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On the docket today: some tips for profitable blog posts, as well as some mistakes you should avoid.
Philosopher G.K. Chesterton once said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
What does that mean?
Well, it means most of the necessary work that needs to be done in the world is done by an average joe who may not necessarily do a great job, as he does just enough to keep the world going.
If you’re a blogger, you don’t have the luxury of running your blog poorly. You just don’t. Double that if you want a profitable blog that will make you money.
The foundational key to your success?
ACTION.. but the right ones, not just any action.
We’re going to go through some common mistakes made by bloggers. Steer clear of them, then you’ll be ahead of most.
8 Mistakes That Will Hold You Back From Making Money with your blog
Mistake #1: You Hate Writing
Hate writing? Blogging is NOT for you!
Exception: you have a ghostwriter or hire freelancers off Fiverr.
Plenty of successful bloggers do not write their own content. They hire others to do it for them.. or they use PLR. You can find a list of PLR Vendors in my Blogging Resources post under “Content Help”.
Basically, if you hate writing and don’t have the money to outsource, typical blogging isn’t going to be right for you.. unless you have an incredible amount of self-discipline and can force yourself to stick to a writing schedule.
Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Niche
If you are looking to make money and choose minimalism as your niche, how are you going to sell products? Of course, you can take the Marie Kondo approach – convince people to get rid of anything that “doesn’t spark joy”, then sell them products from your new line. Marie is a marketing genius!
Another thing to keep in mind: a pigeonhole niche. Let’s say your niche is about removing something like skin tags. Once your readers remove their skin tags, what use is your blog then?
You’re not allowing yourself a chance to grow. If you want to make more money, you’re going to have to start a new blog on another topic. There is nothing wrong with a super-niched blog, but future growth is something you should have somewhere in the back of your mind.
Another thought: products. Are there any products to sell in your niche? Lack of money-making opportunities will zap the profitability of a blog.
Keep traffic in mind, too. If there are limited opportunities to drive traffic to your site, you won’t get enough eyeballs on your content to produce anything.
Mistake #3: Your Content is Boring
Tough love: if watching paint dry is more entertaining than your content, your blog will not be popular.
If waiting at the DMV is less painful than reading your posts, your blog will not be popular.
To be successful, content must be both:
How do you do that? Some tips:
- Sprinkle in a joke/anecdote or two.
- Tell a story.
- Use Elementor to make your posts look awesome.
- Download a cool font to make titles pop.
- Add some graphics to your posts.
- Create custom sidebar links in Canva.
Think of something that will set you apart.
Mistake #4: Not Building an Email List
If there is one thing I wish I knew about sooner, it would be an email list.
“The money is in the list” – everyone writes that.
When I started blogging years ago, no one really talked about it, so I never bothered to look into it. I thought email lists were just for bloggers with huge followings already, like it was something you added later, after you “made it”.
DON’T BELIEVE THAT HYPE!
Start your email list as soon as you start getting around 100 hits a day to your blog (gotta monitor that traffic).
Building an email list will help you:
- alert followers to new blog posts
- give advance notice of any course/product launches
It’s a necessary cost.
My recommendation: Flodesk. The emails are beautiful and customizable from their templates or built from scratch. There are plenty of other email providers out there. Do your research and choose one right for you.
Mistake #5: Difficult Navigation
Your navigation is the roadmap to your website.
If people get lost, they will find another map to get them to their destination, meaning they will crumple yours and throw it away. Sorry, I’m over 40 and I love paper maps. Seriously, they will click away though.
Some tips on fonts:
- MUST be readable
- Sized big enough to read, but not so big that mobile users get 5 words per screen while they’re scrolling
- Sized not too small that you need a microscope to see them
- Go easy on fancy/cursive fonts – legibility is key
- Stick to easy-to-read classic fonts, or find your fave on the internet
Remember: if you can’t read it, then no one else can either.
Mistake #6: Lack of Consistency
You should be posting at least once a week. This keeps your blog fresh, updated and favorable to search engines.
Goal: there is something new for readers to read each they visit.
Don’t disappear for months at a time. Your audience will give up on you.
Create a posting schedule, then commit and stick to it.
Mistake #7: A Free Blog
Own your domain.
Build your site on that. For hosting, I recommend SiteGround. I’ve been with them for several years and have never had a downtime, except for the hour when they changed servers.
You shouldn’t build your house on rented land, so avoid using free platforms to build your business. Some free platforms don’t allow you to monetize or they have very strict guidelines.
Choosing a site like Wix or Medium or free WordPress could cost you your business if that platform decides to give you the boot.
Own your stuff.
Mistake #8: No/Wrong Focus
What’s worse than having no focus and posting randomly?
Focusing on the wrong thing.
First and foremost: provide value to your reader.
- Avoid appearing like a sleazy salesman.
- Don’t make your blog all about you.
Deliver the info your audience is looking for. If your readers can’t feel that you have their best interests at heart, then they will not trust you enough to keep reading or purchase anything you recommend.
Build trust, THEN sell.
Never try the reverse. It won’t work.
To sum up: making any of these mistakes consistently will wreck your blog before you can get it off the ground. It has happened to thousands of blogs before you and is continuing now.
If you are making these mistakes, take a deep breath and go back to the drawing board.
After all, you know better now, right?
It’s time to get excited about your blog, so your readers can be too.
8 Tips for Profitable Blog Posts
Now that we’ve discussed what NOT to do, let’s go over some tips for writing effective posts. Simply put: if you want a profitable blog, your content has to do the selling for you. There’s no compromise on this.
Posts should be informational and value-driven
Provide links and resources for your readers
Keep in mind: teaching someone how to do something is great, but without helping them implement what was taught, what’s the point?
That being said, let’s discuss the tips:
Tip #1: The Catchy Headline
According to a Kraus Marketing article from March of 2022, the average attention span of a consumer is only 8 seconds.
Think about that. You have eight measly seconds to grab someone’s attention.
We live in a world chock full of distractions, sparking serious Shiny Object Syndrome (with the aptly-titled acronym SOS) everywhere you turn.
So, what do we do?
Keep your headlines catchy, but straight to the point. No appetizer. No chaser. Zero fluff.
You want to compel people to click and read, so make sure your reader can surmise your article’s intent from the jump.
Tough love: if you can’t do this, your blog will have a hard time taking off.
You need to reel in those fishies, so use an interesting, unique and direct title as bait.
Tip #2: Entertain & Inform
Yes, people are looking for information.. but they also appreciate entertainment.
The popularity of a platform like TikTok and Instagram’s push towards Reels are proof people mostly want to have fun online. If your content is dull and flavorless, you will lost your audience just as quickly as you found them.
Write fun posts that allow your personality to shine, while providing useful information.
Don’t strive for perfection with your words. Write as if you were speaking to your besties.
Your goal should be to hit home and speak to your audience’s innermost thoughts, needs and desires. Let your content answer the questions swirling in their heads and they will stick to your blog like glue.
Tip #3: Use Images & Video
A picture says a thousand words. A video holds attention.
Let your visuals and creatives speak for you and give people an idea of what’s to come in the captions and/or content. They will keep readers on your blog longer:
- Stock Photos
Goal: grab attention and keep readers clicking around your site, wondering what’s around the riverbend. It makes everything more fun.
My recommendations for stock photos:
- Ivory Mix (also has videos, caption ideas, workshops and post ideas/templates – all included in an incredible membership that I LOVE)
- Beach Babe Stock (also has post templates – I have a mini membership from BBS because I LIVE for beach photos and she has a plethora of them)
- Stock By Jewels (also has post templates – gorgeous feminine stock photos with lots of pink and warm tones)
You can make your own memes and GIFs with a template in Canva.
Tip #4: Find Your Angles
Simply put: don’t make it obvious you’re selling.
Yes, people love to buy, but they don’t want it to be demanded of them.
How can you tell if your blog posts are constantly just selling?
A high bounce rate.
What’s a bounce rate? Basically, it means the percentage of people who click to your site, then click away without doing anything (like scrolling or clicking around).
Having a high bounce rate means people are turned off. It might not be your content per se, but how you are delivering it.
- Provide info that helps the reader.
- Casually mention products you recommend or promote.
- Inform how your links/products will help them.
- Use a plugin like BlogLinkMagic to assist you in hyperlinking keywords or add them in yourself. You add your links and what keywords trigger it, then watch the magic happen.
- If you research something, link to the site.
Slant your content to favor the product without having your posts scream “BUY THIS NOW OR YOU’LL BE SORRY!”
Tell the story, but focus on the part of the story that illustrates how a product worked.
That’s the idea to get across.
Tip #5: Build That List
Like I said earlier in this post: I wish I had known about this earlier in my blogging journey!
Use opt-in forms wherever you can:
- Your blog’s sidebar
- The footer on posts
- Resource Sections (pages and posts)
You can offer implementation ebooks as free lead magnets.
Don’t forget to add subscribe buttons/links to your social media profiles.
Flodesk has some incredible templates that you can customize. See this super-cute opt-in form I built around my bunny HERE to see what I mean (looks best on desktop). You don’t have to subscribe (unless you want to). I’m just showing you how cute the page is and the possibility of what you could create.
Through email, you can build a relationship (or community – whatever you want to call it) with your audience. It allows them to get to know you, creating loyal readers who look forward to your content.
Keep reader perception in mind. Your audience’s perception of you will impact how they see your content. Once they know, like and trust you, they will enthusiastically look forward to your emails.
Tip #6: Readability
I mentioned fonts earlier, but it’s always worth repeating.
Keep your fonts legible. Don’t make people squint or have to back up in order to read your posts.
Make sure your sentences flow and aren’t skipping all over the place. Use subheadings to separate ideas.
Tip #7: Keyword Research
I know what you’re thinking (because I’ve been there):
- What topics does your blog cover?
- What are people searching for in your niche?
- How do I discover what people actually want to read?
- How will I know what my ideal clients are searching for?
All are valid questions! Now let’s find some answers.
I love using Answer The Public.
How does it work?
- You type in your topic or niche or even an idea in the search bar.
- Look at your results to see what search terms people type in.
- Download your report.
- Use those suggestions to create your content.
Note: add a product or implementation strategy to your content. It can be yours or an affiliate product you use/promote.
Why would you do that?
Well, you want to help, not lecture.. and you also want to make money. Think of the products as the bow on a gift. It just looks prettier with it.
Tip #8: Suss Out The Competition
Being a parent of a teenager, I’m well aware what “sus” means in the current teenage vernacular. I’m not telling you to be suspicious of your competition.
In this instance, I’m telling you to check out and/or study your competitors:
- Read their blog and social media posts.
- Consume their content.
- Analyze their tactics.
What can you do in sorta the same way?
I am NOT telling you to copy them verbatim. That’s wrong!
See what they’re doing and see how you can do something differently or better than them. You want to bring something new to the table.
BOTTOM LINE: Value + Relationships = Sales
What determines how well your blog posts sell?
- The value you provide +
- The relationships you build with your audience.
Simple enough, right? Take the essence of this quote and apply it to your posts.
Yes, you might rank with good keyword research and have solid product reviews, but good content will be what sets you apart and enable you to take your biz to the next level.
Isn’t that the ultimate goal?
Designed to help both new and experienced bloggers to:
- set goals
- plan content
- build their dream blog business
- clarify your concept
- identify your audience
- brainstorm how to monetize
- daily action item calendar
- growth planning pages
Business Planning Journal
Everything you need to get your business started on the right foot. Get all those plans on paper!
- Daily, Weekly & Yearly Plans
- Business Value Worksheets
- Product & Competitor Research
- Pricing Calculator
- Marketing Plan
- Notes Pages