Gone are the days when blogging was considered as one of the best source of making money online. Internet has changed a lot with so many changes, and tough competition these days blogging is one of the toughest job for making a successful blog, website and web business. (Or for earning online)
Lot of internet marketers still suggests you to start a blog to make a decent amount of money online. Blogging is not difficult for experienced bloggers as they are aware of all the stuffs but for fresher’s it has become a very difficult to create a successful blog.
Many bloggers are still earning six figure incomes, but have started facing downfall in their incomes and blog traffic. Blogs main traffic source is Google and due to so many regular changes in Google search algorithms the traffic of the blogs is going down with the passing days.
Secondly, the main earning source of the bloggers is Google Ad sense, but the EPC (Earning Per Click) is also going down day by day which has directly affected the earnings of many bloggers.
To create a successful blog you need these three things quality content, promotion and SEO, but the definition of these three things has changed a lot due to high competition and regular change in Google algorithms.
Here, I am sharing some points which will explain why blogging is becoming difficult these days.
High competition – Everyday hundreds of new blogs are created on almost every niche, and because of that competition is rising in an extremely fast way. To make a blog successful all you need some good traffic and traffic through search engine has become very competitive, through social media is very difficult and through paid advertisement is extremely expensive. To make money from the blog you need good traffic but with high competition, generating traffic is not easy anymore.
Search Engine Traffic – Bloggers main traffic source is search engine and specially Google because it is the number one search engine in the world. From past few years, Google is regularly updating his search algorithms due to so many changes, one day the traffic of your blog is high, and the other day with another algorithm change the traffic of your blog gets down without any reason. So, to maintain the traffic of your blog you have to update your blog regularly according to changes of Google algorithms. The main problem is not about updating the blog, but the main problem is that the algorithms of Google are not clear you cannot say that your blog has been penalized for which reason.
Google can change it advice and algorithm anytime, and if you had followed Google’s advice you may get affected by new Google algorithm. For example, previously Google advice webmasters
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
On May 27th 2013 they have changed advice to:
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”
One can check Searchengineland.com for more detail on this.
Have a look at an article on QuickSprout.com by Neil Patel “How I Used SEO to Drive 5 Million Visitors to Gawker Media”. After reading that article anyone can be convinced that how important SEO is, but do everyone knows good SEO or one have that much money to hire that big SEO Company to improve search traffic.
More Focus On SEO – As in the above point, we have already discussed on Google algorithms, the focus of the bloggers have shifted towards SEO. They are only focusing on how to do good SEO so that they can increase the traffic of their blog. Bloggers are busy using SEO software’s and hiring SEOs to increase the traffic of the blogs. There is no doubt that traffic is essential for a blog, but giving all your time to SEO will also not help ultimately. As this will bring visitors to your blog, but what if the visitors do not like the content of your blog as you were busy on doing SEO and did not focus on content and other related things.
A single Google algorithm change can wipe all SEO efforts that you have done. So, it is advised to keep a balance between all the areas in spite of just doing SEO.
Many websites are affected by Google Panda or Penguin update, and not able to recover even after improving site SEO. Bloggers who are affected by these updates may have invested a lot of time improving their blog for SEO, but not got any improvement.
Have a look on this article on Searchengineland.com “Google Panda Two Years Later: Losers Still Losing & One Real Recovery”
Blogging has become expensive – As it is said that blogging is a free way of earning money online, but with so many changes and high competition it is no more free way to earn online. You need a good amount of money to earn from your blog. To make an attractive site you need good and creative website design, which were earlier free or you have to pay a nominal amount but now to get a customized theme you have to pay a lot of money to web designers.
There is a Google algorithm that your blog or website should load fast, and for that you need fast web hosting and CDN (Content Delivering Network) service. To get these services again, you have to spend a handful amount of money.
An article published on Moz.com blog “How Website Speed Actually Impacts Search Ranking” and according to the author they done some test to measure the impact of speed, and they found that relation of page speed is with Time to First Byte (TTFB). The result was “The back-end performance of a website directly impacts search engine ranking”. They advised to get the benefit for search result webmaster should focus on improving website backend performance, which includes fast web server, use of CDN, optimized application code etc.
No one knows how much page speed impact search result. Still website owners have started improving their website speed. According to Neil Patel they have also seen improvement in site ranking on Google after improving site speed, see on the same page Technique #5 and lessons learned.
It’s not an end of the places where you have to spend money there are many more things on which you have spend money like if you outsource SEO services you have to pay them if you maintain Email list you have pay to the mailing list management services, if you are not writing articles on your own, then you have to spend money on creating articles also and many more expenses.
Low Earnings from Blog - The major sources of earning through blogging are Google AdSense and affiliate marketing. Both of these sources are affected due to high competition and low Google traffic. Lots of bloggers are complaining that the pay per click has been decreasing and are not at all consistent. One day you may get $2 a click the other day you get $0.10 a click, earning from Google AdSense is decreasing day by day. Bloggers are already suffering with low traffic on their blogs now they also have to suffer for low pay per click.
Another source of earning Affiliate Marketing is also not fruitful these days as the conversion rate is dropping for lots of bloggers. People are aware that blogger is trying to sell them the products.
When major earning source is down, to make money with a blog is not good anymore.
Monopoly of Big Bloggers – There is one or more big blog on almost every niche, which spends a lot of money on SEO, promotion and paid advertisement. For a small or a new blogger is very difficult to compete with these blogs. These blogs have authority on their specific niche so for new bloggers to enter into the market is difficult. These big blogs just do not have the monopoly on the niche but also on the search. Many people follow these blogs making it more difficult for new and small bloggers to get in the market.
Searchenginejournal.com had created article how to build brands which can be beneficial to rank well on search engine. “Love it or Hate It, There’s No Doubt That Google Prefers Brands”
Blogging was not difficult earlier but due to Google algorithms and high competition it is getting difficult day by day. The major way of earning through blogging are also not fetching good amount of money. To make your blog successful all you need is good traffic and for visitors bloggers are dependent on Google which is regularly changing its algorithms and making it more difficult to make money with blogs.
Lot of dependency on Google has changed blogging. If anyone wants to gain success through blogging, they have to focus on various traffic and earning sources.
Before starting a new blog, an in-depth research and learning can help to make a successful blog. Creating a strong business model is important which should not be depended on any single traffic source.
It may seem that I am against the Google and trying to stop dependency on Google, but the truth is that I have seen a lot of good blogs dying just because of dependency on a single source of traffic and earning. So my suggestion is just that to build a rock solid business model which can grow and make you earn for a long time.
I have updated this post after comment by Reynold because after reading his comment, I realize that I have not shared any proof. I had written this article with my own experience and what I have learned.
I have linked to some big blogs with their views so that readers can trust with the points I have written.
According to Reynold comment this article is written more of a frustration, it’s not totally true.
A little about me: I am totally depended on blogging and I am a full time blogger. I am blogging from last 5 years, and this is not just the blog I am running. I have more than 15 blogs on various niches some of them are http://www.codefear.com, http://www.appginger.com, http://www.moneyglare.com, http://www.techhew.com etc.
Yes, one can say this post is my frustration and yes a little bit frustration on me as I was depended on single traffic source (Google) and some of my blogs hit heavily by Google updates and that’s without any reason. After that, I continually trying to change my business model and stopping dependency on single traffic and earning source.
I am still making some good money with blogging and want to improve my blogs. I never say blogging is bad, but the business model should be strong. Making money online is never as easy as it sounds, but proper research and planning defiantly helps to build a great blog.