It’s human nature to want to know how we fit in. How we compare to everyone around us.
Bloggers are no different.
I recently found myself wondering, “How many page views is good for a blog?” Just in a general sense, because I’m curious. As my blog continues to grow, I can’t help but have an urge to measure myself against others. To get a sense of common benchmarks and milestones.
A lot of you are probably the same way.
What I didn’t realize, before I dove into the research, was just how much goes into answering a question like that. Such as:
What Is a Pageview?
How Many Pageviews Do Popular Sites Get?
How Many Pageviews Should My Blog Get?
When & How to Monetize Pageviews
Tips for Increasing Blog Traffic & Pageviews
And if you’re just looking to get started, check out my complete guide to starting a profitable blog from scratch.
What Is a Pageview?
Let’s start at the top. What exactly do we mean when say “a pageview”?
Here’s the problem: there are a lot of different terms swirling around that all mean similar but different things. There’s:
Traffic vs. Hits vs. Pageviews vs. Uniques vs. Impressions
Here’s the skinny on each:
A pageview is a standard unit of measure that equates to one single person loading one single web page. If a person were to sit and load the same web page 50 times, that would register in Google Analytics as 50 pageviews.
Unique Pageviews, or Uniques
This is the money metric. A unique pageview discounts repeated loads of the same web page, so that person sitting there loading your page 50 times (what a jerk, by the way) would only count as one unique pageview. However, if that person were to leave your site and then return to that same page again later on (in a new “session” as it’s referred to in Analytics), THAT would count as a 2nd unique pageview. For that reason, this is probably the best metric in terms of getting a sense of how many people are interacting with your site.
Traffic is usually a broad term used to describe the total number of “stuff” that occurs on your website. It’s usually a combination of the number of visitors along with any individual pageviews they may have accrued while they were there. So a Traffic number of one million could mean a million people visiting one page each, a single person visiting a million pages, or anything in between.
This is another term that’s used broadly and, often, incorrectly. A hit is technically a request to a web server for a file, which includes individual pages but also files on that page like images, audio, video, etc. So one person visiting one page does not neccesarily equate to one hit. For example, certain content management systems report internally on hits, which can range in the hundreds even for blog posts that have only received a small handful of visitors.
This one is a bit confusing to me, because impressions tend to be a metric used in advertising and online media (how many people are exposed to a single instance of an ad). Best I can tell, a web page impression is very similar to a pageview — it’s a measure of a single visitor loading a single web page.
Impressions are also used to measure your blog’s performance in Google search. It reflects how many times your site is showing up in a viewed page of search results, regardless of how many clicks you receive.
How Many Pageviews Do Popular Websites Get?
Now it’s time to take your own blog’s traffic and compare it to the big boys.
According to Quantcast, here’s how much traffic Google, YouTube, Facebook, and some of America’s other top sites get, as measured by the number of people that visit in a month. It’s kind of hard to equate “people” to pageviews, but it should give you a rough idea of the scale. These are the best numbers I could find, so please don’t count on them for scientific accuracy. But they should be enough to give you a ball park.
So, yeah. Those are some pretty big and daunting numbers.
If you’re interested in finding ballpark estimates for your favorite websites, check out the Quantcast link above for the full list.
And check out Alexa.com for some more traffic rankings and other interesting metrics around those same sites; it looks something like this:
How Many Page Views Should My Blog Get?
This is the mother of all questions, right? This is what originally set me out on this path of learning everything I could above pageviews.
Unfortunately, there’s no good answer. (Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, though!)
The number of pageviews your blog gets really depends on many things: your topic, your skill and knowledge, how long you’ve been blogging, how active you are on social media, how good you are at SEO and digital marketing, how competitive your niche is, and what the goals of your site really are.
I know that’s a lame thing to read. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much the only answer available when you take to Google with this question.
But I figure we’d all at least like a rough ballpark to benchmark ourselves again, right?
It’s hard to find concrete pageview stats for blogs because people tend to not want to report those if they’re unimpressive. Still, here is a completely random smattering of self-reported pageview numbers from various bloggers around the web:
An anonymous person on a digital marketing forum wrote:
I have 10 – 20 wordpress blogs most of them are 2 – 5 months old at the moment and each of them gets traffic around 150 -1500 UV per day.
Aline from Nouchaline has been writing about fashion since 2009 and gets about 300 pageviews a day.
nycmakeuplover blogs on, well, makeup and gets around 800 pageviews a day. The site has recently gone inactive, though, for what it’s worth.
Fashion. Food. Flair. gets 2500 views a month and has been at it for over 2 years.
An informal study done by Blogelina in 2010 (so take it with a grain of salt… I’ll explain why later) of 20 bloggers found the average number of monthly page views to be around 4000, which comes to around 130 per day.
And here’s a quote from John Saddington, a blogger whose article “How Much Traffic Do You Need to Start Advertising on Your Blog?” ranks highly for relevant searches around this topic:
If you’re not getting at least 250 unique visitors (per day) by the end of the first calendar year then there is something significantly wrong with how you’re executing on your content, strategy, and brand.
Not sure I agree with that, but it’s another valuable perspective.
Pretty big variance across the board, right? Like I said, it all depends. There is no normal. There is no true average.
But I will also say this.
There is no bad amount of pageviews, either. Not as long as you’re still growing and still trying to improve.
My friend Nate Shivar recently told me:
“A blog about mesothelioma (a notoriously high value topic) that does 250 pageviews a month would be killing it.”
How about this…
Instead of trying to hit a specific pageviews benchmark, why not just try to grow your traffic?
If you’re getting triple digit pageviews per month, push yourself to break 1000. If you’re getting 1000, see if you can crack 2000. Try to get yourself into the next tier. Not by scheming and spamming social media or buying traffic, but by tirelessly improving your blog:
Create bigger, badder, more epic content
Explore new avenues of social promotion
Build authority within a community
Don’t worry if you’re not stacking up to benchmarks or other self-reported pageview counts from bloggers like yourself. You’re not in trouble until you become too lazy to change strategies and you start to see your traffic plateau.
Just keep going. Most bloggers give up sooner rather than later. If you don’t, you’ll eventually surpass them
2020 Update: I’ve been at this game a lot longer now and have more data I can share from my own personal experience.
I started a new blog in June of 2020, and in June of the following year (2019), it got about 60,000 pageviews. That’s after a year of work and lots of content and promotion.
A blog I strated in April of 2020 was getting about 45,000 pageviews per month by April of 2020.
There’s a huge variance in the results you’ll see based on your skill, experience, niche or topic, and when you’re reading this post!
How Much Blog Traffic Do I Need to Make Ad Money?
When you have built up enough traffic (from 10,000 to 25,000 pageviews per month), you can start applying to premium ad networks like Ezoic, MediaVine, and AdThrive (at 100k). They offer unbelievable RPMs (revenue per mille, or thousand visitors) — upwards of $12 in many cases.
That makes monetizing your traffic with ads a lot more feasible than it used to be.
As far as I can tell, ad revenue is only going to go up from here for a while.
So take everything below with a huge grain of salt! I won’t delete it for posterity’s sake.
For some reason, the first thing a lot of people want to do once they launch a blog is figure out how to make money off of it.
Unfortunately, it’s not 1999. So slow down, there, buckaroo.
In my opinion, making significant money from blogging just isn’t all that feasible anymore. At least, not in the way most people think.
Here’s what I mean.
The easiest and most common way to sell ads on your blog is through Google’s AdSense, where you earn 68% of the revenue generated through ads on your site. Revenue here is usually calculated on a CPM basis, or Cost Per Thousand Impressions. Meaning, advertisers pay a certain amount every time 1000 people see their ad. Got it?
According to Monetize Pros, CPMs vary depending on industry, competition, and some other things. The post behind that link has some really interesting benchmark info about CPM benchmarks. But, generally, CPM should be somewhere between $1 and $3, excluding some super high value verticals.
All those numbers and mumbo-jumbo just to say that even if you got 1000 unique pageviews per day (which is a lot), you’d still probably earn less than $2000 per year from your blog
$2000 might sound pretty good ($160 a month or so), but there are costs. Time spent optimizing your ad placement. Negative impact on your content and the user experience of your site.
Not to mention, you’ve just turned your blog into a job — where a lapse in fresh content could mean a big dip in your ad revenue.
And beyond that, it takes a long time, and a LOT of work to get to the 1000 pageview per day level. Oh, sure, a lot of prominent bloggers will make it sound easy (“Just write 100 blog posts that each get 100 uniques a day!”).
But it’s not easy.
What you see more of today — and I mean a LOT more — is people using their blog to market a product or service, like a book or a consulting business.
That way, when you have something to sell beyond just your pageviews, your blog works as the content marketing arm of your business. You can keep it stripped down, focus on creating great content that provides proof points for your expertise, and sell something a little more high margin than CPM ads.
Also, if you put in the work to establish authority in your niche, you may be able to start doing paid freelance writing around your topic for other publishers. Chelsea Fagan touches on this in her post, “A Brutally Honest Breakdown of How I Make Money as a Blogger”.
And finally, a lot of bloggers have a ton of success with affiliate links and programs. Again, these allow you to keep your website clean and free of ads while you focus on building a loyal audience that trusts your opinion.
TL;DR — If you want to make money from your blog, you’ll need to either compile a crap ton of pageviews (and I mean a CRAP ton), or you’ll need to really dig deep and figure out how you can turn your brand and expertise into a valuable product, with your blog serving as your content marketing department.