I often get asked the question how I am able to grow my blog. Many people starting a blog struggle with getting followers. I promised one of my readers months ago I would post this. I apologize it has taken this long, but I hope it still helps.
When I decided to write a blog I decided two things.
#1 I am all in
#2 I want it to be organic
What does that mean?
#1 – All In
I didn’t want my blog to just be a glorified journal. I tend to end up throwing away my journals or stop writing in them because when other read it I either get judged, questioned, or hurt others. (Our honest opinions and thoughts are not always friendly)
I would be consistent, I wanted to post daily no matter what… (I know this hasn’t happened; however, I will not give up just because I couldn’t stick to my goal)
I looked at what made other blogs successful and I noticed those blogs always had regular postings and were not self absorbed. By that I mean that they would be involved in other blogs besides their own. They would reach out and leave comments on similar blogs, they had a few social media platforms, and they are not afraid to share others post that complement their own theme.
#2 – Organic
When growing a blog many people will tell you to share it with every one you know. There is nothing wrong with this, it is great advice. Just not the path I decided on for my blog.
When it comes to writing about your deepest darkest thoughts and struggles telling everyone you know about your new blog could actually be a hindrance. I find it is very easy for me to be open and honest on my blog because I am not worrying what will “so-and-so” think about what I wrote.
Taking that into mind, I want my blog to be able to help people in a similar situation. I am not afraid for my friends and family to read what I wrote. But I wanted to know that what I write would actual mean something. So when I started my blog I told no one. I wanted to know what type of impact will my blog have without family and friends being followers. Sometime we can get stuck knowing that our friends and family are the ones supporting our site and when it doesn’t grow like we want it to we get discouraged and that turns into a fear of failure and we give up too easily.
Having a blog grow organically simply because I would write something and it touched another persons life. I was very encouraged and inspired to write again the next day knowing that someone who doesn’t know me is reading what I have to say.
SO what specifically have I done to grow my blog?
- I write as much as I can as often as I can – Set a goal, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly. The great thing about a blog is you can schedule posts. If you don’t have time to sit down every day and write a blog but you want to post daily, pick one day a week to sit down write out all your blogs for the week and schedule accordingly. Then if you come up with something else throughout the week you would like to post immediately it’s like bonus material for your readers.
- Timing is everything – when starting your blog post during different times of the day and see what gets the best response. For my time zone the best time to post is lunch time. That is when the most people get on and see my post while reading through their daily list of blogs. Maybe the most views for you is first thing in the morning, or latter in the evening. Experiment with it, once you decided what is best try to always post them so your readers know when to look forward to your next post.
- Share! – Don’t be afraid to share other peoples blogs. You can ask them to write a guest post specifically for you blog. This usually gets more readers for both of you. You can also ask for permission to re-blog some of their post (99% of bloggers will say yes, but it is always polite to ask first. Always give credit where credit is due!) This is always helpful for the point above about timing. There may be day’s where you don’t have any content to post from yourself schedule to share someone else’s post. This keeps you constant, gives them more exposure, and invites their readers to check out more of your blog. If you decide you like supporting other writer two things happen, they usually like to give a shout out and support you back. Also, this give you the opportunity to possibly post twice a day. Post your own writing in the morning, and feature another blogger in the afternoon. That is my personal favorite and I will be getting back on schedule with it. If you would like to be featured in my blog with a guest post please leave a comment below. (FYI it is ok to say no. If you don’t like someone else post or what they write don’t share it. You don’t have to share everything. But if you like what the other person has to share be kind and share it with a could word of encouragement or what you liked about their blog and how it relates to your usually content.) # Hashtags are a great thing. Make sure to tag your post appropriately with about 3 tags. I use the tag for a theme of my blog, a tag for a specific feel of that post, and a tag for a page of followers I want to reach.
- Use your own content – People like to read what you write so even though it is good to feature other remember to speak from your own perspective as well. This also applies to images. No copyrighting photos please people. The wonderful photographers who take the time to go out and create the art that they love and have a passion for deserves to be properly represented. If you want to feature a photo that is not yours, get permission, give credit, and link to their portfolio. I personally really love using my own photos for posts. #1 I know I will be safe legally. To I can add my own special SEO to my site for google searches, etc. It also gives me a since of accomplishment. I will use others people art when it inspires me to write a post, but (listen people) ONLY if I have their permission.
- Network – Don’t just hide in your own little world. This is what I think helped my blog the most. There are other blogs out their in the community to help you get exposure. Two I specifically like are First Friday’s and The Community Pool you can find both of these in the Daily Post section of your reader. One is great for new bloggers, if it’s your first month share your first blog and give people the opportunity to leave you some feedback about what they think of your blog, ways to make it better etc. People are very friendly and helpful on here. The other is great for bloggers who want to get the word out to more people about their passion and their blog. The important thing is to be involved. For the first three month of my blog I made sure once a week I would go to both of these blogs. Leave my information once, and then check everyone’s blog who left a comment. Not a comment on my blog but left a comment on the community blog. I took the time to visit every blog, like and or follow that blogger and leave a comment about my impression of their writing. Just because you are not a new blogger doesn’t mean you can’t be involved. It gives you the opportunity to give advise to those starting out with a million questions. Giving your support to other blogs is a 75% guarantee that the other person will be grateful and check out your blog in return. So leave comment on other people pages, tell them how their writing effected you. Be supportive, that support will go a long way in growing your blog.
- Use Social Media – do more than just blog. Start a YouTube channel. Get a twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Anything you want. People like knowing that you are a real person. It doesn’t have to be all blog content 24/7 post about life, share a photo of going out for coffee, show people where your favorite spot to write it, use social media to be social. People may know more about following twitter than they do about a blog. You can then share your blog in those places that will give a bigger audience access to what you write. I have my twitter feed on my blog so they communicate hand in hand with each other.
- Be Passionate – And lastly… Write about something you love, or have a passion for. It is so much easier to write about something you know about or want to know more about. To be honest when you start a blog it is fun but it it’s not something you love it quickly turns from being a fun adventure to being a job. Do not get pressured into I have to be 100% on everything everyday. No one is perfect we all understand that, but the moment your dream turns into a job. It becomes more difficult to continue and easier to give up.