How can your site generate $2,000/month?

OK. Let’s talk through what we would need to do to make $2,000/month. Looking at the ‘choosing a monetization model” post, there are several ways income can flow to you from your site. How can we make $2,000 per month from each of those sources?

Amazon Affiliate Income

Everything on Amazon is available to affiliates. Many do product reviews and link to Amazon for the sale because of the trust buyers put into the checkout process. But making great money with Amazon isn’t easy.

To make $2,000, we would need to sell $28,571 worth of merchandise (at an average 7% commission). If the products we sold were $50 each, we would need to sell 571 products. Conservatively it would take $57,142 people converting at 1% to accomplish that.

If we were to do that in one month, we would need 2,200 people per day to the page featuring the affiliate link. That’s if the post was a review or recommendation post. A sidebar, banner or footer ad would likely take more people to convert at 1% unless the products has tremendous relevance to the site.

Taming the AdSense Beast

AdSense is a fantastic way to make money, for some sites. I’ve worked with sites that bring in $2,000/month in AdSense revenue with as little as 1,400 visitors per day (averaging $.42/click). But not every site is designed to generate a good income with Adsense. A well optimized AdSense monetized site has all the right ad sizes, colors, fonts and placement.

Typically the goal of a high paying AdSense site is information. Posts are written to provide the reader with information on the topic, not deals, product reviews, recommendations or squeeze pages. When the only goal is information the reader is not “asked” to take an action but is free to click the links on the page that look interesting.

Compared to the information sites I mentioned above, deal sites that get 1,400 visitors per day may only bring in about $300/month in AdSense revenue (with a $.38/click average). And there’s nothing wrong with that. Deal, product review and affiliate sites may employ AdSense but primarily push their audiences to coupons, affiliate links and other monetization sources. They do fine overall, but their AdSense income doesn’t compare to that of information sites.

In either case, AdSense income requires traffic and a good cost per click. is a great place to determine which keywords generate high paying AdSense ads. For instance “Los Angeles Personal Injury” ads pay $2.60/click. Create a site about California personal injury attorneys and you’d only need 25 clicks/day to make $2,000. That sounds much easier doesn’t it?

Micro Continuity Membership

Ever think about starting a membership site? There are some fantastic money makers out there. At a mere $2.99/month, you’d need 668 members to clear $2,000. Ramping up from scratch, you would need to add 66 new people per month to get there in one year or 33 to get there in two years. But the nice thing about low-price continuity is that few people cancel – which means growth today is growth tomorrow.

There are a great deal of “super advanced training” membership sites that charge $299, $499 and upwards of $1,999/month. Can you move your audience to that level of expertise? People pay a lot more than that for college – so it’s not unreasonable. The question is do you have an audience willing to pay for that level of personalized knowledge?

The good thing about high ticket membership programs is that you don’t need many to make money. In fact, you may need only one per month to achieve $2,000.

Corporate Sponsorship

Corporate sponsors come in many forms. I learned last year at the Savvying Blogging Summit that companies will pay $250 – $300 for Sponsored Blog Posts (not every company of course), but if you can land those deals you would only need to write eight per month (obviously not the traditional route). Some sites have Sponsors that pay a monthly fee for a set scope of work. Often times that exceeds $2,000/month – thus it is worth looking into for sure.

Private Banner Ads

This is the most ambiguous of the lot. I’ve seen monthly banner ads ranging from $35/month to $19,500. This method of monetization is totally dependent on the site traffic, influence, target demographic and overall value in the niche. A site seeing 500 visitors per day could easily sell a banner ad for $50/month. Doing the extra work to include tracking so you could prove your worth to the advertiser in months 2, 3 and 4 is an important component of the long term success. Otherwise, you spend a good deal of time trying to find sponsors each month.

Finally, the Combination

No one hoping to make $2,000 in extra income should put all their eggs in one basket. Similar to relying on Google for traffic, anytime a source goes away your income is at great risk. So here’s a combination of revenue streams that could easily produce $2,000/month for a site getting 500 visitors per day.

Source Income
Adsense Income**($.40/click) $210
Sponsored Blog Post $250
Amazon Affiliate Sales $120
3 Private Banner Ads $150
10 Ebook Sales $90
Amazon Kindle sales of Ebook ($9.99) $49.95
Amazon Ebook Sales ($7.99) $39.95
Coupon Banner Ad Commissions $250
In-text ads $30
Advanced information membership site 40 members $160
“How To” Webinar 30 people $22/each $660

There’s no getting around the “business side” of blogging. If you’re hoping to make $2,000/month there’s little chance you’re going to do so by luck. Putting together a plan like this means you’ll be able to see the growth each month till you get there.

34 thoughts on “How can your site generate $2,000/month?”

  1. Well said…one thing I have always tried to do is not put all my eggs in one basket. We have lots of different forms of income and it has worked out well so far.
    Thanks Dan!

  2. As I look for ideas of how to implement other sources of income via my coupon blog, I appreciate the new ideas in addition to seeing how you utilize methods I already use. Thanks for the info.

  3. Hi There! This is the first article I have commented on. I am really impressed with how you laid everything out. I just started an information/blog/affiliate site at I don’t know how it is going because it is so early, but am hoping to grow a little nest egg there. Thank you for the wonderful insight. If you ever have time, feel free to glance over my site and give me custom tips, lol!

  4. There is one important number in Adsense which we will revolve around in this post – CTR, the famous Click Through Rate.
    The higher the CTR the better your pages are performing. High CTR means that a large percentage of people are clicking on your ads.

  5. I think the key is to diversify monetization of your site. Don’t just rely on Adsense or Affiliates, but both! (In addition to the other great suggestions you mentioned in your article Dan) 🙂 I personally love the idea of developing you’re own product. It’s seriously the best way to made a little money on the side with your blog.

  6. Congrats on starting a new site! That’s fantastic.

    Don’t make the monetization the goal for a while, however. If you can concentrate on your “voice”, your purpose, your content you’ll grow a community of fans much faster. And when you do that you’ll have a better idea of what your fans like, want and need and will be able to better tailor your monetization plan to them.

    Good luck with your site. 🙂

  7. Put me down as another vote in favor of an “adsense optimization” post, or for that matter an “adsense 101” post. I have not yet activated because it seems like a cumbersome process and haven’t found a good tutorial yet. I did read the novel…er I mean instructions on the adsense site but got discouraged and fled to FB. Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to that post.

  8. @SnoWhite I’ll write a post on Optimizing Google AdSense next. Seems like you might not be the only one interested. 🙂

    @MaAnna AdSense is not for everyone, I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, if you visited your attorney’s website, or for that matter, AdSense would just seem out of place.

    For some it is highly lucrative and a perfect monetization strategy. But there are lots of people making more than $2,000/month who have never seen an Ad$ense check.

  9. The bulk of my online generated income is from the services I provide in the form of live classes and from video tutorials that run on a member site. I’m in the process of making them both affiliate offers. I also provide a resourcesnlist of the products I use and recommend to my clients and all of them are aff links. I’ve brought them more forward in visibility on the site and in promotions and seeing a definite uptick in purchases.

    Because my focus is to have folks buy my stuff, .40 cents a click is not worth sending readers away from my site.

    I am definitely considering sponsored posts, but only on occassion because I must remain a trusted resource and not have so many that I’m perceived as a product peddler. In fact, I think writing less of these posts, but on products that I’m super enthusiastic about using, will actually generate more aff sales in the long run and overshadow the little income of being paid to write it.

  10. @Jimmie, I agree with that concept. A blog is not a business, it’s merely one of the publishing tools of your business. A legitimate operation must realize all its opportunities.

  11. When I read this, the one message I get is to diversify and have multiple income streams. I don’t even call it making money from “blogging” but making money online because not everything is directly tied to the blog. The blog becomes the platform by which you promote other projects and your own expertise (if you work as a freelancer or consultant).
    My breakdown is, of course, quite different. But I strongly encourage bloggers to think outside of the ad space box.

  12. @Rich I haven’t written an AdSense Optimization post here, but certainly could. Google has a program called “Adsense in the City” . Otherwise, one of our services is Video Site Reviews if you’re interested in hearing more about your site in particular. I’d be happy to look at it. 🙂

  13. Dan, thanks for your recent comment to SnoWhite re: Adsense placement and optimization. Have you written something about that in the past, that I could reference? Or is there another resource that would help me learn more about that? Thanks!

  14. @David . . microcontinuity is good because it is so easy to convince yourself to join at $2.99/month – especially when the information is in your niche. AND the cancel rate on $2.99/month is very low. With such a low attrition rate, you can really grow the community.

    @SnoWhite your site is beautiful, that’s for sure. Your site isn’t optimized for AdSense though. Optimizing your AdSense placement would alter the look of your site a bit, but it would improve your income almost immediately.

    @Christin I don’t disagree with you at all. But in my “scenario” only the Adsense income and Coupon income were directly dependent on site traffic. The rest, like Amazon Kindle sales, were based on something else entirely.

  15. I have a pretty high traffic volume every day, but only use AdSense, and my rate per click is high, but I get 1-4 clicks every day. Some days, when I get 10 clicks, I make less money than when I get 1 click. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but it seems really unpredictable. Any suggestions?

  16. Great post, Dan!

    I need to really start digging into Adsense. Right now I’m doing sponsored posts and affiliate sales however no longer Amazon since they pulled out of IL. Really trying to find a good replacement but Amazon is so amazing that it’s hard to find.

    Oh yea and products will be coming too!

  17. I’m glad you guys liked it. When you look at your own statistics, were they comparable to the numbers I presented? For instance, are you averaging $.40/click with your AdSense Ads? Those numbers are my experience with my clients and my own sites. You’ll have to adjust your numbers if your stats are different.

  18. Hmm…interesting, though I find the 500 visits per day far fetched for making this kind of income.

    And it’s rare to find someone who will pay $250 for a sponsored blog post, esp on a blog with only 500 visits per day. I couldn’t even get an author to pay for a giveaway because their publisher didn’t believe it was the best use of their budget– and I average over double that 500 visits per day. (They came to me for the giveaway).

    Maybe I’m under charging?

  19. Appreciate the post Dan! I could not agree more that finding the easiest way to make $2,000 would be everyone’s main objective when it comes to monetization – but I also think that keeping your eggs spread over several baskets keeps your odds of succeeding and being able to goal change more feasible! Great tips!

  20. I have to echo Angie’s comment. The concrete breakdown of numbers is so helpful. This gives me a place to start w/ setting goals for monetizing my own sites. Thank you, Dan!!

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