#69 | How Long To Spend On Each Post (Use My Calculator)

Last week, I wrote a Tweet that said:

“If you’re not spending at least 4 hours or $100 per article, it’s probably not good enough.”

And boy, are you guys divided on this one!

The replies ranged from:

“I take about 12 hours in the span of 5 days.”


“I spend more than that”


“That’s such a clickbate [sic] tweet and 100% NOT true. It heavily depends on the niche and type of content you produce, not everyone is a travel blogger. Some niches can produce an article in under 1 hour and yes, it will be amazing and the ROI will be amazing too. Stop the BS please.”

I agree that some articles need a lot more work than others.

Some of mine are 500 words, some are 5,000.

I have sites in 5 different niches, with various traffic levels.

So, how much time/money do I spend on each of them for maximum ROI?

Let me show you…

Firstly, let me clarify that I’m talking about long-form SEO-optimised content here.

Yes, I also produce news content that gets traffic primarily from social media and email. 

These only take 20 minutes each from start to finish. 

News is a whole other beast, so I’m not talking about that right now.

Let’s start with my main site… 

My travel blog makes about $100 per article per month.

So, if I can get articles produced at a cost of $100 each, everything after month 1 is profit. Ker-ching!

(I’ll pay to have them updated annually too)

The actual amount I pay is probably more like $200 plus an hour or two of my own time.

But at this rate, I could happily pay $1,000 per article and it will pay for itself in under a year.

So, you may be asking, why don’t I scale this to the moon?

Because – there are some tasks that I simply can’t outsource.

Like adding my own personal experiences, and digging out the best photos from my library of the 20,000 photos I took myself.

But what about newer sites?

I have a few of those too, so let’s address that…

Let’s say you have 100 articles on your site, and each gets 100 views per month.

That means you have 10,000 pageviews per month.

Let’s say your RPM is pretty low too at $10.

Still with me? Good.

Your revenue per article will be $1 per month.

In this case… Should you be outsourcing articles for $100 each?

Hello no!

You’re not going to make your money back for years!

Instead, I’d recommend that you go back over those first 100 articles and improve the content so that:

a) They rank higher and get more traffic

b) People spend longer on your site

c) You make more affiliate sales (yes, even with info content)

I’d spend at least 1-2 hours per article on this task.

That might take you 6 months or more, depending on how much time you have to work on the site. That’s okay.

Fast forward and your site is now 18 months old.

You still have 100 articles, but they’re better, fresher and more aged.

By now, you could easily have reached 50,000 page views per month.

You join a better ad network, do a better job with affiliates, and now your RPM is $30.

If you’re making $1,500 per month from your 100 articles (which is typically what I expect from my sites)…

Then your revenue per article per month is $15.

At $15 revenue per article, your $100 per article investment is definitely worth it, as you’ll get your money back in just over 6 months.


If you haven’t already, now’s the time to do the maths for your own site.

To make it easy, I knocked up this Revenue Per Article calculator.

Just type your stats in the yellow boxes.

Use your figure to decide:

a) Whether you should be investing your time or your money (or both)

b) Whether to write new articles or improve what you have (or both)

Some articles might take you 12 hours, that’s okay.

But should they ever take you less than 4? 

Once you include keyword research, outlines, writing, editing, sourcing images, uploading, internal linking and everything else – I’d say probably not!

I remember watching a popular niche site YouTuber who did daily vlogs as he produced 5 articles per day.

He was doing okay at first, then the site tanked.

He’s now deleted all of the videos.

Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to generate a high-quality revenue-generating article in an hour or two.

But if you have a case study to prove me wrong, I’m all ears!

I did try writing articles in one hour each with my newest site (the one I built while watching Married At First Sight on TV).

Then I also paid a VA to do all the images and uploading – that took another hour per post.

So two hours per article for edited-AI content.

That did okay, until it didn’t.

I’m not recommending this two-hours-per-post strategy.

I just like to try things out for myself before I comment on what does or doesn’t work.

If you’re in this for the long game and want to make a lot more money than you did in your day job – then my opinion is that quality always wins.

I stand by that.