Post By D
Hello All – D here.
Last month we monetized Vicky’s blog for the first time. July was a half month for us, and what a ride it was. August was our first full month – was it all just a fluke?
Turns out, at least to some degree, this blogging stuff can provide some sustainable income. Let’s dive into the good stuff.
Vicky wrote extensively about the sources she uses and how she has tripled her traffic in less than a month since we changed the design. I was really interested to see what we’d come up with this month. Actually, I’m pretty interested every month – but this month in particular. Seriously! I wanted to get a sense for the growth rate after the initial burst i.e. what’s a reasonable amount of growth to expect month over month. I was pleasantly surprised to see a 25% increase in traffic in August.
Grand Total: $117.31
I wrote quite a bit explaining what these sources of income are in our last report, so for this one I want to get right down to business. What works? What doesn’t?
BlogHer - BlogHer is king when it comes to earning revenue from this site. That said, it’s definitely been slipping lately and in the most recent weeks Vicky and I noticed that for equivalent traffic she was earning significantly less than say, a month prior. The CPM is falling. I don’t think I can really discuss specific CPMs, but the math is fairly simple. Just divide the revenue by the number of page views and compare it to last month (remember July was a half month). So, what are we going to do about it?
Pretty much nothing.
Even with falling CPMs, BlogHer still offers the best deal out there. At the end of the day, when/if you do get into this advertising game, you realize how much you’re really at the whims of the provider. They basically have a spreadsheet and it tells us we made X dollars. That’s it. No bargaining, no transparency, no nothing. Unless you can find a better deal, you just have to stick it out and hope it’s temporary.
Google Adsense – Last month I referenced that I was going to try and do some ad optimization. Well, I’m happy to report my first insight.
Images are way better than text
Check this out:
Everything miniscule to the left is when we only had text ads up. Everything to the right (basically our last 10 days or so) are image ads. I guess people like clicking images? Moreover, I think you earn a bit of income just from having images on your website that you don’t get from text ads. The combination of this made the end of August look very different from the beginning, and we’re excited to see how this materializes after a full month in September. One thing you have to remember with image ads is that they don’t always come in all sizes. For a long time we were struggling to get image ads on our site, only to realize that for many ad sizes, even if images are an option, it’s not displayed over text. We now have three 160 x 600 banner ads on the sidebar and I think we’re going to leave it at that for now.
What can I say, Host Gator and Thesis simply don’t yield anything at the moment. That said, I’m happy to report that I was able to write two reviews for these products, that, perhaps 6 months from now, might generate some search traffic that could lead to some conversions.
What’s To Come:
Last month I alluded to a few topics I want to address through these income reports, though perhaps not all right away:
- Optimizing ad placement and style
- Has advertising negatively affected our blog (bounce rate, pages/visit, avg duration)
- Exploring other sources of income
- In depth look at Social Media
I discussed a bit today how significant the image ads are over the text ads. Next month I will move on to some of these other topics and more!