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Making Money From A Blog – The Super Sunday

written by John Chow on November 20, 2006

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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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{ 30 comments }

Rex November 20, 2006 at 6:15 pm

Congrats John! Keep up the good work!

EZDrunk November 20, 2006 at 6:34 pm

Wow John! Your successes are motivational to us little guys out here. Keep up the good work.

Dave November 20, 2006 at 6:48 pm

Excellent article, very helpful information for me personally. Keep up the great work!

StrangeProgress November 20, 2006 at 6:48 pm

Wow great stuff John! Interesting traffic breakdown too.

I guess it really helps to already have a steady stream of techie readers on your blog, who will instantly submit articles they find intriguing to digg/slashdot etc.

Gdog November 20, 2006 at 6:50 pm

John, well done. Amazing breakdown of your Super Sunday!

Eli Burford November 20, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Holy crap.. that’s an amazing amount. Great job John.

kkim November 20, 2006 at 7:29 pm

Well done my friend.

Tony November 20, 2006 at 9:01 pm

Awesome, thank you for sharing the stats John!

dacholo November 20, 2006 at 9:48 pm

Great info, and congrats! Your content keeps getting better, and I’m glad it’s paying off for you. :)

Sunny November 20, 2006 at 10:48 pm

Nice! Well done! But I got my success through ad positioning which will get visitors to click on the ad no matter what. Please read my post at and tell me what you think. Thanks

Domain freek November 21, 2006 at 1:03 am

That’s wonderful. you got it going on! keep up the good work.

Amrit Hallan November 21, 2006 at 2:30 am

Wow! Great Sunday :-). First time on this blog via BlogHerald — nice one.

It’s not the income that surprises me, but the sources people get.

StingyFinance November 21, 2006 at 6:37 am

$160 from google adsense in ONE day! That is incredible! John you really keep us bloggers hopeful!

Joe
http://www.StingyFinance.com

Tony November 21, 2006 at 7:11 am

John, I meant to ask, but forgot. Even though in the absolute numbers, the post has been very profitable.. but how does the click-through ratio of Slashdot/Digg users compare to say your daily averages from regular readers/oranic traffic?

Also it appears that your Feedburner stats have dropped down from 4000+ to 2600. In one day? I always thought that their statistics were kind of sketchy…

Geiger November 21, 2006 at 7:35 am

Where is Ebaum’s world linking to you from?

Alex November 21, 2006 at 12:03 pm

John, and what was the number of website unique visitors on that Sunday?

John Chow November 21, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Tony – Slashdot/Digg users don’t click anywhere near as much as organic traffic. That’s why the eCPM for that day was $6.49 vs. the monthly average of $8.50.

Geiger – Ebaum’s world linked to me from their front page. I was listed under “Links.”

Alex – 57,426 unique visitors and 64,305 page views.

Bill November 21, 2006 at 5:56 pm

Wow, great job.

Rafael Slonik November 22, 2006 at 7:18 am

John, great post.

What about a cost-per-click post? My blog has a 5k+/d unique traffic. Last month i was making up to $40/d, but this month with the same traffic and clicks i’m just making about $15/d.

I figured out the problem: cost-per-cliclk, but i don’t know how to get it higher.

Geiger November 22, 2006 at 7:54 am

How did you get eBaum’s attention?

Adler November 22, 2006 at 4:47 pm

As I wander around the lanscape of trying to Monetize my Sites, I keep ending up back to you. I’ve just bookmarked you. Oh, “Unique Content is indeed King”, as you say.

In my own tiny, tiny way I have also seen that Sunday, or the weekend, is very, very slow.

Thanks for being out there!

Adler in Arizona

David Mackey November 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Congrats. Unique content is definetly true but also not the easiest to create.

furst November 24, 2006 at 12:32 am

I’m liking your articles. I wish I knew more blogs like this one.

Chris December 27, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Hey John. A great and inspiring article — makes me want to focus on writing unique articles for 2007! :)

Sandis January 6, 2007 at 8:02 am

I’ve been wondering, how to do that. Probably a brand new blog won’t be able to hit that high, your ex visitors and social *life* helped you to hit that hight.

John Chow January 6, 2007 at 10:53 am

If you’re blog was brand new and you posted that article, then you have gotten that traffic. Whether or not you can make $400 from it is another question.

Mack January 12, 2007 at 7:15 am

I was wondering how you implement the block google ad within text, using WordPress. Do you put it within the post or do you place it and align it to the right on the template. If you could help out with this it would be great. I’m doing my best to take tips from one of those successful bloggers out there ;).

Jeff January 16, 2007 at 9:59 pm

All I can say is that this stuff is great, and its great learning.

Leftblank January 16, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Sure does Jeff, sure does, it’ll require quit some willpower to pull this off as well yourself ;)

Money Tactics May 30, 2009 at 7:32 am

I just got to your blog and I think this is the best blog on making money online I have seen so far. Right now, I learn how people do this and need to study alot from you John. Nice place to learn;)

Regards
Dean Souther

Money Tactics’s last blog post: I learn How People Make Money Online