Nate Weiner

This is an old archived post from my former blog The Idea Shower. It's where I cataloged my product explorations and releases, one of which ultimately became Pocket.

This post was published back in 2008. It may not function as originally intended or may be missing images.

Tail Report

February 25, 2008
  • Real-Time Website Survey
  • Estimate how much your site has to grow to make $X/month
  • Compare how your revenue does against sites with similar traffic
  • A Real Picture of 'The Tail' See what the Long Tail of Blogging actually looks like.


Tail Report is the first real survey of web revenue. It gives website owners a look at what type of traffic and ranking it takes to meet their revenue goals while showing them how their current income compares to others in their traffic and demographic groups.

Jump down after the video for more information

The Long Tail of Blogging

The phrase, 'the Long Tail of Blogging' has been tossed around for a long time. It describes the shape a graph would make if you charted website revenue versus website popularity. And it means that the top websites make a substantially large majority of the money.

But chances are, you already knew this. Why? Because this concept isn't new. The phrase has been around for a long time, but can anyone show what the Tail actually looks like?

We have a rough idea, but in actuality, it's all a guess.

But if we did know what it looked like, then we could start discovering a lot of unanswered questions that still exist today not only about revenue but about blogging itself.

How It Came To Be

Like many, when I started out with advertising on my websites, I was disillusioned into thinking that the money would roll in a little easier. After reading of the financial success of blogs like ProBlogger, Shoe Money, John Chow, and Techcrunch, it's easy to get excited about the potential your website may possess. But it fades very quickly as you realize it takes a lot of work and a lot of traffic; much more than most people realize.

It's this disillusionment that leads a lot of website owners into squeezing in advertising right out of the gate when they should instead, be focusing on highlighting their content and services.

But when do sites, on average, start making amounts of revenue to warrant advertising and how much will you have to grow to reach say, a full time income from your website? I wanted to know more about what it took to reach those levels.

It struck me while I was thinking about a salary comparison website. There are plenty of these around, they collect data about your job and experience then spit out how much you should be making and what sort of factors correlate to higher salaries.

Why not do the same thing for website revenue?

How It Works

Tail Reports function is simple, website owners anonymously complete a 2 minute survey about their traffic and ranking and in return they receive a report that shows how their site's revenue does against other sites similar in traffic/ranking. In addition, it gives estimates about how much their website needs to grow to meet their profit goals.

More importantly, each completed survey makes Tail Report more accurate. And after combining/averaging the data of thousands of websites, we can finally get a real-time picture of the 'Long Tail of Blogging' and start getting our questions answered.

What This Means For The Blogosphere & You

For the blogosphere it means we can stop guessing and start seeing some actual data. We can more definitively know how much money there is in the blogosphere and how it is spread out. We can find out how much the top 15,000 websites make every month, as well as the bottom million.

Website owners can more clearly see the path that it takes to grow their blog to certain levels of revenue. On average, how much does it to make $1000 per month, how much to make a full-time living?

In addition, bloggers can find when the average levels of revenue start adding up to more than a few cents per month. This can help them focus on their site, rather than advertising but know when to start.

By comparing data by ad networks, we can look further into what ad networks perform the best overall or even based on type of site. We can also look and see when sites start making $100 or more a month from private ad sales, which would be a good indicator that they should start seeking out private advertisters.

Quite simply, there is a lot you could surmise when you have the real data. This is why I'm excited about Tail Report. It means less questions and more answers. For all of us.

Needs Your Help

The more data that Tail Report has, the better job it can do. It needs as many surveys of websites as it can, from sites big and small. So get the word out!