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 was 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
- Get people onto the site, reading an article like this one. Alternatively, send them to a squeeze page or something similar.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.