How to Make Money Blogging: Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

How to Make Money Blogging: Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

What’s the only thing better than dreaming about a profitable blog?

Actually having a profitable blog.

The question is how to make that happen.

I was the hardest working, dirt-poor blogger out there. I hustled. I put in tons of hours. But I still didn’t make any money with my blog site.

I thought I wasn’t cut out to run my own gig. I assumed my ideas were bad. I wondered if the economy just wasn’t ready for me. Maybe I just needed to get motivated.

To tell you the truth, I secretly wished that somebody would have yelled, “STOP! You’re doing it wrong. Here’s what’ll actually work…”

Looking back, I can see clues that told me I wasn’t getting results. But at the time, I didn’t recognize the clues at all.

It wasn’t my motivation that needed a facelift.

My monetization strategy needed a complete overhaul.

And guess what?

After I connected a few dots, things started turning around for me. My blog finally started making some money.

If you’re not turning a profit with your blog, don’t give up yet — you’re about to connect a few dots of your own.

I know you’ll get it because I started out as a newbie beginner who didn’t turn a profit for nearly five years. But I managed to write a book and build a tidy income through sales on my website.

Here are a few signs that yell STOP! to warn you that it’s time to wake up and monetize the right way.

1. There’s no evidence you’re open for business

When I got serious about monetizing, I knew it was important to build my lead list, grow my traffic, and click with my followers. But I got comfortable giving myself permission to delay selling.

Worse yet, my audience got comfortable with me not selling to them.

I told myself that I was on the path to monetizing. But once I had the subscribers and the traffic and the relationships, I didn’t have a clue what to do with them.

The bottom line is pretty simple: you only monetize once you sell something. Creating your art and building a following are essential. But you won’t make money until you ask people to buy from you.

As a beginner, monetizing is all about making your first sale, not your first million. And you can make your first sale long before you get 10,000 visitors a day.

So when’s the best time to sell? Start early.

Not on your first day. Give yourself some time to build your website, list, and traffic.

But ease in after you’ve got a few hundred followers. Don’t wait for a few thousand.

Even though you’re a beginner, put something out there for purchase. Open up shop and start monetizing like a business.

2. You’re scraping your savings to take one more class

I had a client who wondered if $10,000 was too much to spend on a certification course. Before she even started coaching, she considered spending nearly the price of a car on a how-to course.

If you’re trying to make money with your blog by breaking your own bank, stop where you are and change course.

It’s easy to get seduced by the guarantee of a quick payoff. But you don’t need to know how to make six figures until you’ve learned how to make your first $1000.

Investing in expensive courses may be feasible at some point. But when you’re starting out, invest your time in what will get you paid. Stay real about where your money’s going.

make money blogging

3. You’re hiding at the back of the class with your hand up

Ever indulge in that sparkling fantasy where the only thing your blog needs is to get discovered by the right celebrity who will promote you into fame and fortune? We’ve all been there, right?

It’s like sitting in the back of the class, throwing up your hand and begging, “Pick me! Pick me!”

This one took me a while to finally get some perspective on. After years of kissing up to untouchable bloggers, I realized that there’s a difference between networking and leeching.

Networking involves showing up ready to serve. Leeching means you’re just waiting around for favors.

If your monetization strategy consists of hanging around influencers waiting for your big break, stop. You’re only keeping yourself stuck at the poverty line, looking for approval.

Even as a beginner, you’re capable of creating your own financial freedom with your blog. You don’t need others to greenlight you for success.

Network with the intent to give more than you get. Focus on delivering value that your audience wants to pay for.

4. You’re building your platform on a rented lot

I’ve got a dark little secret. I used to compare my social media followers with Michael Hyatt’s.

I was convinced that if only I posted multiple times a day and used all the right hashtags that I could get a few hundred thousand followers too. Not to mention all the likes and shares that would prove my content was spectacular.

I fell short of matching Hyatt’s social following as an acclaimed author and speaker. But more importantly, I failed to foresee upcoming trends that would change my relationship with social media completely.

When Twitter decided to change accessibility of tweet counts, bloggers saw a dramatic dip in their social proof. Overnight, I lost 50 percent of my share counts. Why did Twitter stop providing access to tweet counts? The short answer is because it’s their platform. Because they can.

If the bulk of your monetizing efforts are on social media, you’re building your business on a rented lot that you don’t even pay for. The owners always get to make the rules. Not the tenants.

Monetize on your own lot. Your website, your content, all the email addresses your leads have given you — it’s all yours. That’s where you get to make the rules for how you want to monetize.

Start building your income

It’s no secret that once you start to monetize your blog, some strategies work better than others.

Think hard about solutions that will work for you. Nobody wants to waste time and lose money on the way to growing your income.

You could always keep doing what you’re used to and wait for prosperity to find you. Or, you could use the solutions that bring you results and finally make your first sale.

What approach made the biggest difference for you when you first set out to monetize?

Filed Under: Blogging

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35 comments

  • Solidworks says:

    Great post..thanks for the article..i love this…!!

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment.

      • Elana says:

        There was a sentence that said it’s better to wait until you have a few hundred followers… Does that mean that you should not try to monetize if you only have 11 followers followers

  • JazzFeathers says:

    Great article. It seems to me as if we shoudl strive to creat our own trength as bloggers. Which is a time- and energy-consuming job. Maybe this is why we always try to find shortcuts. But over and over again, I see that shortcuts all have their shortcomings too.

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Anne Bechard says:

      So true. It’s not always possible to shortcut your way to success, but it sure makes a difference if you try what works. Thanks for your comment!

  • joseph says:

    Great article

  • Shubha das says:

    Really it is a great article. Most of the newbie make this mistake.
    And, also I did some mistake when I start blogging.
    Thanks for this great article

  • Katie says:

    Thank you for this post it is truly educational. I’m a newbie blogger so this really helps. I just have to figure out what I can sell.

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Glad it helped, Katie! Figuring out what to sell can seem really hard at first. Talk to the people who read your blog. Ask them what they want to learn. Selling what you know leaves a lot of possibilities. Here’s to starting simple and sharing it!

  • AArti says:

    Thank you for your article post.Thanks Again. Really Cool….

  • Ramesh Kumar sharma says:

    Hey Anne,

    I was looking for blogging tips and found this page, I really kike it, especially your writing style is unique and helps me learn some new English words.

    PS: I think I visited your site earlier too.

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Glad you found me, Ramesh! High fives for reading and learning from informative blogs. Thanks for your comment — hope to see more of them!

  • Joan @ Late Bloomer Moms says:

    Thanks for this, Anne. My blog is still fairly new, but I’ve been steadily adding to my email list. It’s true, if we depend too much on social media it can all get taken away. So, even though I wish my FB fan page was larger, I know that my email list is more important because, as you emphasized on here, it’s mine. So I am trying not to worry too much about the small # on my social media channels. Especially since posts rarely get seen and “expire” so fast on them anyway (FB, Twitter).

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Very good point, Joan! When it comes to engaging people who are truly interested in what you do and the stuff you sell, email wins hands-down. Social media is great to keep your personal flare alive, but I wouldn’t throw all my eggs in that basket. Great insight!

  • Frances Caballo says:

    I like your term “rented lot.” I always warn authors about using Blogger and WordPress.com. Anyway, I think I’ll use that term when talking with authors. It’s a great one. BTW: Great advice in this post.

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Hi Frances! Are you referring to owning your own hosting? That can certainly make a difference. Glad you found my post helpful!

  • Audra Campbell says:

    Enlightening. It makes me want to start ASAP but I first need to have my few hundred followers as you mentioned,

  • Anne Bechard says:

    Keep writing, Audra! And publish on blogs and digital platforms where your audience is hanging out. Growing an audience is a fine art, and one of the keys is to go where your audience is. All the best with it!

  • Miouo says:

    Hi Anne! Newbie Blogger here! ^_^
    Actually I have had personal blogs since 2004, but this May began the search to find out the most effective and efficient ways to have a monetized blog. I think right now my biggest hurdle is self promotion. I’ve been reading a lot but I haven’t bit the bullet and launched a self-hosted sit (or even shared hosting). I’m trying to skip as many pitfalls as I can, hence my interest in this article! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • Miouo says:

      Speaking of my biggest hurdle, looks like this site has an answer! ^_^
      http://ilblogdellorco.info/marketing-strategies-for-writers/

    • Anne Bechard says:

      Huge props for following your dream to write, Miouo! You’re right on track about getting more efficient at self promotion so you can be effective at monetizing. The Write Life Blog has got some super helpful tips for doing just that. I love the article you shared here! Keeping what’s working and dropping what’s not is a key strategy that can take some time to master. Recently, I got so taken with that concept that I wrote a whole book about it. http://bit.ly/1Wgx0Ty All the best for what’s next, Miouo!

  • khalid says:

    Got the post amazing for rookies….
    Carry it on….

  • Diane says:

    Great article Anne.

    You make an excellent point regarding setting up shop on a rented lot – having sold on eBay for many years, I’ve seen what can happen when the owner changes the rules. And, it’s not pretty!

    Now’s the time to get a product off the drawing board and onto the blog. Thanks for the push!

  • Poonam Singh says:

    such a helpful article. thank you Anne.

  • Andrea says:

    This is very good information. Thanks for sharing. I’m starting to building my website now!

  • Amanda V. Ramos says:

    Love the article! So I have started to do my research on beginning my own blog. With this in mind, when it comes to monetizing, what all would one sell? I’m pretty sure this could be a wide range of ideas but could you throw out a couple of ideas or examples for me?

  • Suertz says:

    This is possibly the best thing I’ve read all week. Besides being super easy and refreshing to read, it has so much truth to it.I will be living your lessons on monetization. Thank you.

  • panneer says:

    Thanks for sharing great article.Very useful information for bloggers.

  • Ashri Mishra says:

    I read your blog. It’s very useful for me.

  • Victoria Iverson says:

    hello,
    great article, i am going to start my blogging site, so this article really help me.
    thanks for sharing it.

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