Many of us start blogging just as a hobby and barely give any thought to the idea of making any money from it. But if over time you’ve begun to build an engaged audience you might want to start exploring some monetisation options.
Depending on your niche and strategy, it’s absolutely possible to make a full-time living from your blog, however, it’s a bit harder than people might think.
Although it may look easy, it’s not as simple as just writing good posts and eventually the money starts coming in. (Oh how I wish that were the case!)
While every blog is different, those who generate income from their sites usually do so through a mixture of advertising, affiliate links, sponsored posts, branded campaigns and freelance writing/content creation.
Click here to discover 8 ways I make money from travel blogging
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Making money from your blog requires not just a diverse monetisation strategy but a blog that is attractive to potential sponsors and advertisers. Aside from good content, you’ll need to demonstrate an engaged audience, display clear areas of expertise and stand out from the crowd.
If you’re struggling to make money from your blog, here are 4 areas you might need to improve to increase your earnings.
Not Enough Traffic
It goes without saying that the more traffic you have coming to your blog the higher your potential earnings are.
The quickest and easiest way you can improve traffic to your blog is through SEO. For many years I just wrote what I liked without thinking about what questions and specific terms readers might be searching for. Using a tool such as Keysearch helps me to identify the key search terms I need to include in my content and I’ve used this not just to write new posts but improve old ones too.
Another important source of traffic for bloggers is Pinterest. Consider taking a Pinterest course or hiring someone to manage your Pinterest strategy for you if your pins aren’t performing. If done well Pinterest can send thousands of visitors to your blog each month.
I use Tailwind to schedule pins in advance and am a member of Pinterest share groups on Facebook, which helps me find content to repin as well as boosting my pins. Read this post on the ways I increased my blog traffic in 2018 for more details.
Depending on your advertising network and placements, the amount of time each visitor spends on your site, how many pages they visit and the number of ads they click on will also effect your advertising revenue. So, the key is not just to attract readers to your blog but make sure they stick (and click) around too! Detailed, long-form content that answers your readers questions will make sure they don’t have to go looking elsewhere. Make sure you link to relevant posts on your site that they might like to read next too.
Aside from advertising revenue the main source of income for bloggers is sponsored posts and collaborations with companies. If you’re struggling to get brands to sponsor your blog it might be that you’re not demonstrating the return on investment for them clearly. Even if you’re just starting out I recommend keeping track of any activity – emails, comments, click throughs – that show you have influenced your audience. This is key information to include in your media kit.
You Don’t Have A Strong Brand
When companies are looking for bloggers to do a sponsored post for them, what they’re really looking for is somebody that has a strong, consistent brand. If you have a strong brand and your readers trust you, they’re likely to take your advice on products which means that sponsored posts will do well.
A strong brand also lends a lot of professionalism to the blog which is why brand integrity is so vital if you want to start monetizing.
The design of your blog is important here; you need to make sure that you have a professional looking design and that you have consistent branding that appeals to readers throughout the site.
The way that you write posts makes a big difference as well because your personality is a big part of the brand on a blog. If you don’t have a strong, recognizable brand, it’s unlikely that you will be able to make money from your blog.
Your Blog Isn’t Unique
This is a big problem that a lot of bloggers run into. There are so many blogs out there and whatever subject you choose to write about on your site, it’s likely that other people are already writing a blog about it. That isn’t necessarily a problem but if you’re going to be successful, you need to do something that nobody else is doing. Often, that comes from your personal brand – people will choose your site over other similar blogs because they like you as a person and they enjoy the way that you write.
There are many ways you can differentiate yourself though, from the style of your content to the subjects you focus on. It also helps to be really strong in one area, particularly when it comes to social media. It can tempting to try and build an audience on many different platforms, but often focusing on just one that you’re really good can build your reputation faster.
Your Blog Is Badly Maintained
Even the best blog in the world will struggle if it’s badly maintained. Things like links that don’t work or pages and images that don’t load properly will really ruin the user experience, plus a slow site speed can effect your Google ranking.
If you’re trying to get sponsored posts and marketers browse your site, one simple error can put them off. This is easily avoided if you just maintain your blog properly and check that everything is working on a regular basis.
Sometimes just making a few small improvements can help boost your blog earnings.
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Main photo thanks to Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash