7 Top Advertising Networks — Make Money Online

By Mick Meaney

Over the years that I’ve been online, I’ve picked up a few tricks here and there to help the site cover its own costs and make some money. Here I’ll be sharing a few ideas that might help other webmasters and bloggers to do the same.

I’ve tested each advertising network myself and I’m giving an honest review of each based on my personal experiences.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to making money from advertising networks, and you will probably have to spend a little time experimenting and testing different networks to find the best option for your website.

Displaying adverts is a smart way to monetize your website. Of course the level of advertising is completely up to you — in effect it’s money for nothing as most payout per 1000 page impressions.

So let’s have a look at some of the most popular options around; the good, the bad and the down right lousy:

Valueclick Media (CPM)
Valueclick is one of the largest and most effective online advertising solutions. It’s very easy to use and gives good payout rates — at least in the beginning. During the first few months this generated a good level of income for the site but within 6 months earnings dropped, while traffic increased.

Valueclick Media seems to be a bit hit and miss when used for a prolonged period of time, but when placed on a website for the first time, it is nothing short of amazing.

It’s attractive to advertisers because it allows behavioral, contextual and demographic targeting — so in theory at least, it should only display adverts that are relevant to your website. However in my tests the targeting hasn’t been as accurate as other networks.

BidVertiser (CPC / CPM)
BidVertiser is another easy to use network. What I like about BidVertiser is their smaller network; they make sure the highest bidding advertiser is displayed on your site.

They pay through Paypal, which is always nice and the minimum payout is $10. Unlike most other networks, BidVertiser only pay each per click, so it can take a while to make money from if you have a low traffic website.

This might be a good option if you have a high bounce rate and have no intention of lowering it. Bear in mind that this network relies on you driving visitors to your site, only to have them leave — hopefully through your adverts.

Chitika (CPA / CPC)
Chitika is clever. It provides search targeted results to your visitors, for example if they find your site via a search engine your Chitka advert block will display adverts related to their search.

This is great for both you and the advertiser; it means highly targeted adverts with higher click through rates. With that said, earnings can be unpredictable.

Paypopup (CPM)
As the name suggests, Paypopup offers decent payouts in exchange for running pop ups and pop-unders on your site. It’s fairly straight forward and easy to use. The high payouts come at a cost — pop ups are not popular with site visitors.

Google Adsense (CPC)
Adsense used to be good… really good. Over the last couple of years, as more people began to display Adsense on their website, it has lost a lot of its magic. Earnings have fallen by around 90% in recent years.

With that said, it is still an OK option because it displays adverts that match the content of your site.

Clickbank (CPA)
Clickbank is the web’s leading retailer of digital products. It’s a great idea and simple to use.

You search through their database for products that your website visitors might like, create a link to the product (with your affiliate ID), and get paid a percentage each time someone purchases the product.

The highest percentage I’ve seen on Clickbank is 75% which is just jaw dropping.

The great thing about Clickbank is that you know exactly what is being advertised on your site – and they do pay on time, but their tracking is lousy.

Smowtion is possibly the worst Ad Network that I’ve ever used. Support staff are very slow to respond, the reporting is inaccurate and the payouts are among the lowest in the industry. In my test we received just $0.04 CPM.

So there you have it, that’s my current roundup. In my experience usually it’s best to use a combo of all three CPM, CPA and CPC.

Here’s an explanation if you’re unsure of the terminology I’ve used in this article:

CPM = Cost Per Milli
Means Cost Per Thousand, an example would be; you receive $1.00 for every 1000 impressions of an advert you serve.

CPC = Cost Per Click
Means you get paid each time someone clicks on the advert.

CPA = Cost Per Action
Means you get paid each time a sale is made from one of your clicks.

I will be testing more networks and updating this page as I find out which ones deliver, so stay tuned for updates.