What Can I Achieve If I Blogged Full Time for a Year?

Help!

I’m doing a research for my business plan. And I need to make a projection (a very educated guess ;-)) of what I can realistically achieve if I blogged full-time for a year.

Let’s just say that I’m going to do most of things “right” (I plan to work with blog consultants/coaches to make sure I do, if I do get going on this) and that I have chosen niches that aren’t going to tap out only after a year of blogging.

I need to look at this from two sets of numbers:

  1. Traffic — monthly visits/visitors/page-views, and
  2. Advertising income. This is only one of my revenue streams, but I do need to know.

For example, Steve Pavlina was pulling in about 400k visitors per month and $1400 in Adsense revenue on his 13th month of full-time blogging, according to his post.  I am guessing that is an exceptional growth, one that I can’t expect to match in the current climate.  But can I expect to be half as good? A quarter? Are there any other bloggers who matched Steve’s growth in one year, or exceeded it?   What is a realistic estimate of what I can achieve if I blogged full time for a year?

Any guess? And who should I go ask? Tina Su? Leo Babauta? They may be too big to be bothered by someone like me — who else is in a position to give me an educated guess? I did send an e-mail to Mr. Remarkablogger.

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21 Responses to What Can I Achieve If I Blogged Full Time for a Year?

  1. You know, Naomi Dunford is publishing her Online Business School TODAY.
    I haven’t checked it out yet, but I have hired her, and I know she knows about internet marketing.
    And she is making $200K this year.
    Go check it out. This is my best advice. Really.

    Akemi “spiritual entrepreneur” @ Yes to Me´s last blog post..Inside Out Approach To Entrepreneurship, Part 5, Build Your System

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Akemi,

      Yes, I did hear about the Online Business School. I checked out her material and I’m planning to get it. The only question is to whether get it now and save $200 or get it later, after I get the financing, when I have the money in the budget for such coaching material.

      I can see how getting her material may impact my business vision and projection, but I’m close enough to the point where I’m going to file applications to the actual bank, that I am not sure if I want to take the time to read it and let it affect my vision. The plan I’m presenting to the bank is just to convince them that I am going to pay back their loan — while I do believe that the core of my business vision will not change too much, I think it’ll evolve and change as I go about running my business.

      So I just needed some feedback from fellow entrepreneurs. Did you think my projection was realistic/achievable? That’s what I’d like to know. Thanks!

      ari

  2. Jennifer says:

    Well Ari, it look like you have already gotten some good advice above and I’m learning just by reading there responses so I’m probably not the one to ask. I agree with Laurie. Ask the big guys. What have you got to lose? What’s the worse they can say? “No?” or not respond back. You don’t know til you try. Many people love to help others succeed.

    Please do keep us posted.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Come and Share in My Misery

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Jennifer,

      Yes, and I did contact some big ones. But I think through all the conversations, I’m coming to a projection that I think is strong and convincing.

      It’s a good feeling when you feel like what you’re intending to do is grounded in reality and truth — it gives you confidence about your success. I’m getting there.

      And of course, I’ll let you know what I’m up to. Always!

      ari

  3. Tammy Warren says:

    Hey Ari,

    Don’t get caught up in the rat race to the finish line. You can make money at this I just don’t want to see you loose yourself trying to get there. I find myself staying away from blogs that are always talking about how to get the numbers up, etc. I go back months later and I see that certain readers have left because all they were hearing about is how to make your blog grow. It has a mental tendency to drive those of us away that want a community. When you do find that balance….please share! I am excited about your journey that you are on. Do keep us posted…with grace.

    I know you speak on topics with deep passion. I want to see you continue to do this. Mother hen talking here. You have always kept things on a personal level and I know you will continue to do this.

    Oh, I love to read Ajith above. He is a wonderful example of finding a balance of his readers. Of course, I love you also Ari!

    I am just reminding you to remain you and the money will come!

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Tammy,

      Thanks for the warning! 😉 I suppose some bloggers “sell out” and become a traffic whore by churning out stuff written more for search engines than people.

      I am careful not to dilute this blog with too much of blogging-related stuff. This blog is not about blogging. 🙂 But that said, this is my main blog currently, and I occasionally have to use it to make announcements or communicate with my fellow bloggers. I do intend to move all my entrepreneurial stuff to its own dedicated space, but I hope you bear with me until then.

      I don’t think I’m ever going to stop being personal. It’s just not in my nature. Blogs evolve and change, so some readers coming and going are inevitable. But I promise to always be as authentic as I can with not just this blog but everything I do.

      ari

  4. Ari – This is very wise of you to ask these kind of questions on your blog. Often the value in a post like this is in the comments section and what the various comments bring up for you.

    Since I use my blog to attract coaching clients I have no idea regarding monetizing through ads. But there is a definite connection between traffic and inquiries regarding the services I offer.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Experimenting For Fun and Profit

  5. Ross says:

    Hi there… Interesting questions you pose – unfortunately as my blog is rather new, they are questions I can’t answer! In research I have done however, there appears to be a common theme with successful and money making blogs – longevity. Sticking with a blog regardless of numbers etc in the initial phase seems to do quite well for people down the road. I’ve decided to go hard for 6 months with my blog regardless of traffic, then reassess things from there. All the best!

    Ross´s last blog post..How to stay inspired in tough times

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Ross,

      Oh, of course, I do plan to stick around. This is purely for my business plan, which I’m using to apply for a small business financing. And blogging is not going to be all that I do — but blogging is going to be my primary promotion/traffic builder. So I needed to forecast my growth.

      It’s wise to set a time frame for a strategy and then reassess. From what I can tell, it looks like you’re doing very well with your blog!

      ari

  6. This is an essential question; glad you’re going through the estimation. Let’s give this a shot:

    What is a realistic estimate of what I can achieve if I blogged full time for a year?

    Traffic: Toughy. You’re not asking when you can reach x dollars, but let’s pretend that I’ve never heard of a blogger going full time on the Internet with an Alexa rank of more than 90,000 or so. Sure Alexa isn’t perfect, but we have to go off of something here, and when I see a blogger going full time I rarely know what traffic he’s getting. All I can know is that, just as I’ve said, I’ve never seen any with a rank over 90K-ish.

    Where am I going?

    Here: Lots of bloggers who go full time can do it in less than two years; i.e., you’ve been at it for a while now, and if you go another year, you’ll be under the two year range that highly ambitious bloggers who go full time did it in. So traffic: if you’re ambitious (and your content quality is high which means you might be) so I think you could, realistically achieve an Alexa rank under 100K in another year. I have no clear grasp how much traffic that could mean, other than guessing based off of my traffic levels.

    In the “Alexa” week of Nov 2-9 I had 14,620 page views, or almost 2100 per day with an Alexa rank of just over 100K. So 90K would be higher, maybe 2300 per day (just a guess) or 65K a month or so. So let’s be even more conservative: let’s say a good, though ambitious goal was 100K (page views) per month.

    I think that would be a realistic estimate.

    Earnings: Now that we guessed at traffic, what’s good earnings for that level of traffic? Like traffic, it’s all over the place but, also like traffic, we can use what we know from other pro-bloggers. John Chow runs the highest eCPM that I know. $80 per thousand pageviews or $0.08 for ever page that loads. I wouldn’t count on that because so much of his revenue comes from affiliate earnings and paid reviews, neither of which I would expect you to do a lot of.

    Other bloggers that make a solid income have a range much closer to $10-$20 eCPM. As a start, let’s play with $10. Penny a pop. 100K pageviews @ $10 eCPM is a grand a month. That would be solid for that level of traffic. It could only go up from there. More granular:

    Let’s pretend you have an Adsense CTR of 0.7% (low, but practical for a blog that’s not pulling Tom-foolery with ad placement): that’s 700 clicks a month and if you make 0.30 a click on average that’s 20% of your income. That could be about right. Don’t know. If you become a PR 5 and sold text link ads on your sidebar, say $20 a piece times 10, there’s another $200. You’d still have to make up the rest with potential music sales, affliate sales, CPM banners or who knows what else. Or, you could have a higher CTR with Adsense.

    We’ll have to talk privately about that and share numbers so I don’t divulge all that publicly. Could be a shot. Question is, is a grand a month going to be good enough for an investor? Maybe not. If you’re ambitious, you could try to squeeze an even higher eCPM out, say $20 and also aim for 150K views.

    Realistic estimates? 100-150K page views per month making $1000-$3000 a month.

    Dereck Coatney´s last blog post..Gardening in the Winter

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Dereck!

      Man, thanks so much for this post. This was exactly the type of response I was looking for. I’d love to discuss this more offline — I’ll e-mail you shortly.

      But let me tell you this. $1000/mo from advertising on the 13th month of going full-time is about what I was thinking as well. And that is quite enough for this revenue stream — as I have other streams in the plan.

      Can I blog well enough to reach the $1k/mo after one year? That seems like a realistic goal.

      ari

  7. Avani-Mehta says:

    Hey Ari,

    I can’t offer you any kind of advice on this since I don’t have any answers 🙂 But I would love to know what you learn. I plan to focus on financial aspect after I complete a year. This is so that I can focus on marketing right now. Learning to blog, mkt, finance etc gets too much when done all together.

    I have one google ad on my site. It earns enough to pay for my monthly hosting cost. So am happy with that.

    How much can you earn is of course directly dependent on how much traffic you can generate. Which would depend upon what other activities do you do along with posting articles – networking, seo, social media etc. But you must be already knowing this.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Motivation Hacks – #2

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Avani,

      See Dereck’s answer below. I think it’s a great starting point, and that was along the lines of what I was thinking of.

      You are so strategic and methodical! That’s one of the things I admire about you. I know there are many things with my blog that I am not doing mainly because I haven’t defined my strategy enough. I do also have a good bit of spontaneity built into me, so I need a road map that is both focused yet leaves enough room for me to be spontaneous. In my business plan, I’m building a budget to work with a coach so I have help in defining my strategy.

      ari

  8. Vincent says:

    Hi Ari,

    Do you mean Google adsense income of 2k per month for Steve Pavlina?

    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

    Vincent´s last blog post..Book Review: How To Win Friends & Influence People By Dale Carnegie

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Yes. If you follow the link in my post, you’ll get to a page where Steve is discussing his first-year traffic and income. He started in Oct. 2004. By Oct. 2005, he had over 400k visitors per month. But I was mistaken about $2k — I was looking at the wrong place in the chart. He had about $1400 in Adsense income. The next month, he had $2k.

      ari

  9. Laurie says:

    Don’t hold back from asking other “biggies” for advice. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no? Well then no harm done but if they talk to you, you will benefit from risking the contact. I think a lot of these folks are very willing to help others achieve. They feel complimented and respected. You might find some information on http://financeyourfreedom.com/blog/ that will help you out.

    Good luck Ari. I know you can do it. You are intelligent, intentional, and creative. You rock!

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Laurie,

      Oh, I’m going to ask them, all right. I didn’t mean to say I’m afraid of them because they’re biggies. I was just stating that they may not respond to me, so I need more names of bloggers to ask — particularly those who may not be as famous.

      Thanks for your pep talk, though!

      ari

  10. It’s a tough question… I personally feel that you need to have a lot of traffic to make a decent income. I would say a minimum of say 10K page views (or 5000 visitors) per day and roughly that much RSS readers to start making ‘decent’ money. Of course, if you want to make $25K per month you may need ten times that number!

    Cheers,
    Ajith

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Understand your blog posts’ visibility via Google Webmaster Tools (and take corrective measures, if necessary)

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Ajith,

      Thanks for your insight. That said, it wasn’t quite the answer I was asking about — It was about what I can realistically expect after a year of full-time blogging. I edited the post to explain myself better.

      Your estimate of 5k visitors per day puts us to about 150k visitors per month. If I did everything right and worked full time for a year, can I expect to build that much traffic? Or is that too optimistic? And what is a minimum ad income you can expect to make from such a traffic, assuming I do a competent job of ad optimization?

      I realize it’s a stab in the dark. But there are people who are successful with blogging, so I ought to be able to come up with some numbers based on what’s been done before. I’m going to ask around until I get a sense of it.

      Thanks again, Ajith!

      ari

      • Ari,
        I am the wrong one to ask on this as my blog is only 7-8 months old. I started monetizing only about 4-5 months ago and understandably results are not that great.

        I personally feel that if you plan properly and set targets/interim milestones (and spend a lot of time and some money) anything is possible. The only thing that you are not doing all that perfectly right now is the SEO, social media, backlink building activities. Those who make it big really get a lot of traffic from twitter, stumble etc. Without this you cannot realistically monetize bigtime. Also you need to be picky and planned on your moneymaking instruments (Which Ad networks, CPM/CPC ads, private ad sales etc). And again those big bloggers made it bigger with a lot of affiliate sales and paid reviews. That’s a must I think. Plus en route, you need to write a couple of eBooks – perhaps in your niche it doesn’t need to be free ebooks.

        Since you have the ability to write regularly, I think you can really make it big. But get expert advice!

        Wish you all the best for your plan!

        Cheers,
        Ajith

        Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Understand your blog posts’ visibility via Google Webmaster Tools (and take corrective measures, if necessary)

        • Ari Koinuma says:

          Hey Ajith,

          Thanks for the follow-up. Yes, I agree with everything you said. For me, everything boils down to time — I’m learning and writing and growing the best I can in the limited time I have allocated for this activity. I believe that I can accomplish much if I could invest more time into it, and hence the question. The purpose of projection is not to seek some kind of proof or formula for success, but rather, it’s just simply to show banks and investors that my projection is based on some kind of reality.

          I do plan to write in a budget for a coach/consultant to work with on a regular basis, if I do get going. It seems to me, though, that once you get some experience under your belt, you’d make a terrific one.

          Thanks again for your input!

          ari

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