Yesterday, I received an email in my inbox from an SPI reader asking for some help. He said it was cool if I posted our conversation on the blog for others to read, but he wanted to remain anonymous for some reason. I respect his request, so for this post—let's just call him Joe.
(I've condensed and edited the conversation below to get the point across)
Joe: Pat, I need some help. I've been a blogger for a couple of years now. I'm a fantastic writer and I believe I have premium content on my blog, but for some reason I'm only making a few dollars a month from my advertisements. I see that just your Adsense Advertisements alone on your monthly reports pull in upwards of $2000 and more. What am I doing wrong? Why Can't I Make Good Money Online? Any advice? Please be honest. I want to succeed.
Pat: Joe, thanks for your email. I can tell by the fact that you contacted me that you're really motivated and are willing to make some changes. A lot of people don't even get this far, so kudos to you for asking for advice. I'll do my best to help you out. I'll go over to your blog and get back to you soon with a quick assessment.
(Reviewing Joe's blog. By the way, this is starting to look like a screenplay for a really bad movie, lol)
Pat: I took a look at your blog, and I have quite a few things to say, if you don't mind.
The first thing I noticed was that you're writing about money. You're already putting yourself at a huge disadvantage here because there are millions of blogs about money already—and so you have a HUGE mountain to climb if you ever want your blog to get noticed. You have blog posts about personal finance, stocks, mortgages, trends, bank accounts, retirement, cheap airfare, traveling. That's a LOT of different topics. I do agree with you, however, your writing style is beautiful—but I don't think you're taking full advantage of your potential.
The reason I say this is because as long as you're writing about several different topics, you're not going to have a huge following. Yes, blogs out there do exist that talk about several money topics, a “one-stop shop” if you will, but they are already established and got in the game at the right time. In my opinion, if anyone wants to create a successful blog today, they'll have to just specialize in one subject and become the “expert” on that. Just think, people search for very specific items on Google, and those are the readers you want.
If you write about one subject, your advertisements will be more specialized and will convert more. Your readers will be of a single mindset and you'll be able to more easily cater to them and their needs using your expertise. Again, if you write about too many things, you'll have the occasional reader, but no followers. The person who loved your article about stocks probably won't be that interested in your article about cheap travel, if that makes sense.
I think with your writing ability and your motivation to succeed, you're on the right track. Good luck finding that niche and working it.
Joe: Thanks Pat, that makes perfect sense. I'm going to spend a good amount of time thinking and narrowing down my subject matter. Any advice in regards to the design?
Pat: Well, I think once you figure out what you really want to write about, your design should change and cater to that particular audience. Design is important, and it should work hand-in-hand with the subject matter. So for now, I think it would be a waste for me to comment on your current design—except that it should change when you pick your specific niche. Let me know when you've figured something out, I'd be interested in seeing your progress.
Joe: Thanks Pat, you're the man.
(End of Scene 1)
Some important lessons learned here in our conversation with Joe:
- The only way to change is to first notice that you need it and then ask for help. Step 1 of the 12 step program: “Hi, my name is Pat, and I'm an alcoholic.”—I'm not, really, but you get the point.
- It is not beneficial to write about many different topics, even if they are somewhat related. Narrow your focus and become the expert on that.
- Really think about writing for followers, not for the occasional reader.
- Design should work hand-in-hand with the subject matter.
- And Joe, if you're reading this, you really missed out on a chance to earn some followers by remaining anonymous. If you ever change your mind or would like to show off your updated blog in the future, please let me know. You can't be shy online!!!
I realize you were not able to see Joe's blog, but do you have any further comments for him? Do you agree with my responses?