It’s been a long time since I’ve produced a post about making money with blogs. I used to share my tips regularly in my MyBlogEarnings posts, but I stopped sharing my earnings and tips, because I didn’t want people to think that I was boasting, and also because some of my colleagues found out and I was getting a bit uncomfortable with them knowing about my second income.
One tip that I really want to share though is how to use multiple ad networks to increase blog earnings. Over the last couple of months I’ve been working really hard to grow traffic to my sites by creating more posts, both myself and through recruiting authors. On this site for instance, 3 new authors have been added who are doing a fantastic job, and on Windows 7 News that I run jointly with Martin, we’ve added 4 great authors within the last month.
If one of your objectives from blogging is to generate an income/second income, then creating additional traffic isn’t going to benefit you if you don’t find a formula for generating money. For most bloggers this involves joining one of the many advertising networks out there. What I’ve learnt over the last couple of months is that being a member of multiple networks allows you to soften the blow of one network performing badly, through the use of alternate urls.
Most ad networks allow you to add code for other networks, or an alternate url, when they don’t have a paying ad to show. Some networks go one step further and let you even set a minimum CPM that has to be hit, and if not the impression gets handed over to the alternate network. I’ve joined a couple of these networks and I’ve connected them up in a chain, so that if one network doesn’t hit the min CPM I’ve set, the impression is handed over to another network who also has a min CPM to hit, and so on, until my final network is reached who guarantee that every paid slot is filled.
What I do every day or so is see how each network is faring in terms of campaigns and eCPMs, and adjust their min target up or down depending on how the next network in the chain is performing. E.g. if the network behind is performing well, then I raise the CPM so that the network behind gets more impressions, and if the network behind is performing badly I lower the CPM to improve fill rates. Overall, I think I’ve managed to improve my eCPMs by around 20% through juggling multiple networks.
I’ve been paying particular attention to Adify, because from next month there will be fundamental changes (very bad changes IMHO) to the way their ad network will work in the future, which will significantly reduce my earnings. I’m trying to counter this by setting my Adify CPM mins, so that no low paying ads are shown and so that any high paying ads still help to bring up my average CPM.
Other benefits of working with multiple networks include being able to negotiate better revenue shares. I’ve managed to successfully get higher percentages on a few occasions; never assume that the offer on the table can’t be improved. Always ask if you can get a better rev share before joining a network – the worst that can happen is they say no.