Almost 2 years ago I wrote an article called “Should You Sell Space On Your NZ Website For Banner Advertising?” in which I suggested you shouldn’t.
2 years later I haven’t change my mind. If it’s your core business then your website should focused on attracting new customers, and making sales, not earning a few dollars a month in advertising revenue at the cost of distracting your customers.
Blogs are a different story however.
7 Steps to Earning Income From A Passion
- Find a topic you are deeply passionate about (this will give you the energy to keep going)
- Be determined to write at least one short blog article per month
- Your articles should contain useful information for other people interested in your niche. Eg lists, your findings on micro research projects, reviews and comparisons, interviews etc
- Build up your audience by sticking to your niche and becoming a valuable resource
- Find similar blogs/articles and write useful comments on them that contain a link back to your blog
- Grow your audience to about 300 visits per day
Today I want to tell you the story about NZHotPools.co.nz (which simply lists all the thermal hot pools around New Zealand) and tell you exactly how much advertising revenue I generate from it every year/month/day, so you can figure out if you could do the same with your idea for a blog.
NZHotPools.co.nz Monthly Webstats:
- 15,000 Visits per month (12,000 absolute unique visitors)
- 500 visits per day
- 48,000 PageViews per month
- 1600 Visits per day
- $540 per month revenue
- $18 per day
- Which is $36 revenue per 1000 visits
- Which is 28 visits to earn $1
In this game, it is mainly about PageViews. Visits are important too but “Absolute Unique Visitors” are not.
There is a lot of confusion out there around these terms, so if you need a refresher on the definitions read: Difference Between Unique Visitors, Visitors, Visits, Page Views, Hits. And Why You Should Care
The hard part is getting an audience. Once you have an audience, monetising that audience is easy.
The 4 Ways to Sell Advertising Space On Your Website/Blog:
1. Direct Sales
- Direct Sales to businesses in your niche is the most lucrative but takes the most time
- It involves writing a list of prospects and making lots of phone calls to find out who the decision maker is to establish a relationship and to get permission to email them with your advertising rates from time to time
- Be creative with what you are selling: Eg banner ads, access to your email newsletter, sponsored blog articles, special mentions, featured businesses
- You can charge $5/$10/$20 CPM (Cost-Per-1000-Impressions) so for NZHotPools this is about $300/month
- If you use WordPress for your blog there are plugins that let you schedule the ads, or you can use http://www.google.com/
2. Google Adsense
- This is the easiest to manage. Decide where you will setup your advertising panels, and just generate the Adsense code and copy/paste it in. You’re done.
- Google Adsense calculate the best text-based ads to show your audience depending on the content of the webpage, the advertisers bids, and more recently, the visitors online behaviour and profile. Every bit of data they can use to generate more clicks which earns more revenue for you and for them
- On average you can expect to earn $1 per 300 visits, so for NZHotPools this is about about $50/month
3. TPN “The Performance Network” www.tpn.co.nz
- They require you to have 20,000 unique visitors per month though, so they might not want to work with you until you’ve grown your blog to that level (they bent the rules for me a little bit because I already had an account with them)
- They do display ads for big NZ brands like Kiwibank, NZPost, ASB etc
- They don’t have sophisticated technology to calculate the optimum ads to show, it’s just mass advertising rather than targeted advertising
- You can expect $1 per 300 visits so for NZHotPools this is about about $50/month
4. Affiliate Income
- An affiliate programme is where you earn a commission on every sale you make for the advertiser. Eg you could install an Amazon book widget for your topic and you’ll earn a dollar or two everytime someone purchases that book from Amazon thanks to your link
- Unfortunately, it is vary rare to find New Zealand businesses with Affiliate Programmes and your New Zealand audience is uncomfortable when they click on a link and find themselves on a USA based website so they are unlikely to whip out their credit card
- NZHotPools.co.nz doesn’t generate any affiliate income, but www.LoveOneDaySales.co.nz does generate a little
How Much Advertising Should You Switch On As Your Website/Blog Grows?
As your website/blog grows, you gradually switch on more advertising. For example, my rules are:
- 0 – 300 visits per day:
- Either no advertising at all or just 1 or 2 Google Adsense panels to break the ice
- Start collecting email addresses from your audience
- Monthly Revenue: $0 – $30
- 300 – 500 visits per day:
- Looking promising
- Start Selling ads Directly to businesses in your niche
- Monthly Revenue: $300 – $500
- 500 – 1000 visits per day:
- You’re on to a winner
- Modify Google Adsense positioning to maximise revenue
- Get more aggressive with your Direct Sales
- Monthly Revenue: $500 – $1000
- 1000+ visits per day:
- Re-evaluate positioning of everything
- Turn on TPN & investigate Affiliate opportunities (if any)
- Monthly Revenue: $1000+