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I know a lot of people who use their websites to try and generate a cash flow. There isn’t anything wrong with this idea. In fact, I’ve seen many sites that have become cash cows. Unfortunately, many will assume too much from their sites and become frustrated when it’s not making money. Before you keep buying different domains because they “sound” good, take a look at your current site. There may be more going on preventing your success.
Why the Blog Isn’t Making Money
The potential to make money through any given website is very high. However, a lot of people will fail because of varying reasons. Here are 10 of them that may be affecting the ability of your website.
1. Lack of Content
Lack of content is one of the biggest reasons why you may not have the traffic to make money. You can’t develop one or two pages and expected to drive hundreds of people to your site every day. It doesn’t matter how many “good keywords” you find if you don’t have the content to back it all up.
Some bloggers will write three to five posts per day, others will write three to five longer pieces throughout the week. In either case, these website owners focus on developing more content to bring in more people. For instance, what about your audience who may be looking for something other than the one piece you have posted?
Without content, it will be exceedingly difficult to score well in search engines like Google. Sure, you might develop that one perfect review. However, it’s very unlikely that the piece will contribute to making money in any serious degree.
Take into consideration that experts believe that two new websites are created every second around the world. As a result, the competition is extremely high in any given niche. Without content to set you apart, the website or blog could easily be under a large number of competing websites.
People want something to read. They take to the internet in order to find those pieces of content. If you don’t have it available, don’t expect them to visit. To quote a movie, “If you build it, they will come.”
2. Poorly Developed Content
It’s not enough to have a large number of content for people to read. It needs to be developed well. The more professional the appearance, the more likely visitors are going to take you seriously.
Grammar and spelling play a prominent role in attracting and keeping a flow of traffic. You don’t want your visitors thinking too hard about what they just read. Fixing past mistakes may also contribute to improving your future traffic as well.
Making sure you have proper spelling and grammar is important, but you also want it to be easy to read. This often means reducing the use of passive voice as well as increasing the Flesch Reading score of your material. For example, studies show that a 7th grade reading level is ideal for most pieces of content. This means the material is fairly easy to read as a whole.
Shorter sentences and paragraphs can also be influential when it comes to engaging visitors. You want to avoid what experts call a “wall of text.” This is when the page seems to consist of nothing but words from top to bottom. It’s difficult to read and can be overwhelming.
Another aspect to developing content includes the use of headers, bullet points and other means to break up the material. It helps readers find what they’re looking for in less time. The longer a visitor has to sift through information to find the piece he or she is looking for, the more frustrated the individual becomes.
3. Poor Marketing
This is a point that I see in a lot of websites I work on for clients. Poor marketing strategies can easily be part of why a website is not succeeding at making money. If people don’t know you exist, you can’t expect them to visit. Search engines can only do so much to help you succeed.
Although spending money for advertising and marketing can be very beneficial to increase traffic, sometimes the free way can be almost as effective. If you’re short on funds to build a good marketing strategy, things like social media are free to use. If you share your content often, social sites can be helpful in generating interest in your site.
Guest blogging and other forms of external marketing can be of great benefit to the site. It’s all about getting your name out there and being recognized as an expert in your field. As a result, you and your website are more memorable. It’s all about building an online reputation.
4. Lack of Social Engagement
Simply putting posts on social media is not enough to build a high-quality audience. You need to spend time engaging those people as well. For example, reply to comments from others on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Become a part of conversations that relate to your niche.
From the small business to the large corporation, most businesses on the Internet today interact with their customers on social media. This is because of the impact it makes to income. Even someone operating a small blog, like this one, can experience an impact on traffic and revenue by engaging others on social hubs.
This part is about keeping the fans and followers engaged. Because the competition is so high on the Internet, you want people to feel like they are part of the experience. Sharing content may pique their interest, but your engagement will keep them coming back for more.
5. Poorly Placed Ad Banners or Affiliate Links
If you use ad banners or affiliate links to help generate revenue on your site, proper placement is important. I’ve seen too many website owners place these ads in areas that are less than ideal. For instance, near the bottom of the page is a poor placement because less than half of the people visiting your site will see it.
Tools like heat maps will show you what areas of the website are being accessed the most. I use Mouseflow for WordPress. By analyzing how visitors are using your website, you can determine better places to put ads and affiliate links.
You don’t want to saturate the site with ads, either. Your website should never look like the side of a Nascar racer. It makes the page look unprofessional and can distract from your content. There is such a thing as too many ads and affiliates.
6. Lack of Being Competitive
In reality, even a basic blog such as mine has competition. Every person who is not reading this site is reading someone else’s. This means you need to pay attention to what your competition is developing.
You don’t want to copy someone’s website. However, it doesn’t hurt to take a look and take notes as to how he or she is developing the site. The hard part is coming up with a strategy to make your site better. Ask yourself, what can you do to improve your area of the Internet as opposed to the competition?
If you use WordPress, adding something extra could be as easy as installing a new plugin. However, you want to refrain from adding too much. Like ads and affiliates, too many additions can take away from user experience and actually hurt your traffic rather than help.
7. Poor Website Design
Poor designs can be a distraction from the user experience. Color choices, lack of graphics and even the layout may all be part of why your site isn’t making money. What you think of as, “good enough” may be causing the most damage to your potential.
Mobile design is a vastly important aspect to consider. Most templates nowadays are capable of being responsive to smaller displays. However, not all of them look as good as you’d like on a smartphone. Test your site on mobile technology and ensure the pages are aligned perfect for your needs.
8. Lack of Following Current SEO and Tech Trends
Search engine optimization and technology are constantly evolving. You need to pay attention to these aspects if you don’t want your strategies to become quickly obsolete. For instance, keyword stuffing strategies from 2002 will actually cause your website to rank poorly today. It’s all about delivering quality content to visitors.
Knowing more about how SEO works may be very beneficial when developing the website. You don’t necessarily have to become an expert, but keeping your thumb on the pulse of SEO and technology may prevent you from making mistakes.
9. Lack of Understanding Target Audience
A lack of understanding your target audience can also contribute to a lack of making money. If you operate a niche-based blog or website, you need to know what your audience is looking for. This will help you build optimal content to keep their interest.
Using tools like Google Analytics can help you discover what your visitors are finding the most valuable on your site. This is immensely important if you want to continue delivering quality content to those specific individuals.
Data can be helpful when developing future content. It’s the reason I installed a “survey” plugin. I want to know what my visitors would like to see more of on Writer Sanctuary. Once I receive 100 votes, I’ll start modifying the content I create to suit everyone’s interests.
10. Lack of Patience
I know many owners who assume their websites will be an instant success. Unfortunately, it’s rare that such a thing will happen. It takes a degree of patience if you want to see any site making money. For instance, I have been operating a health blog for almost a year now and it doesn’t make much more than a few dollars per month. However, it’s average income is increasing every month.
You can’t go into owning a website with the idea of getting rich quick. Unless you have time to build quality content, a very strong marketing platform, and pay attention to the site on a daily basis, you may not make a lot of money right off the bat. You need to have patience and realize that it could take several years to reach a certain level of making money.
It All Centers Around Effort
I’ve seen too many websites with a high potential of generating traffic fall to the way side. If you don’t put in the effort to build a successful blog or website, making money from it will be far more difficult. You can’t expect a single page of content sitting there for a year to generate a great deal of traffic.
A lot of people are easily confused when it comes to building websites in today’s world. Some center their practices around information that is outdated and no longer valid. If you want to generate income from your website, you need to stay on top of trends. What you learned in the past may not support success today.