Making Money From A Blog – November Recap

Lower Traffic, Higher Income

For the month of November, John Chow dot Com received 217,876 unique visitors and 329,853 page views. This is down from the record breaking 229,144 visitors and 360,967 page views posted in October. While traffic is down, blog income went up thanks to continued tweaking and the addition of new ad revenue sources. Here is the breakdown on blog income.

  • Google AdSense: $872.69
  • Vibrant IntelliTXT: $791.56
  • TTZ Media: $338.54
  • ReviewMe: $50.00
  • Text Link Ads: $30.00
  • FeedBurner Ads: $57.14
  • Grand Total: $2,139.93

This is a nice improvement over the $1,361.64 the blog made in October. Blog traffic dropped almost 10% but blog income went up 57%. An even more impressive improvement is the site wide eCPM, which went from $3.77 to $6.49 for a 72% increase. How did all this come about?

Higher Search Traffic

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The blog continues to receive lot of love from the major search engines, especially Google, which accounts for over 95% of all search engine traffic. The above chart could very well be titled Google Traffic instead of Search Engine Traffic.

Search engine traffic is by far the most profitable traffic. According to a Google research study, a search engine visitor is 14 times more likely to click on an ad than a visitor from another source. And this is the reason AdSense income went up even though traffic went down.

I expect the growth in search traffic to continue. In the first week of November, search engines sent me an average of 485 visitors per day. In the last week of November, that number had increased to 943 visitors per day. How did I pull this off? With lots of unique content that other sites like to link to. There really is no magic here. Google loves unique content – the more I write, the more they index and the greater the chance that I’ll show up on a search.

Just having unique content really isn’t enough. Your content has to be unique enough for other sites and blogs to link to you. Once Google finds you, it will index your content, but where you rank in the search is based on how many other sites are linking to you. My blog is on page 1 for the search term “urinal” because of the number of sites that linked to my high-tech urinal story.

Less Dependence On Digg

visitbysource.jpg

Digg is a great source of traffic but you can’t really make much money from it unless you have a really targeted offering. In October, Digg accounted for nearly 50% of blog traffic. For November, they were reduced to 16.81%. I expect traffic from Digg to continue to go down this month because, well, I’ve been banned from it!

More Advertising Opportunities

I added a few new advertising revenue sources to the blog in November. In addition to my own TTZ Media Network, I installed Text-Link-Ads and FeedBurner ads. I was also paid $50 for doing a review of RevewMe. The Text-Link-Ads and FeedBurner ads were added in the last few days of the month so they only made $87.14. However, I expect them to really pick up this month – Text-Link-Ads starts this month at $400 right out the gate. I will continue to tweak the revenue mix until it’s just right. Then I’ll tweak it some more.

Conclusion

It is amazing what can happen in three short months. In September, when this case study started, the blog made $352.94. In October, the income increased to $1,361.64 and in November, it broke the $2,000 barrier. We are now getting very close to part time blogging, full time income.

To celebrate the blog’s achievement, I’m going to take the family out for dinner at Lumière. Hopefully I won’t spend the entire month’s paycheck.


58 thoughts on “Making Money From A Blog – November Recap”

  1. Ed says:

    Hey Bro, Congratulations on your success, you are truly an inspiration. In the short time I have “known” you, I have learned a lot of stuff from you and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I love your blog and your style of writing, its simply unique in the sense that is like having a 1 on 1 conversation. Keep Up The Good Work and Congrats again!

    Ed

  2. Anon says:

    John,

    What happened to donating your personal blog profits to your church or another charity like you mentioned when you started making the Adsense money?

    http://www.johnchow.com/google-adsense-on-a-blog-update/

  3. HMTKSteve says:

    Good job!

    I’ve been squeaking by on about $95 per month in AdSense on my blog. Yup, $5 short of getting a check!

    When the checks do come in they are quite nice and I used my last Google paycheck to take the family into NYC for the day.

    We’ve got tickets for a showing of Wicked at the Gershwin theatre next month and I hope to make the money to pay them off before we go.

    I’ve added some affiliate links to my blog as well.

    Heck, I’ve even got some guest bloggers!

    Since my blog focus (mostly) on games and Pokemon I don’t get a lot of high dollar AdSense ads. With that said, well over half of my traffic comes from Google searches.

  4. Bill says:

    Good work John. I’ve learned a lot from your blog in the past few months.

    I have a question though..I thought Google Adsense did not allow you to have other advertisers displayed on your website at the same time as Google’s ads?

  5. John Chow says:

    Anon – I am doing that. The “spend the month’s paycheck” is just a figure of speech.

    BIll – Google does allow other advertising on a site. Google does not allow the competing ads to be contextual or look like Google ads.

    Ed & Steve – Thanks! You guys keep at it. The results will come.

  6. Bill says:

    Ah, I see. Thanks for the reply.

  7. Sunny says:

    nice…well done John. You’re success is an inspiration to me to increase my AdSense earnings from my blog.

  8. Gdog says:

    Well done John, your blog is a great read. I do agree with you about loving Google and its referrals. Google is my #1 source of traffic as it loves my blog. The Daily Kimchi is the second hit for the search term “teaching english in korea blog” and also if you Google any Korea related terms.

  9. Garry says:

    really cool john. wonder how a newbie like me can do that kind of work.

  10. Lawrence says:

    Is that total income… or ‘total profit?’

    I’m guessing your bandwidth costs must be astronomical.

  11. Carl says:

    Bandwidth costs will be next to nothing, if he already has a colocated server.

    I love how Johnchow.com has its own resident troll “Anon” who bitches in the comments of nearly every single post. Great comedy! 😀

  12. Anon says:

    Since I use noscript, I don’t see any of the ads that you’re referring to. It is funny to see how many sites are blocked when viewing this blog.

  13. I’m surprised your FeedBurner is so low. As a percentage of AdSense, my FeedBurner earnings are about 4x higher.

  14. HMTKSteve says:

    John,

    I think you might have just learned something very important about AdSense and Digg.

    Digg traffic is murder on your CTR. (I actually blogged about this months ago.)

    Yes, the traffic can lead to people coming back in the future and subscribing to your feed, but in the short term, Digg traffic hurts your revenue stream.

    I have found, that when my CTR is high I get served better ads. When my CTR is very low I get the junky “free laptop” type of ads.

    Because you are now banned from Digg you will not get the “I never click ads” crowd.

    What many people (who chase the Digg) never realize is that once you get a following you don’t need Digg.

    Digg is for exposure. Once you have your exposure you want to stay away from Digg.

    In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to have AdSense ads only in my blog posts, not in the sidebar or on navigation pages. Since doing this my CTR has gone up nicely.

    The reason is simple, ads on a landing page are not likely to be clicked. My page analysis has shown me that most people come to my main page and then click on a story.

    I do not get paid by the impression, only by the click. Why waste it by putting the adv somewhere that will never be clicked?

  15. Shane says:

    John,

    How much did you spend on Adwords? And It’d be interesting to know how much traffic you got from it.

  16. abdou says:

    hi John,
    very interesting, congritulation for your effort made to achieve these good results

    Can you please tell us about these resources, this is first time I heard about them

    Vibrant IntelliTXT
    TTZ Media
    ReviewMe
    Text Link Ads
    FeedBurner Ads

    Actually most people use google adsense, are these other program meet the google adsense policies? please clarify

    ———————————-
    Thanks
    abdou Omari
    http://www.1scroll.net
    http://adsense.1scroll.net
    http://myfamilyhealth.blogspot.com

  17. Carl says:

    You still can’t underestimate the importance of Digg. Even though the vast majority never click ads, the fact is that this blog got zero traffic before those 2 months of many Digg front page visits, and most people who regularly visit now probably found the site on Digg.

    Being banned from Digg isn’t a good thing. Luckily John was able to build a huge userbase before getting booted off.

  18. Nomar says:

    great earnings john.. very nice.. wish i make just 10 % a month what you do 😀

  19. Stephen says:

    It’s all my fault. I Dugg Him First! LOL!

  20. Jon Waraas says:

    Thats not even enought for 2 dinners for YOU!

  21. animated says:

    > According to a Google research study, a search
    > engine visitor is 14 times more likely to click
    > on an ad than a visitor from another source.

    could you please post a link or sth to this? sounds interesting…

  22. great inspiration you are john.Thanks to you, my adsense income jumped up after yu taught us on using the competitive ad filter to scoop off the MFA sites. With a little further tweaks, I hit almost $150 last month.

    page views is now about 3,000 daily with unique visitors of 900 daily. Thanks to yur tips.

  23. HMTKSteve says:

    Carl, that’s my point. John has probably already gotten the benefit of being on Digg (exposure) and now he gets traffic from other sources and no longer “needs” to get on Digg to get eyeballs.

    Not being on Digg means that the people who make it to his site will not be the “read and runners” that most Digg users are.

  24. David Mackey says:

    So you spent half the month’s paycheck. You’ll need a higher income to go full-time. 🙂

  25. John Chow says:

    animated – I’ll try to find the link but it was a long time ago. You also have to keep in mind it was released by Google as part of a sale pitch to sell Adwords. While the real number may not be 14X, it is much higher than non search engine traffic.

    HMTKSteve – Digg doesn’t affect my overall click rate much. While a Digg to the blog kills the blog click rate, it doesn’t affect the overall number because I have Google ads running on TTZ, which gets far more traffic.

    David Mackey – I guess I’ll have to work harder. 🙂

  26. It is great seeing these updates as it keeps me motivated to keep setting the bar higher for myself and providing additional ideas.

    Looking forward to the December update to see if the holiday season boosts your results at all.

  27. Michael says:

    Great work John. Keep it up! You truly are an inspiration to us all.

  28. Martin says:

    that’s awesome, earning so much by writing what you like to write about !

    i will hopefully get to 1/10 of your earnings this month, but yeah, we all see the potential…

  29. Emmet says:

    Hey John, took your advice you posted earlier about using the 300*250 Google ads in my posts and not just in my sidebar, and as a result my Google earnings went from pretty much nothing, to consistently above $1.00 which is a great improvement and very encouraging for the future of my site. Great website by the way.

  30. Henry says:

    Why don’t you try CPA John?

  31. Bisi says:

    Can someone answer this
    I see some people are able to use adsense on blogger . How does blogger make money ? Do they have ads on the free sites too ?
    I am using wordpress and I have never thought of puttind ads but now I thing I want to put ads but wordpress does not appear to let people put ads on their site ?
    Can you tell me what free blogging software lets one put ads on ?

    Thanks

  32. John Chow says:

    Henry – CPA requires a different method of promotion. I’ve found that using banners with CPA doesn’t work anywhere near as much as writing about the product in a post and then linking to CPA deal. This way you “pre-sell” it by offering your view on it. Conversion is much higher. This is what I did with AGLOCO. Had I just used a banner to promote it, I wouldn’t be at over 1,000 sign ups now.

    Bisi – Blogger is own by Google, which owns AdSense. I was under the impression that WordPress.com let’s users put advertising on their page?

    Thanks everyone for the comments!

  33. The is my first comment on your site and I just want to say congratulations on your success so far. I started my site a little over a week ago and friend of mine directed me to your site a few days ago. Needless to say, I changed a few things based on your advice. Thanks a lot.

  34. Jon says:

    John, this is a great Blog. I’ve been telling a lot of people about it.

  35. John Chow says:

    Neil & Jon – Thank you very much!

  36. Karma says:

    John, if you were really giving the money to charity you would have spun about 7 posts out of it, each with a paragraph about what a great person you are:

    Post 1) A list of possible charities you were thinking of donating to.

    Post 2) A post saying how much you are donating.

    Post 4) A photo of the cheque.

    Post 5) A post of their thank you note.

    Post 6) In fact, you probably would’ve gone with a charity dinner so that you could also post photos of your food.

    Post 7) A further post namechecking all your charity work, along with yet another adlogo tidbit.

  37. John Chow says:

    Karma – Actually, one post will be enough. Keep an eye out for it. You see, I don’t really want to be known as a giving person. I like my current rep as a the root of all evil. I did provoke a serial killer after all.

    If I do as you suggest then I wouldn’t get those comments about me spending enough money on dinner to feed a 3rd world country. I love those comments. And I love comment like yours too.

    Thank you. 🙂

  38. Karma says:

    You are most welcome, and I will certainly applaud the gesture when you do. And I missed out my expected post number 3: ask your readers for suggestions on where to donate the money.

    All the best

  39. Ed Lau says:

    I believe he already said he’s going to donate to his church. I’m always amazed John can make it into a church since he’s Satan.

  40. Zack says:

    Congrats, John. This is my first time to your site, but I am not surprised at the success you are having. Your posts are very insightful and honest, and I think many users appreciate that. I’ll certainly continue to stop by and I hope your revenue continues to increase!

    One thing I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about is the future of online advertising. It’s certainly booming right now, do you see the trend increasing or leveling out? I personally do not think we’re experiencing a bubble, but I’m not sure how long growth like this will continue. Most likely, once it levels out we’ll be left with the most dedicated sites and bloggers and the field will thin out a bit.

    Anyways, keep up the good work!

  41. John Chow says:

    Zack – I definitely think the boom will continue for a few more years before leveling out. I am planning a series of articles on that.

    Thanks for visiting.

  42. Hey John,

    🙂 I just found your blog today, and I loved this entry particularly. Thank you for being so upfront with your stats – it’s awesome to know what works and what doesn’t work. And it’s really encouraging to read that it IS possible to earn that much on a blog each month.

    You’ve just gained a new regular reader!
    Thanks again,
    Christina – the Happy Slob

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