Last week, I sent out an email to my subscribers asking them what they needed help with. The majority of the replies said that they wanted to make money blogging but it just wasn’t happening for them.
First, let me say that it is impossible to know why a blog isn’t making any money without taking a few steps backwards and examining your core framework, i.e. your avatar/niche/audience.
I know that there are many articles flying about that claim you can make money blogging fast, like in the first month. But let me tell you from experience, that doesn’t happen too often unless they have taken the time before launching to refine and know their niche, inside and out. For most of us, we jump into blogging without having done any research and we go with our gut or passion. For others, they start blogging as a hobby and somewhere along the way, hear that you can turn that hobby into money.
Either way, the process is long. For me, it took years before I was able to make a substantial monthly income. What can I say? I’m stubborn.
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Learning what clicks, what content your audience loves and delivering your message in an authentic way is a learning process. Don’t rush it. Too many bloggers jump on monetizing way too early, then get discouraged and quit. It is far better to earn the trust of your audience in the beginning. Then when you begin to offer product solutions, your readers are primed and ready to buy.
Second, all niches are not created equal. Yes, I believe you can monetize any blog but it important to note that some niches are just intrinsically easier to monetize and money will be made faster and easier. It’s just the natural nature of those niches and people will whip out their credit cards for some niches faster than a cowboy at a showdown. If you aren’t blogging about health, finance or relationships, your income will come at a much slower pace and you will have to work harder, smarter and longer to see results.
That said, if you have had little success earning money with your blog, examine your niche. Who are they? Make sure you have a clear understanding of them, their lifestyle, what they like and don’t like and what struggles they have. Then, look at your blog. Is the content you already have addressing them and their needs. I know that a lot of bloggers believe that their blogs are all about them. Newsflash: If you want to increase your pageviews, build an audience and make money, you need to switch your mindset. Your blog needs to be about and for your readers to have a successful blog. Period.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share stories about yourself. But your experiences should always be framed with a lesson or takeaway for your audience. That builds trust and rapport with your audience.
After you have a clear understanding of your niche and have content that speaks to them, you can take the following monetization test to assess the viability and ease of which you can earn an income from your blog.
Give Your Blog The Monetization Test
- Is your audience just looking for information or are they seeking out products to solve their problems? There is a big difference between a blog that is strictly informational or supportive and one in which readers are already coming to you with a spending mentality. Blog titles go a long way to frame and bridge between the two types. For example: 5 Ways To Ease The Pain Of Depression vs. 5 Supplements That Ease The Pain Of Depression.
- Does your audience have disposable income? If you are writing to an audience that is strapped for cash, they probably can’t afford to splash out big money. Plus, I am sure in good conscience, you wouldn’t want them to. Case in point, the single mom struggling to make ends meet. This doesn’t mean that you can’t “sell” to this niche but you must understand that you will probably have to promote lower ticket items and thereby earn much lower commissions than a niche that has lots of money to spend.
- What do they buy? Assessing your avatar’s needs, make a list of their regular purchases and a few “wish haves” in terms of products. This is important. As in the case above, the single mom, you aren’t going to sell her luxury vacations are you? You may have on your list items like diapers and bibs and then some upgraded items like a baby food blender and storage containers. Then join affiliate programs that include those products.
- Will those products be a natural fit for your blog? It is great if you already have content on your blog that you can easily put some affiliate links into but this is also a good opportunity to brainstorm for future posts with your audience’s needs in mind.
- What problems does your audience have that you will address in your content? Know you audience’s pain points and write about how to solve them. Product solutions to problems will be your best converting posts.
- Are there products/courses you could develop to solve those problems? Affiliate links are great and can be a good fit for your blog but if you really know your niche and their problems, the highest payout will always come from products you develop exclusively for them by you.
- Have you established enough authority to be able to influence your readers to buy? Having a lot of great content on your blog addressing your niche’s problems builds trust. Readers have a lot of different options when it comes to purchasing on the internet. They like to feel safe and confident when buying. If your blog makes them feel that way, you will have no problem selling to them.
Blogging is hard work. And you probably want some kind of reward for all the time you spend on your blog. Yes, pageviews are important and make us feel good but there is nothing like providing great content that is being read and shared, and making money. It’s validation at the highest level, isn’t it? If you are struggling to earn money from blogging, I urge you to get back to basics and start at the beginning. It all starts with knowing your audience. Master that and the money will come. I promise.
How did your blog do? Are you on your way to maximizing monetization? If not, I hope you have a few ideas and tweaks in mind to make your blog more income friendly.