Blogging is never as easy as the gurus would lead you to believe.
You’ve probably tried following one, two or more of their strategies to no avail.
So why isn’t your blog making any money?
You’re probably doing a few things that are keeping you from doing so.
Below are the most common setbacks that prevent an otherwise good blog from earning a living.
To help you get a better grasp o them, I’ve split these issue up into 3 sections: You, You the Blogger, and Your Blog. Each of which play important roles to your success.
When the Problem is YOU
It’s not that you’re a bad person or you don’t have the ability to become a successful blogger.
Instead, it’s more likely the approach you take, the time you have and maybe the background you’re coming from.
The thing is, making money with your blog is very different from working a 9-to-5 job.
It’s different from school.
And, it’s different from most traditional businesses.
So, if you’re coming from any of those backgrounds, using the same approaches that made you successful there may not work.
How do you fix it?
See if you’re doing any of these things. And, follow the tips below.
You’re Not Focused Enough On Your Business
If you want to make money from your blog, you’re going to have to treat it more than a hobby.
Many beginner bloggers start their blogs as a hobby. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But that mindset has to change the moment that:
- You decide that you want to make it more than just a hobby.
- Or, you want your blog to earn you a considerable side or full-time income
That’s because how you approach blogging will reflect on:
- How much time you’ll be working on it
- Your commitment to it
- How much you’ll be willing to sacrifice to make it work
The moment other things in life come up, these 3 things will be quickly put to the test.
- Your friends are going on vacation. Do you join them or do you stay home to work on your blog?
- You have a party you can attend. Will go out and have fun or stay in front of your laptop working?
- It’s 3:00 in the morning, do you finish what you’re doing or decide to just leave it for the next day?
In these situations, you’ll make different choices depending on whether you treat your blog as a business or as a hobby.
You Aren’t Making Enough Time for Blogging
How much time are you spending on your blog?
That means putting in the time and work.
If you have a full-time job, this means working after you get home as well as on weekends.
In fact, you’ll be surprised that you’ll be spending more time with your blog (to make it work) than you do in the office.
And that’s not an exaggeration.
So, the best way to go about this is to create a blogging schedule. This will include everything from the moment you get up in the morning up to when you go to bed at night.
In between, block out the times for your 9-to-5 job and other slots that can’t be moved (ie. taking the kids to and from school, etc).
This lets you know how much time you have left for blogging. From there, decide which time slots you’ll allocate for different things in your blog.
You Read More Than Do
Research is a good thing. But if you’re running your own blog as a business you need to DO more than you read.
That means if you’re spending more than 50% of your time reading other blogs instead of building your own, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.
That’s the complete opposite of most desk jobs where a lot of work involves analysis, reading and making reports.
With blogging, it’s all about testing new things.
From there, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t.
When the Problem is the you, the BLOGGER
The next component to consider is you as a blogger.
If you’ve started a blog, you know that being a blogger is very different from other lines of work.
This means learning what you need to do as well as how to do things.
Here are some things that you as a blogger may be doing that’s holding you back from making money with your blog.
You Aren’t Differentiating Yourself
Why should readers read your blog?
In short, what do you have that they won’t be able to find in other blogs?
That’s your unique selling proposition (USP).
It’s also what makes your website stand out from the hundreds or even thousands of blogs in the niche.
If you have some unique skill, experience or knowledge, you NEED to let your readers know about it.
Are you a certified fitness professional or have you been a chef at a well-known restaurant?
Things like that make you stand out.
Similarly, it could be your previous success as a blogger. Have you built successful money-making sites before? If so, taking about how you created that site will help you differentiate yourself from others.
Another alternative is to come up with something new.
This is great if you’re in the more creative niches.
For example, if you’re in art & crafts or running a food blog. Instead of creating the same DIY crafts and recipes, you can take a very different approach.
With this strategy, you don’t need to have a track record of any sort. Instead, it’s the different style and content that makes you unique.
You Aren’t Connecting With Your Readers
Know. Like. Trust.
These 3 marketing tenets work for blogging just as they do in other industries.
In short, your readers need to:
- Know you – the more intimately the better
- Like you – they won’t read your stuff, come back to your site or share your blogs posts if they don’t like you.
- Truest you – they’ll only give you their email address if they trust you won’t spam them or sell their address to other people. And, only with trust will they buy from you (which involves giving you their names, home addresses and credit card information)
So how do you achieve this?
- Write good content
- Let them know about yourself and who you are
- Engage with them be in on social media, your blog’s comments section or email
In short, get to know them as you did your friends.
You Aren’t Building Relationships With Bloggers in Your Niche
Blogging is all about relationships.
- Number 1 is your relationship with your readers
- Number 2 is your relationship with other bloggers
Here, the term “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” applies.
- Knowing the right audience. Finding the right people who are interested in your topic. And, the right people who’ll eventually buy from you and become loyal fans.
- Knowing the right bloggers. Building good relationships with bloggers allows you to grow your blog in all sorts of ways. This includes increasing traffic, forming partnerships, interviewing one another.
The second point goes a long way when trying to grow you blog. That’s because big bloggers have established audiences. If you can impress some of their readers, they may become your loyal followers as well.
You’re Following Too Many Experts
This is somewhat related to the reading more than doing.
But in this case, it’s following to many blogging gurus.
What’s the problem with that?
Each of them has their own strategy. So, you’ll learn different things from them.
While that may seem like a good thing it actually isn’t.
Basically, there are “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
Because they each teach their own style and tactic, you end up trying to all of these strategies work together.
I can tell you from experience that never works!
It’s like making a Frankenstein monster out of different parts.
What happens is you end up doing them all at the same time with little result. In part because they conflict with one another. And, because you don’t spend enough time perfecting one style.
What should you do instead?
Follow 2-3 experts whose styles suit you the best.
From there, you can read other bloggers to gain more knowledge.
But, your core strategy will be molded from the 2-3 experts.
Not Building an Email List
Your email list is your most important traffic source.
It’ll never be your biggest source of traffic. But, it will always be the most valuable one.
That is assuming that you have an engaged list.
The reason for this is that your subscribers have given you their permission to directly get in touch with them. They did so when they gave you their email addresses.
This means you can “talk” to them 1-on-1. Anytime.
Also, they know you.
This makes them more likely to follow your social media accounts, share your posts and buy your products.
Think about it…
You probably prefer buying something from someone you know or a brand that you’re familiar with, as opposed to someone you don’t know, right?
Bottom line is, it’s important you build your email list because they’ll be your most loyal fans.
You’re Blogging More Than You’re Marketing & Selling
Are you spending most of your time writing content?
If so, you may want to adjust your schedule.
That’s because blogging is more about marketing and selling that it is about blogging (writing content).
Sounds ironic but it’s true.
Just imagine if you have the most amazing content in the world. But…
Nobody knows about it.
That means no one will ever get to know about your awesomeness!
That’s what happens if you focus all your time on blogging instead of promoting your blog.
With over 600 million blogs online, what are the odds that someone out there (who isn’t your friend or related to you) will find your blog without you doing any marketing?
Slim to none, right?
That’s why blogging is all about marketing (and sales, later on) as opposed to just writing content.
This is one major mistake many beginner bloggers make when starting out.
When the Problem is Your BLOG
This last section is about your blog.
How your blog looks, what it talks about and what readers are doing when they get on your site all affect whether you make money as a blogger or not.
You’re Not Getting Enough Traffic
In blogging, having lots of traffic solves many problems.
That’s because you get to do all sorts of things if you have tons of visitors coming to your website.
That said, you don’t need a lot of visitors to make money blogging.
But, you still need enough visitors.
While there’s no exact number. But, having at least 10,000 monthly visitors is a must to make any sort of money from your blog.
Ideally, you want at least 20,000 to 50,000 visitors.
That’s because only a small portion of them will sign up for your email list.
And, only a portion of your email list will ever buy something from you.
If you’re making money from display ads, 10,000 monthly visitors is the minimum to get into some of the better ad networks (besides Google Adsense).
But, ideally, you want at least 25,000 visitors to qualify for Mediavine. That’s when display advertising starts paying off better.
Bottom line is, you don’t need a large number of visitors to make money blogging. But, not having enough prevents you from earning any money as well.
That’s why traffic generation is still the goal of any blogger. Once you have traffic, you can do all sorts of things with it.
Your Readers Aren’t Sticking Around
But what if you’re blog is getting good traffic?
If you’re getting a good number of visitors to your blog and not making money, then it’s time to assess your monetization strategies.
While this is still an issue, it isn’t as big as the one where you don’t have any traffic.
The only exception to this is that if the traffic you’re driving to your blog is completely disinterested with your topic or buying anything.
For example, if you have a food or fitness blog. And, you drive thousands of visitors to your site. But, your most popular blog posts are quotes.
This makes it hard to monetize these visitors because they came to read quotes, be it inspirational, funny or otherwise.
Whereas, the rest of your articles are about food or fitness.
That said, in most cases you’ll be able to make money with your blog if you have traffic.
It all comes down to figuring out two things:
- What type of monetization strategy should you use?
- How to convert them
Here, you’ll need to test different kinds of monetization tactics, ie. display ads, affiliate marketing, ebooks, services, coaching, etc.
Then, find the best ways to convert your readers based on the monetization strategy that works best.
People Aren’t Buying
This happens because of one of four situations:
- You’re afraid to ask people to buy
- The visitors you’re attracting only want freebies
- You’re selling something they don’t want
- They’re not willing to pay the price you’re asking
As such, it’s important to figure out what’s the root cause of why people get to your site and leave empty handed.
In most cases, it’s the first issue that’s the problem.
Unless you’re a natural-born salesman or have sales experience, you’ll probably feel shy about explicitly asking your readers to buy something.
That’s just how most of us are.
We know how hard it is to make money. So, we don’t like “being pushy” when it comes to asking other people to spend.
The thing is, if you have a great product that you know will help your readers solve a problem that’s been bothering them, you should encourage them to buy it.
That’s because it will help them.
And when you do so, you can convince them by telling them about the benefits, showing testimonials and offering guarantees.
That way, they get their money’s worth.
No One Buys From You More Than Once
What if people are buying your product but no one’s coming back for more?
If this is the case, you need to focus on what’s happening after sales.
This means looking at a few things, including:
- Is your product delivering on what you promised?
- Do you have something else to sell? For example, if you sell a basic course, do you have a level 2 or advanced course after that? Or, do you have an upgrade to offer?
- Are you staying in touch with buyers after their purchase? Or do you just say, “thanks, byeeeee”.
Each of these components are crucial if you want to optimize your customer’s lifetime value. Otherwise, they’ll buy once and you’ll never hear from them again.
There you go!
By fixing any of the issues you may have that’s listed above, you’ll be able to increase your blog’s chances of making money.
Keep in mind that all three aspects: You, You the Blogger, and Your Blog need to work together in order to achieve success.
Let me know in the comments section which of the issues above you need to fix most.