Welcome to the million dollar question: how much traffic does a website need to make money?
Is it a million hits per day? A hundred thousand? Or can you just sit back and let the cash roll in with a just a few hundred visitors per month?
We’re here to set the record straight and bust some myths about website traffic and profitability. So grab a coffee (or a stiff drink, depending on how you feel about your own website’s traffic numbers), and let’s dive in.
One common misconception is that you need a huge amount of traffic to make any money from your website. While it’s true that more traffic can lead to more opportunities to make money, it’s not the only factor. In fact, some websites are able to generate significant income with low traffic levels by focusing on targeted, high-value audiences and effective blogging business models.
Table of Contents
- Are blogs still profitable?
- Blog business models
- The importance of targeting the right audience for your website
- Making money with SEO and blogging
- Final Thoughts
Are blogs still profitable?
You may be thinking are blogs still profitable today? Yes, if you have a strategy to make money from your blog. No, if you don’t have a strategy. Ok, that’s a silly answer but you do need to think about how you plan to make money.
The first step to determine your blog revenue model is to examine various ways that you can make income from running a blog website, or a website that has a blog to support your existing products or services.
Blog business models
You need to decide what your blog business model will be. Is it to support your existing products or services? For instance you already sell on your website but you need a blog to drive more traffic to your website?
Perhaps you don’t have a business yet but are considering selling online and need a blog to get visitors to your website.
Perhaps you do not offer any products of your own but can sell other products via affiliate links, sponsorships or ads.
Perhaps you are happy to get some donations/tips from readers.
How much traffic does a website need to make money?
Depending on how you decide to make money from your blog will determine how much traffic you need.
If you are selling a high margin product or service you don’t need much traffic. It’s possible you only need 100-1000 visitors a month to make decent money for a high margin product.
For physical goods you will typically need high volume because the profit margin on these goods is usually small. You will need 10,000 or even 100,000+ visitors a month to make significant money.
These are just guidelines, it all depends on what you are selling and what the profit margin is.
Let’s give an example to make it easier to understand. I will make up some numbers to simplify this example.
You sell a product with a profit margin of $10.
Your conversion rate is 1% (that is 1% of visitors end up buying your product)
For 10,000 visitors a month you sell 100 products ( 10,000 x 0.01 )
You make a profit of $10 per product so your monthly income is $10 x 100 = $1,000 per month
If you boost your conversion rate to 2% you earn $2,000 per month.
If you then double your monthly visitors to 20,000 you make $4,000 per month.
This example above is to give you an idea of how you can make money from selling online. You have flexibility by varying the factors affecting your sales. You can increase your income by:
- increasing your conversion rate (% of visitors who buy your product)
- increase visitors to your site
- decreasing costs
- selling products with a higher profit margin
- adding additional revenue streams (ads, sponsorships)
Maximizing profits from low traffic websites
All blog owners start out with zero traffic. It can take a consider period of time before you have any organic search traffic to your website.
So, can you make money from a website if it has low traffic levels?
The good news is that it is possible to generate income from a website with low traffic. Here are a few money making strategies for low traffic websites.
Target a specific niche
By targeting a specific niche, you can attract a more targeted and engaged audience. This can be especially effective for websites with low traffic, as it allows you to focus your efforts on a specific group of people who are more likely to be interested in your content.
Before deciding on a blogging topic or niche check out the content from your competition first. If you find established websites in your niche it could too difficult to rank highly enough to be profitable. You may want to modify your niche to reduce the competition and improve your chances of succeeding.
Sell products or services
You can become an internet entrepreneur and sell your products or services directly to your audience. This can be especially effective if you have a unique or high-value product or service that is in demand.
Use affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn a commission by promoting other people’s products or services on your website. By partnering with relevant affiliates, you can monetize your website with a small but engaged audience.
I’ve written about affiliate marketing before, read more here: ShareASale Review: Drive targeted traffic to your Website
Learn more about Share-a-sale affiliate marketing below.
Offer premium content
If you have a small but engaged audience, you may be able to generate revenue by offering premium content, such as online courses or ebooks, to your audience. This can be a good way to monetize your website without relying on a large audience.
You can make videos, upload them to YouTube to see if you get good feedback first. If so you can make videos exclusively for your website and put them behind a paywall.
Remember to regularly evaluate and adjust your monetization efforts to ensure that you are getting the best results.
The importance of targeting the right audience for your website
It’s important to understand the importance of targeting the right audience for your website. Your audience is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in the content you produce and the products or services you offer. By targeting the right audience, you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately achieve profitability.
So, how do you determine the right audience for your website? Here are a few key considerations:
The first step is to identify your website’s niche, or the specific topic or industry you will be covering. This will help you attract the right audience and establish your website as a go-to resource for information on that topic.
Consider the demographics of your ideal audience, such as age, gender, location, and income level. This will help you tailor your content and marketing efforts to better reach and engage your target audience.
Interests and needs
Think about the interests and needs of your audience. What are they looking for when they visit your website? By understanding what your audience is interested in and how your content can meet their needs, you can create more targeted and effective marketing efforts.
Pay attention to how your audience is engaging with your content. Are they commenting on your blog posts, sharing your content on social media, or signing up for your email list? This can help you understand what types of content your audience is most interested in and how you can better engage them.
By targeting the right audience, you can create a more focused and effective marketing strategy.
Making money with SEO and blogging
What SEO factors are most important for bloggers?
Let’s examine the most important on-page SEO factors that will determine how profitable your blog will be.
Click Through Rates (CTR)
The quality of your blog articles doesn’t matter unless people are clicking on the links from Google search pages or other sources. The Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who see the link and click on it.
To increase your CTR (Click Through Rate) you must optimise two factors:
- Meta description
Your blog title will be displayed in the search results page. It should be compelling and easy to read and understand. Don’t try to be clever with your title, just make it as simple and understandable as possible.
The other factor on the search page is the meta description. This is the description about the blog article underneath the link. It should be crafted to provide more information about the blog article and provide some benefits the reader will receive from reading the article.
Spend time on these two factors – otherwise all the time you spend on your blog article will be wasted because no-one is clicking through to your content.
Using an SEO plugin helps with your headlines, meta description, titles and more. It is absolutely essential to optimize these factors to get organic search traffic to your website. I use the All in One SEO plugin that comes with a headline analyzer plus other on-page SEO features.
As a blog owner, you may be wondering how much traffic you need to achieve profitability. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Quick take aways from this article:
- pick a blogging model that works for you (e-commerce, ads, sponsorship, affiliate links, tips/donations)
- target a specific niche
- target the right audience for your niche
- optimize your CTR (click through rates) by picking good titles and meta descriptions
- monitor your results and adjust as needed
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