5 Reasons Your Blog Will Never Make Any Money

I got to thinking, what is the difference between my blog, that makes me $3000/month, and a blog that doesn't make any money? Click through for a list of reasons you can tackle and overcome to help your blog make an income. #makemoneyblogging #blogging#blog

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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.

After a few weeks of allowing myself to wallow, I decided that no, I was not going to let myself go backwards. I was going to make a new plan, learn how to re-capture traffic and diversify my income.

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.

Thank you for reading!

I would love to connect with you!

You can find me on PINTERESTFACEBOOKTWITTER, or INSTAGRAM. Or you can follow me on Bloglovin here.

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This post may contain affiliate links - which means if you click on them and buy something, I'll earn a small commission. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

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  1. I laugh throughout this blog post. Such an informative, upfront blog post. It speaks volume to what happens in the blogging word and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I too have made the mistake of not starting m email listing yet after over 1 year blogging. I have not yet monetize but after reading your article, I am now starting mu email list as what you say does make sense. Thanks for a lively and exciting article. Love your blogging tone. It is not boring. Will certainly follow you on Pinterest and Facebook in the future. I have bookmark thus article hence I was able to retrieve it.

  2. Super honest post. I’m just starting my blog, and I wasn’t sure if I should share my personal stories at first, but I thought maybe I should so readers could get to know me and I could learn what they are into, and this confirmed that. Thank you!

  3. Hi Elena, thank you for your post. I’ve been blogging for about 6 months with little to no results whatsoever, and not gone lie, it’s tough.

    Majorly because I see that my blog is presentable, it doens’t have much content ok, but I see blogs out there with poor content, weak image out performing me.

    It’s a bit frustating but I think that I have being making the Error Number 5. By selling all of it that comes to my mind.

    However I’ve changed, now I focused on only promoting products that I personally used and that actually have value.

    In fact I’ve been think about deleting content that I’m not proud or that is about products that I don’t use or I will use.

    To end, thank you for you post.

  4. Hi Elena, I loved this post. I’m a 50-something blogger myself. Just started 4 months ago. Do you have any courses? Or are you available by email to bounce things off of? Never hurts to ask lol.

  5. I loved this post, so honest, so frank and so true! There are so many bloggers out there who encourage the opposite, so it’s hard to know what you should be doing as a new blogger. But you are right, as a reader, you don’t want to be sold to all the time, it’s so off putting. x-o-x

  6. Good post. I’m a food blogger for about 1 yr and 5 months now. Do you know in what ways I need to treat my blog differently than a non-food blog? I feel it may be harder to establish a community. Plus the niche is saturated. I don’t know how to stand out..even with good photography. Help?!

    1. Food blogging is huge and you can be successful if you try to niche down to one style or type of food blogging. That said, don’t be afraid to branch out and try other topics that you are passionate about, especially if food blogging is not floating your boat anymore. Blogging is all about trial and error. When you hit the sweet spot, you will know. Honestly, a year is not that long.

  7. Just saw a whole pile of your posts pop up on my Pinterest feed – all branded and looking beautiful. I also smiled at some of the titles (like this one) I’m so glad I’m not in blogging to become famous or to make the big bucks – I’d have thrown in the towel years ago! I get SO sick of pop up ads, pop up email sign ups, banner ads, drop down ads, and on and on….. I just can’t get into it and I look at the bloggers doing it and they have nothing really to offer……except a million ads!

  8. There really has been a huge surge in blogs in the last 10 years since I first cracked open a computer and poured out my first blog.
    Now more then ever it has become a real way for a lot of people to make some good money doing something they love. But when you go at it with the intention of making money you tend to lose out on why it was fun to begin with.
    Thus the explosion of blogs about blogging because it naturally relates well with “recruiting” others to join the trend.
    I think my next blog will be a blog about bloggers who blog about blogging that way I can blog about blogging without technically blogging about blogging but still make money referring new bloggers who can learn how to be blog bloggers.

  9. I feel like as I get more and more into blogging, more and more bloggers are turning into the sleazy sales person that will just sell anything and everything. When your Instagram has lost you and has been overrun by shampoo and tampon ads, there’s a serious problem. On that same note I’m afraid of doing anything, I love blogging for blogging sake, but at the same time it would be nice to make some cash. Always teetering on the ledge of should I? Could I?

    1. I think once you have built a community, opportunities will happen to make some cash that won’t be sleazy. Of course there will be those too and you have to be careful to stay true to yourself.

  10. Top advice, very helpful! I have the loose goal of making some money by this time next year. I have Amazon and Adsense in place, and I wish I understood Adsense more because wow it’s complicated, rahaha!
    Really, I need to keep growing my audience before I can make any profit that way, I think. Also, having a high energy 2 year old at home means my productivity isn’t wonderful!

    1. There is a plug in that you can use for Adsense that makes it easier to use. And try using text links for Amazon as opposed to images. They convert better. With the two year old, I can’t help you. Lol Slow and steady will get you to your goal.

  11. Great post! I completely agree with #1. This job does take time, and it is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s a lot of hard work before the financial payoff comes 🙂

  12. Such a great post. Me and my husband launched our blog a few weeks ago and we’re really happy with it’s progress so far. Of course, at some point we’d love to make money from it but under no illusion it will happen overnight. Thanks for the great advice 🙂

  13. I haven’t made money on my blog and I have a tiny store with two products in it. I am so put off by bloggers who sell all the time I’m probably underselling my products but I refuse to make every post and every communication about my book and doll. I have a picture of the book and information about it at the end of every blog post and I even wonder if that’s too much! You are an inspiration and I always enjoy your practical information, Elena. Especially reminding me and others to be patient and realize that lasting gains do not happen over night for most of us.

    1. I had an evaluation done for me a few weeks ago and I knew they were going to tell me that I don’t write enough emails and posts about products I’m selling. I just can’t do it. It gives me an icky feeling.

  14. It seems to be so difficult to make money blogging so well done you for getting there. We just blog about our travels and have never even thought about money. Not enough views or followers though I guess.

        1. The easiest first step would be to recommend products that you personally use at the bottom of a travel post. Become an affiliate of Amazon or whatever program sells those items. That’s the easiest way to get your toes wet.

          1. Then it is a good time to play around with different methods without thinking you are either pissing off a ton of readers or feeling like you look like you don’t know what you are doing. See, there always is a silver lining.

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