The Ad Network for Publishers

This is the true story of three friends who decided to work together. Building websites that would drive traffic to themselves via search engine optimization. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real about ranking.

3founders
Technically, that’s the story of the start of Mediavine. When the company started, an ad network was never part of the plan. These three guys just wanted to make websites that garnered traffic, and made money off that traffic.

Sure, I’m joking a little bit, riffing off that Real World monologue. But it seemed appropriate, given our start in entertainment blogging.

 

amber-headshot

That’s me, Amber, with my three boys – James, Evan, and Will.

When I joined them in 2013, after meeting Eric at a food blogging conference, my mind was blown at their approach to website creation. I’d been blogging myself since 2008, and while it was a hobby, it’s something I’ve been passionate about from the start.

Through call after call as we talked about what we wanted for Food Fanatic, Eric walked me through SEO, and how they built The Hollywood Gossip into a multi-million pageview site. This, more than anything, was the goal of the sites – drive traffic through SEO.

But then, with Food Fanatic, we changed the game a little bit. While SEO will always be the key to our success, Food Fanatic was more about the people, from the start. Not that the other sites weren’t – we have a lot of talented writers writing for all our sites.

But with Food Fanatic, we didn’t want to be an All Recipes kind of site, where people come for the recipe and leave again quickly. I wanted to bring personality to the site, and make it a place where people could follow their favorite bloggers in a new way.

And that meant working with strong personalities – people with their own websites and voices. Bloggers I’d loved and admired up close and afar for ages.

What does all this have to do with the Mediavine Publisher Network? Easy.

We built a family when we built Food Fanatic, and each of those people inspired the MPN you see today. That’s how we became the ad network for publishers.

We had started managing our own ads at the start of 2015, after doing some analysis and building technology to allow us to do it in a way that could be scaled. You see, when you run four sites that range in traffic from a couple hundred thousand to many millions, every single thing you do has to be able to scale up AND down.

And that technology had better be fast, because when your sites are heavily reliant on Google for traffic, that first byte load time matters. A LOT.

So we were trucking along, doing our own thing, experimenting as we went, because they were our own sites and our own money.

And then Jamie asked for our help. And Karly. Then Aimee and Jocelyn. Then Brandy and Gina. We launched Mediavine in June 2015 because these six wonderful, powerful, thoughtful businesswomen decided to trust us with their livelihoods.

It’s never been something we’ve taken lightly, but looking back now, it still kind of takes our collective breath away. We will always be immensely grateful that our Food Fanatics thought enough of us to take a chance.

Since then, we’ve branched out into every category of lifestyle blogger, and I have to tell you, the coolest thing is watching food bloggers answer a question in our Facebook group one way, and then watching travel bloggers and craft bloggers weigh in with a completely different perspective. To my mind, it’s one of the best things about our network; a diverse hive mind that helps itself grow.

Today we stand before you as a network that has grown to 150 times its original size, with more each day. Our dedication and mission hasn’t changed since day one.

The Important Things:

  • Treat each person the way we always wanted to be treated by our ad network.
  • Be truthful and transparent. When we screw up (and everyone does – we’re human), we own it.
  • Earn as much money as possible without sacrificing site speed and user experience. That means opting not to offer in-banner video ads, sliders, or skins.
  • Be smart about ad placements – we study how readers interact with your site to find the best placements, instead of hitting them over the head with ads at every turn.
  • Look at each site holistically. How can we help your site be all it can be? Whether it’s site speed audits, developer hours for free, optimization guides or having a call to go over SEO, we’re in it for the long haul. It makes sense to pay attention to your entire site, because the more we do, the more money we ALL make.
  • Be agile. Never stop learning. It’s in our own best interest as site owners to keep up with all things blogging AND all things ads. Plus, we love to geek out over this stuff. Just ask any one of us, and we’ll talk for hours about the science behind how our technology works. At least we’ll buy you a drink while we do it?

It’s been an amazing time creating this company we’re very proud to call our own.

Whether you already work with us or not, we want to know: What do you want from your ad network that you aren’t getting?

6 thoughts on “The Ad Network for Publishers”

  1. Cindy says:

    Hi guys, I’m currently with Monumetric (TBN) and have been for just over a year. I’m relatively pleased with them, my RPM is +11 and I’ve been earning consistently. What I don’t like is how invasive the ads are…and how many I need in order to keep earning the same amount of money. I just applied to Mediavine, and if I’m approved I’d like to know:
    1. Can I earn the same amount with less ads?
    2. What are the advantages of making the switch?
    3. Is there a cost to join?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer! I look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Amber Bracegirdle says:

      Hey Cindy, thanks so much for the questions!

      1. Much of our network is in the $9-14 RPM range right now. What makes the difference? A couple of things – how our advertisers respond to your audience (outside of your control and ours), and how much of our optimization tips you embrace to get the most out of your ads (completely within your control). Our approach is a bit different. We use behavior of your readers to figure out the best place to put the ads for them to be seen without being over-the-top intrusive. But, it may mean some tweaks to things like how big your paragraphs are, or how much “stuff” is in your sidebar. We’ll work through it with you, step by step, so that you’re getting the most out of your ads.

      2. Many people tell us they love our communication and customer service, so I’ll definitely say that’s an advantage. Most sites do see speed improvement over their old networks, because we’ve put a lot of development into how we serve the ads, and what loads on your initial site load. We also offer optimization guides for SEO, a way to monetize your videos if you’re doing that, and we’re always looking for ways to improve – so tell us some things you want that you currently aren’t getting. We’re all ears.

      3. There is no cost to join. We have a flat revenue share, with no administrative fees or discrepancy reconciliation after the fact. Where we have the expense of the ad server, the revenue share is 70% to you, 30% to us. Where we have a partner agreement that gives you a better deal than you could get without the network, but we don’t have the expense of the ad server, your share is 80%, ours is 20%. There are no other fees involved in working with us, and you’ll always know exactly how much we’re making, because it’s a flat rate, and each partner is broken out in your dashboard. What you see in your dashboard is what you get.

  2. Heather says:

    Does Mediavine work with websites or just blogs, Adsence is not paying to well for me and would like a better option.

    1. Heather Tullos says:

      Hi Heather! Websites and blogs – they are interchangeable most of the time. We do have a 30,000 pageviews/month threshhold, but if you are looking for a better option we’d love you to apply!

  3. Melissa says:

    Hi there, how long does it take for a blog to be approved after application?

    1. Amber Bracegirdle says:

      Hey Melissa!

      It’s about 2 weeks from start to finish. If you’ve applied but haven’t heard from us, your application may not have come through. Please email publishers@mediavine.com so we can help!

      ~Amber

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *