There’s a good chance that if you’re rummaging around this site you’re trying to make money online somehow. As far as I know, there isn’t currently a “make money” switch you can flick on your website…sadly. This means you’re going to have to find ways to turn a profit from your online real estate.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you read through my post about How To Monetize Your Blog. This article is a follow-up to that. It’s going to show you what NOT to do.
1. TRYING TO MONETIZE TOO EARLY
If you’re like I was in the beginning, wanting to cash in as soon as possible, you probably want to find ways to monetize your blog minutes after you get it up and running. People need money to pay for Netflix, am I right?
You need to have an audience before you can start looking at ways to monetize your blog. Don’t be scared, though, you don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of people following you. You just need to have a small group of engaged people. Fans of you and your blog.
There’s a fine line here. You don’t want to wait too long before you start monetizing. That’s a trap I see many people fall into. They realize they shouldn’t start selling to their audience too early and they end up waiting WAY too long. If you do this, you’re leaving money on the table.
I’d say if you have 100 or more people who know, like and trust you, you’ve got a nice little foundation and you can start looking at ways to make money from them.
2. FOCUSING TOO HEAVILY ON BLOG METRICS
I don’t usually like to throw out numbers (like the 100 in the previous point) because people seem to get too hung up on them. They only tell part of the story. The key in the above point is where I said, “know, like and trust”. That means they are an engaged audience.
I’ve seen small audiences outperform massive ones time and time again because of engagement. I’d take a list of 100 people who are raving fans of mine over a list of 100,000 people who have no clue who I am any day. Hands down!
As you’re growing your presence online you should make engagement your sole purpose. Don’t waste time gaining followers who mean nothing. Focus on real connections with your audience. Treat them like you do your closest friends. Interact with them. Give them value. Send them selfies of what you had for dinner. Well maybe not that last one, but you get the point.
Think about this for a minute. If you recommended something to a friend or family member and them to some random person on the street, who do you think would be more likely to buy the product? I sincerely hope you don’t need me to answer that for you.
Case closed on this point!
3. PUTTING TOO MUCH STAKE IN ADS
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you probably know that I don’t care for using display ads. Actually the term “I don’t care for” is a little soft. It’s more along the lines of I HATE using display ads. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, I’m just expressing my opinion on them.
There are a few reasons why you should focus your monetization efforts elsewhere. First, if someone actually clicks one of these ads you’re inviting them to leave your site. You’re offering them an easy escape from you and your content (often sending them to a competitor). Why would you want to spend your time meticulously creating content for someone just to have them leave in exchange for a couple of pennies? It doesn’t add up to me.
This leads me to my next qualm with display ads. The value you actually get from them is VERY low. Unless you’re getting hundreds of thousands of pageviews, the paycheck is going to barely cover a Big Mac meal on a monthly basis.
My suggestion is to focus on methods that are going to get you a higher return and be less of a distraction for your audience. You’ve spent time growing your following, don’t direct them somewhere else. Keep them in your realm of value.
4. TAPPING OUT TOO SOON
There are millions and millions of blogs on the internet. Only a small portion of those probably earn any real money. WAIT! Don’t get discouraged by this. The fact of the matter is that a good portion of them could probably make money, but the owner gives up too quickly when something doesn’t work out.
Making an income from your website or blog is a long-term play, not a get rich quick scheme. Most of the time people grind and grind to eventually turn a corner and things take off.
There’s good news here. If you use proven strategies this can help you turn that corner much quicker. You need to focus your energy on doing the right things. Remember, work smarter, not harder.
The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t give up tot quickly on something you think isn’t working. Give it some time before you pivot to something else. It can take years to become an overnight success. Love that phrase! It’s true too!
5. NOT KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
Maybe I should have put this one as #1. It’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to monetize their blogs. You should spend the time to really understand your audience. You want to know where they hang out, what they like, what they dislike and more. The deeper you can dig the better. You shouldn’t be guessing these things, you should really know them inside and out.
If you have a solid understanding of your audience it should be dead simple to create position offers for them. The offshoot of that is that they’ll absolutely love what you’re giving them because it will look like it was tailored directly for each specific person.
The best way to better understand what your audience wants and needs is to simply ask them. Get on social media and talk to them. Send them a survey. It’s not as hard as you’d think. It goes back to building a real connection. You can’t beat that.
6. DON’T BE A ONE-PERSON SHOW
One of the hardest things about working from home is shutting out the rest of the world. If you work in an office setting you’re constantly interacting with other people whether in meetings or shooting the shit around the coffee machine. At home this doesn’t naturally occur. You have to put forth a conscious effort to reach out and connect with others.
Building strong relationships with other like-minded people may not sound important, but I promise you it is. A quick chat can spark an idea, give you that extra motivation to push forward or even turn into a joint venture.
The way in which you communicate it also an important factor. Just messaging back and forth on Facebook isn’t nearly as effective as a face-to-face chat. I know this type of communication may not always be possible, but why not jump on Skype? It’s the next best thing.
Having a network of people to work and strategize with will help you grow your business further than if you attempt to do it all on your own. I promise you this!
Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be a rockstar at monetizing your blog!