Why Your Blog Will Never Make Money

Written by Zac Johnson
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At least once a week I will get an email from a reader that asks why they can’t make any money with their blog. Usually the link to their blog will be on blogspot, blogger or some other free hosting service. Instead of always answering these emails, I thought it would be more useful to just write a whole post out on it. Make sure you follow these rules if you are attempting to make money with a blog.

What is the purpose of your blog?

What may seem like the dumbest question, is usually what non-profitable blogs lack… a sense of what their blog supposed to be.

Often times when I look at a blog that is struggling to make money, its a jumbled mess. There are posts that range on several different topics, widgets all over the place, non relevant banner ads, social networking links and just way too many distractions. You need to set a clear path for what you want your blog to be. If you want to make a blog about weight loss, stick to strictly weight loss related content. Stick with one topic and don’t make the decision process overwhelming for your reader, otherwise they will just leave.

Are you just another blog long among the millions already out there?

Ten years it cost a decent amount to get setup with your own domain and web hosting. Now you can grab a domain for a few bucks and setup a cheap $3.96 account at HostGator and with the click of a button WordPress will be installed in your server. There is no reason why you should be hosting your domain on blogspot or blogger, or anywhere that you can’t fully manage and customize the look and feel of your blog.

If you want to make a name for yourself and your blog, you need to stand out from the crowd. Get a domain name, start guest posting on other blogs and create great content that people want to share with each other. It’s also very beneficial to create a memorable logo or mascot for your site (hint hint: zac johnson toon). When someone leaves your blog, how will they remember it and what will make them want to come back?

How you can make money with your blog!

Now for the important stuff… how can you actually make money with a blog. As mentioned earlier, the most important task when trying to make money, is to know what you are trying to accomplish. What is the purpose of your blog and how is it going to make you money? Decide if you want to make money just off selling advertising on your blog, pushing affiliate related products or even building a brand and offering consulting services.

I’ve already written a decent amount of posts on how to monetize a blog, and the different methods you can use for revenue generation. Here is a list of the most relevant blog monetization posts.

  • How Top Bloggers Earn Money – An old article, but a good one… featuring the likes of TechCrunch, John Chow, Darren Rowse and more.
  • Six Figure Affiliate Blogging – A free 137 page ebook I created about a year ago, which also include interviews with 25 of the top bloggers and affiliates in the game. 100% free download.

If you currently run your own blog, feel free to post your link in the comments section and write a note about how you first started to monetize your blog.

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37 Replies to “Why Your Blog Will Never Make Money”

  1. Zac,
    I enjoyed the post. I have been struggling to make money with my blog and have often thought about why I struggle.

    I have used my blog for a bunch of different purposes over the years and am now starting to feel like it is taking shape, although I still have a ways to go.

    I am planning on monetizing through affiliate marketing mostly and look to continually improve. Thanks for providing a bit of a roadmap.

    Brandon

  2. Some good points. I have seen time and time again when people are just starting out they're better off going for a very small niche instead of trying to go large at all. If you can focus on a website that is in a micro niche but can expand later is usually the recipe for success.
    My recent post Waterproof iPhone Case from LifeProof

    1. Too many people expect to get rich with blogging, yet it is one of the slowest methods to make money. The problem is people don't know how to keep blogs focused and extremely targeted.

  3. I couldn't agree more with your concept of "standing out from the crowd."

    Time and time again I see business websites that look just like everyone else's. There must be comfort in looking just like everyone else. Some people feel this insane need to look "professional" which is just another way of saying "look the same." How do people ever expect to make the "big bucks" as a blogger (if that is the path they have chosen) by fading into the background noise of the internet by looking just like everyone else?

    Your logo shows personality, and personality in copy is everything!

    Just my 2 cents…

    – Pete Mitchell (A.K.A. The Ultimate Product Launch Mercenary)
    My recent post Get Some Balls… Fire Your Clients!

    1. Another problem is when people buy a wordpress theme, thinking they will know how to fully customize it for their site, then leave it at the default setting. This is also very unfortunate because they spent money on a nice theme, but still blending in with a crowd that had the same problem.

  4. I am just starting my online money making venture with a goal of paying my way through medical school. I am 26, about to have my third kid, and can't justify living off student loans and ending up with $500K in debt when I'm done.

    You'll be able to tell from my site that it's brand new, but It's coming together slowly but surely!

    OneThousandaMonth.com
    My recent post The Best Online Business Blogs Around

  5. You nailed it when you said that most new Bloggers that are trying to make money will put too many banners on their blogs. It's almost as if they think they are creating a shopping center. And, you know what? Three years ago when I first got started, I did the same thing. It takes time to learn!
    My recent post Advantages Of Online Marketing For Offline Businesses

  6. I definitely agree that one must have their own domain to standout. There are tons of wordpress and blogger-based blogs that ended up spammed or closed. And those blogs are for newbies. Take the risk and win big in the blogging biz. 🙂

  7. One of the reason I switched from free blog hosting service is to really make my site look more professional and to advance its monetization.

    I agree to also specify what your blog is talking about. Stick to one niche! I am still having a hard time doing this but I'm on my way.
    My recent post Common Courtesy- Gratitude can give you Peace of mind

  8. Hi Zac great point on the "blogger etc" domains. At a minimum a blogger intending to make money in any way, shape, or form must have their own domain. It isn't all that expensive and there are so many reasons to do it.

    As for monetization I have numerous methods: affiliate offers, my own products and services, and I'm about to have numerous continuity programs based around my content and my products. Most of the monetization isn't on the blog though, it's on my other sites connected to it.
    My recent post The War On Affiliate Marketing Is On – Be Ready

    1. Right, you can easily have your own domain and blog running for less than $75 a year, if not $50 or less. The methods for monetizing a blog is so wide, if one angle doesn't work, you can always try another.

  9. Great resources Zac!

    I'm personally doing a Lifestyle Development Blog and focusing on unique and good content. While monetization isn't the main purpose of my blog, it would definitely be nice to earn a few bucks on it. However with any monetization on blogs, you need to make it tasteful and relevant to your blog.
    My recent post What do you want to do before you die Japan Disaster Special

  10. Hi!
    Packed info Zac, this is my first time visiting your blog and found value info here. Maybe will take a few more days to digest your info here 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    My recent post Amazon Associate Pt 3 – Web Page Success Elements

  11. I will suggest new users to make a research before buying their domain name.
    My recent post 10 Top Best &amp Popular Angry Birds T Shirts Buy Online From HotTopic

    1. The domain name is so important. Don't use your name if it's something you plan on selling. Pick keyword rich domains if you are going after something specific. Always sticks with com net and org.

  12. I have a free blogspot blog that does better than my hostgator or wordpress sites. And its ugly.

  13. After a year of aimless postings, I realized that I am most passionate about helping people to find ways to get affordable prescription medications. I created a list if programs and coupons available for most commonly prescribed drugs. I am now monetizing by promoting a discount prescription card that pays a small fee for each use. I have finally gotten good keywords for search engine optimization, and am promoting through Facebook. Check it out. Everyone needs this.

  14. I have a blog of my own but its more of a personal weblog that showcases my life. It is not supposed to make money at all 🙂 So I'm okay with it not making money. Still this post has got me thinking about what I want to do with a new proposed blog. Thanks for the good tips.

  15. If a blogger is serious to make money online, he should get his own domain name and hosting. From day 1 onwards, he should think like an entrepreneur and view his online venture as business.
    My recent post How to Pay off Credit Card Debts and Start Becoming Truly Rich Book

  16. Wow, this is good timing. I just launched my blog this week and I created a little cartoon guy too. It would be cool to make money off the blog, but I know that would/will take a while to say the least. Thanks for the tips Z.

  17. Although I think it is good to have your own domain name. I can't help but think that using blogger, tumblr, etc would be all that bad. There is a community based around these sites that I find helpful when advertising my blog especially when it comes to commenting on other people's blogs. What are the benefits of having your own domain name and hosting other than just saying that your blog is owned by you. How would you make more money on your own hosted site rather than going with a "blogger" site. I worry that going with a site like Host Gator that I won't have the HTML expertise to personalize my own blog. Do you need HTML knowledge or do they have templates that you can customize just like blogger, tumblr, etc? Also what are your thoughts on selling a product (that has to be shipped) on a blog?

  18. Definitely think branding makes your site stand out.. people usually want to do business with (and buy from) people they like.. you've said it yourself many times that your toon made you stand apart.. develop a consistent theme, build content around that theme, and expect an audience around that niche.. some will like it, some won't.. quality content day in, day out will win
    My recent post Why The Dirt Works

  19. I honestly can't understand why anyone would use blogger? Just the fact that you can't customize it any way you want would make me throw in the hat.
    My recent post Oh Shit- is it Monday already

  20. The information you've give is so clear and easily followed, for newbies this is going to be a great help and hopefully set them in the right direction. Definitely stay away from the free blogging sites, they don't give you any freedom to customize your blog at all.
    Cheers
    Isabel Haynes-Riley
    My recent post Limehits4u What Is A Traffic Exchange

  21. Nice post, ihave learnt my lesson now,hoping to start making money from my blog soon
    My recent post How To Add Favicon To Your WordPress Site

  22. Hello

    thanks for the info. I have just started a weight loss blog as well. However it will be more a portal full of interesting information how to lose weight by living a healthy life. Wish me luck. I have the motivation. Now I only need to make some more time.

    Best regards
    Peter http://weightloss-experts.com

  23. During the past year I've read a lot of eBooks and studied many training courses. All that in addition all the blogs I follow and read, the email lists I've subscribed to. In addition to the free stuff, I've purchased many information products, starting from simple products and up to the month coaching/training programs. Thanks a lot.

    Regards,

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