If you’re trying to build a successful blog then you know how hard it can be.
You spend countless hours writing, sacrificing time with your friends and family, giving up the things you love, and for what? The satisfaction of sharing your thoughts and ideas?
That might be the reason you started blogging, but at some point you have to wonder, is this thing ever going to make money?
You know there are blogs out there making money, a lot of money. But why not yours?
Unfortunately, I know exactly how it feels. The frustration and disappointment? I get it. Countless times I thought I was on the brink of making money with my blog only to get knocked down again. What was I doing wrong?
Maybe you doubt the process and you may even doubt yourself — this just isn’t for me.
You might think successful bloggers are just lucky or know something you don’t?
The truth is, your dream of making money as a blogger is within reach. In fact, it may be closer than you think.
Why Most Blogs Don’t Make Money
Most blogs fail to make money because it’s hard and there are few bloggers who know how to do it.
They may know how it’s done but is that the same as knowing how to do it?
I don’t think so. I mean, knowing how a piano is played doesn’t mean you can play it, right?
The same is true for blogging.
There are countless courses that teach the basics — how to build a website and so on. A lot of them are good courses.
What they’re usually not good at though, is teaching you whypeople spend money. And, for you to make money, someone else has to spend it.
This is why many bloggers can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong. If you’re feeling that way too, you’re not alone.
The good news is that it’s nothing you can’t fix.
Not Enough Traffic Is Not The Problem
A common belief among new bloggers is that they could make money if they only had more readers.
Of course, if you have zero traffic, that's definitely a reason you're not making money but traffic can always be bought. There's no lack of traffic.
But when I was starting out, I thought traffic was the problem too.
To prove I was wrong though, another blogger convinced me to buy Ads on Bing so that my “money-making” pages would get traffic.
Guess what happened?
I had a lot of traffic. As much as I was willing to pay for, but just as my friend predicted, my blog did not make money.
As it turned out, traffic wasn’t my problem and it might not be your problem either.
Of course, you can always test it like I did. Spend a little money and send some traffic to your money pages. If it works, problem solved.
If it doesn’t work, keep reading…
Blogging For Money Is Like Driving For Uber
Having your own platform where you can share your thoughts, ideas and opinions is great.
If you’re visually creative, you can spend time choosing a website theme, designing a logo and finding the right colours to match your personality.
Your blog is like a digital home on the internet. A place where visitors can stop by for tea and coffee, admire the decor and hang out for awhile.
Or is it?
If you want to make money with your blog, your website is more like a car than it is a home.
Let me explain…
Pretend for a moment that you’re an Uber driver and a complete stranger is paying money to get into your car.
Why would a stranger do that?
It’s not because they like your car and they want to check it out. They also didn't jump in the backseat to visit, or listen to your ideas and opinions.
They are in your car because they need to get from one point to another and they are paying you to take them there.
It doesn’t matter if your car is fancy or that you make them laugh. That's all good and it certainly makes the experience better. But it's not what they are paying for. They are paying to get from point A to point B in the fastest and safest way possible.
In other words, they have a problem that needs solving (they need to get somewhere) and you and your car are the solution.
Your blog audience is no different. Your readers are coming to your website for a reason which is not to hang out and admire the curtains. They are trying to get from point A to point B.
From problem to solution.
You are the driver (or in this case, the writer) and your blog is the vehicle they're hoping will take them where they want to go, NOT where you want them to go.
A lot of bloggers try to convince their readers to do something they have no interest in doing, like clicking on a specific link or sharing their email in exchange for a free e-book or report.
When their readers don’t do those things though, they get frustrated and wonder why. It’s one of the most common questions bloggers and online marketers ask,
“Why is no one clicking on my links?”
And the answer is actually quite simple. To put it bluntly, they don’t want to.
If you’re giving away a free e-book and no one is downloading it, there’s a good chance they just don’t want it. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.
In the same way you can’t take your Uber rider where YOU want them to go, you can’t convince your blog readers to do what YOU want them to do.
What you can do though, is figure out what they already want and give them that. In other words, get to know your audience.
Do You Really Know Your Audience?
I know what you’re thinking, “I know my niche. I know my audience and I know what they want.”
But if that were true and you were offering them what they want, your blog would be making money and you wouldn’t be reading this. Sometimes we think we know what our audience wants because it’s what we want, but that’s not always true.
Let me give you an example. I’ll use the the make-money-online niche since blogging for money is all about making money online.
You can take two different groups within the make-money-online niche — one searching for a work-at-home job and the other a side hustle. On the surface, they may seem like similar groups of people but dig deeper and you’ll find that they’re very different.
In most cases they probably want the same things. More freedom and independence, to quit the rat race and do what they love.
How different could they be?
As it turns out, they are completely opposite.
Generally speaking, those who would like to work at home want more time. More time with their family, or more time for themselves. They want less stress and a simpler life.
They’ll even take a pay cut to get it.
Those looking for a side hustle though, want the exact opposite. At least for the moment.
They’re willing to add more stress to their life and work more hours, not less. Instead of a pay cut, they want more, and they’re willing to give up time with their family to get it.
So, while beaches and more time with loved ones may be appealing, it’s not what the side hustler wants, at least not today.
And the opposite is true. The Mom who would take a pay cut to work at home and be with her children is not motivated by more. At least not more than she needs to stay at home.
She might want a life of luxury and an exotic car eventually, but it’s not what she wants today.
This is why it’s important to know your audience. The only way you can help them is to understand their motivations and speak their language in a way that proves you know where they want to go and that you’re the best person to get them there.
Making Money With Your Blog Gets Easier When You Know This…
Let’s jump back into your Uber driver role for a moment.
Something magical happens when you drop your passenger off exactly where they want to be dropped off. You get paid!
How much easier is it to do that than to convince them they should go somewhere else? By comparison, it’s effortless.
Now, imagine how much easier it’ll be to make money with your blog when you apply this same principle of giving people what they want. When you get it right, your readers will be searching for the buy button even if it’s not there.
With this knowledge you can see how one person can scale their blog up to six figures or more simply by knowing their audience, while another bangs their head against the wall and earns zilch.
You’ve heard it before — know your audience. But knowing your audience is not something you should do, it’s the ONE THING you must do.
How To Know Your Audience (Better Than They Know Themselves)
Yes, it’s easier to figure out what your readers want than it is to convince them of what they should want. In fact, it’s the only ethical way to approach your audience.
But easier doesn’t mean easy. It still requires work and you can attack it using these three steps.
Step 1 — Ask
Ask your audience what they want. Present them with a survey or engage with them in forums and on social media. If none of this possible for your particular niche, go to step two.
Step 2 — Research
Research your audience. Find out where your traffic is coming from using Google Analytics and sites like Similar Web.
If you’re targeting specific keywords and getting traffic that way, then you already know what your audience is searching for. You can use those same keywords to find forums, blogs comments and social media groups where your audience hangs out.
Pay attention to the comments and conversations going on and although they might not say it directly, you can often interpret what they want and more importantly, why. What is it that keeps them up at night? Why do they do the things they do?
Step 3 — Test
Test your offers. Now that you have a deeper understanding of what motivates your audience, use empathy to create (or find) offers they are more likely to respond to. Use split-tests, testing one offer against another, to see which ones perform the best.
If that doesn’t work, go back to step one and dig deeper because here’s the thing…
Everybody wants something.
The reason your audience found you in the first place is because they were looking for something. It’s your job to figure out what it is.
And, if by chance they are literally reading your blog for fun or “just because”, you may have to rethink what you’re blogging about.
No More Frustration and No More Disappointment
Your dream of being a successful blogger is closer than you think and all those hours you’ve put in are not for nothing.
In fact, you may be just a few small changes away from having your sacrifice pay off. No more frustration and no more disappointment.
Offline and online businesses are making boatloads of money everyday and the one thing they all have in common is they know their customer.
Home Depot doesn’t “TRY” to sell lumber to everyone. They only sell it to people who want it.
A Quick-Lube doesn’t sell oil changes to people without a car and a vegan restaurant doesn’t advertise in hunting magazines.
The truth is, if your blog readers are not doing what YOU want them to do it’s probably because THEY just don’t want to do it.
You just need to figure out what it is they do want.
You can keep struggling to swim upstream or you can go with the flow and turn your blog into a machine that takes your reader from where they already are to where they want to be. And these are changes you can start making today.