Thanks to that famous $100,000 Google check and the whole “make money online” craze, everyone who blogs thinks they’re going to earn enough money so they can quit their day jobs and retire in style. It’s a nice thought. Realistically very few people make hundreds of thousands of dollars blogging each year. It’s not a stretch to earn a livable wage as a blogger, however.
If you’re spending all your time blogging and have very little in the bank to show for it, you may be taking the wrong approach. Whether you blog on your own, or blog for someone else, there are plenty of factors to ensure a profitability. Not knowing enough about what it takes to make it as a professional blogger, or making the wrong choices can hinder your success.
1. You’re Not Giving it Enough Time
Blogging takes time. If you’re starting your own blog, or your pay is contingent upon traffic, please know you’re not a failure if you don’t have thousands of hits and page views in the first few months. Very few bloggers become overnight sensations. How can you gain immediate traffic if no one knows you’re around. You have to build up a community first. Read up on traffic building techniques and become involved in other like minded communities. You’ll find a slow steady rise in traffic helps to build buzz. Promoting a blog is a full time job in itself.
If you blog for someone else and your employer expects heavy traffic immediately out of the gate, find articles and blog posts on building traffic and help him to realize this doesn’t happen right away. If you’re starting a brand new blog, chances are it’s not going to earn any money for some time. If your pay is contingent on traffic, remember you’re only going to be earning pennies for at least the first few months, and probably some time after that.
2. You’re Not Working for the Right People
So here it is. If you’re only earning a portion of revenue or traffic bonuses, you’re not going to earn much money, especially if it’s a new blog. And even more especially if it’s for a name or brand no one has ever hear of. (and yes, grammar police, I know what I just typed so please hold off on your hate mail.)
As noted above, blogs don’t make money off the bat. Your client or employer may have a genius idea, but that doesn’t mean squat if no one knows about it. Before accepting any jobs for revenue or traffic bonuses find out how much revenue the blog is receiving or projected to receive and how much traffic is coming in, or predicted. Do the math before you agree to the job and you won’t waste your time stocking a blog with content for little or no money. If you wish to earn a living as a blogger, try applying for salaried positions or gigs offering you a flat fee. If you’re expected to promote your blog, in addition to writing, make sure that’s included in the price. You can’t expect to make a living as a blogger by blogging for someone who pays chump change.
3. You’re Not Using the Right Advertising Formula
Monetizing a blog is tough. The FWJ network is doing ok, but I know it can do better. I’m finally finding a good formula. It took years of studying my community and other communities in the same niche. If you’re monetizing your own blog learn about your community. Are they clickers or buyers? What are their interests? What sorts of products are they most likely to buy? What do they search for – what search terms did they use to find your blog? Play around with the different types of advertising until you learn which types bring in money and which types don’t. It’s not enough to slap up some ads, you’ll also need to learn something about your demographic.
4. You’re Not Doing Enough Shameless Self Promotion
Bloggers self promote, if they didn’t no one would know about their blogs. It’s not enough to only post, however.Successful bloggers take advantage of social networks, forums, guest blogging opportunities and more in hopes of raising awareness to their own blogs. Notice I didn’t say spam? There’s a difference between self promotion and spam – if you want folks to become interested in you and what you do, join in the conversation rather than spam with links.
5. You’re Not Choosing the Right Niche
Nichey blogs are cool and fun but they’re not always good for making money. How much money do you think a blog about click beetles or paperclips will earn? If you’re going to get nichey think about how many people you will actually reach and what types of advertising opportunties are available for your genre. Research to see if there are other blogs in this area and what they’re doing. This is why a lot of network blogs don’t do as well as the owners had hoped, they’re too nichey. There’s not enough traffic and advertising opportunities to earn a decent wage.