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How Many Posts do you Need in your Archives to earn Money from Blogging?

Someone asked me just now -‘how many pages do I need on my blog for it to earn $XX.00s per day?’ Its a pretty common question and one that I’m going to tackle below – but first let me ponder another related question from Thomas who in my recent call for feedback on this blog asked:

‘Is there a direct and predictable relationship between the total income of a blog and the total number of blog posts?’

Its a good question and one I’m sure I’ve talked about before in my archives somewhere – but that I’m happy to write a little about again.

I’m going to generalize terribly here and give you a very short and blunt answer to your question Thomas – and I’ll expand upon it some more for those who want to journey with me some more on it.

The Short Answer – My generalized answer is ‘yes’ – I do believe that in most cases there is a relationship between the number of posts on a blog and the income that it currently generates.

The Long Answer – Why do I answer yes? – to me its a matter of logic but also a reflection of my experience. As my blogs have grown in quantity of posts I have earned more. Of course there are other reasons for the increase in income (including increase in page rank in search engines, increase in loyal readers etc) but one of the main reasons for the increase in income is simply that I have more blog entries in my blogs now than I did a year ago. This bring more readers (and income) mainly because every post I write is a doorway into my blog via the Search Engines.

As I’ve written before – the majority of my readership comes from search engines (mainly Google) who refer people to my old entries. Each time I write a post Google indexes it and its another potential page that someone will find when they search for information on the topic I’ve written about – its like each post opens a doorway to your blog.

Old Posts Can Diminish in Value - But wait – there’s more – let me tell you why its not just as simple as having a lot of posts! Depending upon the blog and its topic, old posts have the potential to loose their earning capacity.

Take my Digital Photography Blog for example – the older the posts on that blog get the less likely they are to earn me an income – mainly because the topics I write upon date and become obsolete. Every year digital camera manufacturers release over 100 new digital cameras and they retire a similar number of models. As a result the pages I have on these old models become less and less likely to be searched for by readers – they diminish their earning capacity. This characteristic of old posts is not just the case for technology blogs – its obviously the case also for news sites, politics sites and virtually anything where there are new developments.

Not only that – its worth remembering that Google seems to like fresh and updated content better than old content. I can’t find too many places that talk about this – but its something I’m noticing in my own use of the search engine. I suspect that an non updated blog post loses some of its weighting over time in Google’s eyes and will therefore lose its earning capacity as it falls down the search engine results rankings.

Of course there are many other factors – number of posts is just one element of the earning capacity equation of your blog (of which there are many).

How many Pages? So back to the original question – if quantity of pages relates to income levels – ‘how many pages do I need on my blog for it to earn $XX.00s per day?’ Its the same question as ‘how many posts per day do I need to write to make $XX per day’ and a similar question to ‘how much should I make per day from XXXX daily visitors?’

I’d really like to be able to answer those questions and would if I could – but unfortunately the variations between blogs can be so great.

For instance I have one blog that has 10% of the posts of some of my other blogs – yet it makes just as much as them (if not more some days). Why? Well there could be a number of reasons for such an anomaly. It could be that it just gets a lot of traffic (it doesn’t in this case) or it could be that the ads on the page pay significantly more per click than other pages (as is the case here).

I was speaking to one web entrepreneur recently (not a blogger) and he told me how some of his best earning sites are actually very small – just a handful of well optimized and highly ranked pages. Of course this person has hundreds of such sites – so I guess you could argue that his earning capacity is tied to the number of pages he has – but its worth noting that some pages will always be more valuable than others.

So remember that whilst it might be interesting to compare blogs and to make judgments about what they should be earning per number of post or traffic – that comparing blogs is like comparing apples with oranges.

So the take home lessons of the day – blog lots (quantity does count) but also blog smart (pick your topics wisely).

Feel free to add your own thoughts on this topic in comments below.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Thomas says:

    thank you for your detailed and thorough answer. very interesting. I would refer you to this expert article, perhaps you have been there already:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/981129.html (by the way, check out the page rank of his site! its 8/10 ! )
    He makes some very very good arguments of the value of older internet pages in ways I have not really thought of before.
    As for your photo blog, even if the articles or products become very out dated, the articles could still have a lot of historical ‘nostalgia’ value.. and if the people who visit those old pages discover the information is too out dated, then it may give them even more reason to click on a current ad that you have running on that page.

    Who knows who will be linking to old articles, they could be coming from all over the place… seems like definitely a good idea to keep old pages in place and let them grow like seeds in soil.

    tom

  2. Duncan says:

    I think your not think outside the square in relation to your photography blog, as your considering whether the product is obsolete is the new product market whilst ignoring the secondary, or used market. I know as a buyer of good on occasion on ebay that I’ll Google the product if I’m interested in it to look for reviews and opinion on the item, and this can often apply to products that may often no longer be available to purchase new. Given the size of the second hand market through ebay alone, there must be some value in it, even if the new market has a limited timeframe.

    Yes, its never going to be as valuable as the new market, but it should maintain value of sorts for a reasonable time into the future.

  3. Darren says:

    You’re right Thomas and Duncan – the old posts are not completely obsolete – I guess I was just meaning that they tend to lose their value over time. Here’s hoping its a LONG time though!

  4. Tim says:

    I remember reading an article which said that if you start a blog with 100 pages and then post every day for a year (giving you roughly 500 pages) you can get roughly 15000 pageviews per day (so a few thousand uniques). That seems about right, i think.

  5. wwinfo says:

    Earnings of a site has too many variables to to say 10,000 pages will earn $$ each month. Earnings by using Google Adsens is determined by topic and traffic.

    Traffic is determined by topic, amount of search engine queries per day and by how “relevant” search engines believe your site is.

    You could have a 100,000 pages of a topic and get 2 or 3 visitors per day if you don’t write effectively for search engines and users. You could have 100 well written pages on a niche market that is growing and earn much more.

    As he said, “it depends”.