Back then, some monetized blogs leveraged on unethical SEO practices to be successful. You craft a blog post, add your affiliate link or display an ad, use black hat SEO tools to get traffic, and the earnings come in.
That kind of strategy will work, IF you were monetizing your blog in the early 2000s when search engines were still lax on their ranking rules and regulations.
Monetizing your blog in 2018, however, will require you to exert a bit more effort and creativity since getting quality traffic got trickier plus there are more people competing in the same space.
However, in our hopes of getting more traffic and dominating competition, there are times when we become prone to mistakes that can cause us to lose thousands of dollars worth of earnings.
Sometimes we jump the gun without optimizing our blog for monetization that could drastically affect how much we earn.
This article will shed some light on the top four blog monetization mistakes that most bloggers are prone to. Moreover, this article also shares tips and tricks on how to avoid these mistakes.
1. Not Knowing Your Target Audience
One of the most common mistakes that lead to an underperforming blog is not knowing to whom you’re writing for.
Think of a brand that does not know who their target audience is. Since this brand doesn’t know who the product is for, it will most likely draw a wide set of unrelated consumer personas.
The same goes for your blog. If you write articles covering a vast amount of topics, you’ll also attract a diverse set of visitors.
A varied set of visitors presents a monetization problem. Without identifying a primary audience, you’ll end up using marketing methods that aren’t relevant for everyone.
Imagine this: Your sidebar is displaying an affiliate offer for WordPress themes and plugins while the content the visitor is viewing is a Bali, Indonesia travel guide.
Instead of writing about WordPress OR displaying an affiliate banner from Booking.com for that specific hotel, you end up disconnecting your content from your monetization strategies.
(The Breathing Travel blog connects the content with an appropriate affiliate offer.)
Not knowing your target audience also presents a problem other than monetization. You can also find it difficult to rank on search engines since you’re prone to using different and unrelated keywords to your niche.
Using a diverse set of keywords will give search engines a hard time figuring out the context of your blog and favor more specialized niche blogs instead.
Of course, if you are blogging for pleasure, it’s a different story. Unless your primary goal is to monetize your blog, you’re free to write anything for anyone.
But, if you have monetization in mind and you want to scale it as your blog grows, you have to determine to whom you are writing for.
2. Monetizing Before Growing Traffic
There is no magic number in determining when is the best time to monetize a blog. But, as a rule of thumb, don’t display those ad banners just yet if you just started.
Aside from the ranking repercussions, welcoming your first few visitors with an entourage of ads and offers without having much valuable content can also annoy them and lead them to leave.
When you’re just starting out, your main goal is to increase the number of visitors. One way of increasing your visitors is to make them repeat visitors.
Repeat visitors are awesome because it costs less of your marketing budget to bring them back compared to acquiring a completely new one.
A simple tip to get repeat visitors is to give them the best possible experience when visiting your blog. That means your website is well-designed, loads fast, and has content that is easy to read and digest.
Don’t alienate your first few visitors away by bombarding them with monetization techniques, especially if your blog is relatively new.
3. Too Much Monetization Methods
As Mark Twain said, too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough. Unfortunately, monetization methods are not whiskey.
The Internet provides us a collection of mainstream monetization methods. From affiliate marketing to using AdSense, each method has their pros and cons, but each one can ultimately earn you money.
The common mistake of using too much of these monetization methods is a big blunder. Aside from letting your organic search rankings take a hit, it also bogs down your blog rendering speed.
But, your visitors are the greatest one you can lose. Your visitors clicked on your blog with a goal in mind. If you badger them with too many monetization methods that give no value, they will surely be irritated.
Using a lot of monetization methods can lead to a bad user experience, increase your bounce rate, and even slow your website down.
The latter is especially worrying since websites that load slow would often lose truckloads of traffic and sales. To improve a website’s speed, webmasters can use content delivery networks or CDNs, combine and minify their files, run a compression audit and choose the right hosting (among other things).
4. Too Few Monetization Methods
On the contrary, too few monetization methods can also lead to underperforming earnings because you’re not maximizing your blog’s potential.
A tip to find the best monetization methods that can work for your blog’s niche is to experiment on what method gives you the highest return with the least amount of effort.
Finding a monetization method that fits your niche allows you to focus on the ones that can give you the highest return without sacrificing your visitor’s user experience.
Over to You!
Monetizing your blog is not a zero-sum game, it’s not a hit or miss. You can adjust your strategies accordingly and tailor-fit them to what suits your blog well.
What’s important is you don’t lose focus on your end goal – what you want to achieve by monetizing your blog.
Having your end goal in mind allows you to keep your eyes on the prize so you can keep yourself motivated regardless if your earnings or search engine rankings dip.
What do you think of these four blog monetization mistakes? Did we miss one? Have you ever fell through one of the pitfalls of blog monetization? Head over to social media and tell us!