December 30, 2010, 6:00 am

Why Your New Blog Won’t Make Any Money

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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Blogging No Money

Blogging topics seem to have taken over the last little while over here. Between Mike’s colossal post on how he built his blogging empire to my ultimate beginner’s guide to launching a new blog, the topic has been pretty popular. Some of you have set a New Year’s resolution to either launch a blog or to get a blog off the ground. I personally have been blogging for over two years now and the most common topic that ever comes up is: how do bloggers make money? Most new bloggers are very interested with making money from blogging. This is why I wanted to put together an eye-opening post on why I think that your new blog won’t make any money (from personal experience):

Blogging for money.

As cliche as it sounds, blogging for money is almost always a recipe for failure. Starting a blog with the intention of making lots of money (even any money) will cloud your judgment and likely lead to burnout real quick. If you enjoy writing about the topic, discussing the topic, and connecting with like-minded people then you’ll end up loving blogging. If you just love money, you won’t enjoy blogging. The lack of money will burn you out when you’re running on little sleep and trying to respond to all reader comments.

Not knowing your audience.

This is a major problem for all new bloggers. We put up Adsense and wait for the dollars to come in. Maybe one or two dollars will come in every few days but that’s all.

You need to decide early on what kind of blog you plan on running. Do you want to write strictly for Google Adsense? Do you want to make your money from text links? Do you plan on pushing affiliates? Do you plan on releasing your own products. These are all questions that you need to slowly ponder as you work on your blog. Once you know your audience, you can adjust your content and marketing efforts accordingly.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know your audience because I still feel like I don’t know my audience sometimes. This is a process that will take a long time to reach. Some will figure this out right away and prosper for a long time. Others will seek out their audience for a long time. Either way this should be something that you try to address right off the bat.

Giving up.

It’s really easy to give up on your new blog. Every time I read a post about how much money certain bloggers earn I feel like giving up because I’m so far away from that milestone. Real life can also get in the way. Between a work schedule and normal life, one can find it extremely difficult to consistently pump out quality content. Since later-2008 I’ve seen many once-motivated bloggers completely disappear. I would put their pictures up on the back of a milk carton but I know what happened. They gave up. If you give up or even mentally check-out your blog will slowly start to fizzle out until there’s nobody left reading it.

Thinking that popular blog= lots of money.

Your blog can start getting lots of comments and traffic a few months in. However, this boost in traffic will not always equate to a major boost in income. A popular blog won’t always be a profitable blog. This harsh reality can sometimes crush even the most ambitious people out there.

Target is too high.

When I started blogging I was really inspired by the stories of ultra-bloggers like John Chow, Darren Rowse, and Yaro Starak. Once you start blogging you realize that those are next to impossible targets to meet. Comparing yourself to mega-established bloggers is never a good idea. Focus on improving your writing skills and getting your message across. Worrying about how much money someone else makes will just hurt you.

Can you think of other reasons why most new blogs don’t make any money?

(photo credit: smudger888)

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Could be that some of them just run out of things to talk about. There’s something to be said about writing about you like to do or are interested in. Otherwise, just writing copy to feed Adsense can get tiring.

I would add competition 😉

It is much harder to launch a blog today than it was 3 years ago. If I take the PF blogosphere, I think we have over 500 blogs now…. I don’t think there was more than 100 when I started in 2006!

I think one of the number one reasons that bloggers don’t make money is because they give up too early in the game. They don’t make money for the first few months – and they give up because their passion for the topic alone just isn’t enough. The thing is – if they’d stick with it past the 6 or 7 month mark, they’d more than likely be on their way to making some money.

Also, I think far too many people don’t have any strategy with their blog as far as how they’re going to make money. They don’t decided if they want to use the blog to make money from adsense, from their own products, CPM ads, or a combination of all of the above. They end up not deciding on anything because they’re afraid to make a decision. Just go for 1 or several and move forward with it!

I would say that the marketing aspect of blogging to generate traffic may be underestimated. It requires quite a bit of time and dedication to build a network. My time for blogging and networking is in competition from my day job, my family, and the house chores…

I think a lack of research is a reason that blogs aren’t successful as well. Some don’t know what it takes to get traffic, subscribers, etc.

I guess it all depends on what your objectives are and what drives a person.

There is money to be made, you just have to want it.

Great advice. I am always surprised to visit a brand new site with no traffic but plenty of ads. I close that sort of page pretty quickly as I imagine many other first time visitors do.

I may be old school, but I miss the pre-adsense days of the web. There’s just too much emphasis on it now.

I’ve said it before – I only hope people read my blog. If I ever get to the point of adding advertisements and affiliate links, it’ll only be to generate a small amount of money. I don’t expect a personal blog to pave my way to retirements.

We feel that monetization strategies are important but first and foremost one should not be blogging solely to make money. We write because we love to write and share ideas and open up conversations about sustainable PF and lifestyle. If we happen to make a few bucks along the way, so be it – but that is not our goal.

by: The Financial Blogger | December 30th, 2010 (1:58 pm)

Another point is the lack of ideas to write about. If you don’t do a good mind map and don’t establish your categories at first, you will run your blog during 6 to 12 months and won’t find anything to say later on.

dreams = crushed 🙁

Just kidding … thanks for the reminder that blogging is mostly about the passion and money comes second!

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My guess is other things pop up, life changes, marriage, kids, or even a new more passionate dream. Ironically, I believe focusing on how much money you can make is a killer for a lot of other aspects of life, your career, investing, happiness. Funny point about putting up missing bloggers on milk cartons. I’m new in the game so I don’t know any of the old names, but maybe an investigative where are they no would uncover the mystery of why blogs fail.

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I think there are a variety of reasons why blogs don’t make money, but that most of them boil down to a lack of research on what topics can actually convert and create income – and because once they find those ideas most people don’t stick around long enough for their hard work to pay off. You need to do the hard work and research to figure out what works, and then stick to it for many months! It will pay off in the long run if you do things the right way.

Great post. And, yes, first and foremost is having a real passion for your topic. If you are looking to make money in blogging, you need to be able to endure a 6 month period of time where nothing happens–absolutely nothing!

But I guess that all depends on how aggressive you are. Even then… most blog traffic (at least from my experience) comes from search engines, and it takes time for your site to generate real respect from Google, etc…

Anyway–it’s always a good reminder that blogging isn’t about making money (not for me, at least).

Sure… I’ve made a few thousand dollars… over a 3 year period of time… after having written and worked or HOURS and HOURS and HOURS…

If I were to add up what my hourly rate on my time spent on my blog for the money I’ve made, I might quit tomorrow. 😀

I think it is important to understand the reasons for blogging before jumping into it. For some people it is just the joy of writing. For me I blog because I need to express my opinion. Making money is really not the reason I blog. I blog to keep my sanity. I tried commenting at various news sites and got tired of people telling me to “Stop writing articles in the comments”. So now I have my own blog and can write all the articles I want. Whenever I want.

You don’t get that kind of flexibility anywhere else.

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