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Best ad networks for small or low-traffic sites

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Teddy bear holding money - best ad networks for small or low traffic sites

Have you just built a website and are wondering how to make money from it? This is the article for you. Here we explain how to get started with running ads on your site. Even if your site does not have much traffic yet, you still have many options of ad networks. Let's get started.

Adsense

Google Adsense is really the best network if you don't have much traffic yet. Of the options presented in this article, Adsense tends to pay better than the others. The only problem is that it can take awhile to get approval, or if your site is really small they may not approve it. If you don't have approval you can't run their ads, so it's always good to have other ad network options in mind.

In my experiences with Google Adsense, I've found that they're more likely to approve it if they can see the site will get bigger and bigger over time. Therefore, they're likely to approve a blog or forum site even if you don't have a ton of pages yet; by contrast they're unlikely to approve a landing page or other one-page site.

Media.net

Media.net is my next favorite behind Adsense. This is because:

  • Media.net earnings for me were similar to my Adsense earnings, only a tiny bit less.
  • The Media.net ads looked great - very high-quality and classy. They looked even better even than Adsense and looked much more natural within the site I was testing them. They didn't even look like "ads", which is exactly what you want.

I recommend you try Media.net even if you already have Adsense - you can run both types of ads on the same page, so you don't have anything to lose.

AdNow

AdNow is a good ad network which is definitely worth signing up for. What I like best about it is the level of customization and control you have over how the ads look. You can create different ad units that will suit the look of your site. I haven't been with them for very long so I can't comment on the earnings yet, but I'll update this when I have more info.

AdCash

AdCash is a pretty good choice but it has some drawbacks. On a positive note, I like that they report earnings in fractions of a cent (which most others don't), because you can get a better idea of how earnings are going early on when you first start out.

There are some significant negatives to be aware of:

  • AdCash ad units are not so mobile friendly; they will stretch beyond the width of their container so it's an issue if you resize your browser or if your readers are viewing on a cellphone. In this present day I feel that this is not acceptable. However if you are using a small ad unit anyway (e.g. 250x250) it may not be a problem.
  • Earnings are very low. If you have enough traffic to get decent dollar amounts of earnings on AdCash, I'd recommend instead using Media.net or Adsense as you'd almost certainly earn more there.

Propeller Ads

PropellerAds

Propeller Ads is another reliable ad network. They are better suited to interstitials and pop up ads which can look a little more intrusive, so I don't use them as much since I prefer display ads. However, many people have used Propeller Ads with great success, and you don't need a lot of traffic or a big site to get approved.

RevenueHits

RevenueHits has excellent reporting stats and many different types of ad units available. They are not my favorite network because some of their ad units can look a little spammy. However if that is not a deal-breaker for you, it may be worth signing up with them because I found it easy to get approved.

Ad Exchange programs

An ad exchange is where you put your own advertising banner up for others to advertise, and in return you advertise the banners of other site owners on your site. When you run the banners of others, you earn credits. You use your credits to have others run your banners. It's pretty straightforward.

Unlike the other options above, you won't earn any money directly from an ad exchange program. I'm recommending it because I still use it: it's a great option to start out on a new site because you have the chance to get traffic to your site when your banner gets clicks. If you have a small or low-traffic site, you'll anyway be looking for ways to get more traffic, so an ad exchange is a great choice.

An ad exchange is also good for when you're looking to put something in as a placeholder while you wait to get approved for the ad networks above. That way the ad networks could see where your ads might go, plus it makes your site look a bit more popular by the fact of already having something that looks like an ad on it.

BannerAdExchange.net

I've looked into several different ad exchanges and the one I use is BannerAdExchange.net because it's legitimate and reliable and I've gotten some clicks on my banners. You also get 1000 bonus credits for signing up, which is enough to start your own campaign running your banner immediately on other people's sites.

If it's going to take you a long time to earn credits beyond your 1000 starter credits, you can speed things up by buying credits, but there is absolutely no obligation to do so. I've bought credits and had some success with that, but you can run everything entirely for free if you wish to do so, just by earning credits from displaying the banners of others on your site.

BannerAdExchange.net

I can attest that the tracking of clicks is reliable at BannerAdExchange.net: their reported number of clicks on my banners correlate with what my web hosting stats report. I can account for every last click, so they're honest. I highly recommend this program if you're looking into an ad exchange.

Whenever I build a new site, I like to start it off with BannerAdExchange.net even before I run standard ads from one of the ad networks above.

Conclusion

Above are many options for earning money from ads, even if your site is small or does not have much traffic yet.

I do want to point out a word of caution, which is that in general ad networks are not always the best option as a main monetization method for your website. Ad networks are great as your first step while your site is still growing. Ads are also good as a secondary income stream, but after you get your ads set up you should start looking into affiliate marketing (it's easy!) or into selling your own course or product as your site's primary income stream. I'll publish a separate article about that soon, but running ads is the best and easiest first step after building your site until you get a little more traffic.

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