Blogging business not taking off the way you’d hoped? There are as many ways to run a blog as there are bloggers, but when it comes to successfully monetizing some things are true across the board. Are you making one of these 5 mistakes?
1. You have unrealistic expectations
Have you considered that maybe your blogging business is working, and you just can’t see it yet/haven’t given it enough time? Just because the money isn’t rolling in doesn’t mean you’re not on the right track. Blogging for money is a long game, are you expecting too much too fast? Sure, there are crazy quick success stories (“I just launched 3 weeks ago and already made my first $1000!) but that is NOT the norm. It’s months baby. Years even.
2. You’re applying yourself inconsistently
Blogging is hard. And it’s a wild emotional roller coaster ride to boot (especially in the beginning!). Those two things add up quickly to equal blogger burnout. Which in turn leads to “taking a break.” Which then causes much hard-fought ground to be lost.
One of the quickest ways to kill your blog’s mojo, and interrupt any momentum it may have had towards finding success, is to work at it inconsistently. Way too many bloggers dive into it full on for a few months, only to stop for awhile, then jump back in, then get distracted and quit again. Then wonder why they aren’t making any money yet. Go slow, or go fast, but go steady.
3. You’re getting distracted, or focusing on the wrong tasks
If you’re blogging for money (vs strictly as a hobby) then you’ve got yourself a business and you need to run your business with a focus on making money. There is no shame in pursuing an income! There are, however, a lot (a LOT) of different things to learn and work on when starting a new blog, and it is all too easy to get distracted by tasks that aren’t absolutely essential. Like re-vamping the color palette on your website, spending hours upon hours on share and follow threads, or going down the research rabbit hole every time a new blogging topic pops up in your Facebook feed. Prioritize your tasks to things that will either earn you money directly (affiliate links, pitching brands for sponsored posts) or that will positively impact your ability to make money (growing traffic, building your email list). Whatever your plan looks like (and you should have a plan) set your priorities and stick to them.
4. You don’t know what you don’t know
There’s also the possibility that you aren’t so much getting distracted from important money-making tasks as you just don’t know what they are. When setting your priorities, do you really know what you should be doing next or are you just guessing? Do you have a monetization strategy that you really understand? Building a successful blog is tough, but if you have no idea what you’re doing it becomes nearly impossible. Do you need to know everything to begin? No, not at all. But knowing what you still need to learn is invaluable. What pieces of the puzzle are you missing? Are there areas of fog or blurriness in your understanding of how to become successful? Do your research, have an open mind, and consider taking a course to help clear things up.
5. Your skills need help
This might be the toughest on the list to hear but here goes: maybe you’re just not that good (yet). Blogging is a skill made up of other skills — writing, photography, graphic design, marketing, sales, business — and success requires a level of mastery over all of them. It could be that you’re doing all the right stuff but some of your skills just aren’t up to par (yet). I keep saying “yet” because it’s really important to remember that these skills can be learned. Don’t give up! Just identify the area(s) of weakness (for example I know I need to up my photography game) and devote yourself to learning and improvement, bit by bit.
Besides all the stuff we hear about how often to pin and what keywords to use and tribes and group boards and blah blah blah, you’re still not going to get very far if your pins are ugly, unattractive, boring or hard-to-read.
I found a blogging course that was a good fit for me. How can you do the same and find the best course to fit your needs? Here are my tips and tricks for weeding through the spam and finding the right course for you.
* This post contains affiliate links and a product that was received for free. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. Updated 4/2021 The Everlast Notebook is for writers who like the feel of writing on paper, but don’t want to give up the convenience that comes with technology. Some writers are old-school and prefer…
So true on all of these! Taking a photography class helped me increase the quality of my blog. And there is so much to learn!
Yes! People tend to underestimate the power of photography in blogging. And there is SO MUCH to learn. Baby steps!
I think I’m easily distracted lol
Me too! I keep starting new projects.
This is great Rigel! I can say for my own experience, 3, 4, and 5 are all big ones. I don’t know what to do next. Then I don’t know how to do it. It can get frustrating. But, like you say, baby steps. One day at a time.
Yep! “Just do the next thing.” Otherwise it’s seriously overwhelming!
Great article. So many people told me that blogging was a piece of cake, especially since I have developed writing skills. I was, of course, skeptical, but did not truly realize how difficult it would be. I struggle daily to attract followers, and spend a lot of time on the technical side. At this point, I still don’t even know what I don’t know and am trying to get my website set up and …
Thanks for a realist perspective.
Great read Rigel, thank you. Makes me have to think a little more about my blog.
All this. Love it.
OMG thank you so much. I definitely needed to hear that. I will try it out asap.
Thanks for your beautiful writeup.
Thanks for the share and an interesting read.
I will hopefully take on many of the good points raised here.
Could you recommend a sample of a writing/blogging career plan, thanks.
I don’t have anything I can recommend off-hand, but that could be a good idea for a post!