As health niche blogger who is not US-based, I’ve faced many challenges when it comes to monetizing my blog through advertising.
I’ve reached out to no less than 39 ad networks to find a more lucrative alternative to Adsense, offering a significantly better user experience to my readers!
Here, I’m sharing the results of my research to help you identify the best alternative for you.
Happy reading 🙂!
Last update: October 2023
Disclaimer: No affiliate links. Complete disclosure in legal notices.
Written by Nelly Darbois, a trained physical therapist, scientific writer, and entrepreneur.
More about my blog and how it’s monetized
I am a physical therapist since 2012. I started my blog in 2019 to ensure my ongoing education and to better inform my patients about their rehabilitation.
Over time, my blog has evolved into a side business. Since August 2023, it’s my full-time job.
I also work as a freelance Wikipedia editor, largely thanks to my blog and the visibility it provides in this field.
Here are the 5 sources of monetization for my online activities today:
- Displaying advertisements on my blog (Mediavine)
- Selling ebooks online through my blog
- Freelance Wikipedia editing
- Affiliate marketing
- YouTube (AdSense)
Why I chose to implement advertising?
I’ve put a lot of thought into whether I really wanted to implement advertising on my website.
I tried other monetization strategies before, including donation appeals, because I didn’t necessarily want there to be ads with false promises, which I otherwise condemn. It was a complete failure.
However, my desire to write about health with the most accurate information possible and make a living from it ultimately led me to decide to implement advertising.
In the end, I found that I had more editorial freedom by going through advertising networks that display any type of ad, rather than being sponsored by a few brands whose work I liked.
That’s why I decided to implement advertising!
Income report: How much Adsense was making for me before I changed my Ad network?
If my memory serves me right, I first implemented Google Ads on my Fonto Media website in January 2022.
Here are the revenues I earned in 2022 through ad displays via Adsense:
Ads Income Report in 2022 with Google Adsense:
- Page views: 559,833
- Income: 2,142€ (This is the gross income before expenses and taxes.)
- RPM / page: 3,83€
- Traffic source: mainly from France (I’m French🙂, my website is primarily in French.)
How I identified other advertising networks for bloggers?
In December 2022, I realized that I was starting to have more and more visitors (over 50,000 visitors per month) and that I might aim for a more premium advertising network.
To find advertising networks, I did what you probably did: I read blogs on the subject. The problem was that most articles lacked real value, with no genuine user experiences. That’s actually why I’m writing this article!
So, I thought: what if I looked into the advertising networks used by sites similar to mine? Sites that are not US-based, but rather in the health/wellness/sports niches.
In my research, I found a very easy way to find out which advertising network each site uses (and I dug deep to find this information). So, I’ll share this little hack with you here:
Simply type /ads.txt after the site’s URL you’re looking for this information about.
For example, to find the URL of my site, type the following into your browser: https://kinedarbois.fr/ads.txt
And here’s what you’ll get:
It works every time. Here, for example, is what it looks like for other websites:
By doing this, you will also notice that many blogs promoting the Ezoic advertising network… are, in fact, not using Ezoic as their advertising network!
One possible explanation? For a long time, Ezoic offered a highly beneficial affiliate program to recommend their services.
The list of the 39 Adsense alternatives I contacted
I used the ads.txt file technique on many sites. I contacted all the advertising networks that I thought could potentially meet my expectations.
I will list them here and indicate their response (I had asked them if they would accept me with my traffic of approximately 55,000 monthly visitors, primarily from France).
|Ad Network||Responses/ Why I chose to proceed or not||My experience|
|🥇 Mediavine||Not enough US traffic in January 2023 => accepted at 260k PV with 20% US/Canada/etc in September 2023||In process!|
I provide further details later in the article. See here my first blog income report with Mediavine!
|Hitopic||Contacted, okay, no strict traffic conditions, minimum 500 visitors/day||June 2023: 214,992 PV|
= 1,573 €
I provide further details later in the article. You can send me an email if you want more information privately.
|Adthrive/Raptive||Not enough US traffic|
|Monumetric||Not enough US traffic|
|Ezoic||Not health-related. Bad reputation; slow websites and lots of ads.|
|Adsense||Okay||June 2022: 48,837 PV = 286 €|
|Seedtag||1-year contract, no earnings visibility, apparently no minimum||I tried one more month with AdSense, earning approximately an extra 5 euros for 60,000 page views (not very profitable). Then, I decided to focus on a single ad network.|
|Reworldmedia Connect||Contacted. No response|
|The Moneytizer||Likely low RPM, test for at least 10 days to see results, can be used alongside Adsense|
|Criteo||Contacted. No response|
|Smartadserver||Contacted. No response|
|Pulsepoint (contextweb)||Contacted. No response|
|Outbrain||Contacted: not enough traffic|
|Connectag.io||Contacted. No response|
|Mistralmedia||Contacted. No response|
|Openx||Contacted. No response|
|District M||Contacted. No response|
|Sublime xyz||Contacted. No response|
|Onetag||Contacted. No response|
|Teads||Contacted, not enough traffic, recommends Opti Digital|
|Adpushup||Contacted: minimum $5,000 per month in revenue for FR, contact them|
|Adagio.io||Contacted. No response|
|Improvedigital||Contacted. No response|
|Adverline||Contacted: 5,000,000 page views per month required|
|Adplus||Contacted. No response|
|Publift||At least $2,000 per month in ad revenue/500,000 page views per month|
|Traffic Force||Contacted, does not criteria|
|Optidigital||Contacted, 1 million page views= minimal requirement|
|Revcontent||Contacted, 200,000 page views per month with a minimum of 80% US, UK, and Canadian traffic|
|Amazon Publisher Service||Contacted, needs more traffic|
|Xandr||Needs more traffic|
|Adstera||Contacted. No response|
|Azerion (ex Sublim)||Contacted. No response|
|Adipolo||Approached me, but bad reviews on Reddit|
|Snigel||Contacted. No response|
|Adnimation||Accepted, but probably fake Trustpilot reviews, not many reviews, bad on Reddit|
|Playwire||Accepted, but not many reviews|
|Nitropay||Accepted, easy to copy-paste ads, but not many reviews|
Why I chose Hitopic?
After a few weeks of research and contemplation, my goal was to join Mediavine. If you have any interest in advertising networks and are a “small creator” like me, I think I don’t need to introduce this network to you.
Mediavine has an excellent reputation, both for the earnings it enables and for its customer service. And for the quality of the data it provides to optimize user experience on your site as well as the generated revenue.
So, I applied to the Mediavine program in January 2023, and not surprisingly, I was rejected. The requirements are to have at least 50,000 sessions per month (I had them) and 50% of the traffic from the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, which I didn’t meet.
So, I decided to turn to the second network that appealed to me the most: Hitopic.
I came across them not through the ads.txt file technique but by searching for technical information about header bidding.
Header bidding is an advertising technology that allows multiple advertisers to bid on ad space simultaneously, increasing revenue for publishers. It helps websites offer their ad inventory to the highest bidder in real-time, resulting in better ad rates and more revenue.
I was specifically looking for a network that offered this technology (header bidding) for small publishers, preferably in French.
That’s how I discovered Hitopic. I quickly had a call with their CEO, Pierre, and I felt that it was a good fit.
From February 2023 to September 2023, Hitopic was the advertising network for my blog, Fonto Media.
Here are the earnings generated during this period in relation to the traffic on my site.
Ads Income Report in 2023 (January-September) with Hitopic:
- Page views: 1.7 Million
- Income: 8,915€ (This is the gross income before expenses and taxes.)
- Traffic source: mainly from France (but I started translating my site into US English in May 2023.)
I’ve been very pleased with these 7 months with Hitopic as my advertising network. My site displayed fewer ads, with higher earnings, all else being equal (even though it’s very difficult to compare earnings from one network to another due to numerous factors at play).
If you’re wondering if your site is eligible, Hitopic’s general conditions require a minimum of 500 page views per day for a niche site, regardless of the traffic’s country of origin.
You can email me if you want more information privately on Hitopic (or leave a comment below).
Now, I’ll explain why I’m no longer with Hitopic.
Why I switched to Mediavine a few weeks ago?
When I was rejected by Mediavine, I told myself that Mediavine remained my professional goal to fully support myself through my blog, with the utmost editorial freedom according to my own judgment. So, I translated my site (an article in English is coming on this topic; in the meantime, you can read it in French and translate it with Google Translate).
It worked very well until the Google Helpful Content Update on September 14, but that’s another story 😆. Just a few days before this Google algorithm update, I was accepted by Mediavine!
I informed them that my US traffic had significantly dropped in recent days, but they still welcomed me.
So, I am currently in my first month with Mediavine, with earnings already higher than with Hitopic, despite losing 80% of my US traffic and 20% of my French traffic.
I will have the opportunity to write articles about this in the future, so feel free to subscribe to the blog if you are interested!
Conclusion: What’s the best Adsense alternative for your blog?
By sharing my journey and research, I hope I’ve provided you with insights to help identify the best ad network for you! It’s challenging to make a general recommendation because this choice depends on:
- Your current traffic.
- The origin of your traffic (country).
- Your niche.
However, here are a few general tips I can offer based on my experience and readings:
- Adsense does a decent job without much complexity.
- When you have more than 500 page views per day, you can consider a more premium ad network. Hitopic was my choice.
- If you have more than 50,000 sessions per month and the majority of your traffic comes from the US, Canada, the UK, or Australia (tier 1 countries), look at the two networks with the best reputation in the market, Mediavine and Raptive. Mediavine was my choice.
Good thinking and actions to you! Feel free to ask questions or share your experiences in the comments 🙂.
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📚 SOURCES : My experience! And my readings of numerous blogs with data in English on the subject, which I couldn’t list. Thanks to those who share this information for small publishers like me 🙂
Written by Nelly Darbois
I love writing articles based on my experience as a physiotherapist (since 2012), scientific writer, and extensive researcher in international scientific literature.
I live in the French Alps 🌞❄️, where I work as a scientific editor for my own website, which is where you are right now.