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How Much Is A Blog Post Worth? Would You Believe $2400 Each? by Wicfasho(m): 7:09pm On Apr 25, 2015
Recently I read Darren Rowse’s enlightening post about bloggers-for-hire being paid on a per-post basis. Darren says the going rate
being offered is around $2 to $20 per post…
sometimes as high as $100 per post. That’s a
flat one-time fee with no residuals. If such
bloggers stop writing, they stop earning. And
apparently there’s no shortage of bloggers willing to work for such rates. So what is a blog post really worth in terms of
the revenue it can generate for the blog
owner? You’d be right to assume it must be
higher than what people pay bloggers to write
them, but just how much higher is it? The answer will depend tremendously on a
number of factors, especially on the type of
the posts being written, the nature of the blog,
and the method(s) of monetization. These
factors have very little to do with what the
blogger is being paid though. I’ve seen some brilliant, insightful articles from work-for-hire
bloggers who are paid $10 per post. On the
other hand, I’ve also seen post monkeys
deliver daily doses of disposable drivel. I don’t have access to other bloggers’ financial
data, so I can’t estimate the average value of a
blog post across the entire blogosphere, but I
can at least make a reasonable effort to
calculate this figure for my own blog. I know
my blog isn’t typical though — I tend to write much longer posts than most bloggers — so I’m
not claiming my figures are anywhere near the
average, but I see no reason another blogger
using a strategy similar to mine couldn’t derive
similar values. In any event I think you’ll find
these results interesting. Revenue per blog post The metric we’ll try to calculate is revenue per
blog post. I suggest we take the web site’s
current monthly revenue and divide it by the
total number of blog posts on the site to get a
ballpark figure. So we have: Monthly revenue per post = ( current
monthly revenue ) / ( total number of
posts ) This isn’t a perfect metric by any means. It
doesn’t account for the contribution of non-
blog content such as the audio section, nor
does it account for site popularity as a factor in
revenue generation. But the vast majority of
this site’s traffic goes to the blog entries, and most non-blog items including the audio files
and feature articles have their own blog posts
too, so it should be a reasonable simplification. So here’s the basic data. In August 2006 this
site generated a little over $10,000 in revenue,
and there are a little over 500 total blog posts,
so we have: Monthly revenue per post = $10,000 /
500 = $20 per month So on average each new blog post I write
increases this site’s revenue by about $20/
month ($240/year). If I want to bump my
annual income by $5000, I need to crank out
about 21 new blog posts. Is it reasonable to say that an average blog
post on this site generates about $20 of
additional revenue every month it’s online,
even years after its original posting date? For
this blog I’d have to say yes. Older posts
continue to receive substantial traffic every day, and even though they don’t get the same
featured position as my latest writing,
thousands of visitors browse the archives each day or arrive from search engines, links,
or referrals. I write mostly timeless content, so
my articles normally have a very long shelf life.
Some of the most popular articles on this site
were originally written in 2000 and are still
going strong. I don’t imagine topics like personal development, time management,
spirituality, or self-discipline going out of style
anytime soon. Plus I can always go back and
update the most popular articles if they ever
become dated. Lifetime value of a blog post Now how do we calculate the estimated lifetime
value of a blog post? Here’s how: Lifetime post value = ( monthly revenue
per post ) x ( estimated post lifespan ) I’d say a conservative estimate of the lifespan
of one of my average blog posts would be 10
years, assuming I keep them online that long.
I’ve been maintaining web sites since 1995, so
I’ve already seen some online content endure
longer than 10 years. Beyond 10 years it’s hard to fathom what will happen technology
wise. Based on a 10-year (120-month) lifespan then,
our calculation works out like this: Lifetime post value = $20 / month x 120
months = $2400 So my average blog post can be reasonably
expected to generate about $2400 in revenue
over a 10-year period. These aren’t inflation-
adjusted dollars, so the money received in
year 10 won’t be worth as much that received
today, but for practical purposes I don’t need that level of precision. How resilient is this blogging income? What if
my current method of monetizing my blog
(mostly online advertising) goes bust? That’s
of little concern because I’ll just switch to
another revenue model. I’ve already planned
for the contingency of another online advertising bust that might demolish my
current revenue stream. I also maintain an
emergency fund to give me sufficient
breathing room to make such a switch even if
my current model suffered an immediate
overnight collapse. In fact, I’ve gradually been diversifying this blog’s income streams, and
you’ll see a lot more of that happening next
year. But assuming a roughly compatible
blogosphere endures for the next 10 years, it
should be reasonable to estimate that each
article I’ve written will generate about $2400 in
revenue during that time, perhaps more as I
continue adding new revenue streams. Lifetime value of the blog’s complete
archives Interestingly, if we know the lifetime value of a
blog post, we can also estimate the collective
lifetime value of the blog’s entire archive. This
would tell us how much revenue had been pre-
earned from creating the existing collection of
blog posts and setting up the system to monetize them. To simplify the calculation a bit, let’s make the
(slightly generous) assumption that all of the
existing blog posts still have their full lifespan
ahead of them. So posts that are a year old still
have their full 10 year lifespan left. Since this
blog is less than two years old, this simplification shouldn’t throw us off too much.
So we have the simple formula: Lifetime value of blog’s archives =
lifetime value of blog post x total
number of posts Plugging in our specific figures, we get: Lifetime value of blog’s archives = $
2400 per post x 500 posts = $1,200,000 In other words you could say I’ve already done
the writing work and the systems building to
pre-earn an estimated $1.2 million of revenue
over the next 10 years ($120,000 per year).
This figure may surprise you, but it seems
about right to me. Of course this assumes I’ll at least maintain current traffic levels and not
do something stupid like allow the site to go
dormant for a couple years. And as I continue
to write new articles and make further site
optimizations, the site’s actual performance
should be much better, since this figure is based purely on the content that’s already
been created. Now here’s the great irony: Even though I
enjoy a decent income for the time I invest in
writing new blog posts (presently about 15
hours/week), I don’t write for money. In fact, I
find the idea of writing for money totally
demotivating. I write because I love sharing ideas that help people grow. I started writing
articles in 1999 and gave them away free for
many years. I didn’t seriously start monetizing
my articles until 2005, after I decided to retire
from computer game publishing. It’s nice that
I’ve been able to create a vehicle that allows me to easily monetize what I write, but I’d find a
way to keep writing even if it wasn’t an income
generator. The income just serves as
feedback that I’m writing something people
value. Value providers vs. post monkeys I’m sure the metrics for other blogs will vary
tremendously, but I have to wonder about
those work-for-hire bloggers who write for a
few bucks per post. Do they realize how
incredibly risky it is to accept such a position?
As I’ve emphasized many times before, our greatest risks in life aren’t that we’ll make
critical mistakes — our greatest risks are that
we’ll miss critical opportunities. How many bloggers ever consider the potential
lifetime value of the content they’re creating?
Do they write for readers 10 years hence, or
do they churn out disposable posts that will be
obsolete next month? Are they capable of
sharing ideas that could be worth $1 each to 2000 people… or $0.01 each to 200,000
people… given 10 years for their ideas to
disseminate? I’ll be the first to admit that it takes
considerably more time and effort to write
articles that are timeless, original, thought-
provoking, and helpful than it does to rehash
the news, compile link lists, or upload cat
photos, but for $2400 per post vs. $10 per post, perhaps going the extra mile is
worthwhile after all. Even if you don’t care about the business side
of blogging, what’s your attitude towards your
current career? Are you more closely aligned
with the mindset of a long-term value provider
or a short-term post monkey? Do you eagerly
accept short-term pay for short-term results, or do you commit to creating long-term value
for long-term results? Will the fruits of today’s
labor still be useful to people a decade from
now? Are you selling out the future or
intelligently investing in it? Long-term investing
isn’t just about your own gains — it’s about investing in helping others, so much so that
you’re helping them even when you aren’t
working. If serving the greater good is your
primary focus, then I say you deserve every
penny the universe sends you in return. Ultimately I believe the #1 factor in determining
what a blog post is truly worth is the intention
of the person who wrote it.
Re: How Much Is A Blog Post Worth? Would You Believe $2400 Each? by peteruuu(m): 4:48pm On Apr 26, 2015
ff bro

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