The single most important factor in creating money from your blog is that you actually have people reading your content.
How do you go about calculating how many people are visiting your blog?
Remember that Google is the Godfather; it is the most popular search engine and the only search engine that provides a blog rate. Google calculates the visibility and popularity of your blog – sign up for Google analytics to see how you’re doing.
It is possible to calculate blog traffic through Backlink. BackLinks are a measure of how many people, readers or visitors link to your site/blog. Obviously the more links you have the better it is for your site, there are various sites that will check how many BackLinks you have.
If you haven’t heard of PAGERANK yet you may well have a long way to go until can make money from your blog. PageRank is the name given to the Google algorithm that ranks the power of links. As you build up your links you can see your PageRank moving through the scale from 1 – 10. Google have not disclosed exactly how many links you need to move along each rung, but it’s generally accepted that you need 100 links to get a PageRank of 3, 1000 links for PageRank of 4, 10,000 links for PAGERANK of 5 and so on.
Another useful way to measure your blog is to install the Alexa tool bar. The Alexa toolbar shows the popularity of websites and gives a little graphic showing the fluctuation of the websites popularity. For example Google is ranked the number 1 website in the world, Wikipedia as number 7. It is considered malware by Windows 7 and cannot be installed on Windows Vista. We use it here at Webandrank; it’s a really easy and simple way to see the popularity of a blog.
Quantcast is another fantastic tool to obtain accurate statistics on traffic and demographics for websites and blogs. It allows you to view the statistics of millions of websites and not just your own.
How many RSS subscribers do you have? This is another measure of your blogs popularity.
How to calculate Advertising Prices?
This is really not an easy process for beginners. Prices that are too high will put of potential customers, prices that are too low will leave you short changed. Here are some useful guidelines to make sure you get it right.
Banner size. The larger the banner the more expensive it should be.
Image ads are more expensive than text ads. The reason for the difference is that image ads have a higher click-through ratio (CTR).
Advertisement placement also determines the price. Ads that are above the fold are more expensive then ads placed below it. For example an ad placed in the header is worth more than an ad in the footer (obviously).
Do you know how many pages your blog has? This is referring to the number of pages or articles that you have created and published on your site. If you have a big site with lots of pages and information people will stay for longer. The idea is for browsers to get lost within your site clicking on one link to the next (not in negative way – each link should be offering some relevant information for the reason it was clicked on in the first place). Wikipedia is the best example, you start reading an article about quantum physics and then you realise there are basics you don’t understand, so you must click the link read about this and then have a greater understanding. The more pages you have the more views your ads will get, this must also be factored into the equation when calculating advertising prices.
A really great way to calculate ad prices is to look at a blog that is the same as yours. Find a blog with similar content and similar rank and see how much they charge.
What pricing model to use?
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per action (CPA) are the two most popular pricing models. The most preferable and accepted model of the two is CPM. The CPM model works on a fixed amount being paid for each 1000 page views. Here is an example of calculating the value of an advertisement. Each ad has a CPM rate which can be found by creating an AdSense account and checking in ‘advanced reports’. The CPM rate can be increased or decreased if you know the purchasing power of the advertiser. You must also have the figures for the amount of page views per month your blog gets. Here comes the maths, let’s say that CPM rate is £2.00 and the number of page views is 5000. 5000 page views a day means 150,000 page views a month. The price of the ad will be 150000/1000×2.00 = £300.
This can be harder than you think.
Be sure to add messages such as ‘FIND OUT HOW TO ADVERTISE HERE‘, or ‘want to see your add here‘ in empty ad positions.
Write a blog post announcing that your blog is now accepting advertising and see if you get any responses.
Go to the blogs of your competitors and see what advertising they are using.
There are several places to go and see what advertising is on offer, for example Buy and Sell Ads, AdBrite etc.
Some general useful tips.
Check out ‘How to make money from your personal blog‘ for more information.
Try to use advertising that is in keeping with the content of your blog. If you blog about finance then advertise credit cards; credit card ads might be a bit off-putting if you blog about cats. Target your audience, you can use Quantcast to help you do this.
Make sure your advertisements aren’t inappropriate or contain unsavoury content.
Create space on your blog that is advertising friendly; the advertisements must be seamlessly placed into the blog in a way that appeases the company buying ads and does not annoy your readership.
Get money up front, using PayPal to set up direct monthly instalments can save you hassle down the road when you are chasing people to pay their bills.
For a start up blogger it is not easy to put all this into action. If anyone tells you that creating a popular blog is easy than they are probably stupid. Blogs require the constant adding of original content, application of SEO techniques to get exposure and difficult calculations to figure out how to monetise it. After all this it is still difficult to generate a great income. If you have the expertise and the drive to make a successful blog it can be done of course.