What other bloggers aren’t telling you, but every new blogger needs to know! These are 4 reasons why your new blog WON’T make money — and how you can change that!
4 Reasons Your Blog WON’T Make Money
This post is a little more blunt than my other blogging posts, but that is because I gotta keep it real here.
More and more, I’m seeing new bloggers that get frustrated or give up because they are not meeting their monetization goals. Problem is, those goals were usually completely unrealistic to begin with!
You CAN make money blogging. You can actually make really, really good money blogging. I know because this is my full-time job and this is how I support my family.
However, this didn’t happen overnight. And it sure wasn’t easy!
So today I’m breaking down four of the main stumbling blocks I see from new bloggers that are keeping them from making money, and may lead to blogger burnout.
1. You Have Unrealistic Expectations
So many times I see bloggers commenting in groups, exasperated because their 2-month-old blog hasn’t earned a dime yet. Or their 5-month-old-blog. Or even their 2-week-old blog with only 2 posts!
And it’s no wonder, with the deluge of “professional” bloggers out there promising to show the way to 6-figures…if you sign up for their course. Or coaching. Or buy their ebook.
You get the idea.
While some blogging coaches are totally legit, there are just as many who aren’t — they’re trying to sell others on the business of blogging before they’ve figured it out themselves. Or there are legitimately successful bloggers who exaggerate how they got there in order to sell whatever it is they’re selling.
You know you’ve seen those posts: “How I made $9726.00 last month only working 2 hours a day!”
What happens is that this creates an unrealistic expectation from new bloggers that they are going to make tons of money right away, while only working a couple hours a day.
That is definitely the exception and NOT the rule. I do make a full time income blogging, but I work about 5 times more hours than that!
The problem is that brand new bloggers can’t always tell the difference between who is telling the truth and who is selling snake oil. How do you know if someone is really making a six-figure income? How do you know if you can trust their advice?
A few watch-outs when evaluating blogging advice:
- Does this blogger have social proof? By this I mean do they appear to have a legitimate following and social media channels that are well-maintained. If a “blogging coach” promises to show you how to copy their plan for success, yet their Twitter account was created in 2017 and their Facebook page only has 189 fans, that doesn’t add up to a successful blogger.
- Is what they’re promising too good to be true? Just like anything in life, if a blogger promises overnight success or anything else that sounds too good to be true…that’s because it is.
2. You’re Not Consistent
I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again – you can’t work for a couple hours here and there and expect to rake in the cash.
That doesn’t work in any business, and it doesn’t work in blogging. Especially when you’re just starting out!
If you’re trying build authority and gain readership, you need to be consistent in creating content (aka writing blog posts) and active on your social media channels every day.
If a reader happens upon your site in the early days and sees that you’ve only written 3 posts and it’s been 4 months since you last posted anything, they might think your site is abandoned. And right there, you’ve lost a potential return visitor.
You don’t necessarily need to post something every day to be successful — I actually know quite a few amazingly talented and high-earning bloggers who produce new content 1-2 times per week max. However, you DO need to be on a regular schedule and your site needs to appear active and dynamic for visitors.
Google also prefers sites that regularly produce content. While search engine optimization is a more advanced topic, trust me when I say you want to be on Google’s good side!
The key is to set a schedule that you can stick to – and then do it!
Regarding social media, you’ve got to stay active there too, even when it seems like no one is paying attention. You definitely won’t gain any followers if you don’t post or share content regularly. No one follows an inactive Facebook or Twitter page. But you have a chance of snagging fans if you’re sharing things that catch their eye.
Note: This post includes links to products and services that I love and use, to help you grow your blog too (disclosure policy available here).
3. You’re Still on a Free Blogging Site
The truly awesome thing about blogging is that as far as businesses go, the start-up investment cost is relatively low. You don’t need fancy programs or equipment or a staff, at least not in the beginning. However, one thing you DO need to pay for is website hosting.
Yes, there are lots of free blogging platforms available, but if you have any intentions of making money blogging, skip the free blogging sites and get self-hosted (your own domain name) — if you haven’t done so already.
Most free sites won’t let you have ads, affiliate links, or do sponsored posts – so if your goal is monetizing, you need to be self-hosted.
Plus, your own domain name looks more professional and is easier to remember, than a long-winded address you’ll get with a free site. (Example: www.mysite.com vs. www.freebloggingsite.mysite.com)
At just a few bucks a month, Bluehost’s Basic plan for WordPress.org was such a minimal expense that I could afford it even before I saw any profit from my site. It’s literally about the same price as a cup of premium coffee, which we don’t even bat an eyelash at spending!
Important: When setting up, make sure you’re aware of the difference between WordPress.com (free, but not self-hosted) and WordPress.org (self-hosted). To put it in simple terms: WordPress.org is the framework for building your blog (the editor where you write your posts), and your web host stores all your data, photos, etc. and serves it up to visitors.
Initially, I didn’t know the difference and I created my blog on WordPress.com. I ended up having to switch everything over just a few months later. Switching from free to self-hosted requires some decent web knowledge or paying someone to do it for you to avoid site outages or losing any of your hard work.
I’ve worked with Bluehost for years, so they set up an exclusive pricing plan just for my readers. If you sign up through my link you’ll pay LESS than their regularly-listed plans PLUS get a free domain name. (See why I love them so much?!)
Even better, Bluehost recently discounted their Prime Plan to just $5.45/month (I’ve never seen it priced that low before!) The Prime Plan offers SO many features that are usually extra, like daily site backups and domain privacy protection. I definitely recommend snagging this steal of a deal before it’s gone! Click here to learn more about the Prime Plan and the blog hosting features you can’t afford to skip.
A quick recap of why you should get self-hosted from the start:
- Free blogging sites like Blogspot often place strict limitations on monetization. So if your plan is to make your blog a business, you’ll need your own self-hosted website.
- Your own domain name looks more professional and is easier for visitors to find and remember.
- When you’re self-hosted, you have complete control over your site and content. A free blogging platform can shutdown without warning or remove websites at their whim, meaning you’d lose everything.
4. You’re a Follower
Another common mistake I see with new bloggers is that they try to copy what someone else is doing because that person is successful, thinking that they’ll be successful too if they do the same thing.
But think about it this way: if you’ve already read an article about one specific topic, are you going to go looking for another article about the exact same thing?
We humans are always looking for the next, newest, best thing. We’re not looking for re-hashed, second-rate copies of something we’ve already seen.
Remember when Beanie Babies were crazy popular in the 1990s and could fetch outlandish prices on eBay and the like? I may or may not have been an avid collector…
Now, do you remember all the knock-offs that hit the market trying to capitalize on the Beanie Baby trend?
Neither do I.
That’s because no one wanted a bean bag animal that wasn’t actually a Beanie Baby. Collectors wanted the real thing!
It’s kind of like that with blogging.
Yes, there are plenty of websites that try to make a quick buck or grab readers by copying a viral post from another blogger. But that is NOT a recipe for gaining a following or long-term success. And copying will not gain you any friends in the blogging world either!
Make Sure You Read: What All Bloggers Need to Know About Blogging Etiquette
One Final Thought…
The purpose of this post is not to discourage you. In fact, I want to do just the opposite!
Blogging has been an incredible blessing for our family, allowing me to work from home doing something I love and make really good money doing so.
However, I get frustrated seeing other “professionals” selling dreams or trying to make a profit off other bloggers with unscrupulous methods or even outright lies.
I hate seeing new bloggers being taken advantage of and giving up when they don’t hit a goal that’s all but impossible.
So I wanted to use this post as a way to dispel some of the myths I see all over Pinterest and prevent as many new bloggers as I can from falling into those traps.
Because we were ALL new bloggers once!
You CAN make money with your blog, but it won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen without a plan and consistent effort.
Want to know more? I’ve packed as much as I can into my complete guide “How to Create a Blog” – Click here to read it!
More of my Favorite Blogging Resources for Beginners