This is the 16th post in a series of seventeen posts I’m doing following Kim Roach’s list post of “17 Copy-And-Paste Blog Post Templates“. You can see all the posts from this series on my blogging challenges page.
There are millions, if not billions of blogs out in the blogosphere right now. My guess is that less than ten thousand of them even make enough money to cover their expenses. I make enough money with this blog to cover my blogging expenses, but I don’t make a lot of money from the blog itself. I make a lot more from my web consulting business, the blog is more of a hobby on the side that pays, and also helps market my services.
That said, I do have another blog that makes a decent amount of money each and every month, while I have two blogs that make no money at all, but I enjoy them, so I keep them going, and at some point may work towards monetizing them.
Here are some reasons I’ve noticed some blogs don’t make money, including some of my own. Keep in mind these are for blogs, not other types of websites or landing pages.
4 Reasons Your Blog Doesn’t Make Money
1) Your Blog is run by a Robot or Wannabe Robot
A robot and a wannabe robot are two different things, equally as bad for blogging in my opinion.
A robot is an actual machine, in the blogging sense it’s software that blogs for you, like auto-blogging plugins or programs. Basically it goes and gets articles, pictures, videos, or other content from different feeds and imports them into your blog. This may sound like a good idea because it’s easy, quick and very little work is required in terms of content creation, but the rewards aren’t very good, sure you could market it like crazy and try and make money off advertising impressions, but that doesn’t pay very well. Other than that you won’t be able to convert much of our traffic into ad clickers or product/service buyers.
A wannabee robot, is somewhat better because it’s less robotic, it’s an actual person posting content, but they are doing so for the sole purpose of having content to make money, without caring or thinking about the reader. It’s almost like a zombie writing, often times they are just taking content that exists already and changing it just a bit and posting on their blog. You may be able to have some success like this, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll take your blog to the next level.
2) Your Blog has More Advertistements than Content
This was a big trend in the late 1990s and early 2000s, back when both websites and advertisements were pretty ugly. Today both look much better, and advertising integrates much better into web pages, but there is still a limit.
It’s not because you have more advertisements that you will make more money, although if you aren’t going to take the time to make any content (or be a robot) then you might as well pack it all with ads, cross your fingers and hope for the best!
The first thing to remember is that the ads you will put on your website need to be targeted to your readers, Google does a good job through their adsense program, but you can use other programs that are targeted to your specific niche, if you can’t find any, contact me I’m sure I can think of something!
The second thing, is where to place them, try different areas and different sizes and see which perform better, but don’t fill up your website, it will drive people away. Try only one banner or two per page (only one above the fold), and maybe use affiliate programs to drive people to different products and services, make sure you disclose that it’s an affiliate link. You would be surprised how much more converting it can be to disclose an affiliate link, your loyal readers will want to buy from you.
3) Your Blog Looks and Sounds Like an Infomercial
Infomercials usually make money, so do landing pages that look/feel/sound like an infomercial. That’s their goal to quickly convert people to buyers.
Blogs aren’t made for that, they are made to build relationships between the blogger and the visitors, who hopefully turn into readers and eventually customers, subscribers or whatever it is you want them to become.
I don’t buy from infomercials, and I don’t buy from landing pages (unless I get to the page through another website or blog that convinced me to purchase the product or service). A lot of people are like me, and that’s who a blog is targeting, the non-impulse buyers as I call them. If you want to go after the impulse buyers, why waste time and money starting a blog, just build a landing page!
4) Your Blog Isn’t Focused
The usual path of a visitor to buyer is as follows: Visit the blog, assess if they like it, subscribe for updates (Email or RSS), keep on liking the content until they buy something. There are more things that can go in between, but that’s the general path.
If the people that subscribed (the most likely to buy something from you or your affiliates) aren’t getting what they like chances are they will unsubscribe, so keep your topic focused.
A great example is TechCrunch, Engadget and CNET. I signed up to all three because I wanted the latest tech news, but half of what I was getting was biased opinions on different tech companies or political stances, sometimes posts that had nothing at all to do with technology. Needless to say, I no longer subscribe to any of the three!