You’ve read the books about bloggers earning a six-figure income and you decide to give it a go. You check your Google AdSense and affiliate accounts daily and you don’t even see pennies in income, never mind dollars. This is not the blog career that you envisioned. Here are 7 reasons why your blog doesn’t make a dime.
Not Updated Regularly
Think about your favorite blog. How often is the blog updated? I’d venture to guess that it is updated at regular intervals – whether it is three times per day or three times per week. If you visited the blog one day and it didn’t have new content, when it should have, you’d start to wonder what was going on. If you visited again for the next few days and there was still no new content, you might start spreading out the time between your visits. On the extreme end you might even forget about the blog and never visit it again.
One of the biggest reasons why a blog doesn’t make a dime is that it isn’t updated regularly. You demand fresh and new content from the blogs you frequent and so you should assume that visitors to your blog have the same expectations. You want to keep visitors coming back to your blog with regularly updated content.
Lack of Quality Content
Now that you know you need to have regularly updated content, you need to focus on quality content. In blogging, quantity is not better than quality, at least not in my opinion. I’d rather read one well-written post per week than one error-riddled post per day.
Posts should be free of typos, spelling errors and glaring grammatical errors. Everyone will publish something with a typo at some point, it happens, but try to make sure that this is the exception and not the norm.
In addition to having a post that is properly formatted from the syntax side of things, let a little of your personality come out in your writing. Remember this is blogging and not news reporting, you want your readers to get an idea of what it would be like to sit down and chat with you in person. Let that personality come out in your blog posts.
You Don’t Understand Your Audience
In order to create quality content, you really need to understand your audience. If you’re blogging about personal finance for college students, and you aren’t a college student yourself, you need to understand what kind of information college students want to learn about. In this case it may be student loan repayment and getting a job after graduation. If you’re writing about how to save money for college, you might lose readers because they’re past the saving money stage.
Do a little research about your target audience so that you can write to them and not just about them. Be forewarned that once you understand your audience demographics completely, something might change. This can and does happen so you need to be prepared for it. Regularly thinking about what your audience’s needs are will help keep your blog relevant.
Lack of Interaction with Your Audience
Okay now you know your audience, you’re writing good quality content regularly but you’re still not making money. What gives? You may not be interacting with your audience. Readers want to feel that they are a part of your blog and even have some ownership over the content.
One of the best ways to interact with your audience is to directly ask for their feedback in your blog post. It can be as simple as adding, “What do you think?” at the end of your post. If someone comments on your blog post, take the time to respond to his comment – on the blog and even via email. If you have a reader that regularly comments on your blog, consider asking him to submit a guest post on your blog. This is taking audience interaction to a new level and may expose your blog to a whole new set of readers.
Ad Optimization Concerns
Now that you’ve got regularly updated, quality content, you are ready to start monetizing your blog. This can be done in a variety of ways including affiliate marketing, Google AdSense type ads, selling ads directly to clients and more. It is important to take some time to research what type of ads would work best on your site (text, image, interactive, pop-up, etc). Visit your competitors to see what they’re doing.
Once you’ve decided what type of ads to offer, you need to research ad placement options. Learn about above the fold ads vs. below the fold. Will you put an image-based ad in the header? What about using anchor text to link to a product sold by an affiliate? This process is usually fine tuned through trial and error so if your first attempt at ad placement doesn’t work well, start playing around with it until you find something that works.
Not Providing Anything Unique
In a time when pets have blogs, you need to make sure you’re providing something unique to set you apart. I’m not suggesting that you try to come up with a niche blog that no one else is covering, as that is nearly impossible to do, but you still need to find a way to offer something that is different from your competitor.
One of the best ways to do this is through your writing, specifically be genuine and add some personality. If you let your personal style come through in your writing in a genuine manner, you’re offering something unique.
Another way to offer something unique is to share your personal insights. If you’re blogging about living with multiple sclerosis, you are offering something unique. A doctor can blog about multiple sclerosis but if he’s never lived with it, his ability to share unique insights is limited.
Finally, offer help. If you’re a subject matter expert, share what you know. You can do this through your blog posts as well as via Twitter and other social media outlets. If people know that you’re willing to share your expertise, they will recommend your site to friends and family.
Selling the Wrong Product
If you blog about how to customize the WordPress Thesis theme and the only product you sell on your blog is the Thesis theme (through the DIY Themes affiliate program) then you’re not likely to make many sales. Why? The answer is simple – most of your blog visitors already have Thesis and want to learn how to customize it.
So instead of selling only the product or service you blog about, you should research accessories or complementary products to sell. So using the Thesis example, you can partner with a blog designer that customizes Thesis themes on a contract basis. This way your blog visitor can learn about how Thesis can be customized and also find a referral for a person that can be hired to do the customization.
These are 7 ways why your blog may not be making any money. What would you add to this list?