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8 Reasons Why Your Blog Might Not Be Accepted Into an Ad Network

Posted By Darren Rowse 31st of August 2008 Advertising 0 Comments

Mitch from Technipages.com shot me an email this week asking me for advice on getting accepted into CPM banner ad networks like ValueClick, TribalFusion and others. He commented that while he has decent traffic (around 140,000 page views a month) he hadn’t had much luck with being accepted and asked for advice.

This is a question I’ve had numerous times so I thought I’d post my response (I have slightly edited from my original answer).

  1. Design Matters – the more professional a site looks the better impression it will make and the increased likelihood of acceptance.
  2. Content – some advertising networks will judge your suitability based upon both the topic and also the type of posts (including length, editorial style etc). Some will also check to see if the content is original and or appearing elsewhere online. Topic plays a big part for some ad networks as they will sometimes have specific focuses and be looking for content partners with relevant content to their advertisers. I also know of at least one ad network who looks at the ‘quality’ of content – particularly looking at how well it is written, whether it is up to date, looking at whether there is an active user base interacting with it etc. They do this because they have a premium advertising base who don’t just want to align themselves with any old blog but only those that they perceive as premium. Each network also has its own standards on adult content, use of language (swearing) and other topics that they may or may not cover.
  3. Hosting and Personal sites – some ad networks don’t accept sites that they perceives to be ‘personal’ and don’t accept sites that are hosted on free services or on services where you don’t own your domain (for example blogspot blogs).
  4. Type of Site – some networks don’t accept sites that are primarily forums as they tend not to perform as well with advertising due to the high amount of page views per visitor and the ad blindness that quickly happens.
  5. Other advertising – if a site already has lots of ads on it this can be off putting for some ad networks.
  6. Traffic sources – if you have lots of non US traffic some ad networks will mark you down for that as they only have ad networks for that market.
  7. Language – many ad networks will not accept non English written sites. Again – this is about their advertisers (largely US based in many cases) not wanting to target ‘international’ audiences.
  8. Traffic numbers – this is the killer, many will reject unless you’re doing big traffic – they will check sources like comscore, Alexa to double check whether the numbers you are giving them are accurate.

Most ad networks have fairly good pages for publishers outlining what they do and don’t accept. Here you can see requirements from ValueClick and TribalFushion (although I’ve heard a lot of people say that they feel they fit into TribalFushion and don’t get in).

Some of the above reasons are frustrating. As someone who has built blogs for non US audiences I know some of the pain of not being accepted. However the main advice I gave Mitch was to keep building traffic and making the site look as professional as possible. Traffic numbers speak very loudly so to keep traffic trending up will mean that he finds it is easier and easier to get accepted into these programs. Also – keep hunting around for options, experiment with different ways to make money from your blog and be patient.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. It can be hard to get in ad networks, or at least find a good one. I hoped Forbes business network would be good, but, after a few weeks the income really dropped off. You can spend alot of time finding a good network. I’ve had better success with adsense and direct affiliates.

  2. I think that the look of the site is almost as important as the content (notice I said almost). I can’t help it when I go to a blog that looks too cookie cutter and/or generic. It taints my view of the content as coming from a novice and not a professional blogger (which is often times the case.) If you are trying to get noticed by the advertisers than this is just not acceptable. There are too many well written blogs that look really bad. It’s worth the bucks if you have to pay someone to fix it up. Or just expect to stay a novice.

  3. Good tips though I hate the fact that some Ad Networks don’t even tell you why you weren’t accepted or you don’t even get an e-mail back.

  4. The number 1 issue for most people is probably traffic and site quality.

  5. I personally don’t like ad networks. I hate being told what I can and cannot do on my blog, which is why I DON’T have them.

  6. One biggest trouble i have noticed with almost all Ad network is pay pal almost all of them want a paypal account to transfer funds

    today i was trying to sign-up with some ad networks but 98.9 % of them requires pay-pal accounts. and 85% of country around the glob dont have this facility.

  7. Thanks for answering my question about what “decent” traffic is – I’ve been wondering since I started blogging over a year ago.

    Although my last post got a lot of comments (110 is a lot for me), I’m only getting around 10,000 page views a month. (http://goodvibeblog.com/2008/08/25/drawing-the-line-on-love/)

    The good news is I did get my first payment from Adsense! lol (However, it is a looong way from covering what I paid for the customization.) Onward and upward!

    Thanks, as always, for the excellent information here.


  8. Sure enough, until and unless we have a strong web content and a good number of visitors flowing in our website or blog, advertisers would be confused weather or not to advertise in our site. We can put ourselves in their shoes and think too. Firstly, we have to have a good site and pretty darn good number of visitors and then I don’t think that it’ll be any hard to find advertisers. Yes, one may reject, but this is a very big world with a lot of advertisers.

  9. Sometimes I wonder if an “so-so” English will be accepted. English is not my native language and the ways we write will affect how they view our blog. How many of you who are not very good with English getting accepted even with nice template and high traffic?

  10. bob cobb says: 08/31/2008 at 2:54 am

    I was very disappointed with the CPM from valueclicks ad networks. Tribal fusion was much better for me

  11. Although I blog in English I find my opportunities restricted because I’m not from USA. The strange thing is most of my traffic is from USA.

  12. Thanks for the information . My blog is written in Arabic and i couldn’t get accepted into Google affiliate network .

  13. Is it worth it? What kind of money do real people make from the ad nets? I now make about a hundred dollars a month from adsense… if I worked hard at it, got accepted, would I make significantly more?

  14. I avoid ad networks because I value 1) my readers, and 2) my stance regarding certain products.

    I have warned my readers away from quack remedies and we’ll-cure-you-fast scams. And it seems like the only ads that might be displayed on my site are exactly for those schemes!

    Less income, but more integrity!

  15. At first it is difficult but after you get the ball rolling and start getting some traffic you get flooded with offers. Check out the Yahoo partnership, they have some that will deny you at first then they will change your mind after you have traffic with the other ads.


  16. Lots thank you for another portion of light spilled on the topic.
    I’m freshstarter blogger and seeking for useful info enywhere.
    May be due to my low experience I have chosen free ways to start web business. I dream to make a really working set of free programs to represent them on my blog to my visitors pleasure. And now I am trying promote it in any possible way, but still not succeed. Could you give me a couple of ideas please?
    Thanks again,
    Ali, Ukraine

  17. Ad network can be a real problem sometimes. Over at http://adphilia.com we are looking to add more sites to our site representation firm. If you have a good site and would like to be included in our network, then please head over to the site and send us an email!

  18. Nice post as usual Darren.

    Mitch, we will take you if you like :) New site in prelaunch: http://www.ViralBlogAds.com/

  19. I got ditched from http://www.valueclick.com because my site was a blog and they said they did not accept blogs into their network. I was way bummed.

  20. I write a running blog and I have just applied for adsense and they told me they will get back to me in a week.

    am looking forward

  21. Looks like that is a far away dream for someone like me who is starting out in this business. I agree that the non-US bias can be frustrating. It certainly limits blogs.

  22. I think content is the most important thing when we going to approve our blog with ad networks.Specially google not accept any less content sites.


  23. Excellent post, my blog was not accepted for one advertising company because the alexa rank was not low enough. However now it would be accepted just because the alexa has changed although my alexa compared to other websites is quite low i do not yet receive the traffic i should do.

  24. Hi Darren,

    You could write a post asking the readers which ad network worked best with them, if they had experimented with few.

    Or has it happened ?

  25. Google cut us off due to content because many of our posters like to use the F and N words. Actually I find that quite ridiculous and the smart thing to do would be to offer categories so advertisers could select “mature” or “family friendly” sites to advertise on. Have you seen how many porn sites use Google Adwords to advertise? So Google is willing to accept “mature” advertisers but not Adsense publishers. Make sense to anyone?

  26. Which ad network works best for one person will vary drastically to the next based on niche/topic, traffic, season, etc. Just like Google Adsense does not work well for everyone, any given ad network may not work well for everyone. The “big 5” are generally considered to be Tribal Fusion, Burst, Valueclick, Casale, and Adsense though. Although from my experience and word of mouth, ADSDAQ seems to be a viable option as well these days.

  27. i apply for ValueClick, but they don’t even send me an email. damn that is so disrepect to us.

  28. I have been trying to get more going with the ad networks, but I was turned down twice because I was using the Entrecard social network and the traffic isn’t considered to be worth much. I have removed the Entrecard widget and my drop rate is going down, and my Alexa is still under 100K. Most of the traffic from Entrecard was from, drive-by-droppers, so I am not losing much.

  29. this is an excellent post , thanks a lot , I’m grateful to you .

  30. Darren,

    Have you tried doing any Stumble arbitrage? Run 3 banner ads, each with a $20 cpm ($60 total) and use it to buy Stumbles by the thousand ($50). If you don’t violate the TOS you can get paid to drive traffic to your site.

  31. really good tips and explanation…agree with point 3,5,6,7,8 quality is important point

  32. really good tips and explanation…agree with point 3,5,6,7,8 quality is important point
    thank you for this

  33. write a running blog and I have just applied for adsense and they told me they will get back to me in a week.

    am looking forward

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