Online advertising earnings

Here are the details of my online advertising earnings and website traffic for March 2011 in the hope that they help to either initiate or increase your own additional income stream.

painted dollar sign

March 2011 advertising income

Amazon Associates: $200.58
InfluAds: $1,428.00

Total: $1,628.58 (£1,000.86 GBP)

Amazon Associates
I’ve already talked about the commission cheques I receive for helping designers look sharp.

InfluAds
After installation of the InfluAds code (broken link removed in 2014) in the sidebar of my three blogs, a performance-based payment is received via PayPal after each month of serving ads. If I see an advertiser that I don’t want to associate myself with, I have the option to block the banner from the within the publisher section of the InfluAds site (that hasn’t been necessary).

My agreement with InfluAds was that I’d receive $1,400 per month. But due to a better-than-predicted performance during March (i.e., higher traffic, more click-throughs) I was paid a little more.

You’re probably wondering how much web traffic is needed. Here are my stats from March 01-31.

davidairey.com
davidairey.com web stats March 2011

logodesignlove.com
logodesignlove.com web stats March 2011

identitydesigned.com
identitydesigned.com web stats March 2011

Stats courtesy of Google Analytics.

What does that mean?
Perhaps the most important figure is the number of Pageviews (also known as page impressions). This number shows how many times the banner ad is loaded/viewed within the month.

davidairey.com = 502,788
logodesignlove.com = 545,496
identitydesigned.com = 100,561

So during March those three websites attracted a total of 1,148,845 Pageviews.

By dividing the Pageviews by the payment we can see what return was made for a range of stats.

1,148,845/$1,428 = 804

Meaning that for every 804 Pageviews generated I earned $1.

So to earn $10 I needed to attract 8,040 monthly Pageviews.

$1 = 804 monthly Pageviews
$10 = 8,040
$100 = 80,400
$1,000 = 804,000
$10,000 = 8,040,000

To put it another way, and to give you a clearer picture of what you might be earning with InfluAds, for every 10,000 Pageviews received in March, I earned $12.44.

1,000 monthly Pageviews = $1.24
10,000 = $12.24
100,000 = $122.40
1,000,000 = $1,224.00
10,000,000 = $12,240.00

It’s probably not quite as straightforward — the number of clicks on each ad are also likely to be a factor — but it gives you something to relate to.

Your online revenue streams

I’ve no idea how my ratio of income/stats compares to others. What ads are you featuring to make money online? Are there any types you’d avoid?

Painted dollar sign image via Thinkstock

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32 comments

  1. Kudos to you David for being so transparent! Curious what kind of focus you have to improve your time on site as your traffic continues to grow?

  2. That’s fantastic, thanks for sharing. Are you happy with this income considering the time and money you spend on the sites?

  3. My traffic is tiny compared to yours. So very tiny. Last month I made a whopping £4.72 from my Amazon links (on my rather messy Bookshelf page … the exact purpose/usefulness of which has yet to present itself). At my current traffic level, any other forms of advertising would be more trouble than it’s worth!

  4. Hey David,
    Thanks for sharing this with us, will you please explane how we can increase our site/blog traffic and if we dont have enough traffic to our site than is these sites you have mentioned above is useful or not?

  5. Thanks for sharing the stats david. Will go and do my own number crunching now!

  6. I’ve not given it much thought, Ron. I suppose my previous WordPress theme prompted people to stick around a bit longer, due to the double sidebars and more spots to click (or maybe that increased the Pageviews), but I’m much happier with how my site looks at the minute.

    Russ, my main goal has always been to use my sites for attracting new design clients, so anything I can earn on top of that is a bonus. Things are going well client-wise, and I have plans to improve that side of things.

    There’s one aspect in particular that I love about your bookshelf, Daniel. :) A tip to increase your Associates income is to offer links to the .com as well as the .co.uk. When comparing stats from the two sites, I don’t prompt many sales from the .co.uk.

  7. Thanks for your generosity in sharing this in order to help others.

    Obviously this income in no way reflects the time you put into maintaining all three blogs which is a lot of work!

    Many people choose not to monetise their blogs at all, instead they use them as a platform to raise their profile or to educate and inform.

    Chris Brogan writes about, “How to create a business from a blog” here http://www.chrisbrogan.com/how-to-create-business-from-a-blog/

  8. Vikash, there are many ways to increase traffic, some good, some bad. Ultimately, you need to focus your content on topics you’re passionate about, and at the same time, publish information you believe will be of use to others.

    Here’s an old post from 2007, so it’s a little outdated, but some of the mistakes I made back then are still worth avoiding today:

    Blog mistakes to avoid

    Bernadette, that’s a good point worth repeating: You don’t need to make money from blog advertising in order to run a hugely successful blog. My additional income is only a recent occurrence, and I started publishing posts in 2006. My advice is that if you’re thinking of starting a blog to make money through advertising, don’t.

  9. Thanks for sharing this, David.
    I’ve been thinking about introducing unobtrusive ads on my website.
    I have turned down all offers that have hitherto come my way but times are tough and I figure it’s only fair to want to have a little more stability.
    The fact that you did this in such an open way makes it much more acceptable, kudos for that.
    After all we’re only in it for the money to a certain extent.

  10. I saw InlfuAds on Dribbble.com for first time, looks like they take lot of care about choosing their publishers. Also the advertising is just a tiny banner, not too intrusive.

    I think they are doing good and you too for not overloading your blog with advertising. Certainly you could duplicate the income.

    Cheers.

  11. Good point about the .com / .co.uk issue. I’ve been using the Amazon module in Squarespace, and it’s just a tad limited in what you can do with it. The quality of the pictures pulled in from Amazon is shockingly varied. Time to roll my sleeves up and do some manual tinkering methinks …

  12. Pretty incidental to this particular discussion, but just wondered if you have ever considered expanding by taking on other design staff or starting your own studio? Or have you chosen to stay freelance by yourself to maintain full control?

  13. No probs, Andrea. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using your website to pull in a few extra pounds, as long as your advertising doesn’t overwhelm people and detract from the content.

    Thanks, Sergio, for your chat here and on my previous post, too.

    Daniel, I originally planned to integrate my aStore with my site, placing it within my own theme design, but in the end I just plumped for the standard aStore layout, which is much easier to organise. Good luck with yours.

    Hm, I’ve thought about hiring help, and who knows what might happen in future, but for now, I’m happy working from home.

  14. Really interesting insight David. I normally only see such stats on sites such as ProBlogger, and as we bloggers are obsessed with such figures, it was quite amazing to see yours.

    I was wondering what ever happened to your use of Adpacks? Did InfluAds fit in better with your site?

    In regards to the amount/payment you receive from InfluAds, doesn’t the amount depend on both impressions and CTR (so the amount you get fluctuates in regard to site traffic)? I’m with Carbon now, and this is the way they work — I was just wondering if InfluAds had the same kind of setup.

    I was also very surprised to see that your BounceRate is at 81% for this URL. Did you notice this go up after stripping down your blog to just one column?

    Until a few month back, my BounceRate was about 45%, but since I’ve had a fair amount of traffic from StumbleUpon, this added to my BounceRate. This is understandable since Stumblers are out to get quick snapshot content, not searching through individual URLs. Is STumbleUpon a good source of traffic for you too, or is it mainly organic?

    It’s great to see how many pageviews you’re getting — you’re reaping the rewards of tireless blogging no doubt. I assume you’re also getting decent traffic from many of your older articles, too. It would be great to see a breakdown of this in the future. Maybe??

  15. Thanks for sharing your traffic info – it’s quite, awe-inspiring!

  16. Hi Andrew, AdPacks didn’t place the same value on the ad space as I did, so we discontinued our partnership. When I mentioned my decision on Twitter, Anibal from InfluAds got back in touch about partnering with his company (we’d been in contact prior to my agreement with AdPacks). I like his plans, and it’ll be interesting to see how they pan-out.

    We hadn’t agreed on a fluctuating figure, hence why I offered to refund the difference. But you’re right — performance indicates the amount.

    Having just checked, the bounce-rate here for March 2010 was 69%. March 2009 was 63%, and 2008 was 60. So I think the theme design plays a big part given how I’ve been gradually streamlining the look.

    As for traffic sources, I might publish a post evaluating them, but for a quick snapshot: search engines = 45%, referring sites = 30%, direct traffic = 20%. Only 1.7% of my traffic is from StumbleUpon, but from those visits, the bounce-rate is unsurprisingly 90%.

    Vanessa, you’re very welcome.

  17. Oh, right. Makes sense that you stayed clear of AdPacks then.

    Its interesting to compare results; both my search and referring sites traffic stand at 42%; SU at 16%.

    A surprising result is that the Hello Bar loads as a separate page within the stats, which then returns a bounce rate of 100%. Interesting…

  18. I used to always wonder how much popular blogs like yours bring extra cash in. There are so many successful blogs out there but I rarely see bloggers that share information like this. Thank you for sharing!

  19. David,

    Thanks for sharing your earnings and traffic.

    I have a small design blog which I started in January after 20 years of design and running my own business. It’s been a lot of fun connecting with people all over the place who are passionate about design. I don’t do any advertising except for a my blog theme which I only do because I like the theme and the guy that made it.

    This is a bit of a ‘secret sauce’ question – given your large traffic, when was the moment that you saw a large increase in your traffic and what would you put it down to? As I said its a secret sauce kinda question and you may not even know why, I just thought I would ask.

  20. Andrew, I had to revisit your site to find the “Hello Bar.” I’m curious if you’re able to track its usefulness.

    Steve, there’s nothing secret about it — I don’t think there was one single moment when traffic increased, but rather a steady climb over the years. The lesson being that a relatively successful blog needs a significant investment of time.

  21. Thank you for this! I hate when people try to help via “hide the ball” method but your transparency is definitely appreciated. It really helps me understand how this stuff works.

  22. dave blackburn

    Impressive visitor stats David – how on earth did you manage to get such high traffic. Interesting how the three sites do differ in traffic volumes – are they all different ages?

  23. Rory Sleed

    Thanks David!

    Great for you to share your analyics numbers with us all – it really helps to wrap my head around a basic understanding of vistors to customers.

    As you said – I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than this but a fantastic framework.

  24. How do you keep that kind of traffic going to your website?

  25. Five years of consistent, (fairly) relevant content creation.

  26. This is first time when I see someone share this kind of information with visitors. I highly appreciate it. Thanks for sharing it. Dan – Romania

  27. Thanks David, I really appreciate you revealing this kind of information. I’ve always wondered what kind of traffic you’ve managed to achieve in five years and although adverts aren’t really something I want to do it has helped me to understand the rough arithmetic and the potential of my own blog.

  28. You’re very welcome, Richard. Advertising wasn’t of interest when I started, and I think that helped me focus in some respects.

  29. Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing some of your stats, they look good.

    I was wondering if you could share any tips on what are your top sources of traffic.

    I am really curious with the great amounts of traffic you receive.

    Best Regards,
    Evan

  30. Hi David

    Have you got an update on this? It would be interesting to know if the amount has increased along with your pageviews etc.

  31. Excuse the late reply, Evan. I checked sources for the past 30 days, and 54% was from search, 27% referral, the remainder direct. No surprise that the biggest referrer was logodesignlove.com.

    Chris, I don’t, but generally things are quite similar.

  32. Alexandr

    I think 2011 was a quite good time for influads publishers. Nice stats we can see.

    I’ve noticed that I’ve got a sharp drop in my earnings the last three months. For instance, this month with over 100 000 impressions and 0.80% CTR I’ve earned just 20$ and I feel a little bit disappointed about that.

    Hope we can expect more competitive rates within the next month. :)

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