How I "Accidentally" Got Accepted Into Mediavine
Last Update: Nov 20, 2022
I've had a lot more to talk about lately because, well, lots of things have been happening with my blog over the last couple of years.
You may remember my post from around 2020 when things were looking pretty grim:
Well, believing in yourself is certainly is a huge part of the growth process, but there's something more to it than that.
Because you can believe in yourself all you want, but if you aren't taking any action, then it means absolutely nothing - i.e. hanging around WA all day chatting isn't going to cut it.
Jim Valvano once said "Every day, in all walks of life, ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things."
I wouldn't consider myself an extraordinary person, but if there's one thing I've dedicated my life to, it's this:
Simply showing up - whether that be with regard to my fitness goals (i.e. not missing a workout), my website, fishing, growing food, and countless other hobbies and passions that I have.
I made a decision some years back that I would give it my all in every facet of my life and learn as much as possible, but it wasn't always this way.
In fact, I was the definition of a procrastinator in my younger years, and it's something that I'm still working on to this day.
Many of the most successful people in history have one huge thing in common:
An event of some sort.
Oftentimes a hugely negative event.
Something that happened to them which radically altered the course of their life. A "wake up call" if you will.
Something that seemingly changed everything and gave them the "Why" that so many people like to talk about nowadays.
I'm not going to sit here and say there was one single event that did that, but there is a time that sticks out in my mind as something that I always go back to.
Flashback to 2009
In 2009 I was in a bowling league, carried a 175 average and bowled countless 200+ games. I guess I would consider myself intermediate-advanced.
One particular league night I was not doing well at all and got pretty flustered.
I was so frustrated that it only made things worse, to the point of me pouting and being a baby about it (I was in my early 20s at the time, so a 20 year old baby lol).
We were facing a team full of really good bowlers + one guy in particular who was kind of like a mentor, but sort of a jerk if that makes sense.
He was an excellent bowler who never really looked like he was trying. I think his average was something like 207. A 200 game to him was just another day at the office.
I'll never forget what he said to me walking back to his seat after throwing yet another effortless strike. He looked me dead in the eyes and said,
"You're a quitter."
Is that my why? It certainly could be.
Because every time I think of the stupid smirk on his face it fires me up.
Not because he was wrong, but because he was absolutely right. If I saw him on the street today (and I remember his face vividly) I would thank him profusely + bro hug him probably.
Because I was a quitter in that phase of my life.
I was weak mentally, weak physically, and I let things get to me way more than I should have.
I'm proud to say that the person I was then can no longer be found. He's MIA and not coming back, which is for the best.
So yes, I've used that moment in time as motivation for almost everything I do. It's something I keep stored away in the back of my mind and when I feel like throwing in the towel, I think about it.
As far as my blog is concerned, One of the hardest things to accept is going through those lean times yet still believing something better is on the other end of it.
This is no different than faith in God.
Even if you don't believe in God, there's a good chance you understand that there are some things out of the realm of your control.
That is to say that things do not really happen on your timetable. You can put in the effort, but it's __________ (insert whatever you believe in here) that's responsible for when that ultimate result is to occur.
In my YouTube videos I have a "Don't Give Up" sign that appears behind me.
Long story short, a girl I was dating at the time(around 2020) "found it" as we were driving around (She actually jumped out of the car and stole it, but don't tell anyone). Lmao.
And I didn't encourage her either. In fact, I was pleading with her not to to do it. xD
Anyways, I started using it in the background of my videos as a way to encourage others but also to encourage myself because, well, things weren't going so great at the time and I was kind of treading water if you will.
Rewind to 2018
Right before I got slapped by Google's "Stay in your lane" September update and lost over half of my traffic overnight, I applied to Mediavine thinking I was going to make some big bucks.
Back then they only required 25,000 monthly sessions and my blog was right around the mark (slightly above IIRC).
Well, for a number of different reasons I got rejected and looking back, it was probably the best thing that ever could have happened even though it felt horrible in the moment.
It forced me to re-evaluate my work from the ground up and in doing so, I started to realize that while my website may have gotten a lot of traffic back then, it was a bit of fool's gold.
In other words,
my content wasn't actually very good and everything needed major work.
Four years of that work has brought me here.
Discussing everything that went into it is probably a post for another day, but let's just say it was no walk in the park, with 2019 being the absolute lowest of lows.
I did meet a girl that year, so it wasn't all bad and in hindsight it probably saved me from falling down into the rabbit hole of despair. xD
In March of 2022 I applied to Monumetric and got accepted, which was a huge confidence boost for me even though their requirements aren't nearly as strict.
They're a fantastic company with great ad partners and I highly recommend anyone who can't get into Mediavine at the moment to apply there.
Their team is phenomenal and I can't say enough good things. I saw an increase in revenue every month and was ecstatic about the future.
The Happy Accident
One day I was looking at Google Analytics and noticed that my monthly sessions was over 50,000 which just so happens to be the requirement for Mediavine.
I've since hit 60,000+ and am closing in on the most traffic I've had since November of 2017.
Read that again. That's 5 years of persistence and not doing the thing that we sometimes want to do - give up.
All that work I did? It's finally, finally paying off (literally!)
Look, you're going to have days when you're just not feeling it - that's normal and OK.
What isn't okay is just throwing up your hands and saying to hell with this. Because when guys like Nathaniell and Kyle tell you this is NOT a get rich overnight thing, they're telling you the honest reality of it.
These last 4 years have challenged me in ways I can't even begin to explain.
Make no mistake, I wasn't even really thinking about Mediavine when I stumbled across sessions in analytics.
I was just doing what I always did and what I formed the habit of doing - trying to improve the site, my content, and my writing skills while helping people and being as straightforward as possible.
In other words, it just kind of happened and everything sort of fell into place as it was meant to.
It may sound weird to say this, but I actually didn't want to apply because I was so happy with Monumetric.
It was the most money I had ever made through an ad network by far - crushing both Ad Sense and Media.net.
But I knew I had to give Mediavine a shot.
I owed it to myself to at least try, and if I'm being truthful?
I knew I was going to get accepted.
it's one of those things that you just feel deep down.
I said all that to say that my journey to this point wasn't all that pretty, but it was necessary.
There are so many things I could have done better in the beginning, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that you're learning and improving yourself every day.
"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around."
I believe that was the quote from Vanilla Sky.
A lot of the last 4 years has been coming to terms with the fact that my blog wasn't as good as I thought. In fact, a lot of the content I wrote back then was pretty abysmal when I look at it now.
There were times when I sincerely wanted to quit out of frustration and not seeing any results, but If I had, it would have,
1) Proven that the bowler guy was right and
2) I would have never gotten accepted to what is arguably the best ad management platform out there - one that rejects something like 73% of applicants.
In other words, if you get accepted into Mediavine, your blog is pretty strong and they are pretty confident it will be lucrative for them. Remember that they also get a cut of my earnings.
The "Don't Give Up" mantra may sound cliche, but in reality, it's not.
Perseverance for me was the key to achieving this milestone.
No fancy nothing. Just great content and lots of it, consistently.
It didn't come easy, but was it worth it?
Because once you decide to stop complaining with that woe is me BS, and start taking action (i.e. figuring out what's wrong and fixing it), things happen.
I can say right now at this moment that I truly know how it feels to be at rock bottom in business, because I've experienced it firsthand.
I've felt the sting of what it's like when nothing is working and you wonder what the point of it all is. I almost went completely broke, I had my lights shut off, and I even got threatened with eviction amongst a myriad of other things.
But here I am.
So if you've made it this far my only advice is to put your head down and work, because what I've learned in 2022 is that absolutely nothing comes easy, but it's certainly worthwhile in the end.
I'll leave you with a quote from that same Jim Valvano from earlier in his ESPY speech - one that's stuck with me for a long time:
"How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have
to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And
you have to be willing to work for it."
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