Is your blog making you a regular full-time income you are proud of? No? Then you are definitely going to want to read this post… here are 14 reasons why your blog isn’t making money (and what to do about it!)
It can be very disheartening reading blogging income reports – everybody else seems to be making great money from blogging… and you are not. Maybe you are yet to make any money at all from blogging… Or maybe you are making a little, but nowhere near the level you thought you’d be making by now.
Either way this post is for you!
The truth is it is totally possible to make good money from blogging. I am living proof of this. But it doesn’t happen by magic, nor is it down to luck… And no there isn’t any secret sauce, either.
But there ARE a whole heap of things that you might be doing inadvertently that are actually harming your chances of making money from blogging and that’s what this post is all about.
Here are 14 reasons why your blog isn’t making money (and what to do about it!)
1. You haven’t made a plan
The number one reason why your blog is not making money is because you haven’t decided HOW you plan to make money and then created a plan to get you there.
This a pretty standard thing that all normal businesses do. If you start a café, you make a plan about how you will make money – you plan to make great coffee and amazing cupcakes and sell them for more than they cost you to make. Then you go and do all the things it will take to get you to that point… you rent premises, decorate it, buy a coffee machine, go on a course to learn how to ice cupcakes professionally, do a ton of advertising… then you open your café and start selling cupcakes and coffee…
But for some reason most bloggers don’t do that. Instead they create a blog, write blog posts and then wonder why no money is coming in…
If you want to start making money with a blog, you need to make a plan… How will you make money with your blog? What do you need to do to get you to that point? And then you need to put that plan into practice.
READ MORE >>> Goal setting for bloggers
READ MORE >>> How to turn your blogging dreams into an actionable plan
2. You are creating too much content
Too much content? Is it possible to create too much content for a blog? Well yes and no.
The real problem here is that you are spending too much time on writing content and not enough on money making activities.
Writing content is an important part of blogging… but if you want to make money from blogging, you shouldn’t be spending ALL your time on writing content.
Because writing content ON ITS OWN is not going to make you money.
As a rough rule of thumb, you should be spending no more than 1/5 of your time actually creating content. The rest of the time you should be doing other activities that will get you to the point of making money…
What you spend the rest of your time on will depend on exactly how you have decided to make money.
For example, if you plan to make money through ads, then you should spend the rest of your time working on learning and implementing SEO to grow your blog traffic as fast as possible to the point where you can qualify for a high paying ad company, such as Mediavine… and then continue to work on growing your blog traffic to maximise your income from those ads.
If, however, you plan to make money from sponsored posts, then the main focus of your time will be on growing your blog and social media accounts and pitching your ideas to brands and PR agencies.
Or, if you plan to make money via selling a product, then you should be spending the bulk of your time growing your email list and creating your product.
READ MORE >>> How do blogs make money?
3. You are spending too much time on social media
This one is a classic among bloggers. We kid ourselves that being on social media is VITALLY IMPORTANT – perhaps THE most important part of blogging… and consequently we allow ourselves to spend large parts of or blogging time mindlessly scrolling through our social media feeds and replying to notifications and call it ‘work’ – when it really isn’t…
Sure, depending on how you monetise your blog, growing a strong social following *may* be an important part of your blogging strategy. However, there is a world of difference between taking the time to learn about how to grow a strong and engaged following on social media, then putting those strategies into practice… and mindlessly scrolling through your feed!
And not all bloggers need to do this. If you plan to monetise your blog via ads, you’ll get there a lot quicker if you focus on SEO, than if you focus on social media.
The same if you plan to monetise by selling a product or service… in this case, you’ll do far better if you focus on building up an email list of warm leads via a series of targeted opt-in offers, than if you spend all your time on social media.
4. You keep getting sidetracked by all the things you ’ought’ to be doing
One of the biggest reasons why your blog is not making money is because you are spending far too much time on all the things you feel you ‘ought’ to be doing and not enough time on the things that will actually make a difference to your bottom line.
It’s a big issue for us bloggers, and I don’t mind admitting I have struggled with this BIG TIME in the past!
We are constantly bombarded with information about what other bloggers are doing and it’s all to easy to simply add these activities to the ‘to do’ list, without thinking first if we REALLY need to do them… and whether they really will make a difference to our income.
For example, just because everyone else is trying to grow their Instagram followers / using video pins / paying for Facebook ads doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Will they really make a difference to your business? Or will they distract you from the activities that are really going to make a difference to your bottom line?
I am a strong believer in the 80/20 rule… 80% of your blogging income will come from 20% of your blogging activities. Or to look at it another way 80% of the things that you are currently doing will be having little or no impact on your blogging income. If you want to make more money, focus more time and effort on the 20%. You’ll find you can work less AND make more money!
READ MORE >>> 10 ways to stop wasting time and actually get stuff done!
READ MORE >>> How to get more done in less time on your blog
5. You are not getting enough of the right traffic
No matter how you plan to monetise your blog, traffic is important. If you plan on making money through ads, then it’s especially important. The more traffic you get, the more money you’ll make.
It’s not a perfect correlation, but typically if you have more page views, you can charge more for sponsored post and you’ll have more leads you can turn into purchasers for your products, services or affiliate links.
But it’s not just about getting more traffic, it’s also about getting the right traffic. If you attract the right traffic, they’ll stick around and read more of your content, follow and engage with you on social media, share your posts, sign up to your email list and ultimately buy from you.
And the best way to attract the right traffic? SEO!
6. You are not spending enough time on SEO
SEO – or Search Engine Optimisation is all about getting your blog to perform better in search engine results – which, in turn, will bring you more traffic to your blog.
The beautiful thing about search engine traffic is it’s consistent, long-term traffic that keeps on coming month after month – unlike the peaks and troughs most of us experience from social media traffic!
SEO will help you attract the right traffic and help you grow your blog traffic to the levels needed to join a high paying ad company and earn passive income from ads.
But SEO can also help you attract brands for sponsored posts. If a brand is interested in working with bloggers, they may well do a Google search for bloggers in a relevant niche or who blog about similar products. And, of course, growing your blog traffic via SEO means you can charge brands higher prices.
And SEO will also help you attract customers for your products and services. If a potential customer googles about a problem your product/service solves, will they find YOU?
7. You are not being proactive
If you are serious about making money from blogging, you need to be proactive.
This is especially true if you plan to make money from sponsored posts. You are unlikely to make much money if you just sit by your inbox waiting for brands to contact you.
If you want to make money from sponsored posts then you need to start pitching YOUR ideas to brands!
READ MORE >>> 10 tips for pitching to brands
8. You haven’t got an email list
There’s a reason they say, ‘the money is in the list’. There’s a really strong correlation between the size of your email list and the amount of money your blog makes.
In fact, the reckoning is, that you should be making a dollar a month for every person on your list. And in my experience, that’s about spot on – in fact, a bit of an underestimate!
Your blog is where you attract readers and potential customers, but your email list is where you can nurture those readers, build confidence and trust that you know what you are talking about, and turn casual readers into true fans. True fans who will regularly read your blog, leave comments, share your posts, engage with you on social media and buy your products and services.
READ MORE >>> Why every blogger NEEDS an email list
9. Your email list is tiny…or full of the wrong people!
Of course, just having an email list is not enough… you need a decent sized email list and you need to make sure you are attracting THE RIGHT people onto it.
The best way of growing your email list and attracting the right people is by creating an opt-in offer. An opt-in offer is a free gift you offer your readers in return for their email address. This could be a short ebook, a worksheet, a printable, a guide… anything which will attract the right kind of people onto your list.
Used correctly an opt-in offer will grow your list FAST!
And if you want to go one better, consider creating multiple opt-in offers to target different segments of your target market. The more opt-in offers you have, the more people you will attract onto your list… and so long as those opt-in offers are designed with your ideal readers in mind, you can be sure you will only be attracting the right people onto your list.
If you have the right people on your list, your open and click through rates will be good, and you will have high conversion rates when you come to sell products/services or feature affiliate offers.
READ MORE >>> How to grow your email list with a free opt-in offer
10. You are not sending regular emails to your list
There’s no point in having a list if you are not sending your subscribers anything. At the very least, make sure you are sending a regular newsletter to your subscribers to update them with your latest blog post.
If you can possibly manage it, add more value to your newsletters – such as personal updates, extra tips and teaching, and exclusive offers.
The more value you give in your newsletters, the more likely it is that your readers will open them and click on your links. But also, the more your readers will come to trust you and ultimately buy from you.
11. You don’t have a product or service to sell
If you have grown a loyal fanbase of readers who trust you, read your blog posts, open your emails and engage with you on social media, you are sitting on a potential goldmine.
That loyal fanbase is not only very likely to buy from you, they actually WANT to buy from you. They love you and want to support you. They want the knowledge that you have and are willing to pay for it. You’d be crazy not to create a product or service that they can actually buy.
Yet so many bloggers fail to do this. Not only are they doing themselves a disservice, they are also doing their loyal fanbase a disservice.
If you don’t believe me, survey your subscribers… find out what kind of product or service they wish you had available for them to buy… then go and make that thing!
It could be as simple as creating an ebook, writing a short online course or creating a ‘services’ page offering a way people can book an hour of your time.
12. You are not willing to spend money on your blog
This one’s a classic. In any other business, it’s an accepted fact that you will have to invest in order to get your business off the ground.
Going back to that café analogy, you would need to pay rent, buy furniture and equipment, pay staff, get insurance, pay for a sign to go above your door…. the list goes on.
As bloggers we are lucky. Blogging is a very low cost, low risk business to start up. But that doesn’t mean you should spend NO MONEY!
There’s a lot of truth in that old adage ‘you’ve got to speculate to accumulate’. Typically, a blogger who spends a little money getting things ‘right’ at the outset will make money faster – and make more money – than a blogger who spends as little as possible.
13. You are not treating your blog like a business
Another BIG reason why your blog is not making money, could be because you are treating your blog as a hobby rather than a business. If you want your blog to start making money, you need to treat it like a business!
This means… setting business hours (and sticking to them!), creating content your audience wants to read (not just content you want to write), promoting your blog posts and products, and getting your blogging finances in order.
Going back to our café analogy – that café wouldn’t stay in business long if it opened only when the owner fancied it, sold only the things the owner liked eating/drinking, didn’t invest in marketing, didn’t keep track of income and expenses, or forgot to register with the tax man!
These things sound ludicrous, but I come across bloggers all the time that treat their blogs like this, and then wonder why they are not making any money!
14. You haven’t even started your blog!
And of course, you’ll never make money from your blog if you don’t start a blog in the first place!
Blogging is a hugely enjoyable, flexible, low risk business. It’s easy to start one and you can make good money if you pay attention to these tips!
But if you don’t get on and actually start your blog, then you’ll never make any money from blogging.
- How do blogs make money?
- How to make money on your blog…with advertising
- How to make money on your blog…with sponsored posts
- How to make money on your blog…with affiliate links
- How to make money on your blog…with products and services
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!