Chances are that you started your blog with the intention of making it into a lucrative side hustle or a full-time business. Now you’re wondering why your blog isn’t making money.
Nada. Zilch. Zip.
The reality is, that many new bloggers will not make money blogging in the first year. As a new blogger, you may actually suffer a loss if you are self-hosting your blog.
For those who have been blogging for a while, there may be several factors affecting success.
I’ve been in this situation in the past – going along without a plan to make money blogging. That was my first mistake.
I’ll take you through some of my other mistakes, and how I fixed them. So that you don’t make them as well!
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
Bookmark this post on Pinterest!
10 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money
There are many things that can be the reason why your blog isn’t making money.
One that we won’t get into greatly here is that your niche is so niched down that there’s a very small audience. It’s hard to attract them to your blog. Those that do find it, have barriers to purchasing from affiliate links, your products or services.
Yet even with a small customer base, you can make a niched-down blog a money-maker.
It’s all related to having a positive money mindset, and a desire to work on passive and active streams of income with your blog. There will be things you will maybe need to fix with your site!
In this post, we’ll look at the top errors that many bloggers make that keep them from success!
1. You’re Not Self-Hosted, Limiting Monetization Opportunities
While there are many platforms out there that offer ease of use to start your blog and run it, they do have limitations.
Yes, sites like Squarespace and Groove offer opportunities to sell products and services. However, they aren’t very flexible and limited in options. You’re stuck using whatever they offer.
Sometimes you need a special plugin to be able to sell specific types of content. Perhaps you need to add an integration with another platform. Or you need to greatly scale up your site.
Yet your current platform has limitations that are keeping you from putting in place what you need to monetize your site.
How To Fix It
The best way to do this is with WordPress.org – or in other words, a self-hosted WordPress site. It’s the most powerful content management system for websites, giving you control over how your site functions.
For this, you will need to purchase a hosting package from a hosting provider.
I recommend using a hosting provider that will offer great service from the start and in the long run. That’s why I recommend NameHero. With NameHero you get great speed, excellent customer service, and less time with servers being down!
If you have the budget to invest in a level-up, go for Big Scoots. They’ve been in the business for 20+ years and offer fantastic service, fast servers and tools that will help you build a successful blog.
Whichever one you choose, you’ll be on the path to creating a site that can be easily modified and scaled up to work with your monetization strategies.
| READ: How To Choose The Right Hosting Provider For Your New Blog
2. You’re Missing Key Legal Pages
Another reason you may not be making any money is that you don’t have a key legal page that’s necessary for any blog or website.
If you’re getting turned down for affiliate programs and potential brand partnerships it may be because you don’t have key legal pages, particularly a proper Disclaimer.
And trust me, you want that Disclaimer because you don’t want to be potentially fined by the FTC or sued by a reader for something they misunderstood on your site.
Do things right, and professionally!
Having proper legal pages, that are well-written and cover all key bases, also instills confidence in potential customers about you! The perception you’re creating is that you’re a professional blogger.
You don’t want to know how many times I’ve been asked by new bloggers as to whether a product or service is legitimate, because the site looked unprofessional, particularly the legal parts.
How To Fix It
Not something you created from a free template, or “borrowed” from somebody else (for example, from me – this is a big no-no as anything on my site is copyright, so you don’t want to “lift and copy” my legal pages).
I recommend the legal bundle – all three key templates – from A Self Guru, a lawyer turned blogger, who’s created fully customizable templates that work internationally.
3. You’re Not Speaking To The Right Audience
Another key reason why your blog isn’t making money is that you don’t know your audience!
- Who is your key reader?
- What are their demographics?
- What are their pain points?
- How can you help solve that problem?
If you don’t have a defined audience, how can you sell to them? Selling means understanding your customers.
It goes deeper beyond this into considerations such as do they have the budget to afford your big-ticket coaching package. Or a course that costs more than $100?
If your blog is speaking to many different audiences, it will be difficult to retain them when you start blogging about topics they aren’t interested in. That’s a lost potential customer.
This is why defining your blog niche is so important, right from the start.
When you know who your audience is, you know what kind of content they’re seeking, their problems, and how you can help them.
How To Fix It
Take a moment to look at your branding and your About Me page. Take the time to reassess what the goal of your blog is, who is your audience and how you are helping them.
You may need to pare down all of the content categories to suit your key audience.
Start by updating your About Me page. Use this handy workbook to fine-tune your audience.
| Related: Why It’s Important To Build Your Personal Brand For Your Blog’s Longterm Success
4. Your Niche Is Too Broad
One of the most common problems with blogs is that your niche is too broad.
This can affect how you monetize your site.
If you find readers aren’t sticking around to check out your other blog posts (evidenced by a high bounce rate in your Google Analytics), you’re most likely not connecting with them very well.
How To Fix It
“Niching down” helps you attract readers who have a key problem that you can solve.
Because your niche should be one you are passionate about and very knowledgeable about. You become the expert!
Share your knowledge, and very good tips and advice in your content. Once you’ve achieved the status of a credible niche expert that your readers trust, your chances of converting affiliate links are much greater.
Inquiries for coaching services and purchase of courses and templates improve as you fine-tune what kind of solution you are offering to a specific problem.
Would you trust somebody who has a course on baking tips, and a course on parenting? Probably not.
This is why it’s so important to niche down.
Read about the top lifestyle blog niches and their sub-niches (which you should choose from for your blog niche!).
If you want to do this – learn how to start a lifestyle blog the right way.
| RELATED: Nobody Is Reading My Blog – Key Ways To Fix It
5. Your Content Is Weak
If you’re like me, you can quickly tell when somebody is BS’ing their way through a blog post. They sound weak.
Their tips are shallow and don’t really answer the problem at hand. The post is short or is an obvious lead without much substance, taking the reader to a paid offer.
Maybe the grammar is awful and you’ve got spelling mistakes.
It may be that your personal branding is off: Do you have a tone of voice in your writing that turns people off?
You may have failed to infuse your content with your personality, making it come across as very dry and business-like. (Yawn!) Personal branding is important and it comes through with your blog posts!
In short, one of the reasons why your blog may not be making money is that your content sucks.
Yup, I said it. Your content may suck.
How To Fix It
The good news is that you can update your old blog posts to make them AWESOME.
- Do your research: write accurate information and tips that get results
- Add additional links to relevant resources that help make your content robust in value
- Update your older blog posts to be relevant and up-to-date
- Make it flow easily: the introduction sets the problem and context; the body solves the problem, and the ending summaries the information, and offers additional tips and info that can help your reader
- Keep ads at a minimum!
Consider taking some of your best blog posts and converting them into cornerstone blog posts: long (over 2,500 words) guides and in-depth posts that wow your reader and truly help them. Show your awesomeness!
How To Write Great Blog Posts That Help And Engage Your Readers
How To End A Blog Post To Generate Engagement Or A Conversion
How To Write Affiliate Product Reviews That Convert With Clicks And Sales
6. You’re Relying Solely On Ads
If your only form of monetizing your blog is ads, you’re going to lack so many other opportunities to make money with your blog.
One of the biggest reasons why bloggers fail to make money with their blogs is relying solely on Google Adsense, Mediavine, etc.
Unless you have over 75,000 pageviews a month, you won’t get the more lucrative opportunity with Mediavine.
Your monthly income with Google Adsense with 10,000 pageviews a month is going to be anywhere between $5 and $10 in most cases.
How To Fix It
Diversify your income streams!
If you’re unsure about selling your services such as coaching just yet, consider other passive sources of income:
- Create and sell Canva templates
- Sell printables
- Sell stock photos and videos
- Consider print-on-demand options for physical products
You may want to invest in using a platform such as Podia, which gives you opportunities to create and sell online courses, digital content, webinars, group memberships and coaching services.
Read my review of my experience with Podia and my Confident Blogger Academy & Resource Collection.
| READ MORE: Top Three Ways To Monetize Your New Blog And Start Making Some Serious Money
How To Create And Sell Digital Products With A New Blog
7. You Aren’t Converting With Your Affiliate Links
Another reason why you aren’t making money with your blog is that your affiliate links are “floating” in content. The links aren’t giving the reader the benefit – the solution to the problem they may have.
As a result, the reader isn’t clicking to find out more about the product, and potentially purchase it.
How To Fix It
Here are two examples of how to make affiliate links convert into clicks:
- A great platform for creating courses is Podia.
- My top recommendation for selling courses is Podia because it is a one-stop digital selling platform. You can also sell digital products, membership communities, coaching, services and webinars.
Which of these two gives you more context and a REASON to click?
The second one, of course! There’s the benefit – you can do more than just sell courses. Not to mention, I’m giving it my ”stamp of approval” by saying it’s ”my top recommendation”.
If I’m coming across as credible with my blog and my content, the reader is more likely to take my advice. The ”if she uses it, maybe I should too” thoughts go through their head.
Now, if I really wanted to boost my chances of somebody signing up for Podia, I’d add something like this under the section where I talk about using it as a useful design tool. This link:
| Related: Why Podia Is A Top Digital Selling Platform – My Review
This link will take the reader to my full-length review of Podia. The best type of content with affiliate links is an in-depth product review with the pros and cons included.
But when you aren’t doing a full review, work in as much info as you can that’s helpful in attracting a click!
8. Missing Out On Existing Sources Of Passive Income
Let’s say you have Canva Pro, and you’ve got a kick-ass blog that’s getting traffic. You have a decent list of over 250+ newsletter subscribers.
But you’re sticking to ads and affiliate links.
Did you know that you’re missing out on some extra sources of passive income?
I’ve already covered it briefly above, but this bears a reminder because this is a low-hanging fruit type of monetization opportunity.
How To Fix It
Two words: printables and templates.
With Canva Pro you can create templates and sell them. You can create a multitude of printables and sell those too!
Workbooks, worksheets, planners, etc. The list is long!
First, you need to know the problem you can solve with a template or a printable. Secondly, create it. And finally, sell it!
You can use an inexpensive platform such as SendOwl to easily sell digital files and templates.
Check out this awesome guide to starting selling digital content on SendOwl from my blogger and VA friend, Karen Meder Whitfield. She really does a great job walking you step-by-step on how to set up everything and start selling on Sendowl – easy peasy!
9. You’re Not Selling A Solution To A Problem
You may be selling, but you’re not selling what the reader wants to see! Another reason why your blog isn’t making money is that your sales pages don’t have the right kind of copy.
You aren’t speaking to the reader’s needs – i.e. “I need to solve my XYZ problem and feel XYZ after.”
This goes back to my earlier point about affiliate links: benefits are what sell. What will the outcome be for the reader purchasing your product/service?
How To Fix It
You may need to go back to your sales page and change the flow and the copy. Always start with the problematic context and the desired outcome. “But what if….” is a good way to lead to that desired outcome.
Sales pages should always start with:
- A headline that offers the results – e.g. “How To FINALLY Learn To Dance Like A Pro … In One Afternoon”
- The problem
- The solution
You should include social proof (testimonials), features, and about yourself on your sales page.
Calls-to-action to purchase should include one at the top, one in the middle and the final one at the end.
10. You’re Not Selling Your Services Because Of…
The last reason why your blog isn’t making money is that you’re not willing to sell your services.
Whatever your reason – fear, lack of time, or being unsure of your skills – it’s a missed opportunity. If you’ve been blogging for a while and people are asking you for your advice or help, why haven’t you started?
How To Fix It
If you’ve got a full-time job and don’t think you can spare much time to coach or offer consultations, consider reducing it to only a few slots a month at an hour each.
If you’re blogging full-time, you really have no excuses! It may be you’re dealing with a bit of imposter syndrome. You can overcome it!
The truth is that you probably know more about your niche subject than your reader. It’s time to start sharing that knowledge with others!
Finally, you may think there’s so much to do to start a coaching business or consulting business. Once you get started and set up, it all runs smoothly, especially since there are so many great online coaching and business tools for you to tap into!
Don’t Forget Your Email Newsletter List
For new bloggers, creating an email subscriber list is one of the hardest things to do. It can take a long time to build one! This is why I didn’t include it in my main list of reasons why your blog isn’t making money.
However, using your email newsletter is one of the best ways to monetize your site.
Email subscribers who stick around and like what you’re sharing with them.
They are interested in learning more from you! Through your emails, you’re building a relationship with them (I hope!).
Sharing the occasional personal story, secrets to success and cool tips builds your personal brand.
Leverage your email newsletter to share your recommendations for affiliate products and services. Promote your digital products or services!
It’s the best way to make money in the long run.
Learn how to grow your email subscriber list by sharing fantastic lead magnets your readers will appreciate and willingly subscribe to get them.
| READ MORE: The Top Lead Magnet Ideas For Lifestyle Blogs – Get Inspired!
One Last Tip About Your Links
One of the last reasons why your blog isn’t making money is that you’ve got broken links.
There’s nothing worse than somebody clicking a link and finding it leads to nowhere.
It’s extremely easy to find yourself with broken links – from making changes to a permalink to making some change and all of a sudden, it’s the wrong page or a 404 page popping up.
So, my last recommendation is to check your internal links! Use a tool such as the Broken Link checker plugin (free).
TIP: Activate it and let it run once a month to check for broken links (this is good for SEO too!). When you’re done, deactivate and delete it. It’s a speed hog but it does the job.
So There You Have It… How To Start Making Money With Your Blog
Ready to improve your blog and your strategies so that you can start making money?
Remember, here are the key things you may need to fix to start making money with your blog:
- Go self-hosted with WordPress for the most flexibility
- Have legal pages on your site
- Understand your audience
- Niche down
- Improve your content
- Diversify your streams of income: don’t just rely on ads
- Improve how you use affiliate links
- Tap into low-hanging, passive income opportunities by selling digital products
- Change how you sell: a solution over features
- Start selling your services: coaching, consulting, freelance work
My final tip is to take inspiration from other bloggers. What are the most successful bloggers and solopreneurs doing differently that perhaps you should try?
Maybe you need to invest in blogging tools to help you make more money.
Take a step back and come up with strategies, implement them and test them to see if they work! If they don’t, adjust and try again.
Trust me, you will eventually meet your monetization goals!
A final note – if blogging starts to become a chore, consider these nine other online side-hustles that can make you money.
| READ MORE: The Real Truth About Making Money With A Blog In 2024
QUESTION: How are you making money with your blog right now?