The Alexa 100k Rule

I have this new rule. If I can’t get a blog into the top 100k of Alexa or at least 2k visitors per day within 6 months, I’m going stop investing time and money in the blog.

Rules like this help you to stay focused and to avoid wishful thinking. Sure, there are going to be exceptions (for example, I’m making $700 per month on a blog that’s not even in the Alexa One Million)….

But the fact is…you need ways of objectively analyzing your web properties and the success of your blog. Maybe you’re rule isn’t as stringent as mine. Maybe it’s more stringent. Whatever the case, we all need to step back and be willing to say goodbye to our “babies” when, despite our best efforts and best intentions, our projects have proven themselves to be failures. Sooner or later, any further investment of time and money is clearly a waste.

It’s the toughest lesson I’ve had to learn. But moving forward in an efficient and profitable way makes it necessary. So 2008 is the year of “Alexa 100k or bust” for Ryan Caldwell’s portfolio.

So what kind of objective standards do you use for deciding whether to cut and run, or stay the course?

10 thoughts on “The Alexa 100k Rule

  1. I like looking at revenue and traffic trends. My goal is at least 20% growth every month for new blogs. I wrote about this before: Profitable Blogging is Blogging For the Long Haul.

  2. mattf – nothing in ryan’s work suggests that he’s high and mighty – but the bottom line is that if you prioritise revenues, then you need to make sacrifices.

    ryan – 100k in 6 months? I would add self-sufficiency (your writers run it for you so you don’t spend too much time on it) and minimum revenues (at least it should pay for itself and the writers) and an consistently upward trajectory in both revenues and traffic.

    for your key sites though, stuff that you’re working on by yourself, I’d be a lot stricter.

  3. Mattf…sorry if I came off as being on a high-horse. The point, however, is just that it helps to have clear criteria for success and failure. In my own case, I’ve chosen this criteria. But I’ve also suggested that you can set your own accordingly.

    Or not…if blogging for you is just about the fun of blogging, then by all means continue what you’re doing. My rule is for those who think of their blogs as a business.

  4. I am not one of those bloggers that write mean things and try to be extra tough because I am typing and not seeing the person face to face.

    I would say this to your face, if I really knew who your are. “I am sorry I having a hard time understanding what your are saying……because it is hard to hear you on your high horse”

    Because you can’t be in the major leagues you don’t play baseball. I love the minor leagues, it is fun. I would love to be in the majors and I work hard at trying but it might not happen for me. I still go out there and hit that ball.

  5. As long as I continue to see an increase in revenue I’ll continue to work on my site. Granted at the moment I only have one site, but I’m not in this site just for the money it also a hobby I’m rather enthusiastic about.

  6. I find that Alexa gives a crude but accurate picture of a site’s overall popularity. Sure, at certain levels of resolution, it’s not perfect…and Kiltak tells us why…but, as an overall heuristic…it does quite well.

  7. 2 reasons why Alexa is Irrelevant.

    -Some days, I receive over 10k visitors, yet My Alexa rank is still over 50k, Other days, I have half that number, but it drops to 30k… It all depends on where the visitors are coming from.

    People who have the alexa toolbar on their system are either:

    1- People interested in Internet Marketing / SEO
    2- Idiots

    Idiots you say? Yeah that’s right. Have you tried scanning your box for spyware with most AV / AS utilities? Half of the time, these software will remove the Alexa toolbar from your system. Ok, it’s back to work for me now

  8. Each niche will have criteria, and your business needs to decide your own. Revenue targets are usually my choice. As you say, some can get low traffic but high revenues, and reverse is also true!

    In 2005 I wrote a post here on a similar topic

  9. I remain extremely skeptical of Alexa, my blog, which is just a personal endeavor never meant to become overly popular or money makin’ went through a period where it regularly flirted around the 100k mark, sometimes dipping below or above – it currently seems to have settled around the 200k mark. All movements were inexplicable and were not correlated to any other blips from any other metrics. Alexa seems to do that in general – sometimes shooting up when site traffic is down or dropping on peak days.

    I think as a metric it may provide some use in comparison with other sites – but for personal goals looking at more verifiable data like visits per day seems like more of a good idea.

  10. For those who think Alexa is irrelevant or easily manipulated: I have two solutions for you.

    1. Don’t manipulate your own Alexa data;-)
    2. Calibrate Alexa according to your niche (i.e. find the best blogs in your niche, locate their Alexa ranking, and then make sure you’re at least within 100k of the top blog)

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