If you have a website that gets 100k’s of visitors you can make a decent supplementary income from the web. Depending on the topic area you can make a lot. In some niches that can make you a lot more than a decent supplementary income but my sites aren’t in that category (yet :) ). That being said I am lucky enough to have enough revenue and traffic to have fun data to share from time to time. So here are some fascinating points. 4 things have driven my revenue over the last 2 years:
- Traffic (specifically unique visitors not page views)
- CPMs (revenue per visitor in effect, I may write another series of posts about this)
- The bubble in video revenue around revver’s funding and the subsequent collapse in that bubble
- The economy collapsing and now the start of the recovery
The below graph shows the collapse in revenue per visitor after Sep 07 when revver CPMs started to tank
The below graph shows year on year revenue growth which you can see took an initial hit post revver changes but tanked even harder in the middle of 08. I firmly believe advertising revenue for smaller sites is a great indicatory of economic trajectory (around the last recession my cpms tanked and then the news started talking of recession the same happened here).
Overall visitors have grown through this whole period very nicely. Page views have not since I have optimized for things like video views which users seem to love but means they view less pages.
And revenue has now recovered very nicely so that November was almost equal to the video bubble peak with revver paying out huge amounts for video views. In general I think this emphasizes that your view should always be on the long term… build traffic, build audience, make your sites better and revenue will follow over a multi-year period.
So I am focusing on integrating social more and more right now into my sites and adding more video. Looking at the multi-year web trend I believe that’s where the future is so better get to it sooner rather than later. The present will take care of itself.