Blog, Marketing

Why You’re Not Making Money From Blogging + Tips on How to Start

So you’ve started a blog — congratulations! You’ve probably heard amazing stories of people making money from their blog and you’ve envisioned this life of writing posts + cashing checks (virtually). It sounds like a dream.

But maybe it’s not going quite as you expected. Maybe you’re not making it rain dollar bills, people aren’t knocking down your door with offers to pay you for posts, and perhaps all of this seems a lot harder than you thought it would be. Sound familiar?

Well, there are probably some pretty solid reasons why you aren’t making any money from your blog. And a lot of it starts with your expectations. Let’s break down the school of thought that’s traditionally surrounded the world of blogging + money making so you can start to see it a bit more clearly.

Bonus: we’ve got actionable ideas for you on how to actually start making money with your blog further down in this post, so keep reading!

So you’ve started a blog — congratulations! You’ve probably heard amazing stories of people making money from their blog and you’ve envisioned this life of writing posts + cashing checks (virtually). It sounds like a dream.  But maybe it’s not going quite as you expected. Maybe you’re not making it rain dollar bills, people aren’t knocking down your door with offers to pay you for posts, and perhaps all of this seems a lot harder than you thought it would be.  |  Think Creative Collective

First, we’re going to be real honest with you. A lot of the old school advice about how to make money blogging is just that — old school. It’s outdated and it’s not how blogging works anymore. You’ve probably been fed a lot of bologna when it comes to how to establish your blog and audience to make money. But there are few people out there teaching on this subject who are not only up-to-date in their methods, but who are actually profitable (we’ll link to a few at the end of this post).

Now we’re going to get down and dirty, busting myths and taking names. Are you ready?

You're Wanting to Learn from the Wrong People

Okay, this is possibly our biggest pet peeve. We’ve been seeing this topic come up a lot lately. Someone will start a thread in a Facebook group and it goes on like wildfire. It goes like this…

“I’m not making money from my blog and I’m tired of just hearing from people who teach others how to make money blogging. I want to learn or hear from people who aren’t teaching or running courses, but who are making money from blogging. Why aren’t they talking about how to do it? Does anyone like that even exist??”

Then someone will chime in and say something like…

“Oh, I totally understand. I want to hear from a lifestyle brand that makes money blogging! What about this person who sells moccasins? Why can’t I know how she makes money blogging?”

Let’s be clear.

The reason why you are hearing from someone who is teaching about how to make money blogging is because that is their job.

The reason why you aren’t hearing from someone who sells moccasins or fine art prints or yoga poses is because their job is to not teach you about how to make money blogging. Their job is to sell moccasins or fine art prints or yoga poses.

It’s not that they don’t exist.

They are just working in their businesses.

And you should absolutely want to learn from someone who makes money blogging that then teaches how to make money blogging. Because guess what they’re doing? Making money from blogging.

Which is what you want.

If they’re good teachers they will give you examples of how this can work in many different industries. They will let you know that the foundations of making money blogging aren’t that different, regardless of what you sell (more on that later).

Learn from people who know how to teach. Period.

Your Blog Doesn't Actually Make You Money

Okay, this is a hard idea to grasp. Back in the early 2000’s when blogging was just getting started, you made money from your blog. Like literally.

How much you made was determined by how many people visited your blog, how many people shared it, commented on it, etc.

Why?

Because ads on blogs were huge then.

So advertisers would pay per view, click and share. Then the blogger would get a check. Boom.

That’s not how blogs work anymore. That’s not how readers want to engage with bloggers and advertisers anymore.

So that’s not how money is made through blogging anymore.

Now, it’s about what you sell. What can you offer? It’s about curating a content library, attracting the right people to read it, providing immense value and then selling something to them (we’ll get more specific about the selling later).

What You're Selling Doesn't Make Sense

Okay, so sure, you’ve heard that you need to sell something in order to make money from your blog. So you do. But...chances are it’s the wrong thing. Here’s a scenario that we just saw someone in a few week ago…

This person had a blog where they wrote about energy, positive mindsets and motivations. They had readers that liked this type of content. So they decided to leverage those readers and put up something to sell in their shop.

They decided to sell editing presets that you can use in Lightroom.

Why?

Probably because they’re good at making presets and they’ve been told to sell what you’re good at. The problem is, that’s not what their audience was used to hearing or learning about from them, so they were not primed to buy that thing.

It would’ve made more sense for this person to sell desktop screensavers with mantras on them, a positive energy cleanse course, a book on essential oils and meditations, etc.

Is what you’re selling in line with what your audience is used to hearing? Fix it.

If You Don't have Time, This isn't Going to Work

This is the biggest and most crucial piece of advice. Woven through every Facebook thread like the one we mentioned earlier is the concept of time. Someone comes in and says something like “Blogging takes time, you have to be consistent and keep at it to get results.” (Which is true) But the person struggling comes back with something like “Yeah, I just started blogging a couple of months ago. I only blog once a week, because I just don’t have time. But if I were making money from it now I’d be able to dedicate more time to it.”

That is not how any of this works.

Your audience won’t come unless you provide value.

They won’t come back unless you provide material and a reason for them to come back.

You won’t be able to make money unless you create something to sell.

You won’t know what to create to sell unless you spend the time engaging with your audience and providing value.

All of that takes time. A whole lotta time.

Blogging is the least “get rich quick” business plan that has ever existed. If that’s what you’re here for, you’re going to be so disappointed.

Here's How to Turn it Around

  1. Create a content calendar

  2. Put out valuable content for the sake of putting out valuable content

  3. Turn your readers into subscribers by offering them something for free

  4. Nurture those readers

  5. Ask them how else you can help them

  6. Create something that takes what you already talk about a step further

  7. Sell it

  8. Do all that again and again.

If you want some accountability and a place to bounce your ideas around then be sure to join our community. It’s free and it’s awesome.

P.S. Earlier we said we’d mention the people who teach about blogging really well. We recommend Melyssa Griffin, XO Sarah, and Mariah Coz.


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