So, you want to make money from your blog. Lots of people do make money this way, and some even make huge amounts. They are a minority of course, but still, there is money to be made if monetizing is done right. Unfortunately, many newbie bloggers hop on any potential to make money without thinking things through very carefully. So, here are 7 of the worst mistakes you can make and how to avoid them (or fix them if you’ve already goofed).
Failure to Market Your Blog
This isn’t “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they won’t come. They won’t even know you exist unless you really get with a major marketing campaign. And you cannot monetize a blog without traffic – lots and lots of traffic! Your first three steps should be the following:
- Get all over social media. Keep your pages updated, hold contests, offer things for free, get a fan club going and offer prizes for the most shares and new join-ups. You have to use every possible trick or gimmick to begin to get traffic to your blog.
- Do the research and understand what SEO is all about. Your blog must be searchable, and there are key steps to take to optimize your blog for searches with each new post you publish.
- Do everything you can to be a guest blogger elsewhere. In your author bio, of course, there is that link to your blog. If you can guest post on really popular blogs, you open up lines of traffic.
Not Having a Good Theme/Platform
There are certain things your blog must have – a theme for the content you will produce, a platform that is fast loading, easy to navigate, and that has great eye appeal to the visitor. Check out other popular blogs for theme ideas. As for a platform, there is none better than WordPress, and it allows all of the “bells and whistles” you want (and it has good suggestions for SEO as your write).
Don’t forget about content design strategy. You should know your audience and what appeals to them. If you are not the creative type, check out Elegant Themes or Content Junkie for design themes. Visual appeal often keeps a visitor there long enough to read some post titles and click on one or two.
OMG – this is probably the single biggest mistake that bloggers make. They can have all of the visual appeal in the world; they can run those contests and get those visitors in – one time. If the content isn’t good, every visitor will only be a one-time guest. And how do you expect to earn money from a blog if no one stays or returns? Impossible. So here are the key components for every blog post you write – Every. Single. One.
- Do not publish a blog without the catchiest title you can come up with. It is the title that makes someone click to read.
- Have a stunning, engaging opening sentence. You can start with some unbelievable statistic. You can start with a story. But that first sentence should be short and compelling.
- These are the purposes for blog posts – to solve problems of a reader (how to remove any kind of stain in the world); to entertain, to educate, to provide human interest (readers love stories), and to motivate. You need to provide tips, tricks, how-to’s, funny stories, and so forth. Your visitors/readers need to be engaged enough that they want to come back for more.
- Get media into each post to break up the text. And you should already know about heading, bullets, and such to make the content scanable.
Not Having the “Big Picture” Plan
You can’t just decide to have a blog and start posting. Not if you intend to have lot of traffic and make money on it. Set your goals for this blog.
- What will be the content theme(s)?
- What will be the categories?
- How many posts will you publish each week? (you better plan on at least 3 to start)
- Where will the ideas come from?
- Which monetization strategies will you begin with? You can only incorporate a few at a time and test them.
Get your plan in writing and post it on your wall.
Not User and A/B Testing
You need to know if your blog and each post on the blog loads quickly. Here’s the thing. Every time you add a button, an opt-in form, a banner, or an ad along your sidebar, that changes things. Test every change to ensure that it does not slow down load time.
Now to the A/B testing. This is the only way you will find out if your placement of ads and buttons, etc. is optimal. Test them out in different places and track conversion rates. Which advertised product is doing the best? Should that ad be placed more prominently?
You are not seeing progress; traffic is not increasing like you want it to; you get discouraged and decide to forego posting a blog today. This is exactly why so many blogs fail. They are long-term deals, not get-rich-quick schemes. If you don’t have the patience; if you run out of steam; if you are not in it for the long haul, then find another way to make money.
Not Diversifying Ways to Make $ on Your Blog
There a huge number of ways to monetize a blog. You should experiment with them all. You can use Google AdSense; you can sell advertising directly; you can offer an e-course of e-book for a price; you can promote a product directly through a podcast or video; you can merchandise products you create. Don’t discount anything until you try it.
Go forth blogger! Have the passion and the patience it takes, and you will begin to make money from your blog!