I officially joined Mediavine as a publisher on Apr 26, 2020 and I have never looked back since. Medivine met my expectations throughout the on-boarding process and having their ads go ‘live’ on my blog. Needless to say, joining Mediavine was everything I looked forward to, and then some more.
It would be easy to categorize Mediavine as just another ad network but they are much more than that. In a nutshell, Mediavine offers full service ad management including display ad optimization, video monetization and sponsored influencer marketing.
To keep things simple, especially when I’m geographically located on the opposite side of the globe in Singapore (and therefore, a lot of what they offer aren’t applicable), I am purely using Mediavine for ad management.
In my earlier post detailing my personal finance situation, I touched on how I’m strengthening my alternative income sources and one area I was working on is to qualify for Mediavine, which I did! There are various blog income research reports such as the one linked in that blog post, and a general idea of what to expect for bloggers who are growing their niche is to improve our earning efficiency.
If we can grow our blog from 1,000 pageviews a month to 10,000 pageviews, we would have potentially grown our revenue by ten times. However, it isn’t always just as easy to grow a blog from 10,000 pageviews to 100,000 pageviews!
It is just as important to maximize the potential from other contributing factors. If the amount of revenue generated per pageview can also grow by ten times, then we would have grown the revenue by 100 times instead!
Most bloggers would typically start off from AdSense due to its low/neglible barriers to entry. As long as the content is not objectionable, you’re in. I subsequently switched over to Monumetric – Propel program when my pageviews hit 10,000 per month.
Monumetric charge an implementation fee of $99 for the Propel Program which I paid. At that point in time, I was re-investing all my income back into the blog. In 2018 and 2019, my blog income was purely relying on Monumetric. The blog income chart below paints a nice picture of my switch from AdSense to Monumetric.
Applying for Mediavine
As a requirement, Mediavine requires 25,000 sessions a month (which comes up to around 30,000 pageviews) according to Google Analytics. Unlike other ad management services, they use sessions as the metric to consider because it is a better gauge of user engagement.
Increasing blog traffic isn’t easy but I kept working at it, day after day. Once you have 25,000 sessions in your last 30-days via Google Analytics, applying to join Mediavine is super easy. Yes, it is mandatory to have Google Analytics data and you will see why later.
Now, all that’s needed is to navigate to Mediavine website and click on the Apply Now button. Fill the your details in the form and hit Submit.
On the 1st of March 2020, I sent in my application to join Mediavine.
Request for additional information
Shortly after submitting your application, you will receive an email from Mediavine.
At this point in time, it is important to note that any existing relationship you still have with your ad partners/networks are not affected! This is simply the approval process to join Mediavine and it starts with traffic data verification. It is at this point in time that you would be informed once again that you need to have 25,000 sessions for the last 30-days and you have be in good standing with Google. No prior policy violations with AdSense etc or else Mediavine will not be able to accept your application.
Once that is out of the way, there is a simple step-by-step guide included in the email for you to churn out a site traffic report with other important metrics. Basically, Mediavine is going to use the report to assess your blog quality and weed out misbehaving blogs that are using fake traffic etc.
Save the report as a PDF file and email it back to Mediavine. Do note that it can take several weeks to get through the application process because they have to work through each application carefully.
Acknowledgement of application and blog data
I would like to reiterate that the application process is one of the most professional that I have ever come across. You would be kept informed at each step of the way.
A day or two after sending the traffic data to Mediavine, I received an email informing me that my email was received and that a review is in the pipeline and they would keep in touch once there are any updates.
True to the warning given in the earlier email, it would take about another two weeks before I would receive an update. Again, the level of professionalism is impeccable – read on.
I was informed that while my blog would be a great fit, being located in Singapore meant that traffic isn’t from a premium country and therefore, likely to have lower CPM/fill rates. Which is nothing new to me, because it was the exact same scenario with Monumetric. Basically, the assessment was that I’d likely still earn well but in comparison with a publisher of the same niche in the United States, for example, it would likely be less.
Mediavine is big on transparency in this area and wanted to be sure I’m aware and OK with the situation before proceeding. After I replied OK, I was informed to keep a lookout for Google AdExchange email to move the process along.
Oh, did I mention Mediavine also provided optimization tips and advice for my blog plus the option of an optimization audit post-launch?
Invitation to register with Mediavine
Next up is an email from Google that said I have been invited to partner with Mediavine on Google Ad Manager. I was requested to accept this request to allow Mediavine to access and manage my ad inventory. Once more, a form in linked in the email – fill it up and submit it.
This part was totally my fault because I somehow managed to overlook this extremely important email (because it came from Google and not Mediavine) and therefore, I only managed to submit the form at the end of March – urgh.
Putting in the notice for current ad partner
Once all the ad network approvals are good to go, the next step is to put in the termination notice for your current ad partner. For Monumetric, it was required to put in 30-days notice as per the terms and agreement.
At this point in time, the most important thing is to figure out what is the exact date that I can remove the existing ads on my blog. After the back and forth with Monumetric, the date was to be April 26th 2020.
Give this date to Mediavine so that they would keep you on their launch schedule and hand-hold you all the way.
Signing the Mediavine contract
It was the 7th of April. I received an email late at night (I’m located on the opposite side of the globe vs Mediavine office) that it was gradually approaching the launch date and the Mediavine contract in PDF format would be required to be digitally signed.
No worries regarding the effective launch date (it is still fixed on 26th April) and concerns about how to do the electronic signing. Read the contract and follow along the instructions and you’ll do just fine.
Prepping the blog and setting up Mediavine dashboard
Mediavine support engineer would touch base with you at this point and basically, there are some prep work that are required to be done so that you are ready for the Mediavine launch. In my case, a minor adjustment is needed for my sidebar and I also also worked through the list of todo-items and removed/disabled conflicting plugins.
If any of this is too technically overwhelming for you, simply let the Mediavine support know and they will render the necessary assistance, so no worries on that!
Besides, Mediavine support would also perform a round of checks prior to launch just to make sure that everything is OK.
On the date of launch, I removed Monumetric’s plugin and also cleaned up their custom code that was added into my blog. This portion wasn’t too technically challenging and I very much preferred to complete this by myself as soon as possible so that I don’t delay the launch, since we’re 12-hours apart in time zones.
After the cleaning up part is done, I activated the Mediavine plugin and followed the step-by-guide that was provided. Again, super straight-forward and it worked like a charm. No custom code needed – simply activate the plugin.
Once all the hard work is done, inform Mediavine that the cut-over is complete and that the blog is ready for them to make a check that everything is doing great. Let’s just say that Mediavine support is a little better than Monumetric in terms of responsiveness and even though my launch-day was a Sunday, I received a reply that everything was perfect – plus a bunch of other useful information and tips.
Yaaaay! We are live!
If you think that’s the end of my on-boarding process, not yet! Post launch, there are plenty of other valuable resources such as a private Facebook group for Mediavine publishers as well as a series of useful guides and information for bloggers to digest and work through.
I have been with Mediavine for three weeks and the process thus far is nothing short of a 5-star experience. Now, I can fully understand the accolades that Mediavine has been receiving from bloggers from all around the world.
Mediavine does not have a referral program and this is not a sponsored post. I wrote this review on the process of joining Mediavine and the on-boarding because I genuinely feel that Mediavine is an amazing company and the process of joining them is outstanding in terms of professionalism and yet, so super easy for a blogger/publisher to grasp and follow through.
I don’t get anything if you read this blog post and eventually decide to join Mediavine. Mediavine wrote that they are here for publishers. I would like to think that as publishers, we are here for Mediavine as well – to provide whatever support we can.
Mutual support is the key ingredient that allows for both parties to flourish. When I was contemplating whether to join Mediavine, I had to do my homework to find out what the process was like and what I had to take note of. Hopefully, my post will be of some value for bloggers who are thinking of making the same move.
In other awesome news, I just got my best ever day(s) in terms of pageviews (because of this post) shortly after joining Mediavine! I’m waiting for the dust to settle before diving in for the analytics data for another blog post.
May 2020 would be my first full month with Mediavine so the ad revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) data would definitely make for a good read.
- 25,630 pageviews – 11 May 2020
- 14,476 pageviews – 12 May 2020
- 8,917 pageviews – 20 Feb 2020
- 7,869 pageviews – 11 Dec 2019
- 6,690 pageviews – 20 Nov 2019
- 6,121 pageviews – 22 Sep 2019
Wow. Not only was yesterday's number my first ever that exceeded 10k pageviews, it crossed the 20k mark as well 😱
25,630 – 11 May 2020
8,917 – 20 Feb 2020
7,869 – 11 Dec 2019
6,690 – 20 Nov 2019
6,121 – 22 Sep 2019
Will dissect the stats soon!
— Kevin | Turtle Investor (@turtle_investor) May 12, 2020