Blog 101 | How To Grow Your Blog
I’m not an expert at blogging. My blog is my hobby. Although it’s not my job, I still find the time every day to look at ways of improving it. I put a lot of time and effort into my blog therefore I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of it – not just for me, but for my readers too. This post is a hopeful attempt at giving you advice based on issues I’ve had to face in the past. Also to share my experiences with various tips and tricks that has helped me to date.
YOUR BLOG’S NAME – Firstly, I’ve had numerous people ask me lately, ‘Why did you change your blog name’? This blog was previously known as Finders Keepers. The reason I’ve changed the name is due to a rookie error I made at the very beginning. Always come up with a unique name. If one pops into your head, google it. Check out whether other blogs are highly associated with this name or not. A couple months back I did a bit of research. From this I came to the conclusion that there’s around 10+ blogs/websites out there related to lifestyle, fashion, beauty, all things this blog is, with the words Finders Keepers incorporated into them. Not a great find when you are trying to be unique. Don’t jump at the chance with the first ‘genius’ idea you come up with. You may find you were secretly inspired by that name because of something you’ve previously seen in the past.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Be consistent on every platform you sign up for. Try not to prioritise one over the others. I’m guilty of this, Twitter being my main choice, but I’ve found a love for all the others and found different ways of communicating through each one. Through this I’ve seen a rapid increase in visits towards my blog as I’m opening it up to new opportunities and people.
BLOG DESIGN – Don’t be pressured into thinking a custom blog design with a hefty price tag is your only hope of making it into the blogging world. Blogger templates are just fine. I’m using the ‘Simple’ template right now. However if you happen to have a hundred and one different colours floating about, multiple crazy fonts and strong patterns, my eyes will hurt and I will leave instantly. Try and make things organised in your blog layout. It makes for a tidy looking blog but also keeps things simple for yours readers to navigate around your site.
NETWORK – This doesn’t mean make an appearance every now and then on Twitter, or post a pretty picture on Instagram. It means interacting with your followers and readers and engaging in the blogging community. If you’re in a ‘blogging slump’ and can’t think of new content to share, why not post an Archive Post? Simply share a link to a post from a couple days, weeks or even months ago. This way you are letting your readers know your blog is still alive and moving forward. You may find you’ll gain new readers from doing this simple step. We also enjoy receiving notifications when someone has commented on our blog, don’t we? Why not return that favour. The only way you are going to engage with other bloggers is by communicating with them through their blogs or social media.
EVERGREEN CONTENT – This phrase gets thrown around a lot when it comes to writing content. It’s something everyone looks out for though, so beware. Evergreen Content means content which is fresh and innovative. If someone else’s post or website has inspired you to talk about a certain topic, don’t copy them. By all means gather ideas, but when it comes down to the words make sure it’s something your readers haven’t read before. Personally I believe this links to how often you create posts. I post three times a week; Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays. This gives me enough time to refresh my mind and get the creative juices flowing. If you are posting every day, sometimes even twice a day, you’re not allowing yourself time to breathe and think. This is where your content becomes repetitive or boring.
REFLECT YOUR PERSONALITY – This links slightly to the Evergreen Content section. As a blogger we want to be unique and fresh, but the only way to do that is by being ourselves. When I first began blogging I found myself being drawn to topics which highly-ranked bloggers were talking about. I knew no better than to think their blogs and its contents were the only way to success. I was wrong. If popular topics don’t float your boat, don’t write about them. If you’d prefer to talk about your weekend with Grandma, then talk about your weekend with Grandma! I don’t tend to stick to one category, i.e Fashion. Instead I find myself alternating between numerous things which keeps things exciting for me. I simply go with my imagination.
GOOGLE + – This can slot in with the Network and Social Media side to growing your blog, but I find it has a power of its own. Google+ isn’t a tool a lot of people use, yet I find it so useful! I simply use it how I do with Twitter; post my latest content with a link to follow. Google+ has big blogging communities which consist of 20,000 plus members who all post daily. You can’t get that on twitter. Think of it this way – when you post on twitter you firstly only reach your direct followers (mine being 750). If your followers happen to retweet your link, it’ll reach their followers (perhaps a further 500). If you use trending #, then others can find you that way. Point being, it’s not instant recognition, whereas a community that you post directly into has an automatic audience of 20,000+. Catch my drift?