Struggling to make the income you want (and deserve!) with your blog? Don’t miss these blogging dangers to avoid and learn to make more income online!
We all got into blogging for different reasons. Maybe we had a passion we wanted to share with the world. Maybe we love to write. Or maybe we felt driven to build a community and share our knowledge.
But chances are, one of the big reasons we started blogging or have continued to work at it? Because we want to make some money.
After all, if we’re going to work our tails off to get our blogs off the ground, it sure would be nice to get paid for our efforts! While working for free might sound very noble, it is not all that sustainable.
Of course, when it comes to money as a blogger, it’s pretty easy to get frustrated. Sometimes, it feels like every other blogger under the sun is making money off the internet…but for whatever reason, none of that money is flowing our way.
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Believe me, we have ALL been there! Figuring out how to monetize our blogs and make a real income can be tricky. We think, “What are we doing wrong? Why are we working so hard and not seeing other results when other people are out there striking gold without even trying?”
But this is where I’m going to throw you a little tough love, because If you are struggling with those feelings — and banging your head against the wall trying to figure out how to make more money on your blog — there’s probably a reason for it.
Chances are, you’ve entered the Blogger Danger Zone. And not just any Blogger Danger Zone, the Blogger MONEY Danger Zone.
And here’s the thing–when we’re in the money danger zone, we’re working harder instead of smarter. We’re pouring all our time, energy, and resources into the wrong places — and selling ourselves seriously short as a result.
The bad news? There’s not just one money danger zone. There’s a few — three, to be exact. And if we want to make real money with our blogs, we need to avoid those danger zones at all costs.
But there’s good news too! Because once you understand the danger zones, you can also start taking steps to avoid them.
So what are the danger zones? And how can we steer clear of them to start making a sustainable revenue from our blogs?
Danger Zone #1: Chasing Page Views
The first of the blogging danger zones to avoid is chasing page views. We’ve all been there — sitting in front of our computer, refreshing Google Analytics, obsessing over the numbers, and going to any and all lengths to get them just a little bit higher! I call it the “page view game” and, if I’m being honest, it’s a game I’ve played plenty of times.
When we subscribe to the rules of the page view game, our income is entirely dependent on how many page views we get on our blog. If we want to make money, we need traffic. And if we want to make more money, we need more traffic.
But here’s the problem with chasing page views: it’s kind of like that movie “Groundhog Day”. It’s the same thing every day. Wake up. Hustle for page views. Go to sleep. Wake up. Rinse and repeat.
The more time goes on, the harder it becomes to drive those page views. So before we know it, we’re resorting to anything for a quick and easy bump in traffic: over-the-top salacious headlines, endless pinning on Pinterest, writing 15 blog posts a day.
Chasing page views is a short game. We trade quality for quantity and sacrifice real relationships for sheer numbers.
Taking this approach to making money with our blogs is kind of like being a drug addict. We’re so obsessed with getting the “next hit” that we don’t have the time or energy to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s all-consuming.
Chasing page views is a recipe for disaster. Not only is it totally exhausting and a fast ticket to burnout… but driving ourselves into the ground to squeeze a few more pennies out of our ad networks? It’s quite possibly the worst way to monetize our blogs.
I learned this lesson the hard way. Back in 2013, my revenue was almost entirely dependent on ad networks and page views — a whopping 75%. That was the year my blog really started to take off, and I was averaging over 1 million page views per month. For every unique visitor to my blog, I made 3 cents.
Fast forward to 2016. That year, I actually had slightly lower page views, but my monetization strategy was entirely different. I still ran ads, but ad networks only accounted for 3% of my total income. From 75% down to 3% — what a difference! Instead, I started putting my time and energy into other avenues, like products, which accounted for more than 90% of my income.
And guess how much I made per unique visitor in 2016? 45 cents. In case you’re not great at math, that’s an astounding 1,600% increase from 2013 — even with fewer page views.
What I really want to drive home with that story is that the shift in my business happened when I stopped chasing page views and started thinking about the big picture. It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers (“How many people visited my page today?”), but the truth is, those numbers don’t matter nearly as much as we think they do. Once we let go of obsessively chasing page views, we can make a lot more money — and we can make it a lot faster.
Danger Zone #2: Bottom Feeding
The second of the blogging dangers to avoid is Bottom Feeding. Have you ever heard the term “bottom feeder?” Well, a bottom feeder that sneaks around on the bottom of the sea, fighting for the scraps left over by other fish… Even though there’s an entire ocean’s worth of food out there waiting for them.
And guess what? Bottom feeders don’t just exist in the ocean. They also exist in the blogosphere.
In the blogging world, bottom feeders are the people who are barely scraping by, fighting with other bloggers for the scraps while ignoring the fact that the internet is like the ocean, filled with an infinite number of opportunities that are right there for the taking.
If you want to make real money blogging, we need to let go of that bottom-feeder mentality and take advantage of all the opportunities out there that are just waiting for us.
Not sure if you’re a bottom feeder? Here are a few signs to look out for:
Clinging to a Scarcity Mentality
A scarcity mentality tells us that there isn’t enough resources to go around. It makes us believe that there are limits to our success — and if someone else out there is successful, there’s even less success left over for us. We see the world as a pie with only so many slices to go around, so we fight to make sure we get our piece of the pie (and that our slice is bigger than yours).
In blogging, a scarcity mentality translates to the belief that there’s only so many — and so much money — out there to be had. So every time another blogger has a success —they write a killer blog post or release an amazing product — we look at it as money out of our pocket.
But here’s the good news: scarcity is a big, fat lie. The internet is infinite, and the ability to make money on the internet is infinite, too. The fact that there are other bloggers out there is just proof that it’s possible for us, too.
So, if we want to stop being bottom feeders, we need to let go of the scarcity mentality… and embrace an abundance mindset in its place.
What is the abundance mindset? Stephen Covey said it best, “The Abundance Mentality flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.”
When we’re operating from a place of abundance, we know there’s plenty of success, readers, and money to go around. Instead of clinging to what we have, we share freely with the belief that opportunities are infinite… because they are! And once we make that shift, we open ourselves up to the opportunity to make real money.
Want to adopt an abundance mindset? Here are some helpful tips!
Being Afraid to Charge Your Readers
Now, don’t get me wrong — I LOVE giving things away. I’m all about giving away as much value as possible. I’m sure there are people in our audience who have never spent a dime and just benefit from all the free value we put out into the world — and that’s fantastic.
But I’m also not afraid to charge for things. Because the truth is, when we value our own content, other people value it, too.
If we give everything away for free or for really cheap, the message we’re sending to our readers is that our content isn’t worth paying for. Which is definitely not the message we want to send if we want to make money!
People — including our readers — understand that if they want something of real value, they have to pay for it. We don’t expect to just waltz into a bookstore and take the books we want to read without paying for them, do we? Of course not! That’s not the way the world works. If we want something, we pay for it. So why should it be any different on our blogs?
There are lots of reasons we’re afraid to charge our readers. Maybe we’re worried they won’t take us seriously enough to make a purchase. Or maybe we’re worried that charging them for content will take away from our mission of trying to help them.
But guess what? When we get something for free, we don’t value it as much. When we spend our hard-earned money to get something we want, we value it more. We take it more seriously. As a result, we get more out of it. The same is true for our readers. The more they value our products, the more they’ll get out of them — and the more we’ll help them as a result.
Spending Too Much Time and Energy on Low-Hanging Fruit
There are certain “low-hanging fruits” in the blogging world (think freebies from brands or affiliate links that pay pennies). If we’re spending a ton of time on those low-hanging fruits, we’ll never make real money from our blogs.
Wasting our time and energy chasing down a $1 commission from Amazon is not a good use of our time. Neither is spending hours trying to get free products (products that we don’t even necessarily want or need), and then having to write about them or share them on social media.
Even though the low-hanging fruits appear to be easy opportunities to make money, the reality is they’re distracting us from the REAL opportunities to make money. Every time we say yes to grabbing a low-hanging fruit, we’re saying no to developing a strategy that will drive real, significant revenue.
If we want to make real money, we need to stop wasting time on nickel-and-dime stuff and focus on the big picture. [If you need help defining your own big picture–our Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers is a must! Grab yours HERE.]
Did any of those situations sound familiar? If so, you might be in the bottom-feeding danger zone. And it’s time to swim out.
Danger Zone #3: Limiting Beliefs
The last danger zone is also perhaps the most dangerous one: the limiting belief.
A limiting belief is a thought or belief we have about ourselves that holds us back from our full potential. In terms of blogging, it might be the belief that we don’t have anything valuable to add to the space, or that we’re not as talented as another blogger, or we’re not smart enough to be successful. Or maybe it’s the belief that we’ll be rejected if we ask for help or we shouldn’t invest 100% in our blog because of what people might think (What if they laugh? What if they don’t understand?).
Or maybe those limiting beliefs are about money. Maybe we don’t really believe we can make a full-time living off our blog.
Have you ever heard a story about a super successful blogger — one that’s making the kind of money you dream of making — and then heard a little voice in your head that says, “Oh, don’t be silly… YOU could never make that much.”
That voice — the voice that puts a cap on what you’re capable of — is your limiting belief.
But do you know what that voice really is? It’s just a voice. A voice and nothing more. So while we might not be able to stop that voice from chatting away, we can refuse to listen. And once we stop listening to that limiting belief — and recognize that it’s just a voice — it loses its power.
When we stop focusing on our limiting beliefs and instead focus on all the opportunities that are ours for the taking, there’s nothing to stop us from making as much money as we want.
How to Escape the Danger Zones
We all find ourselves in the danger zones at one time or another. So let’s talk about how to escape.
Assess Your Monetization Strategy
The first step of breaking free from the danger zones is identifying where we’re stuck. We can’t change what we can’t see, so we need to take a good, hard look at our monetization strategy and see where we can improve. Are we chasing page views? Are we being a bottom feeder? Are we letting our limiting beliefs hold us back?
Once we know the areas we need to work on, we can get clear on the changes we need to make and adjust our strategy to get out of the danger zone — and into the money zone.
Believe Possibilities Are Infinite
There is an unlimited amount of opportunities to make money with our blogs. But if we don’t believe that in our hearts, those opportunities will pass us by.
Success starts with the right mindset. If we want to make real money with our blogs, we need to start by shifting our mindset and believing — no, knowing — that the possibilities for our success are endless. Because once we let go of our limiting beliefs about how much money we can make or how successful we can be and embrace that the sky is the limit? That’s when the magic happens.
Create New Opportunities for Sustained Revenue
The last step for escaping — and staying out of — the danger zones is creating new opportunities for sustained revenue. We need to create a strategy for our business that will produce results in the long term — not just here and now. We need to focus on creating products and creating value that people will be willing to pay us for. We need to start looking at our blogs as a marathon, not a sprint. When we focus on the big picture, we get big results.
Have you struggled with any of these money danger zones in the past? Let us know in the comments how you were able to escape and move forward!
And if you’re stuck in one of these traps right now, know that you have the power to break free and escape the danger zone. YOU have the power to make real money with your blog. The only thing left to do now is get started!