Alexa Rank and Blog Money

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Your Alexa rank isn’t really an ideal traffic metric to use if you’re looking for pinpoint accuracy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a useful motivator. I log into most of my sites daily so I’m always checking my browsers Alexa ranking plugin for each of my websites. Sure, my recorded visits probably skew the results slightly, but not too much. I have sites with Alexa rankings in the millions that I visit daily and others with much better/lower numbers too, so it’s all relative if you ask me.

I use it as an incentive to keep myself posting regularly. Something about watching that number creep down over and over makes me want to keep at it. While it might not be the best ranking method, I believe it does have some worth. Have you ever noticed the popular make money bloggers claiming to be making a living usually rank somewhere between (roughly) 5,000 and 20,000 in Alexa? I’m sure that range doesn’t guarantee you a dime, especially if you’re banking on the randomness of ad clicks or affiliate sales, but there must be a very broad correlation between attaining a certain Alexa score and earning some decent revenue.

I started searching for blog sites (regardless of site topic) that share income data or publish monthly revenue reports to see if there was any link to an Alexa range and making decent revenue. I realize there are so many different variables that could warp such a fun study, but I wanted to find that coveted Alexa range linked to ample income. Is there an Alexa number that more often than not equals a decent chunk of change each month? Sure, this is all contemplative speculation based on rather flimsy traffic data to begin with, but I’m still interested to see the results.

I realize that some of these folks have their hands in a bit of everything including membership only sections, training programs, their own products (such as books, e-books, and phone apps, etc.), affiliate sales, ppc and cpm ads, direct ad sales, multiple sites, ebay or domain sales, paid reviews, and more. These income results will include everything, even if in some cases the revenue totals are for multiple sites. It’s also worth noting that on some sites I could only find older monthly revenue details, but the Alexa rank I recorded was for the date of this post.

So there you have it. Twenty random blogs with a recent monthly income report. I didn’t realize how vast the Alexa range would be in this list, but it really shows that it’s less about attaining a certain amount of traffic (or Alexa traffic if you will) and more about what you do with it. As I write this, I’m realizing I’ve been obsessing over the wrong number. Sure, an Alexa rank is fun to watch, but it means next to nothing. I should be watching my income by experimenting with new revenue streams while continually testing what I use currently.

Most of these sites break down their revenue so you can see where it’s coming from and what is strongest for each individual niche. It’s also important to realize you have to take a pro-active approach to attaining higher revenue instead of just waiting for it. If all you use is Adsense, you’ll likely never experience the kind of income a lot of these sites earn, but a more balanced attack with a combination of streams appears to work wonders for these people.

For example, take a look at Pat Flynn’s last income report over at his Smart Passive Income site. He has over two dozen affiliate products he earns from alone. Now go check out that list and search his site for where and how he uses/mentions these products. I just did the same thing and left his site realizing I haven’t been working nearly as smart as I could have been. Did you catch that each one is linked in his monthly revenue reports too?

Ok, so there’s no real magic Alexa number, but I will say once you get your score down into these familiar ranges (similar to these sites), then it’s up to you what you do with that traffic. Study the people on this list closest to your number or niche and figure out what they’re doing right (or what you’re doing wrong). There’s really no reason you can’t be achieving similar results if you’re in the same traffic ballpark as these other sites.

I know I have my work cut out for me. Seriously. It’s a good thing I enjoy writing because I am an extremely underachieving blogger if we’re talking dollars and cents. From just a quick comparison, other sites in the general neighborhood of my Alexa rank are making hundreds of dollars each month, so I am clearly doing just about everything wrong thus far. And then there’s the couple running the website which isn’t far off from my Alexa rank, yet they earn so much that they have to carry their monthly gains to the bank in a wheelbarrow. Good for them, although I’m not sure if the amount they’re earning is motivating or discouraging at this point. 😉

Oh, and I almost forgot one last website to include.

Alexa Rank Reloaded

Ok, here we are two and a half years after my last Alexa post and sadly I’m not that much further along in my quest to improve my rank. Despite my flakiness, I consider myself very lucky to have actually improved in all this time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few popular posts that show up high in the search engines for a couple different keyword phrases which seems to keep people coming back.

I think I’m like most people out there who struggle with staying consistent. I went through an initial phase of posting nearly five times a week, and then I tapered off quite a bit ever since. I realize I make it nearly impossible to keep up the pace I set for myself because I spread myself too thin. How can one person post daily to twenty different sites while working a full time job? It’s nearly impossible. No wonder I sleep so little.

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The problem with the general theme of OpenSourceHack is that it caters to my fleeting attention span. When I’m researching and writing about new open source or commercial software, WordPress plugins and themes, or helpful ways to grow the sites traffic, the hamster wheel is spinning out of control with ideas on how to implement everything I’ve found/learned. I buy a new domain, install the software and start customizing, all while the site here grows a layer of dust.

So now that I’m excited again to talk about and play with all these new tools and software I’ve been finding, I’m going to set an Alexa goal of breaking a million by the end of 2012. Doesn’t seem like a monumental task if I can stay focused, but…..oooh, look, a Pidgin.


AlexaI stumbled upon a post the other day that provided some tips for increasing your Alexa ranking. Since this site doesn’t even have a ranking yet, I figure it would be a good idea to get one. I forget where I saw the article, but I was more impressed with the idea rather than the tips. Yes, I want to increase (obtain) an Alexa ranking, but how? The tips I saw were so vague or general that it almost felt condescending. “Use social networking, get a post on the front page of Digg, buy advertising, etc.” Yeah, no kidding. Thanks for the overly obvious tips. I know lists are very popular, but without some explanation, they’re all fluff and of no real use to the visitor. That new content might get your new page picked up by the search engines and get you some new traffic, but your bounce rate is going to be high. I would much rather read an entire article/post dedicated to one of those things with detailed explanations on how to use them most effectively.

Well, I took what I could out of the article and installed the Alexa toolbar to visit my own site. I also installed the Firefox Search Status plugin. Maybe those will at least get me on my way to a ranking. Hopefully I can find better information about it soon. I’m not sure the Alexa rank would even be a good measure of true traffic since (as far as I know) the users would need to have the toolbar installed to be counted. Being that it still seems to be quite relevant to advertisers, I’ll still strive to improve this ranking as soon as I get one.

OpenSourceHack Alexa Rank