Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about making sure that I’m choosing valuable things to use my time on and backing up those decisions with data. This is one of the reasons why I started tracking the number of visitors to my projects in 2019.
But number of visitors isn’t really value. I mean I like it when people read my posts but views alone won’t pay the bills.
So to get at a metric that more closely tracks with inherent value - and that could be compared across project types, not just websites - I chose $$$. You know, that thing you pay the tax man with.
My idea is that by knowing the converted monetary cost of an action (and the expected return of said action), I would be able to more easily compare apples to oranges. Now obvs this isn’t a perfect system, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.
How this relates to this post is that I was wondering just how much value I got out of each of my posts to better determine how much time I should really be putting in - or at least the cost and returns of doing so.
In 2019, my sites were visited by 21,439 people. While that was a lot for me (a 2700% increase in views year over year!), I know that that’s still small-time in the grand scheme of things.
I made $15.47 from ads on my sites and wrote 102 posts that year. Now if I leave it at this and assume that all of the views I got were from posts I wrote this year (which isn’t true, but I’m trying to boost my numbers and make this calc easy) then each post was worth ~$0.15.
total_revenue_dollars: float = 15.47 total_posts: int = 102 average_revenue_per_post: float = total_revenue_dollars / total_posts average_revenue_per_post
Not nothing, but certainly not a lot.
It does get a bit better though as I only ran ads on my technical site and I only published 66 posts in 2019. If we run those numbers:
total_labs_posts: int = 66 average_revenue_per_labs_post: float = total_revenue_dollars / total_labs_posts average_revenue_per_labs_post
Then the value of my average labs post is $0.23. Better, but still abysmal.
But I didn’t have ads the entire year. My first day serving ads was actually December 19th, 2019. So we have to calculate just the number of views I got from December 19th to the end of the year.
I know this seems like a huge change, but I think around half of my views were before and after that date as I had a post hit the front page of Hacker News on the 24th and totally disrupt my stats.
From 2019.01.01 to 2019.12.19, I had 9,366 visitors and from 2019.12.19 to 2020.01.01 I had 10,089 so that Dec 19th date was pretty close to the midpoint wrt visitors. Also, I know that those numbers don’t add up to 21,439 but I’m not going to investigate why that is /shrug.
So if we weight the returns by the number of visitors that happened after the monetization date and project that over the entire year, then we’ll have a better idea of the value of the average monetized post.
total_visitors: int = 21439 total_visitors_after_monetization: int = 10089 total_projected_revenue_dollars_for_year: float = (total_visitors / total_visitors_after_monetization) * total_revenue_dollars average_projected_revenue_per_labs_post: float = total_projected_revenue_dollars_for_year / total_labs_posts average_projected_revenue_per_labs_post
Which brings us up to ~$0.50 per post.
So, yeah, I make around $0.50 / post here on Labs and like nothing on my other sites. It’s a lot less than I thought but that often happens when you don’t take the time to sit down and measure things.
Hi I'm Hamilton and I wrote / built this! I like doing lots of things, but mostly I like to build (and then share those buildings). Some things I'm currently building: art, software, and prose. To stay up-to-date with my latest buildings, subscribe to my email list or follow one of my many other accounts. #buildit #shipit #justhamit