The internet has opened up a whole new opportunity for people looking to work from home and make money from their computers. One of my favorite work from home income ideas is blogging.
I used to blog as a hobby and started a handful of sites in the past for fun. In more recent years, I’ve opted to monetize my blog so it can serve as a flexible extra income source.
There are plenty of ways to make money with your blog but it takes time to start making money. Monetizing your blog is a long-term process but it can pay off tenfold.
Now that the secret is out, I see many new blogs pop up each day. Most bloggers have dreams of being able to get paid from their platform by writing whatever they want. I know bloggers who make anywhere from a few hundred dollars to 6-figures per month and everything in between.
However, if you’ve ever felt stuck like you couldn’t make money from your blog even after spending countless hours working on it, your process may be missing an important step.
Here are 6 mistakes to avoid when monetizing your blog.
1. Not Clear on Who Your Audience Is
Your blog should cover topics you’re interested in but it should also serve a specific audience as well. You’re writing content to help entertain and educate other people so their interests and needs are pretty important.
The biggest mistake I see bloggers make is speaking to a broad audience. I too started my personal finance blog and kept my theme pretty general. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they weren’t included or couldn’t relate to my message.
The truth is, you can’t please everyone and your content won’t resonate with everyone. It’s best to pick a specific niche and a specific group of people you want to talk to.
Narrow down who your ideal blog reader is. Include their age, gender, occupation, hobbies, habits, and interests so you know exactly who you’re writing to. Pretty soon, readers who come across your blog will filter themselves through your content and decide if they like it and want to follow you or don’t really connect to the message.
As a result of getting super clear on my audience, I’ve had several people email me over the years expressing how my marketing emails, blog posts, and products were perfect for them. One woman even told me I took the words right out of her mouth and that was pleasing because it was very intentional.
She responded so well to my blog because I was targeting people like her specifically.
2. Jumping the Gun Too Soon
I actually didn’t start my current blog to make money but I don’t blame people who do. There’s nothing wrong with starting a blog with the intention of monetizing it.
However, you need to understand that it takes time. You won’t make much money if you start throwing ads and affiliate links on your brand new blog.
First, you need to create an army of loyal readers and followers. You also need to realize that your blog’s theme might change over time. I’d say it’s best to wait a least 3-6 months after blogging to get a strategy in place.
(Pssstt.…here are the steps that took this blog from $700 per month to several thousand per month in one year.)
3. Not Publishing Valuable Content
Content is king. If you’re not publishing unique and high-value content, you probably won’t be able to successfully monetize your blog. Once you know who your target audience is, focus on serving them by solving a common problem or obstacle they have.
Offer value upfront and make a connection before you start pushing your products and services.
I also see some bloggers try to coast by with bland shortened content. Google favors more lengthy blog posts with at least 1,000 – 2,000 words. By writing long-form captivating content, you can actually provide more value to readers and set your blog posts apart from other posts on similar topics.
Always focus on over-delivering. People take time out of their day to read your blog so you want to give them the best content they could find online.
4. No Clear Strategy
You need a strategy if you want to start monetizing your blog. There are several different ways to monetize, but you want to narrow down your options by getting really good at one thing first.
This is why you see some people do really well with affiliate marketing or products, but not as good with sponsored posts or vice versa.
Try to start with 1-2 monetization methods and get really good at them. Don’t just slap links on your site or work really hard on an e-book and fail to promote it properly.
You want to create SEO friendly blog posts, develop an email list, survey your audience, and test out different monetization methods. If you’re trying to push a product or service like coaching or courses, you can create a sales funnel which takes people through a process to warm them up for a sale.
Maybe you create a free giveaway or sample product before you start selling your paid product or marketing an affiliate company.
5. Taking Cheap Shortcuts That Can Be Damaging Later
I can’t stress enough how important it is to take your time when monetizing your blog, you want to do it right so your income can be sustainable. Taking cheap shortcuts like accepting low-quality guest article submissions for paid links, may only damage your site’s ranking and turn some of your readers off.
There are a ton of link building companies out there who pay bloggers to put crappy posts on their blog that link back to their company’s page.
I get these requests all the time and the content is always short, choppy, and filled with grammatical errors. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense.
Other times, I was offered money to write about topics that wouldn’t resonate with my readers and that I knew I didn’t support myself. I turned down money to promote a glasses company, a gambling site, and a personal loan service all because it didn’t appeal to my brand and core message.
If you start to post crappy content just to make a quick buck or partner with brands that you don’t truly support or wouldn’t recommend, your audience will notice the inauthenticity and leave.
6. Trying to do Everything On Your Own
Blogging is a lot of hard work. Sooner or later, there will come a time where you can’t continue to do everything on your own if you want to take your blog to the next level.
There is why it’s important to treat your blog like a business and invest back into it. If you start to feel overwhelmed, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to help with some tasks.
If you need help coming up with a strategy and want some accountability, you may want to get a mentor. You probably wouldn’t believe how many successful bloggers hired mentors or took a digital course to help them monetize their blog better.
Learning from an expert is a worthy investment that can help you save time and avoid unwanted frustration. Of course, you want to make sure the person or resource has a proven track record and do your part to get positive results
Have you ever thought about starting a blog or monetizing your blog? Have you made any of these mistakes?