Making $100,000 From Your Blog

At Justinsomnia my colleague Justin Watt does the math on the number of monthly pageviews one needs to make $100k in annual ad-sales income.


The basic math works out to this: You need a million monthly pageviews if you have one ad per page, and you sell 100% of them at CPMs just over $8. Or half a million pageviews, if you put two ads on every page and keep the same CPM and sell-through rate.

There are a couple of challenges, though. First, to experience 100% sell-through on your inventory, you need to work with ad networks that sell to direct response (DR) advertisers who don’t really care where their ads run — like Google’s Adsense — and campaigns from those advertisers rarely return effective CPMs (after the ad network’s 50-60% commission) above $1, unless your site is focused on enterprise routers. I’d recommend modeling revenues based on 50% sell-through rates. Second, the brand advertisers who pay premium CPMs, which online means above $5, are more interested in audience reach and influence than they are in pageviews and ad avails. If you have fewer than 500k monthly uniques (as counted by a 3rd party like Comscore), you need to be an enormously influential brand in your own right if a major advertiser’s going to take a meeting with you. Third, even if your site is large enough and influential enough to merit high-CPM advertising from major brands, the ads won’t sell themselves. So you need to account for commissions you’ll pay to staff sellers or an outside rep firm. More on media math here.

But, dang, the charts department at Justinsomnia puts ChasNote’s to shame!

  1. # Justin Watt said: December 31st, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for the real world considerations. I pretty much ignored issues like sellthrough (assuming that unsold pageviews get averaged into the overall page-CPM). And you’re right, graduating from my ~$2 AdSense eCPM to something more premium requires a non-trivial amount of overhead.

  2. # Back When Landing a Job at the School Newspaper Required Ad Sales Experience said: June 5th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

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