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|Assigning a Dollar Amount Per Page of Content|
How Much Does a Page Earn Per Year?
I found this very interesting.
It's an interview at Wired [wired.com] with Harold Davis, a longtime AdSense user.
For those of you who always wonder about how much content you need, or if it's worth it, or if it's better to not worry about content, you might find some answers. A quote from the article:
|As for money, people who are really in the business of making a living off content pages say they average about $10 a page per year. |
I find this number quite reasonable - it's not going to match every type of blog, far from it, but I think that if you assign a dollar amount to every page you write, even if you are very conservative in the amount, I think when you measure it out over the course of a year, you'll have a good idea of the worth, as well as what you should strive for.
Too many people are like "well I have 30 pages of content, why can't I make more money", maybe it'll inspire them, make them realize that it's not as easy as throwing up a few dozen pages and expecting the bucks to roll in.
[edited by: jatar_k at 5:29 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2006]
He seems to be saying that this rule is for content sites generally, not just blogs....
I'm making $40+/page/year from a small content site, with AdSense the primary but not the only source of income.
[added]After seeing his advice that setting up blogs on legal issues because of the high-value litigation-related keywords, I'm not sure I entirely trust his judgment. "Go forth, and chase keywords!"
He's giving advice about doing websites to chase money, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with it, but I like the part about $10 a page - not because I think every page will generate $10, because some will generate much more and some will generate much less.
I just think that if people want to think about value and how much content they should add, if they assign a dollar value to their pages, it becomes much more real.
We tell people all the time "you need to add more quality content" and if they think about it in monetary terms, it becomes not only more real, but it can help justify the time they spend.
I just did some quick calculations and found that, for my main blog, I averaged $3 a page for last year.
But then, I have thousands of pages :)
|He seems to be saying that this rule is for content sites generally, not just blogs.... |
That's the impression I got, too, even if the interview is mainly about blogging.
$10 per page per year sounds extremely low to me, but it could be high for a political blog or a personal diary.
Even within a given site, what's high for one page be low for another. On a travel-planning site, for example, a page about lodgings in Manhattan will earn many times what the same site might earn from a page about cemeteries in Brooklyn.
Bottom line: Averages are meaningless.
(BTW, I agree that earning money from content isn't as easy as throwing up a few dozen pages and waiting for the cash to roll in. Successful for-profit publishing on the Web demands the same kind of skills, planning, and execution that are needed in the offline world, even if production and distribution costs are far lower.)
I also think it's a good idea to have a good rough estimate like this. It helps others who are new and want to make more understand how much they'll have to do. But the thing to keep in mind here is we are talking CONTENT - not rehashed rewritten garbage that's already on the web 1,000 times already, or "Free Content" or Press Releases taken from the press wire services.
Content means actual, original content.
My 2 cents.
To me $10 per page per annum sounds reasonable.
I wonder if someone could do some research and enable comparison between the different leading contextual advertising networks:
Yahoo Publishers Network
IMHO this kinda calculations are basically meaningless...i have pages that make just $1/year to more than 100k/year...Go figure
the 100k is rupees I take it :-P
That is a very stupid number.
I'd never calculated this...but one of my sites is rather small. It used to be 18 pages up until a week ago, and over the last year I averaged $77.00/page for the year, and I never made a penny from most of those pages. So that $10.00 figure is very dependant upon what type of site you have, how it is laid out, where the ads are, etc.
|I also think it's a good idea to have a good rough estimate like this. It helps others who are new and want to make more understand how much they'll have to do. But the thing to keep in mind here is we are talking CONTENT - not rehashed rewritten garbage that's already on the web 1,000 times already, or "Free Content" or Press Releases taken from the press wire services. |
To work this into something more meaningful, we can tell newcomers "think of it like this - every page on your site has the potential to generate at least $5-10 a year. Whether or not you earn that much per page, or less than that or more than that, is up to you".
I think when you put it in perspective of potential dollars per page, I think it's easier for them to understand the argument for quality writing.
I know plenty of people that generate 500 pages a year, but that earn quite a bit ($50 - $100 a page is not unreasonable) because it's well-written, which leads to a lot more backlinks and discussion.
$10 might not be right for everyone - and there's little point filling this thread with "I get $13 so the guy is talking bull" posts.
The key point raised is that by putting a figure on each page you create - $11 - $10 - $300 - whatever works for you - will encourage you to keep creating pages.
It's about MOTIVATION people!
>> because it's well-written, which leads to a lot more backlinks and discussion.
It doesn't even have to be well written or useful at all. This is not a site I was proud of and that's why I fixed it up recently and made it a useful resource; but the site that I mentioned above was a piece of junk. Honestly. It had two pages of content (original but bad content).
|That is a very stupid number. |
It's a very arbitrary number, make no mistake.
The fact that it's making a few people go back and think about their average income per page, and even individual pages, is good.
It's also good in explaining to new people why it's important that they add content to their site, and why they shouldn't expect to start making money over night.
How many times have we seen people come in saying "I have 30 pages, why am I only making $0.50 a day". You could mention "well your site is averaging $6 per page, per yer, maybe you need to bump the number of pages up".
Kufu: in your case, people were using AS to exit :-)
>> Kufu: in your case, people were using AS to exit :-)
I have no problem with that. ;)
I've since fixed that site, so my page views are actually up, since I have useful content and resources on there.
He's in the wrong industry. But, as a mass majority average, it is probably right. Its possible most people doing adsense even come close to those figures. As with everything else, it is likely 20% of the people making 80% of the money.
I based my decision to convert my internet promotion company into an online magazines compnay had been based on such calculations.
In average, one new page from me performs better, but not much better in terms of yearly earnings.
|That is a very stupid number. |
It isn't stupid; it's just one person's average (or estimated average), which will be valid for some sites but not for all.
As others have said, "it's about motivation," and in any case, a site earning $10 per page that has a lot of pages could be doing very well indeed.
|it is likely 20% of the people making 80% of the money. |
Assuming the normal distribution prevails, it is not just likely, it is certain.
I find the $ per page concept to be largely bogus. Obviously, any site can divide revenue by the number of pages to arrive at a value, but to suggest that the number is meaningful anywhere else is wrong. It may even be wrong to assume that adding content on the same site will produce similar revenue. The problems are too many:
- different sites get traffic (both overall and per page) that differs by many orders of magnitude.
- even on the same site, pages get very different traffic levels. Total traffic may be dominated by a small number of pages.
- different sites (and sometimes pages on the same site) have very different revenue potential for the same traffic; compare pages on a site about mesothelioma with pages from a personal diary of random thoughts.
- ad placement, number of ads, types of users, etc., all affect revenue.
eCPM is a more useful tool, IMO, as it at least takes traffic out of the comparison. Even eCPM, of course, will vary wildly between sites. If you start comparing similar sites (or sections of the same site), though, eCPM can provide some useful prescriptive data.
For this metric to have any validity you'd have to assume that doubling the number of pages on your site would approximately double your earnings. That may be true for some, but not for me. I have fairly complete coverage of my subject area and doubling the number of pages on my site would raise my income by (at a guess, obviously) maybe 20% or so.
There's another rule at work here: the law of diminishing returns. I already cover the most important and the most popular areas of my subject area fairly well, so as I add more content it is in areas that are less and less valuable.
|There's another rule at work here: the law of diminishing returns. I already cover the most important and the most popular areas of my subject area fairly well, so as I add more content it is in areas that are less and less valuable. |
That might not be true of another site or another topic, though.
|Obviously, any site can divide revenue by the number of pages to arrive at a value, but to suggest that the number is meaningful anywhere else is wrong. It may even be wrong to assume that adding content on the same site will produce similar revenue. |
Roger has some good points there regarding how those numbers may not say something about the niche, and for doing estimates on a web page's potential for earning.
For example, I have one page that averages $10-$20 per day. I wished every page on my site did as well, but they don't.
Nevertheless the way I made that page perform was by reviewing the most popular pages and channel tracking them, then trying out different ad layouts until I reached a satisfactory earning.
That was one page that received a lot of traffic. I then checked my logs for section traffic, finding the most popular sections of my site. For that I created a channel for each section and experimented with ad placements throughout each section until I was satisfied with my earnings for that section.
I have another site that has a number of very popular pages, so I have to channel track those pages individually, as opposed to as a group.
This quote is priceless:
|Davis: To the extent to which these are automated systems, they don't always work very well. Sometimes it's fun to watch the context ads that appear on one's blog. They aren't always a good fit. |
How do you expect an automated system to make sense of the hodge podge that is your average blog?
Is that the fault of AdSense, the poor design of the blog software, or the person randomly blogging about a variety of topics that appear on a single page? I'll suspect AdSense is confused because of the way the blogs work and how bloggers blog.
It can be fixed but nobody seems to care so the status quo remains and people just complain about AdSense instead.
Oh yeah, and if all my pages earned only $10/year I'd shoot myself.
I'll take you up on the $10 per-page-per-year offer, Mr. Davis. Heck I'll even settle for $1 pppy.
Then again, my CPM is about $5, so using this figure, I would need to only get 2,000 visitors per year to every page, or ~5 per day. Not impossible at all, I think.
|I find the $ per page concept to be largely bogus |
For an original content site I think it is very important. Not the "$10" average, which I agree in itself is bogus, but estimating what ROI you are going to get from potential new pages. This will determine how much time or cost to invest.
Eg: if I write a new content page (not a blog) I'll likely spend most of a day on it, crafting the wording etc.. For a $10/annum return that would simply be uneconomic.
For those employing people to write, or paying authors for original articles, the projected income per page is surely an important part of the decision-making/negotiation process.
I've never thought of calculating per page per year earnings, but that is interesting.
Currently my site makes about $50/pppy. Compared to $10pppy that is pretty good. If I could just add pages and be guaranteed that they would make $50 a year... it would be cool if it only worked that way.
But still, it is kind of inspiring to have an average price I can look at to justify the time I spend on the site :)
If one doubles their pages (assuming that there is still fresh content to be covered) is it possible to double income?
|I've never thought of calculating per page per year earnings, but that is interesting. |
I calculate an average site eCPM (based on total earnings from AdSense, display ads, affiliate sales), which is another way of looking at things. I also have a very rough idea of earnings per page per month. (I say "very rough" because I rarely check how many pages I have, and the number keeps growing.) I don't know how useful either number is, but it's nice to at least have the illusion that I know where I stand and where I'm headed.
|If one doubles their pages (assuming that there is still fresh content to be covered) is it possible to double income? |
It depends on the pages, how much traffic they get, and the revenue potential of their topics. In theory, you could get triple or quadruple the income from a doubling of pages--or very little additional revenue, if the pages are duds.
I recently had the experience of adding ONE page and having my visitors more than double. It was quite a shock, actually. I thought the page wouldn't be of much interest but I had some spare time and put it up anyway. I didn't check my stats for a few days, then I logged into my account and saw $73 earnings instead of my daily average (and generally steady) of $28-30. It's stayed up above $50 since then and I hope that will continue.
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