People are dying to make a living doing what they love.
For most, earning money from blogging – or more specifically, earning a full-time income – would be a dream come true.
However, it’s not all that easy and most bloggers find themselves struggling to make any money at all. Fortunately, most of the time this is easily fixed!
If you’re one of these people, here’s why this might be.
7 reasons you’re not making money from your blog
You’ve not actually monetised your blog
This might sound like a pretty bloody obvious point to make.
Bear with me.
But, you might not be making money from your blog because you’ve not actually tried. You have to monetise your blog in order to make money. It’s not just magically going to come to you.
Brands aren’t just going to be falling over themselves to work with you or hire you.
I know, I know. Who would possibly think they could make money blogging but not actually monetise their blog…
I’ve been in the blogging and freelance writing industry for SEVEN years. Seeking Serotonin is my THIRD serious blog.
With the other two, I knew I wanted to make money from them but I had NO CLUE how. I knew a little about affiliate marketing but didn’t know how to make it happen. I also knew about sponsored posts and reviews but, again, didn’t have the foggiest clue how to go about getting them.
This was in the days before Pinterest became the next level visual search engine it is today and there were very few resources available.
Now, fortunately, we all know different.
If you’ve not got ads on your blog, haven’t implemented an affiliate marketing strategy, and you’re not trying to sell a product or service, your blog isn’t monetised. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Click here to find out how I made my first affiliate sale after two months of implementing my affiliate marketing strategy.
Don’t wait for people to come to you. You have to go to them.
If you’re unsure of how you can make money from your blog, read this popular post on how to here.
Your blog’s brand new
If your blog is brand new, it’s not going to be making money.
Unless you’ve already got experience in blogging, promoting, email marketing, and have been spot-on with your choice of niche, making money from your blog takes time, patience, and tenacity.
Although we’re always seeing posts on Pinterest about bloggers who have managed to make money in their first month of blogging, genuine stories like this are actually few and far between.
Earning a decent income in your first month is usually down to a few factors:
- Freelance work on the side
Most bloggers pick up some freelance writing or social media work on the side, using their blog as a portfolio. This keeps the money rolling in while their blog gathers enough traction to make money on its own and is actually really sensible if you’re anxious about money.
It’s a sensible idea and, if you’ve got time and feel under pressure to make money fast, I’d recommend it. As I previously mentioned, I’ve been freelance writing and blogging for seven years, and it definitely pays the bills.
There’s also a massive amount of luck in making money from blogging quickly. You have to hit the niche market just right, at the right time, with the right posts, and the right affiliate products. Of course, this can also be down to experience and knowing your s**t. But even then, the chances of making money from your blog alone within the first month are slim.
Having ads on your blog barely brings in any money (before I removed them, I made something like £4 from 2000 views with Google Adsense).
Affiliate marketing takes time, as you have to build trust with your audience before they’ll buy something through one of your links.
Sponsored posts only pay well if you’ve got a decent audience already.
And creating a product is something you should look into further down the line, not when you’ve just started a blog.
ALL of this takes time. Not just weeks but months. Some people don’t start to see a profit on their blogs for years. You just have to be prepared for that, keep an eye on how things are going and develop your business. If something’s stagnating, change it up.
This leads me to my next point.
You’ve become complacent
So. You started your blog a few months ago and you’ve built a sml following. Perhaps you’ve made your first couple of affiliate sales. You sit back, relax, continue producing and promoting content, and wait for everything to snowball.
Except, it doesn’t. It stays the same. It stagnates.
Consistently analyzing your blogging strategies – from Pinterest to email marketing – is crucial when it comes to growing your blog and making money. Blogging is tough in the beginning – you can’t just expect it to take off on its own. You need to nurture it.
Keep an eye on your stats, from how well your pins are doing on Pinterest, to how many of your lead magnets are converting. Always be researching, learning, tweaking and experimenting with how you can improve.
Remember, this is a business. You need to treat it as such in order for it to grow and make money like a business.
Be honest with yourself and if something isn’t working, change it. Even if it USED to work, or worked to an extent, your aim is to grow, not stay the same.
A personal example of having to be self-critical is my Pinterest strategy.
My Pinterest SEO is spot on. I’ve researched my arse off when it comes to ranking on Pinterest’s search pages, as well as optimising my profile, pins, and boards.
I could see my pins were ranking pretty high up on some popular blogging search terms on Pinterest. But no-one was clicking on them.
This said one thing to me: Nia, your pins are s**t, love.
It’s not rocket-science. If people liked my pins, they would be clicking on them. Just because I think they look ‘pretty’ doesn’t mean other people will be drawn to them.
Working on finding which pins work best in my niche is all trial and error.
I now have pins go viral regularly (you can read about how I do that here).
Another example would be lead magnet conversions. If you’ve got a great freebie you think people should be signing up for and they’re not, you need to look at how you’re ‘selling’ it.
Research the most effective way to put together a sales/landing page. Try changing stuff around and see if it makes a difference.
Making money from your blog is all about finding what works for you and developing it further.
Your traffic is too low
Although traffic isn’t everything when it comes to making money from your blog, you definitely do still need a decent enough amount.
Let’s take affiliate marketing for example. The conversion rate on people who click on your affiliate links is usually between 1-3% (defending on a few factors, such as niche, authority, etc).
Then, you have to consider what percentage of people visiting your blog are even going to click on those links. Again, that’ll probably be about 1-3% unless you’re a total boss at sales.
If you have 100 visitors a day and 2% click on the affiliate link for the course, it’ll probably take around 50 days for 100 people to have clicked it and for you to get a sale.
Sure enough, it took four months since starting my blog (two since I started implementing an actual affiliate marketing strategy) to make my first affiliate sale.
In order to speed this process up, you need plenty of traffic.
Therefore, as you can see, while getting millions of hits every month isn’t necessary to make money if you’re strategic with your income streams, you do need SOME.
You’re ignoring the power of email marketing
This is a biggie. I really don’t think bloggers put enough emphasis on how important it is to grow your email list from day one.
I’ve already covered why and how to do this in this post, so I won’t repeat myself, but I really recommend you give it a read.
Your email list will be responsible for the majority of your income.
These subscribers have signed up for your lead magnet, a.k.a. your opt-in freebie, because they’re interested in what you have to say. They’re interested in your niche and like your style.
These people are already one massive step closer to being a customer than people who simply visit your blog to find an answer to their question.
You have the chance to open up a discourse with your email list via your chosen email service provider. You can find out what they want, their pain-points, and how YOU can HELP THEM. This is the key to earning a living from your blog because you can provide actual value, either through your own product or an affiliate product.
Your niche isn’t profitable or it’s too narrow
When you first start a blog, it’s important to choose a niche that you can write about all day everyday. A niche that you know loads about, or can learn loads about. And a niche in which people are likely to want to spend money.
While I’m a firm believer that you can make money in any niche if you’re strategic enough, some take substantially longer to do so. I’m talking years longer.
If you’ve started a blog in a niche that you’ve since realised isn’t profitable, you have three options:
- Change niche on your existing blog
- Start another blog in a profitable niche to run at the same time
- Refocus your blog
- Or get creative… really creative
You’re not taking your blog seriously enough
If you’re not really taking your blog seriously by purchasing web hosting, a domain name, customisation theme, and courses to help you grow as a business, you can’t really expect to make proper money from it.
As I’ve said again and again, if you want to make money from your blog, you need to treat it like a business.
Keep to a consistent editorial calendar, make your blog look professional, promote posts, and take it seriously. Otherwise, you can’t expect other people to.
For other steps you need to take to prove you’re seriously about blogging, read this post.