October 1, 2014

Monitizing Blogs

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 08/17/06

One of the benefits of contributing to Business Blog Consulting is the opportunity to tap into the expertise of some of the best and brightest bloggers. The lively discussions that occur “off-blog”, on the contributing bloggers’ Yahoo list, are often as valuable as the BBC blog posts. With the permission of Rick, Dana, Jeremy and Dave here is a recap of a recent thread on monitzing blogs.
The Question

What kind of revenue return can one expect from a blog that gets an average of 12k unique visitors a day and whose readers are engaged to the extent that some posts pull over 600 comments? The blog focuses on the champion racing horse Barbaro. (Backstory is on Diva Marketing)

As you might expect there were a range of opinions and projections along with specific tactical advice.
Business Blog Consultants’ Responses

Rick Bruner
My $0.02: it’s going to be hard for a consumer blog site to command much over $1 CPM on average (maybe $3, as Dave states, but as I say, not much over). A few reasons: little perceived premium for those audiences. Even if they are focused, they’re not big, so they’re a pain in the ass to buy.

Also, BlogAds creates extra work for advertisers in making them recreate a different type of creative units for a small audience, compared to the leaderboards and skyscrapers and boxes their agency already created for the mass online ad audience, which BlogAds doesn’t support.

The biggest reason, however, most bloggers can’t make decent money from ads is this: they don’t sell. They expect the mountain to come to Muhammad. Their logic seems to be, “Hey, I spend a lot of hours on this thing, I get a few thousand people, advertisers should do the work to find me and give me money.” That ignores the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. A few thousand visitors a day is small change compared to the big sites dominating the online ad space.

That’s where Tig and Rafat have stood apart. First, they’ve aggregated an audience (B2B) that commands a high CPM ($30+). Second and more importantly, they both personally broke their asses for hours a day actively selling ads, calling agencies, making a real business out of their sites. Now, they’ve both hired ad sales teams.

Dave Taylor
It can be all over the map. Let’s look at AdSense since it’s easy. AdSense effective CPM can range from under $1 to over $10, depending on placement, subject and the click thru rate. If this blog uses a typical placement they’ll see approx 2% CTR (ballpark). Racing will draw some good ads, but much of the gambling is prohibited by AdSense, so let’s just guess that these will be okay value ads and the overall effective CPM with that CTR will be about $3.

Now we can do the math: 12,000 visitors/day = 20,000 page views/day. At a 2% CTR that means that this 20,000 page views account for 400 clicks. If we stick with our resultant effective CPM based on this, that’s really $3 per thousand views, or 20,000/1000 * 3 = $60/day. That’s $0.15/click, not bad for AdSense. Multiply that out and we might be talking about approx $20k/year.

These are all out of thin air, of course. The ads could be more valuable, the CTR could be higher (or quite a bit lower), producing an effective CPM far different than my guess of $3. There are also lots of other advertising alternatives, including BlogAds, etc etc, and
they could just sell their own adverts so they could delve into gambling ads directly, which I imagine would be far more profitable for the site.

Jeremy Wright
Hard to say, BlogAds is its own little economy. We (b5media) have a few similar sites that get 100$/week for a BlogAds ad spot. They’re in the Entertainment space, though.

I’d probably get the blog included in one of the BlogAd Networks, price a unit at 100$/week and then raise it as it starts to fill up. Personally I think a unit’s worth about 250$/week on that site, but it’s always hard to tell with BA’s buyers.

Dana VanDen Heuvel
That would depend a lot on the advertiser and the category…horse racing…not sure what’s out there on that, in terms of advertisers… It’s not like B2B tech where they’re getting $50CPM…at least, not that I know of.

You’d have to find the right category advertisers to make a go at it…or do
Google AdSense.

BBC Readers
What advice would you give?

2 comments for Monitizing Blogs »

  1. Great post, Toby. Thanks! My only comment is I think Dave’s 2% CTR sounds very high. I am not an expert on AdSense ads, but I can tell you that the average CTR on web display ads is well below 1%.

    Comment by Rick Bruner — August 17, 2006 @ 11:08 pm


  2. Fascinating to hear you say that, Rick. Just for the record, my average CTR is about 5.00% on my AskDaveTaylor.com weblog, so I figured 2% was lower than normal, not high.

    Lots of reasons why you might have a very low CTR, but the most common is that you just don’t have good placement and design integrating your AdSense ads with the rest of the content on your page. I’ve written about this a number of times, and really dig into the subject in my book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Growing Your Business with Google” which you can learn more about at http://www.findability.info/

    Comment by Dave Taylor — August 17, 2006 @ 11:37 pm


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