5 Reasons Not To Make Money With Your Blog… Yet

dukeo.com

Here’s what happens… A new blogger sets up a blog with five or six posts, loads the sidebar with a bunch of totally unrelated banners, and somehow, miraculously, within a week he makes his first sale. How do I know? Because it happened to me. Was I happy? Sure. For about two days. Here are five reasons not to make money with your blog… yet.

You Don’t Know Enough About The Rules

Over the years I’ve met a few bloggers who are banned from using Google Adsense and looking back on it, I’m lucky I’m not in that same boat myself. When you first start blogging you don’t understand all that jargon in the Adsense terms. Heck, most new bloggers don’t even bother reading it. A lot of ad networks and affiliate networks have special terms and it doesn’t take much to make them angry enough to ban you for life.

You’ll Look Like A Spammer

The first thought that comes to my mind when I land on a blog with very little content and a bunch of ads in the sidebar is “Spammer! This guy’s just trying to suck me in and he’s hoping I’ll click on one of those ads.” And I’m not the only one who feels this way. But if something happens and you do somehow get a sale, then you’re going to think all those banners are a good thing. And you’re always going to have a blog that looks spammy at first glance. Then you’re always going to have to work that much harder to overcome that first impression.

You’re Setting Yourself Up For A Big Fall That May Lead To Failure

I can still see that first blog and the anchor text link that led to that first sale and I don’t have a clue how I did it. In all honesty, I can only attribute it to dumb luck. I had no idea what a keyword was and not a clue how to use them. Which also meant I wasn’t pulling in any targeted traffic to speak of. But making that first sale so quickly led me to believe I knew what I was doing.

Because I thought I was on the right track, I stopped focusing on learning more about keywords and targeting an audience and just kept blindly blogging away. It was months before I realized my mistake and took the time to learn more about keywords. Then, I had to start another blog because the first one was in such horrible shape. Four months after that first sale I made my first “official” sale and kicked off a real business. Months were wasted because I made that first stupid sale.

You’re Risking Your Reputation

Let’s say you do somehow manage to generate a sale right off the bat – like I did. I remember what that very first product was and I can guarantee you it’s not something I’d ever choose to promote today. It was a shoddy product, and that’s putting it mildly. If the person who bought that product had wanted to he could have ruined my online reputation – and I would have deserved every lashing he dished out. Don’t be so hasty to make money with your blog that you’re willing to promote anything just to make a sale. Your business could go up in flames before you even get started.

It’s A Distraction

Your primary focus with a new blog should be targeting your audience and building consistent traffic. In the beginning you might luck out and get 1,000 visitors a day for a day or two but your numbers are going to fluctuate for quite some time until you learn how to use keywords and SEO to pull in buying traffic. If you monetize your blog right away you might very well miraculously generate a sale or two like I did, and then what?

Then you’re going to start focusing on selling that same product again. You’re going to be distracted from learning the things you still need to learn in order to build a consistent, long-term business.

Blogging and Marketing are two different things. If you take the time to learn the mechanics of blogging first, when it comes time to monetize your blog you’ll know exactly what product to promote because you’ll know exactly who’s visiting your blog.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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12 Comments (Add one)

  1. Michael Perrenoud
    Michael Perrenoud

    This is a fantastic article and chalk full of some valuable information! I just started my blog and I have some mentors that tell me to wait, and I’ve been listening to them, but one of them sent me here.

    The perspective that I don’t really know my visitors is a perspective I’ve NEVER seen, thanks a lot!

    Now, how many visitors a day should I be seeing before I go down that road? I know that’s probably not exactly a science, but I’m just looking for a goal!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Michael, if your mentor sent you to Dukeo, he must be an enlightened mentor ;)

      More seriously, waiting to monetize your blog is a good thing… These days Dukeo receives over 2k visitors per day, and the pages are still not monetized.

  2. Tyler
    Tyler

    Great article! By spam ads on the side, do you also mean someone’s books? Is that shameless promotion? Or is it fine to have the author’s books on the sidebar of the blogs easily accessible?

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Tyler, if you’re asking yourself if the promotion you’re doing is too spammy for you, then it probably is.

  3. Dan Goldstein

    I appreciate the wisdom of your article very much. I have been developing a website and a blog for several years and only now am beginning to monetize the website. Advertising should be integrated with the overall strategy for the site, in terms of design, audience target, etc. thank you for a great article!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thank you for sharing your experience Dan. I think it’s wise to wait until you know your audience before monetizing.

  4. Dan Goldstein

    To add even more positive energy to this thread: this morning I was fully approved by Google Adsense for ads, which will start showing today. This is the fruit of waiting, developing, formulating over more than 3 years. I rejected about 3 weeks ago by Google because my image based site was too hard for their spider to figure out. I then busted butt for a month adding narrative in a tasteful way, and now I am rolling. Instead of feeling like I have gamed Google to get ads, I feel I have a creative partner with them. peace.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Congratulations on getting approved Dan! Hard work always pays off.

  5. Malika Bourne

    I so wish I had been following you several years ago. I took mommy bloggers advice, I am not really a mommy blog. I installed adsence (and participated in blog hops wich benefitted others , not me.) Some one in my house hold wanted to check out the ads too many times. I got suspended.
    After reading as many posts I can I have great respect for you information. Thank you

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for your nice words Malika. I’m sorry to hear that you got suspended from Adsense. Hopefully, after some time you’ll be able to get an account again.

  6. Jeff Cox
    Jeff Cox

    Brilliant article! Thanks for providing this information, I’m sure it will help put me on the right track, as someone who is fairly new to blogging. I will take your advice.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Good luck with your new blog Jeff