My Failed Experience Monetizing My Blog Using Ads in 2023


01 – Introduction

I finally made time early in 2023 to begin researching ad providers in an attempt to monetize my blog.

I knew I didn’t want to use Google Adsense or an alternative ad service provider that is associated with Google Ad Manager (AdPushup, Ezoic) because I knew my blog would not be approved. Therefore, I did quite a bit of research to find alternatives and I compiled seven different lists. After much review of all of the lists, I initially decided on a couple of candidates. However, my first two choices didn’t work out, so again I went through the information I obtained through research and I chose additional candidates.

02 – Paypal Business Account

Many ad service providers I researched paid out via PayPal. Since I’m now attempting to run my blog as a business, I decided to create a PayPal business account on 04/02/2023 instead of using my personal PayPal account. Upon creating my PayPal business account, I was greeted with a notification that my account was permanently limited.

This wouldn’t be the first pay provider service with whom I had an issue creating an account.

03 – InfoLinks

I went back and forth on whether to try InfoLinks or Ad Maven first. InfoLinks offered more ad types and ACH as a payment option, so I initially settled on them. I created an account on 04/14/2023 and I received an email stating that my account wouldn’t be activated until my site was reviewed. According to the InfoLinks site at that time, most sites got reviewed within three working days.

I waited two weeks and then I gave up. I sent a reply to the email InfoLinks sent me upon account setup and I told them I would look elsewhere for an ad service provider.

04 – AdMaven

While waiting for my site to be reviewed by InfoLinks, I decided to try out Ad Maven on 04/15/2023. My experience with Ad Maven began on a bad note upon setting up my publisher account and went down hill from there.

First, Ad Maven limits the number of characters that can be used for a password when creating an account. However, nothing is communicated to publisher account creators about what the password limit is. Therefore, when I attempted to login the day after creating my publisher account, I was met with an incorrect password error. I use a password manager, so I knew the password was correct. The only issue that could have existed in my mind was that Ad Maven limited the number of characters that can be used for a password.

I then requested a password reset and I then entered a new password with fewer characters and that worked. I was able to repeatedly login to my publisher account with the new password.

Ad Maven offers two methods for using their ad service on a WordPress site; their WordPress plugin or javascript code. I tried out their WordPress plugin, but I didn’t like using it because there was no indication within the plugin indicating what ad type was being used. There also didn’t appear to be a way to remove the ad ID that you previously entered. Perhaps adding an ID for a different ad type automatically supersedes the existing ad ID?

I next tried the javascript code provided by Ad Maven using the Code Snippets WordPress plugin. I liked using the javascript code provided by Ad Maven under the Code Snippets plugin much better because I could add a javascript comment indicating what ad type I was using. I could also rename the code under Code Snippets to indicate what it was being used for.

I opted to try out Ad Maven’s Pop Ad ad type first. I absolutely hated the Pop Ad ad type. It temporarily hijacked links within my posts, sending me to sites that were different than what a reader might think they were being taken to based on the link.

Next I tried Ad Maven’s Click Push ad type. I thought the Click Push ad type would display a banner near the top left of a page on my blog site. What actually was displayed was a small window.

I reached the end of my patience with Ad Maven, so I sent them an email telling them that they weren’t working out for me as an ad service provider.

I will say that the Ad Maven publisher dashboard appeared to work well and looked good. I also liked the fact that Ad Maven didn’t require you to select a payment provider, as well as provide payment provider details, when creating a publisher account.

05 – ylliX

On 04/17/2023, I decided to go over the list of Google Adsense alternatives again that I had compiled to look at additional ad service provider options. I decided to take a look at ylliX and Skim Links.

I created an account with ylliX on 04/19/2023, but I wasn’t able to complete the account creation because ylliX required you to select a payment provider, as well as provide payment provider details, upon creating an account.

I would have preferred using the option of receiving payouts via a bank wire transfer, but to do so with a guarantee of not incurring a cost, the minimum payout was $250. I didn’t want my payout money to be held by ylliX until I accumulated $250.

Every time I logged into my ylliX account and proceeded to finalize my account creation, I had to check a checkbox stating that I had read their terms and conditions. I thought I should download and read the ylliX terms and conditions before I finalized my account creation.

After my Payoneer account creation failure and thinking about the penalty statements in ylliX’s terms and conditions, on 04/26/2023 I decided not to finalize my account creation.

06 – Skim Links

I submitted an account application with Skim Links on 04/20/2023. As with InfoLinks, I had to wait for Skim Links to review my site. I didn’t think I would get approved by Skim Links because of my Kurt’s Quotes post. On 04/25/2023, I received an email from Skim Links thanking me for applying, but my site was deemed not suitable.

07 – Payoneer Account

Finalizing publisher account creation with ylliX required specifying a preferred payment option. PayPal and Payoneer were two of the options that appealed to me. Since my attempt to create a Paypal business account failed, I decided to try creating an account with the Payoneer payment provider service. Shortly after creating my Payoneer account, I checked my email account and I had received two messages. The first message welcomed me to Payoneer. The second message stated that my email address was invalid and that I needed to try applying again using my primary email address.

I had no idea why my email address was invalid unless Payoneer’s system could detect that I was using an email alias. I use email aliases for all of my account creation activity using the Fastmail email service and I’ve not encountered issues using them before. Therefore, I contacted Payoneer Customer Care early in the wee hours of 04/24/2023 and I asked what was invalid about my email address. I received a reply later in the day. Following is the reply I received:

No mention of what activity I supposedly engaged in that went against Payoneer’s terms and conditions. I also checked Payoneer’s terms and conditions (only available after signing into your account), as well as their prohibited transactions, and I found nothing about what might constitute an invalid email address. Nor did I read anything about what activity I engaged in that violated their terms and conditions.

I gave up and I decided not to do business with Payoneer.

08 – Patriot Ad Network

With the thought that my request for a Skim Links account might be denied, I began searching for an ad service provider that would be more open to some of the content I post on my site. I searched for conservative ad service providers and I came across the Patriot Ad Network. Unfortunately, there was no link to create an account and there was very little information about how the ad service worked.

I used the online contact form on the Patriot Ad Network site and I requested more information on 04/24/2023. 5 days later I checked my email in the evening and I had received a reply stating that they’d be happy to talk, but only a very limited amount of information was provided about their ad service; e.g. revenue share and 30-day cancellation notice.

I replied to the email asking why they were so opaque about how they operated and I asked a number of questions that I had. It took over a week to receive a reply. Many of my questions weren’t answered, but one question was answered and the answer, as well as the opaqueness of the company, resulted in my decision not to use Patriot Ad Network.

I was told that they did not use a dashboard because many of the ad networks that Patriot Ad Network worked with did not have a robust enough API to pull from. Therefore, ad revenue was managed using Google Sheets spreadsheets. I replied thanking the individual, but I told him I wasn’t interested.

09 – AdSupply

Since I hadn’t heard back from the Patriot Ad Network after sending a list of questions I had, I performed more Internet research on conservative ad service providers in the morning of 04/29/2023 and I came across a company called AdSupply, a Patriot Ads partner at the time. I sent them an email asking whether or not publishers had the option or the ability to choose what ad formats they could use on their site. I forgot to ask about their payment options though.

I didn’t receive a reply to the email I sent on 04/29/2023, so I decided to go ahead and create an account with them on 05/03/2023. I was impressed with AdSupply’s publisher dashboard and the variety of size settings available for ad formats. AdSupply also offerred the option of using ACH as a payment option. I set everything up and then I had to wait until AdSupply reviewed my site.

I really thought I had found an ad service provider that I could work with. Unfortunately, I received an email later in the day on 05/03/2023 stating that my site was deemed not to be a great fit for their advertisers at that time.

10 – Adsterra

At some point early in the process of choosing an ad service provider, I took a look at Adsterra. I liked some of the ad formats they offered and they had a fair number of payment options from which to choose. I decided to sign up for an account only to discover that they required the use of an instant messenger app. During the account creation process at that time, you were required to select the instant messenger app that you used. I don’t use instant messaging nor do I want to. Therefore, I gave up on the idea of using Adsterra to serve ads on my blog.

11 – RevenueHits

At some point in the process of choosing an ad service provider, I reviewed RevenueHits, now intango. RevenueHits offered a number of ad formats according to their site, which was very appealing. Unfortunately at the time I reviewed them, they only offered three payment options: PayPal, Payoneer, and wire transfer. My inability to establish a PayPal business account and my inability to establish a Payoneer account ruled out those payment options. The minimum payout amount for wire transfers was $500 as of May 2023. I didn’t want to wait until I reached $500 to receive a payout, so I decided against using RevenueHits as an ad service provider for my blog.

12 – Conclusion

I decided to temporarily stop looking for an ad service provider in May 2023. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find an ad service provider and posting frequency on my blog suffered as a result. I needed to start writing again.

My experience with monetizing my blog using an ad service provider has left me with a bad impression about ad service providers. As far as I’m concerned, they’re on par with car salespeople, or maybe even worse. I’ve had much better success with buying a car than I had with attempting to monetize my blog with an ad service provider in 2023.

There’s a Comment box at the bottom of the page for your thoughts and questions. Thank you for visiting.

Post header image courtesy of Pawel Czerwinski at Unsplash.


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