I never started John Chow dot Com to make money. This was just a place for me to post my miscellaneous ramblings about whatever was on my mind. While I cover a number of topics, from car to fine dining, the main focus of this blog is about making money on the Internet.
Back in September of last year, I began a case study to see if money can be made from a blog. Starting with just Google AdSense, John Chow dot Com made $352.94 in its first month as a monetized blog. The next month, revenue jumped to $1,361.64 as I added more revenue sources. And it continued to go up: $2,139.93 in November, $2,790.05 in December, and a record $3,440.66 last month.
With only 28 days, February is the shortest month of the year. However, that did not stop this blog from posting its biggest income figure ever.
Total Blog Income For February 2007: $7,011.05
In just six months, I have taken this blog from zero to well beyond what many people would consider a good full time income. How did I do this? We’ll begin by breaking down the February earnings so you can see where the income came from.
- ReviewMe: $2,250.00
- Text Links Ads: $1,162.50
- Affiliate Sales: $1,005.00
- Google AdSense: $977.60
- Vibrant IntelliTXT: $516.98
- Direct Ad Sales: $400.00
- AdVolcano: $375.00
- TTZ Media: $224.17
- FeedBurner Ads: $99.80
- Grand Total: $7011.05
Blog traffic for February was 266,641 page views from 127,614 unique visitors, according to Google Analytics. That’s an 11,067 page view increase from January (which had three more days) but still well off the 229,853 unique visitors and 360,967 page views posted back in October.
Blog expenses for the month was $418.94 in Google “IM” Ads to Darren Rowse and other bloggers. If you take the blog income and divide it by the page views, you get a site wide eCPM of $26.30. That is approaching NYTimes.com territory. Most blogs are happy making a buck or two per 1000 page views. How much would your blog make if you can get $26.30 per 1000 page views? Here is how I did it.
Find Your Big Moneymakers
ReviewMe (aff) has gone from last place to first place as the blog’s biggest moneymaker. Thanks to some great advertisers’ testimonials (here, here, here, and here, just to list a few), and a 50% ReviewMe coupon for February, this blog had it best ReviewMe month ever – over $1,000 of reviews orders came in on the last day.
The other big moneymakers were Text Link Ads (aff), affiliates sales and, everybody’s favorite, Google AdSense. Direct sales has gone down because I don’t really do it. All my direct advertisers came to me; I didn’t go out looking for them. As stated in my Vancouver Sun interview, I rather produce content and let the ad networks handle the ad sales. However, if an advertiser wishes to come to me directly, I’m happy to work with them.
Making money from a blog is all about experimenting and finding what revenue sources work best. You have to be constantly mixing and remixing the revenue mix to find the balance between maximum blog income and a good user experience.
Ask For A Better Deal
As your blog traffic increases, you can ask for a better deal from your ad networks. Just because the network say they’ll give you 50% or 60% doesn’t mean you have to accept it. I was able to get an increased revenue share from a few advertising networks that I deal with.
This is one of the advantage of building a big site – they get special deals that smaller site cannot get. In almost everything else, when you start producing huge numbers, the unit price gets smaller (that’s why a Ferrari cost more than a Honda). In web publishing, the higher your numbers, the higher your unit price. Read Big Sites Rules, Small Sites Drool for more information.
For The First Time Visitor/Blogger
If you’re a new blogger wondering where to go after reading all this, I recommend you read all the old posts from the Making Money From a Blog series. This way you can see step-by-step, how I got this blog from zero to hero. You should also check out the Top Posts. This is where I link to some of my best work with many articles talking about making money on the Internet.
I also recommend you read the comments left on this blog. John Chow dot Com has a very vibrant community of users with great ideas to share. Please consider joining it.
The Winner Of The Guess My Income Contest
I held a little contest yesterday asking readers to guess my February income level. There were over 200 entries. The winner had to come closest to the actual income figure without going over.
The winner is Matt608 from Successful Online Money Making. Matt’s guess of $6,829.00 came the closest. It was good to see that I beat nearly everyone’s guess. What was your guess and how much did I beat you by?
The question everyone will be asking now is, can I beat February? Well, just like last month, I don’t recommend betting against me.