So, exactly how much traffic does a website need to make money? In other words, how many visitors do you need to make money on a website?
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If you’ve just started your blog with an eye towards making money off it and you’ve got it properly set up for monetisation, your next question could very well be: as a newbie, how much traffic do I need to make money?
Or, more specifically, exactly how much traffic does my website need to make money?
This post will give you all the information you need to make sure that your blog serves its money-making purpose.
Side Note: If you’re curious about making money online via a blog-style website or you just want to try it on for size and see if it fits, check out our post on how to launch a website completely free!
Another Side Note: If you want to know what I did to get 20,000 page views from zero in one month, check out our new post on the top blog courses for traffic.
How much website traffic to make money
If you’re a brand new blogger and you join established blogging-specific Facebook groups, you’ll notice that the topic of how much website traffic to make money comes up a lot.
Practically every day, someone will come and post this question: I just started last week (fortnight, month, quarter, year etc.) and I’m getting so-and-so traffic. How much traffic do I actually need to make money?
Or they’ll ask a variation: I have these many pageviews a day. Is this normal? Can I make money off it? How many website visitors or pageviews per day do I need to make a full-time income off my blog?
That’s the burning question and is actually a question I kept asking in my early blogging days.
Now, I’m a bit wiser so I’m going to give you the real answer to this question, despite the fact that I know, for sure, you’re not going to like it.
The real answer to your questions on traffic, website visitors and page views is really this: it depends.
That’s the unvarnished truth: Whilst you can definitely earn money with traffic, your golden number depends largely on so many factors, all of which varies, that your number will be very different from my number.
What are these factors?
We’ll go a little deeper below but the easy answer is that it depends on the results you’re looking for, the budget you have, your niche, on how often you post, what you post, how often you market and promote your blog and where exactly you promote your blog.
If you’re like most new bloggers (in other words, no previous blogging experience, cautious, don’t want to spend money unnecessarily, working a full-time job and slightly strapped for cash), then you won’t immediately have the time, the know-how or the budget required to make the overnight success of your blog that you read about all the time.
And that’s okay.
Blogging, like your regular brick-and-mortar business, can take time before you break even.
If you haven’t got a product to sell or a sales funnel in place, or if you want to rely solely on blogging, ads and affiliate marketing and don’t want to pay for traffic, then building a money-making blog could take about three years of consistent work.
And again, that’s totally okay.
Of course, you could get lucky and have a post or two go viral, but for most regular bloggers, you probably will have to fight tooth and nail to get seen.
Or pay for traffic to jumpstart your blog.
I’m afraid I can’t give you any overnight formula for success here.
Online business is still a business and if you want to make it work, if you really want it to be profitable and make you money, you’ll have to manage your expectations and treat it as the business it is.
The first and arguably, the only thing that you need in order for your blog to make money is to drive traffic to your website.
The more the better.
But wait, what exactly do we mean with “traffic”?
What is a good website traffic?
You can define website traffic in any number of ways, some purely technical that involves data packets sent and received.
However, for our purposes, it’s sufficient to say that traffic, or the number of web users (AKA people) who visit a website, is coveted by all online entrepreneurs.
The more eyes on your site, the better.
Simple, the more people who go to your site, the higher your chances of making money – whether you’re in e-commerce or affiliate marketing.
But how do you know that you’re getting enough traffic?
I read somewhere that for some bloggers, 10,000 pageviews (PVs) seem to be an important target. I asked around but nobody could give a concrete answer as to why that is, so I’ll take my best guess.
One of the best ways to earn money passively is through ads and when you hit 10k PVs you qualify for ad networks that pay more than Google AdSense.
Now, ads do hurt websites in some way but depending on a number of factors (detailed quite thoroughly in that link, so you’ll want to go check it out), it doesn’t have to have a massive negative impact.
Suffice it to say that if you’re a blogger intent on monetising your blog, you’ll want to make it a goal to drive enough traffic to your blog to qualify for a premium ad network.
In other words, not Google AdSense (although depending on your network, you could run AdSense alongside another ad network).
I don’t have any experience with them but for the record, Ezoic and Monumetric has got a 10K PVs per month threshold, Mediavine has 25K page sessions (so about 30K-37K PVs) whilst AdThrive has 100K PVs.
I’m just a new blog. How the heck do I get that much traffic? I’m barely scraping by with 10 PVs a day!
Did that terrify you?
Sorry. But that should really emphasise to you that this is a business you’re creating, not a get-rich-quick-scheme.
Do it right.
And soon you’ll be chuckling at the memories of you agonising over your 10PVs a day as you look at what you’ve achieved so far.
But that’s not all.
You also need to remember that many advertisers are aiming for the US, Europe and Canada markets.
This is where I got hit when I applied with Monumetric after I got to 10,000 PVs a month.
Most of my traffic in those early days (when I was writing mostly about bliss and meditation) came from India and I was too new to realise that this was not an ideal demographic for a blog aiming to get accepted by one of these premium ad networks.
I got denied almost immediately.
So, what is a good website traffic?
If mostly passive income from ads and affiliate marketing is the goal, then a good website traffic that you should be aiming for is at least 10,000 PVs a month with the majority of your users coming from the US.
What affects blog income?
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of things to consider when trying to discover how much traffic you need to make money through your site.
Certain factors directly or indirectly affect your blog income and will determine how much you can make from the traffic that you have.
Can you make £3,000 per month with only 10,000 PVs a month?
Can you have 200,000 PVs and still only earn £500 a month, at most?
So, which factors can make the greatest impact on your blog’s ability to make money?
Blogging know-how, experience and education
Long story short, if you don’t know how to blog as a business, it’s totally possible that you’re seeing high traffic and yet earning peanuts.
I know of bloggers who have hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month and still only make a few hundred pounds here or there.
And that income isn’t even coming consistently.
However, if you have the know-how, the experience or the education, you might just have 1ok PVs a month and still earn a full-time income, easy.
For example, new bloggers tend to fall for the myth that blogging is easy and fun.
And it is – if you’re not in it for the money.
[Or, if you’re like me, you enjoy working 14-hour shifts to accomplish a specific goal with herculean effort.]
If you want to make money off it right from the start, your blog becomes a business.
And a business is bloody hard work when you’re just starting out!
Blogger overwhelm is real.
And why wouldn’t it be?
Blogging isn’t just about blogging.
It’s about choosing a niche, a domain name, a host.
It’s about keyword research, SEO and writing for both people and search engines.
Blogging is about promotion, specifically, self-promotion.
It’s about leveraging social media as a form of marketing.
It’s about networking with other bloggers, with potential collaborators, with likely sponsors and cultivating relationships with possible clients and customers.
It’s about setting standards so high that you can’t afford to lower and meeting tight deadlines that you just can’t miss.
Blogging is about using all your skills to attract good traffic and then using that traffic to generate an income.
And this is possibly what will most impact your website’s earning potential: your own ability, your own knowledge, your own skill.
In the end, it’s not really the traffic itself that matters.
Traffic is just a tool you first fashion and then wield so that you can then get what you want: a full-time income and the freedom that a passive full-time income affords.
Traffic doesn’t matter as much as how you use it.
Side Note: If you feel that you don’t know enough about blogging and that this hampers your ability to earn a full-time income, then I recommend signing up for reputable blogging courses. There are some totally free courses that I believe every beginner needs to take.
The first thing that stumps new bloggers and for good reason: they are as varied as the stars.
So, how does this impact the traffic you require in order for your blog to make money?
The reasons are as varied as the variety of niches available.
The first, and probably the most important, reason niches can drastically impact your ability to make money with web traffic is simple competition.
Some niches – like the personal development niche – are oversaturated.
There are so many personal development websites out there that you really need to do something special if you don’t want to drown in the cacophony of voices all peddling the same thing.
I mean, what makes your blog different from far more established and well-known brands like Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield or Jim Rohn?
How is your blog – started just this year by a novice life coach – going to compete with those three big names unless you have something unique, something special, a certain je ne sais quoi that makes you memorable?
Answer: choose a niche within a niche.
Yes, you might be a life coach that aims to help people with personal development just like Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield and Jim Rohn but maybe, you’re only focusing on young children who’ve experienced trauma and your blog is written with these children’s primary caregivers in mind.
Maybe you only want to help people of colour heal from the inner wounds caused by institutionalised racism and assist them in moving forward to lives of bliss.
Perhaps your focus is on single parents who are struggling to cope with the ennui that sometimes comes from spending 24/7 with pre-verbal children.
These three examples are micro-niches that all fall under the macro-niche of personal development.
And positioning yourself in a micro-niche like this will help you stand out instantly, make your blog posts far more focused, help you quickly establish your expertise and attract the kind of engaged traffic that can earn you a full-time income without you having to hit a million PVs a month.
Obviously, the more PVs the better.
And whilst a micro-niched blog might not have as much traffic as an established macro-niched brand, you might enjoy a higher ratio of conversions anyway.
Because when it comes to good traffic, you don’t necessarily want them to just hang around your site, randomly clicking here, there and everywhere.
You want your site visitors to engage.
You want them to talk to you, reply to your emails, read your other posts, share your posts and buy from your posts.
Another thing about niches is that some are just inherently more difficult to monetise with ads or affiliate marketing.
For example, if you’re running an adult site, you’ll likely encounter a lot of difficulty in finding premium ad networks that will work with you.
There are options, of course, as a quick Google will tell you but if your goal was to get into Mediavine, for example, then you probably should rethink your niche.
Side Note: If you want to know more about niches, this training will go into it in more depth.
Your blog set up
Not every blog is created equal.
The way you set it up, in the beginning, can determine how much you can earn and indeed, whether you can effectively monetise your site in the future.
If you’re a new blogger and you’re drowning in a sea of information, you’re probably about ready to tear your hair off.
I know the feeling.
So, take a deep breath and read this post, where I detail all the resources you could ever need to ensure that your blog is set up correctly for long-term financial success.
Once you have your site properly set up, you can start looking at factor #4.
Content and content set-up
Does your blog have a crystal clear focus?
Is your content well-researched, on-point and answers the readers questions?
Do you use the proper headings, sub-headings and paragraphs to break up your post into readable chunks?
Are your content, titles, and graphics designed to draw the reader in and get them to stay longer in your site?
Do you understand what keywords are and are you applying them in your posts?
Are you taking advantage of available keyword research tools?
Do you have a handle on SEO?
Did you make it easy for people to share your posts on social media by using a social media sharing plugin? Remember, if your content is on-point, and it’s set up, so the right people can find it, then it should be making money, and you won’t need millions of PVs for that.
Your monetisation strategy
How exactly do you plan on making money?
In other words, how are you planning to earn money with the traffic that your website generates?
Remember, in the end, traffic is really just a tool.
It doesn’t give you money on its own.
It’s simply a vehicle that allows you to generate income from your blog.
You could have 5 million PVs a month but if your blog isn’t monetised, then it won’t make you any money.
Most bloggers say that writing excellent content is the foundation of a financially successful blog.
And whilst that’s true, you also need to remember that every business needs to sell something in order to make money.
It could be your own product, an affiliate product, a service you provide or even just ad space on your site.
Whatever it is, it’s the one thing that you expect your traffic to buy to give you the money you require.
So, what’s your game plan?
Are you running ads on your site?
Are you working with big brands via sponsored posts?
Are you opening up a membership site?
Do you have your own services or products?
Do you know what affiliate marketing is and are you combining it with your website?
Side Note: Trust me, affiliate marketing is not too hard and it’s always a good idea to diversify your income streams.
There are now many ways to monetise a website and even more ways to mix and match them.
You need to have a solid money-making strategy for your blogging business if you really want to make a full-time income out of it.
Otherwise, all the traffic in the world isn’t going to help you.
Who are your readers and where are they based?
As I mentioned before, some ad networks prefer to work with people who have a largely US audience so your application could be denied if, like me, your audience is mostly international.
That means that you may not earn much from ads but hey, if you’ve got other forms of monetisation, then you might not even miss it.
Remember, some blogs don’t bother with ads and they’re generating a full-time income anyway so don’t despair and look for another way.
Someone somewhere will say yes.
I guarantee it.
So, really, how many website views do I need to make money?
Now that you know that there many different ways to skin a fish, as they say, what can you do with this kind of information?
Well, obviously, this doesn’t give you the number you’re looking for, does it? And if you’re like me, you probably need a number to aim for.
After all, goals are important for overall success.
So, I’ll let you in on my numbers.
My main goal when I first started was a measly 1,000 PVs a month because I was staring at my Google Analytics and would only see one click an entire week (after I’d filtered my own IP address out).
And I suspect that that was a family member trying to either satisfy their curiosity or show their support.
I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to earn money that way so I eventually upped my target and decided to go for 10k PVs a month because part of my monetisation strategy is working with an ad network and, as mentioned before, some ad networks have a 10K PVs per month threshold.
My original plan was to work with Monumetric but since they denied my application, I turned Google AdSense on and started working with Media.Net.
Now, I’ve already breached the 10K target, my next number is AdThrive’s 100k PVs a month.
No sweat, right? Ha ha
Actually, quite a lot of hard work, effort and planning will go into this blog so we can achieve 100K PVs a month but hey, it’s all worth it in the end.
Now, those are our numbers. Other bloggers naturally have their own.
The Busy Budgeter, for example, writes that “If you have more than 100,000 pageviews a month on your blog (total pageviews, not unique) you should be blogging full-time (i.e. earning more than $3,500/month from your blog).”
Whilst we don’t have the research to back that claim, 100K PVs per month is a good enough number to aim for and, certainly, if you’re part of an ad network like the three we mentioned earlier, you should be earning at least $1,500.
If you have other monetisation strategies in place, then you’d obviously earn more.
Final thoughts on how much traffic to make money
The number of page views that allow you to earn the money you want or require through your blog.
And for you to get to that number, you’ll need to take into account a variety of factors.
First, you need to set up your blog correctly for it to make money. Without the proper structure, your blog won’t be able to generate the income you want.
That means, more than anything, expanding your know-how so you’re not just shooting in the dark and hoping something will stick.
Also, you’ll need to have a solid plan in place. That means creating an editorial plan, a social media plan and a financial plan.
What are you going to write?
When are you going to publish it?
How will I monetise this post?
Hey, this is a business, remember? Businesses operate on a numbers game: we want more posts so we can have more traffic.
Another thing you’ll want to have is support. You can get that from a lot of places but my favourite is Facebook Groups.
All you have to do is type “your niche + group” (replace “your niche” with finance or mental health or whatever niche you’re in) and get the ball rolling.
I suggest checking them out.
And of course, if you really want to make a name for yourself in the blogging world, you’ll want to study affiliate marketing.
But you need to do it judiciously. You can’t just slap some links willy nilly and expect millions in the bank.
You’ll need proper education and for that, you just can’t beat Wealthy Affiliate (clue’s in the name and all that, eh?).
They even have free training!
There you have it: our answer to the all-important question of “How much traffic do you need to make money?”.
What about you?
Where are you now in your blogging journey and what numbers are you aiming for?
Leave them in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.