As a food blogger, ads can be a great way to diversify your blogging income. Your site will earn revenue simply when readers visit a page on your site that has an ad — hello, passive income! 👋
However, you don’t necessarily want to be the person working directly with advertisers to get ads enabled on your site, and that’s where ad networks come in. Ad networks make it incredibly simple for website owners to add, track, monitor, and tweak website ads.
In this post, we’re going to dive deep into the wonderful world of ads, as well as some of the most popular ad networks for food bloggers. Let’s get into it!
What are display ads and ad networks?
Display advertising is one of the most familiar income sources for food bloggers. Display ads are commonly found:
- in the blog header
- in the sidebar
- in the footer
- and the body text of a blog post
Here’s an example of what display ads look like on our food blog, Pinch of Yum:
Most display advertising is paid based on a CPM or CPC basis. Depending on the time of year, you can expect to earn between $1-$3 for high quality CPM based ads and $.25-$1.00 for CPC ads (for a food blog).Confused by all these advertising terms?
Meanwhile, ad networks are platforms that serve as an intermediary between publishers (aka bloggers like you!) and a group of advertisers.
As an individual publisher, working with an ad network releases you from the burden of having to manage your own ads. The ad network does all the heavy lifting for you! 🙌🏻
Should you enable ads on your site?
It’s important to keep in mind that there are both benefits and drawbacks when it comes to enabling ads on your site. While ads will help you earn income, they can also cause a more negative user experience for your readers and even sometimes slow your site down.
And if you’re still in the initial stages of building your site, display ads might not be the best fit for you. Until your blog gets a bit more traction, it might be helpful to focus on building your traffic and establishing a level of trust with your audience. You don’t want to scare away any potential readers with lots of ads before you’ve given your site time to grow.Keep in mind that ads aren’t the only way to earn an income from your site!
All that being said, ads can be a part of an effective blog monetization strategy. Just spend some time thinking about your own unique situation and decide if you want to implement them on your site.
What’s the best ad network for food bloggers?
The short answer is: it depends!
The online world is always changing, and the best ad network for you depends on your niche, your blog itself, and how much traffic your site gets on a monthly basis.
While we’re not going to say whether one ad network is better than another, we’ll give you an overview of some of the most popular options for food bloggers, as well as their requirements.
Here are some of the most popular ad networks for food bloggers in 2021:
Google AdSense is currently the most popular advertising program online, and since it’s relatively easy to join, it’s widely used across the internet.
AdSense offers a variety of different ad types that you can run on your website, and you can choose where to display the ads. Once you get AdSense up and running, Google will display targeted ads on your blog that are relevant to your content or are based on a user’s search history.
While AdSense is a popular choice for many bloggers, it has a minimum payout of $100. Once you hit the $100 minimum payment threshold, Google will pay you during the next payment period. Therefore, if you don’t have enough traffic to hit that payment threshold, you might consider waiting to join AdSense until you build up a bit more of a following.
- No traffic requirements
- User must be 18 years old or older
- Unique and interesting content
- An active Gmail account
Ezoic is a unique ad network because it uses machine learning technology to automatically test different ad types across your site. Since it tailors the ads per user, it gets smarter the longer you use it.
While many other ad networks require your traffic to be largely based in the United States, Ezoic doesn’t mind if your audience is a bit more international.
While Ezoic used to require 10,000 pageviews, they no longer have any traffic requirements for entry. It might be a good ad network to use while you’re working towards a larger network like Mediavine or AdThrive.
- No traffic requirements
- Good standing with Google AdSense
- Informational, original content
Formerly known as The Blogger Network, Monumetric is a publisher-friendly ad network. They offer four different programs that you can join depending on how many pageviews your blog gets per month.
You only need 10,000 pageviews per month to get started with Monumetric, so it might be a good option if your traffic is in that range.
However, if your site has less than 80,000 pageviews per month, Monumietric will charge you a one-time $99 setup fee. If you have more than 80,000 pageviews per month, this fee is waived.
- At least 10,000 pageviews per month
- WordPress or Blogger site
- At least 50% of your traffic comes from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia
With over 7,000 publishers, Mediavine is one of the most popular ad networks for food bloggers.
Since you do need at least 50,000 sessions per month to be accepted by Mediavine, it’s a great option to consider once you build up a bit more traffic. While Mediavine will optimize ad placements for you, you can also request certain ad layouts if you have any specific preferences.
They also offer an exclusive Facebook group where you can connect and troubleshoot with other Mediavine publishers and employees.
- At least 50,000 sessions per month
- Good standing with Google AdSense
- Original content in any niche as a lifestyle publisher
- Content is long-form and engaging
Last but not least, AdThrive is a great option to consider when choosing an ad network.
Since you need at least 100,000 pageviews per month to be accepted to AdThrive, it’s one of the more selective ad networks out there. They also have a pretty rigorous vetting process, and only about 15-20% of applications get accepted.
But don’t let that scare you away! AdThrive is one of the best ad networks for CPM-based advertising, so it has great revenue potential.
And side note: we actually use AdThrive on our own food blog, Pinch of Yum. We haven’t personally worked with all of these ad networks, so we’re not saying AdThrive is the best — it’s just the one that we personally use on our blog at the moment.
- At least 100,000 pageviews per month
- Majority of traffic comes from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand
- Content is unique, original, and engaging for audiences and a great fit for advertisers
- Site is secure (HTTPS)
As a blogger, implementing ads can be a great way to earn passive income and diversify your revenue streams. If you’re considering joining an ad network, we hope this post gave an overview of the different available options.
And if you join an ad network and don’t love the experience, you can always switch to another one! Since there are so many ad networks to choose from, it’s important to find the best fit for you and your blog.
Now let’s chat: Do you have display ads on your site? Is there a particular ad network that you love working with? Let us know in the comments below!