How to grow your blog income when your traffic goes down
Today marks my 15th day of self quarantine. I have an autoimmune disease, so I need to be extra careful. I’ve been learning to adapt. I order my food online with Peapod. I call at least one friend a day.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you buy some of the items on this page. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
I’m installing an AC unit today so I can make it through the warmer weather. I also ordered a walking desk with a treadmill underneath. Hopefully, I’ll manage through.
Like so many others, it’s no surprise that my traffic has declined, and along with it, my income. (I’m in home decor, a non-essential item right now. And, furthermore I write a lot about flooring and sanding your floors – which of course is kind of difficult, if not impossible to do, while the family is home. (Many refinish their floors when they go away and that won’t be happening fora while).
I understand that some niches are growing, and I’m thrilled for them. But, mine isn’t and I’m not going to change my niche.
So, I need to adapt.
Of course, I’m not going to write about topics for the virus. It’s just irrelevant for my niche But, I do know that people are concerned about money and job security now and these concerns will last a while, so I will probably do some more articles about home decor on a budget.
In fact, I had already done 3 articles on this topic 2 years ago, so yesterday I just created 3 more pins for those. I will probably do some more DIY articles, too.
Of course, I’m not going to just sit here and let things go. Sure I’m still making an excellent income from my blog. Sure, I probably won’t hit $20,000 a month for a while (It looks like this month, it may be more like $17K. We’ll see.
I can survive on that (and I have 6 months of savings), so I will muddle through, even if it declines some more. But I still have $63K of debt to pay off, and I want eliminate that as soon as I can. It will take longer now, but I’m a fighter.
So what am I going to do moving forward?
I’m going to work on income generating activities and long term projects. I don’t know how long this is going to last, but I’m determined to come out much stronger once we reach the end of it. And, I still want to get this debt paid off faster than the current trajectory.
Logically, this means focusing on 2 things: 1) Make more money with the traffic you already have and 2) Do things that are not dependent on traffic.
Makes sense, right?
So here are 5 ways to make more money when traffic is down. Choose your top 2.
- Affiliate Marketing
You can make much more money on affiliate marketing than on ad revenue. And, it’s less dependent on traffic (it works best for SEO traffic and/or email). Many of my highest producing articles do not get a lot of traffic. But, they get the right people. Remember that.
Now as luck would have it, Tracie Fobes recognizes this and she put her revamped Affiliate Marketing Course. Use my exclusive discount code DEBBIE15 for 15% off.
And, if Amazon is meaningful for your audience, this blog post that I wrote should help. How I make $7,000 a month on my blog (I think I may only earn $6,000 this month). I know many of you have read it already, but I just added a video at the bottom on some common Amazon mistakes.
And, I am resharing a video I shared a few weeks ago: 4 tips to optimize your affiliate links for better conversion.
- SEO – Now is the perfect time for SEO! The work you do on this now will help you in the long run, so once we get through this thing, it will pay dividends. Focus on the long term – articles that are good for your audience and will be evergreen…so that they will last you for years (not weeks).
If you haven’t gotten it yet, check out Trinity’s ebook on Keywords. It’s awesome and shows you how to do this only using free tools. It is step 1 when it comes to SEO as it focuses you on which topics to blog about. It will focus your time!
And, of course my SEO ebooks will help you write the articles better so that they can get ranked higher. And, then how to build backlinks so that they can rank even higher.
Spend some time on learning SEO…or just go back and improve the SEO on your existing articles. Try to focus on those that already are doing well and/or have affiliate links. I did a bit of this each day for 2 weeks in October and it had a big impact. I am definitely going to do this again (I think starting tomorrow).
So working on SEO can help with both long lasting traffic and affiliate (or product) marketing. A true double win!
I have been mentioning this on the last several emails as it is astounding how much money you can make on email marketing…if you know what you’re doing. (and I didn’t for years, but now I get it, and I want you to get it, too).
Email really isn’t dependent on pageviews. If you have an email list, figure out how to monetize it. You are leaving money on the table.
My 2 recommended resources to specifically learn this are:
These are both EXCELLENT resources!
If you are on a more limited budget, start with Suzi’s course. It will teach you how to make money with the emails you are already sending and how to create welcome sequences that help convert more later.
And, she shows you how to create sales sequences for your products (or affiliate partners). Remember how I told you earlier in the week that funnels are the key to monetizing your list? If you’re not doing these, you are missing out big time.
Also, you can easily create an expensive product and use it as a tripwire. Shoot for making a product (could be a printable or mini ebook) that you can sell for just $7.
Now all of a sudden you have some income coming in.
You can grab Suzi’s List by Number here.
If you are a bit more advanced or if you are really focusing on products/courses, then 6 Figure Blogger is an amazing choice.
While it costs more, their welcome/sales sequence is KILLER and if you have products as you main focus, this course will pay out in spades.
And, note, your products do not need to be expensive. It can work for products that are $47 or $97…or $147.
It can also work for more expensive products (e.g.$197 or $497 or $997. Once you have this sequence working for you, it passively generates income. Then, all you need to do is find new email subscribers…something you should already be doing!
You can find 6 figure blogger here.
Email marketing is huge. And, I finally get it. From here, I need to implement and then learn more. Email marketing, like SEO, is worth it to learn from multiple sources.
So what am I specifically doing now/over next few weeks?
- I just purged close to 500 inactive subscribers from my list (about 11%). I now have an auto-filter set in place. This can actually help your deliverability and open rates.
- Working on creating and optimizing more welcome and sales sequences.
- Improving thank you pages
- Improving sales pages
- Creating an email list list and duplicating above for my Home Décor readers
- Taking another 2 or 3 email courses
Now is the perfect time to learn and start implementing.
Oh and if you haven’t started email marketing yet, these are 3 options that I think are great and reasonably priced. I’m a bit sick of email provider wars, all of these options are great.
Again, this is something you own and control. Create more assets especially for those that would be helpful to your subscribers and/or your most trafficked pages.
There are many types of products – there are ebooks (like my SEO ebooks), courses (which I’ll talk about below), printables, templates, etc.
Just figure out which is best for you and your target.
Here are 2 excellent resources to help you out. They will teach you how to figure out what products to offer, how to create them and how to market them.
Or if you want to focus on ebooks:
- Suzi’s Ebook by Number
- Lena’s Ebook Creation (and her products are 25% with spring25 for a coupon code). This one is so low priced (only $17) that you may also want to consider her Traffic Transformation ebook as well (and use same coupon code). I originally read it in 2017 and it was super helpful.
Create a course
Arguably this is another form of product. Generally, these take more time/effort to create, but you can also charge more from them.
Importantly, courses do not need to be about blogging products. There are many out there doing all sorts of products and being super successful with them.
I’ve seen many for organizing/decluttering, home décor, mom courses (e.g. giving birth or breast feeding). Starting a business, teaching languages, and tons of topics.
Many of them range in price – some as low as $27-$47 and some as high as $497 or $997. I’m just trying to tell you that it’s possible regardless of your category.
I’m planning to create at least one home décor course by the fall. (Of course first, I need to get my email list in place).
Finally, Neil Patel has a helpful article to explain the short-term impact on bloggers’ traffic after 1 week of traffic post Covid and some advice to weather the storm.
Okay so that’s it for today. Sorry this is so long, but I hope it’s helpful. Don’t feel like you need to buy everything or do everything. Just choose 1 or 2 areas to focus on…and do it/them well.
So I hope this info is helpful. This whole thing will pass. It may take a long time, but eventually, things will get better and more normal. I’m working on surviving…and then thriving.
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