4 Best Ad Networks for Small Publishers (For Passive Income)

So you want to make money blogging? That’s great! Even though it may feel difficult to know where to start, blog monetization doesn’t have to be hard. Why not make things easier for yourself and use display ads for passive income? All you need is a good overview of the best ad networks for small publishers and you’re good to go!

Quite conveniently, I’ve written this post to walk you through a few top ad networks for new bloggers and small publishers. I’ve researched for you so that you can save heaps of time and focus on what’s more important: creating content for your readers.

If you haven’t already, get your WordPress blog online with my step-by-step tutorial in 30 minutes and you’re ready for display ads.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a better overview of the best ad networks for small publishers and new bloggers.

Moreover, you’ll know which networks you can combine for the best results. Of course, we’ll also look at how much money you can make with display ads on your blog.

Here are a few related posts you may want to read, too:

Should you use display ads as a small publisher?

This is a question I get a lot. And for a good reason–none of us like seeing ads on websites and blogs.

And although it will take time until you earn substantial income from display ads, you shouldn’t overlook this monetization method. If you want to earn passive income with your blog, the best time to start is now.

Read next: How to Earn Money Through Blogging: 4 Money-Making Ideas for Beginners

As a rule of thumb, more blog traffic means more ad income. Hence, as your blog attracts more visitors, your passive income will grow, too.

Here are a couple of reasons why you should use display ads to monetize your traffic:

  1. Every cent counts:
    Even if your ad revenue is low at first, it’s still real income. If you make just a few bucks in your first months, use it to pay for web hosting, for instance.
  2. Your readers will get used to ads:
    As your audience grows, you don’t want to surprise them one day by filling your blog with display ads. Instead, start experimenting now and see which ad units work the best.
  3. Your posts can go viral:
    Although it doesn’t happen to everyone, any of your posts could go viral. Trust me, if you get thousands of readers to your blog like this, you don’t want to miss out on the ad revenue.

At the end of the day, the whole ad thing is up to you. Just keep in mind that ads are everywhere. Your readers aren’t as sensitive to them as you may be.

The thing is: you need to strike a balance between (1) showing ads and (2) maintaining a smooth reading experience for your visitors.

I’ve been using a bunch of the best ad networks for small publishers in the past few years. Yet, I’ve never lost traffic or received negative feedback for showing ads on my blogs.

Related: 6 Worst Blogging Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

4 best ad networks for new bloggers and small publishers

When your blog is new and your traffic is low, I know you’re short on time. You’re wearing too many hats as it is, creating content, learning about SEO, growing your traffic, etc.

Read also: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging (Right Now)

Thus, you want to focus on the best as networks for small publishers that have:

  1. Easy setup and ad implementation
  2. No minimum traffic requirement
  3. Reliable payouts and fast turnover schedule
  4. Helpful support for your questions

Now, if you’re new to blogging, setting up display ads may sound technical and even intimidating. But don’t worry, I’ve hand-picked the top ad networks that are easy to work with. Thus, you don’t need to deal with technical jargon or know how to code.

Furthermore, since this post is all about ad networks for new bloggers and small publishers, none of these networks have a minimum traffic requirement.

If your blog traffic is growing fast, make sure you check out these best ad networks to earn even more passive income with your blog.

With that said, here are the best ad networks for small publishers:

1: Infolinks

Infolinks is another favorite of mine among the best ad networks for small bloggers. Their setup process is beginner-friendly, too.

Infolinks - Best ad networks for small publishers

You can use a variety of slightly different ad units than most networks offer, such as:

  • InText: Ads displayed within your the text of your highest-paying keywords.
  • InFold: Ads appearing in the fold at the bottom of the screen.
  • InTag: Ads displayed according to the content and context of a page.
  • InFrame: Ads that fit into the white space along the left and right side of the screen.
  • InArticle: Native display and video ads between your blog post paragraphs.

Although their dashboard is a little outdated, it’s easy to navigate. You’ll find a detailed walkthrough for their 1-minute integration process, too. You can place the ad code into your blog or use a WordPress plugin, the choice is yours.

Related: 10+ Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers (All FREE)

Also, Infolinks allows you to customize your ad units easily. Simply choose an ad type and adjust the colors and other features to fit into your blog.

How much can you earn with Infolinks, then?

They let each advertiser set their own price per view. Therefore, the best way to maximize your earnings is to test different ad units on your blog.

The more your readers interact with the ads, the more revenue you’ll earn.

Infolinks in a nutshell:

  • 65% revenue share
  • Payments are issued no later than 45 days from the end of the month
  • Minimum payout: $50 for PayPal, eCheck, ACH, and Payoneer – $100 for Bank Wire Transfer

→ Visit Infolinks

2: Google AdSense

Google AdSense is like the Wal-Mart of ad networks. They serve everyone, including new bloggers and small publishers.

Although their system includes every bell and whistle ever invented, the setup process is quite easy.

Google AdSense - Best ad networks for small publishers and new bloggers

What I love the most about Google AdSense are their different ad units. Even if your blog is new and your traffic low, you can create a bunch of ads to test and monitor.

And hey, if you don’t feel like tweaking the details yourself, simply activate Auto ads and let AdSense do the heavy lifting for you. (Just make sure their ads don’t appear in the wrong places on your website!)

AdSense has been around for ages, so they have tons of tools and features you can use.

But as a small publisher, don’t lose yourself in the details. If you spend two days tweaking your ads to earn $1 more, you’re wasting your time.

How much can you make with AdSense?

If your website traffic is low, you won’t earn much. That’s just how display ads work.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set up Google AdSense on your low-traffic website right now. As long as you keep publishing new content, your traffic will grow and so will your earnings.

Google AdSense in a nutshell:

  • Easy setup by adding a few lines of HTML to your blog
  • 68% revenue share
  • Payments issued after a 21-day processing period after the end of each month
  • Minimum payout: $100 (varies based on your location)

→ Visit Google AdSense

3: PropellerAds

PropellerAds is quite a new ad network for me, but it’s great for small publishers and new bloggers. You can apply in just a few minutes and the approval usually comes almost right away.

PropellerAds - Top display ad networks for small bloggers

The best thing about PropellerAds is their insanely fast payout schedule. You’ll get paid every week (on Thursdays) and the minimum payout is only $5.

And to maximize your earnings, they offer extensive, global coverage for ads. Regardless of where your readers live, they’ll always be served targeted, local ads.

Related: How to Find Your Blog Target Audience: The Ultimate Guide

Moreover, PropellerAds offers a nice selection of ad formats you can choose from, ranging from push notifications to pop-unders.

To further increase your display ad income, these ads come with a bypass technology for ad-block software. This translates into more impressions, clicks, and revenue. And since they’re relevant to your readers, you don’t need to worry about intrusiveness either.

PropellerAds in a nutshell:

  • Payments issued every week on Thursdays
  • Minimum payout: $5
  • Get paid via PayPal, Payoneer, ePayments, WIRE

→ Visit PropellerAds

4: Media.net

Media.net gives you access to contextual ads that are very easy to set up. Also, they’re powered by the Yahoo! Bing Network–one of the largest pools of advertisers in the world. Sweet!

Media.net - Top ad networks for new bloggers with low traffic

The best thing about Media.net is that you can customize your ad units to your heart’s content. The ad design tool is easy to use and it can help you match the ads to your blog’s design and feel. For better ad revenue, of course.

Most ads from Media.net are text-based widgets that you can place pretty much anywhere on your blog. And since they are buttons with highly relevant keywords, they’re super clickable.

Here’s how you’ll make money with Media.net:

  1. First, your reader needs to click on an ad
  2. Then, they’re taken to a listing of highly relevant ads and keywords
  3. If they click on a link on that page, you’ll earn revenue

Thus, the process is somewhat different than with most other networks. Yet, the listings page has an insanely high engagement rate. Just something to keep in mind.

With this user flow, your blog niche plays the biggest part in how much money you can make with Media.net.

In general, you’ll achieve the best results with product-driven content. If most of your readers are looking to purchase products related to your articles, give Media.net a go.

Related: 160+ Profitable Blog Niche Ideas That Make Money

Media.net in a nutshell:

  • Easy and flexible ad implementation
  • Payments issued around 30 days after the end of each month
  • Minimum payout: $100

→ Visit Media.net

Final thoughts: Best ad networks for small publishers and new bloggers

Summing it up: you can and should set up display ads even if you’re new to blogging.

Of course, your income will be low at first, but it’s 100% passive. Also, as you gain more readers, your display ad revenue will jump up as well.

To boost your ad income, check out these powerful tips for growing your blog traffic.

Still not sure which network is right for you?

If you ask me, I’d start with Media.net. Their customizable ad units are easy to use and tailor to your blog’s look. Plus, you will get access to a massive pool of potential advertisers with good earning potential even for small publishers and new bloggers.

Then, try Infolinks and find out which ad units work best for your content.

Finally, to bring some variation into the ads on your blog, you can try Google AdSense, too.

Just bear in mind that once you’ve set up your ads, you shouldn’t spend too much time tweaking them. Make sure you check in on them from time to time. Adjust the settings and ad units if needed and come back after some time again.

Alright, that’s all for today! Now, head out there and get that ad revenue rolling!

Here are a few related posts you may want to read, too:

If you found this post about the best ad networks for small publishers helpful, drop me a line in the comments below! Did you find a network to team up with? Which ad networks have you worked with so far? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. If you liked this post, please share it with others, too. Thanks for your support!

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Hi, I'm Mikke!

Blogging strategist, online entrepreneur, freelance web designer and web developer, addicted to delicious coffee and sharing my growth hacks for small businesses. I help content creators start a blog the right way, earn money blogging and work from home so that they can spend more time with their friends and family. Come join me on Pinterest or Twitter!

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