Would 200 daily site visitors make me any money?
October 24, 2008 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Is there any point in trying to monetize a fansite that gets 200 visitors a day?

I don't know crap about ads but years of 150-200 daily uniques make me wonder if the long tail might have at least paid for a new video card or something by now.
posted by TheManChild2000 to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If you sell ad space, perhaps. But only because you'd be selling at above the real value.

If you're doing any sort of per-click payment, I don't think you'd get the conversion necessary to make any cash.

(I put google adwords up on my blog when I was getting about 1500 hits per week. I made about eighty cents over four months. And had to put up with google adwords taking my use of the word "hacker" in my articles to mean they should advertise "catch the hacker" products.)
posted by Netzapper at 10:41 PM on October 24, 2008

Not that I know of.

I have about 200-300 visitors daily with 1000+ subscribers. When I had 700-800 subscribers, I went to several companies in my field and asked if they wanted to advertise. A few wanted to now my stats, at which point I never heard from them again.

Now that I have 1000+ subscribers, I'm going to try going around again. This time, I'll stress the feed and not the site. (I also just launched a new section, so that should help.)

As far as Google Ads go, I tried them and they didn't work out so well for me. I barely got any money and eventually decided the "ugliness" of the ads was not worth the pennies they brought in.
posted by 47triple2 at 11:09 PM on October 24, 2008

Hmm... I wonder if there's a scale point close to these figures, 'cause I don't get many more visitors then you guys (about 500 uniques a day) and I'm making about $30-$40 a month from Google Ads. Not much, but it covers my hosting costs.

But the value for me has been when an articles goes nuts (digg, boing, fark) and that becomes a nice chunk of change. It's only happened twice, and it's been a huge headache each time, but when it's all over, there's a nice check to make up for it.
posted by ochenk at 11:26 PM on October 24, 2008

Well, that depends. My personal blog, which has a mix of content on it gets about 80-90 unique vistiors in an average day. Most of my traffic is driven from organic search results. It made a whopping $5 or so last month. I have two fairly unobtrusive placements on each individual post page.

I have another blog with about twice as many uniques as you. The content is focused on a single popular gadget. I haven't really been keeping it up to date, but it has some decent incoming links, so it comes up pretty high in search results for a few desirable keywords, which is where most of my traffic comes from. It's definitely earning video card money.

If a significant amount of your traffic is driven from search results, and there are commercial opportunities related to your content, then its worth the hour or so it would take you to set up an AdSense account and integrate ads into your site to see how things work out.

If most of your visitors are return visitors and there are product tie-ins, you could try integrating some of Amazon's widgets, or use their store builder. It won't take long, but I have my doubts about how much it would be worth. Figure that 1% of your visitors buy something from it every month. That's one or two transactions. Average transaction size of $10-15 @ a 8.5% commission rate, that works out to only $0.85-$3.30/month.
posted by Good Brain at 11:40 PM on October 24, 2008

The only way to make good money with traffic that low is extremely targeted advertising.

For example, you said it's a fan site. Products specifically linked to your audience might do well - for example, books by the author you're a fan of, or albums by the band, or whatever.

I'd try Amazon's affiliate program with some very specific items (the top sellers in a search for whatever you're a fan of) and see how that works.
posted by mmoncur at 12:22 AM on October 25, 2008

As long as you pick ads that won't drive away visitors, (Pop overs, video ads, etc.) you're fine. I had a site that was smaller than that, but it made enough from a single small strip of Google ad words on each page to pay the hosting fees. Since it cost me about 20 minutes to set up and virtually nothing to maintain it was clearly worth it.
posted by Ookseer at 3:35 AM on October 25, 2008

Some data from Technorati:

The average annual blogger revenue is more than $6,000. However, this is skewed by the top 1% of bloggers who earn $200k+. Among active bloggers that we surveyed, the average income was $75,000 for those who had 100,000 or more unique visitors per month (some of whom had more than one million visitors each month). The median annual income for this group is significantly lower — $22,000.

Bloggers with advertising invest an average of $1,800 annually in their blogs. U.S. bloggers earn an average of $5,000, though bloggers in Asia earn 50% more on average and European bloggers earn an average of 75% more than U.S. bloggers. High revenue bloggers skew the mean revenue. The median revenue for U.S. bloggers is $200 annually (and the median annual investment is only $50).
posted by futility closet at 4:24 AM on October 25, 2008

Depending on your audience, I think you might expect anywhere from $0.10 to $0.50 cpm (cost per 1000 page views), probably toward the lower end (I get about $0.20 with Adsense). What's your average daily page view?
posted by justkevin at 6:50 AM on October 25, 2008

I would take that Technorati data with a big gain of salt, as it doesn't really reflect bloggers as a whole. Rather, it seems to be reflective merely of bloggers who voluntarily participated in Technorati's study...a group, I would think, more than likely predisposed to blogging-as-a-income-producing-business anyway.
Hell, given the sheer number of people who have a blog, I suspect that the majority of "bloggers" probably don't even read Technorati (or even know what it is.)

In other words, as you scan the Technorati data, imagine a huge "YMMV" splashed across the pages.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:39 AM on October 25, 2008

I used to have a fansite with fewer clicks than that and at got at least some sort of revenue with Amazon's referral progam. Didn't pay for a video card, but the occasional DVD maybe.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 8:02 AM on October 25, 2008

You might make more with "members' only" content. Depends on what the site is a fan of, but you could make a member's only forum, or somesuch.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:41 AM on October 25, 2008

There is the sincere risk of alienating your dedicated followers with attempts to monetize. You might want to continue to build your base until people are beating down your Internet door to help you with the monetary support.
posted by john.c.herman at 8:47 AM on October 25, 2008

Ok, thanks everyone, this is VERY helpful. Not in the least by showing me that there can be wild varieties of cmp values meaning you can never really know until you try.

As the site only averages about 500 page views a day, I think targeted Amazon links would be the way to go as they carry all the different merchandise stuff available for this fansite's targeted franchise. I like the idea of being able to buy myself a DVD every now and then.

Interesting point about alienating the visitors.... my site's "dedicated followers" provide feedback so seldom that I'm pretty sure it's less community people that visit and more the great unwashed masses (said with love, of course) wandering by. There is a good chance they would actually be helped if there were very specific, targeted links for merchandise.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2008

BTW, my estimates of amazon revenue assumed that 100% of your traffic was visitors returning daily. It sounds like your visitors are coming less often than that, so your visitor base could be even an order of magnitude larger, with a similar increase in your possible earnings.
posted by Good Brain at 12:56 PM on October 25, 2008

FWIW, I use Google AdSense on one of my sites, averaged 291 "page impressions" per day last month, and earned $30.59. That pays for hosting, plus a DVD or whatever. For me it's a no-brainer to keep it up, and as a bonus, my site requires minimal maintenance. (I haven't touched it in months, though I'm neither happy nor proud about that.)

Free money is free money!
posted by iguanapolitico at 9:01 PM on October 25, 2008

I'd love to get that many hits per day. I make around $20 a month from AdSense. It pays for my hosting, like others have said.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:27 AM on October 26, 2008

I'm not sure on the AskMe ethics of followups. Hopefully this is kosher.

To begin with, my OP was kind of wrong. A close look at my stats showed uniques were not really being counted correctly. Doh. So my site is only getting the tiniest bit of traffic.

The site is technologically primitive and was hand-cranked back when I didn't give a rat's ass about anything except building the simplest framework possible for content. This ad exercise clued me in to the fact that my site traffic would benefit from the gigantic amount of optimization I could do, both for search engines and also for internal navigation.

So, the results so far. I spent a little while adding only one kind of Amazon super-niche-targeted ad to the most heavily-trafficked pages. BTW that's only maybe ten pages out of appx 100. In three weeks this netted me appx 140 clicks with one (pending*) sale that will probably earn me less than 2 bucks.

I expect that adding ads everywhere on the site won't have too much of an effect because of how most of my traffic is concentrated on a few pages. But search, ad, and navigation optimizations very likely will help a lot in getting more visitors which will mean more $.

I'll update this question in a few months with whatever numbers I have then.

* Apparently you don't actually get paid until an item ships. Just a useful FYI for Amazon.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 4:26 PM on December 2, 2008

I have never made a site just for adwords. I know the concept is real and you can make money but that is getting to be harder and harder these days online. It is so much work to keep up with all the experts out there who can just dominate little ol' me. I assume the amout of cpc on your adsense has to do with the topic/niche. Credit Cards site would pay much better that an ad on Free Chewing Gum site. Then again you must deal with the competition.
posted by summartime at 2:36 PM on February 6, 2009

« Older Who did this musical rendition of the Charge of...   |   Looking for a download: "Bad Little Baby Girl" by... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.