Since December I have been trying really hard to build and grow my blog into something great. I started this blog back in August 2011. I was going full speed ahead (although my photos from those posts are definitely lacking), and then I got pregnant. I felt miserable and blogging was the last thing on my mind. I would post every now and then, but with no regularity. But this past December, I decided to do this blogging thing all the way. I love doing it, and I love following other amazing blogs and getting great ideas!
So, back at the start of December, I had around 40 GFC followers, 20 feed subscribers, not even close to 100 facebook followers, and about 100 Pinterest followers. (I don't do Twitter - I know, I must be the only one in the world who doesn't. I just can't take it on right now.) Now, as of this post I have 170 GFC followers, 92 feed subscribers, 330+ Facebook followers, and 366 Pinterest followers. I'm not bragging. I am no where near MANY other amazing blogs. But, I am proud of the growth of my blog in the past three months. I still have a LONG way to go! All of the tips below are things I have done, and still do, to grow my blog in the past three months.
And first, let me say, to those of you who follow me and leave sweet comments - thank you SO much. I get excited with every single new comment, and jump up and down with every single new follower whether its GFC, RSS, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. And I LOVE following you guys back and seeing your amazing creations!
Tips for Growing your Blog!
1. Post on a Regular Basis
Do not make my mistake. When I got pregnant, I rarely posted at all. My blog was stagnant. If you want your blog to grow, you have to post on a regular basis! This doesn't mean you have to post every single day.
At least, I ain't got time for that! There's a nine month old running around here, a house to clean, and dinner to cook! I try to post at least three times a week, usually 3-4 times a week.
2. Add a "Pin it" Button after your images.
Y'all, Pinterest is HUGE. And getting bigger everyday! Do not underestimate the power of the pin! TONS of my traffic (and from what I've read, many other blogs traffic) comes from Pinterest. By having a "Pin It" button beside every image, it makes it easy for readers to pin your image, and then their followers see it, re-pin, visit, and the cycle continues. Go here to see how to add the button. ***Update: Megin from VMG206 said that this site for the Pin It button is not working. She found this site, that shows how to install the Pinterest hover button on your photos. When you mouse over a photo, the "P" button appears to click on and pin an image. Go here for instructions on installing it.
3. Pin What You Post
That's right, I said it. People follow you on Pinterest because they like what you pin. What you pin is probably similar to what you post! Pin what you post! Your followers will re-pin and their followers will re-pin and the beautiful cycle mentioned above ensues!
4. Social Media Buttons
Have social media buttons placed where followers can easily see them and use them to follow along. Mine are on the top of my sidebar. You can get free social media buttons in all different colors here.
5. USE Social Media
Put links to your posts on your Facebook page, Tweet it, share it on Google+. Show "teaser" post photos on Facebook. Pin your images!
6. Put the Best Image at the Top of Your Post
I made this mistake when I started blogging. I would do a "before and after" project, and always show the before at the beginning, which one would normally do, except in blogging, and the after at the end of the post. You need to show readers your "after" photo first though, to draw them in and make them want to read about how you got to the "after."
7. Highlight your Most Popular / Best Posts on your Sidebar
That sidebar is prime real estate! Put an image with a link to the post. This keeps readers on your blog longer, which means they might follow along if they keep seeing your amazing work!
8. Link Parties, Link Parties, Link Parties
Link up your posts, people! This gets your blog and posts out there for potential readers to see! You can't just post something, walk away, and expect readers to come check it out. You have to promote it! You can check out all the link parties I link up to at the bottom of this post. There are a lot! I don't link up to every single one, every single time the party is going on, but I link up to a lot! Also, be sure to include a back link on your post to the link party! Its rude not to include the back link! Let other people know where you link up, so they can join the party, and the back link gives the host credit for the party!
9. Visit, Visit, Visit
Don't go link up at a party and not visit other posts! How rude!
Couldn't resist Stephanie's famous line from Full House. Anyway, you want people to come view your posts, so shouldn't you view theirs as well?! You don't have to visit other posts right that second, but do go back and try to visit a few and leave a nice comment.
10. Comment, Comment, Comment
Leave a comment for the link party host saying thanks. Comment on the links you visit. Comment, comment, comment! When you comment on someone else's blog, they are more likely to come visit your blog, and possibly follow (especially if you follow them). When someone comments on your blog, respond to the comment, go visit their blog, and comment! Everyone LOVES comments!
Another important thing about comments - make sure word verification is turned OFF on your blog! This is when the box pops up after someone writes a comment asking them to type in the letters and/or numbers! No one wants to deal with that when leaving a comment! If you are worried about getting comments from spammers, set your comment settings to where no anonymous users can comment. To change these settings (on Blogger) go to Settings -> Posts & Comments and its all there.
11. Guest Post at other Blogs
If you see an opportunity to guest post at another blog, go for it! When you post at another blog, some of their readers will visit your blog, and may become followers!
12. Swap Buttons with Other Blogs
Many bloggers love to swap buttons! This gives you some advertisement and them as well! Check out blog's advertise pages to see if they swap buttons or email them!
I hope that these tips help you out in growing your blog! I am not an expert, by any means, but these are just a few little things I've learned in the past few months and thought it might be helpful to you!
If you have any tips, I would LOVE to hear them! Please leave a comment!
This post is part of the "Grow Your Blog Series." Read more of the series here:
How to Grow Your Blog with Pinterest
How to Grow Your Blog with Giveaways
10 Ways to Make Money Blogging
How to Grow Your Blog with Giveaways
10 Ways to Make Money Blogging