Your website is like your body. If you neglect it, you end up regretting your actions or inactions. But sometimes you feel like you’ve worked so hard and you’ve done all the “right” things and nothing comes of it.
At this point, you wonder if the 9-5 grind was actually better. It was certainly more stable!
But despair not, fellow marketer! There may be a few things you haven’t considered. And I have just the list you’re looking for.
So let’s get down to business and figure out why your blog isn’t making you any money.
1. The “If You Build It They Will Come” Mentality
The film Field of Dreams ruined a lot of entrepreneurs in the last 25 years. The phrase “if you build it, they will come” has been used and abused liberally.
And it’s just not true. Even with the power of the internet, actually, especially with the power of the internet, you can’t just set up shop and expect people to wander on by.
Back when you were wondering “how to start a blog,” you probably hoped this would be true. And while content marketing and SEO will help you gain organic traffic, you have to grease the wheels with some good old-fashioned marketing.
PPC or pay-per-click campaigns are one of the best ways to get your name out there. Grab the top spot on Google searches and run your ad on Google sponsored pages.
Run an e-mail newsletter. Jump on social media. Do the work of marketing after you’ve built it and they will come.
2. Marketing in All the Wrong Places
If you emulate someone else’s marketing practices, beware. Sometimes what works for one person won’t work for another.
Most of the time this boils down to audience. If you do emulate someone else’s marketing practices, tailor them to your own customer or client base.
You will be running in place if you’re targeting the wrong audience. But having a marketing strategy to work with, even if it’s someone else’s, is a great first step.
In fact, 61% of the most successful content marketers maintain a documented strategy.
3. Jeez! Pushy Pushy!
One of my favorite scenes in the BBC TV series Black Books is when Manny tries to prove to Bernard he can relate to customers. Unfortunately, the first customer through the door is a blow-hard who yells, “Will you leave me alone! I’m sick and tired of being hounded by salesmen!”
Of course, your clients probably aren’t jerks like this man, but they still don’t appreciate being “hounded by salesmen” either.
And maybe you aren’t hounding them. But if the first thing you ask is “Would you like to buy X thing,” then this could be considered hounding by some. And you’re less likely to actually sell X thing.
The sales funnel works like this: Get them in the door. Get them interested. Get them to consider a purchase. Lock in the sale.
Offering the sale is somewhere in the middle and not the opening salvo.
4. All the Bounce But No Sting
Traffic is fine and dandy, but if it doesn’t result in leads or sales what’s the point?
This is a common problem among content marketers. You are successfully bringing in the traffic. You’ve got the content and the SEO seems to be working. But that bounce is killing you.
What the hey is going on?
There are several things possibly wrong with your website at this point. And trust me, it’s you not them.
People, in general, have a pretty small attention span. I don’t particularly believe the “less than a goldfish research” going around unless you’re applying the research to social media. But 15 minutes is the max I’ve experienced when teaching training courses.
On the internet, 15 minutes is a long time. Most people won’t give a website more than a minute or two before bouncing if they don’t find the content useful or interesting.
You have to hook the reader or watcher within the first minute or two. And this is probably the number one reason websites experience bounce.
What could be wrong with your content?
For starters, your content could be too bland and generic. The internet is full of boring listicles. If your first article is “Five Ways to Sort Your Mail,” I have no reason to stick around for “How to Sort the Laundry.”
I’m being a little absurdist, but you get the point. Spice up your titles and your content. It should grab someone’s attention and not let go.
The “Me Problem” Causes Bounce Rates Too
The “Me” complex. That’s right. Unless you’re a life coach or some sort of trainer, your content marketing shouldn’t be constantly about you.
I once saw a website that sold Koi fish to Koi pond enthusiasts. I was writing for another Koi pond enthusiast website. And this competitor of theirs kept an online journal of their trips to Japan to source Koi.
This would have been ok content if it hadn’t been for two things: 1. They mostly talked about their adventures trying out various foods in Japan. 2. They gave almost zero information about sourcing Koi in Japan
None of the content they wrote was either interesting or useful. And it was all about them.
Don’t be the Koi salesman talking about their adventures. Instead, write useful content for your customers or clients.
How should the Koi salesman change their strategy? Consolidate their trips to Japan into one article and focus in on “How to Source Koi Fish in Japan.” And then move on.
Write informative articles about Koi care and Koi pond upkeep. That’s what I did for their competitor and I can guarantee my client’s website will beat the pants off their competitors when it comes to bounce rates.
Climb Out of the Pit
Bounce rates, following the sales funnel approach, targeting your audience, and doing the work necessary. If you’re doing these things along with content creation and SEO, you’re sure to succeed.
Every online marketer can tell a story about when they found themselves in a pit and climbed out. What’s your story and how did you find success? Let me know in the comments below.