When you start a new blog or website solely for the purpose of making money online, one of the question that may intrigue you is – how much traffic is needed to monetize your blog or website? What is the ideal traffic that a blog should have so that you can monetize it? How long you are supposed to wait before you decide to take the plunge into monetization.

There are no right and wrong answers to this question and it depends from one situation to another. But if you ask me, I would say – monetize from day one, since money motivates blogging.

Let’s get into the details.

You first have to determine what monetization model you are going to use to monetize your blog? Will you use contextual advertising programs such as Google Adsense? Will you use direct advertisements? Will you use Affiliate marketing? Will you sell products and services? Will you sell text link ads? Will you promote a paid newsletter or paid content?

Depending on the monetization model which you use, the strategy will be different. Most bloggers use a combination of different monetization models. So for example, you can put a Google Adsense ad on the header of the site while keep the main body clean. You can use the main body for promoting affiliate links. You can use the sidebar for direct ads and then you can use the footer to promote a paid newsletter program.

It is totally up to you which monetization programs you want to use and how you want to monetize your blog. However, the following are some best practices with regard to traffic before you decide to monetize your blog

  1. If you already have a day job and you are not dependent on your blog for making a living, do not monetize from day one. Focus on building useful and informative content first, develop some traffic and build loyal readership. Once you have some traffic in place, then decide which monetization model will work best for you. Ideally, if you are not dependent on your blog for making a living, you should wait till you have 1000 unique visitors per day. This helps because you first focus on building the traffic, build readership and then you are focussing on conversion. One thing at a time and it works best.
  2. If you do not have a day job and you are dependent on your blog for making a living online, start monetizing from day one. If you have a Google Adsense account, generate the ad codes and put 2-3 ad units in your website and make it up there. If you do not have a Google Adsense account, then you should first build some traffic and content in the site and then apply for the Google Adsense program. It is important to have some content and steady traffic to your site otherwise your Google Adsense application might get rejected.
  3. If you plan to use Affiliate marketing on your blog, it is a good idea to start writing content around affiliate products and sneak in Affiliate links into your blog posts from day one. Don’t wait to do it after one year or two years, there is clearly no logic for you to wait for affiliate marketing since unlike Contextual advertisements, Affiliate marketing does not look like an ad and looks like a mere external hyperlink. So  your site won’t look cluttered with ads and the affiliate links are in business.
  4. If you plan to use direct ads on your blog or website, it is a good idea to wait before you start hunting direct advertisers from different networks. The reason – direct advertisements works well on high traffic sites and the advertisers will only be interested when you have developed substantial readership and traffic to your site. So you should give direct advertisements a skip.
  5. If you plan to sell products and services on your blog or website, it is a good idea to start as early as you can and expose your products and services to your readers. Initially, your blog will have very less traffic but even if you manage to get one hit a day, they will still see your products and services page. Who knows you may get a sale out of that? So start as early as you can and don’t wait to develop traffic, if you are planning to sell products and services.
  6. If you plan to sell paid content or sponsored content or text link ads on your site (which I recommend not doing for SEO reasons), it is a good idea to wait for a while and develop some traffic first. Paid  content and sponsored content works well when you have developed some readership and there is already some traffic to your sites, so don’t do it from day one.

In short, you can use Google Adsense, Affiliate marketing, Products and services from day one. But for other monetization methods, it is better to wait and develop steady traffic for the first couple of years.

Personally, I do not like the idea of monetizing from day one since I first like to develop some readership, have some steady traffic and then go after monetizing them. I don’t like rushing towards money and take it slow, one step at a time. However, you can start monetizing from day one but be careful, you don’t want to commit silly mistakes. There are bloggers who get their Adsense account banned and perform the same mistakes over and over again because of weak concepts. It is a good idea to clear your concepts first and then start monetizing your blog, one step at a time.

In short, there is no generic answer on how much traffic is needed before you decide to monetize. You can monetize on day one and you can wait for a year or so or when you have at least 1000 unique visitors a day. It is upto you but be sure you remember the best practices I mentioned above and try to understand the logics behind each practice.