Do you have a website that’s NOT making a lot of money?
This is normally – but not always – a sign that your website isn’t getting enough traffic. If you’re wondering how much traffic does a website need to make money, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we’ll look at how many visitors you need to make money with a website. We’ll also go through different ways you can monetize your website, and look at the best traffic sources.
First of all, a website doesn’t need a lot of traffic to make money. The amount of money earned will depend on how the site is monetized and the click-through rate (CTR). As a rule of thumb, a website needs at least 50 page views per day to be profitable.
You can get hosting for a new website for as little as $2-3 per month, so profit isn’t too hard of a metric to hit for a new site.
Most new websites are monetized with Google AdSense. Here’s how to figure out the overall monetization possible with AdSense.
Step 1: Desired income / Earnings per click (EPC)
$1 per day / $1 EPC = 1 click, assuming you earn $1 a click.
Step 2: No. of clicks / Click-through rate (CTR)
1 click / 0.02 CTR = 50 page views. (Based on a 2% CTR. Average CTR is 1% to 3%.)
If you don’t get at least 50 page views per day (or about 1500 per month), it’s unlikely you’ll make money from your site.
Note: EPC will vary depending on your niche and keywords used so use the above example only as a rough guideline.
There are many posts online about how much money you can make from a blog or website. These posts often focus on highly successful, established bloggers. And this makes sense: it’s good to know the income potential of a successful website.
But in this article, I’ve decided to follow a slightly different approach.
If you’re wondering how much traffic a website needs to make money, you’re probably still learning how to make a blog successful. So, instead of only focusing on sites that get a ton of traffic, I’ve randomly selected some websites.
Tip: When calculating earnings vs traffic, always use RPM. RPM stands for Revenue Per Mille (“thousand” in Latin). It’s how much money the site is making per 1,000 page views.
If you only look at earnings or only look at income, you won’t be able to get the full picture.
All of the below blogs have Google Analytics installed, which shows how much traffic they’re getting every month. If you don’t use Google Analytics, you should start using it. It’s the best way to get accurate traffic information for your site, for free.
Google Analytics also provides information such as how long visitors stay on your site and how many pages they visit. This will help you identify areas that need to be improved.
Perfection Hangover – Personal Finance Blog
Traffic: 39,906 Page views.
Gross Income: $2475.30 ($2711.04 less $235.74 YouTube ad revenue) from:
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $1,285.67
– Affiliate Marketing: $714.63
– Sponsored Posts: $475.00
Total Income based on page views: $62.03 per 1,000 page views.
The Endless Meal – Food Blog
Traffic: 403,601 Page views.
Gross Income: $7,123.20 from:
– Ad Income (AdThrive): $5,875.00
– Sponsored Posts: $1,150.00
– Viglink: $83.70
– Affiliate Marketing: $14.50
Total Income based on page views: $17.65 per 1,000 page views.
Butternut Bakery – Food Blog
Traffic: 129,879 Page views.
Gross Income: $7,896.43 from:
– Sponsored Content: $4,450.00
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $1,286.02
– Freelance Photography: $1,780.00
– Affiliate Marketing: $380.41
Total Income based on page views: $60.80 per 1,000 page views.
Let’s Reach Success – Personal Finance Blog
Traffic: 83,499 Page views.
Gross Income: $5,437 from:
– Sponsored Content: $3,612
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $1,404
– Products (Books & Courses): $227
– Affiliate Marketing: $194
Total Income based on page views: $65.11 per 1,000 page views.
The Extra Income Project – Personal Finance Blog
Traffic: 20,343 Page views.
Gross Income: $143.80 from:
– Ad Income (Google Adsense & Mediavine): $131.80
– Affiliate Marketing: $12
Total Income based on page views: $7.07 per 1,000 page views.
Living the Dream – Travel Blog (Two Blogs)
Traffic: 160,100 Page views.
Gross Income: $3,446 from:
– Ad Income: $3,160
– Affiliate Marketing: $286
Total Income based on page views: $21.52 per 1,000 page views.
Midwest Foodie – Food Blog
Traffic: 224,590 Page views.
Gross Income: $3,735.73 from:
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $2,525.96
– Sponsored Content: $1,150.00
– Affiliate Marketing: $59.77
Total Income based on page views: $16.63 per 1,000 page views.
Blog Blossom – Make Money Online Blog
Traffic: 8,512 Page views.
Gross Income: $289.75 from:
– Ad Income (Google Adsense): $84.81
– Affiliate Marketing: $204.94
Total Income based on page views: $34.04 per 1,000 page views.
Nikki’s Plate – Lifestyle Blog
Traffic: 156,096 Page views.
Gross Income: $2,827.51 from:
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $2,726.68
– Affiliate Marketing: $100.83
Total Income based on page views: $18.11 per 1,000 page views.
40 Aprons – Food Blog
Traffic: 954,338 Page views.
Gross Income: $31,225.13 from:
– Ad Income (AdThrive): $25,421.00
– Coaching (Photography): $2,500
– Sponsored Content: $1.800
– Affiliate Marketing: $804.13
– Clients on Retainer: $550
– Own Products: $150
Total Income based on page views: $32.72 per 1,000 page views.
Ryan Robinson – Make Money Online Blog
Traffic: 720,705 Page views.
Gross Income: $21,200.09 from:
– Affiliate Marketing: $19,076.08
– Online Course Sales: $1,587.34
– Ad Income (Carbon Ads): $536.67
Total Income based on page views: $29.42 per 1,000 page views.
The Fiery Vegetarian – Food Blog
Traffic: 37,984 Page views.
Gross Income: $497.55 from:
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $497.55
Total Income based on page views: $13.10 per 1,000 page views.
THEFAB20S – Travel, Money, and Food Blog (Two Blogs)
Traffic: 184,983 Page views.
Gross Income: $5,187.98 from:
– Ad Income (Mediavine): $2,610.60
– Affiliate Marketing: $1,296.65
– Online Course (Blogging): $1,280.64
Total Income based on page views: $28.05 per 1,000 page views.
The above sample of randomly selected blogs isn’t large enough to reach a definitive conclusion on revenue vs traffic. However, we can learn a lot from it, and I don’t believe the results will change a lot for a larger sample.
RPM can change a lot from website to website.
Looking at the above blogs, you’ll notice the RPM (revenue per 1,000 page views) is all over the place. It ranges from a low of $7.07 to a high of $65.11.
Traffic isn’t the only factor that determines how much money a website makes.
The Endless Meal and Butternut Bakery are both food blogs. The Endless Meal gets over 200% more traffic than Butternut Bakery but makes less money and has a much lower RPM.
How you monetize your blog plays a huge role in how much money you can make from it!
Use multiple methods to monetize your blog.
Sites with the highest RPM on our list (above $60) have multiple income streams. The two sites with the lowest RPM on our list, namely $7.07 and $13.10 respectively, mainly rely on ad revenue only.
To make a decent monthly income from ads only, such as AdSense, you need a lot of traffic!
There isn’t an industry standard RPM per niche. However, as we’ve seen, blogs in the same niche can have totally different earnings per 1,000 page views.
The best idea is to benchmark your blog or website against others in your niche. This should give you a good idea of where you may be leaving money on the table.
Blogs in some niches are more inclined to publish income reports than other niches. Even if blogs in your niche don’t publish income reports, you should still look at their monetization methods.
Do a search in Google, using the following search term:
For example, if you’re in the travel niche, your search query will be as follows:
In the above example, there are 9,600 results. Not all of these blogs will publish detailed income and traffic statistics, but many will.
To determine the RPM per blog, use the following formula:
(Earnings / Page views) * 1,000
For example, if a blog makes $1,000 per month from 25,000 page views, its RPM is $40:
($1,000 / 25,000) * 1,000 = $40 per 1,000 page views.
The amount of traffic you need will depend on your goals. Do you want some extra cash, a decent side income, or a full time online business? You need a clear intention of what you would like to achieve with your blog or website.
A common goal of many part-time bloggers is to earn $100 a day. For many, it’s the level at which you can quit your job to become a full-time blogger.
If you already have a website you’ve monetized with something like AdSense, you can calculate how much traffic you need. You already know your earnings per click (EPC) and click-through rate (CTR) – from there, all you’ll need to start is to decide what your desired income is.
We use the same calculation method that was used earlier in this article.
Step 1: Desired income / Earnings per click (EPC)
$100 per day / $1 EPC = 100 clicks
To earn $100 a day at an average of $1 a click, you’ll need 100 clicks.
Step 2: No. of clicks / Click-through rate (CTR)
100 clicks / 0.02 CTR = 5,000 page views per day.
If your click-through rate is 2%, you’ll need 5,000 page views to get 100 clicks.
If you’re only looking for some extra cash or a decent side income, you obviously don’t need 5,000 page views. For example, to earn $10 a day you only need 500 page views. To earn $20 a day you need 1,000 page views, etc.
If you use other monetization methods, such as affiliate marketing, you’ll know how much you’re currently making from it as well. You’ll also know how much traffic your site is getting every month. Knowing this, you can calculate by how much your traffic should increase for you to reach your goal.
Perhaps you’re not making money from your website right now, or haven’t fully monetized it? Use information from fellow bloggers’ income reports to find out what’s possible and set a general goal for your website!
You can increase your website traffic and make more money in three ways:
Each of the above ways can by itself increase your website traffic and help you make more money. By doing all three, you can get much better results!
Here are six of the best ways to optimize your website so you can get more traffic and make more money.
Google can send a lot of free organic traffic to your site. Make sure your website is SEO friendly.
It falls outside the scope of the article to cover search engine optimization in detail, but here are a couple of suggestions:
Search engines want to present the best, most relevant content for user queries. You should want exactly the same thing.
You want visitors to spend as much time as possible on your site. This is a sign that your content is relevant and that people enjoy reading it.
The longer visitors remain on your site, the more likely it is they’ll do what you want them to do. This can be to click on ads, visit affiliate offers, buy your products, or sign up for your newsletter.
Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to find what they’re looking for.
You only get a couple of seconds at the most to grab the attention of a visitor. You may think you don’t need a “sales copy” unless you’re selling something. This isn’t true.
Every piece of content you publish on your website should entice people to perform a certain action.
To get started, follow a simple and easy content formula to use such as AIDA.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Attention – Make sure you use a strong headline that’s relevant to what people are looking for and will grab their attention.
Interest – Within the first paragraph, you should make people feel they’re on the right page. They should be interested in reading what you have to say.
Desire – You want people to feel you understand them, and can help them. If you do this correctly, they will feel a desire to do something.
Action – Tell people what to do. Don’t assume they will do what you want them to do. It’s called a “call to action.”
“If you want to [solution to problem], then click this link now for more information!”
The average click-through rate (CTR) is between 1% and 3%. If you’re promoting an affiliate offer and only 1% of your visitors click through to the merchant, you’re losing out.
By increasing your conversion rate from 1% to 2% you can potentially double your income from the same amount of website traffic! Many sites have a CTR of 5% and even higher, so working on your sales copy is time well spent.
One of the best ways to get more organic traffic and page views is to add new content to your site.
Tip: Use a free tool such as Ubersuggest to find easy keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Earlier in this article, we looked at how to find income reports for websites in the travel niche.
One of the websites that popped up is TwoWanderingSoles.com. All you need to do is enter the url of the website in Ubersuggest. It will show you the top pages and keywords the site is ranking for.
According to Ubersuggest, the above page gets an estimated 11,050 visits a month from Google. The keywords the site is ranking for such as “things to do in oregon portland” have a high search volume. They also have a low SEO Difficulty score.
You can save a lot of time by finding low competition keywords your competitors are ranking for. The most successful blogs add new content on a regular basis. You do not have to add new content every day, but try to add at least one new article every week.
Note: Not everyone enjoys writing or has the time to write. At BrandBuilders, we can provide you with premium quality SEO optimized content for your website.
Search engines and visitors both like fresh, relevant content.
Update and optimize old pages that aren’t ranking well. You can attract a lot of new traffic and increase page views by doing this!
Tip: Use PageOptimizer Pro to uncover keywords your competitors are using that help them rank on the 1st page of Google. They offer a 7-day free trial and it’s a great tool to use when you’re updating and optimizing old content.
Most visitors will leave your website and never return. A great way to increase your website traffic and make more money is to capture the email address of a visitor. By capturing their email address, you can send them regular emails (do not spam!) to check out new content.
Start building an email list as soon as possible. Your email list is traffic you own and it’s a very valuable asset to have.
ActiveCampaign is a good email marketing service provider. They have a solid reputation in the industry and I can recommend them.
The most frustrating part of a new website is that it can take months before you start seeing decent organic traffic from Google. New bloggers are often so focused on Google they forget there are many other traffic sources.
By “many other traffic sources,” I’m not referring to paid advertising sources. The vast majority of personal websites don’t spend money on ads, unless they are ecommerce stores.
One of the blogs we looked at earlier in this article is Midwest Foodie.
It was mentioned that, based on their last income report, the blog made $3,735.73 and had 244,590 page views. This was for January 2020.
Many people would automatically assume it’s mostly organic traffic from Google. You might be surprised to learn that only 22.30% of the traffic was organic traffic from Google.
The majority of the website traffic came from social media.
The owner of the blog, Kylie, was kind enough to publish a breakdown of her traffic sources.
Social media was by far her #1 source of website traffic, with 64.92% of her website traffic coming from social media. Here’s the complete breakdown of her social media traffic:
> Pinterest: 91.71%
> Facebook: 6.19%
> BuzzFeed: 1.78%
> Instagram: 0.30%
She’s pretty good at Pinterest marketing. However, her results for Facebook and especially Instagram are not great. She has more than likely not yet focused on those platforms.
At BrandBuilders, we believe that affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a website. We have some articles that’ll help you not only with affiliate marketing but also to get tons of traffic from social media.
The above resources can help you a lot if you have a new site that doesn’t get a lot of traffic from search engines. It can also help if you’re getting decent traffic from search engines but would like to supercharge the social traffic you receive.
Social media platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram are obviously not the only way you can increase your website traffic. There are many other sources as well, such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The better you know and understand your target audience, the better you’ll be able to reach them. Go to the places they hang out online, such as niche forums, and contribute.
It may seem like a lot of work to be active on various platforms. However, if you plan your content creation strategy in advance, it’s not difficult to manage everything.
Tip: Try to repurpose the same information for various platforms.
Building a website takes time and effort. It’s great when your hard work finally starts paying off. However, the amount of money you can make doesn’t only depend on how much traffic you get. How you choose to monetize your website plays a very big role.
Here are some of the best ways you can monetize your website.
Many people, especially new bloggers, primarily focus on monetizing their website using AdSense.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the average click-through rate (CTR) varies between 1% and 3%. You need a lot of traffic or to rank well for highly competitive topics, such as insurance, to make decent money.
The reason you don’t want ads on a sales page is they can be distracting. You want people to focus 100% on your offer. You don’t want people to click on an ad from your competitor.
Google does provide a calculator that shows how much you can expect to earn. This is based on the location of your visitors, your niche, and monthly page views.
The categories and expected earnings per month based on 50,000 page views are:
(For North America)
In alphabetical order
Arts & Entertainment – $3,744
Autos & Vehicles – $7,464
Beauty & Fitness – $6,042
Books & Literature – $3,462
Business & Industrial – $10,986
Computers & Electronics – $4,530
Finance – $18,720
Food & Drink – $5,010
Games – $2,694
Health – $10,506
Hobbies & Leisure $6,756
Home & Garden – $13,026
Internet & Telecom – $8,172
Jobs & Education – $8,226
Law & Government – $8,226
News – $4,272
Online Communities – $5,058
People & Society – $6,054
Pets & Animals – $7,452
Real Estate – $13,446
Reference – $5,430
Science – $5,082
Shopping – $7,938
Sports – $3,888
Travel – $9,210
The top 5 earning categories are:
$18,720 – Finance
$13,446 – Real Estate
$13,026 – Home & Garden
$10,986 – Business & Industrial
$10,506 – Health
The earnings calculator is at best only a very rough indication of your potential earnings per niche.
According to the calculator, you could earn $5,010 per month for 50,000 page views if you’re in the food & drink niche. That gives you a RPM of $100.20 per 1,000 page views. Let’s now compare that to some food blogs we covered earlier in this article.
The Endless Meal – $5,875 from AdThrive for 403,601 page views = RPM $14.56
Butternut Bakery – $1,286.02 from Mediavine for 129,879 page views = RPM $9.90
Midwest Foodie – $2,525.96 from Mediavine for 224,590 page views = RPM $11.25
40 Aprons – $25,421 from AdThrive for 954,338 page views = $26,64
The Fiery Vegetarian – $497.55 from Mediavine for 37,984 page views = $13.10
Not one of the food blogs on our list even comes close to a RPM of $100.20. In addition, none of them use AdSense. They all use Mediavine or AdThrive, which are known to pay more than AdSense per 1,000 page views.
Before you start thinking AdSense is bamboozling us, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Advertisers pay Google different rates for different keywords. The number of ads on a page and the position of the ads also play a role.
Here is the CPC for “recipes,” according to Ubersuggest:
Here are the CPC for “food,” according to Ubersuggest:
As you can see, the Cost Per Click (CPC) is all over the place, depending on the keyword.
Most bloggers start off with AdSense. Many then move to a service such as Mediavine or AdThrive as soon as they have enough traffic.
To work with AdThrive, you need a minimum of 100,000 monthly page views.
To work with Mediavine, you need a minimum of 50,000 sessions (not page views) per month. (It used to be 25,000 sessions, but this was increased to 50,000 sessions on 15 June 2020)
Considering you can potentially earn a lot more with Mediavine than AdSense, it makes sense to switch when you can. According to Niche Pursuits, their ad earnings increased by 80% when they switched from AdSense to Mediavine.
If you’re not currently able to qualify for Mediavine or AdThrive, don’t despair. There are more than likely things you can do to boost your AdSense earnings. These include:
Use ad sizes that are popular with advertisers.
SEMrush analyzed over 63,000 advertisers and publishers. They found the most popular ad sizes are 728 x 90 and 300 x 250.
Run several ads on a page, but don’t overdo it.
Adsense works on a bidding system. There’s a theory that you’ll make more money per click if you have fewer ads on a page. Based on some studies, it would appear this theory is not correct, and that fewer ads normally equal less income.
If you’re currently only running one or two ads, consider increasing it. But be careful not to create a bad user experience that makes people leave your site.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money online. It’s no coincidence that many successful bloggers use affiliate marketing as the #1 income stream for their blogs.
With affiliate marketing, the sky’s the limit. Successful affiliate marketers can earn $150,000 per year like Tom Dupuis of Online Media Masters. They can also earn a lot more, like Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents.
Michelle regularly earns over $100,000 per month from her blog, and the majority of her income comes from affiliate marketing.
It’s interesting to note, as many marketers become more successful with affiliate marketing, they reduce display ads on their blog. The main reason is it’s more profitable for them if visitors click on their affiliate links than on ads.
Note: Obviously not all affiliate marketers are making a ton of money. As with any business, what you put in is what you get out. Treat it as a part-time hobby, and it’ll pay you like it’s a part-time hobby.
To become successful at affiliate marketing, you need the right mindset. See yourself as the owner of a new startup. Treat your website like a business.
What’s affiliate marketing?
To get started with affiliate marketing, you have to enter into an agreement with a merchant. You agree to promote products in return for a commission on sales. When someone you referred to the merchant through your affiliate link buys a product, you make money.
Advantages of affiliate marketing.
Some of the main advantages of affiliate marketing include:
Affiliate Marketing vs AdSense
There are two main differences between affiliate marketing and AdSense.
Top affiliate programs and affiliate networks
Some of the top affiliate programs and affiliate networks include the following:
Amazon is our #1 affiliate network.
Amazon needs no introduction, and this is their main advantage over many other affiliate programs, as well as AdSense.
Would you rather click on an ad for a product that’s sold on Amazon, or a lesser known merchant? Obviously, you would choose Amazon, because:
With Amazon, you can expect to earn between 1% and 10% commission, depending on the product you’re promoting.
Note: At BrandBuilders, we specialize in building high-quality websites for Amazon affiliate marketing. Feel free to have a look at available pre-made affiliate sites. You’re also welcome to order a custom affiliate site.
ClickBank is a great affiliate marketplace for digital products that pay up to 75% affiliate commissions. You can find many products to promote, covering a large range of niche markets.
Many of the sales pages look dated, but if you look around, you can find some real gems to promote.
ShareASale is a well-established affiliate network that has been around for 20 years. They host 3,900+ affiliate programs across 40 different categories.
Unlike Amazon, commission rates are set by the individual merchants and not ShareASale itself.
FlexOffers is an affiliate network that hosts 12,000+ affiliate programs. They are not as old or as well known as ClickBank or ShareASale. They’ve been around since 2008, though, and have seen huge growth since then.
As is the case with ShareASale, commission rates are set by the individual merchants and not FlexOffers.
Reading through this article, you would have noticed that “sponsored content” or “sponsored partnerships” are often used to monetize a website. It’s a good way to make money.
If you have a new site that isn’t getting a lot of traffic, it probably wouldn’t work for you right now. On the other hand, if you’re seen as an influencer in your niche, it’s a way to boost your earnings.
With sponsored content, you’re paid to publish content on your site. In the majority of cases, the content will be given to you and is subject to your approval. In some cases. though, you may be requested to write the content yourself.
ValuedVoice is a good platform to use if you’re getting a lot of traffic to your site or social media channels.
SeedingUp specializes in connecting brands and influencers. Like ValuedVoice, they see successful sites as “influencers.”
Selling your own products / services is an excellent way to make more money from your website. It can be an online course, ebook, coaching, consulting, or even physical products. You can also combine various products and services.
For example, let’s assume you’re good at woodworking and want to build a blog around it.
You can create the following sales funnel:
You can even take it a step further and get affiliates to promote your online courses and membership site!
The above example is obviously not only limited to woodworking. I can think of many niches where it can be applied, such as health & fitness, food, dog training, etc.
Here are some great resources that can help you:
Teachable is the most popular online course platform.
Their Basic Plan is only $39 a month. With it, you can create unlimited courses, have unlimited students, and upload unlimited content for your courses. You can also create product bundles, coupons, offer your customers payment plans, and run a membership.
Their Pro Plan is $119 a month. It has everything that’s included in the Basic Plan. In addition, you don’t have to pay transaction fees (5% under Basic Plan) and you can enroll affiliates to promote your products.
Both their Basic Plan and Pro Plan give you the ability to charge for add-ons. For example, you can charge a customer for a course but can also charge the customer for one-on-one coaching.
Podia is a lot more than just an online course platform. They have two reasonably priced plans, namely a Mover Plan for $39 a month, and a Shaker Plan for $79 a month.
Their Shaker Plan offers unlimited courses, webinars, downloads, and memberships. It also comes with an in-house email marketing component so you can grow your list. It’s the only online course platform that offers you a live chat option to communicate with visitors.
If you’re looking for an easy way to sell an ebook or other digital products from your website, consider Easy Digital Downloads. It’s a WordPress plugin that’s quick and easy to install and set up. It has a free version which should meet most of your needs.
We covered a lot of ground in this article on how much traffic does a website need to make money. Here’s a quick summary of some of the most important points we looked at!
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