One of the investment assets we talk about on this site is a digital asset, specifically a website. Websites can make a great investment and a great addition to your traditional stock & bond portfolio. Here is our intro into how you can buy a website as an investment. Whether you choose to invest in an online business or start one from scratch, inevitably, you will begin wondering how many website visitors do you need to make money?
To explore this question in great detail, first I want to take a look at websites that earn their money from advertising and not e-commerce or software sales.
Let’s jump right in, no beating around the bush.
Quick answer: You need 100,000 page views to make good money from a website from advertising.
100k page views per month revenue
When trying to answer a question of how many website visitors do you need to make money, a typical answer is it depends. Although that is true, I want to argue that when you set your first traffic goal for your website, aim to get 100,000 page views. That means you will need around 80,000 unique visitors a month, assuming one visitor browses 1.25 pages on average.
Can you make money with less than that? Absolutely, but there is a logic behind this number.
It has to do with average earnings per thousand impressions (page views).
On average, you can expect to earn around $20-30 per thousand page views depending on your niche from display advertising.
That means with 100k page views, you can expect to make $2,000 – 3000/month just from displaying ads on your site.
It is also a great milestone because it is not easy to achieve, especially if you are starting from scratch and not buying an existing website. Also, this is assuming you will not be purchasing any traffic but expect to generate it from search engines and social channels.
The reason it is difficult is that in the beginning, nobody will know your site. Google and other engines will need a lot of time to correctly identify what your website is all about and how it can help people.
So if you don’t do any external marketing, eventually you will start getting traffic from search engines for keyword searches that will be low competition but also low volume. Assuming you will have pages that each will rank on Google’s top page, if they are low volume keywords, you can expect 600-1000 page views for each page.
That means you will need over 160 well-ranking pages to bring in that much traffic realistically. Some pages will generate a lot more traffic, and some will generate almost nothing, but on average, that is the number you can aim at.
Traffic growth will not be linear; however, as the site gets older, new pages, features, or products will start ranking quicker, and you will see results faster.
100,000 page views is a minimum to get approved by some Ad networks
AdThrive, at the time of writing, is considered to be the best and highest-paying ad network. In order to get approved, however, you will need a high-quality site and that magic 100,000 page views a month number.
Here are their requirements:
If you get less traffic than that, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money. Not at all. There are plenty of options that don’t require to have that much traffic.
If you have a medium-size website Mediavine is your best bet. Here are the requirements:
What if my site is even smaller than that?
For sites that are even smaller than 50,000 page views, there are still plenty of options.
One of the best options at any size is Ezoic. In fact here is what they have to say about the traffic requirements.
Ezoic no longer imposes pageview limits upon new sign-ups. Removing the previous threshold of 10,000 monthly visits to use Ezoic’s Monetization features has allowed us to eliminate the long-running narrative that as sites grow they somehow qualify or earn a chance to work with higher-paying advertisers from different ad networks or third-parties that have historically excluded them.
How much money can you make from a website?
It is possible to make $0 from your website. It is also possible to make millions upon millions even if your website doesn’t sell anything and gets its revenue from advertising.
Here is the deal. If your website can solve a problem or entertain or educate or sell a beneficial product to a million people every month, what do you think that is worth?
With what advertisers pay today, just by putting ads in front of your audience, you can make $30,000/month, if not more. The reality, however, with that audience, you will make way, way more than that.
How? Well, this brings me to the next point.
How do websites make money without ads?
Ads are not the only way you make money from a website. If you are thinking about investing in a website, these are the monetization options available to you from our favorite broker, Empire Flippers:
Some of the options require in-depth expertise like eCommerce or DropShipping. Affiliate marketing, however, is the easiest option for anybody to start earning money from their website without Ads.
With affiliate marketing, you advertise somebody else’s product and get a percentage of every sale that happens from your referral. Payout widely ranges from product to product.
Let’s run a hypothetical exercise with estimated traffic of 100,00 page views a month.
We can assume that with 100,00 page views, there are 80,000 unique visitors. Of this 80,000, half a percent (0.5%) complete a purchase of whatever product you refer. Note that 0.5% is highly conservative; successful marketers get percentages up to 2% and higher.
That means out of 80,000 people, 400 actually complete a sale. Let’s say the product you are referring pays $25 for every sale. That means you will make $10,000 that month.
Making money without Ads or Affiliate marketing
If you don’t want to make money from advertising or making referrals to other products then the only way for you to make money from a website is through sales. Sales of your own product whether these are physical products, digital products or monthly subscriptions to a service.
Analyzing investment in such a web site is more complex as you also must consider how long the product will remain relevant in the marketplace. If it is a software as a service subscription, how much support does it require, do you have the expertise, and so on.
The Trifecta: Advertising, Affiliate marketing & selling your own products
To answer the original question, how many website visitors do you need to make money? We conclude that you don’t necessarily need a lot.
Here is the deal, 1,000 page views could be a big enough site to be a profitable business; it all depends on what service you provide. If you offer a truly unique service that, for example, you charge $5,000 for. If you convert 0.5% or five people every month, you have a business that generates $25,000 a month or $300,000 per year.
If you don’t have such a product, you will need to rely on advertising, and the only way to maximize advertising revenue is to maximize traffic.
Ideally, though, you will be in a position to diversify your income sources from all three.
Here is a typical path of a website investor:
Purchase a website or build one from scratch Build Initial Traffic and monetize through ads Partner with great affiliate products Develop your own product Exit the investment.
I hope this post helped give you an idea of how many visitors you need to make money from a website and that unfortunately, as much as I didn’t want to say it, it depends on your site and your site alone.
Happy Investing and website building!