Welcome to MediaVine vs DIY Advertising Networks – The Complete Review.
If you are a food blogger I am sure by now that you have heard about MediaVine.com. If you haven’t then basically they are a “Do it for you” version of Google Adsense. You no longer have to worry about setting up advertising networks or getting approved on the different networks as they will take it out of your hands and you can then focus on content and marketing your food blog.
The main requirement is that you must have 30,000 page views a month in traffic and obviously that your content is good quality. For many that have low traffic it will be their treat to go onto Media Vine once they hit that traffic level and hopefully really increase their traffic.
It is also a good in between because quite often it’s the first of the advertising management options and then once you have hit 100,000 page views you would use a better and more advanced service like AdThrive. But to start with you have Media Vine and you are impressed instantly by how much people make on Media Vine compared to if they do it themselves on Google Adsense.
So just like any other food blogger, I was keen to give it a go and the day that we hit 30,000 page views for the last 30 days we were there and applied in a flash of lightening.
And here is how it went between us first using it on the 20th April and we removed it from our site on the 22nd of July 2016.
The Media Vine Income
Well I am sure many of you want to make more money so how much money did we make from Media Vine?
Well over a 3 month period our income worked out as follows:
- April 2016 = $33.74
- May 2016 = $154.20
- June 2016 = $124.62
- July 2016 = $79.96
- Total = $392.52
During this time period we also received the following traffic:
As you can see during that time we received 106,241 page views and this meant that our Media Vine income worked out at $3.69 RPM. In other words for every 1000 page views to the site during this time we earned $3.69.
You’ll also notice that our best month with them was in May. We put this down to the fact that when you sign up with advertising management services that you always seem to earn more in the beginning and then it lessens the longer you are with them.
Normally, we would have had our income from the following sources:
- Amazon Advertising Network
- Google Adsense
- Amazon Associates
- Ebook Sales
We still had our income set up from these sources but because they no longer had the best position it meant that during the time Media Vine was running on our site the total income from them was just $577.51. This then brought our total RPM up to $9.13.
This figure of course is much better but since taking off MediaVine our first month without it has led to an income of $335.84 from 56,119 page views. This works out at $5.98 RPM. This is also for August when most food blogs suffer a summer slump because people are too busy having fun than eating out of their slow cooker.
Or for the period prior to Media Vine for the months of January to March we had 60,058 page views. In that time we had an income of $1213.93 and a RPM of $20.21.
Media Vine Positioning
The biggest issue is the way that the Media Vine ads are displayed on your site. First of all you have to think that you have no control. You have a code that they put on your site and they choose the positioning.
This means that for starters they moved my mailing list sign up form further down the page and put a LOT of ads on our site. They were also in positions that reduced the quality of the reader experience for people that visited our site.
Also, you were signing up for a minimum of 5 ads for each page. This meant that if you normally use Adsense at the rate of 2 ads per post (like we did) then you were suddenly displaying up to 5 times the normal amount of ads.MediaVine Vs DIY Advertising Networks – The Complete Review Via @recipe_thisClick To Tweet
This of course means that you are going to be earning more, but at the expense of your readers.
Why I think the Media Vine Income Is Not The Best
Well you probably look at this in black and white and think that the RPM was rather high when you consider how easy it is set up and how passive it is. Well you compare this to our other months and if we had 8 lots of advertising units on our site then the RPM outside of Media Vine would have been amazing too.
January – March 2016 – Pre-Media Vine
Take the months of January to March on Recipe This. We had 60,058 page views and if we had 8 units of advertising on each page then our RPM would have been $32.33.
We actually had 2 in post Adsense, Content.ad running down the widget area and ebooks sold within posts along with affiliate links when they were appropriate. This means that we had about half of what Media Vine placed on our site. So in reality we would have earned a lot less with Media Vine during the same time period.
April – July on Media Vine
You have to think that when you are on Media Vine you will be getting a lot more Ads so this means that you have a higher chance of a click through. We saw some of our old blog posts that were having more than 10 ads on the post and this of course is way too many and totally runs the experience for the readers. However the majority of the time it was 8 and we found this was the average for a page.
Therefore if you base those 8 on my RPM and reduce it down to the 5 we would have had then their RPM would work out at $2.30. Well I can achieve this with just Adsense and of course Adsense is not in the readers face as much.
August – Post Media Vine
During our first month without Media Vine we felt like our income was about the same. We were displaying less ads and less call of actions to buy and earned the same. I would much rather do this and earn the same money, or earn slightly less and give my readers a better experience.
Who is Media Vine for?
Anyone that doesn’t care too much about the returning visitor or those that don’t have other income streams in place. If you are not selling ebooks or have affiliate links then you’ll want to get maximum use out of the site and bring the best income in.
Media Vine Case Study – In Conclusion
We signed up for Media Vine like many of the herd in the food blogging world does. It seems so simple, everything is done for you and you can increase your income. But it is not for us.
Our reader experience comes above everything. This is what leads to returning visitors, loyal readers that buy our ebooks and the people that share our content on social media.
From their point of view they don’t want to read an article with 10 different ads on it as it will take them away from why they are there.
On the other hand if you have 8 Media Vine placements then why would anyone click through to buy your ebook or use your affiliate link? They would be too busy with the advertising network and we have found that this part of the income has gone downhill.
Plus if you are selling sponsored review packages it would really annoy people that have paid good money for a review to have lots of other peoples ads taking over the page.
I based my income in this case study on my main passive income sources and how they changed when we had Media Vine on our site. We also left Media Vine at the earliest opportunity (after the 90 day window) and it’s not a site we would return to.
We also want to be in control and felt that with them having 100% control over advert placement it made us feel nervous especially when ads were put in places that ruined the readers experience. But we are glad we tried it as we would have always wondered otherwise.
It has put us off similar services though and I doubt we would try a similar one in the future. We will of course carry on as we are and work harder and harder to build up a range of income streams on our site and we have enjoyed the experience of Media Vine and how other sites work.
We are not against Media Vine but we are more interested in our readers than having those extra few advertising spots on our site.