How Make Money On A Site With A Small Budget

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.