These 5 Common Blogging Mistakes Are Killing Your Profits

Do you ever feel like you’re doing exactly what you should be doing, yet you’re not getting the results you were expecting?

I know I have experienced this feeling many times before, especially earlier on in my blogging career. I was taking all of the advice I was reading everywhere and applying it, yet the results just didn’t come.

While this was nobody’s fault but my own, I honestly didn’t feel I was making any mistakes at that time. If you are not getting the results you are expecting, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t making one of the common mistakes I am about to share with you. It’s not always obvious these are bad things, so really think about them.

After all, the point of a business in the end is to make money.

1. You’re Offering Too Much For Free

There is nothing wrong with offering a lot for free.  My first blog had no monetization plan other than Adsense. In that sense, I literally offered everything I had for free. I had nothing to sell, nothing to promote. Nothing I could charge for.

My income came directly from people viewing my articles. I wrote more aimlessly and worked hard to get as much traffic as I could to them. Unfortunately, it wmoney-256314_640as largely a waste of time.

There comes a point in time where you do need to start charging for your work. There comes a time when it doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re getting, you need a plan in place to make money.

Utilize free stuff to prove you are the real deal, to build credibility, to allow people to get to know, like, and trust you. And then if they want more (which many people will if your stuff is good,) you charge for it.

Preferably, this would be a product of your own, especially if you are using free content as an entry point into some sort of sales funnel. For example, here’s what I do

  1. Get people onto the site, reading an article like this one. Alternatively, send them to a squeeze page or something similar.
  2. A percentage of these people will opt-in to my email list. Through my autoresponder, I send out carefully crafted emails designed to provide more value through free content. This builds the know, like and trust factor.
  3. Promote my courses as well as my membership site.

And from there, it branches out further.

The point is this – the free content largely acts as a tool to build credibility and funnel people towards my paid content. Again, the point of a business is to make money. You won’t do that offering everything for free.

2. Your Prices Aren’t High Enough

Okay, you have something for sale. Great. Are you charging enough?

Setting your prices low is insulting not only to your products, but to yourself.

People often get hung up about the product’s price, when they really should be worrying about the product’s value, or perceived value. Sales are made when the product’s price is equal to or less than the customer’s perceived value. 

Let’s say you have a product that is worth $200. You were unable to make any sales at $200, so you lowered the price to $100. It’s selling, but not nearly as frequently as you believe it should be, so you consider lowering the price to $50.

By doing this, you would be insulting yourself by showing the world that you are unable to sell the value of your product to somebody. The answer is not lowering the price. If the buyer thinks your $200 product is only worth $50, that is your fault, because you have not sold the value of the product to them.

The solution isn’t to lower your prices, it’s to sell the true value of the product. If the product is valuable enough, people will pay whatever it takes to acquire it. This is why you have people paying tens of thousands of dollars for cars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars for houses. They deliver lots of value.

Sell the value of the product, and you can charge any price you’d like.

3. You’re Not Reinvesting Into Your Business

Failing to reinvest back into growing your business is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Think about it this way – to grow, you need to either invest money, or you need to invest time. If your competitors are investing both, what makes you think you’re going to be able to overtake them?

I understand the desire to enjoy the money you’ve made through your hard work, but reinvesting money now will grow your income later. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you can afford to pull money out while continuing to reinvest back into growth.

Until you reach that point, reinvesting just makes sense.

4. You’re Not Spending Enough Time Marketing

Let me say something right now: If you’re looking to make money online today, you have to do a heck of a lot more than you used to have to do. You can no longer simply write something and expect to rank well in search engines, bringing thousands of free visitors to your website. Unfortunately, it no longer works like that.

Today, you have to spend a ton of time marketing your website. You probably are already marketing your website, but are you marketing it enough? Are you wasting your time writing more content when you should be busy marketing the content you’ve already written?

We know that without great content a website is useless. However, without visitors, your website is also useless if your goal with it is to make money. It’s important to find the right balance between making more content, and marketing your site.

Winning The Game Of Business

Generally, 80-90% of your time working should be spent marketing your website, while only 10-20% should be spent coming up with content. Yes, you read that right. 90 percent! This number could be even higher if you are in a niche that’s extremely competitive, such as health, relationships, or making money. Websites in these niches have an even harder time ranking in search engines, meaning you have to spend more time pulling in traffic from other sources.

I can not stress enough how important marketing your content is now in 2015+. The fact of the matter is that you can only write so much before you overwhelm your visitors. You want to give your visitors enough content to keep them coming back, but not so much to where they feel overwhelmed and unable to read it all.

Of course, you also want to work to increase your revenue. So instead of giving your visitors more stuff to read, why not work towards getting more eyeballs to read what you’ve already written? It’s a win-win.

It’s also worth noting that every comment you leave on a blog, every follower you gain on social media, every link to your site on the internet is another gateway to your website. Another entrance door to your business. These traffic sources may not bring much traffic in on their own, but they will bring passive traffic to your website for years to come. These traffic sources add up over time to bring you a lot of visitors. Best of all, this number only increases.

So the next time you sit down to write your next article, ask yourself: would this time be better spent marketing my website? Consider it. You’ll thank me later.

5. Not Looking From A Business Perspective

All roads lead to this.

Scroll back up for a moment and look at the picture. Examine the four boxes. Think about what they mean.

Each and every one of those pieces are necessary for a business to function. You need all of those. If any one area is lacking, you will fail.

Incredibly often you will see bloggers excel at a few of the boxes, but they will be missing a piece of the puzzle. Maybe they have great content, but no traffic. Maybe they have good traffic, good content, but no good monetization plan to profit off of that traffic.

I want you to quit thinking blogging is different than any other business. It’s not. All of the same business concepts apply, and you must apply them.

You wouldn’t set up shop in your home town and put nothing on the shelves, would you?

I highly recommend reading through this article: “Your Blog Is NOT A Business!

It expands on this point further and will clear up any confusion.

Conclusion

Surely this list is not complete.

What mistakes have you made that hurt your bottom-line, or which have you seen other people make? Let’s clear up everything we can and help each other out.

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About James McAllister

James is the owner of Help Start My Site. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. Here on HelpStartMySite.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, like him on Facebook .

Comments

  1. Thanks for this James!
    Worthy points to ponder in this journey of blogging…..

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  2. Thanks for sharing such fabulous post James!

    Your five points are so spot on!And sadly, a few of them
    really hit home,because early on, I’ve committed a few of them
    more than once!LOL!

    You’d think stubbing your toe once, would be enough!All of them are
    definitely eye openers and eliminating them one at a time, or as quickly and
    seamlessly as possible, will definitely move any serious entrepreneur forward!

    Thanks so much for sharing them!And I love your video to BTW! I’m
    definitely plan on using it in a future post, if that’s okay!

      (Quote)
    Mark recently posted…Three Incredibly Simple Ways Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Create 25% More Profit With Less Money!My Profile

    • Hey Mark!

      No worries, the truth is that most people end up making one of the mistakes listed here at one point or another, myself included. I’m hoping having a knowledge of them ahead of time will help new and experienced people alike avoid making these – anything we can do to save time or money is worth doing in my book.

      Really glad to hear that you liked the video as well, you are certainly welcome to use it (or any of my videos for that matter) anywhere you’d like, I’ve enabled embedding on all of them so it should be easy.

      Good to talk to you again Mark!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…The Biggest Change To Help Start My Site Since Its CreationMy Profile

  3. Hi James,

    Seems like we’ve had the free vs. paid content discussion before 🙂

    Well, you’ve given pretty sound advice on this point.

    It’s important to offer high quality free content on a steady basis, to bring more and more people into your sales funnel. But, as you suggest, a sales funnel is only good if it has points of sale built into it. Either your own products which, I agree, is best. Or, at least good quality affiliate products.
    The point is, with both free and paid content, you need to have high quality so that people trust you, and want more of what you can offer, and are willing to pay for it… over and over again… in different forms, at different price points, and in a wide variety of “packages.”

    You’ve made some really great points in this article, James, and it’s really important for all bloggers (new and seasoned alike) to consider each of the 5 mistakes, and work hard at avoiding them.

    My favorite of all your points is that 90% of your effort has to be on marketing. Yes, yes and yes!
    And this is probably the biggest mistake that any blogger who’s not adequately monetizing their blog makes. I’ve seen it over and over again. They work really hard for months even years to put out great content, content and more content. But they don’t do hardly anything about marketing, and I don’t mean marketing to drive traffic to their blog, but marketing to put paid offers in front of their readers, subscribers and even customers.

    Great post my friend, I’ll share it with the many bloggers I know will find it so spot on.

    -Donna

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    Donna Merrill recently posted…How Much Content Can You Give Away For FreeMy Profile

    • That we have… but I think we can both agree on what you’ve told us here!

      You make a great point on marketing that I didn’t really think much about, marketing our offers as well. This is probably even more important, a small audience that converts is better than a large audience that doesn’t. I learned this very well with my first site that got a lot of traffic, but I had no real monetization plan in place. Despite having thousands of visitors a day, I made relatively little money off the site for a long time.

      Thank you for bringing up that point Donna because it’s extremely important!

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      James McAllister recently posted…These 5 Things Are Distracting You From Achieving Your Blogging GoalsMy Profile

  4. Another great post, James!

    All of your points are on the money, but I particularly like the first two….

    Sooner or later (preferably sooner) bloggers need to monetize their traffic. Yes, they should focus on building an audience but until someone spends some money they have a hobby, not a business. Giving away information is part of the deal, but if people want to go deeper on a topic, they must pay for it.

    You have shown that people will pay for courses and training products. I’ve had similar experiences too. The market is there, but bloggers need to assert themselves more. But for sure that won’t happen because self-doubt plagues them.

    Which brings me to my final point:

    Many small business people undercharge for their products and services. The reason once again is a lack of confidence. They undervalue themselves, and their low pricing structure is the outcome.

    Thanks for airing these important topics, James!

    Kim

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    Kim Willis recently posted…How to Use Blog Commenting to Gain Instant CredibilityMy Profile

    • Hey Kim!

      You are right, and in most cases it is the fault of the blogger if they’re not making any money, providing they’ve done good job at choosing a niche that is profitable. It is not selfish or greedy to try and sell products to people so long as the products actually provide the value the potential customer is expecting. Many people have been made to feel bad for wanting or even expecting payment, but this isn’t something to ever feel bad about. When I make a sale, I am happy for that person and happy that I have helped someone, because I know the products I promote are worth their price. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t promote them.

      Underconfidence really is a big issue. I have talked with people about pricing and it’s amazing how many people undervalue their products and themselves. I would ask them, would you buy the product at this price? And they’ll say yes. I then ask them why they aren’t selling it at that price. The issue is they aren’t able to sell the value of the product, which really does come to a lack of confidence in themselves. You’re right.

      Thanks Kim, something to think about for sure!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…The Biggest Change To Help Start My Site Since Its CreationMy Profile

  5. Hi James,

    Very useful information you’ve package here I must confess. I’m quilty of #3 and not untill recently, I have been struggling with reinvesting in my internet business.

    The truth is, each cent made is always pulled out of it and uses on personal or family needs. I have been going this way since the beginning, but recently I have rethink and believe pumping back whatever I earn from online marketing till I have some good significant income from it.

    I agree with you, blogging is a serious business, and only if we take it to be so……we might just be struggling to make headway.

    Your other points too are very valid, especially the one on spending more time on marketing. If I had known this rule from the beginning of my blogging career, maybe it would have been better.

    We were told write, write, and write! And they will come!

    But …….it never happen so. Only if you take your content to them will they sees it. Thanks James, nice read.

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    Shamsudeen recently posted…7 Proven SEO Copywriting Best Practices Guarantee To Increase TrafficMy Profile

    • Hi Shamsudeen!

      Don’t feel bad, many people operate the same exact way. It really is tempting to enjoy the fruits of our labor and spend the money our businesses make, but in doing so we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to inject money that would grow our profit further. The way I see it, we have two resources we can put into our business – money and time. Every blogger in the world has the same 24 hours in a day, and we are all limited by that. Money is different – we can put in as much of it as we’d like, and enjoy the huge competitive advantage of doing so, because many people won’t.

      Ah, putting it out there and the rest will follow. I followed that piece of advice too early on in my blogging career. If only it were that easy, right?

      It’s great to talk with you Shamsudeen, hope to see you again soon!

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      James McAllister recently posted…2015 Year In Review: How Was Yours?My Profile

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