When I decided to turn my hand to making money from blogging, I thought it would be straight forward. I’ve read thousands of different blogs and I’ve built countless websites in the past but there were a few things I didn’t think about before I jumped into it.
Six Reasons I Failed at Making Money from Blogging
- I didn’t know enough about my subject
Self balancing scooters or hoverboards as they have become more widely known, were starting to become popular. I’d seen a couple in some big cities and I was interested in them. I searched the web and noticed there was very little information around.
‘Aha!’, I thought, I’ve found a niche. I quickly registered a domain name ‘selfbalancingscooters.info’ and started writing. The problem was I had very little information around me to source from. I didn’t have the inclination to do my own research (more on this later), nor did I own a hoverboard. So I ended up writing boring content.
Tip: It’s crucial you have something interesting to add to the party. No one is interested in uninformative rubbish!
2. I didn’t have a passion for the blog.
I didn’t own a hoverboard and I had no intention of owning one. In fact I thought they looked pretty silly. I was a little curious at first, but that was it! I just couldn’t get excited about them.
This made writing a chore. I got so bored trawling through news articles hoping to find enough content to write a half decent post that I became completely disinterested.
I went from a new post every other day or so, to one a week and from there on it drifted. By the time the main stream media were talking all the time about hoverboards, my brain had taught itself to tun out at their very mention!
Tip: Write about something that you are really passionate about, otherwise you’ll soon become so bored you’ll hate it.
3. Outsourcing blog writing is a difficult business.
I’ve read so much over the years about the benefits of outsourcing. So it seemed to make sense to get others to write this blog for me.
What could go wrong? I pay them to write the blogs, I upload the content and collect my pay per click earnings forever after.
Here’s what went wrong – As I said earlier, there wasn’t much information online. I paid three different writers to research set subjects and write posts for me. Each one came back with posts that were padded out and often just rewrites of recent news articles.
It wasn’t cheap either!
Tip: If you are going to outsource blog posts, use writers who have:
- An in depth knowledge of your subject (or be prepared to have that knowledge on hand to give to them)
- A good portfolio of work that you can read before hand
- A good command of the language they are writing in – Sometimes you can spend more time correcting a reworking a piece than it would take to write it yourself.
4. The topic I was writing about wasn’t very valuable.
When I saw how little was being written about hoverboards, I thought it meant I could corner the market and collect loads of pay per click revenue. What I did’t realise was that no one was writing about them because there was very little money to be made from it.
Here is how pay per click advertising works:
Advertisers bid for space on websites – If the subject of the advert is popular, they are up against more people and therefore bid more.
However if it is a niche with little interest adverts are significantly cheaper.
Self balancing scooters fell into the second category.
To give you an idea of the difference in costs, this table shows suggested bids in the UK for certain keywords:
|Keyword||Suggested Bid (Pound Sterling)|
|Self Balancing Scooter||£0.55|
|Debt Consolidation Loans||£10.66|
The last two are extreme’s showing the kind of money advertisers are willing to pay for one click! Don’t forget you don’t get all this money, the advertising provider takes a cut from this.
In short I was writing about a low value topic with very few users reading. It would have been highly unlikely I’d have ever made my money back on this venture!
Tip: Do you research – If your investing in a blog and it’s not because you just like writing about it, make sure it is worth your while.
Google’s adwords keyword research tool is a good place to start. It will give you value’s for the keywords you are going to be blogging about.
5. I didn’t have a plan
I wanted to make money from this blog, that makes it a business venture. I didn’t treat it like I would any other business!
- I didn’t set a budget for the project
- I didn’t set up any social media (until much later)
- I didn’t research the topic in depth
- I spent money on things that ended up being a waste of time
- I didn’t create a brand to use
Take the blog you are reading now – it’s a hobby, I don’t have a plan on monetising it. I write it because I enjoy the things I write about.
But my hoverboard blog was purely a business venture and I treated it as a hobby.
Tip: Treat a blog you plan to monetise like a business, before you start spending money write down a comprehensive plan of your aims and goals. Make sure you play the long game – it’s unlikely it will make you a millionaire overnight. Making money from blogging either requires years and years of hardwork or heavy investment.
6. I didn’t invest in the blog
Okay so I spent some money on the blog – probably £150 overall (including domain name, some social media promotion and some blog writing). But I didn’t invest.
I didn’t invest the kind of money I should have done if I wanted the returns I was hoping for (probably for the best if you see reason number four!). But I also didn’t invest emotionally, I didn’t get behind the blog completely. In fact I was a little bit ashamed of it and kept it secret.
Tip: Be prepared to invest time, money and emotion into your blog. If you don’t you won’t see the returns you are hoping for and will probably end up wasting a lot of time (believe me… I did!)
Making Money From Blogging isn’t Easy but it is Rewarding
I made under £5 from this blog (in revenue, I probably lost £150 in total), but every time I saw a few pence roll in it was massively rewarding. There is a satisfaction in knowing something you have written has the potential to make you money over and over again.
Don’t be give up if you really want to make money from blogging. Just make sure you go the smart way about it!
For those that are interested
I deleted the blog a few weeks ago. The content was trash (as you’ve probably worked out) and I knowing it was there annoyed me! I wish I’d take a few screenshots now so I could have shared it on this post.