Here’s food for thought.
A Fatstacks forum member (you get access with Fatstacks courses) posted this morning that 10% of his articles generate 90% of his ad revenue. His top 3 articles produce 50% of revenue.
Talk about the 80/20 principle hard at work.
I was curious just how much the 80/20 revenue principle was in effect with a couple of my sites.
I would have done this with all my sites, but it’s only possible with superior revenue tracking… as in reporting that tells you how much ad revenue you’re making on each URL.
Lately, I’ve been testing Ezoic on two sites (approx 8K visits per day in total) to get this type of data and to see whether I could improve ad placements.
FYI, the forum member who posted also stated he uses Ezoic which explains how he could get this data as well.
Here are the results from my two sites:
- Site 1: 7% of articles generate 49% of the revenue / 17% of the articles 67% of the site’s revenue.
- Site 2: 7% of articles generate 78% of the revenue / 17% generate 89% of the revenue.
How is this info useful?
First, it’s a numbers game. Your winners pay for the losers (and you will have losers). Don’t worry too much if you have poorly performing articles. It’s bound to happen. In fact, it’s inevitable.
Second, this data steers you towards what topics and types of articles earn more money. This is helpful because doing more of what already makes money will make you more money.
Problem is, that’s only part of the story.
For my situation, those articles perform well largely because they get the most traffic.
Another consideration is revenue per 1,000 visitors to a URL (EPMV).
For example, using the Ezoic revenue reporting data, I’m able to spot URLs that earn way above-average EPMV.
The EPMV range is dramatic. For example, for one of my sites, the EPMV range is $3.29 to $55.58 for the top 75 articles (based on traffic volume).
In fact, for my biggest niche site, one URL consistently earns more than $100 USD per 1,000 visitors (this is NOT typical, but it sure is an opportunity I’m jumping all over). This URL earns from affiliate commissions, not ads. I’m publishing more articles that will drive more traffic to the mega earning URL.
How do you capitalize on high EPMV articles?
The same way you do with high traffic articles. You do more of the same.
It’s a numbers game until it isn’t
Above I mentioned this business is a numbers game. Push enough decent content out targeting low competition keywords and winners will emerge.
However, it can become less and less of a numbers game once you have sufficient data and choose to focus on what is already working.
How to replicate success (3 ways)
It’s time to really give you something to twirl around in your brain.
For years I’ve made the above points in blog posts, courses and emails which is focus on what works. Specifically, I’ve said do more of the type of articles that’s working whether ranking well in the Big G and/or earning a high EPMV.
The million-dollar question is, that I’ve never answered, is what do I mean by doing more of a specific type of article?
What I mean can be broken down into three different approaches. Here they are:
Replication approach #1: By Topic
This is self-explanatory. Let’s say you publish a site on photography which spans many, many topics. Suppose your highest traffic article is about night photography with iphones. You replicate this by publishing more articles either about night photography, iphone photography and/or iphone night photography.
Replication approach #2: By article concept
This approach is more vague, so I’ll explain with an example. Suppose on your photography site you notice that your highest traffic articles are tutorials (aka how-to) articles. That means the tutorial article concept works best – do more of those.
Replication approach #3: By topic and concept
Replicating by topic and concept is not always possible, but if it is, do it because it’s as close to doing what’s already working as you can get.
Returning to our photography site example, if your night time iphone photography tutorials do well, do more of them. You will want to drill down your keyword research to hit all the angles (pun intended) and exhaust the topic AND concept.
Here are specific article examples:
- How to take photos of stars on iphone
How to take photos of the moon at night on an iphone
How to take photos of animals on the iphone at night
What if you don’t have any traffic or earnings?
I hate to say it, but then it’s truly a numbers game. Push out content. Target super easy-to-rank keywords (even if low search volume). Start getting traffic and money rolling in, then analyze what’s working.
Resources mentioned: Ezoic – I’m testing Ezoic again on a couple of sites. It’s too early to report results but having all that data on a URL by URL basis sure is helpful.
Factoid of the day: Ezoic is one of a very small handful of ad networks that offers URL level ad revenue reporting (which can be further broken down by traffic source and/or device).
AdSense (check, I use that as well) does track up to 500 URLs.
It’s incomprehensible to me that not every ad network offers URL level revenue reporting for every url that can be filtered down to by device and/or traffic source.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.