This is the metric that blogs live and die by -- whether they're trying to make money or show growth to investors or possible acquirers. It's also how bloggers themselves are paid. The only problem is you've got to get millions and millions to make much of a profit.
Take Business Insider. They have a simple rule of thumb: Each blogger must produce enough page views to cover their salary three times over for the site to be able to pay overhead, sales, hosting, and so forth. In other words, if your salary at Business Insider is $50K a year (to live in New York, no less), you have to produce close to 2 MILLION page views a month or you're fired. That's slightly better than when Weblogs Inc used to pay bloggers at sites like Slashfood $4 per post, but it's still a fucking grind.
And leads to having to make some hard lifestyle sacrifices.
A few months ago, the Washington Post announced it was hiring a blogger. The job? Just a measly 12 posts a day. Other sites, like Gawker, don't play the volume game but give bonuses for hitting page view quotas. And they have a big flat screen TV in the office that ranks the writers and their articles by traffic. It's basically the same message: Hit your marks or get out.
Even Cracked, which is a pretty cool website that values quality, is subject to this mentality to some degree. You can bet if this article does seven page views, that's going to change whether I get asked back.