19 Best and Worst Display Ad Niches (Ranked)

When I started my first blog, it was a complete display ad monetization play. It was a strategy I took straight out of Jon Dykstra’s playbook.

I was drawn to this approach because I thought I could write about whatever I wanted. I wasn’t stuck just writing review or product guides. I got to write about more interesting content.

And my plan almost worked out perfectly. I reached 100,000 pageviews per month by Month 9. My site was skyrocketing.

But that $15 per hour that the likes of Jon Dykstra and Ron Stefanski rave about just didn’t come my way.

I was pulling in a whopping $4 per 1000 sessions with Ezoic.

Niche Selection matters for Display Ad Sites.

There are two problems, I think, with the way the current gurus teach display ad monetization. Don’t get me wrong, I respect and learn so much from. Maybe they said these things but they went through one ear and out the other.

But here are the two issues that I think still need to be emphasized a lot more for people going into display ad niches:

  1. You can’t pick any old niche. You need to pick a high revenue niche.
  2. No one’s talking about WHICH NICHES are the high revenue ones.

So for the last 6 months I’ve been sitting around wondering how I might find some data on which niches earn the most display ad revenue. It’s been brewing in the back of my mind.

And instead of getting good data-based advice, everyone gives the same old stale advice like:

  • Pick a niche you know a lot about
  • Pick a hobby
  • Pick a broad niche with lots of content cluster ideas
  • Niche selection doesn’t matter

Those answers didn’t satisfy me. I wanted data.

I Finally Found a Data Source

I was watching Matt Diggity’s YouTube video on whether to use display ads on an affiliate site when he mentioned he used a service called newormedia.com to deploy ads on his site.

So I went to their website to check them out.

And I came across this display ad revenue calculator:

You plug in a whole lot of data about your site, like when it was launched, where your traffic source is … and then you have to select one of 19 niches.

And out spits a figure for how much they think you can make in ad revenue.

According to the company, the data is generated based on “historical data of websites we work with”:

So I conducted a Test

I ran the calculator for all of the 19 niches they had listed in their drop-down menu.

And I entered the exact same data in every field, so all variable remained the same except the niche.

Any variations in revenue would have to be niche-dependent.

Here are the details I entered for every test:

  • Website created in 2019
  • 50% US Revenue
  • 50% Mobile Traffic
  • 100,000 PVs
  • 5 Display Ads on Page

Now, I have to caveat this study: the results you’ll see aren’t going to be replicated on your website. For one thing, it seems that newormedia isn’t going to monetize at the same rate as competitors like Ezoic, Mediavine or Adthrive.

In fact, I was surprised at how low their predicted revenues are.

But the results are internally consistent. And that’s what matters in order for us to rank the niches.

I Tested the Following Niches

  • Automotive
  • Beauty & Fashion
  • Business & Finance
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Parenting
  • Food & Drink
  • Gaming
  • Government & Politics
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Architecture
  • Music
  • Pets
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Web Design & Development
  • Weddings

Here are the Results:

Rank (Best to Worst) Niche Predicted Revenue per 1000 Visitors
1 Business & Finance $10.02
2 Travel $10.02
3 Weddings $10.02
4 Health & Fitness $6.80
5 Home & Architecture $6.80
6 Government & Politics $6.80
7 Pets $6.12
8 Beauty & Fashion $6.12
9 Family & Parenting $6.12
10 Sports $5.44
11 Automotive $5.44
12 Music $5.44
13 Web Design & Development $4.76
14 Food and Drink $4.76
15 Gaming $4.76
16 Education $4.76
17 Entertainment $4.76
18 Technology $4.08
19 Cryptocurrency $3.40

(I think you’ll be able to get at least double this revenue for most of the niches above if you run an aggressive ad strategy with Ezoic.)

Join the Safari.

If you’d like to see more great content, case studies and niche ideas from me, join the mailing list. I’ll be sending out niche ideas on a regular basis!

What does this Data Tell Us?

From this data, my main takeaway is we now know what niches to avoid.

I’m going to avoid the super competitive ones. We already knew Finance, Travel and Weddings were unbelievably competitive. I’ll avoid them like the plague. I’ll also avoid the low income ones – Technology and Entertainment (I was surprised Cryptocurrency was so low).

But those niches in positions 4 – 9 are where I think there’s some potential. There are plenty of niches in the “Home” vertical to go after. Even Pets might be a good one for monetization.

Conclusion: Take this with a Healthy Dose of Skepticism

I’m not going to 100% rely on this data. For one thing, I think all the revenue predictions above are really low compared to what I know you can make from some of those niches. But as I said – it’s internal consistency that matters here, so that’s beside the point. Maybe you want to double each number above for a more realistic estimate.

But it sure is interesting data nonetheless.

So, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you in one of those lower-tiered niches making bank from display ads? I’d like to know (comment below!)

For now, this is the best data I’ve got. And based on this data, I sure as hell am not starting a Cryptocurrency blog any time soon.

17 thoughts on “19 Best and Worst Display Ad Niches (Ranked)”

    1. Hi Umar,

      I’ll do videos + articles. So every time I do a new niche idea I’ll add a blog post, upload a video, and send out an email to my email subscribers. I’m thinking email subscribers will be given more keywords than everyone else as an incentive to join the mailing list.

      It will be a month or two before I start adding my first bunch of niche ideas. I’m really busy writing content for my 3rd niche site right now.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Cheers,
      Chris

  1. Thomas Dalsgaard Clausen

    Nice to see some actual numbers and a comparison of different niches.
    This is the second time I see my niche “education” mentioned as one of the least paying niches.. Ouch.. I sort of just went with what I was interested in.. But I supposed it also depends on what kind of article you’re writing in the education nice – some have more commercial potential than others. My niche is more precisely language self-study, and while I’m presently targeting a lot of general information keywords just to get traffic, I’m hoping to focus more on buyer intend / affiliate keywords once I get a little more authority, which might help on the RPM side of things.

    There’s also a point to be made about competition. Maybe I can earn twice as much for 1000 page views from writing about weddings, but I might be able to get much more than twice as much traffic for the same efforts in education just because it’s a niche with less competition.. So maybe 100 good keywords in weddings vs 200 good keywords in education isn’t a better deal at all, because getting the 200 good articles done in education is simply much more doable.

    Well, I might be just reassuring myself… Realistically, it seems that I do need a lot of traffic to earn anything substantial, and I’m only getting to the edge of the sandbox so far… We’ll see.

    How did your own $4 RPM niche compare to the results above? You mentioned that Ezoic should be able to get you twice as much as in the predictions, but I don’t see any 2$ RPM’s on the list which means that your first niche was way worse than cryptocurrency… Do you have any insights on that?

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Yeah that point about expecting double was clumsily stated by me – that $4 RPM niche is now doing about $8 most days a week. Hope it holds up. That’s down to rising ad revenue (highest it’s ever been for me this month), moving up a tier in the Ezoic Premium program, much more aggressive ad placements, and targeting a specific sub-niche that does better in ad revenue.

      I agree that you also need to take into account how easy it is to get traffic.

      I read a SEMRush study that said “online education” does pretty well in ths US market. I’m not sure exactly what they mean by “online education” though. Here’s that study: https://www.semrush.com/blog/top-paying-adsense-keywords-best-adsense-niches-2020/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20Insurance%2C%20Marketing%20%26%20Advertising,targeting%20audiences%20across%20multiple%20countries.

      Cheers,
      Chris

  2. Actual real data to back up what’s being said? What is this new trend of internet marketing we will see over here in this safari!

    I’m on board, dude. Good stuff!

    I had a conversation with Newor a few months back, was going to try them out just because I wanted to work with a UK display ad company. I actually can’t remember why I didn’t pull the trigger on it, I’m all over the place at the best of times.

  3. This is really useful to see. As you pointed out, it is really hard to get visibility into this so that you can make an educated choice.

    I have one site in the gaming nieche which has been really frustrating because of the low rpms but it is actually in line with your figures.

    I’ve started another site That is more finance focused. I hope it’s not too competitive to break into!

  4. Hey there, great post idea and thanks for referencing me.
    I publish 17 niche sites, all in different niches, many niches are big, broad niches. I too checked out the NeworMedia calculator and based on my earnings across 17 niches, the generated Rev./1,000 visitors by the calculator are very low compared to my numbers. On average, they’re about 40% lower than what I earn with ads. The only two niches that are fairly close are business and travel. The rest aren’t even close.

    Therefore, your suggestion that aggressive ads with Ezoic, AdThrive or Mediavine could double those rates is accurate.

    I also agree that entertainment niches are very, very low. However, the potential traffic is very, very high. If you go the entertainment route, you need millions and millions of monthly visitors.

    FYI, I wouldn’t dismiss sports, automotive, technology and food and drink. I’m in those niches and they earn quite nicely and the potential traffic is ridiculously high. In fact, the ad revenue from y tech blog is far higher than I expected it would be.

    I agree with you that Business is disappointing for ad revenue. I thought it would be higher and it is hard to get a lot of traffic. On the flip side, many business niches offer other excellent revenue opportunities.

  5. Nice article. Interesting to see some actual data for once on this topic. Also that you discount the ones at the top (I run a travel blog) as being too competitive. But as Thomas above says, you’ve got to take the difficulty of the niche + the RPM of the ads. 1000 pv with $10 RPM makes the same as 2000 pv with $5 RPM.

    Perhaps another data-driven post on competitiveness of niches is called for? Perhaps average domain authority by niche would work? You could pick say keywords with around 1000 volume, and see what DA is required to make the top 3 in serps.

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