Apr 082013
 
money blogging

if your blog doesn’t make money, you’re not alone. But don’t steal other people’s blog posts!!! (image via Shareheads.com – thank you!)

The main reason your blog isn’t making money is probably because your traffic isn’t high enough – you don’t have enough readers clicking away on advertisements. But, traffic isn’t everything!

You can make big bucks even if you only have a few hundred readers a day, depending on where your ads are and what they look like. And, how bold you are as a blogger.

“If you decide to generate income from your blog, then don’t be shy about it,” says Steve Pavlina, self-help guru and blogger. “If you’re going to put up ads, then really put up ads. Don’t just stick a puny little ad square in a remote corner somewhere.”

Despite being a personal development guru who motivates millions of people every year, Pavlina isn’t all optimism and positivity! He says 99% of people who try to generate serious income from their blogs will fail.

This may be because there are no barriers to blogging – anyone can start a blog within a few minutes. The lowest, least respectable bloggers steal other bloggers’ content. Actually earning money from your blog requires time, perseverance, consistency, and a healthy dose of “web savvy.”

Laurie's "Quips and Tips" eBooks

In 75 Tips for Making Money With Your Blog, I share how my blogs pay the bills.

Do you struggle to stay motivated to write? Read 73 Tips for Firing Up (or Just Firing!) the Muse.

Here’s a tip from the Google gurus:

“Do the ads draw your attention, without being garish? If you were a reader, would you notice and read them, or do your eyes glide right past them? Try to find a balance between ads that overwhelm your content and ads that your users won’t even see.” ~ from the Google Adsense blog.

If you’re not sure about your ads, ask your friends and family to give you their opinion. Encourage them to be as honest as possible – and don’t get mad when they are!

6 Reasons Your Blog Doesn’t Make Money

The design of your blog doesn’t match your monetization strategy

How have you decided to monetize your blog? If you’re like me, you have multiple sources of income (eg, Google Adsense, Amazon links, affiliate programs, private ad sales) – but you may also have a main source of income.

Make sure your blog theme and design supports your main source of income or monetization strategy.

If, for instance, you want to earn money from reader donations, put your donation button front and center. If you want to earn money by creating a huge email list, then put that email submission form right under readers’ noses. If you want to earn money by highlighting Amazon or eBay products, then work the most effective ads into your blog posts and sidebars. Again, look at how successful bloggers monetize their sites – and what type of themes they have – and apply those strategies to your blog.

Your post titles aren’t optimized properly

If your post titles and content are too clever and original, you won’t attract search engine traffic. This isn’t just about SEO – it’s about attracting the right readers to your articles.

“You may need to balance the needs of yourself, your visitors, search engines, those who link to you, social bookmarking sites, advertisers, affiliate programs, and others,” says Pavlina. “Seemingly minor decisions like what to title a web page are significant.  In coming up with the title of this article, I have to take all of these potential viewers into consideration. I want a title that is attractive to human visitors, drives reasonable search engine traffic, yields relevant contextual ads, fits the theme of the site, and encourages linking and social bookmarking. And most importantly I want each article to provide genuine value to my visitors.”

If you struggle with titles, read How to Write Effective Titles for Magazine Articles and Blog Posts.

You haven’t found the right SEO balance





Attracting organic search engine optimization (SEO) traffic that results in clicky clicky is one of the best ways to make money blogging. SEO traffic doesn’t rely on your Tweets or community interaction – so if you take a vacation, your blog should keep chugging along (though it eventually needs maintenance or it will run out of gas).

If you want to build long-term income from your blog, don’t rely on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc. Give your blog legs by posting strong content that people find and spread around.

You’re not internet savvy

The more tricks and tips you learn about web writing and the online trade, the more money you’ll make.

Here’s a list of the basic, most foundational bloggy things you need to know about:

  • blog publishing software
  • HTML/CSS
  • blog comments (and comment spam)
  • RSS/syndication
  • full versus partial feeds
  • feed aggregators
  • pings and trackbacks
  • blog carnivals
  • search engines
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • page rank
  • social bookmarking
  • tagging (and how and why it doesn’t matter to SEO)
  • contextual advertising
  • affiliate programs
  • traffic statistics
  • email marketing

It takes months (years!) to learn all of this…and some it won’t make much difference to making money blogging.

One of the most important blogging tips I know is to stay in touch with Google’s blog, videos, and webmaster program. When I first started making money, I read tons of tips from other bloggers…and ignored Google. But, Google shares a goldmine of good, solid information! Stay connected with Google, my friends.

Your advertising doesn’t match your posts (a main reason blogs don’t make money)

If your ads don’t match your content, you won’t make money. For example, when I put mortgage and debt freedom ads on my articles about saving marriages, I get no clicky clicky. Make sure your article and advertisements are as closely related as possible.

This is easier for niche blogs. A wedding blog, for instance, is the perfect place to advertise the gazillion wedding products and services that merchants sell! If your blog is general and thus difficult to monetize (like my Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals), remember how effective cross-marketing can be. For example, if you have a “cooking with garlic” blog, you can advertise breath fresheners and body deodorants in addition to garlic presses, garlic books, and garlic bulbs. Cross-marketing.

By the way, that’s the beauty of contextual advertising, such as Google Adsense: it automatically matches the ads to your content and your readers’ search terms (though admittedly, the ads aren’t always perfectly matched with content, as you may have noticed!).

You picked the wrong type of blog or the wrong type of reader

There are certain blogs – such as entertainment, celebrity, recipes, and news – that just don’t make money.

David Risley, creator of Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger, says, “Entertainment blogs are tricky to monetize because the audience is just there for fun. As a collective audience, they have no common problems, goals or frustrations. Plus, people expect online entertainment to be free.”

If you’re not helping your reader solve problems, achieve goals, or avoid pain, then you might have trouble making money blogging. Your blog niche is important – and so is finding the balance between a topic you love and a topic that attracts readers.

Also, if your niche is soaked with bloggers (like, for instance, the “writers sharing their journey” niche), you might have a lot of competition. This competition can make it more difficult to float to the top – but not impossible, so don’t let fear or doubt slay you.

For more tips on making money blogging, read Will My Blog Be Popular and Can I Make Money With It?

Are you making as much money blogging as you thought you would? Don’t be surprised if you’re not.

About Me

quips tips love relationshipsI'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello and share your thoughts below. If not, go well....and don't forget to come back.

  13 Responses to “6 Reasons Your Blog Doesn’t Make Money”

  1. Making money blogging is a business, and it takes the time, effort, and commitment that all entrepreneurs have to put into making their businesses successful! It’s a full-time job…and I have a love/hate relationship with my blog. Mostly love, though.

  2. Well I pretty much hit all 6.

  3. The main reason a blog doesn’t make is a mismatch between readers and monetization methods assuming that blog receives a substantial traffic. I recommend installing google analytics to figure out visitor behaviour and come up with a strategy to find advertisers that your readers are likely to be interested in.

  4. Lol “If you’re not getting any clicky clicky”

    That’s funny.

    There are lots of ways to monetize your blog. My perspective? I think using a blog to build a list is the best approach.

  5. Not having the proper search engine optimization skills is the most important reason people don’t make money blogging.

  6. Or, the 7th reason: you’re not interested in making money from your blog!

  7. The longer I blog, the more I realize just how difficult it is to make money! Every year, I wonder if this year will be my last because I’m just not pulling in the dough, but I seem to be able to pull it off. It’s not complicated; it just requires consistent, persistent effort and energy. And thought!

  8. “You can make big bucks even if you only have a few hundred readers a day” – And if I have ten or twenty readers a day?? XD
    No I’m joking, but you explained really good things…
    Everyone that wants to manage a blog have to know these raisons, but is always good to remind them.
    I red your post really interested because I’m italian (maybe you could understand it for my not perfect comment) and, in my state, nobody speaks clear about this!
    I hope to improove my website and use your suggestion to earn, at least, the money that I spend for the hosting… =)

  9. Hi Debra,

    I used to run a blog called Quips and Tips for Spiritual Seekers, and it didn’t make much money either. I don’t know if it’s because spiritual or Christian readers are less likely to click on advertisements? Or, perhaps they don’t feel the need to buy materialistic stuff to be happier, happier, or more fulfilled…which is probably a good thing! Their needs are being filled by God.

    However, I do know that the number one way to make money blogging is TRAFFIC. And targeted ads – that’s the second key. My Love and Relationships blog is financially successful because readers are willing to buy pretty much anything to improve their love lives! Or get their exes back.

    So…I think your blog looks good, but you need to find ways to increase traffic. What are your readers looking for – what do they need? Find a way to give that to them.

    How do you promote your blog? And, who is your target audience? That’s a good place to start :-)

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  10. Honestly, i have my few blog and one hosted web, i also put ad on it, sadly, until now no money but wasting my time. I almost surrender, what should i do?i read so many guide but no one show the exact way, only advise do this and don’t do this.

  11. Hi Laurie,
    Thanks for your tips. I have a Christian Devotional blog that continues to grow, but you’re right — it’s not making any money. I’ve tried AdSense and quit because of the types of ads that would come through — plus no one ever gave me a clicky clicky! Now, I’ve switched to Amazon, created my own Amazon Christian “store,” added Amazon slideshows and widgets with related products – and still nothing.
    I have learned some about ad placement– but still nothing.
    Any advice? Take a trip over to my blog and let me know what you think. Here’s a post where I’ve got ads: http://www.mychristiandevotionalblog.com/waiting-on-god.html

  12. I really like the way you’ve presented your blog; it’s great! I’m still (and forever, it seems) working on getting my own blog in better shape and adding new content. Thanks for the inspiration and for all the cool and informative articles you send our way.
    Rick Myers

  13. This is a great article, my blog isn’t making any money and I didn’t know how to fix it! Thanks for sharing with us, I’ll try your tips.

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)