Are you sitting there wondering why your blog isn’t making money yet?
I hear ya!
You’d heard stories of people making money from their blog. You’d seen photos all over social media of bloggers getting to travel the world with their laptops being their only source of income.
So you started a blog.
You wrote posts and Tweeted about them.
A few people visited your blog so you read some blog posts about monetising your site and implemented the strategies you read. But no money arrived. No one bought products through your affiliate links. No one is hammering down your door offering to pay you for posts. Your ads are making pennies.
Well, don’t worry my friend. It’s not just “bad luck, there are probably some pretty straightforward reasons why your blog isn’t making money. In this post, we’ll take a look at those reasons and then talk about how to fix them so that you can start making some money!
**This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. For my full disclaimer, please click here**
1. You Aren’t Getting Enough Traffic
This is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t make money from their blogs.
Sure, you don’t need thousands of pageviews per day before you see any cash BUT you certainly aren’t going to make any money with zero pageviews.
So, the first step in monetising your blog should be to work on generating high-quality, relevant content that your audience love. This will help boost your traffic as your draw in new readers and your current readers turn into loyal followers who come back again and again.
You also need to remember that not all traffic is created equal. And, if you want to make money, you need to have the right traffic.
What do I mean by the “right” traffic?
I mean your target audience. People who are interested in your content and, ultimately one day, will be interested in buying your products or services. You’re likely to get the “wrong” kind of traffic from places like Facebook Group promo threads – people who click through to your blogs solely to complete the thread when they actually have no interest in your content. It’s okay that this happens from time to time but try to join Facebook Groups where your target audience hang out and make sure that those groups aren’t the only place that your traffic is coming from.
2. You’re Not Promoting Yourself
So, you’ve got the great content. And you know you need traffic. One of the best ways to boost your traffic is through self-promotion.
Self-promotion doesn’t just apply to your regular blog content either. It applies to whatever it is that you’re trying to sell. No one will buy your eBook if they don’t know that it exists or what it’s about.
Make the most of social media to promote your regular blog content, your freebies and your paid products and services. Find relevant posts in Facebook Groups where people are asking questions that your products and services answer. Post direct links to your sales pages on Twitter, Pinterest and your Facebook Page.
You’ve worked your butt off, so be proud of what you have to offer! Get out there and share it with the world.
Related Post → 50 Easy Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts for Free
3. You Don’t Have an Email List
One of the best ways to promote your products and services is to your email list.
I wish I had started building my email list from day one.
Almost all of the sales I make come from promoting my products and services to my email list.
Your readers join your email list because they like what you have to say and want to hear more from you.
It’s all about pitching it right. You don’t just want to go in there and ask them to buy right off the bat! It’s about using your email service provider to build a sequence that gives value to your readers FOR FREE and builds up to the sales pitch. You need to convince your readers to buy from you.
And, if you set it all up right, it will run on autopilot.
Want to know more about making money from your email list? Check out this post by the awesome Melyssa Griffin: 6 Strategic Ways to Actually Make Money with Your Email List
4. You’re Not Willing to Invest in Your Blog
You need to spend money to make money.
This is a tough hurdle to overcome. Especially if you’re a new blogger who doesn’t have much money to splash around on your site. But there are a number of things you should invest in if you really want to make money from your site:
Self-Hosted Site and Custom Domain Name
Not only will these make you look more professional (and therefore people will be more likely to buy from you) but you will have more control over your site and a wider choice of money-making opportunities at your fingertips. For example, you cannot have ads on your site if you use WordPress.com.
A Sales Platform
Depending on what you are selling, you should invest in a trustworthy platform.
For my courses, I use Teachable and, for eBooks I use SendOwl. Both of which are easy to use for both me and my readers but they are also trusted sites which makes it easier for people to spend on. No one wants to hand their credit card details over on some dodgy looking site!
If it’s safe and easy to buy from you, more people are likely to commit.
An Email Marketing Service Provider
I’ve just mentioned the importance of having an email list and how this might be one of the reasons why your blog isn’t making money. So it probably comes as no surprise that this is one of the things I recommend investing in!
There are a few providers out there who offer cheap or free packages for those with smaller lists but at some point, you will need to pay a monthly fee for the service.
Courses Relevant to Your Niche and Money-Making Strategy
One of the key turning points in making money from my site was learning what to do from a pro. After spending months on end scouring the internet trying to figure out how to make money from my blog, I finally bit the bullet and invested in a paid course.
I wish I had done it sooner! It made such a huge difference to have all of the information I needed in one place, broken down into easy-to-follow actionable steps. Also, knowing that I had paid for the information encouraged me to work through every lesson and really absorb and use the knowledge being shared with me.
For more information on what to invest in and how to set your blog up to be profitable from day one, enrol in Blogging Babe to Business Boss today.
This one really applies to those of you who are planning to make money by selling your own products.
Put simply, your readers need a reason to buy from you. They need convincing that a) you know your stuff and b) you will provide them with useful information that they can actually use.
Asking them to buy from you the second they “meet” you online isn’t going to get you many sales. And this is a mistake I see a lot. People won’t buy from someone they don’t know, especially if the price tag is high.
This is where sales funnels come into play. For those of you who don’t know what a sales funnel is, it’s a process where you lead your readers through to the point of buying.
Learn how to build the perfect sales funnel with Screw the 9-5 here: How to Create a Sales Funnel (2018 UPDATE)
6. You’ve Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Whilst it might seem like a good idea to put 100% of your efforts into one income stream, that’s not strictly true when it comes to blogging.
There are lots and lots of different ways to make money from your blog and, if you want to make money, you should consider having multiple income streams.
Because different people like different things. And that applies to your audience too.
Whilst some of your readers might go crazy for a course that you’ve created yourself, others might prefer to click on your affiliate link to an eBook written by someone else. Some of your readers might click on ads in your sidebar, whereas others won’t even notice that they’re there. Whilst 1:1 coaching will appeal to some of your readers, there are others who couldn’t think of anything worse and would much prefer reading your blog posts (which could be sponsored).
You see how you can have multiple income streams here whilst still being true to your blog AND giving your audience what they want?
The great thing is that you can have some passive income streams which require little to no work after setting them up e.g. once you’ve written your eBook, all you need to do is promote it. Then you can focus your time on other income streams that require ongoing work such as coaching or offering social media management services.
7. You’re Trying to do Too Much
Okay, so I just said that you should have multiple income streams. But you need to be careful to not do too much.
Yes, your income streams should be diverse. No, you shouldn’t try and offer everything possible!
As I mentioned above, you should ideally have a mixture of passive income and non-passive income. If you’re trying to offer too much, you risk a couple of things. Firstly, what you deliver may not be the best quality you are capable of delivering because you’re just so busy. Secondly, you risk burning yourself out and becoming exhausted. This may mean that you get nothing done at all!
Lastly, if you’re trying to do everything, you’re going to find it harder to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your area. For example, if your target audience is beginner bloggers and you create info products for them (eBooks and courses), focus on that and establish yourself as an authority. People will know that’s what you do and, when beginner bloggers are looking for help, they’ll know to come to you (and buy from you).
If, on the other hand, you create courses for beginner bloggers AND you write sponsored posts about the latest beauty trends AND you have ads on your site for travel agents AND you have a YouTube Channel dedicated to crafts and DIY, people won’t see you as an expert in any of those areas. As such, they are less likely to trust you enough to buy from you.
8. You’re Just Like Everyone Else!
There are millions of bloggers out there. And there’s no doubt that there will be other bloggers out there who are offering the same products and services as you. One of the reasons why your blog isn’t making money is that your target audience simply have too much choice that all looks similar and they chose someone else who looked slightly different. Someone who stood out.
So, you need to make yourself stand out.
One of the easiest ways to make yourself stand out is by showing your personality. At the end of the day, everything online has been done before. Your personality is yours and no one can take that away from you or copy it.
There are various ways to show your personality from your brand to the way to communicate and interact with your audience. Write in our own style and incorporate your own experiences into things too.
Try to offer your audience something different too. Seen lots of ebooks on a certain topic? Why not offer a video course with a downloadable workbook too? Make sure you research your main competition out there and offer your audience something different and exciting.
9. You Are Afraid of Asking People to Buy
This is a biggie and it’s something I see a lot when people tell me that their blog’s not making any money.
They’ve created amazing products or offer outstanding services but they aren’t actually asking people to buy.
I get it though, it can be really tough trying to sell yourself.
It feels cringey to say “I made this awesome thing, please buy it!”
And, whilst a direct ask like will work sometimes, it’s not the only way that you can ask people to buy from you.
What this point is about is using Calls to Action (CTAs) wherever you can. Your CTAs need to be clear. You need to tell your readers exactly what you want them to do. For example, it might be “Download your free workbook here” to get them to sign up to your email list (and we know that email lists are great for selling) or it might be “Click here to learn more about the eBook” which then takes your readers to your sales page.
For more information about the importance of CTAs, check out number 5 in this great list by Beck Mollenkamp: 5 Reasons Your Website is Not Converting Visitors into Customers.
There will also be the right time to directly ask your readers to buy from you. For example, when they’ve made their way all the way through your sales funnel to final stage: the sell.
10. You Want to Learn from the Wrong People
Do you know how many times I see this in Facebook Groups:
“I’m not making any money from my blog, does anyone have any tips/strategies. I DON’T want to hear from people who have a blog about blogging – that isn’t the type of blog I want to have.”
The difficulty here is that bloggers who don’t teach others to blog, well…they don’t teach others how to blog. It’s really that simple. If they’re busy working on a travel blog, they’re writing about travel, not how to make money from blogging.
The reason you get responses to your questions from people who blog about blogging is because that is their area of expertise. They know what they’re talking about and that’s why they’re responding to your questions. It’s their job.
And you should probably listen to them too. You know why? Because they have experience and are making money from their blog! They’re trying to share that information with you and, the strategies they are sharing most likely apply to bloggers in every niche.
Take Flourishing Freelancer, for example. I just published a post about how to make money from affiliate marketing using Pinterest. You can apply the strategy I shared in that post to almost any niche, all you need to do is find an affiliate programme in your niche.
11. There’s No Social Proof
Before I book a hotel, I make sure I read all of the reviews to see what other people thought. I trust a guest’s review more than the description that has been written by the hotel themselves.
The same applies to selling your products and services.
Including testimonials on your sales pages lets your potential customers and clients know what to expect and have a little more faith in what you are providing.
Whilst the internet opens up a world of possibilities, it also opens up a world of potential scams. And that’s a huge reason why people don’t hit “purchase”. What if the course only covers the basics? What if the t-shirt quality isn’t great? These are the kinds of questions people ask themselves before deciding to buy.
So, let your clients/customers know who’s already bought your product or service and what they thought of it. Let the testimonials answer those questions for you.
For other tips on launching your course the right way, check out this amazing post from Zoe Linda: How to Validate and Pre-Sell Your First Digital Product.
12. You Don’t Have a Strategy
So, you know who your audience is and what they’re looking for. You’ve got a great content strategy and you provide your audience with high-quality content consistently but your blog still isn’t making money.
Your blog doesn’t just need a content strategy, it needs a monetisation strategy. Basically, your blog needs a business plan.
You need to think about the income streams you want to focus on, how and when you’re going to start working on those streams, and how you’re going to scale up those streams in the future.
Part of this strategy will include other things I’ve mentioned in this post such as marketing your products and services and how your blog content will tie in with everything.
FREE Business Plan Template
13. You’re Not Listening to Your Audience
When you first started your blog, you will have defined your target audience. And everything you create on your blog should be geared towards that target audience.
The same applies to the products and services you are offering.
If your blog isn’t making money, it might be time to reconsider what you are trying to make money from. Are the affiliate products that you are marketing relevant to your readers? Is your new course solving your audience’s biggest problems? Are those ads for things that your audience NEEDS?
The first thing you need to do is research what it is that your audience want and need.
There are lots of different ways to know what your audience are looking for, here are some of my favourites:
- Look at what questions are being asked in Facebook Groups and on Twitter
- Check your stats to see which posts are already performing well
- Visit other sites in your niche to see which posts are doing well on their site
- Search for keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner.
So, find out what your audience want and need and then provide it!
14. You Don’t Put in the Work
This one is a tough one BUT, making money on your blog doesn’t come easy.
When I first started blogging, I was working full-time too. I spent every spare minute I had on my blog. Lunch breaks, evenings, weekends. My entire life revolved around my blog. Not only was it time-consuming but it was difficult too.
Sure, I loved working on my blog but there have been times when it was stressful and I felt defeated.
You know what? It was SO worth all of that hard work.
Another thing that new bloggers seem to misunderstand is the amount of time it takes. I had to put that hard work in for just over a year before I was able to quit my job. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Even “passive income” streams need a significant amount of work upfront. But money doesn’t grow on trees, right?
However, if you do put the work in, it is possible to make money from your blog.
15. You Don’t Hold on to Existing Customers and Clients
Whilst this might not be relevant to you right now if you’ve not made a single dollar yet, it’s super important when it comes to making money from your blog generally.
Once you have a client or customer you want to make sure that they keep coming back and buying from you again and again.
There are two key elements to this:
It should come as no surprise to you that the best way to ensure that customers and clients come back again, is to deliver on what you promised at the start.
If you give your readers, customers and clients exactly what you promised (and more), they are more likely to buy from you again. Not only this, but they are also likely to recommend you to other people too.
This is something so simple but is often forgotten by bloggers – communicate with people after they have purchased.
It’s easier to sell to happy customers than it is to complete strangers.
But it’s more than just that. It’s great customer service to check in on your customers and see how things are going. You can use this to improve your products and services and to gain testimonials for your sales page (see above)
Ready to See Real Results?
Luckily for you, there’s a straightforward process that you can follow:
- Create amazing content (I’d recommend creating a content calendar to help)
- Create a monetisation strategy (aka business plan)
- Find out what your audience want and need
- Offer your readers something for free and turn them into subscribers
- Nurture your subscribers (offer them more free stuff that is valuable and relevant)
- Create your paid products/services, find affiliate programmes and ads etc. that build upon your freebies
Does That Still Feel a Long Way Off?
What if I told you, you could:
- Drive traffic to your blog from day one
- Build an email list of people hungry for our content and products/services
- Grow your online community and make meaningful connections
- Make money doing what you love, right from the start
- Turn your hobby into a business and quit your 9-5?
I have just what you need!
Blogging Babe to Business Boss covers everything from starting a blog from zero to gaining traffic, building a community, growing an email list and making money from your blog.
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