also makes for a better reader experience, and has the double whammy of adding more white space around which ads can be served.
It’s hard to believe, but most people scroll through our posts and don’t read our every word. I know, astonishing!
So adding headers or numbers (like I have in this post) that summarise the section is great for stopping thumb scrollers as well as increasing that all important session count.
4 Add more images
Images are such an easy way to add more session time, and to also enable your readers to get an idea of your content. Did you know that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text?
If you don’t have your own photos to illustrate your topic, you can use free images from the likes of Unsplash or Pixabay, or pay for a subscription on sites like DepositPhotos.
5 Add more content to old posts
Take your top posts (you might like to aim for 20 or even 50 posts) and go back and add more content to the bottom of them.
Brandon Gaille (who’s Blogging Millionaire Podcast you should subscribe to) recommends adding the new content at the bottom of older posts so as not to potentially disrupt your Google ranking.
This is super easy if they are listicles. Just increase your “10 things to do in Honolulu” post to 20 things.
Of course, you’ll need to do some keyword research to know what extra topics to cover, and I have discussed how I do my keyword research and the tools I use to help me in my earlier tutorial.
I’ve been using Rank IQ for about a year now. This is an AI tool developed by Brandon Gaille that doesn’t write the content for me, but it provides a list of all the keywords that need to be in my post to ensure it outranks any other post on the topic. It’s amazing!
You’ll find more info about exactly how I use this tool, and also Keysearch.co, which helps me quickly check how difficult a particular keyword is and which other sites rank for it, in my Keyword Research tutorial.
6 Lastly, add more internal links
This is so often over-looked, yet is vitally important. Not just for increasing your session rate when readers click onto another one of your posts and stay on your site longer, but also internal links help Google to crawl your site.
Without a good internal linking structure your posts might be “orphans”. Orphans (sadly) get ignored.
Google needs to be able to crawl from one post to another easily in order to increase your ranking. And of course, it leads readers around your site as you show them what else they might like to read.
Note: plugins that show relevant posts at the end are not as effective at getting readers to click on them (and increasing your session count). You’re better to as add your own links within the content in a natural way.
Pro Tip: go back to those top posts of yours and write an extra sentence or two in them which you’ll then be able to naturally work in the title of another related blog post to lead them to.
So there you have it, go make these 6 simple changes and let me know what happens!
If you want to read my How to Make Money Blogging series, it’s a couple of free tutorials that I hope will help you on your journey to living the life you want!
But all is not lost if you still have a way to go to qualify for Mediavine. You can still switch your theme to their Trellis them (which I have done on this blog). It is a super lightweight theme designed for speed.
And you can also use their Grow features. In content “pop up” (but not exactly), subscriber forms and more features that they continually roll out. These will also help grow your session numbers, so check them out.