Is your website not making any money? You’re not alone!
As many of you may know, I’m long term member of wealthy affiliate.
While they mainly focus on creating niche websites, a lot of people also create what could be more accurately described as niche blogs and that’s the route I’ve taken.
So, when I talk about websites in this post, you can also assume I mean blog.
On occasion, other members of the WA community have contacted me on the verge of quitting.
They want to know why they haven’t made any money with their blog or website yet.
Sometimes, they just want feedback in general.
In most cases, even when you tell newbies straight that they won’t be making money for a while & that it takes a lot of work; they don’t always believe it.
By contrast though, sometimes they are working for a very long time without a single sale.
It could have been a year or more and not a whisper of a sale, terrible traffic and zero money made.
Sometimes they may have written hundreds of posts. In these cases, I would certainly not blame anyone for feeling desperate.
When I came online, I was still pretty sure I’d be making a full time income in a few months, *ha ha*…. I do not know why I even thought this, when all evidence was to the contrary.
Sure, some people do make some reasonable money within a few months sometimes and I saw evidence of it – but they also did a lot more work than I did ;).
One thing that can really knock you back, is seeing some blogger way ahead of you…. and realising they’re still a long way from a reasonable income.
I think facts like this can really deter people at the start of the process, because they see how much work may be involved.
I certainly remember seeing some blogs that looked awesome and had tonnes of content and then saw their income report – and see they’re maybe making a couple hundred a month.
But if that’s enough to make you quit, then this probably isn’t the right path for you!
If you look at it from a positive respect and think…. hey, a couple of hundred is on the way there…
OR.. if you consider that if you can make $200 in a month, then surely you could scale that to $2000 a month.
Well, that’s a more positive way of looking at it and will help motivate you.
In any case, when you’re making zero money and you’ve been at it for months, I think it definitely helps to get a fresh pair of eyes on things.
I’ve checked out people’s websites that have been on the verge of quitting and every time I notice some similar issues.
Without a doubt, I can tell pretty quickly what some of the common problems are.
So, I thought it’d be really helpful to outline some of these problems below.
1 – Is it just too soon?
Sometimes it’s just too soon. You may have been “at it,” for the last 12 months, but you only have 40 posts on your website, (or 50… or 60).
Alternatively, you may have been working your butt off for the last 3 months and written tonnes of content, but your content just isn’t ranking high enough yet in the search engines.
(Presuming you are paying attention to SEO).
It’s too soon to be expecting to be making tonnes of money, or any money at all.
You should be focusing on growing and building your site and not even thinking about making money right now.
If you’re in a desperate money situation, you shouldn’t be relying solely on this at this stage.
Plainly, you need some kind of income coming in. Then that pressure is off and you can just concentrate on building your site at the same time.
Make sure you’re financially stable enough that you are not relying on your online income to get by.
2 – Are You Doing Keyword Research Correctly?
Often people will either do their keyword research inaccurately, or they may do it accurately but then they solely rely on the results from a keyword search tool – without checking the SERPS.
Neglecting to check the SERPS, (search engine results page) for your potential keyword, can be a big mistake.
It’s also something I did plenty early on.
Even if you find a keyword with extremely low competition (you think). Just make sure you go and check the first page results when you type the keyword in the search engine.
Often, you will discover the top spots have massively high authority sites that you don’t have much chance of outranking (esp as a new website).
Sometimes these sites may not even have the keyword in their title, but they are such high authority they’ll still outrank tonnes that do.
You can check the domain authority and page authority of posts using the MOZ search bar and it’s free to download.
3 – Is Your Website User Friendly?
When your website has massive chunky blocks of text, or super blurry images, people aren’t going to stick around.
You want to make your content as easy to read as possible.
If your first paragraph looks like the first page of a novel, most people will not read it.
Image wise, although I don’t always have many images, It’s a good idea to at least have a couple within your post, as well as make sure they’re sized and positioned well.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly and looks right on a mobile, sometimes you need to rearrange images and add more paragraphs for your posts to look right.
4 – Are You Using Internal And External Links?
Often when I’m looking at some of the struggling sites, they have limited internal links.
you need to link within your posts to other relevant posts in your site, this gets easier as your site grows.
You also want to link out to other authority sites within your content, (where relevant).
This not only makes your site more user friendly and encourages visitors to browse other pages on your website; it also helps with SEO!
5 – Are You Writing Product Reviews?
Writing product reviews of some sort, can generally fit in within a large number of niches.
Product reviews are one of the easiest ways to get free traffic from Google – if you’re not doing any, or very few, you will find it takes much longer to get traffic, if you’re relying on SEO.
If you’re NOT writing any product reviews, you should instead find lots of additional ways to get your content noticed.
Everyone should focus on this anyway, but for people who struggle with social media – you want to be focusing on some of the best ways you can get organic traffic via SEO.
6 – Are Your Posts Too Short?
Some people have super small posts that they’re trying to rank for, they should be at least 1000-1500 words in most cases, if you want them to rank well.
Additionally, check the SERPS with your chosen keyword and check how many words your competitors are using.
If you’re writing a 1000 word post and the top three results are writing 3000 word posts, you’re going to find it easy to rank.
You want to be trying to improve on the results you can already see in the top positions.
How does your post compare with the top results on page 1?
Check your keyword, check what similar sites have done– can you do better?
Maybe that seems overwhelming if you’re just starting out, but don’t let it worry you, because you can improve massively over time.
Plus, sometimes you will find the content you find isn’t so competitive and it’s easy to improve on.
7 – Are You Just Thinking About Making Money?
Too often I think people are stuck in this money making mentality from the get go.
But if you’re just thinking about making money and not providing enough value, it shows.
You need to look at your site from a potential visitors perspective…
If you stumbled on your own site online, would you hang around, would you be interested, would you trust your site, would it be appealing to you?
If the answers to those questions are NO, you need to take a step back and reassess things.
8 – Are You A Stranger To Your Readers?
It’s a good idea, (in most cases) to put a face to your site.
Some people do well being totally anonymous and that’s OK…
But I certainly feel that being clearly visible on your website, makes your makes it more personable, makes your brand more memorable and people can relate to you more.
It took me a long time to take that on board – I’ve said it plenty on this site, I’m an introvert and I do not enjoy the limelight.
Nevertheless, I think being approachable is important. Be yourself and be authentic.
9 – Is Your Website…. Ugly?
Yep, it’s a bit harsh, but a question worth asking.
Some very simple or ugly looking websites do incredibly well.
But if you’re not very good at graphics, going down the simple route might be a better way to go, (or get some help).
I’m crap at graphics to be honest, but I use stencil or Canva – which makes things simple.
I’ve seen some websites go down a garish route, with the website all different neon colours and giant Ads everywhere.
Sometimes less is definitely more.
If your website is a direct road to sensory overload city, your visitor is probably going to want to get out of there fast.
10 – How Is Your Traffic?
Another big reason for not making any money is an obvious one. You don’t have enough traffic.
If you’re sailing along at 30 visits a day and wondering why you’re not making money, there’s a clear answer for you.
If you’ve been at this a year primarily using SEO and your traffic isn’t on the increase – they again, you’re going to want to look at your keywords and where you’re ranking.
You may find you’re not ranking for those keywords you targeted, due to the problem I mentioned earlier, (the competition being too high in the SERPS).
Or, it could be that you don’t have enough content yet in any case.
Websites will build up their organic traffic at all different sorts of rates, if you’re not seeing a gradual increase, thinking about ways you can diversify your traffic could be a good step.
11 – Where Are Your “Calls To Action?”
So, you may be getting some traffic, your keyword research is good, you’ve got a good deal of quality posts mounting up…
But your visitors have no idea what do do when they’re there!
You may have done a product review, but there’s no clear link to the product at the end.
Maybe there is a vague link within the content somewhere, but nothing obvious.
People online cannot be bothered to try and pick apart your content trying to find links.
They’ve come to read about something…they want to go and find out where they can learn more or buy it, so show them. Clearly.
You don’t need a massive button flashing, but just some clear highlighted text in well positioned locations.
For example, at the end of your review and also, near the start.
If you’re more of a niche site or review site, there are also plugins you can get with attractive looking buttons, if you like.
A call to action, (CTA) doesn’t have to be for someone to buy something – it may be just to direct people to more information, or to sign up to your email list.
But building long term readers and subscribers, is also vital for generating an income in the long term.
This post from hubspot shares some good ideas on CTA’s.
12 – Are You Creating Enough Content?
This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen plenty of evidence to the contrary.
I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve seen people complain about being so frustrated that they’re not making money…
Then I see that their blog is only a couple of months old, with a handful of posts.
I know that it can be very difficult to stick to a schedule – and often, writing may not come naturally to people.
Stuff gets in the way, computers crash, (yep, I’m waiting on a new one myself), you have a full time job, you have family and kids…
But you should have a content goal for the month.
Personally, I aim for three to four posts a week to this site – sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more.
It’s a good idea to get yourself organised and work out what posts you’re going to be writing for the next week, fortnight, or month.
Recently, I discovered batch blogging and that really helped to focus me on specific tasks and increase the amount of work I could produce in less time.
So, those are just 12 questions you should ask yourself, if you’re not making money with your website.
Think about everything carefully before you ever even consider giving up!
If you think about this as a long-term plan, it will ease your frustration.
The reason many people will never make money online, is because they quit before they’ve made any.
A majority of people will quit – because, it’s not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
So, if you’re determined, you keep learning and you keep finding ways to motivate yourself – you can and will profit from your website.
Remember though, if what you’re doing isn’t working, try venturing out and trying new things. Don’t get stuck in a rut!
If you’d like to learn how to make money with your website and you’re feeling a bit lost…
Have you made your first sale online yet? What has been the most difficult part for you? Let me know in the comments below!