The Return of the Blogging Ratios


This is a guest post by Jackie Jackson. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Around six months ago, Daniel touched upon ratio analysis for bloggers. Basically, he came up with two very interesting formulae for analyzing the capabilities of a blog. The first one was the Subscriber Conversion Ratio (which you can find dividing the number of subscribers by the number of published posts in a blog). The second one was the Comments Per Post Ratio (which you can find dividing the total number of comments by the number of published posts on a blog).

Both these ratios are great means to evaluate a blog in logical & statistical terms. I had the impression that Daniel would be coming up with a lot more of these in the future. However, maybe he was too busy or just forgot about it somehow — whatever the case was — I couldn’t wait anymore as I wanted to find and create some more blogging ratios that can be used to effectively evaluate a blog.

Being a ‘statistic’ freak I was able to come up with 3 blogging ratios mainly focusing on the monetization aspect of blogs. Watch Out.

Reader Conversion Ratio

This one is really close to me, it tells you exactly how much you earned for each person that visited your blog in a particular month. It shows how effectively you’ve juiced your readers.

reader conversion
It should be noted that this Ratio is bound to be high for bloggers who aggressively promote affiliate or personal products on their blogs, and a bit lower for more passive ones, so it directly depends on your overall blogging strategy. On the other hand, long time bloggers are more likely to have higher conversion rates than their newer counterparts.

This can be a perfect tool to see if you’re over monetizing or under monetizing. Usually the ratio will depend upon your blogging niche and as discussed earlier, your blogging strategy. However, it can be used to see if you can afford to be more aggressive or whether you’ve gone just too far.

It is indeed better to have high conversion rates because that way you’ll make more money, nonetheless it is highly recommended by most people (including Daniel) to concentrate on your content and blogging in general in the initial months and only fire up monetization efforts after you’ve achieved a decent amount of traffic.

Making Forecasts

I figured out a very interesting way of using this ratio. When you find the exact conversion rate for your blog, you can make a good estimate of how many unique readers per month you need to have additionally, to make an X amount of money. Confused?

For example;

Caroline Middlebrook has revealed that she made $2,439.59 in January, 2009 from her blogging efforts, and 24,823 unique readers visited her blog in the month. Lets calculate the ratio for her:

Reader Conversion Ratio for Caroline’s Blog equal to $2,439.59 divided by 24,823, which is equal to $0.098 per reader.

So, if Caroline wants to earn $5,000 from her blog, how many readers will she need?

She will need $5,000 divided by 0.098, which is equal to 51,020 readers.

Now, we know that she already has 24,823 unique readers in place, so she requires (24,823) another 26,197 readers to break the $5000 mark.

Break Even Analysis

Break even is the point where your costs equal your revenue, Break even analysis helps you estimate the required amount of sales you need to make in order to at least cover your expenses.
Using the break even analysis in relation with the reader conversion ratio, we can calculate the approximate No. of readers needed to at least cover the blog’s expenses. This estimation can be very useful for new bloggers.

Lets say for example your Reader Conversion Ratio is $0.12 per reader, and your monthly blogging costs (hosting, advertising, etc…) are $180. How many unique readers (per month) will you require to break even?

You would require $180 divided by $0.12, which is equal to 1,500 readers.

Therefore, this ratio can come in pretty handy if you’re trying to make some realistic goals and objectives, it can also give you a good sense of direction.

I’m quite sure that you still want to know what exactly is a Good ratio and Whats bad.

So do I, but the thing is that not too many bloggers reveal their personal income and traffic statistics so openly, in fact Caroline Middlebrook is the only blogger on my RSS feed who does this. Therefore, I’d love you guys to reveal your own conversion rates and discuss this ratio specifically in the comments section. Lets learn more about it’s mechanism.

Income Dependency Ration

It’s a general perception that a blogger shouldn’t depend too much on affiliate income and money made from selling other people’s stuff, mainly because selling personal products lead to higher profit margin and greater financial stability.

income dependency
For example, you are actively promoting a fellow blogger’s eBook for which he pays you 30% commission (on selling price), and you make a decent living out of it. Just imagine what would happen if he closes the affiliate program immediately without any warning — it can be disastrous! On the contrary, if you were selling your own eBook to the same people, firstly you’d make 100% of the selling price and secondly you’ll enjoy a lot more independence over your cash flows.

I know that affiliate programs represent a great way of making money (I love them) without working too hard, and people exaggerate the demerits of depending too heavily on them, however it’s always nice to keep a check and know exactly what percentage of your income comes from affiliate programs.
Additionally, it’s great way to see from which affiliate program comes the highest portion of your income, so probably you can focus more on it.

Here’s how it works:

You have earned $4200 from your blog in January, 2009 and this income has come from the following sources:

  • Clickbank Commission – $2200
  • HostGator Affiliate Program – $800
  • Selling Personal Product – $1000
  • Google Adsense – $ 200

Your Overall Affiliate Dependency % will be: $3,000 divided by $4,200 and multiplied by 100, which is equal to 71.42%.

This means that 71.42% of your total earnings come from affiliate programs. People who believe in self sufficiency would not like this kind of a ratio too much, and will probably try to bring it down.

Thankfully I’m not one of them and I can’t live without Affiliate programs.

What are your thoughts on this?

Earnings Per Post Ratio

I’ve heard many Internet marketing gurus stressing on the importance of posting more frequently to achieve blogging success. This made me wonder if posting more often increases a blog’s income. Perhaps it’s something for Mythbusters to work on.
One thing that I’m sure of is that frequent blogging definitely increases reader visits, just like we flock on to daily blog tips every evening — DBT is so successful because daily postings lead to such an addiction for the readers that it becomes a habit for them to visit the blog everyday – add to it quality writing — failure was never an option.

As far as the relation of blog earnings with the No. of posts is concerned, I believe that there is a greater link between the two for newer bloggers than for older ones. What I mean to say is that if Daniel reduces his posting habits it wouldn’t really affect his earnings to a great extent because he’s developed himself a name and reputation which will retain the readers for him, but if a fresh blogger does it – readers may turn away and earnings will drop.

In any case if you feel that you’re not making enough cash, do try blogging more regularly; I’m sure it’d help somewhat at the very least.

Here’s the ratio to calculate your earning per post. I hope it comes in handy.

earnings per post
That’s all I’ve got to say for the day, thank you. It’ll be great if you apply these ratios onto your blogs and share the information in the comment section. It will be a wonderful learning experience for everyone. Also, let me know your thoughts on all the 3 ratios I’ve discussed and which one you like the most. Take care.

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18 Responses to “The Return of the Blogging Ratios”

  • SEO Quotes

    Interesting article, and very good information.Maybe it’s time for the blogging community to develop a full set of formal metrics in order to measure the success of a blog and its economic potential.

  • Tyrone – Internet Business Path

    Yes, bloggers are here! let us make this number uncountable again! Many succeeded, and so we as we!

  • Melvin

    hey dude, this is an awesome article… I had to bookmark it to reread it all over again..

  • Trader Mom

    That is a long way to go. I need to work extra hard

  • Jackie Jackson

    I am feeling like crying my heart out – I was so excited for being published on DBT, and when I was actually published i missed the show!

    Wasn’t well – so didn’t visit DBT for the first day of my life since 2 years and also forget to check my email.

    So – a big sorry to Daniel – for not being there on the BIG
    day and a bigger one to all you guys .

    Will reply to all the comments now.

    @ikkI :

    Thanks Alot – and yes the Income Dependency ratio’s pretty interesting.

    @Eddie Gear

    I am honored.


    i’ll publish more of these ratios on my blog – so check that out as well.

    @Julius Kuhn-Regnier


    @Marcus Friedman

    man! thats a fantastic idea….lots of bloggers coming together to set blogging standards and developing appraisal metrics – i hope these big guys like daniel and darren are listening.

    as far as my article is considered – I tried to cover the monetization aspect of blogging to some extent.

    @SEO Tips
    thats the best gift.

    @Mr. I

    yes, keeping a track of the no.s can really give u a great sense of direction.


    all credit to daniel for the idea – i loved it too.

    @Kurt Avish

    apply them on ur blog, at the very least it’ll be fun!

    @Blogger Tips
    i tried to make it easy and crisp but maybe i just couldn’t explain it well – try reading it again – it might help!

    @Caroline Middlebrook

    first of all – a big welcome – although i agree that there is a small error of margin – overall the ratios can give u a good idea of the situation.

    i knew that ur earnings were a little more than usual in jan and u had mentioned that Yaro’s promotion of ur blog had caused it – but i still took it – just as an example to show the workings.

    as far as being careful is concerned – i believe that when u analyze the ratios in accordance with the traffic statistics from google analytics and ur personal knowledge – u’ll get a very decent idea.

    also, if you regularly calculate the ratios – lets say every month – then the ‘General trends’ can give you a huge insight as well.

  • Caroline Middlebrook

    Thanks for the plug 🙂 You have to be careful with calculations like these though because they make the assumption that the stats you are working with are going to repeat. You have picked my January stats but in that month I was promoted by Yaro Starak so my earnings and my traffic were significantly higher than usual.

  • How to start a nursing agency

    This is great validation and helps us understand just how to learn more of your content

  • Blogger Tips

    I love this blog, it makes my mind work 🙂

  • Blogger Tips

    Omg, very cute math study who wants to learn how much they can earn more. very mathematical informations, actually l cant say l could understand all, yep, you can also get some informations like this from adsense clickrates actually you should study hard to controle ur traffic like this. presently l cant.
    Well, if these mathhematical formulas works every1 would get targetted traffic and earn these results, but the value of traffic and visitors every new visitors clickrates may rebuild the formulas and results.
    nice study that should read more than once 🙂

  • Kurt Avish

    Good mathematics 🙂 Gonna consider these.

  • James

    Great idea..never think about it before. These are good reference for bloggers..

  • Mr. I

    Jackie, excellent post. Seems like we bloggers will need to do lot of maths!

  • SEO Tips

    Excellent article definitely stumble this bad boy 😉

  • Marcus Friedman

    Hi Jackie! Congratulations on your article. I think it’s very insightful.

    Maybe it’s time for the blogging community to develop a full set of formal metrics in order to measure the success of a blog and its economic potential.

    Metrics are applied to almost every mature professional activity, and blogging shouldn’t be an exception.

    From what I’ve seen, there’s very little information on this matter, and that’s why I think that your article provides an excellent starting point for further development.

    Best regards,

  • Julius Kuhn-Regnier

    really interesting article on a topic that has rarely been talked about. great work 😉

  • Nate @ Debt-free Scholar

    I plan to come back to this page often. For someone as addicted to stats as I am this is great. 🙂


  • Eddie Gear

    Interesting article, and very good information. I got this one printed for later reading over the weekend.

    keep up the good work guys.

    Eddie Gear

  • Ikki at Seo Blog

    Those sure are some nice formulae to keep in mind! Especially the Income Dependency Ratio one!

    Thanks for sharing this!

Comments are closed.