Why Blogs Don’t Make Money – The Design Issue

Is It Really So Hard

F rom the hundreds of emails I get every month there are specific 10-20 emails from Bloggers who are struggling to make money from their Blogs. Most of these queries are about Traffic Conversion, Sales, Affiliate Income or AD Revenue, and almost all those emails come with a common request – Please visit my Blog and suggest me “What to do?” With my upcoming websites and education platforms, I don’t have much time. But problem solving is something I love and it really takes over me.  Every time I get such emails, I keep everything aside and curiously visit their Blogs to find the reason for their pain. 90% of them have good content and are doing everything right. Still they are struggling with low revenues or conversion.

99% of Low Revenue Cases are due to Bad Advice, Bad Decisions or Bad Design.

Most Popular Advice SUCKS and will not take you Anywhere.

People enter into Blogging due for several reasons. Some of them just love sharing their stories and aren’t much bothered about conversion, money etc., but a larger number of Bloggers  get into Blogging after reading how XYZ made millions or how I live a laptop lifestyle or travel the world.

IT’S THEIR BUSINESS TO MAKE YOU DREAM.

dream_money_blogging

Most of these so-called Experts showcase highly inflated income statements with Big Money and promises of a Laptop lifestyle with Blogging. They show a very simple picture about achieving results or making money.

Most popular advice to make money with Blogging.

  • Buy A Domain and Hosting
  • Create A WordPress Blog
  • Add a free Theme and some plugins
  • Create Content, place Adsense Ads and insert some Affiliate Links
  • Wait for the traffic and Create more content.
  • Make money

Things don’t work this simple. The format isn’t wrong but it’s not complete either. There’s more to it.

TOP REASON WHY THEY DON’T MAKE GOOD MONEY

  • REASON 1. – RELYING ONLY ON AD REVENUES

    Yes! You can make money by placing ADs on your Blog. But if that’s the only way you want to make good money,  you will need lots of traffic. With lots of traffic – I mean more than 10K page views a day. To achieve
    this kind of traffic goal you’ll need to create lots of quality content and precise Ad placement (so as not to annoy the visitors). The better way is to create a mix of Advertising and Affiliate links. Ad’s can be annoying and most top Bloggers would prefer no Ad’s other than some sponsored ones on their Blog. For newbies who are just starting, I always advise going for a mix. If possible start with a Product – an ebook or a course. Having a product greatly enhances your Domain Authority. Starting with a product directly places you within the top in the niche in view of the Audience.

     

  • REASON 2. – NICHE TO REVENUE MODEL MISCONNECT

    minimalist-bakerThis very common. The only way to rectify this is to understand your niche. create micro-niche within those and create a revenue model around that. The best way is to start the thought process is to visit some of the top competitors and understand their revenue models. A good example of selecting a niche, developing a Microniche and connecting revenue models is Minimalist Baker. The Blog is a food Blog but they have created a revenue model around food photography and creating Food Blogs.

     

  • REASON 3. – FOCUSSING JUST ON CONTENT

    This may bring you traffic, but doesn’t mean great revenues.  If you’ve done the above two right and still not making good money – then Work on your Blogs design. The Design is very important when it comes to revenue. The way you showcase your content and convert it to revenue is greatly complimented by design and features.


     

    In this post lets dig deeper into the design issue and I’ll show you how to get a premium custom designed looking Blog that enhances your content visibility and revenues.

     

DESIGN V/S CONTENT – THE FACTORS OF SUCCESS

The “Content is King” notion isn’t completely wrong. But it is not complete in itself if you wish to be successful, make money, and be loved by your audience. Content is King when it reaches the right Audience and is appreciated with social shares, email subscriptions, and product sales. And all these happen when you showcase your content in a presentable engrossing format. You can verify this fact with a simple search in your niche – The top earning Blogs are the Best Designed ones.web_blog_design

Other than showcasing the content, it is also important how you place Advertisements or no Ads at all. Where, How and when do your email opt-ins appear. How are your Call To Actions designed, where are they placed, or How you showcase your products, Whats you Domain Name, etc. etc. This list can go on and on ….and getting everything right is not quite possible to a single person. But getting the most number of things right is a factor that decides your success. Most so called experts don’t show this complete picture, which is the bare essential for success. Looking at the above requirements may be very discouraging for most newcomers.  who plan to make it big and were sold to the popular Blogging advice.

Most so called experts don’t show this complete picture and at first instance may be very discouraging for most newcomers.  who plan to make it big and were sold to the popular Blogging advice. But there are simple ways to achieve this.

HOW TO GET ALL THE PIECES IN THE RIGHT

Whenever I reply with suggestions about design and other aspects to fellow Bloggers I get these typical questions in reply.

  • I don’t know how to do it? I’m not a Technical person or Geek.
  • I’ll switch to a better design after making some money.
  • Will I Need To Hire A Professional Web Designer or Internet Marketing Pro?
  • How can I get all the pieces right?

Blogging is like a big jigsaw puzzle and getting the right piece in the right place crucial. There is no sure way of getting all the aspects right in one go and lot depends on your audience. But you can set most of them using the right themes, plugins and scripts.blog_investment

Business Needs Investment

If you wish to succeed as a professional Blogger and benefit monetarily, you will have to treat it as a Business. And Businesses don’t work on Freebies. Most newcomers rely on popular advice and think they can get to the heights with almost no financial investment(other than domain and hosting ). They install a free theme, go for free plugins and wish to make it big with almost zero financial investment. That’s bound to fail if you aren’t a geek with lots of coding knowledge and are going to invest your time in customization.

HOW MUCH FINANCIAL INVESTMENT IS NEEDED.

When I say investment most people will run away at the thought of investing some money. And it’s good for them. If you cannot invest a few hundred dollars on a venture you wish to make big in – it’s better you quit. Creating a Pro Blog doesn’t mean you have to invest thousand of dollars. This can be achieved in almost a Hundred or two Hundred Dollars. Yes! You can invest more if you wish, but a $200 investment is enough to create a premium looking blog. It is imporatnt what you spend on than how much you spend. A premium look  will automatically enhance your Domain Athority showing your commitment towards the Blog.  A premium design makes your Blog  stand out from the competition and also shows your commitment towards the Blog and its Audience. It also increases conversion, slaes and clicks due to the more authentic look than a hastily designed shabby Blog which looks cheap.

AUDIENCES CONNECT SHABBY DESIGN TO CHEAP TRICKS, SPAM AND FRAUDSTERS.

A premium designed Website or Blog, unconsciously gives the feeling that you care for the Audience experience. Another important aspect is Traffic and Conversion – a premium professional design shows your commitment towards the Blog and works to add some points to your Domain Authority.

 ADVANTAGES OF A PREMIUM DESIGNED BLOG OR WEBSITE

  1. More Domain Authority
  2. Better content showcasing – increasing the value of you content.
  3. A quality experience for your Audience – which means repeat visitors
  4. Authentic Look enhances Conversion and Sales.
  5. Better Advertising revenues due to better Ad placement options
  6. More subscribers – which again translates to better opportunity to upsell.

HOW TO GO ABOUT? GETTING YOUR PRIORITIES CLEAR.

The first thing is the Domain Name and Hosting. Go for a .com Domain Name and a quality hosting provider. I always work through the Four R’s of Selecting a Domain Name, this has never gone wrong. The second important thing is to Host on a quality hosting provider. Also buy a SSL certificate if you plan to launch and sell a product in the longer term. Having a SSL enabled website (with a https:// address in the address bar) itself is great thing for enhancing your Blogs authenticity and Authority. It will even help you in search rankings as Google as well as other search engines prefer secure websites to rank higher than the unsecured ones. Neil Patel from QuickSprout has this excellent article about Switching to SSL and its Benefits The Ultimate guide to Hostiing Plan and Servicescan help you in deciding on the hosting provider, plans and which SSL can be bought.

Before you decide to spend your money on anything else, set your goals and priorities. Create a list of enhancements you wish your Blog should have. The best way to do this is to visit some of the Top Blogs in your niche. Have a look at their design, social sharing widgets, social counters, mail optins, call to action designs etc. Create a list of what you wish you Blog should also have. Add any features you want to offer or your product or niche requires – example – Forums, Live support, Ecourse, Product List enhancements or Shopping add-ons and anything you wish your website should have. With this list at your hand – you can then decide on priorities.

WHERE TO LOOK FOR AND HOW?

Not everything will be required at the very start. Mark them as first priority items, second priority(required after stage 1) and final requirements. With the final list at your disposal, you now have a roadmap of the design and features to be implemented.

STEP 1.

Check the WordPress Repository for free plugins which will do the job you wish and write them in front of the feature you want to offer.

STEP 2.

You can then start looking for premium themes and Plugins which will do the task. The best place to find premium themes according to your niche is ThemeForest. For plugins and scripts you can search CodeCanyon. I prefer Themeforest and Codecanyon due to their quality checks, support and low pricing. Repeat the same process of noting down what you like – write the price and features offered. You can again repeat the same process by searching Google for WordPress Plugin or Theme with the required features. Note the price and features of all the options you like. Compare the features with the free ones you listed earlier. You can use my Resources page for more places to find premium stuff.

STEP 3.

By the end of the process you will have three to four options for every feature or Addon you want to offer on your Blog. Check for compatibility issues with other selected plugins and themes. This is very important – you can’t even imagine the pain you’ll go through when things don’t work together. You may have to change Themes or Plugins after paying for and creating the content. This is a real issue when you’re dealing with custom post types.

A STEP BY STEP BREAK UP

  1. A QUALITY DOMAIN NAME – LOOK FOR THE FOUR R’S OF DOMAIN NAME

  2. QUALITY HOSTING PROVIDER – SSL IF REQUIRED (USE THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HOSTING)

  3. LOOK FOR FREE THEMES AND PLUGINS IN THE WORDPRESS REPOSITORY

  4. LOOK FOR PREMIUM DESIGNED THEMES AT THEMEFOREST

  5. LOOK FOR PREMIUM PLUGINS AND SCRIPTS THAT ACHIEVE THE CONCEIVED TASKS – CODECANYON

  6. COMPARE THE FEATURES OF FREE AND PREMIUM PLUGINS.

  7. CHECK FOR COMPATIBILITY AND MIGRATION OPTIONS. !IMPORTANT

Places To Get Premium Stuff

 You can get most of the premium Themes at Themeforest and Plugins at CodeCanyon. Both the sites are part of the Envato Marketplace which guarantee’s that the Code is checked to the highest standards and quality support. At ThemeForest and CodeCanyon you will find so many Themes and Plugins that most of your design and feature needs can be taken care of at these two sites. Whether you wish to launch an Ecourse platform, a Travel Blog or a News Magazine, yu can find a Theme that will take care of most of the things out of the Box.  If there’s something that you wish and cannot find at Themeforest or Code Canyon, just go for simple Google search. You will find many other products that can meet your needs.

As a quick starter guide, I’m posting some links to Themes and Plugins that can help you get going in no time.

For more check out the Blogging Resources page.

Off To You

I hope you like this post and this becomes useful to improve your Blogging revenue. if you’ve any question or need help, feel free to comment below or mail me at harsh@blogsnclicks.com. If you found this post useful, do share it with your friends as a token of appreciation.

Comments
  • cell to get
    Reply

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your website
    by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved iit for later!

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