A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: How much traffic should you have before you're a "platform"?

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20 February 2012

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

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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 numbers....here 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 allfreesewing.com 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 allenaimphotographyanddesign@yahoo.com .

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Nessa Bixler Monday, February 20, 2012  

Love the new header Amy... you always have such great information - on everything!

Thrifty Military Mommy Tuesday, February 21, 2012  

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 Wednesday, February 22, 2012  

Thanks Nessa!

TMM -- that is the next topic!! Coming soon!

Amy Gay Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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

Laurali Star Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Amy Renea Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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?

Patty@homemakersdaily.com Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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.


Laurali Star Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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 Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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.

cHriStiNa Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

Awesome! This helps me a lot.

Jennifer Colgan Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

This is such a great post, thank you so much!

Amy Renea Tuesday, September 04, 2012  

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!

Amy Renea Wednesday, September 05, 2012  

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!

Ashley @ It's Fitting Wednesday, September 05, 2012  

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 Thursday, September 06, 2012  

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 Thursday, September 06, 2012  

Ashley - you are totally right on about the balance...it 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.

Janice Tuesday, September 18, 2012  

Ok, so I'm a complete noob with a just-launched blog (www.fabricsalad.com)...when 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.

Safiya Friday, October 19, 2012  

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 Friday, October 19, 2012  

bad news Safiya...it 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 Tuesday, October 23, 2012  

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!

Melissa @ My Whole Food Life Saturday, November 10, 2012  

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. http://mywholefoodlife.com

lifeonthehorizn Wednesday, March 27, 2013  

I came across your blog via the SITS Girls! Love this post. Thank you!

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