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Blog Earnings Reports – Do They Make Sense?

The trend among some top bloggers is to publish monthly earning reports showing how much income they have generated the previous month.

money

While it may seem impressive to earn $1,000, $5,000 or even $35,000 a month from your blogging efforts, I feel that the raw number can be a crude way of judging the “success” of your blog and will not be as meaningful as using other metrics.

A more significant statistic is to determine your average revenue per unit (ARPU) or income earned per visitor.

For example, if you have 100,000 visitors and your blog earnings are $5,000 and you compare it against a smaller blog with 35,000 visitors and earnings of $4,000. Which is better?

Let’s skip the superficials $5,000 versus $4,000 for the moment and look at ARPU. For the large blog, ARPU is $5,000 divided by 100,000 or 5 cents per visitor, while the smaller blog’s ARPU is 11.4 cents.

The smaller blog is twice as effective at generating income as the large blog and though it trails the large blog in terms of total readership, I’ll go one step further to say that assuming you’re not a casual or hobby blogger and you’re blogging as a business, the end goal should be income generation, rather than the “generating eyeballs/impressions” game that was prevalent in year 2000 with dotcom mania.

If anything, sustainable blogs are going back-to-basics, focusing on a solid business foundation and continuous growth – all supported by a sensible business model and sustainable income generation.

If the pieces are in place, you have the makings of a profitable blog business.

For more blogging strategies and tips, check out Secret Blog Weapon.

17 comments on Blog Earnings Reports – Do They Make Sense?

  1. Zac Johnson
    October 22, 2008 at 7:28 am (3954 days ago)

    Blogging is not the best way to make money, nor is it my preferred. I initially started posted my monthly blog earnings report, 7 months after my blog went live, which is also when it first went generated revenues and offered advertising.

    The original plan (and still) is to do a one year case study, then stop posting the monthly earnings report. At the end of the one year case study, I will then provide the final case study as a free ebook.

    As you mentioned, I also can see how many find monthly revenue reports to be an “in your face/bragging” form of advertising/flattery, but it was never the intention (for me at least), which is why after the one year case study, the reports will end. However, I feel these posts/reports are much more of a motivational factor than anything else.

    How many people started blogging as a result of seeing John Chow earning $30k+ a month?

  2. Norhafidz
    October 22, 2008 at 7:31 am (3954 days ago)

    IMO, it is more appropriate to look at the whole income as a way to measure a blog success. At the end of the day not the statistically ARPU that counts, but the whole value of that profits.

  3. Andrew Wee
    October 22, 2008 at 11:06 am (3953 days ago)

    Hi Zac,
    Blog earnings are a good motivation and if there’s an analysis of the various income streams and the amount being generated and their effectiveness, it can be a good instructional exercise for the readers and a good branding exercise for the blogger.

    I like how you’ve broken down your income into the various channels and someone who goes beyond the surface, can see that affiliate marketing and referrals gives a better ROI than advertising (with the exception of possibly private ad sales).

    I look forward to checking out the compilation.

  4. Andrew Wee
    October 22, 2008 at 11:14 am (3953 days ago)

    Care to explain why the whole income is better than the ARPU I mentioned above?

    I didn’t go into more depth, like looking at the ROI in terms of time spent blogging, which is usually much higher for bloggers compared to SEO and PPC marketers.

  5. peter
    October 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm (3953 days ago)

    This is just a similar re-hashing of the argument for PPC whether its
    Net Profit which matters / ROI.

    I would take 50 000 net profit monthly with a ROI of 25 – 50% versus
    a 100% ROI with 10 000 PPC spend.

    The only thing ARPU does is make the smaller blogs feel happy that they’ve a higher ARPU versus the big blogs. Nothing but an ego boost.

  6. Andrew Wee
    October 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm (3953 days ago)

    There’s no rehash of anything.

    This is a basic concept in accounting.

    Within the tech industry, telcos and ISPs use ARPU as a key metric.

    -
    Going by the example you cited, the fatter margin gives you room to scale your business, while the thinner margin gives you less room to try new things.

    -
    Companies listed on the NASDAQ live and die by their financial ratios. It’s more than an “ego boost”.

  7. Kok Choon
    October 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm (3953 days ago)

    I think it is not easy to indicate if a blog is successful, but basically if a blog with tons of visitors, it should be “successful”.

    However, building a business online is different case, you need to earn as much money as possible. Be it using a blog traffic or normal traffic strategy, your end goal is to make money, and a lot of money.

    I agree that Blogging for traffic might not be the best way / effective way to make money, having said that, still depends on how you provide value, build relationship and finally monitize your blog.

    PPC affiliate marketer can easily earn 100K per month, I have yet seen any blogger earn that much, most probably blog is not easy to automate, you need GOOD content…!

    Andrew, do you think a professional blogger can automate the blogging like PPC marketer? I think you need to outsource your blog to some writer before you can expand…?

    May be outsourcing is the key to scale up blogging business, what do you think?

  8. peter
    October 22, 2008 at 11:51 pm (3953 days ago)

    -
    Companies listed on the NASDAQ live and die by their financial ratios. It’s more than an “ego boost”.

    Notice Blogging and Companies which are listed in the NASDAQ are two totally different creatures & should be treated as such.

    Focus on Net Profitability and Cashflow if you’re a small business & not on your ARPU. There is little point in monitoring this until you grow above a certain size.

    A Blogger should be treated more as a “penny stock” and not as a company on the NASDAQ. Hence , by improving your net profit & cashflow , you can try to grow to the size of being listed on the NASDAQ and worry about your ARPU & other fancy financial ratios then.

  9. Cananito
    October 23, 2008 at 8:01 am (3953 days ago)

    Wow, wish I could do such ammount of cash a month, I can barely do 5 dlls lol, guess I have to seek for new techniques.

  10. MLRebecca
    October 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm (3951 days ago)

    This is a great way to evaluate a blog’s success. It’s not as important to look at the total earnings, but at the ARPU. The smaller blog in your example is doing something right. Great post!

  11. SEO Tips South Africa
    November 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm (3934 days ago)

    Point well taken. The old “Quality vs Quantity” argument holds true in cyberspace too. The quoting of raw figures are definitely there to act as an ego-boost / inspiration / indication of success.

  12. dreamon
    December 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm (3903 days ago)

    I totally agree with the guy “SEO Tips South Africa”. Quality or the quantity whatever the measurement is the out come that counts. There can be few successful blog and few successful journalists in a site. If anyone wait for a blog to hit spotlight and do nothing he may loose his traffic flow. And for the time value, to write a hit the spot blog definitely requires more time, cause you will have to wait for those good journalists to provide you the post.

  13. DylanGross
    May 28, 2010 at 3:32 am (3371 days ago)

    Hello I am Dylan Goss and I love this forum and sheep. I hope to learn from most of you, thanks! ( yes joiing about the sheep)

  14. wattafferge
    February 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm (2379 days ago)

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  15. pokemonxetyrom
    March 29, 2014 at 3:24 am (1970 days ago)

    This helps! Thank you! I was trying to figure out these problems the other day!

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