So you’ve built a site, you’re all excited about it, you have big hopes for it to make you a ton of money. But a day passes and you don’t make a cent. You think, “that’s OK, it’s just one day.” But as the times passes, you’re not making any money or making so little that it’s too embarrassing to write about. What went wrong?
There may be many reasons why your site is not making money and I’m gonna go through 5 reasons that I think are the most common. I’ll try to put them in order of importance.
1. Lack of Value
The most common reason I see all over the Internet is lack of value for the visitors. Sure, you may have spent days and weeks building that site, but you have to ask yourself, would you appreciate the site as a regular visitor enough to do whatever you want them to do?
Providing value doesn’t mean your site has to be one of a kind world wonder. It may be so simple yet giving something to the reader that helps them solve their problem, or even just entertains them.
However, I often see people complaining they’re not making money and a single glance at their site tells the whole story. You have to give people something, and better yet something that no-one else is giving them.
2. Too Little Traffic
No traffic, no sales. While there are many ways to get traffic to your site, it’s still one of the biggest reasons why people don’t make money. It seams strange, after all, with all those traffic getting methods it should be a simple matter of implementing them, right?
It all comes down to the first reason. Lack of value means having nothing to offer as a traffic bait. It’s like going fishing without a… bait. After all, most free traffic generation methods require you to have something to offer, and the paid ones can be too expensive, especially when people do nothing on your site.
3. Bad Copy/Website Structure
Your website has to be accessible and comprehensible. And what’s more important, it has to “talk” to your target prospect. There has to be a clear and strong call to action, it should be obvious what you want your visitors to do (subscribe, buy something, click an ad, etc.) and it should be clearly visible above the fold.
Too many options may hurt you too. For example, if you are selling something and have banners all over the place, chances are you will lose a customer to a click on an ad. It always baffles me when I see a website selling products and having Adsense on the same page – giving away a client for a few cents.
4. Wrong or No Market At All
When you’re planning to build a website, make sure there’s a market for it and there are buyers in it. If you get this wrong, you’re doomed to fail even before you start building your site.
You have to know and understand your target market, you have to know their needs and wants. So before getting into it, check out the relevant forums, find similar sites, find your keywords and check their traffic, check the Adwords ads for them. There is a number of checkpoints and ways to do market research, but that’s a topic for another post.
The point is, you have to know your ideal target customer in order to cater your website to them, provide them what they want and make money in return.
5. Lack of Consistency
A very important reason why you’re failing to make money with your website is the inconsistency between your site and traffic/advertising channels. That simply means the message you have in your ads is different than what visitors find on your site, or the place your ad is at has a completely different audience than your target is.
An example could be a PPC ad promising a product, but showing a list of products (good thing if they are related). Or a banner ad that concentrates on making people to click it without telling them what they will get.
That’s all of the big reasons I can think of, although of course there are a lot more little ones that add up. If I’ve missed anything important, feel free to comment!