In this week’s episode of the Extra Paycheck Podcast we’re talking about the reasons why your website isn’t making any money and how to solve this problem.
“Alex, how do I make money with a website within the first week”? “Alex, what kind of blog do I create so it will earn $5,000 by the end of the month”? – I get these questions way too often. There hasn’t been a week in the past 10 years that I didn’t have to explain to someone that making money online takes time.
I needed to get this out of my system in case you just started your blog a few weeks ago and wondering why it hasn’t made money yet. Making money takes time and you need to be patient. I often see new affiliate websites that start earning after 6-12 months. Although this is not a definitive time frame and some people will make their first dollar within a few weeks while others will need a full year – my point is that you shouldn’t freak out if you aren’t successful just yet.
The very first thing we need to talk about is traffic. You might have the most beautiful website out there. You might be selling the most ground breaking product. You might have invested hundreds of hours developing your blog. However if no one comes to your website you won’t make a single penny. So the first question is, are you getting traffic to your website / blog?
If you aren’t getting at least a thousand targeted visitors to your blog (per month) then you should concentrate on that. Please take this number with a grain of salt. I’ve had websites with conversion rates of 10% and others with conversion rate of 0.1%. If 0.1% of your visitors make a purchase, it means 1 customer out of 1,000 visitors, this is why I picked that number. If you are only getting 3 visitors per day then we really cannot and should not draw any conclusions.
Let’s say you are only getting 100 visitors per month. This is why you aren’t making money. You need to figure out why this number is so low.
First thing first, you need to make sure your website is actually indexed in Google. Go to Google and search for your site’s URL by adding site: at the very beginning. Do you see your website come up in the results? If so then we can move on. If not then you need to check your WP settings and maybe your Robots file.
Now that you made sure your website is actually indexed, we need to pay attention to search engine rankings. Google (and other search engines) rank websites depending on many different factors such as backlinks, internal links, content quality and much much much more.
How many articles do you have on your website? How often do you post something new to your blog? Have you tried posting more often? I would suggest to any NEW blog to post at least a few times a week. How long are your articles? Brian Dean from Backlinko and many others have been doing their research and most agree that an optimal blog post length should be around 2,000 words long. This isn’t some magic number that you need to go after but it normally takes about 2,000 words to go in depth on a specific subject. I once wrote a guide to starting a podcast that was 7,500 words. This Wealthy Affiliate review is about 5,000 words long and it ranks well. I know it’s a little overkill but I wanted to make sure I cover every single aspect of starting a podcast and it took that many words to do it properly.
Is your content awesome or mediocre? Simply head back to Google and search for your main keyword phrases. Open the top 10 ranking websites and read through their content. One of the reasons why they’re ranking so well is their content (in most cases). If you want to have a chance of ranking well you need to produce content that’s better than in those top 10 results.
You need to be careful here because it’s extremely hard (sometimes impossible) to outrank the websites on the first page of Google for generic keyword phrases. You need to niche it down a little and think of more specific articles that you can create. Instead of going for “How to train a dog” you might go for “How to potty train a pit-bull”. Because your article is more specific it’ll be easier to create an in-depth article and possibly rank it well.
Does your website load fast enough? Slow websites don’t rank well and users hate slow websites. You can use google’s speed test tool to see if your website loads fast enough and what you can improve to make it faster.
Do you do internal linking? This means linking from your article to other relevant articles on your website. If you scroll up you’ll notice that a few phrases on this very page link to other relevant resources within this blog. This technique helps Google understand your website. This also helps your visitor to find more relevant information without leaving your website.
External links still play a big role when it comes to Search Engine Optimization and you need to be going after those backlinks. If your content is amazing people will link to it. However how can people link to you if they don’t know about your website? Catch 22 right here. You can find relevant websites in your industry and let them know that you have an amazing piece of content that they might be interested to link to. You can also offer to write gust blog posts for them and then link back to your website from there. There are many different link-building techniques and you should research them.
There are many other search engine optimization strategies but these are some of the most important ones.
There is also a possibility of having traffic yet still not making money. What’s up with that?
Most websites that I have seen (that fail to make money) simply aren’t monetized properly. First of all, you shouldn’t be scared to sell on your website. In fact, if people love your content they would be upset if you don’t provide them with a link to the product or service you’re mentioning. I often do that in my blog posts. I also mention that I will earn an affiliate commission if people decide to purchase through my links like in this list of tools for online entrepreneurs.. Once I started adding this disclaimer my revenue increased! People obviously want to be sold to.
Beginners often tend to put up big banners on their websites. Banners are dead though. More and more people use Adblock plugins to not see banners. Others simply learned how to ignore banner ads and never click on them. A simple link in your content looks and feels much better then an ugly banner. Please stop using banners right now and link to products naturally from your content.
I would also highly suggest not playing with pay per click ads or anything of that sort. If you are very lucky, someone might actually click on one of those and you might earn a penny from that (or less). Wouldn’t you rather use that website space to make your website better? Also, unless you have millions of monthly visitors you’ll never make more than a few bucks from such ads. Do affiliate marketing. Sell your own products. Build your list. These are much better options.
Last but not least. Let’s say you have been working on your blog for 6 to 12 months. You have many first page rankings, your content is top notch. You consistently post new content and even see quite a bit of traffic to your site yet no one ever buys anything. This might be a good time to re-think your niche. Maybe the product you’re trying to sell is not actually wanted or needed? Maybe you fell in love with a niche but there just isn’t any money in it? Maybe you’re trying to sell fidget spinners in 2018 without realizing this toy got to it’s peak popularity and then was forgotten by everyone within a month?
It might be hard to realize but sometimes we simply select a niche in which people do not spend any money. I have certainly done it. If that’s your case then you can start thinking of how you can turn that blog into something else and try to promote different kind of products. Or you might decide to simply start from scratch.
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