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If there is one area of blog monetisation that is the easiest, it is definitely display advertising.
Income doesn’t get more passive than this – build up your blog, build up your traffic, slap some ads on and BAM, passive income!
Of course, this is dramatically underemphasising the amount of effort involved in building up a blog and traffic, but once you have made a good start on this, display advertising is the simplest way to start earning some money from your blog.
Ezoic is one of the companies out there that can help you do this and optimise your ad revenue so you earn as much as possible while you put in minimum effort.
I only first heard about Ezoic earlier this year. I noticed them being mentioned more and more in the DNW Facebook group.
After reading all the questions and favourable reports, I wanted to try it for myself. Not just to see if I could make more money, but so I could write this Ezoic blog review and let you know what I found.
Is Ezoic worth your time? Will Ezoic work on your site? Should you sign up?
I will help you work this out below. I’ll describe what (and who Ezoic) is, show you the results I got when I switched over and talk about all the good and the bad of using Ezoic.
Ready to start?
You will learn...
- What is Ezoic
- How I am using Ezoic
- My Ezoic earnings (Ezoic vs AdSense)
- The best parts of Ezoic
- The worst parts of Ezoic
- How (and when) to get started with Ezoic
What is Ezoic?
In really simple terms, Ezoic is a platform that can run advertising on your site, will optimise placement and everything ad related to maximise advertising earnings for your blog.
Ezoic is an AdSense certified partner and basically, if you sign up, they will handle everything ad-related for you so you can sit back and know your ads are constantly being tested and optimised to increase your earnings.
Ezoic also does more. The founder, Dwayne Lafleur, realised that ad earnings are directly related to visitor experience. So, in addition to Ezoic helping you with advertising layout and optimisation, it also has functionality to help increase the user experience on your blog including things like improving site speed and SEO.
Ezoic is a widely used platform and a legitimate company. You don’t have to worry that they will disappear with your hard earned advertising revenue. They have been around for years and, just last year, they brought on 3000 new websites.
How I am using Ezoic
I only started using Ezoic in June 2019 for my site in my new case study. This is a blog about Malaysian travel (you can see it here – ads and all!) and it has a sizeable Malaysian and Asian audience. At the time I signed up, I had just hit 20,000 page views on the 7 month old site.
Before I signed up to Ezoic, I had been using Google AdSense on the site for a couple of months. I had some manually placed ads where I had experimented with placement and auto ads running.
I currently use Mediavine on another site and have previously used Monumetric so my experiences and expectations have been shaped by my experiences on these networks and AdSense.
I only signed up for Mediavine again a few months ago for my lifestyle blog in this case study. I now wish I had tried out Ezoic first so I could do a full Ezoic vs Mediavine comparison based on revenue.
I can say that my percentage increase moving from AdSense to Ezoic was HIGHER than my percentage increase moving from AdSense to Mediavine.
I don’t have ads allowed on all pages. I have turned them off on my home page and other key pages. I am also conservative when it comes to how many ads I allow as I want to minimise impact on affiliate earnings.
I am not using all the other tools that come with Ezoic to help speed up my site and improve visitor experience. I have been travelling the majority of time since I switched over so I just haven’t had the time. So I can’t comment on those.
However, I am guessing I am like most bloggers with this who don’t have the time to go beyond making sure the ad revenue is coming in. I will update this once I give the whole system a go though!
My Ezoic earnings (Ezoic vs AdSense)
Before I get into the nitty gritty of my Ezoic review, I think it’s important to start with my earnings – as if it doesn’t perform better than competitors income wise then the pros and cons of using Ezoic don’t matter.
Below, I share my earnings from my last full month on AdSense (May 2019) and my first full month on Ezoic (July 2019).
When looking at this, it’s important to remember two things:
- Ezoic is constantly testing my site and optimising my ads. They say this takes a few months to really optimise your revenue. So, I can expect this number to be lower currently than what I will get in a couple of months time.
- July is a lower than usual month when it comes to advertising revenue because it’s a time (along with January) where companies are re-evaluating their ad spend. This is across the industry (Mediavine gives the same warnings) and not Ezoic specific. So, again, this means my figures below are lower than I can expect going forward.
I will update this Ezoic review in a few months time so you can see what an effect this had.
It’s also important to recognise that this site has a BIG Asian audience. So the RPM I get for this site isn’t comparable to my site with a majority Australian audience or one with an American audience.
All audiences are different, and RPM (how much a site earn 1000 page views) is only useful for comparing results on the same website.
So comparing my values for RPM below with your own site won’t show you anything useful. Although if your RPM is less with a more “western” audience then I would be concerned.
It is useful for comparing my blog earnings in May versus July though. If I just compared income, this would not take into account the fact that my page views grew in this time.
AdSense Revenue – May 2019
In May, I earned AUD$59.18 on AdSense. This is equal to USD$41.16. The RPM was AUD$2.85 which is USD$1.98.
(RPM is displayed in AdSense or is calculated by: RPM = earnings for month/page views x 1000)
Total Earnings = $41.16
RPM = $1.98
Ezoic Revenue – July 2019
I made US$89 from Ezoic in July.
Ezoic uses their own value, EPMV, instead of RPM. This is earning per visitor, rather than page views. I calculated the RPM below so I could make a fair comparison.
However, first I need to mention that I have it currently split testing so some ads still show up from AdSense. In July, I still made USD$26 from AdSense in addition to the USD$89 from Ezoic.
My page views for July were 26,371.
Total Earnings = $115
RPM = $(Ezoic Earnings + AdSense Earnings) / Page Views * 1000 = $4.36
My site had a RPM from advertising of $1.98 in May and $4.36 in July.
This means that my earnings increased by 220%!
These results are not in isolation either. I did a lot of googling before I signed up for Ezoic after being stung by an advertising platform in the past. I actually didn’t find a single person who had had their earnings go down. I expect mine to go up when I remove the AdSense split test too, as more time passes and now it’s not July.
Results on other blogs
I also asked DNW community members who are using Ezoic about their experiences. Here are their results.
Jennifer Melroy from National Park Obsessed says…
“I have been using Ezoic since March. With AdSense, I was making about $1 per 1,000 views. With Ezoic, I am averaging about $11 per 1,000 views. The set-up wasn’t the smoothest. I downloaded their plugin and then got stuck on the next steps. But I submitted a ticket and a day later, one of their nice support team contacted me. We set up a screen share and he walked/did the rest of the set-up for me.”
Marco Ferrarese from Penang Insider says….
“Setting up Ezoic via the WordPress plugin was super easy. My rep did all the rest via the backend and I was up and running in a day (provided you are Google AdSense compliant). I have a Malaysia based site, and was rejected by Mediavine because of my Asian traffic. Well, with Ezoic I went from $30 on AdSense to $150 a month in two months. I’m happy with the results thus far.”
Cathy Winton from mummytravels – “I found adsense very non intuitive. I made more from Ezoic in one week than AdSense in the past year not least because I had someone to help me set up and do all the work. It couldn’t have been easier… I really regret not knowing about Ezoic sooner. I could have had their ads on for much longer and been getting the revenue as I was getting nowhere with Adsense. I did have a great ad manager there which helped. If it helps to know, I used the plugin rather than changing name servers which also seemed very straightforward.”
Ezoic Review: The best parts of Ezoic
I have had nothing but a brilliant experience with Ezoic and they are definitely my favourite ad network that I have dealt with. Here are some areas where I think particularly deserves praise.
Note: I am definitely just an Ezoic beginner. There are no doubt other things to love about Ezoic once you understand everything that it offers.
Crazy good onboarding
The first thing I noticed about Ezoic was that they contacted me straight after signing up to walk me through the process of getting started with Ezoic. Better yet was that they did the vast majority of the set up themselves. It is so much easier than other ad networks including AdSense.
I was running within a couple of days after submitting the sign up form which is just amazing.
Great service team
Anytime I have a query, problem or question, I am responded to as soon as they come online (in Ireland in my case, I believe there may be a US team too). They are always friendly, professional and there is no mucking around.
The only exception to this was when my assigned team member went on holidays – but I got an immediate autoresponse to my email about this and I forwarded it on to their general support email and I was, again, replied to as soon as they came online.
I have honestly not dealt with any service (whether for advertising or anything I use in my blogging business) where the response is so fast and helpful.
You can still place ads in exact locations
Something I love about Ezoic compared to my experiences with Mediavine and Monumetric is that they allow me to place ads in exact positions. This means I can keep having ads in the spots that I found during my AdSense testing that are particularly lucrative.
If you don’t have exact spots already, this is fine too. The Ezoic ad tester will work it all out for you (and it’s what I use for all my ad placement bar two).
They pay at the end of the following month
Ezoic pays you at the end of the following month. So I was paid for my June earnings at the end of July. This is just a few days after AdSense pays me and over a month before Mediavine does.
I’m not seeing the same July lull as on Mediavine
While Ezoic, Mediavine and others all talk about big drops in income in July, I have not seen any drop. Of course, this could be because I only recently signed up and their algorithms and testing should see my income go up at this early stage.
However, I only joined up to Mediavine for my other site in May so you could say the same thing about that. But there is a very big difference between June and July with my July earnings being much lower for that site.
There isn’t a crazy amount of ads
I have been surprised how few Ezoic ads I actually see on my site. This definitely varies and sometimes I see more, but, in general, very few ads are shown so I am comforted that I am not losing out on visitor experience.
It is definitely less ads than what were being shown with AdSense so it’s an even bigger win that it’s making so much more money.
This is because the Ezoic system measures bounce rate, session duration and other things on a per user basis to work out what is the best balance of ads where to ensure maximum earnings while balancing user experience. Basically, it learns where to show what ads on your blog so you will make money while minimising any effect on user experience.
I’m definitely a fan compared to every other platform I have used where ads are absolutely everywhere. I like this smart approach.
You can add many other ad networks
Ezoic starts by using and optimising Google AdSense ads (which is why you do need approval from AdSense). However, it’s possible to add many different advertising networks so that you can have more advertisers competing for spaces on your blog and thus increase your earnings.
At this point, I have only used AdSense. I look forward to looking into this further!
It’s more than just ads
There are numerous tools to improve user experience on your blog so Ezoic offers much more than just ads. You have full control over which tools you use and which you skip as well.
This final point is what took me from thinking about signing up with Ezoic to actually doing it. I love there is no lock in contract!
This means if you aren’t happy, you can leave anytime you want. Services like Monumentric and Mediavine make you give notice which makes it harder to try it out for a couple of months and then leave.
When I had a very negative experience with Monumetric in the past and wanted to leave immediately, they were able to keep all my pending ad earnings if they wanted… This was a few months worth of revenue because of how slow they were to pay.
So I love there is no lock in contract.
The reporting is unreal
I can see exactly how much each post is making and how much per 1000 users. It’s awesome. It makes it really easy to see which topics earn the most ad revenue.
Ezoic Review: The worst parts of Ezoic
As stated above, I have been very happy with Ezoic and I honestly don’t have any real complaints. I have a minor one below, but first I want to say that if you have any problems with Ezoic, please just reach out to their support!
Whenever I see a question or complaint about Ezoic in my Facebook groups, it usually turns out that for some reason the person is posting on Facebook instead of emailing their support… Their support is very responsive and can help you out far faster and better 🙂
My site speed has decreased
There has been a slight decrease in my site speed. Nothing that has mattered and my traffic has only increased since joining and my bounce rate has not changed. Plus, I believe the decrease came because of needing to turn off one aspect of our caching for Ezoic to work to its full power.
I also have not yet even looked at their site speed tools available in Ezoic or got my webmaster husband to look at this issue which shows you:
- That it’s not a big enough problem for me to be concerned
- There’s a good chance it can be fixed within Ezoic
I will update this once we get around to working on it.
You need 10,000 sessions to sign up
To be honest, I don’t think this is a bad thing. Ad revenue will be quite low at those levels and you are better off focusing on SEO and building up your site. Definitely apply when you get to 10,000 though!
How (and when) to get started with Ezoic
First of all, there are some requirements you need to meet to join up to Ezoic:
- 10,000 sessions in the last month – However, you can ask to join up earlier. In the comments below, Lena was approved at 7,000 page views.
- Your site has to be in compliance with Google policies which are things like not automatically generating user content, not having shallow or copied content and other things that should not be a problem as a blogger. You can read them here.
- Your site has to be approved by Google AdSense. You can apply for AdSense while you are applying for Ezoic.
Note that once you have an account, you don’t need 10,000 sessions for other sites.
If you meet the requirements, click here to sign up now.
Pricing (it’s free!)
There can be some confusion around Ezoic pricing due to there being a free and paid plan.
I personally use the free plan and have not paid a cent to Ezoic. They have never asked me for money either.
The difference between the free and Ezoic premium plan is that in free plans, they place a small ad of their own at the bottom of pages where you have ads enabled. They keep the revenue from this ad.
Once you are approved (which was FAST!), you have to do an inital installation. This is simply installing the Ezoic WordPress plugin if you are on WordPress, changing your name servers or using the Cloudflare app within your Ezoic dashboard.
I installed the plugin which was quick, easy and very painless. I want to highlight that if you use this, you don’t change the name servers. So if the idea of changing your name servers makes you nervous, there is no need.
You also need to apply for Google Ad Exchange and link your AdSense account.
Once you are at this point, you are ready to turn your ads on!
Your Ezoic support person can help you with all of this. I didn’t do any of the ad switching on myself. They can add Ezoic Ad Tester to your site and get your ads up and running.
This is very intuitive and I found it easy to edit to what I wanted once it was there (like I didn’t want ads in my header and I could easily turn it off).
There is also an Ezoic chrome extension to help you place you ads if you want to do it yourself or fine tune it.
How long did it take?
I was up and running within a day or two – much different to the many weeks it took for Mediavine in April/May to set up my other site and I already had an account with them.
My support person also helped me add “wrappers” to the ads I had manually set up on my site so they could work through Ezoic on top of all their automated ad testing.
Any time I have had a question or query since signing up, I email and get a response once they are online. If you have any problems, just email straight away. They will help.
Conclusion: Ezoic is awesome! Quick and easy to get started and to use with fabulous support. With barely any effort, I have increased my ad revenue by 220%!
What is not to love?!
Ezoic has been a great addition to my blogging income streams and I am so glad I signed up and gave it a go. I look forward to seeing what it earns in future months since I have just started with this and earnings will increase over time.
It really is an easy way to get started with advertising. The support I have received has been great.
I highly recommend that if you meet the 10,000 sessions threshold that you sign up now and give it a go.
Worst case is that it doesn’t increase your earnings. In which case, just leave!
But most probably you will also find them an integral part of your monetisation going forward.