How To Grow Your Blog | Followers, Traffic & Stats
Do you want to grow your blog? Are you looking for new ways to attract and retain more readers? Blogging is very popular and the amount of people doing it is forever increasing. That’s great, however, it means that it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed. I’ve been blogging for almost a year, I’ve made mistakes but i’ve worked flipping hard to recover from them and to keep growing. I’ve noticed a huge jump in my stats since following some simple tips. So today, I’m sharing some of the ways that I’ve been able to grow my blog. I hope they help you, too!
I post some handy blog advice twice a month. Catch up with my previous posts here.
Write more often.
A bit of an obvious one to start. You should aim to post two or three good posts every week. I used to post just one, and this is fine if you can’t afford to put in any extra time, but I noticed my traffic doubled since posting more regularly.
Take time customising your theme.
I cannot express how important this is. When you first select and apply a suitable theme to your blog, you’re only half way there. Create a menu and populate it with posts by separating them into categories. Customise your theme to attract readers. Use large, striking images and provide links to your social media platforms. I would highly recommend the ‘Sight’ theme which I use. It looks like a professional website and it’s very easy to customise. Take a look here. I also love the large banner at the top which can be populated by making posts “sticky” – easy peasy.
Reply to ALL of your comments.
If people take the time to comment on your posts, you should reply. Even if it’s just a simple “thank you”. This keeps readers keen and they’ll revisit and re-comment. As well as this, you must show the same love back to loyal commenters and visitors on their blog (if they have one) by liking and commenting on their posts. This is how you’ll start to build a community. Also, the more you comment on other peoples posts the more you are to get noticed by other people. A lot of my traffic has come from this.
Be active in as many social media platforms as possible.
You use social media platforms to basically promote your blog and to get the word out, so the more you are on the better. I created a brand new Twitter page (@claireelsley) for my blog and a lot of traffic comes from there which proves it really does work. Connect your posts to them and update them regularly. Splash links to your social media areas all over your posts and on your About and Contact pages.
Write about what you love and keep at it.
People aren’t stupid. They can tell if you’re bored of writing about something or if your heart just isn’t in it. If your contents not good, you can forget about everything else. People will come back to your blog because they enjoy the read and they’re interested in your content.
Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
A big no-no. I’d rather delay a post by a couple of days whilst I improve it than disappointing my readers. Don’t ever think “that will have to do”, and don’t be disheartened if your blog isn’t getting the love and attention you feel it deserves at first. Just keep going and if you’re passionate about what you’re writing about, the people will come.
Respond to questions bloggers ask you.
Bloggers often ask me various questions including my lighting (because I do YouTube videos), opinions on a product etc. You must respond to them to keep them coming back to your blog page. Even if you don’t know the answer, do a little research, this shows dedication. Answering a question will often prompt the reader to respond back to you, as well as giving you a cheeky follow. Before you know it, a whole thread of conversation will begin. As a reader, I would like to feel like I can ask bloggers questions from time to time, without worrying that they may not actually reply to me.
Include a question to your readers in each post.
Leading on from the above, including questions in your posts such as “Have you tried this product?”, “What are your thoughts?” prompts people to comment and ask questions back, again building up your community and followers. When a blogger responds to my question in the post, I really appreciate the time that they’ve taken to comment and I’m always interested to hear their responses.
Say something new.
This can be tricky because I feel like everything has already been done. People want originality, not something that’s repeated somewhere else. Why should they follow you if that’s the case? I always research to see if posts already exist before creating mine. More often than not, they do exist. However, my more recent Nivea Men Replenishing Post Shave Balm Primer Test video is the most popular on my channel because there is nothing else like it. Having said this, it’s important to also focus on writing about current trends and popular topics from time to time too, because these are often the most searched for.
Deliver as promised.
If you say you post every Sunday, you MUST post every Sunday. The second you miss a day is the second readers stop trusting you. Harsh? I know. Don’t set yourself deadlines if you know you may not be able to stick to them – after all, blogging is meant to be fun.
There’s nothing wrong with a little self promotion. A reader may ask you a question for example, your opinion on a product. If you have done a review on that product, link it to them to read for themselves! I noticed a dramatic increase in my traffic when I started to do this. Also include your social media links in your posts. I always have a strip at the end of each blog post so people have easy access to my platforms.
Fill your blog space with follow buttons.
I don’t mean cram them down your readers throats, I just mean make it easy for people to follow you. People will give up on following you if the button isn’t right in front of them. Include them in the right hand widget column and provide links in your posts. You can even include them in your Footer in some themes.
Use your sidebar wisely.
This is so important. Your sidebar is always visible to the reader when they’re on your blog – so fill it! I have crammed as much in as possible and there is method to the madness in the way i’ve ordered everything. I start with my social media platforms, introduction and stats and as the user scrolls down they will find my most popular posts, Twitter timeline, my latest video etc. Since organising my blog in this way, I have noticed that the average visitor stays on my blog for longer to read more posts.
I don’t mean spend money left right and center, just enough to keep readers interested. I’ve hosted one giveaway in my blogging history (I started in January this year) and i’m doing another one very soon. These are great for gaining new followers and traffic very quickly. 90% of people who follow you during the giveaway period will keep following you even after it’s ended – proving that it does work. If you’re a new blogger, I would highly recommend doing a giveaway to give it a kickstart. The most important thing about giveaways are the rules you make for them. I made sure that the reader followed me and reblogged my post, this spread the word and lead new people to my blog. Don’t make the rules too complicated, you want people to enter! Read mine for a guideline.
People will think you’re God because you never seem to sleep and you have constant posts flowing, when actually you just schedule most of your posts. I always upload a post and video on Sundays so I schedule them to avoid any nasty last minute panics. You can also connect your social media platforms to new posts so when you publish them your social media automatically updates too.
Keep the reader engaged.
Be chatty, but don’t waffle like you’re writing a diary entry. Short paragraphs and casual chatter keep the reader engaged. Include good quality, large images visualising what you’re writing about. If your reader is interested, they are likely to follow you. If you’re anything like me, you’ll go back and forth to the bloggers page before following them and if their content persuades me to go back enough then I follow them!
Create fantastic ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages.
Before someone hits the all important follow button, they are probably going to check out these pages first, especially your About one. They just need that extra little push and persuasion as to why they should follow you. What will they gain from it? Give the reader a couple of fun facts about yourself, as well as another post to read. Read my About and Contact pages here.
Use the same image throughout your social media platforms and as your main blog image. People will recognise you instantly for that image instead of confusing them with 5 different ones. If you have a banner or logo on your blog, use that where possible too.
Put effort into SEO (search engine optimisation).
Getting your posts onto top results in Google will get your around 40% extra traffic. There are some great little hints & tips you can do to get your post up there. Read this. Name your images something that relates to your post; instead of J1234.jpg, use makeup.jpg. Use the alternative text section in image settings for key words. Fill your posts with as many relevant tags as possible. A lot of people don’t populate the Categories section. You should create a set of categories and then select which your posts fall into. Some of mine include Beauty, Makeup, YouTube, Blog Advice. Include as many keywords in your About page which are relevant to your blog because this is what Google refers to.
Tag your posts.
I find practically all the beauty bloggers that I follow through the popular tag “beauty”. You must tag your blog posts – with relevant ones of course. Check WordPress’s Hot Tags for the current most popular ones. I always include around 50 tags on my posts. Common ones of mine include beauty, products, makeup, skincare.
If you’re on Twitter, this is the best way to monitor who you’re following and who’s following you back. You can see at a glance how many new followers you’ve gained and who’s unfollowed you since your last visit. Stats are often visible for your account including what percentage of people who you follow followback. You can also set up an automated message which will be sent to new followers, complete with a direct link to your blog.
That’s all of my little tricks to help you along. I hope you found it useful. Make sure you follow me for more blog advice and general beauty chit-chat. Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel? I post a new video every Sunday. Would you like to see a certain video? I’m always open to requests so please just let me know.
Thanks so much for reading.
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