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Status report, month 5

June was another successful month for Breaking Copy. Visits were down slightly compared to May, mainly because the one super-hit post I had in June wasn’t quite as big as the super-hit I had in May. But two good things happened.

First, this month Google promoted the home page of Breaking Copy from a PageRank 0 to a PageRank 5, signifying that Google’s software considers it more authoritative. And second, June was the first month where I passed the threshold for a Google AdSense payout, meaning Google’s going to cut me a check for $100. More on that below. First, some numbers.

Key performance indicators for www.breakingcopy.com from June 1 to 30:

  • Visits: 18,600 (May: 23,246)
  • Google AdSense page views delivered: 24,434 (May: 29,212)
  • Google AdSense page RPM: $2.04 (May: $0.70)
  • Twitter followers: 126 (May: 114)
  • Facebook followers: 120 (May: 91)
  • RSS subscribers: 118 (May: 105)

Traffic sources in June:

  • Google organic: 45.3% (May: 44.6%, April: 37.9%, March: 15.1%)
  • Direct traffic: 20% (May: 16.1%, April: 18.3%, March: 24.5%)
  • Facebook: 14.4% (May: 12.2%, April: 13.7%, March: 18.3%)
  • All other referrals: 20.3% (May: 27.1%, April: 27.1%, March: 42.1%)

Best-performing posts during the month of June:

Learnings and observations:

  • I made 26 posts in June, and there are a total of 161 posts in the archive. Yet for the month of June, half my total pageviews came from just 3 posts.
  • Half of this month’s top 10 stories were carryovers from previous months, which are still going strong. Thanks to Google search engine traffic, some posts can have a longer shelf life.
  • On earning my first payout from Google AdSense: A hundred bucks is nice. That’s money earned by people viewing and clicking on the ads I run on the site. The more people who visit, and the higher-quality the advertising, the more I make. So far so good. However, consider the amount of work I put into this blog. It’s about an hour every weekday morning. Do the math over 26 weeks, and the revenue works out to 77 cents an hour. If I wanted to hire a second or third writer, there is no way I could afford to pay them based only on advertising revenue. There are a lot of other factors involved here, most notably the this blog is a hobby I’m willing to do for free. But I think a lot about the economics of blogging. For a blog of this size to possibly be profitable, one of 3 conditions must be true. 1) The blog must have revenue streams other than advertising. 2) The blog owner must treat the blog as a hobby or marketing investment (ie., be willing to operate it at a loss). 3) Someone has to be willing to work for cheap or free.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Social Media, Technology

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