I know you are worried of how many visitors, subscribers, comments, Facebook fans and tweets you need to achieve your goals for your online business?
A lot of newcomers, and if not, all ask themselves these question. You might be one of those people straggling to get an answer to this question. Note that we all have different specific goals for our web businesses, but many of us share at least one thing in common. We seek to earn a decent living from our websites and blogs, don’t we?
In case you’re planning to make enough money from your site to support yourself and your family, then your next worry probably might be how to get there. You’re right to worry about this. I get questions from readers here at CEO on a regular basis about how much time and effort and how many guests are needed to start earning a living.
The good news is, it’s partially up to you how much traffic you’ll need to reach your income goals. There are numerous approaches to go about building a profitable web business that will be able to support your life, and I’m going to cover a few options here.
Basically, there are loads of different ways to earn revenue online, and the model you choose will always affect how many guests or website visitors you will need to earn enough to support yourself and your business.
The number of website visitors you need depends on how much revenue your site will earn per visitor, how many visitors will become customers, and how much revenue you’re trying to earn.
There Are Different Approaches You Can Use To Earn A Living from Your Website
Approach 1: build a site with high traffic to attract advertisers
Most of the newcomers on the online business start by thinking of creating an online advertising. This is a good way to make money online. Many people simply think that they can just create a good looking site and slap a few promotional add on it and BOOM! They fly. That is not the case. There are a lot to be done.
Here is the reality of online advertising. This form of business won’t pay you anything significant unless you attract huge traffic to your website. And even when you have that massive traffic, the payout is most likely much lower than you can earn through other revenue models.
Typical CPM rates — the amount an advertiser will pay you per thousand page views — might be around $5 or less, depending on the size of your site, your topic and your visitor’s demographics.
That implies that in case you’re attempting to acquire just $4,000 every month require more than 1 million site visits. Are you in position to reach that level? Possibly, yes. But it will take significant effort, and I’d say $4,000 per month a pretty poor return for all that effort.
Something very shocking to note about advertising is that it generally isn’t an alternative for smaller sites. Advertisers want to reach a vast audience, and they don’t deal much with sites which have less than 100k online visits every month. Google Adsense and some other advertising networks will work with smaller sites; however, the CPM rates tend to be lower.
Approach 2: maximizing your value per visitor
I want you to compare our $4,000 per month advertising example we have just discussed to other revenue models.
The three other most common revenue models online are: selling products or services online and affiliate marketing. I guess you have some knowledge of what selling products and services online are all about.
I know you might have also ever head of the word “affiliate marketing”. Basically, affiliate marketing is when another business pays you a commission for referring customers to their products. Essentially, you earn commission only after a customer performs the intended action.
If you’re working to earn $4,000/month, you will also need to know how much income you’re going to earn from each customer, and how many of your visitors will be converted into customers.
Take affiliate marketing for instance. Let’s say you represent an affiliate offer that matches well with your site’s purpose, in the event you refer a customer to buy that product you’ll earn a commission of 50% on the $50 sale price. That means that you will earn $25 for every customer you refer and finally buys.
Note that you are targeting to earn $4,000/month. This means that you need to make 4,000 / 25 which is equivalent to 160 sales per month to reach your $4,000 goal.
You then need to know how many visitors will end up buying the affiliate product you’re promoting. This will depend largely on how you recommend the merchandise, and how helpful it is to your visitors.
You won’t get many sales per visitor just by simply pasting 125 × 125 banner ads in your sidebar. If you are serious about making money online in this way then I would suggest you start doing things the right way. Writing a blog post about the offer, including some useful information and a compelling reason why your visitors should buy the product, will make for you a whole lot more sales.
So, let’s say you compose an awesome post about your affiliate product, and that 25% of your visitors click through to the affiliate product’s page. Then, 1% of those visitors end up buying the product.
Hope it is safe to say that you are with me here? You should not be worried about all the calculations here; however, this is the right thing to do when planning for an income model
For this matter, 1 / (1% x 25%) = 400. That implies that 1 out of 400 of your website visitors will buy the product, bringing about a $25 commission. To achieve your goal of 160 sales, you would require 160 sales × 400 visitors per sale which is equivalent to 64,000 visitors to view your offer.
These are clear calculations—and your actual results could be better or worse. Personally, I’ve had results as good as $500 per 1000 visitors for a well-targeted product to a very specific audience.
In reality, your income model will presumably be easier than offering one single affiliate product to your audience. Rather, you may blend a mix of number of affiliate marketing as you also sell your own products and offering some other services. You can sometimes mix in some advertising if that makes sense. Just mix some products and affiliate offers and that number could be higher.
Targeting is Key
The key factor in all of this is how interested your website visitors are in what your site offers. This is known as targeting. Basically, the more your website visitors get interested in your topic, the more likely they will be to buy something from you or perform other actions you want them.
You may have seen the results associated with targeting in your own promotions already. A simple way to see this in action is with guest posting on other blogs.
If you guest post to a blog or blogs whose topic is much related to your own site/blog, then you’ll find that visitors from those other blogs are likely to subscribe to your blog. That will happen because those visitors would be “well targeted.” If your site is about making money online, and you guest post on a site about weight lose, then those poorly targeted visitors would be unlikely to care much about your site.
Got all that…? Good, now stop thinking in terms of “visitors” and “traffic.”
Whichever approach you’re considering, this type of revenue modeling exercise is useful just to know how many people you probably to have to reach. Beyond that, on the other hand, thinking in terms of “visitors” and “traffic” will actually hold back your progress.
I want you to start thinking in terms of “people” and “relationships” and your “audience” instead.
Your visitors won’t buy anything from you unless you help them out, provide value and think of them as real people. You have to maximize the value you provide to your visitors through your content, products and services to really maximize the revenue you earn per visitor. You should also focus in relationship building too.
I hope this discussion helps put some bounds around just how big your site will need to be to earn a living from it. If you have different experiences, please feel free to share it with the rest of the CEO readers here in the comments section below.