Blogging: Page Views and Money Talk Part One

Posted: September 7, 2011 at 7:00 am

I have a bit of fear publishing a post diving into such topics as page views, money, and blogging…from a personal perspective, no less. You know me, though - touchy topic and I’ll suck it up and jump right in. Mainly in the hopes of opening up some good discussion and giving you a glimpse into my perspective on blogging and why I emphasize what I do.

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super attractive action shot of me writing this very post

At the Healthy Living Summit conference, Ashley from the blog Coffee Cake and Cardio asked Lisa, Janetha, Beth, and I if we could give any specifics related to our blogging. I will own up to feeling like a deer caught in headlights in that moment.

I imagine that moment is when this picture was taken. Winking smile

After some adequate time to think and mull this all over, I now have a lot I can discuss. So, let’s get the ball rolling!

In the discussion, I brought up that I have some blogging related goals. I don’t think I have ever shied away from the fact that I make a small amount of income from the blog. When I set out to start blogging, I did not have it in mind to earn a cent from this little hobby. I didn’t even know you could! I simply loved sharing my life and having a place to ramble about fitness with other like minded people.

With more time, I fell more in love with blogging, putting my story out there, and connecting with others. I signed up for BlogHer when they offered me a spot in their publishing network because I figured “why not”.

With time, I realized that this blogging venture could be something amazing for myself, as it continuously helps me grow as a person, and also for my family, giving me the opportunity to help support my family (even the smallest bit) financially in a flexible way that still allows me to be a mom first

I have goals to see my blog grow and develop for a few other reasons too:

  • it will work in conjunction well with other goals I have (personal training)
  • I truly believe God put blogging on my heart and that I’m meant to do it at this time in my life

As I blogged, time passed and this happened…

image_thumb8_thumb

My little baby blog began to grow little bit by wee little bit and then hit steady increases in readership since April or May of this year. I won’t go into specifics, but I can tell you that my readership has increased 500% in the past year. You can decide if you think that means going from 100 to 500 page views a day or 100,000 to 500,000 a day. Although I can tell you right now it’s not even close to the latter. Haha! I laugh at the thought of that ever happening. Winking smile

I think people have a skewed impression of my blog’s reach. In fact, I know some do. After some discussions with a few other bloggers, my thoughts were confirmed that people think I have a much larger readership than I do. I’m okay with that. Do you know why?

While I do have goals for my blog, I do not emphasize the numbers. I value the relationships, living out my passion, and sharing my story. I allow those things to grow my blog as they will in a natural way.

I only really keep track of my blog’s readership, so I can:

  • know what works and what doesn’t in my blog’s layout
  • understand the content you value most as a reader
  • have accurate information to give companies who request the information
  • see what ventures outside of writing my own posts most effectively use my time

Page views, subscribers, and my paycheck are never the goal for my blog.

Despite not coming close to comparing to some other bloggers’ statistics out there, I have found opportunities through blogging outside the publishing network via review programs and sponsorship opportunities. I cannot emphasize enough that I think these come because my goals for the blog lie in being real and building relationships.

Companies will work with me because they know I will work hard and that you and I have a bond *likethis*. They can see I care about what I share and how much I love you all. They notice the community I strive to create here in FFF-land as I hopefully encourage you while you motivate and inspire the heck out of me in return.

I think (and hope) my determination to keep this blog a place of positive community makes an impact – it may not always show up the highest page views, but it does show up in trust and connection. That’s what matters to me and what helps my blog reach expand. That is why I don’t get caught up and put too much time into the numbers game when it comes to blogging. I know I can only do what I do and then I have to trust God to take it where it is meant to go and reach just who it should reach.

I always say money (and with money, page views and all other related numbers) can't be the motivator behind blogging. I ask myself - if I wouldn't make a cent off my blog...would I still do it? And if that answer ever becomes "no", I will stop. Plain and simple.

I honestly blog because it is my passion and something I feel I need to do. This quote about sums it up for me:

quote

I quite literally cannot go a day without thinking about FFF and you all.

That's my passion in blogging...that's why I do it. The passion. The connections. The deep down in my gut feeling of rightness. The fact that it can lead to opportunities to help support my family just acts as icing on the cake.

I never view you as page views, subscribers, or clicks to spike my checking account. I love YOU for reading. For supporting. For showing me I can trust God and His plans. For helping me to grow as a person day in and day out. Thank you for reading. I look forward to continuing this discussion in a post later this week or next that will focus on why I think my page views increased and more specifics in the goals I set for my blog. I hope you stay tuned!

  • What is something you can’t go a day without thinking about?
  • Do you have anything you want me to discuss in the next post?

And if interested in learning more about money and blogging - Katy has already done a wonderful post on different ways to earn revenue,

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98 Comments to “Blogging: Page Views and Money Talk Part One”
  1. Y’all were all like deer caught in headlights. As a new blogger, I had no idea it wasn’t kosher to ask such a question. Lesson learned :)

    It’s more that new bloggers look up to people, such as yourself, and it’s important to keep things in perspective. I love hearing y’alls stories of how you were just like myself one day and your blog has grown immensely.

    I love blogging. It makes me so happy and I love sharing my story, pages views or not. Thanks for posting this Tina! We appreciate it.

  2. Great post! When I first started blogging, I had no idea people made money from it. In fact, when I talk with my family and friends and about how it’s a “part time job”, THEY had no idea I make money from it either. I just looked at what my readership was last year in August and to what it was this year in August. Um, yowzers. If that is any indication of where it all is going, I’m amazed. You are truly an amazing woman and I see your blog doing big and amazing things!!!

  3. Khushboo says:

    I LOVE this post. I feel like I have so much to comment on yet don’t know where to start. It makes all the difference when money is not your sole incentive–> passion is always a more fiery drive! I know my blog probably doesn’t get half the amount of hits/comments some other blogs receive but I know at least some people are reading, enjoying, and learning…and that is exactly why I continue to blog. At the risk of sounding like a cheeseball, it truly warms my heart when I get a comment from someone saying they made one of my dishes or that my post struck a chord with them. And more than anyone else, I blog for myself. I could talk about healthy living endlessly so at least I have an outlet to project all that energy. That last picture sums it up completely- my blog is a part of me now…long live it :D

  4. As always, great post, Tina! I never started blogging for the pageviews — if I did, I would have a MUCH different blog. I think it’s so easy in today’s blog world (i.e., much different than in the past, I assume), a lot of people focus on how many pageviews each and every post gets. I understand the importance of this for many (especially those of you who really do depend on the views/money your blog brings), but I think it can take away from the real benefit of blogging. That is, building relationships with your own community of readers, no matter how many you have.

  5. Nicki says:

    You are doing a great job. Every little bit of income helps when you have small children. Heck, children of any age.

    I am like you, even though I do not currently have ads on my site, in that I do not look at numbers all that frequently. I love looking at what posts (a several years old one about a TV network not showing a sporting event when advertising it would) are popular.

    Sometimes, I think that those who are counting on money from blogging push their writing too much. Things become almost unnatural.

  6. Emily says:

    What a great post, Tina!! I in such a different place of just trying to build up my blog and increase readership and it feels a little bleak right now. Some days I have spikes and I don’t know why and other days I post and get nothing. I want to find a current thread or theme to go on but don’t know what people are looking for with my blog and what they like/dislike. How did you figure this out for yourself??

  7. Anna Marie says:

    I am so glad you blog! Your view of keeping life a healthy balance in all areas is so amazing and inspiring. I genuinely appreciate that you are not obsessed with any one area of your life but keep it all in a nice balance. I am trying very hard to live a healthy fit life that is balanced and not so focused on being “thin” enough. It is comforting to read your blog when I begin “fat talk” or think i am not capable of challenging my fitness.

  8. I’d take it as a great sign that people think your readership is more than it it is! That means people are active in the discussions and commenting on your posts—and that’s a wonderful wonderful thing.

  9. I’m with you, I had no idea my hobby would turn into something like this! It’s actually exciting to work on something you feel so good about and see it grow. Not for the money, but for the connection with people. I always felt like the out of place girl with fitness and with my food allergies. Now I’ve connected with so many people that share both of those things! It’s kind of funny how blogging is respected in some places and not in others. I feel so much better being in the world where it’s respected now! Oh and I’m with you, I don’t go a day without thinking about blogging. Then again, my blog is me, so that makes sense.

  10. I have to say that I am always thinking about blogging too! Blogging brain is what I call it…I can’t eat anywhere or cook anything without thinking how to incorporate it into the blog :) and i wouldn’t have it any other way!

  11. Julie says:

    I am glad you decided to write this post. I was at HLS and witnessed all of your “deer in headlight” expressions. I have to admit, a small part of me was disappointed no one answered the question with full force, but the more I thought about it… I wouldn’t have either. People will only fall into a comparison trap and we don’t need anymore of that in life! This reminds me of Angela’s (from Oh She Glows) “size healthy campaign” about weight. Aim for “size healthy” in all areas in life and don’t get caught up in numbers. Just be happy you are where you are, working towards your goals and don’t look next to you!

  12. Blogging is definitely becoming something I think about everyday, or multiple times a day. I love how honest you were about this, your passion for your blog shines through in every post.

  13. Great post!! I really enjoyed reading this! Loved the pics haha :)

  14. There is a huge difference between blogging for passion and blogging for page views/money, and I think your question is a great question for ANYONE in ANY JOB: If I didn’t get paid for it, would I still do it? I think God means for us to live our lives with passion and excitement. It makes me so sad to see some people, in blogging or just in their jobs, fall into some sort of rut and feel like they can’t go out and do more.

  15. Great post Tina! And that is why I love your blog – it’s authentic, real and from the heart. Being a new blogger it’s hard to not compare myself to the “popular” ones and get down about pageviews, that’s why I have to remind myself of what you said, that in the end it doesn’t matter and it’s the connections I make through blogging that matter most. When a girl writes to me saying that they found me for a reason and am helping them, it means the absolute world to me and pageviews and will never give me that satisfaction :)

  16. Holly says:

    That’s why I love reading your blog! I think it’s very evident in all your posts how passionate you are about what you do. It never seems like money/page views is ever a motivator for you, but rather the relationships, community, and conversation!

    I can’t go a day without thinking about where I want to be (move, perhaps?) when I graduate in 3 months. Eek!

  17. Thank you for this post Tina!! I think you conveyed everything perfectly :) . Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the numbers because I feel like I’m at a “standstill” with page views…but then I get over it because I realize that I would still do this even if the page views were less. I can’t wait to see what you write about in the upcoming post!

    Blogging has definitely become something that I can’t go a day without thinking about, but unfortunately I’ve had to create a weekly schedule since I started grad school again and I can’t post everyday…oh well!

  18. Tina, I love this post!! Especially after our discussions at HLS, I’m so glad you decided to talk about it.
    Like I told you before, I think your blog is amazing, and just make sure you keep doin’ what you’re doin’!
    xoxo

  19. I am so glad that you posted this! I think that since I’m new at blogging I still get caught up in the numbers. I’m often surprised at how many views I get and I usually get excited about it. I just like knowing that my making an effort to be consistent is actually paying off. I never want to look at pageviews in a negative way.

    As for your blog, I have never thought that you were doing any of the blogging for a monetary or selfish reason. You are so passionate about blogging and it shows through in all of your posts. I love it!

  20. Heather says:

    Really great post and i really feel that intention as a reader. This is one of my favourite blogs because it is such a positive and nurturing place. I always come away inspired to not only live healthier but to have a kinder attitude towards myself.

    So Thank YOU!

  21. I have started liking blogging more and more now that I don’t do it everyday. When I started my first blog I thought “well if I put in 2+ years of daily posts eventually I’ll be able to do this for my job” — uh, why did I think that was what I even wanted??? Yes I love the community and I have learned so much from other bloggers, but that doesn’t mean I need to do this forever. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

    I’m glad YOU found something you are passionate about — and it definitely shows in your posts!

  22. Heather says:

    Really great post and i really feel that intention as a reader. This is one of my favourite blogs because it is such a positive and nurturing place. I always come away inspired to not only live healthier but to have a kinder attitude towards myself.

    So Thank YOU!

  23. thanks so much for this blog post, tina! i read avidly, i can tell you!
    sometimes i get a little disheartened that my blog hit numbers have grown exponentially and exploded…but then i ask myself, if i had zero readers, would i still blog? and the answer is YES. and i appreciate the readers and comments and friends who do read! i love the creative outlet and the chance to express my personality of blogging – it’s a gratifying hobby. thanks so much for sharing your experience and your perspective.

  24. Great post! I was in that session when the question kinda hit you off guard. I love to blog, and would totally do it if I didn’t make a dime, but it’s hard not to want to make more money and to be curious how well others are doing.
    Love that quote and it’s relevance to blogging – I just CAN’T imagine not sharing my life through the blog. It’s like wanting to tell your best friend something – my best friends are my readers! (not really. but kinda).

  25. That was a great post…thanks Tina! I LOVE that quote…it is really making me think. What do I think about every day? Food, writing…and cats. Definitely not lawyering. Yikes.

  26. jobo says:

    I definitely would fall into the camp of thinking you have a huge readership…I think you do in part because of all of the interaction, which is awesome and I just feel like I read SO many blogs that reference you and I LOVE that. It all comes back to you in a way ;-) Six degrees of Tina FFF?! And I love your approach to blogging, sure numbers are great, but that’s not why you blog.Absolutely agree.

  27. Great post Tina. I seriously LOVE your blog. It’s one that I’ll never click “mark all as read” because each post is so unique and so thoughtful – I too think you were meant to do this. =)

  28. Allison says:

    Great info! I really enjoy your blog. You are very transparent…and I like that!! What methods worked for you in expanding your number of readers? I have JUST started my blog and would love to know some great ways of connecting with other bloggers and readers! Got any suggestions? Anything that worked better for you? Anything that didn’t work for you?

  29. Lauren says:

    Great post! When I started blogging, I had NO idea how many page views blogs got or that people made money from blogging. I definitely agree that you blog out of passion though – it’s obvious in all your posts!

  30. Great post and great perspective. I think it’s easy to get caught up in views…I look out of curiousity, but am always flabbergasted when what I think of as a ho-hum post gets a ton of hits. It makes me assess where I want to go next.

    What do I think about every day? Ice cream.

  31. I think about blogging every day. I need to find more balance, because every time I sit in front of the computer, I want to read or write blogs. My freelance writing is what I really need to focus on! Making money from blogging must be so HARD. I couldn’t imagine having to be so numbers-focused. It seems much easier to me to make money doing freelance writing…unfortunately, it’s not quite as intrinsically motivating!

    I’m among the people who would really like to know how many pageviews people get. Not to compare. Just because I’m pretty much the nosiest person you’ll ever meet. Ha!

    • Too funny Stephanie, i actually meet up with a blogger in my area regularly and we both finally confessed our #’s and it was so nice to have someone to actually talk about it with
      I would never compare my blog – i’m just nosy as well :) :) :)

      Great post Tina, its nice to have some insight to what is normally a taboo topic!

  32. I love this post because that’s my philosophy when it comes to blogging. I didn’t even know you COULD make money from blogging. I write because I love it. I love sitting down at my computer and getting my emotions out. I love the feeling of writing a meaningful post. I love the idea of helping someone out there by sharing my story who’s going through something similar. I love the community.

    Blogging is what you make it, and I want mine to be about the relationships I form with others :)

  33. Holly says:

    I love your blog because of your honestly. It just shows in EACH one of your posts. You are NOT afraid to show how you really live, you don’t put on a front, and you even put up pictures when you are in your pjs- I LOVE it!! You are just so REAL! Thanks for keeping in real in the blog world, when a lot of people put on fronts. :)

  34. Jess says:

    I love this post, Tina. For one, I totally think of your blog as one of the most successful (not just numbers wise, tho that’s part of it) healthy living blogs out there – mostly because it is SO real and SO you (from what I “know” of you anyway!) and it’s highly engaging and interactive. That’s what I dig. Your honest is a huge part of that, too. I totally agree that it’s not about the numbers (like SO much in life!), though I won’t lie – it does make me giggle when I see my traffic numbers spike over a certain post or two…because it’s then that I know what I wrote resonated!! Especially when the comments are so good and thoughtful from ya’ll…and they always are. So that’s how I gauge blogging success – how interactive it is, not how many page views it gets. Blogging is truly all about relationships and connections in my view.

  35. Great post! Sometimes I do find myself getting caught up in the numbers game. (Darn you, WordPress, and your stats that are RIGHT THERE for me to see all the time.) But I try to remember why I started blogging. It keeps me focused on my goals to reach people and share my story about living with ulcerative colitis.

    I share my UC story because that’s what lights a fire under my booty to get writing. I love the connections I’ve made with other people living with IBD and the awareness I feel like I’ve brought to those who do not. We all have our obstacles to overcome. I just like to talk about mine!

  36. Dorry says:

    Great post! As a blogger myself, it’s nice to see how your blog has grown and evolved. I don’t belong to a network, although the options are there – I just don’t know if I want my blog to “change” – even just the format and layout – with ads, but I’m looking to make some decisions about advertising in the future. We’ll see. :)

  37. Wonderful post, Tina!! I can definitely see your passion come through in your posts. That’s why I come back day after day. I actually blogged about the passion part today.

    btw, when is the next Blogher convention??

  38. peacebeme says:

    I love that quote. Really made me think…I think the first thing that popped into my head is my unexplained nerve disorder and my eternal quest to figure it out. Sometimes I just feel like giving up, but I know I have to keep slowly eliminating this disease or that one. I am also starting to consider surgery to release the nerve and thus some of the inflammation of the nerve in my ankle. So scared about that though! Also, working again, especially in healthcare. I think about that every day.

    My readership grows although sooo slowly. I just love being able to connect with more people though and feel like my posts have meaning.

    • Tina says:

      Love you and your blog. And I think you are so strong to keep fighting for your health and wellness. you deserve it in all aspects – physically and mentally and emotionally. :)

  39. I never look at Google Analytics. I do have it set up, but I have only looked a few times. When I post daily, my daily page views are much higher. When I post weekly, they go down to about 1/5 of that. My readership is exactly where I want it. I think everyone that reads my blog is a “blog friend” of mine (including you!) and I love that. Makes it feel so meaningful.

  40. Congrats on your blog’s growth, whatever the exact numbers are!

    I find a lot of people HAVE NO IDEA what blog’s readerships are. I think a lot of people have no clue how large or small a blog’s reader base is because it’s hard to know. How many pageviews does a blog get? If it gets lots of comments you assume it gets lots of pageviews but that isn’t always the case – lots of bloggers are really active commenter who receive comments back and just appear to have a bigger blog than they do. And some blogs get no comments but lots of pageviews and have tons of subscribers. It’s hard to guess how popular a blog actually is based on just what you can see.

    Also, these numbers often have little to do with income blogs generate. Well besides pageviews for cpm ads. But readers don’t always understand that either. Blogging can be complicated!

    I’m with all the others… I love you blog! You always have such internesting and thoughtful discussions. :)

    • Susan says:

      Was just about to say the same thing! A lot of people actually assume I get less readers than I do, I can only assume because I don’t get as many commenters? Not all blogs are designed to attract open commenting, and you never know once subscribers are factored in. I’ve given up trying to find a rhyme or reason to my numbers and instead just do what I want to do :)

    • Tina says:

      SOOO true!!! It’s hard to figure out, which is why we shouldn’t try to compare and just focus on doing what feels right for each of us individually. Great points!

  41. Awesome blog and is so reflective of how I feel too. Blogging has become the emotional and literary outlet that I’ve needed in my life. It really has filled a void in my life and I love it.

    I’ve never been one who enjoyed talking about themselves with others, I’m much more a listener, but writing about what’s going on in my life and discussing my views on exercise and food is so therapeutic. If others like reading about little ole me, then great. If not, I’ll keep doing it anyway. It’s great having a passion and pursuing it. Anything else that comes from it (friends, followers, pageviews, etc.) is all dessert.

  42. I agree that you need to focus on the right goals and the rest should follow. I also think that while talking about exact page views, income, etc. is sort of weird (I don’t randomly tell people about my salary!), it would be really brave and helpful if a few of the more established bloggers gave a general idea of what blogging full time may mean financially. I think it could be useful for those who are considering quitting their day jobs. I know it’s contravercial but I think could also be important.

    • Lee says:

      I agree with this too. The amount of money that I get from my blog is pretty negligible and I really do wonder how much money some people that blog for a career make. I am honestly just curious.

    • Tina says:

      I will say that I do not make even close to a full-time salary. I would say what I earn right now is comparable to a part time income as a grocery bagger…just a whole lot more fun via blogging. LOL

      • Thanks for your honesty and this reference. I like it :) [And sort of can get an idea of the ballpark figure.]

        • Tina says:

          I don’t think blogging is ever really the full time income for those who do it from a working perspective. I think it’s always a door to other opportunities or something that will work in conjunction with other ventures. I don’t ever expect to make a full income blogging, but to have it work well alongside personal training. Others work it alongside freelance writing or publishing books. Others through more brand specific work. Blogging itself and the pay through ads/reviews is not the best place to focus for income. It’s a lot more outside of it. And this will be a great thing to discuss in part two of this discussion. Thanks!!! :)

  43. I love this! It’s so inspiring to see your growth as a blogger which was nurtured by your genuine passion for it. Keep up the great work!

  44. Katy Widrick says:

    Well said, sister…that’s another reason that I want to keep doing blogger surveys — I think that doing them anonymously gives people a chance to report their page views and income without having to share it by name.

    And I do understand the desire of other bloggers to see where they “fit” in our community. So kudos to you for addressing this.

  45. Lisa says:

    I remember when I first started my blog I was so excited when i got 50 hits in one day! :) It was like “Wow, people actually want to read what I write??”

    My biggest days were when I as on the cover FIRST magazine–my readership tripled. One day my page views were over 4,000. I was shocked. And shocked my site didn’t crash. The other day was when I was featured in Yahoo health. Those little extra boosts were cool to see. I don’t make any money though. Oh well! I don’t do it for the money.

  46. Hilary says:

    Thank you for sharing! This is all good food for thought for someone currently not earning any blog income. I was sitting right beside Ashley as she asked that question! ;) I would like it if you shared how you find companies/how they find you for sponsorship.

  47. What an inspiring post. As a new blogger it’s refreshing that you are still driven by passion for sharing your stories rather thAn the financial outcome of your work. I love that you are so open and honest in every post. You are so relatable and that keeps people coming back for more.

  48. Laura says:

    Great post! I really love that you are clear about your purpose of this blog and how it is about building relationships with your readers. Personally it is inspiring as a new blogger this is very helpful.

  49. This is a really insightful post, Tina. It’s nice to see to see your reasons for blogging laid out like this :) It’s also nice to see that more people are visiting your site – you have a great blog so it makes sense that more people are coming by!

  50. I just started blogging a couple of months ago and haven’t really found my “place” yet. Mostly, I write for me! I don’t even know how to check pageviews so that is definitely not the motivation for me. Blogging does help me stay focused on my training/workouts because who wants to post about failing to run/workout! Thanks for posting this to help us newbies figure out what we are doing with our blogs!

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