How much traffic should you have before you're a "platform"?

A long while ago, someone posed this question to me (was it Miss Kitty??) "How many hits do you have to get before adding ads?".  I think the better question is "How many hits do I have to have before I am a publishing "platform"?  You see, advertisers want a platform to place their product on.  You might not have tons and tons of traffic, but maybe you have a very highly niched blog with many loyal readers from a certain genre.  Advertisers in that genre want to know you, so you need to play up that strength when initially contacting them.  So think of yourself as a platform and consider your numbers when defining your platform.  Then you are ready to start identifying where you are in the step by step working of becoming a paid blogger.

Now to be quite honest, I am not an expert on the behind the scenes workings at ad networks and I am not quite sure exactly what the cutoff rate is for including blogs into their network.  What I do know is what I've gleaned from personal experience.  Get ready for some actual is to being an open book!

for bloggers generic button

Here goes....

STEP by STEP to Becoming a Publishing Platform

Step 1 -- It seems like everything began when my monthly hits were hovering right around 20,000 a month or 700-1,000 hits a day.  The emails started coming in from advertisers and I began to be accepted into networks and such.

Step 2  -- It seems like everything became a legitimate business when hits were around 30,000 or consistently hitting 1,000 a day. 

Step 3 -- I actually started making worthwhile money around 50,000-100,000 hits a month.

Step 4 -- Your blog can make money when you are not actually posting.  Several thousand hits are coming in on weekends when I post nothing thanks to sites like craftgawker and and PINTEREST!  that never sleep and consistently send readers.  Once readers arrive, there are backlogs of posts, (pages and pages of them!), and readers as readers sift through various posts, they create more traffic.  So that content is king line...yeah that is true, but the HORSE that transports the king....those are your aggregation sites.  You need both or your king might be grand, but he isn't going anywhere.  (PS -  sites like Shelterness that STEAL your content are NOT good for you.  You want sites - like the SITS Girls! - that will PUSH traffic your way.  I call this traffic sucks vs. traffic drivers.  Be careful to whom you give your content to!)

Step 5 -- Other paid opportunities become available.  This is where I am now.  I am able to contact bigger publishers, or new aggregation sites come to me and offer opportunities to use my talent (writing and/or photography) or my publishing platform (my blog) for their benefit.  What do I benefit?  $$$ and a wee bit of exposure.

Step 6 -- Give me a few months and I'll let you know what step 6 is ;) 

PS***  All stats listed are blogger stats, so if you are using google analytics, shave off some numbers and get started with ads when you are around 10,000 monthly unique visitors.

Where does the money come from??
My favorite moneymaker is through ad networks.  I am part of Rivit and Clever Girls and they are easy money because all I do is focus on my traffic and tweet once in awhile (for CG) and my numbers, content and hits bring in the bucks.  You might want to try to find a niched network (Rivit is all Home/DIY blogs), or go with a large network like Blogher or Federated Media.

My next favorite money maker is the Amazon Affiliate Program.  You can read all about my experiences with them right HERE.

Last, but not least are individual advertisers.  Advertisers email me directly or through networks such as Blogvertise or Business to Blogger.   These advertisers want buttons,badges, links and posts.  I do these once in awhile, but not all the time.  I don't want to use up all my trust bucks on singular companies.  (What -- you missed the memo on trust bucks??  You can read all about my trust buck theories HERE!)

SO now it is time for YOUR questions!  Do you want to start making money, but you don't think you have enough traffic?  Have you created good content but it just isn't getting noticed?  Are you curious about ad networks?  What is stopping you from making a salary off of your work?  Please ask anything...I will try my best to answer or someone else is bound to know!!  No stupid questions!


Learn How to Make Money with Amazon Associates

What are Trust Bucks and Why do They Matter?

The Sins of Blogging - GREED

Want more posts from the Nest for All Seasons?  Follow along on the Nest for All Seasons board on pinterest, or the Nest facebook page!

This series is part of the Wanna Make $$$?  Trust Buck Your Way to Becoming a Publishing Platform by Amy Renea.
For more information on securing Amy for speaking engagements, please email .

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Nessa Bixler said…
Love the new header Amy... you always have such great information - on everything!
I'm really not getting very good trafic and I think I'm doing pretty good with my content. I also post quite often, but really the only people supporting my site are friends and family. I have a facebook fanpage, but only just recently created pinterest and twitter pages, which I'm hoping will help boost my pageviews. Are there any other ways I can get my name out there???
Amy Renea said…
Thanks Nessa!

TMM -- that is the next topic!! Coming soon!
Amy Gay said…
I'm with TMM. I'm not getting nearly the traffic my craft deserves. But since I'm a quilter and not a crafter, I have a hard time. Many quilters are old ladies, and don't give a rat's patoot what MY quilts look like!! LOL
Amy Renea said…
TMM and Amy Gay -- I hear you!! My favorite way to gain focused followers that actually WANT to read what you are writing about is to submit your work to compilation sites. Amy -- for quilting, you might try submitting to -- they have a fabulous readership and send lots of good traffic!
Laurali Star said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurali Star said…
Hi Amy! This is my first time visiting your site and plan to peruse through the other posts and pages. As a new business owner/blogger, I found this post to be very helpful.
I'm in the final stages of creating an online women's lifestyle design club and don't have a lot of traffic as of yet. I'm launching on Halloween but signing up members now. It's posts like these and blogs like yours that give me hope. Thanks so much!
Hi Amy:

This post was very helpful. Thank you.

I've been blogging for 15 months now. I post daily plus an extra post on Monday. I have a FB page and a Twitter account and have been pinning every post for the last couple of weeks. I also post a daily tip on FB and Twitter. I spend time commenting on other blogs and reading books and articles to help me learn. I am doing an occasional guest post. The only advertising I currently have is Google Adsense and an unpaid ad for a friend.

I've been seeing a steady increase in my traffic since I started the blog but it seems like it's been really slow. I am working hard and believe I have practical, helpful blog. But I really need to make some income. I understand that it takes time but I'm a bit discouraged at how long it's taking. I would feel better, I think, if I knew my progress was typical. It seems like other blogs are doing a lot better and growing faster.

My traffic is pretty evently split between google, facebook and direct hits.

Do I just keep plugging away or am I doing something wrong?
Amy Renea said…
Hi Patty -

You've got a great looking site and a very clear homemakers niche. You need to start getting eyes on your content!! Try submitting some of your recipes to foodgawker or tastespotting and if that does not work, try submitting them to sites like Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen or Homepodge. For your cleaning tips/ home tips, try uploading your pictures and a snippet (just a snippet -- don't give away the full content of the post!) on a site like Hometalk and then network there. Once you have a few features, your traffic will start to build slowly, but it will be genuine readers interested in home economics.

Hope that helps a bit!!
Amy Renea said…
It's ALLLLLL about getting more focused eyes on your content and it doesn't happen just on your home site. It happens by getting your name out there. Compare it to a movie - if it just hits the theatres, it won't do well. Actors go to large TV shows for MONTHS ahead of time to promote their movie. In the same way, you've got to get your stuff out there and promote it! The fine line is how much to give away as a feature vs. losing content for free. Shelterness - BAD. Craftgawker - GOOD. Does that make sense?
Jean said…
Thanks for the 411!
Thank you, Amy. I love the movie analogy - hadn't thought of it that way and didn't know I needed to do that. I thought FB, Twitter and Pinterest were enough. Thanks for pointing me the right direction. I'll get on it.
Nessa said…
I was never really one who wanted to make money off my blog, but the harder things get financially around home, the more I wouldn't mind some kind of extra income, especially since I can't work more hours at my actual job due to my daughter.
But with that being said, my blog is a little newer and I don't always have the time to put as much effort into it as I need to. Still, this post does help quite a bit to put things in perspective.
Thank you and I too will check into Hometalk! My blog is just 4 months old and I think I have done good so far. My traffic keeps increasing, not sure if you were referring to hits or visits, but my hits are there! My page visits are not. Any other tips for home Decor bloggers?
Amy Renea said…
Recreate and Decorate -- def. check Hometalk. They are the new kid on the block and send a good amount of traffic if your post is interacted with there. Keep commenting back with readers there and interacting with them for the best experience! My favorite site hands down for home decor is craftgawker and dwellinggawker. I'm also a fan of craft gossip and the apartment therapy sites for a little focused traffic.

I am referring to total pageviews...and again it is not set in stone -- just what I observed in my experience :)

Nessa - I totally understand! Here's to hoping you find 1 or 2 new little ways to round up some extra income!! Let me know if you have any questions?!?
Laurali Star said…
Just wanted to say I liked the movie analogy too. That's kind of what I've been doing and so it seems I'm on the right track. I've just started to promote before the grand opening. Very good advice indeed:)
Jessie Akos said…
Numbers!! YAY! This post was so extremely helpful, thank you. (I'm stopping by from Sits.) Now I just need to increase my traffic. I would LOVE to read a special post all about increasing blog traffic. I've done several guest posts and even on huge blogs that get lots of traffic, I haven't noticed a ton of hits coming from those. I worry about wasting my time and getting distracted guest posting, and doing guest reviews, etc...any thoughts? Thanks again for the great advice.
Amy Renea said…
Jessie - I think guest posting is all about the "cred" as opposed to the numbers. I do a post or a few just to get the "I was published on FORBES" or whatever, but then don't do more unless I am paid.

The compilation sites like foodgawker or craft gossip are more helpful with traffic as they offer a hook about your content, 1 photo and then throw the traffic directly to you. FAR more helpful than guest posting!
cHriStiNa said…
Awesome! This helps me a lot.
Jennifer Colgan said…
This is such a great post, thank you so much!
Thanks for the helpful info. I am a rookie blogger so this is far off for me. But, I have been wondering how much blog traffic is considered advertising worthy. Now I will know for the future.
Thank you for your honesty - this was very helpful! I'll look forward to your next post about driving more traffic! BTW - saw you're in Hershey...I'm a fellow central PA blogger (in Mechanicsburg)! If you ever want to meet up and talk blogs, let me know...I'm always up for meeting other local mom bloggers! :) I found your post through SITS.
Thanks for such an awesome post! I've been blogging for years and have never been able to figure out when it'll be "right" to start seeking advertisers.

I used to use Amazon Affiliates for my old book review site, but sadly my state killed that for me by charging taxes, so Amazon pulled that program from Connecticut residents. I don't know which states did the same, so my advice to anyone interested in selling things on their site through Amazon is to look into it before you incorporate it into your business plan.
Amy Renea said…
oh man Elizabeth - that stinks -- sorry to hear that :(
I appreciate all of y'all stopping by and your sweet comments. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have!!

MAW - I facebooked you!
Haley Bartlett said…
I could so use some help right now. I have been blogging for a month. I blog about natural healthy living. I need somewhere like these above sites where I can get my site out there.

I would appreciate any suggestions :)


Amy Renea said…
Haley - check out my "for foodies" page to see all the food sites you can submit healthy recipes to and anything crafty-ish (like soap making, healthy cleaners, etc) can be submitted to craftgawker. Just give it an element of "craft" (like cute tags, containers, etc) and take a beautiful photo!
Amy Renea said…
Hometalk and Homepodge will also work for you Haley on a smaller scale!
This is great! Thanks for posting it. I started doing ads for Blogher a while ago, when my numbers were REALLY low. But my numbers have definitely jumped thanks to Pinterest and other social media platforms and now I'm making SOME $$. I defintely find it to be a fine line though between tons of ads and MY original content. So I try to be picky about what I blog about or allow on my blog. But trust me, making even a little bit of $$ is really nice.
Chelsea said…
I'd love to garner traffic by doing some nice giveaways, but nobody responds to my sponsorship requests! Any ideas on how to pull that off with a blog that isn't as popular?
Amy Renea said…
Ashley - you are totally right on about the makes ALL the difference in the world!

Chelsea - I thought the same thing about giveaways, but surprisingly, many readers don't like smaller giveaways and the huge ones require really huge numbers (that I don't have). I have shifted my focus to working with brands to sponsor posts instead of giveaways and that seems to work better. Asking a brand for a giveaway feels a little like "asking for free stuff" (even though it is for your readers) while integrating a brand into posts feels more like advertising for them.
This is finally the information I have been searching for. Thanks for a great post. I will be looking into everything you suggested. One question I still have is, what can I do to get more people to actually subscribe to my blog. I have a few thousand likes on FB but not nearly the same amount of subscribed readers. My stats are pretty good though.
Amy Renea said…
How is your traffic buttercream? Are those facebook followers interacting and clicking over whenever you link up a post? If so, then I wouldn't worry. They are simply using facebook as their "Reader". If they aren't clicking over then you should focus on reeling in subscribers through email and truncate so they click through to the blog for the full post.

Hope that helps!!
Janice said…
Ok, so I'm a complete noob with a just-launched blog ( you say Buttercream should reel in subscribers through email, are you talking about collecting emails on her blog? Asking readers to sign up for a newsletter? Using a "contact us" page? Thanks for all the great info. I found you through SITs.
Amy Renea said…
Hi janice! Welcome! Yes! Start collecting those emails by providing a way for readers to "follow by email". Blogger has a simple gadget you can use on your sidebar that is fairly new for this purpose. Please ask lots o' questions -- no noobs here!
Safiya said…
Hi Amy:) Thank you so much for this post!! ... It really helps to understand what kind of numbers I should be aiming for before I can start monetizing on my blog ... One question, you basically said you started seeing some income when you were at about 1000 hits a day, so I was just wondering how long after you started your blog did you start seeing that kind of traffic? I have been blogging for about 6 months now and I know it takes a while, but it just feels like I still have a long way to go to get there ... is that normal?
Amy Renea said…
bad news was about 3-4 years after I started. The good news? My blog wasn't a business for much of that. It started as a way to have "powerpoints" for a class I was teaching in one central spot, then became more of a spot for my family stuff. After three years or so, I started taking it seriously and after around 1 year, my hits were at 1,000 a day as an average -- it totally dips and peaks - but that was a good average for starting out with ad networks and brands.
Safiya said…
Wow I knew it takes a long time to build up readership but I didn't realize it can take that long ... thanks for being open and honest about your stats ... it really helps to kind of know where my blog stands at the moment!:) ... Thanks again!:) Xo!
I just found your site and this info is very helpful! I just started my blog a little over a month ago and it's getting about 600 hits a day. I was also just nominated for a Sunshine Award so I am hoping that will help me too. I am on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Do I contact the advertisers or do they contact me? How can they tell how many hits I have had? Please take a look at me blog and tell me your opinion. Thanks in advance for the answers to my questions.
Amy Renea said…
HI Melissa - BOTH! They will contact you, but if you approach them in a professional manner, you can definitely approach them too!
lifeonthehorizn said…
I came across your blog via the SITS Girls! Love this post. Thank you!
goldconfetti said…
Hi there! Great blog article. When you say hits do you mean visitors per day or page views? Thanks so much! I just started a new blog and am loving it :)