How Make Money On A Site With A Small Budget

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Ken Causey asks:

You have $100 to advertise your new blog, what do you do? and how to you make money with so little traffic so that you can keep the ball rolling?

ShoeMoney: Wow good question and a very hard one to answer. But I am going to try and its going to be a long answer. Please keep in mind I have never spent money to gain users on this blog… but I will try my best to answer your question and apply what I do on other sites.

Really all blogs (that can be called blogs) should have 1 goal in mind – To get RSS subscriptions. This is what traditional marketers would refer to as ” new user acquisition”. Then how long they can keep someone subscribed would be “user retention”. Keep in mind I am a VERY traditional marketer. I boil down statistics until they are raw. So basically you should be able to see some sort of trend or corolation between your revenue and your RSS subscription. This can also be measured with unique hits but with blogs its more about the RSS subscriptions. For instance I value new RSS subscribers at about $2 per NEW SUBSCRIBER. So how did I come to that conclusion…. Well basically as my rss subscriptions have grown so has the income on this site. Its pretty close to being inline with about 2$ per subscriber per month. Now its not always close and maybe this will change… its just how it is right now. You also have to keep in mind that this site gets less then 3% of its visitors from search engines. So my valuation for RSS subscribers is probably a little higher then someone who 50% of there traffic is from search engines.

Ok… so why is it important to put a $$ on a RSS subscriber? Well in Google Analytics you can set a goal. Lets say you make that your “Rss subscribe” page. The easiest way to do this would be to have a “subscribe page” which redirects to your jump page (which has your analytics goal code) then goes to feedburner. There is other ways to do that but thats the first one that poped into my head.

Now so you have assigned that goal of $2 cause you know what kind of return you get for each subscriber… now here is the REALLY cool part. You can use refering URLS to show you what sites are giving you what value. I can really only show you this with a picture to illustrate:


Ok so because I have assigned a dollar value on my goal I can now see how much I could spend on a site based on the conversion metrics. Now this chart isnt setup right cause I was doing it wrong and recording every one instead of only new but whatever you can get the point (I think).

Basically from the chart you see that:

Advertising on I can spend up to .20 CPC and still make money.

On techcrunch I cant spend more then .06 CPC to make money.

On John Reeses I can spend up to .28 CPC to make money

AND the best conversion for RSS subscribers on is John Chow whos clicks I value at .36 CPC.

Now I blocked out a bunch of sites cause the point of this post was not to embarrass sites that did not convert into RSS subscribers but rather to show you that by using your own analytics it will show you where to spend your money.

Also keep in mind that my goal might not be your goal and my value might not be your value. I am just a statistic nut. Maybe someday I will break down all the goals of nextpimp and how I value them and where we spend money and why. IMO this is really the difference between making a shitload of cash or losing your shirt. PDITTY said its all about the Benjamins I say its all about the analytics! What?

So long answer to your short question… Place a value on your goal then watch your analytics to see who is sending you traffic and what that traffic is worth to you. Now take your 100$ and either CPM target that site with Google or send the blogger an email and see what kind of deal you can work out for advertising on there site.

113 thoughts on “How Make Money On A Site With A Small Budget

  1. Vlad

    I always wanted to measure this via Google Analytics. Jeremy, when you talk about “jump page” – can this be done with a “php redirect page”?

  2. Thomas

    I agree, RSS subscribers are the foundation of a blog. It’s a good idea to collate expenditure with subscribers too. I’m going to be doing this as I try to build up some subscribers myself.

  3. Pingback: Use Google Analytics To Measure The Value Of RSS Subscriptions | My Affiliate Journey - Affiliate Marketing Blog by Vlad

  4. GeorgeB

    Whoa, this is pretty pimp. Now I have done my share of railing against analytics for not being all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps I should revisit with this newly acquired knowledge.

  5. Ken Causey

    Wow, out of all those questions, mine gets answered, thanks a lot, I guess I need to come up with a value, monetize my RSS and get my site targeted ads up

    thanks jeremy

  6. Dave

    I’d also be interested in the way you create the redirect…is that something you can divulge? I’ve tried in the past to do the exact same thing, but I guess technically it wasn’t working correctly.

  7. Vlad

    I just set a php redirect page on my blog. But I am afraid it will not work because the php sends a header function to the user’s browser- therefore I am not sure if Google Analytics code will pick up anything.

  8. Vlad

    Jeremy, is this method covers the “e-mail subscriptions” as well? I use Feedburner for my e-mail subscriptions. I was just wondering if you would put the same value on your e-mail subscribers as those who subscribe to you let say via Google Reader?

  9. ShoeMoney

    he best way to do it is to do a 301 to your page that has the analytics code then meta refresh that to your feedburner link. I should have probably put up some example code. I will next week 😉

    There are probably better ways to do it.

  10. Google Tutor

    great post jeremy but why do you say it doesn’t measure email subs? I do email subs through feedburner as well and it seems like your technique here would measure email as well as rss

  11. Desmond

    Great post….I think im going to have to reread it a couple of time because dayum i suck at math lol…..Had a quick question to ask. What tracking software do you recommend that we use on our blogs to see where people are coming from, going to , and what links they are clicking?


  12. Danny @ Blogs for Money

    Interesting stats, but it’s hard to get all your feedburner subscribers without changing the autodiscovery meta tags on your page, and that’s probably not a good idea, since people subscribing might end up with the “middle” page bookmarked instead of the resulting url :(

  13. UndergrdoundAttraction

    Interesting post Jeremy! I agree that it’s VERY important to put metrics on your visitors and find out how each one is worth. By doing that you can really understand how much to spend to go out and get them!

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  15. KingJacob

    Ive only ever set goals for click conversions, but I could see why you would want to keep tack of referals conversion to subscribers. Also not all sites are monetized the same so that 2 wont be the same for smaller or bigger sites.

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  17. Blogging The Movie

    Hey Shoemoney,

    I just wrote a little post about you. There’s a running poll on my blog to see if your fans would like to select you to be part of the movie. The winner will have a chance to be featured in Blogging the Movie. You’re up against John Chow, Dosh Dosh and Problogger.


  18. Peter Cooper

    Nice tips, will be going through this idea more later. Wish I could make $2 per subscriber per month though.. I’ve got 11,000 subscribers and am at about 2 CENTS per subscriber. Oops! :)

  19. Bill "Bo" Harrison

    You could also monetize your site using auction ads. ;} We’ve had good success with that. btw, has anyone heard of a new ad network called widgetbucks? I haven’t heard of it and a couple of friends are getting emails about it.

  20. Gary R. Hess

    Nice info Shoe. I never really thought about doing this. I’m not sure how distracting this would be to visitors and what not though. I was playing around with a few things and decided to use an onclick event instead which triggers the goal. The problem though is that the autofeed finder in browsers can’t have it, leaving out a nice % of people.

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  22. Vlad

    I look forward to your example of code. Meanwhile I have created a jump page with what I call “instant meta refresh”- setting to refresh time to 0, I really do not what people to see the jump page. There is no sign that Google analytics is wordking, but I probably should give it a few hours.

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  25. Pingback: Jump Page To Track “RSS Subscription Goal” Via Google Analytics | My Affiliate Journey - Affiliate Marketing Blog by Vlad

  26. Seo Next

    Wow thats nice , i will try to increase our blog RSS subscriptions from now.Placing big RSS button on blog will help to increase subscriptions i think.

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  30. Thomas

    Ok, you state in the article that each RSS subscriber is worth $2 per month to you! So, you would not pay for any advertising that doesn’t acquire users at a cheaper cost than $2 per subscriber. But, what about customer lifetime value? I’m sure that the retention period, which you also mentioned in your article, is longer than 1 month. So, wouldn’t it be smart to still acquire RSS subscribers at $2.50 per subscriber, because the customer lifetime value will be higher than that.
    Wouldn’t it be correct to find out your retention of subscribers in month, multiply that with their monthly value that should be discounted at a certain rate, and then find the true value of each subscriber. Yes, that number is higher, but it will also allow you to do more different advertising to get quicker of the ground.
    And, fact of the matter is, the bigger you are, the easier it is to monetize your blog and get even more per subscriber.
    Basically, I don’t argue with you at all about the analytics, which looks awesome. But, the customer value you are assigning might be a little on the low side.

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  41. Neon

    this is very nice way of analyse and decide what to spend the advertising money based on current traffic source.
    but for a new blog, it is quite hard to do such analysis. i will prefer to use SE to search for my keyword which i want to target and build links from there.

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  44. Finnea

    making money on the internet is really easy. However, making a living from the internet is a bit more tricky.”
    If it were true, we would get a new blog-millionaire per day :)
    I agree that anybody can earn online, but not more than 1% from them can earn enough to leave on this money

  45. Atlanta wedding photographer

    I use analytics and it has been great in finding out where people are coming from and how to focus on my niche. I never thought about assigning a $ amount to them. I am also trying to get more RSS subscribers and it seems that one of the best ways is really to keep up with your blog content. What do you think?

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  50. Rental Ads

    This is awesome! I’m glad I found this article. I use analytics on my website, but never knew anything like this was possible. I’m going to code this today. Thanks!

  51. seo expert

    i did not understand the concept of investing money for subscriber services. Instead get someone to make few videos about your site and put them across all major video publishers. It will cost $5 but since video content can be duplicated without any problems you can publish it across all video portals.
    To save the money – make the video yourself.

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