Monday, February 26, 2007

Enough of already

I'm moving and setting up camp over at my own hosting instead. I know one is not supposed to do that but I figured its still early in my blogging life and hosing ones own blog and using Wordpress gives A LOT more freedom to manage your site, from ads to details in the design.

Hope you'll join me at our new adress, even if its longer than GWB's criminal record - .

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Steve Pavlina - the industry benchmark?

In a recent post I wrote about Blog monetizing and speculated whether the booming days of AdSense Blogging were eventually going to slow down, like the fad of pixel advertising. There are of course some fundamental differences; blogging provide an actual content to the public, while pixel advertising was a fad, largely fuelled by the novelty of the idea.

However, in that recent post I also wrote about Steve Pavlina and his blog (, using it as an example of a successful blog site. I also did some simple math on the stats regarding traffic and income from his site. Steve was kind enough to take his time to write a long comment on my post clarifying some numbers; kudos to him! I felt this warranted a new post revising some of my calculations and conclusions about this topic.

The actual numbers for are, according to Steve, 1.8 million visitors, 5 million page views and about $9,000 in AdSense revenues per month. Using those numbers we see that AdSense earns Steve about $1.80 per 1,000 page views. If we assume high paying ads ($0.50 per click) that would give us a CTR of 0.36%. However, Steve pointed out that my assumed CTR of 0.5% “would be very weak”, so I think that his CTR are higher that this. Medium paying ads ($0.1 per click) would indicate a CTR of about 1.80%, which should be closer to the industry benchmark.

Steve also tells us that AdSense isn't even his no.1 income anymore. It actually comes in second after incomes from "joint ventures", which I assume is an euphemism for promoting various merchandise and services on his site. In total he earns $40 k per month. This must be one of the absolute top earning blog sites in the segment, considering he alone provide all the material published on the site.

As Steve points out, relative traffic stats can be viewed over at and indeed his traffic rank is impressive. A whopping 0.0324% of all Internet users have visited his site the last 3 months. Compare this with the official site of Dr. Phil who could only muster 0.00585%, even though the content is similarish. continues to set the benchmark for this particular niche of the industry, and it becomes even more interesting since his generous disclosure of the income his site generates. I am still convinced that success breed success, and even the fact that I'm writing about him will generate him some more traffic, however minuscule. His success will continue to attract curious visitors and the excellent content on the site will keep them coming back. We can all learn from Steve.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Domain names as passive income

As Travis Wright points out in a recent post domain names may become the real estate market of the future. I'm yet to venture into this field of Internet business, but it does sound intriguing so I will have a look at it the coming weeks. The ideas is the following:

  1. Snatch an attractive expiring domain and resell for a higher price
  2. Buy an undeveloped domain, possibly spend some time to build it up, and resell

Some domains generate such search engine traffic that you can make money just by slapping some content, some sponsored links and ads up.

Will I become a domain broker? I'll have to see about that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Making money from your blog?

It's not the latest buzz anymore. Internet moves fast and what was hot yesterday isn't very hot today, and even though AdSense is still a potential goldmine, new niches rapidly become saturated when Internet entrepreneurs rush in to get their piece of the cake. A classic example is the buy-a-pixel hype a couple of years ago. A college student (a.k.a. Alex Tew) got, in a stroke of genius, a deceivingly simple idea: sell one million pixels of ad-space for $1 each. He succeeded in selling all of these essentially worthless pixels simply because his project became the buzz of the day, generating tons of traffic and people lined up to get in on the deal.

Now there are people trying to copy this idea, but it seems that the air has run out of this fad. One recent attempt,, tries to combine the current blog-hype with pixel ads and are selling advertising space to blogs for 25 ¢ each. So far they have sold 11,400 pixels for a total of $2,850. Advertisers have so far (February 22nd, 2007) received around 100-160 clicks for their $25 advertisement, which translates ~15 ¢ per click. This is about 3-4 times more than what you pay for AdWords traffic today, but the cost per click will of course decrease as more clicks are generated. So there might be some steam left in the pixel-ad balloon, but far from being the same gold rush as in 2005.

Moving on to advertising and blogs. The blog monetize guru of the day seem to be Steve Pavlina. In October 2006 he claimed to make $1,000 daily from various incomes generated from his blogging site. Similarly, the traffic was said to be 1.1 million visitors and 2.4 million page views per month (April 2006). First of all, are these numbers trust-worthy? Checking the math we see that assuming 3 million page views in October 2006, and a CTR of 0.5% we arrive at 15,000 clicks. Let's be generous and say that Steve have managed to find some high paying keywords so that he get on average $0.5 per click. That's $7,500 per month or $250 per day. A bit short of the $1,000 he claims. Granted, there are also other income streams apart from AdSense, like Donations, Text-link ads and so on.

Steve come across as an honest guy, so let's assume his numbers are true. Is he then the Alex Tew of blog monetizing? Or put in another way, is blog monetizing just another pixel-ad fad?

Well, maybe not. First of all, Google AdSense is a sustainable income which is based on a real value. Companies buy ad space, you display ads and get paid for the traffic you generate. So it is definitely doable - if you can attract the traffic. Steve claims that his traffic is generated by solid, worthwhile and timeless content. This might be true, but I would wager that a lot of his traffic comes from people that want to learn how to make $1,000 per day from their blog. So in fact a blog post (or several) about how to make an income from your blog generates income from your blog. Everyone likes to read success stories, and to imagine themselves in place of the successful entrepreneur (in this case Steve Pavlina).

So maybe Steve has managed to tickle the imagination of millions of bloggers who would love to make thousands of dollars from their blogs, which is admirable in itself, but hardly sustainable in the long run. Don't get me wrong though, Steve's site is packed of interesting and worthwhile stuff to read, so his traffic is well deserved. However, I question whether his blog would attract the same interest were it not for his now famous claims of five digit monthly income from his blog?

My point here, and I'm not implying that Steve Pavlina is lying, is that by making claims that you have a fantastic success story that you want to share with everyone, you can actually boost the traffic to your site/blog and create a sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So is Mr. Pavlina actually the passive income guru he projects himself to be, or "just" another smart entrepreneur boosting traffic to his blog through a cleverly crafted success story? You be the judge.

The road to Independence

Let's not be hypocritical. I want to make money. I want to make enough money from Internet income that I can quit my job and become independent. I'm not naive, I realize that I share this plan with at least 25 million other people on this planet, so I will need persistence and preferably good ideas. You may ask, why do I want to write a blog about it, and perhaps have my best ideas taken? Well, for starters I believe in synergy and the creative power of sharing. Maybe you will find some ideas here and use them for yourself, but by sharing I'm bound to get feedback and in that way discover possibilities that I'd never find otherwise. So it's a win-win situation really.

Let's start with setting the goals. That is always a good idea since it gives you a focus and something that you can work to manifest. If you don't know about manifestation and the power of such techniques I recommend that you start by heading over to my other blog to read up on it and establish a baseline.
So, what are the goals? Eventually I'd like to be able to support my family which is currently me and my wife. We hope to have two kids, so that would make it a family of four. To support a family of four and lead a comfortable life I'd say I need to make $ 10k per month. Another goal is to make this income as passive as possible. There are a lot of people out there with the same basic idea, so there is a lot of ideas to be found, but also stiff competition. But ok, I want to minimize the time per dollar, to make as lean as possible money making machine. I won't put a number on this yet, but basically, if I have to spend more than 1 minute to make $1 it's not going to be sustainable to reach my goal.
Of course most ventures will require initial investment of time and money, and the more passive income, the more investment is needed initially. You can start making money right away, with very little investment, but the income will probably not be passive, even in the long run.
But where to start? I'll start by tossing some ideas out there, just to see what comes of it:
  • EBay-type reselling
  • PPC advertising
  • Selling a service
  • Selling your intellectual or creative property

I already started with the first one, eBay-type reselling, since it's the the quickest way to start making independent money. I've bought a simple electronic device off eBay for a small initial investment ($25) and is reselling it on a different auction site. The profit margin is about 70-100% (I'll have better numbers in a month or so). The picture below show my sales the last month.

It's not huge sales, and the market saturate quite easily, but it's a niche, and it makes a good profit so far. I'd estimate that the passive index for this program is $0.3 per minute. Not quite what I'm shooting for, but for now I will continue with this resell program.

My second resell program is slightly more involved. Basically I buy large quantities of a cheap product, manipulates it a bit and resell in smaller packages. It's a small niche market, but the profit margin is around 200%, i.e I make three dollars for each dollar I spend. My last month sales can be seen in the picture below. The passive index for this one is a bit more difficult to estimate, but I believe it is close to $0.5 per minute which is better, but also not quite cutting it.

Ok, time is running out for today, so I will have to come back to this tomorrow, or some day soon. Stay tuned!