Have you ever asked yourself “why is my blog not making money?” You probably have, because you have probably seen all the posts and social media adverts out there that shout about how much money you can make from blogging, and you can, but…
Like everything else, blogging is a skill. Bloggers take years honing their skills and learning the tricks of the trade, just like any other craftsman they become better the more they practice. You can make money blogging, you can even make a whole business out of your blog, but you need to learn a few things first – and before you rush off and pay for every course going DON’T, here’s why…
This post contains affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase using one of these links I will be paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.
One of the ways that bloggers make money from their blogs is to create a course and sell it to their readers. This is a good way to monetise your blog but just think about this for a moment
I recently read a post from someone in a Facebook blogging group who said that she had been blogging for 2 months and had spent a lot of money on tools and courses and hadn’t made a penny so far from her blog. To be honest, I wouldn’t have expected her to have and here’s why.
On checking out her blog I found it to be pretty and feminine and have lots of information about self-development. It was professionally laid out and she had chosen a nice theme. It was easy to navigate and had some great pictures, but here’s why I wasn’t surprised that she hadn’t made any money from it.
First of all she hadn’t monetised it properly. There was nothing obvious for sale on her blog. Yes, she had written about 20 posts and stuck some vague links to Amazon products on there, but the posts were not really encouraging anyone to click on these links. She had also violated Amazon rules on how to inform people that you are using Amazon links so eventually she would probably be banned from selling their products or at the very least had her affiliate account suspended.
This made me wonder where she had learnt about this. Did she pick this up from one of those expensive courses she took? Not so great then was it?
She had also missed a massive opportunity to promote her “product” on her home page. There was no call to action, no promotion message, no hint of what she was actually selling other than her mentioning she could help with self-development.
Okay, enough about what she wasn’t doing, what should she have done to make sales?
If you are going to sell something to someone they have to be able to see the value in it for them. It is no good saying I can help you with self-development because that doesn’t really mean anything. Instead she should be answering a specific question or solving a specific problem. For example: Are you struggling with self-confidence? I can help you to develop habits that will improve your confidence in just 3 months. Can you see how that would be a much more powerful offer?
This message should be front and centre on her blog. I help older ladies to start blogging by helping overcome the hurdles of technology,and you can see that right on my header image and on my home page. It is instantly obvious what I, who I help and how I help them.
There should also be a call to action on each and every page of your blog, from the home page to every post. If you are not asking someone to do something, they are not likely to do it. I have several on my pages. I have a subscribe to my blog CTA, a CTA to sign up for my free starter kit and there are others too such as the 7 day email course that is also free and that helps people to get started on their blogs in the easiest way possible. You can check it out here and see how it works.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to make it clear to your readers that if you are selling something from your blog post or page that you are an affiliate of, you are clear and honest with your readers about the fact that you will get a commission for introducing them to that product.
Amazon have their own wording and if you are using amazon affiliate links you need to make sure you are following the guidance on how you display the disclaimer and what it should include.
If you are promoting other affiliate links, just be hones about the fact that you are doing this so that a reader can make an informed choice as to whether or not to click the link and make a purchase. You can see mine at the top of this post. It should be displayed before an affiliate link is seen. Just putting “affiliate link” next to one is not enough.
The fastest and most effective way of making money from blogging is by building a list. Having a list of email addresses of people who are actually interested in what you have to say is going to help you sell your products or services to then much more quickly than trying to sell to “cold” leads.
She needs to think of something she can offer them for free that will help them to solve a specific problem. This could be a free 1 hour consultation, an email course on how to become more assertive, a cheat sheet on how to keep your temper in check, a pdf giving information on a specific topic or a video tutorial on how to overcome shyness.
It doesn’t matter so much what the freebie is as long as it is helping her “ideal customer” with whatever their problem is.
This does a number of things. It obviously helps them with their problem. It shows them that she potentially someone that could help them with other problems and it helps to build the “know/like/trust” factor as people will only buy fro those they know, like and trust.
If the freebie is aimed at answering a specific question or solving a specific problem the email addresses she will gather will be from people who she knows needs that help and support and she can be more effective in her marketing to sell her services to these people.
It’s one thing to build a list of interested people, but she needs to follow up with them if she is going to turn them into paying customers one day.
There are many email service providers that let you set up lists and campaigns with them for free. She needs to choose one and create a follow-on email series that keeps in touch with her leads so that she can start to build a relationship with them and that they feel they are getting to know and like her.
The more she helps them and he more value she provides them through her emails, the more they will begin to trust her and see her as an authority in her field. This means that when she is ready to make an offer ie introduce her new email course for £199, they are more likely to buy it.
Having a few Amazon affiliate links on your posts is okay, to begin with at least, but you only earn pennies in commission. She needs to find more profitable affiliate programmes to join, or better still, create something of her own to sell.
This might be her coaching services where she can offer someone the transformation they are looking for on a one to one, face to face basis. She might decide to sell workshops or conventions where she teaches lots of people at the same time. She might decide to create an email course that will enable people to learn at their own pace and at a tie that suits them. Or she could do all of the above.
If you have a range of products or services you are able to attract different types of clients to your business. You are also able to upsell from a cheaper product to a much more expensive one. It is much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to a brand new one.
One of the things she was complaining about in the Facebook group was the tiny amount of traffic that she gets to her blog, and this is indeed a problem that she needs to focus on and resolve because…
…without traffic you have no visitors to your blog which means no one sees your content which means no one clicks on it which means no one buys it which means no money for you.
So how do you get traffic?
Well this is something else that takes time and effort. First of all she needs to make sure that your blog is SEO’d (search engine optimised). You need to make sure that she is using the correct keywords in her pages and posts. She needs to make sure she is attracting the right readers. She also need to make sure she is providing content that keeps visitors on her site and encourages them to come back to her for more information.
There are over 200 criteria that Google use for ranking websites but there are a few basic things that she absolutely needs to do if she is to increase traffic to her site any time soon. You can find out what they are in this Free guide.
She also needs to make sure that she is sharing her content on social media, other blogging sites and anywhere else where she thinks her ideal customer might be spending time online. It takes a lot of time to write a great blog post and once published it should be shared as much as possible so that as many people as possible get to know about it.
Her blog posts were full of useful information and tips and hints on self-development. She included some good resources and the tips were actionable. But…
There was no structure to them. They didn’t lead to a call to action. They didn’t encourage the reader to take any action at all, not sign up to her blog, not click on her affiliate link – nothing, nada, nought. No wonder she is finding it difficult to make money from her blog.
A blog post needs to be structured properly right from the planning stage. She needs to know what action she wants the reader to take before writing the first word. First of all she needs to think about the keywords and the title that she is going to use. For information on how to write a great blog post please see here.
As she seems to be wanting to make money from affiliate marketing she needs to have a clear plan on how she leads the reader through the post to encourage them to take action to click on the affiliate link and make a purchase. There seems to be no encouragement, just some information and then a random link.
To be honest, I can relate to this as I too started out this way and hadn’t really grasped the importance of structuring my posts. It wasn’t until found a lady called Michelle who taught me how to do it properly that I realised how much I was getting wrong.
She taught me how to set up my blog for affiliate marketing properly so that I started making money the very next day. In fairness to her I can’t share her secrets here but if you would like to learn from her too then just click here for her amazing course on Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. And I can vouch for the fact that it teaches you the proper way to do things with the added advantage of Michelle’s years of experience as a successful blogger.
Lastly, but probably the most important thing she needs is an effective strategy in place. To make money from a blog you need to treat it as a business. A blogging business is no different to any other business. You need a plan, a business model, a way to attract customers, a way to look after them once you have them and all the other things that businesses need besides.
She is by no means alone when it comes to making these mistakes. In fact, did you now that most brilliant new bloggers fail. Want to know why? Have a read of this where I explain it all in great detail – The Number 1 Reason Why Most New Bloggers Fail
Okay, so there you have it. The next time you ask yourself “why is my blog not making money” you will know the reasons and hopefully, if you have checked out all the links in this post, you will be able to rectify the situation pretty quickly.
I’ll be back soon with some other tidbit, tool or tip for you so make sure you look out for me. If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up to my blog and I’ll drop you a quick email to let you know I’ve published something new.
Until then, good luck with your blog and speak soon 🙂