Full Time at b5media: How Much Traffic is Needed?

So, TechCrunch broke the news on the new pay structure for b5media, and normally this wouldn’t be big news, but it gives us a clear picture of what the company will be like to blog for going forward.

For me it comes down to simple metrics. As a blogger, what is my potential “take home” pay when all is said and done?

Taking a quick look at the CPM offerings that b5media is looking to offer, how many page views would you need to generate to be able to make two thousand dollars a month?

You would need 500,000 page views per month to have b5media cut you a cheque for $2000.

While that doesn’t take into account bonuses or any other additions to pay that they come up with, I still think that is a very high level of traffic that very few blogs in their network will be able to get to.

The hardest part of growing a successful blog, and building it into your full time business is getting to the transition point. And the reason that it can be so hard is because your time is split, and blogging usually ends up at the end of the line. You work for a company, you take care of yourself and your family and then you blog for companies like b5media.

Even if you are skipping television, radio, reading and other distracting past-times, you are probably only able to put in around two or three hours of effort each night and, if you want to burn yourself out, weekends too.

I am not sure how extensive their “bonus” program is really going to be, as you have to remember that paying out bonuses, surely, hurts their bottom line when it comes to impressing investors, but even if their best bloggers could earn $500 in bonuses each and every month, that still makes blogging for b5media full time a difficult challenge.

As for the $4 CPM that the blogs will make. I agree that it seems like a great rate, until you consider that you could easily make around $1.5 – $2 CPM per ad on your blog, and if you were willing to have four or five advertisements at that rate, you could be bringing in around $6 – $8 CPM. Which, based on page view adjustments that b5media says statistic programs like AWStats inflate numbers by, is pretty much what this blog currently earns.

Of course b5media has to pay for servers, take time to find advertisers, pay for programmers, and a support staff, but as a struggling blogger, hoping to make writing online their full time occupation, that $2 – $4 CPM that the blog authors are loosing out on once their blog gets successful, is hard to live without.

I will give them credit though that their lower end tiers are more than fair, and that bloggers just starting out will most likely make more money being part of b5media than they will earn on their own. But, I worry about those successful few that make it to that top tier, after taking what might be as long as two or three years, only to realize, they are still hundreds of thousands of page views short of transitioning to full time blogging.

This new pay structure also doesn’t talk about bloggers working on multiple sites, but if I were a b5media blogger, and saw this new structure, I would probably want to focus on getting a single blog to higher tiers as quickly as possible, rather than trying to fuss around with two blogs stuck at the lower tiers of the pay structure.

Has b5media come up with the best pay system possible? From a balance sheet perspective, maybe so, but it will definitely put a crimp on many people’s dreams to become full time bloggers in their network.