The 5 Best Ad Networks For Bloggers

Using an ad network is a great way to make passive income as a blogger. They're also very easy to set up. Pretty much all you have to do is grab a snippet of code and paste it into the parts of your site where you want ads to display.

Once your ads are in place, in most cases you don't really have to worry about them anymore. They just sit there, (hopefully) making you money.

How Much Can You Make From An Ad Network?

This will depend greatly on how much traffic your blog receives.

People with millions of page views per month might make in the thousands or even tens of thousands per month with their ad networks, where people with a few hundred or a few thousand page views a month might not even make more than $10 or $20 a month.

There are exceptions of course, and it's also worth noting that some ad networks perform better than others. You just have to kind of experiment around and see what works best for your blog.

How Exactly Do Ad Networks Make You Money?

Most of them are either Pay Per Click or Cost Per Thousand. Pay Per Click, or PPC, means that you get a little money every time your readers click your ads. Cost Per Thousand, or CPM, means that you get a certain amount of money per thousand views the ad receives.

If you're new to blogging, you should know that you can't get away with clicking your own ads to earn money, or asking your friends and family to click them for you.

The ad networks have ways of knowing when this is going on and they won't hesitate to take your account away from you and never give it back. Don't be one of the people that has to learn that lesson the hard way.

Which Ad Networks Should You Use?

There are hundreds and hundreds of ad networks to choose from. I've made a list below of the five that I hear the most good things about, three of which I've used myself.

Remember you don't necessarily have to limit yourself to using just one network.

Obviously you don't want to use all of them at the same time and plaster your entire website in ads to the point that no one can even read your content, but it's good to experiment, and there's nothing wrong with putting a few ads from different networks on your site to kind of diversify your income streams.

The Five Best Ad Networks For Bloggers

1 – Google Adsense

Adsense is by far the most well-known network, and most agree that their ads tend to perform the best. You can choose from all different types of sizes, text or display ads, and you are able to customize your own ads (colors, font, etc.) to a point.

They pay once a month via direct deposit or mailed check, and every month you have to have earned at least $100 to qualify for a payment.

I have personal experience with Adsense. I've been using them on this blog for more than four years. You can count on timely pay. The only thing really lacking is that their support isn't all that personal. It sometimes can be tricky to get direct assistance from a real, live person who works there.

2 – is the ad network powered by Yahoo! and Bing. Their ads look different because they're just these little colored keyword blocks. works to ensure that the keyword blocks blend well with your site — they will often use the same color scheme.

These ads complement Adsense ads very well mainly because they do look very different from them. pays monthly with Paypal, but like Adsense you have to have met that $100 minimum in a month's time to get a payment.

3 – AdThrive

AdThrive is a company that I started looking into after reading about them in “How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul.”

They have their own ad network that displays family-friendly ads, plus they set up DFP (Double Click For Publishers) on their ads once they're installed on your blog. These are display ads, and once you sign up, they will analyze your site and tell you where they think their ads will perform best. Then, they go in and do all the set up for you. AdThrive pays monthly with direct deposit.

Note that AdThrive does have a waiting list, so getting in might take some time. Also, they have two levels of service — AdThrive Edge and AdThrive Premium.

You will qualify to get in at the AdThrive Edge level if you have at least 100,000 page views per month. You have to have at least 750,000 page views per month to qualify for AdThrive Premium. Both are good, but with AdThrive Premium you get a little more personalized help with maximizing your ad revenue on your blog.

I have been using AdThrive (at the Edge level) for a few months now and it's been great. Their ads display toward the bottom of my sidebar and in the footer. They have so far paid either on time or early, and they are fast to answer questions when you need to email.

4 – Mediavine

Mediavine is another network in a way similar to AdThrive. They have display and video ads as well as some other products.

I have not used this ad network myself, but I've been seeing people recommend them.

There are a lot of people who didn't think they'd qualify for AdThrive, or didn't want to have to wait, so they signed up with Mediavine instead and many have seen great results. I don't think I've read anything at all negative about this particular company, so it might be a good one to try.

You have to be getting at least 25,000 sessions (you can check this in Google Analytics) per month to qualify to sign up with Mediavine.

5 – BlogHer Ads

This is an ad network run by BlogHer, a very popular site for women, and I often see their ads appear on sites geared mostly toward women.

It's an older ad network, having been around since 2006. They have display ads with the BlogHer branding prominently displayed.

As part of this network, you may also get invited to do sponsored posts for various companies, so that's another perk to getting in here.

It's important to note that BlogHer requires you to have their ad at the very top of all your posts and pages, plus you can't have any other ads besides theirs above the fold on your site.

That was the deal-breaker for me. I have read mixed reviews on how these ads perform — some are happy with them, and some are not. Still, they are one of the more popular ad networks and I see their ads on lots of blogs.

BlogHer pays monthly with check or Paypal as long as you've earned at least $25. When you join, you have to sign a one-year contract.

So there you have it, the top five best ad networks for bloggers — based on my own experience and some research.

Like I said above, I know there are lots of other networks out there, so feel free to comment below if there are other networks you've used and would recommend.

Good luck!

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26 thoughts on “The 5 Best Ad Networks For Bloggers”

  1. Hi Anna thank you for the advices! I’m building my blog and looking to work with Adthrive, I have a question. They ask for phone and document scans? I had a bad experience of stolen identity in the past with another site that required infos like these (they was hacked and hackers stolen these), I’m a bit scared. Thank you!

    • I don’t remember them asking me for phone scans. What type of documents are they asking for?

      That said, I have been working with AdThrive for about 2 years and they are certainly legit and reputable. But if you have reservations about anything they’re asking you for, definitely question them about it prior to signing up.

      • Thank you! I was talking about personal id scans or my phone not the phone scans, sorry. I hope to work with them soon!

  2. What a wonderful article with so much useful information! Do you know if you can use Adsense and AdThrive at the same time? Thank you!

    • Thanks! Yes, you can use them at the same time. Although you will need to double check with your AdThrive manager before you place any additional Adsense ads, just to make sure you’re not putting too many.

  3. Anna – I realize that this discussion is primarily for bloggers that would like to find ad networks in order to make money from their blogs. My inquiry is just the opposite. I have a small sized online retail men’s Work Clothing business and I need to find a way to get more customers. I currently advertise with Google Adwords and this last month I spent almost $500 with them. I decided to try to find a way to get more visitors (potential customers) to my store and it occurred to me that perhaps advertising on blogs would accomplish that in a cost effective way. I had no idea where to begin to find bloggers that would be willing to run ads for me so I did a Google search for blog ad networks and that is how I came across this site. My customer are about evenly split split between men and women (who are buying for the man in their life) and I have customers both in the US and in Canada. I would really appreciate it if you would have a look at my store and suggest how to best proceed. The store can be seen at Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately this is not an area of expertise for me. However, this article at Entrepreneur offers some tips -

  4. I just started using AdThrive (replacing Adsense) and the CPM is much higher. There are a lot more ads though, and I don’t know how that will negatively affect my affiliate rev, which is 100% synergistic, curated by me, and defensible.


  5. Any advice for which blogger networks to use for beginning bloggers. I started blogging early this year about my gardening adventures and experiences. I applied for adsense three months back and still do not have the account approved. There is no support from google about this. I use Amazon affiliate banners on my blog but it hasn’t generated any income in last six months. I only have around 1000+ page views so far.

    • Try I believe they are a bit more lenient than Adsense. Sovrn is another to try. Did Adsense give you a reason you’re not getting approved? I know one of the most common reasons for new bloggers is not having a privacy policy or contact page in place.

  6. This is excellent! Thank you for the article. I have had ads on my site for quite some time and have done really well with BlogHer. The paid reviews are my best income source at this point. (and I’ve been really choosy about which ones to use and they work with me well!) I am wondering if you have any suggestions on working with Google Adsense. I have one Adsense ad now and it does not make me much money at all. I remembering hearing once something about needing to have 3 google adsense ads for it to make much $– does that sound right to you? If so, do you even know who to contact or how to get help since they are not very available for personal support? (It’s been years since I set mine up.) Thank you again so much!! Aloha!

    • Thanks, so glad you liked the article!

      Regarding Adsense, I know that you can have up to three of their ads per page, so you would probably make more with more ads. They are unfortunately really hard to get in touch with if you are looking for a real person and not something automated. But yes, three ads would earn you the most.

  7. I really wish I would have noticed Claire’s comment about how many ads they put on the site before I signed up with AdThrive. I guess that’s why people make so much money with them as opposed to Adsense, the number of ads does it. And once you sign up with them you are screwed for 30 days before you are able to remove any ads. So many people have now stopped reading my blog because of the number of mobile ads (I’m talking 10 ads in the content alone), it’s not worth it. I am disappointed because I specifically said no ads in the content before I joined but they added them anyway.

    • I just checked my site on mobile and there are 6 ads inside the content. Ten does sound like it would be overkill. 🙁 I’m going to make a note about this in my post, just so anyone who would not be OK with this knows. 30 days does seem like a long time before you can opt out of something, but I believe there are some other networks, like BlogHer, that require six months or a year. So it’s not quite as bad when you compare them to some others.

      • I just counted. On mobile there are 17 ads total running. Still have yet to hear back on how to remove content ads, communication from them has been lacking which is another reason I’m so disappointed. Before I signed up they emailed me within minutes to hours and now it’s days. Meanwhile if I remove the plugin before 30 days is up they will charge me $300 per 100k monthly page views (meaning they would fine me $300,000 for removing their plugin based on my monthly page view count.) My mobile readers are really going to hate me the next 30 days.

        • Wow, that is a ton of ads! I would be really unhappy, too. Just keep emailing, maybe even try messaging them on social media? Sometimes I have luck doing that with companies when they aren’t responsive via email. I checked, but the only email I have for them is edge (at) adthrive (dot) com. I assume that is the one you’re using too?

  8. I just signed up with Adthrive and I have been completely unhappy with them! I am so bummed because I was so excited to use them after seeing all the amazing reviews. They cluttered my site with ads EVERYWHERE! Did they do this to you at first? They told me that I have to have at least 6-7 ads within a post on mobile. I got them down to 5 which to me is still way to much! I am still giving them a try but it doesn’t look like it will work out if they require that many ads in a post. You site looks nice and not cluttered. Did they require any of this with you at first?

    • Hi Claire, Sorry for the delay in responding! This is all surprising for me to hear. No, they didn’t require this. In fact, every time I’ve told them I think there are one too many ads or I want to decrease the number of ads, they’ve been extremely accommodating and haven’t given me any trouble at all. I haven’t checked my site on mobile in a while, but I don’t *think* I have that many in a post. If I were you, I’d just keep on at them. It’s your blog after all. If you don’t like the way something looks, they should change it for you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this with them. 🙁

  9. Thank you for this information!!…..At present I’m using Envero Media ad network seeing good results and quick response from them.

    • It is totally fine to run Adsense and AdThrive on your blog. I currently do this. If it weren’t allowed, I know that AdThrive would have advised me to remove Adsense before their ads were put on. They are super on top of things like that. 🙂

  10. Thank you for the informative post and shout out to The Blogger Network, Anna! I’m a blogger who loved what they were doing so much that I wanted to work there. It’s rewarding to see bloggers succeed!

    Blog on

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