They say that when it comes to blogging, content is king. But contrary to popular belief, a talent for writing is not the only thing that you need in order to turn a profit. There’s also the small matter of traffic to consider.
Regardless of how skilled you are at turning words into interesting paragraphs, traffic never has, and never will be, automatically yours. Words are but one ingredient of a popular blog. And when you miss one of those ingredients, it’s very easy to find your talented words going unrewarded.
Here are seven reasons talented writers don’t make it as popular bloggers.
Bad First Impressions
The first rule of turning great content into profitable content is that people actually have to read it. Here are four mistakes well known for making visitors to a blog click the back button before they’ve actually read anything.
- A god awful theme that makes you look like a hack.
- Ad placement chosen for click through rates at the cost of aesthetics.
- Massive blocks of text that make even great content look sloppy.
- An inability to spell coupled with an inability to use a spell checker.
If you’re worried that you might be making one of these mistakes, the answer is in your blogs bounce rate.
The days of “build it and they will come” are well and truly over. If you’re blogging about something even remotely popular, you’re going to have hundreds of competitors. And these days, most of them know basic SEO.
If you’re not optimizing your blog for the search engines, your competitors are going to outrank you. And if you’re not actively marketing your blog, the search engines are your only hope of traffic.
Words are not enough to succeed online, you also need to actually deliver them to your target demographic.
Overly Competitive Niche
If you choose the wrong niche for your blog, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle from day one. Even the best writer in the world is going to struggle to make a profitable blog about car insurance.
If you want to tackle a competitive niche, you need to back up your words with excellent SEO and marketing skills. Without these skills, your perfect posts will be falling on deaf ears.
Regular Disappearing Acts
Next there’s the small matter of consistency. If you want to make money as a blogger, you need repeat readers. After all, it’s repeat readers that trust you when you tell them that they should purchase something.
One of the easiest ways to lose repeat readers is to take regular holidays. It doesn’t matter how great your blog is if you regularly go a month without updating it. Blogging is a job like any other. Regardless of how talented you are, you do actually have to put in the work.
Another easy way to repel potential repeat readers is to fail to identify yourself. What is your blog about? If one week, you’re posting about relationship issues and the next, you’re reviewing a movie that you saw recently, you’re always going to struggle to find an audience.
If you want repeat readers, you need to give people a reason to return. And if visitors to your blog don’t know what to expect next, what reason do they have to return?
You don’t have to please everyone to make it as a blogger but you do need to please somebody. In other words, you can’t write posts that make everybody angry. Here are a few examples of how you can alienate just about every reader to your blog.
- Broken promises: Telling people to expect something and failing to deliver.
- Ruthless product reviews: Giving positive reviews to obviously low quality products.
- Insulting your target demographic: Jokes at the expense of your readers.
The Wrong Monetization Technique
Finally, we have the small matter of monetization. One of the most common reasons that talented bloggers find themselves working for peanuts is that they fail to monetize their blog correctly. The good news is that this happens to be a pretty easy problem to fix.
If your words are good and your traffic is high, you’ve already done the difficult part. There’s more to blog monetization than Adsense. Look into affiliate programs, sponsored posts and banner advertising.
This guest post is by Todd Ramos, an SEO consultant. He uses guest posting to share his knowledge and opinions about blogging and the various SEO tools. His day job is at Todd SEO Guy, an SEO consultancy.