Zac Szewczyk's aspiration is something I could only hope to match. Increasing traffic, views and unique visitors is a scary trap to fall into. Even recently, I found myself posting links that fall out of the scope of my own interests and out of the context of this column.
Monetizing a blog is the dream for all online self-publishers. But I don't think we can rush into it. This young man's planning is second to none and I think we should all consider setting goals as we gain popularity. But his goal numbers are just too low; looking for sponsorships after reaching an average of 2000 visitors per month is a very small audience for potential sponsors.
Using slightly aged statistics for Daring Fireball, price per page view for sponsors hovered between $0.005 and $0.008 from 2007 to 2013. Daring Fireball's sponsorship price per subscriber hovered around $0.02 during that same time frame and currently sits around $0.035.
We can also use statistics from Marco.org's sponsorship page. Here we can see a current weekly sponsorship price of $2250 and a total of 70,000 subscribers. This equates to $0.032 per subscriber.
Now, unique visitors and subscribers and page views are all different measurement statistics. A page view price for Zac, assuming he uses the same price per page view as Daring Fireball (which is unfair of me as he explicitly states he could not command the same rate as DF), would come to about $16 per week. Sixteen dollars a week definitely pays the hosting bills every month, but there are a thousand things you can do for more money.
Blogs are cash vacuums. Investing money in design, branding, advertising and hosting does not guarantee any return for your investment. Anyone can generate page views by throwing money around, but creating long-term readership is essential to properly monetizing a blog. Finding a niche, dissecting that niche and adopting a proper style of writing is the key to turning a blog into a small business.
Zac's goals are certainly inspirational. I found his site after Jim Dalrymple linked to it. Maybe his traffic will skyrocket from the link and he will realize his dreams. If so, I'm jealous.
But for now, I'll continue to develop this thing called "my voice".