How to make money blogging with no traffic means focusing your efforts on hyper-focused products and leveraging traffic from other sites
I once read that more than 90% of new bloggers stop updating their site before they reach six months’ of blogging.
As someone that goes to a lot of blogger conferences and loves meeting new people in the community, I can confirm the stat. It’s so easy to start blogging and, unfortunately, just as easy to stop.
I’m convinced two factors account for the majority of people walking away from their virtual properties, low traffic and very little money.
Monthly traffic growth can be excruciatingly slow for new bloggers, sometimes it seems only your mother is reading your posts.
For a lot of bloggers relying exclusively on advertising, that also means almost no compensation for hours of hard work.
There’s no ‘secret’ to blogging or growing your traffic. It’s a long, slow process that increases with your blog’s authority and following.
Fortunately, you don’t need thousands of visitors to make the money that is going to motivate you to keep blogging.
Making money blogging is about finding the right income sources that will create a solid monthly paycheck while you grow your traffic.
Don’t get me wrong, more traffic usually means more money.
So let’s start with a couple of ideas to help you grow your traffic before we get to those income sources that will start putting money in your pocket now!
Making Money with No Traffic Means Going Further with Content
Publishing informative posts on your blog isn’t enough anymore. Some of the biggest blogging trends are to different types of media and ways of sharing your message.
If you haven’t done so already, consider adding the following media formats to your blog:
- Video – creates a whole new level of trust with your audience because it’s a more personal interaction
- Livestream Video – goes a step further than recorded video because it lets readers engage
- Podcasts – a little easier to produce compared to video but you still get that personal feel
- Case Studies – show your readers the practical value of your content and help to prove your credibility
Adding different media and types of content to your blog is about more than just establishing trust with your followers.
These added features make your blog stand out and are extremely shareable. That’s going to get you more links and will improve your authority in Google search.
Build a Social Media Following
Even with a small audience, invest the time to build a social media following. Until more of your content ranks in the search engine results, social media can be your one of the biggest traffic sources for a small blog.
Share your blog posts and other content like videos, infographics, and eBooks on social media too. The more items you have the share, the more opportunities people have to visit your site and share with their friends.
Because your time is precious, focus most of your time on the social media platforms that generate the most traffic and where you have active followers.
It might be Facebook and Pinterest for you, but for somebody else it could be Instagram and Twitter.
Spend a month focusing on each until you narrow it down to three that you can use on a consistent basis.
Don’t Solely Rely on Advertising
Building traffic is a long-term goal but not something you want to wait for to start making money.
Unfortunately, too many bloggers rely heavily on advertising for their main income source.
Yeah, if you’re making less than a dollar per click and you only get one click for every 100 visitors…you’re going to need mountains of traffic to make any money.
With limited traffic, affiliate programs should be your first income source rather than pay-per-click advertising.
You’ll get fewer conversions with affiliate marketing, readers need to do more than just click on a link, but your payout can be $100 or more rather than a few bucks.
Take the time to join several affiliate networks like Flex Offers and Commission Junction and the in-house affiliate programs for businesses that don’t partner with a network.
To keep the trust between you and the reader, only place affiliate links within your content for products and services you recommend and would use personally—never chase a payout.
If you are passionate about your recommendation and can take the time to make a video about the product – in addition to the blog post – you give your reader another opportunity to buy the product based on your experience.
Also, take the time to put affiliate links in older posts that are receiving search engine traffic.
Too often, we only think about the content we’re currently producing and overlook the posts and videos that we published a year or two ago but are still regularly visited.
Self-Publishing to Leverage Other Sites’ Traffic
Since you’re already in the habit of writing on a regular basis, self-publishing a book is a natural step to monetizing your blog. And, it’s never been easier or cheaper.
One of the best places to get started is the Amazon Kindle Direct service. It’s free to upload your self-published book and you can also provide print-to-order copies with CreateSpace.
Writing a book, instead of spilling all your secrets on your blog, is advantageous for two reasons:
- Some content doesn’t fit nicely into a 1,000-word post or a YouTube video
- You can make money from your expertise
When there’s demand for your area of expertise, an eBook is a perfect way to share your knowledge with others in one place.
You can structure your blog content around your eBooks. Give just enough information to hook your readers to where they need to buy the book to find the solution.
If you were to post all this information on your blog, you might not be able to make as much money.
If the search engines don’t rank your articles or the reader doesn’t read the entire series, you will miss out on advertising and affiliate revenue because they didn’t click-through.
Reformatting my posts into books has produced a monthly income of almost $2,000 for my blogs.
Make Your Own Courses and Services
Depending on what your blogging niche is, you can also make your own course or offer consulting services to earn even more income.
You are the content expert so you know what your audience can benefit from the most.
People visit blogs to learn from others’ personal experience, not to read a generic how-to article with no emotion or feeling.
If you have a personal finance blog, you might offer a “Get Out of Debt in 18 Months” course or offer an investment portfolio checkup if you write about stock market investing.
By installing an online shopping cart on your site, you can easily connect with customers and keep most of the profit.
Even if you publish your course on an established online learning site like Udemy or Coursera, you can still use your blog to promote your online products.
By using your content to link to high quality resources, you can still earn more than solely relying on advertising.
Use Your Email List for Traffic Building and Making Money
An email list is one of the best resources for small and large blogs.
Not only does it represent a group of readers that trust you and will share your blog with their friends but an email list is also one of the biggest income sources for many bloggers.
Your email isn’t just to let your subscribers know when you publish a new post. It can also be used to promote your latest product launch, giveaways, and even ask your subscribers for content ideas.
That’s why it’s so important to build your email list from day one to interact with your returning visitors.
Conclusion to How I Make Money Blogging with No Traffic
It’s important to grow your blog traffic but don’t wait to start monetizing your blog.
Making money from the beginning will help motivate you to keep blogging and develop your online asset.
Despite the conventional wisdom that you need traffic before you can make money, being a profitable blogger is more about knowing which income sources work with limited traffic.
About the Author
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites and a popular YouTube channel in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business.
Image source: Author-owned