From time to time we can read about people who quit their stable jobs to become full-time bloggers and now encourage others to do the same. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, so no matter if you want your blog to bring an additional or primary income, the checklist below will help you avoid the most common mistakes.
You can start monetizing your blog from day one, but your first focus should be on quality content, rather than on ad placement. Learn how to effectively interact with your audience and gain their trust and respect before you try to sell. Knowing your readers is an essential element of any marketing strategy. If you don’t understand their needs, you will probably offer them random products they won’t be interested in purchasing. Also, start small e.g. if you don’t have serious traffic, AdSense will create a distraction but won’t bring you a real income.
Ads don’t match the content
Always make sure your ads and affiliate links are relevant to the content. If you rely on the ad networks, you can’t always keep control over the displayed ads. They may not only be ignored by your audience but you risk promoting products and companies that you would never have recommended in real life. Affiliate marketing allows you to maintain full control over your website and carefully select the products according to the needs and interests of your readers.
Too many affiliate links and banners
Your audience comes for a content, not ads. Too many banners will significantly detract from the overall experience. Moreover, people tend to consciously or subconsciously ignore them (it’s called banners blindness). It doesn’t mean that they won’t work but they should be relevant to the content. Don’t promote too many products on the same page – use rotation system or make links look like an integral part of the page.
You sound like a salesman
Even if you use promo materials provided by the advertiser, always try to adapt the tone to your style and audience. People are looking for honest recommendations, not sponsored articles. Don’t be afraid to describe a product with your own words and point out if there is a room for improvement instead of using only superlatives. Don’t lose a personal touch even if you are monetizing your site.
Guiding users towards your goal conversion is essential. Don’t forget about the call-to-action buttons or links. Readers tend to be highly distracted so you should suggest them what to do. However, have in mind that adding too many CTA’s can bring the opposite effect – you will confuse them. Your message should be clear.
Lack of disclosure
Disclosure is not only required by law in some countries but it will help you build up a reputation of a trusted person. It should be clear that you may receive compensation for your review or rating so your readers can decide how much weight to give your endorsement. Check FTC in the US and ASA in the UK for more information and examples.
Lack of disciplines
Hold yourself accountable when working towards a goal. Making a good income from blogging isn’t a myth but the money won’t come overnight. If someone promises, you otherwise, consider it a clickbait or scam. Setting up passive income takes time and it’s easy to get discouraged. You have to be patient, consistent and you need to find your routine. If day-to-day writing isn’t for you, set a target which is more realistic but which will allow you to publish posts on a regular basis.
Remember that blogging is not just about writing. You need to find time to maintain and promote your website and answer comments from your readers. Try various monetization methods to see what works for you. And most of all, engage with your audience and sell them only things you truly endorse.