This year started out with a bang for me. January and February were awesome. I easily hit my traffic and income goals. I was on track to make 2020 my best year ever.
My pageviews at the beginning of the year had increased so much that I had to upgrade my hosting plan for one of my sites. The plan I was on could not handle my monthly views. (I know, I know. Must be nice. But I’ve worked really hard to achieve that.) I was nervous but excited to level up.
And then…everything changed.
Literally overnight, traffic dropped and income plummeted.
I went into a complete meltdown. That new hosting plan I had converted to, was more than quadruple the cost I was previously paying. Even at the best of times, it was a huge kick in the gut. I started to think I should re-assess my expenses, especially that new hosting plan.
It was that mindset shift that turned everything around for me. I got back to basics, focusing on the foundation of my blog and everything I had done to get me to that place at the beginning of the year.
And guess what?
It worked. My pageviews have gone back to levels at the beginning of the year and my income, though not surpassing last year at this same time, it has at least matched it.
I got to thinking, what is the difference between my blog, that makes me a nice income, even during uncertain times, and a blog that doesn’t make any money?
And while I do believe there are many extraneous circumstances that can make or break a blog, the following is a list of reasons you can tackle and overcome to help your blog make an income.
5 Reasons Your Blog Will Never Make Any Money
1. You’re in a rush.
Expecting or wanting to make thousands of dollars within your first few months of blogging is like purchasing lottery tickets to fund your retirement savings. A few are lucky enough to win big but most people win nothing and need a different plan if they don’t want to end up living on the streets in their old age.
If you research the bloggers making a substantial income from their blogs, you will usually find that they have been blogging for years or that they had several other blogs before they found their winning formula. This is not my first kick at the cat either. I have a graveyard of blogs behind me too.
Relax. Take your time and be patient. When you are not in a hurry all the time, things become much clearer and you are able to make decisions that will ultimately benefit you in the long run. Take care of tomorrow and today will sort itself out.
Related Post: What’s up with the fast blogging?
2. You didn’t take the time to grow a community/audience. (And you don’t even know who the hell they are, what they like or what they want.)
This reason goes hand in hand with the reason above. If you are in a rush, you skip the step of getting to know your readers. You don’t have time for that. You want money. Now.
Most successful bloggers spent years connecting with their followers before they tried to sell them a single thing. Those bloggers had built trust with their audience so that when they did begin to recommend products, their readers purchased. It was like a family member or friend was making purchasing suggestions.
There are so many benefits to growing a community around your blog.
- you learn about your readers and what struggles they face
- you get insight into what content they enjoy
- you build trust and confidence in your brand
Building a strong, loyal following makes blogging so much easier in the long run. But the work needs to be done up front.
- share your personal stories
- respond to questions and comments
- write posts that address your readers’ issues
- be available and approachable
- be consistent and present, don’t disappear and re-appear months later
How long does it take to build a community? Every niche is different. It’s like falling in love. You will know when you have.
3. You don’t provide value. Fo’ free!
Do you know your shit? Can I trust you? How the hell do I know? You certainly don’t share information freely on your blog.
I mean come on now. You need to at least buy me a dinner at a nice restaurant before if you expect me to put out. And no drive thru window’s either.
You know what I am taking about here.
The latest, greatest thing in the world of blogging is sales funnels. Geez, these things piss me off. I can never get the information I want quickly anymore. They got me clicking this and going to my email then signing up for something else and then boom!, the information I really wanted is a paid product. Oh FFS.
Go to your favourite bloggers’ websites now. Doesn’t it blow your mind how much information they have on their blogs…for free! Their paid products must be jam packed with good stuff!
Yeah. That’s how you want your readers to think about you too.
4. You sell. ALL. THE. TIME.
Holy crap, get away from me. You are one plaid suit away from selling used cars.
Every post. Every email. Every pin, tweet, post on social media, you are selling something.
I get it. You found this great e-book or lipstick you think we would like. You know, you can legitimately review stuff without sounding like the only reason you reviewed it was because you wanted to share some affiliate links. Try thinking about your reader and less about you.
If every single one of the posts on your blog starts with, This post may contain affiliate links., you may be over-selling.
5. You look desperate because you are trying to sell everything including the kitchen sink.
Listen, I am an Amazon affiliate, so technically, I could sell you a kitchen sink if you needed one but you know what I am talking about here.
There are so many affiliate programs out there. You don’t need to belong to all of them or at least you don’t have to promote every single product available.
I see bloggers selling products outside of their niche all the time because they see other bloggers are making money selling a particular product with a high commission. Then the next month, those same bloggers are all selling something else.
First of all, I don’t know how you keep track of all those affiliates or how you are ever get paid because I doubt you ever reach the minimum payout threshold for all of those companies.
But second, you look like you are flailing. You are and it shows.
You need to narrow down the list of products you will promote and focus on those. Make sure they solve your readers’ specific problems and concerns and you will have no problem making sales.
Related Post: 10 Affiliate & Ad Programs Available To New Bloggers
I know there are exceptions to every rule. There will always be bloggers that make it big right out of the gate, or bloggers that have huge success pushing products all the time. You may even follow those bloggers or subscribe to their emails.
And maybe, their ways will work for you. But I share what works for me, in hopes that it will work for you. I am not all knowing, nor do I think I hold any kind of secret to successful blogging. I only know what has worked my entire life in my career and in my personal life: anything worthwhile takes time and work.
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