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Making Money From A Blog – The Super Sunday

written by John Chow on November 20, 2006

$48,209.70 in 6 months. Learn How!

I hit a couple of blogging milestones on Sunday. Along with setting a new one-day blog traffic record, I also set a new one-day blog income record. I posted the The World’s Most High-Tech Urinal on Saturday and it very quickly made the Digg front page. Then on Sunday, Slashdot, Fark, Engadget, Gizmodo, eBaum’s World, USA Today, and a ton of other blogs picked up the story. That helped propel the blog to a record 57,426 unique visitors and 64,305 page views. Here’s a break down on what all this means.

Record Blog Earnings

Back in September I posted The Internet’s Biggest Google Whore and set a one-day traffic record of 55,856 page views, which translated to $95.13 in blog income. Since then, I’ve been tweaking the blog’s advertising setup to increase its performance. Here’s the Sunday breakdown.

That is quite an improvement over the last big traffic day. I did just 8,449 extra page views, yet the blog income went up $322.40. This is the power of tweaking. It is not enough to just slap on a few Google ads and expect them to perform right out the gate. You have to play around with colors, placements, number of ads, etc.

Breaking down the AdSense number is truly revealing. I have always stated that the best performing AdSense unit is the 300×250 square. However, I have never given exact income figures on each ad units because I’m not sure how Google feels about me revealing that kind of information. Well, I’ve decided to reveal that information. If Google doesn’t like it, they can tell me to remove it. Of the $160.18 the Google ads made, $123.44 of it came from the 300×250 AdSense unit. If you’re not running a square ad unit on your blog, you’re losing out big time!

I am very happy with the performance of the TTZ Media shopping ads. They outperformed (by over 3 times) the Google 468 that uses to be there. I was barely getting 50 cents eCPM out of the bottom Google AdSense unit. Sometimes, in order to increase overall revenue, you need to remove or replace a low performing ad unit. The bottom Google 468 wasn’t cutting it. Replacing it with a TTZ Media ad was a logical move.

Taking the Sunday blog income and dividing by the Sunday page views results in a site wide eCPM of $6.49. That is significantly higher than the $3.77 posted in my October Recap. So far this month, site wide eCPM is running at $8.50, and that doesn’t include the income from text link sales. As I’ve stated before, this is the power of tweaking. I now make more than twice as much for the same level of traffic.

Slashdot Still Rules

Digg maybe the new kid in town, but when it comes to sending an ungodly amount of traffic, very few sites can beat Slashdot.

slashdot.jpg

Looking at the above Google Analytics pie chart, you can see that Slashdot accounted for 33.35% of all visitors – well ahead of Digg’s 15.24%. eBaum’s World beating out Digg for 2nd place was the big surprise. I had no idea that site can send so much traffic. However, Slashdot still sent more traffic than eBaum and Digg put together.

While Digg now gets up to twice the traffic of Slashdot, Slashdot will still send you more traffic if you get a story on their front page. The reason for this is simple. Digg has hundreds of stories travel through their front page everyday. Slashdot has just a dozen or so. That means a Slashdot story stays on the front page a lot longer – sometimes more than a full day. Depending on how fast Digg is moving, a Dugg story can fall off the front page within a few hours.

Unique Content Drives Traffic

I get asked so many times, “How do I get traffic to my blog?” The answer is so simple – write unique content! Look at what one unique article did for this blog; 15,000+ page views on Saturday, 64,000+ page views on Sunday, 30,000+ page views so far today. Unique content drives traffic. Unique content will get you slashdotted and Dugg. Unique content will bump your RSS to 4000+. Sure, you can build a blog with free articles or by recycling news, but the chances of making $400 per day doing that is pretty slim.

Creating unique content isn’t that hard. You just need to be creative and keep your eyes open. I came up with the high-tech urinal story when I saw a small burp about it in Maclean’s magazine. It was interesting enough for me to track down the manufacturer so I can get those photos and video to write the story. I wrote up the story in 15 minutes and it will probably make over $1,000 before all is said and done. That’s not bad for 15 minutes of work.

The Numbers Could Have Been Better

Weekends are notoriously bad for traffic. The best traffic day is Monday, which was the day the Google Whore article hit. Even with the help of every major news sites, my urinal story only beat the whore story by 8,449 page views because it hit on the weekend. Had the story hit on a Monday, traffic would have been 2 to 3 times higher, and the blog might have its first $1,000 day. Oh well, can’t win them all.

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