What is new and promising to me since then is mobile web, mobile applications, and social media explosion, so I've been doing the numbers as best I can estimate them; please tell me what you think:
*These estimates are for "fresh content" websites updated several times a day with some stickiness (video gallery, game, whatever) and chosen with basic keyword research, optimized for onsite SEO*
-A clickthrough rate of 1.4%. 1 seems low and 2 seems too optimistic.
-Per click of 14 cents. Is this low for blogs about pop stars, Manchester United, and other high search volume subjects?
-Revenue of $2 per 1,000 pageviews
-1.5 page views per visitor.
-Everything (SEO, content, programming)osts $5/hr, roughly, and possibly cheaper. Programming a bit more.
-1,000 words (10 100 word posts) can be bought for $5/hr (not sure about this one. Getting this estimate right is crucial).
-A person can write up to 1,000 words per hour (16 WPM * 60 minutes)
-A person can write 500-100 Tweet length miniposts of at least 10 words per hour.
-A post of 100 words costs 50 cents.
-A tweet length minpost accompanying a video costs 5 cents
-Therefore, it costs 65 cents a day to "contentize" a site daily; 1 post and three videos/images/embedded tweets with a ten word content piece.
-Following, favouriting, and liking can be automated
-A Twitter account with 2,000 quality in-niche followers can direct maybe 30-50 visitors to a new article on your site.
-You can outsource social media management at usual rates.
-Domain name costs $10, hosting maybe $1 or $2 if you host up to 100 domains on same hosting plan, so $12/yr.
-Design, maintenance, creation, and support: $45 per blog (hopefully you achieve economy of scale and can reuse templates) includes ongoing minimal on/offsite SEO
-Content costs 65 cents a day, about $240/yr
-Blog fixed cost is $15/yr for domain name, hosting, and misc.
-Per blog costs of $45 to create and maintain
Total: $300 a year per blog cost
-To break even you would need 82 cents a day (410 page views per day)
-At 1000 views per day (goal) you make $2/day, $730 per year revenue per site. (this is the biggest assumption, that within 6-9 months I can get a site to this high level of traffic, could be fantasy).
-Scaled, this model would earn you $430,000 profit per year over 1,000 sites. You'd be paying out $20,000 per month for content
-Assume additional expenses of $52 per website per year and the profit margin is still fat at over 50%.
How crazy are my assumptions? This is adsense only revenue, I know enough to monetize it several different ways, but this is just conservative estimating to see if the field is profitable. The idea is to scale out like hell and to do minimal support for each site with Twitter/Facebook.
All help appreciated.