Want to make some money on your blog? Of course, you do! Who doesn’t? If you’re successful, it can bring in some decent revenue, making it very valuable and opening the door to a big payday should you decide to sell it someday.
But this is easier said than done. You may be spending hours and hours working on your blog and seeing no tangible return for your work. Rest easy. You’re not alone. It’s a tough world out there, and blogging isn’t what it used to be.
Here are some reasons why your blog might be underperforming and some strategies to help you fix it:
#1 You’re still relying on advertising
Back in the day, when blogs were first becoming popular, this was how people made money with blogs. They attracted people to their website and then sold space on the website to advertisers, much like magazines and newspapers have done for pretty much their entire existences.
This can still work, and many blogs still generate revenue like this, but there’s a good chance it’s not the best move for your blog. To make money with advertising, you need to drive tons of traffic to your site. You get paid based on how many people click on your ads, and then you get paid more if someone buys something once they’ve clicked.
To illustrate why this is a misguided approach, let’s do a little experiment related to your life. First, think about how many ads you’ve likely seen online. Next, think about how many times you’ve actually clicked on one. And now, think of how many times that was actually an accident. See what we mean?
Relying on pay per click advertising is just not viable. The high-value keywords are going to require a hefty investment if you want to rank for them, and much larger blogs likely already have this market cornered. You can do it, of course, but if this is your primary revenue strategy, it should be no surprise you’re struggling to make money with your blog.
You’re much better working within a niche and then trying to make money with affiliate marketing or the sale of your own products, such as an eBook.
Why does this work so much better? Well, these strategies go after a specific audience, and the way you convince people to spend money is by creating a bond and building trust with them. You may be making money off of a product, but what you are really selling is yourself. This requires far less investment, offering higher returns and a better chance of bringing in some money.
#2 You’re paying too much to bring in new traffic
Making money on a blog is really a numbers game. The more people you bring to your site, the more money you’ll bring in. There are obviously other ways to make money (such as optimizing your conversion strategies), but generally speaking, to give your blog any meaningful increase in revenue, you need to drive more traffic.
There are two ways to do this: paid and organic. Paid traffic is essentially advertising. You place an ad with Google or Facebook or some other advertising company, and they connect you with potential customers. This can be very successful, but it can also be very expensive.
Organic traffic comes largely from search engines, and the way to maximize it is through search engine optimization (SEO). By setting up your site and its content so that your pages show up in search engine results, you’re opening the door to loads of new traffic.
Now there are a few ways you could do this. One is to create pages that are solely set up to make money. These are usually the “best ______ of 2018” pages.
However, another strategy is to go the informational route. You could set up pages relevant to your site that people search a lot, and this could get people to visit your blog. Then, once they’re there, your content will lure them in and convince them to become a recurring reader.
It’s important to note, though, that this is not free. You’ll have to generate the content, and then to get it to appear at the top of search results you’ll need to do some content marketing to be able to build links to the page. But typically, the cost per visitor using SEO methods is much less than that of paying for traffic.
It’ll help you bring more people to your site and it will also increase your margins. Again, win-win.
Getting your blog to make money comes from a combination of knowing your audience well and using the right strategy.
Most bloggers, when they first start trying to make money, miss on one of these two points, leading to disappointing results.
Hopefully, now you’ve got a clearer idea of where you’re going wrong so that you can turn your blog into a solid money maker.
About the author: Jock is an internet entrepreneur who has built, run and sold several blogs throughout his career. He has seen how the way bloggers make money has changed, and he enjoys helping other bloggers adjust their strategy to make their sites more profitable and valuable.