Mistakes? Well, they're a part of life, no doubt, but mistakes that are costing you money can grind on you AND your bank account. And when it comes to making money from your blog, you could be making a ton of these money-robbing missteps without even knowing it.
Today, we're talking about the five most common blogging blunders. So learn 'em, banish them, and say hello to more money.
Reason #1: You don't have concrete goals.
You've daydreamed about making money from your blog, but without goals — whether it's traffic to your site or an "I've made it!" income target at which you'd consider yourself successful — you have no idea how you're going to actually make the dough you've been dreaming of.
Solution: Establish your goals and make a plan to get there.
Prioritize goal-setting early on and reverse engineer how you'll achieve your goals in order to stay focused and motivated. Reverse engineering means: break down your goals into smaller, more achievable chunks, then work backwards and take some kind of action every single day to reach the goal.
For example, if your aim is to get 10,000 visitors per month, break that down to 333 visitors per day so you have an actionable daily target. Then you can start focusing on what levers you'll pull to reach that benchmark. That could be anything (and including) guest blogging, targeting influencers, social media, paid ads, whatever's in your toolbox.
Reason #2: You don't know who you're talking to.
You're blogging, but you're publishing any (and every) idea that pops into your brain, which means your blogging process is more like screaming into a crowd when you should be hosting an intimate dinner party for your favorite people (who actually want to hear what you have to say). Unfortunately, this means you can't grow your traffic because visitors can't relate to the content you're publishing, and they don't care to return because it's so random.
Solution: Figure out who your ideal reader is and what you want to say to them.
Your audience should be your intimate dinner party guests — you know who they are, what they like, what stories make them react and what they like to share. A lot of bloggers fall prey to the false truth that they need to widen their topics in order to reach more readers. But the fact is, talking to a smaller group of highly engaged readers will net you more success in moneymaking than trying to talk to everyone who passes by.
Think of it this way:
Blogger A is having a conversation with 100 people — really engaging with them and getting to know them.
Blogger B is shouting at 1,000 people that are simply walking on by without stopping to chat.
Who do you think will make more money when time comes to pitch a brand a series of sponsored posts? If you said Blogger A, you are so right on. Since Blogger A has taken the time to get to know her readers so well and readers feel like Blogger A is talking right to them, Blogger A can create sponsored posts that are tailored to her audience's interests and therefore, will be more successful.
Reason #3: You're Inconsistent.
I get it — you're busy, and you post to your blog when you have the time. Whether that’s one day one week, and three days the next, your readers never know when to expect something from you. Posting to your blog when you have time is totally fine . . . if it's a hobby. But if you want to make money? Some changes need to be made.
Solution: Keep an editorial schedule and stick to it.
Grab a calendar, a spreadsheet, or a free tool like Trello, and start holding yourself accountable for your posting schedule. When your audience knows that you publish a new post every Tuesday, they start to look for it and expect it. Don't leave them wondering what happened to you! Readers need a stable relationship with you in order to start to know, like, and trust you, and if you need to know why that is important, re-read solution number two.
Reason #3: You refuse to invest money in your blog.
You've hacked together a Blogspot or Wordpress website with a free template, which seems to work just fine, so you don't see how spending money on a blog that doesn't have that many readers (yet) is a good idea for your finances.
Solution: Start with some basic necessities and upgrade later.
The first thing you need before anyone can take you seriously enough to give you money is a domain name. Purchase your domain name from a reputable provider. I personally use IWantMyName.com. It doesn't matter if your domain is a .com or .co these days, just get it on lock. Consider buying a less common template for your blog, too. If you're using the free ones from Wordpress, chances are it's a basic bitch and everyone's used it so set yourself apart by investing a small amount in a custom created website design, or a paid template on Wordpress. You can even find some awesome designers on Etsy that have super unique templates and can help with installation so you don't have to deal with the stress sweats that come with formatting your blog. Plus, you're supporting small businesses too, which is always a good thing.
Those are the basics, but in the (near) future, consider hiring a branding expert and designer to really hone in on what your blog is trying to say from a visual perspective, pay for a social media marketing subscription (like Buffer or Hootsuite), and invest in yourself with some copywriting classes because the words on the page are the most important thing when you're a blogger.
Reason #4: You're only seeing as far as your next post.
It's easy to get caught up in chasing pageviews by frantically publishing your next post to get that sweet sweet hit of traffic. It's addictive, but it can turn you into a hamster spinning in your own little wheel, not going anywhere. And because you're spending so much time worried about what you're writing about tomorrow, it's hard to see the bigger picture in how to make big moves and growth, especially where money is concerned.
Solution: Think of your blog as a business.
If you want your blog to make some serious cash, you need to think of it like a business. And businesses? They have a plan. They have goals. They think long term. Stop sprinting in your hamster wheel publishing every day without a plan, and start looking at bigger picture goals like how much money you want to make in a month and how you'll get there.
Reason #5: You Don't Know How to Start Generating Income In the First Place.
You've got lots of blog real estate dedicated to Adsense, have some sponsored ad units up and running, and are using affiliate links to supplement your bank account, but are struggling to see any real, significant money come in despite all your efforts to grow your traffic.
Solution: Work smarter, not harder.
If you want to make money from your blog, you've got to put in the legwork, but it's nice to have a little help every once in a while. That's why I put together a FREE guide that shows you how to turn your blog into that business you're dreaming of and guess what — not a single one of these methods include you scrambling for pennies on Adsense and display ads. Click the button below to get it instantly delivered to your inbox!