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Is This the Key to Blogging Success?

How to Track Your Blogging Success

What is blogging success? In my opinion, number of views is a good measure. If your online blog is not read, it's a private journal.

You get what you measure. But in the early stages of blogging how do you begin to track your progress? How do you set realistic targets? Start with your end goal and work backwards. What would be a realistic goal? Fraser Cain - the owner of and blogging guru - once said that a well designed blog of 1,000 content rich articles should be able to generate $1,000 per month.

This bit involves a bit of arithmetic, so you may skip if you wish! Most websites should be able to generate $3 revenue per 1,000 page views, so $1,000 month equates to 1000/0.003 = 333,333 views per month. Sounds a lot but per day, per post = 333,333/30/1000 = 11.11. Sounds simple $1,000 per month from 1,000 posts, so $1/month per post. Not quite. It's not straight line growth. Websites start slowly and only begin to build with content and time. It's easier to use cents than dollars- so 1,000 pages = 100,000 cents. In order to estimate the growth we're looking to solve the formula:- 1,000 (pages)^x = 100,000 cents (where x represents the growth rate). The answer is x = 1.6666. Using the formula, you can work out, the number of cents/month given a certain number of pages. For example 10 pages = 10^1.6666 = 46 cents. You can then convert this into dollars and (making the assumption of $3 revenue per 1,000 page views) number of views/month. I must stress this is not scientific, it's my attempt to understand the exponential growth of website views. It's an estimate but it does illustrate how blogs (and websites) grow slowly in the initial stages. This table shows what I mean:-

Table to Illustrate How a Blog's Views and Earnings Might Grow- assumptions - $3 revenue/1,000 views - at 1,000 pages website generates $1,000 revenue/month and views grow exponentially as the number of pages increase

Total Pages Cents/Month Dollars $/Month Views/Month
1 1 0.01 3
2 3 0.03 10
5 14 0.14 47
10 46 0.46 153
20 147 1 333
50 678 7 2,333
100 2,153 22 7,333
200 6,837 68 22,667
300 13,439 134 44,667
400 21,707 217 72,333
500 31,485 315 105,000
600 42,665 427 142,333
700 55,162 552 184,000
800 68,911 689 229,667
900 83,857 839 279,667
1000 100,000 1,000 333,333
2000 317,464 3,175 1,058,333

Please note, given the sweeping assumptions, this table is purely illustrative and all the individual figures need to be taken with a cellar full of salt.

What Does the Table Tell us About Blog Growth?

Given the health warnings and sweeping assumptions the table tells us nothing in detail but it does illustrate the principle of exponential growth and there are lessons to be learned.

1. Most blogs will not generate significant views or earnings with less than 100 pages. It might be advisable not to monetize a blog until, you're happy with the design and have 100 pages of quality content.

2. Most people stop blogging before they've added enough content to know whether their blog could be successful.

3. If you persevere beyond 200 to 300 pages you might begin to generate significant views and revenue.

4. Once you start to generate significant numbers, adding more content may see your blog start to take off.

Other Blogging Success Factors

1. Motivation. If you blog about a subject that you find fascinating, you are much more likely to generate the quantity and quality of content to ensure success.

2. The popularity of your blog's topic.

3. The competitiveness and commercial appeal of your blog's topic.

4. Blog design.

5. Knowledge of on-the-page and off-the-page SEO techniques.

6. Whatever Google feels like doing today - perhaps the most important factor!

Bloggers- Does this Make Sense?

Do your blog numbers- views per month etc - fit (even approximately) within this table?

Do you agree that blogs are desperately slow to start growing but eventually growth can start to accelerate?

Please note, this may read as though I know what I'm talking about. I don't! I have one active blog, which has about 50 pages/posts and generates about 1,500 views and $15 per month- at least it fits approximately in my table. :) Having prepared the table, I'm keen to add another 50 pages to see if it starts to really grow.

Image Credit » The Key to Blogging Success

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MegL wrote on September 26, 2014, 11:59 AM

That's really interesting. My sister writes really funny material but only posted it on FB for her friends to read. I copied it and created a blog for her, with her permission, and am only now thinking of advising her to monetise.

Scorpie wrote on September 26, 2014, 4:32 PM

Man that is a lot of math. Can't you just hack a bank and send us some money? That would be easier.

AliCanary wrote on September 26, 2014, 4:34 PM

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to monetize my blog--Google is still telling me my blog doesn't "qualify" for AdSense, but not telling me exactly why, so I will know what to do. Maybe it's to add more content--when you say "100 pages", do you mean 100 articles, each on a separate page? I think I only have about 15, so far.

The really frustrating part is that I already HAVE an AdSense account that's just sitting there dormant, with a few bucks in it that I can't get to--why can't they just go ahead and put the two together? What do you do for money on your blog, Jason?

tinamarie wrote on September 26, 2014, 5:01 PM

You have just blogged my mind.

BarbRad wrote on September 26, 2014, 7:10 PM

Are you assuming the blogs are monetized with Google ads? Or affiliate links? Or both? My first and largest blog has only 66 posts. I don't think I've made a cent on it yet. My other blogs are just getting started.

Feisty56 wrote on September 26, 2014, 7:21 PM

I found I had not the sticktuitiveness necessary to be a successful blogger. Reading what you've theorized here, I believe I made the correct decision at the time. I understand your point here; the number are superfluous really -- but nicely done.

LarrySells wrote on September 28, 2014, 5:43 PM

I have two blogs one is my personal blog that I do my poetry on that has over 350 posts and 12 followers my other blog has less than 20 posts and 2 followers and it's for recovery is my subject. both are on tumblr.

suffolkjason wrote on September 29, 2014, 5:32 AM

It's 50% BS, 45% arithmetic and 6% bad maths!

suffolkjason wrote on September 29, 2014, 5:58 AM

I did mean 100 articles, each on a separate page. I had an Adsense account before I had a blog. To add adverts I signed into Google- went to Google Adsense-MyAds - created some ads and then pasted them to my blog.

suffolkjason wrote on September 29, 2014, 6:06 AM

Yes, mainly Google Ads- the rate I used of $3/1000 views is quite conservative I think. Some (commercial) niches can earn considerably more than that through a mix of Google, Amazon and other affiliate links. Some blogs- I guess those based on fiction, poetry or very narrow niches (e.g. bird watching in my back yard) might be difficult to monetize through advertising unless they are truly exceptional.

suffolkjason wrote on September 29, 2014, 6:14 AM

I love the word sticktuitiveness - first cousin to bouncebackability - I agree the numbers are essentially superfluous (and more than a little contrived!) but I think exponential growth is best explained and understood (at a visceral level) when illustrated with cold hard numbers. I also think that if you do commit to developing a blog it's useful to have the numbers to- set targets, measure progress, manage expectations and provide reassurance (especially in the slow early days).

AliCanary wrote on September 29, 2014, 6:24 PM

Oh, dang! I'll have to try that. I could advertise my Etsy shop, maybe.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 3, 2014, 1:08 AM

It does take awhile for blogs to pick up steam. I had 125 posts when I got distracted by my new addiction to social blogging at that other place. It laid abandoned for months, but yet it continued to receive what I consider a good number of views for something so neglected. My two newest blogs are still struggling to get many page views at all.

trufflehunter wrote on February 4, 2015, 6:27 PM

$15 a month is not bad. How long have you had your blog for?

MegL wrote on March 31, 2015, 5:23 PM

Hi SuffolkJason , I have shared this post on Tsu.