A lot of people see Blogging Income Reports and automatically assume that blogging is easy. They believe that all they have to do is pump out a few blog posts and making money will just follow.
And when they don’t make any money for the next few months, they’re super surprised.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but Blogging is far from that.
In reality, it can take months/years just to start making a stable income.
And the speed of your growth highly depends on fast you keep implementing new techniques and monetization strategies and how effective they really are.
I created this post because I get so many emails on a daily basis from Newbie Bloggers asking me to look at their blogs because they can’t figure out why they’re not gaining traffic or making money. And their mistakes are pretty obvious at first glance.
So, if you are a new blogger or a seasoned one, this post is definitely going to help you understand where you’re falling short in your Blog and what you can do to actually start making money from your Blog.
I’ve already created a post with the most common mistakes Bloggers make. So, you should definitely take a peek at that before you get started with this one.
This post is specifically for Bloggers who are not making money with their Blog.
Here are a few resources to help you understand more about Blog Monetization:
- 7 Income Streams to add your Blog right now!
- How to use ConvertKit to sell your digital products on Autopilot!
- How much does it cost to Build and Run a Fully-Functioning Blog
Before I begin, might I suggest that you take my super deluxe free 5 day email course on growing your Blog Traffic?
This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to feed my poor, hungry dogs.
The Basic Booboos People Make when Blogging
1. Not investing money in your Blog
Imagine you’re walking down the street and someone creepy approaches you with watches. Maybe the watches are from a really good Brand, but will you really buy a watch from this person?
It’s very turning off. Isn’t it?
No thanks, Creepy Tim.
Make your Blog look pretty, professional and sophisticated. If your fonts are tacky and your logo takes up half your screenspace, it’s going to turn off people.
You do not want that.
Now, you don’t necessarily need a Designer to set up a website. You can buy a drag-and-drop theme like Divi that’s super easy to use.
And their customizing options are really pretty and flexible. Meaning you can keep changing the look and feel of your theme even if you change your niche or want a whole new look.
It’s like actually buying a 100+ themes in one purchase and that’s why I recommend it.
You can see the beautiful Divi theme here.
But if you have zero experience designing or have no design aesthetic, getting a designer is not a bad idea.
Remember, if you believe in yourself and your Blog, you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in it in the beginning.
Your Blog is your Baby.
Give it your best and believe in it. Work hard and the results will show.
2. Putting ads everywhere!
I literally cringe when I see a blog with only 5-10 posts but there are ads everywhere.
On the sidebar, in the header, and after every single paragraph in the Blog post.
It leads to sore eyes.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I totally understand that you are blogging to make money. Heck, so am I.
But do not start monetizing your Blog before you’ve built a Brand and gained a loyal audience.
When no one knows you, and you have tons of ads on your blog, it’s going to turn off the people who land on your Blog. How do you expect them to stay and get to know you when they have no idea what your content is like but see loads of ads?
This does not mean that you should never have ads.
But, focus on building an audience first.
When you know for a fact that people love your content and are talking about you, and you can see that they are coming back for it over and over again, it’s okay to put ads on your Blog.
Don’t aim for Google Ads because their pay isn’t all that great and they really slow down your website. Try and hit 25K sessions and then directly apply to MediaVine. It’s much more classier.
3. Not niching down enough
This is one of the biggest mistakes that most Blogging Newbies make.
Do not start a lifestyle blog. I had one and my Blog was a flop.
Do not write about anything and everything unless of course you have 5-10 writers working for you full time and you can pump out 5 quality blog posts every single day.
Or probably have 300+ posts and want to branch out. Then it’s okay.
Otherwise, this is not going to work.
I want you to think of any famous person right now!
What do you associate that person with?
- Barack Obama – President
- Ariana Grande – Singer
- Johnny Depp – Actor
Now hold the phone.
Did you know that Johnny Depp is also a Producer and a Musician?
But the first thing that pops into our head, when we hear his name is ACTOR. You don’t really register anything else.
Hi, Johnny. I’m your biggest fan.
Because as human beings, our brains are filled with so much information. So, we just do not pay attention to detail when it comes to association.
We associate each thing to 1 thing only.
Yes, our attention spans are extremely short.
So aim for your audience to remember you for one thing only. This is by far one of the best marketing strategies you will learn in your life.
By having 100+ posts about make up on my Blog, no one is going to question that I’m an expert in make up.
This is just an example. I honestly suck at make up.
This is how I was able to grow on Instagram as a Comic Artist quickly and hit 100K followers within 6 months because I focused on only hair comics!
If you like comedy centered around hair, you can follow me on my brand new Instagram account right here.
4. Not building a Brand
I want you to visit 3 Blogs that you really love.
I’m pretty sure all 3 will stand out in some way. They will have logos, a consistent color theme, a unique style of writing and much more. This is basically what constitutes a Brand.
And that’s what you need to aim for! To stand out as a Blogger.
Don’t just build a Blog and start pushing out posts without personalizing your Blog first.
Make sure everything you do sparkles with your personality.
I’m so dazzling, I almost look like Edward from Twilight.
Every Page and every Post must be intentional. It should all seamlessly go together to build your Brand and add to your Blog’s mission.
A good Brand doesn’t just end with your Blog’s looks.
It’s much more than that.
Your Brand speaks volumes about your Business. And trust me, people will judge you with every little thing you do. You have to be conscious with every step you take.
People will watch how you:
- Reply to their comments
- Comment on other Blogs
- Write your Posts
- Talk on Social Media
- Write your Newsletters
So, make sure that everything you do aligns with your Brand. And you will notice that gaining an audience becomes easier and faster!
You may also like: 17 Easy Ways to gain Tons of Comments on your Blog Posts
Planning and Accountability
5. Not having goals
When you start a blog from scratch, you cannot just start writing posts and hope that money pours in immediately.
You have to create short term and long term goals. This is why creating a Business Plan is very advantageous for a blogger.
Example of short term goals:
- Hit 10K Pageviews by the end of the month
- Make $10 in Amazon Affiliate sales by the end of the month
- Write 3 guest posts by the end of the month
Example of long term goals:
- Write an eBook and start selling it in my shop by the end of 3 months
- Collect at least 12 pieces in my Portfolio by the end of this year
- Make $2000 in Planner sales by the end of this year
So, unless you are constantly setting goals for yourself and your Blog and tracking your results each week/month, it’s very difficult to grow as a Blogger.
By tracking your results in a Planner, you will be able to understand where you fall short and where your opportunities lie. So, do not miss this step!
You may also like: 23 Ways to Use Your Notebook to track your Blogging Goals
6. Not creating a Content Plan
People, people, please.
Before you start niching down, know who your target audience is.
Doing this one step helped me grow my Blog traffic exponentially and make more sales.
I created an imaginary reader of my Blog who loved me and my posts and identified her pain points and her struggles.
This helped me generate a lot of blog content ideas.
I separated these ideas by objective. Some blog posts’s objective was to attain brand recognition, some were to pull in traffic, some were to direct sales to my new eBook and so on.
So, generate content ideas at least for 6 months at a stretch.
You will save abundant time because you don’t need to keep scratching your head each week to come up with a Blog Post idea. And yes, your conversions will improve drastically!
I explain how I generate my Blog Content Plan for a whole year in detail in this post.
7. Concentrating on more than 2-3 monetization strategies at a time.
Ever heard of that saying, “Haste makes waste”?
Well, this is sorta like that.
When you’ve been blogging for at least 3-4 months, you can start monetizing your Blog. I always recommend 6 months, but obviously this is not a hard and fast rule.
Start monetizing only when you know for sure that you’re getting a good number of pageviews and your Blog is popular.
If you are actively participating in Facebook Group threads, and you’re noticing that your traffic on Pinterest is taking off, then it is definitely time to start monetizing.
You can start by applying to ad companies and working for affiliate companies.
Becoming an Affiliate is very easy. You simply have to apply to companies that are related to your niche and then promote their products/services on your Blog.
Every time someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, you get a little commission.
But most Bloggers start putting ads, work in affiliate links, start selling their own courses, eBooks all at once.
Do. Not. Do. This.
Remember, one step at a time. Too many changes will confuse your readers. Especially your fans who visit you every week.
It will take 3-6 months for the ads and affiliate links to start making you money, but once you’re making $100-$300 a month, you can start implementing other Monetization Techniques.
This is related to the first point but a mistake that a lot of Bloggers make.
Even professional ones like Yours Truly.
If you are a Food Blogger, don’t become an affiliate for PicMonkey or Planners.
This makes no sense.
Understand who you are writing for and provide resources that your readers may actually buy. This will involve some homework on your end, but it is worth it!
People are coming to your Blog for recipes. So, either write your own Recipe Book and promote it on your Blog Posts, or become an affiliate for Food Related Companies.
And remember to incorporate text based affiliate links whenever you can as they do much better than image based ones.
This will triple your conversions.
9. Not promoting your own services
As a Blogger, you can do a lot more than just Blog.
I created Websites for Bloggers in my early Blogging Days, and slowly shifted to Graphic Designing and then eventually moved on to Illustrating for Bloggers.
Getting clients online is super easy and hassle-free.
The best part?
There are no risks! And you do not need to waste time commuting to different places. You can work from home.
So, think about your skills and your interests. Maybe you could write for other Bloggers? There are blogs that willingly pay over $50-$200 for a single post.
You can become a Virtual Assistant. Offering social media services on your Blog, is also a great way to earn extra money a month.
I talk about different ways you can gain clients online in this post.
Once you build your Portfolio, you can start including links to your Services Page in all your social media platforms and your Blog.
Aside from this, if you want to learn more skills or perfect some, then I will highly recommend Skillshare. If you click this image below, you will get 60 days of unlimited free premium classes.
You have to use a card for the trial, but you can cancel on 59th day if you don’t want to continue with a membership or be charged. Meaning you can access all the classes you want for 60 whole days.
I have become a good Illustrator and picked up many tricks only by constantly watching online classes and practicing. I talk about a few drawing classes I really adore in this post.
10. Not creating your own Products
A lot of Bloggers feel like they’re not knowledgable enough to create their own products.
But go back 3 or 6 months in your own niche’s journey. Don’t you feel you have progressed a lot from back then? Isn’t this information you could share with someone and speed up their learning process?
For instance, think of something that took you 3 months to learn. Couldn’t you create an eCourse or eBook that teaches the same thing to someone else so they could learn it in 3 hours?
This is exactly how I wrote my first eBook. I kept learning and implementing new traffic strategies and I realized I could save a lot of my readers’ time if I just gave them one resource with every thing in it!
And thus, my traffic eBook was born!
You don’t need to be a genius to write your own eBook or eCourse. So, if that is stopping you from writing, put that fear away and get to work.
It’s okay to become an Affiliate and promote other courses or books when you are just beginning. But once you start becoming an expert and have published more than 30-50 posts, it is time you work on your own products.
This need not be a physical product. Remember, aim for minimal risk and loss. So work on a digital eBook or an eCourse.
Other than time, you are not losing anything. So go for it!
This will help you build a stronger Brand and establish you as a Powerful Authority in your Niche.
I’m not kidding.
11. Losing motivation easily when your Blog isn’t making money
Please understand that it is natural to feel sad and/or upset from time to time.
Not everything you do is going to succeed and bring in results.
I’ve had plenty of failed product launches (no kidding), shed a lot of tears when I worked for hours on Blog Posts that didn’t fetch comments, or just got no replies from Bloggers I approached for collaborations.
Every Blogger has a woe story to tell. But a lot of them choose to keep it hush-hush.
So, don’t panic or throw in the towel when you don’t see results.
My best suggestion is to keep aside some money to run you afloat for at least 6 months.
In 6 months, if you earn 0 money from your Blog, then by all means… quit.
But if this is something you are keen on doing and are willing to make mistakes in order to succeed, then hold on.
I’ve found that recording mini achievements plays a huge role in constantly being motivated.
- You earned a Dollar from AdSense? Write it down!
- A Blogger you look upto accepted your Guest Post? Write it down!
- You got your first client through your Blog? Write it down!
So when you are feeling like quitting, look though your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back.
Do not lose hope when things don’t go your way.
Fail fast, adapt and try again. That’s what being an Entrepreneur means.
12. Only blogging when you feel like it
Okay, this is one thing I see a lot of Bloggers do.
They get bored because they have to Blog about 1 topic only. It’s not easy, I know. I’ve been blogging for almost a year about Blogging and yes, this can get a little repetitive.
But remember why you are blogging.
You are blogging to become an expert in 1 field.
Because there are so many people struggling with this definite problem that you are solving.
And you are showing them that you have all the answers.
This just makes you more powerful and more trust-worthy.
Do you really think that Make Up companies haven’t already created every lipstick shade they could possibly muster in the world?
I bet they have.
But that doesn’t mean that they stop creating new shades and just throw in the towel and say, “Oh, it’s probably been invented, so why bother?”
No, they keep having new launches even if it has been done a 100 million times before.
Because they have loads of customers who are still buying their stuff! People love new things!
So yes, blogging about 1 topic can get boring and cumbersome sometimes. But this is where you can get creative.
There are loads of ways you can spice up your Blog without straying from your topic.
- Publishing a guest post by another Blogger
- Releasing an interview
- Publishing a case study
- Writing a post about how you go about your day
- Create a fancy new content upgrade!
- Release a new product and create content around the launch!
In short, you need to be consistent. This is the best way to grow your traffic and increase brand awareness.
13. Not implementing new techniques
Blogging is all about learning and implementing, like I said earlier.
I must be such a nag because I’m repeating that phrase so much. You’re probably sharpening your pitchfork now, aren’t you?
So, related to the previous points, if something is not working out, don’t give up. Instead, go online and find ways you can succeed.
Study your competition. See what they’re doing to combat the problem.
It’s okay to buy eBooks/eCourses to help you with your journey.
I’m not fanning my own tail, but my eBook has helped a lot of my readers achieve their Blogging Goals and make money from their Blog.
This eBook will not just teach you how to get traffic, it will teach you how to get traffic that converts into sales and clients. There’s a psychology behind building your website. And I discuss that in this eBook.
Aside from this, here are a few eBooks that has helped me become a better Blogger and Online Marketer:
- The One Hour Content Plan
- Your First 100
- Digital Marketing for Dummies
- Content Inc
- 81 Days to Becoming an Online Marketing Sales Machine
- The 21 Success Secrets of Self Made Millionaires
- The Essential Habits of 6 Figure Bloggers
There are a lot more books that I really love (yes, I love reading), but these are by far some of my favorites. I will probably make a more detailed post later on what each of these books taught me.
And emails like these let me know that I am on the right track:
So, keep implementing new techniques and track down your results.
What works for someone else may not work for you. Likewise, some things may work for you and may be totally useless to others.
You will discover your strengths as you continue blogging. And the more time and effort you put into your Blog, the faster you will see results.
There is no definitive roadmap, but blogging comes down to being extremely engaging, resourceful, helpful and entertaining.
Focus on these factors, and you will see your Blog grow exponentially.
And with that, we come to the end of yet another extensive Blog Post. If you’re keen on growing your traffic, you can take my free 5 day email course that will teach you how to gain traffic that converts!
How about you?
What is the reason you feel that most blogs fail and don’t make money? Let me know in the comments below!