How to grow your blog: blogging 101 tips from an experienced blogger to help you share and grow your blog!
Two weeks ago I started my Blogging 101 series to share some of the tips I have learned about blogging. Blogging is one of my favorite things to do, and I don’t think being successful should be a secret!
Last time I talked about how to start a blog, and this week I want to talk about how to grow your blog. Because you might have a super awesome amazing blog, but if you aren’t working on sharing it and growing it, then it’s not going to be successful.
1. Pinterest. Pinterest accounts for over half of my blog’s visitors, and it is the reason my blog started to grow in the first place. I am going to do a separate Blogging 101 post about how to use Pinterest, but here are some basic tips. Again, make your images pinnable. If your feature image isn’t great, then nobody is going to want to pin it. Second, pin your stuff a lot. If you aren’t trying to get your content pinned, then chances are, it’s not going to be. And third, find other bloggers who write about similar topics and pin their content. Try and pin a lot of the same type of content that you are writing. That’s what people are coming to your site for, and that’s what they want to see.
2. Reach out to other bloggers. When I was first starting out, I reached out to a few bloggers for tips, and the things they told me were really helpful. If you have questions, ask other bloggers who are already doing what you want to do. Sometimes they may not respond, but sometimes they will and it’s awesome. I have had people reach out to me (which is the whole reason I started this series) and I am happy to share tips with other people. Plus, when you get on other bloggers’ radar, they may start following you and sharing your content as well.
3. Join groups on Facebook. I am a member of a few great blogging groups on Facebook, and they provide opportunities for me to get my content read and shared, as well as give me a chance to ask questions and get opinions from a bunch of other bloggers at once. Some groups are private and you have to request to be added, but others you can just search for and be added automatically. My friend Carisa and I actually thought Facebook groups were so helpful that we started our own with some of our favorite bloggers, and it has been really great.
4. Link parties. I don’t do these as much anymore, but if you can find a good one then they are a great way to get your content in front of other bloggers and to get featured on other sites. When I was first starting out, Six Sisters’ Stuff had a link party and my Cook-off Winning Chili recipe got featured on their site. It brought a lot of new visitors to my site and was super exciting! So find a link party in your niche and link up!
5. Interact with other bloggers. Share their content, comment on their posts, follow them on social media. If you share other people’s content, they are going to start sharing yours. It may take a while, but most bloggers are aware when someone is consistently coming back to their site or sharing their posts. And people appreciate that! Blogging is a lot more than just writing awesome posts. It is about sharing those posts, and sharing posts from other blogs, too. If you aren’t interacting with other bloggers, nobody is going to interact with you.
6. Use scheduling tools for social media. Chances are, you don’t want to be pinning, tweeting, and posting to Facebook and Instagram all day. Scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Tailwind (along with Facebook’s scheduling tool) are really helpful. I always schedule my pins, tweets, and posts so that I can relax and actually spend time with my family while still posting at peak times. I think Hootsuite works great for Twitter, and I have tried a few Pinterest schedulers and Tailwind is my favorite. I just use Facebook’s scheduler because I have heard that they penalize outside schedulers like Hootsuite (not sure if it’s true, but it works great), and I have yet to find a good Instagram scheduler. But if that is the only thing I have to post to on a daily basis, then that is great. It might sound bad, but you want to give the impression that you are present, even when you might not be. And scheduling tools are great for this. Posting on social media is a great way to connect with followers, and schedulers are the best way to do that without feeling like social media is taking over your schedule.
7. Make friends. It might sound weird, but I have made some great friends through blogging. Some of my favorite people are bloggers who I interact with on my blog and their blog, through email and social media. If you make friends through blogging, those people are going to share your content, and you will be able to ask them questions, they can ask you questions, and it’s just nice to have someone you can talk to when your husband doesn’t understand why you want to get on The Huffington Post so bad. Not only does making blog friends help grow your blog, but it helps when you have someone to talk to about things nobody else understands. So put yourself out there and you will meet some amazing people.
Blogging is incredibly fun, a lot of work, but so rewarding. And if you are able to grow your blog, more opportunities will open up to you and you will be able to do things you didn’t think were possible. I love being able to blog and share tips and ideas with people, and I hope that this series will inspire you to do the same!
For the rest of the posts in this series, check out how to start a blog, how to use Pinterest to grow your blog, and how to monetize your blog.
I was just thinking to myself today “I wonder when Chelsea is going to post another blog how-to”! Thanks for reading my mind! Such awesome tips for someone like me just starting out.
Chelsea Johnson says
Well here it is! I’m glad you like the series! I have two more posts coming in the next month, so keep an eye out! I hope they are helpful!!
Carisa Smith says
I love this post and how real you are! I think making blogging friends is huge and I love all the unique opportunities that you get from blogging!! It really is a great way to challenge your creativity and build skills that will bless your family!
Chelsea Johnson says
I completely agree! And thanks! Blogging really is a great way to challenge your creativity. And you definitely get to work on skills like cooking and sewing and other things that help you be a mom!
All great tips! I really think that networking is one of the best and most crucial parts of being successful in blogging. I have met some of the most wonderful people through blogging.
And scheduling tools are definitely a must! I don’t know how I could keep up with pinning if I didn’t schedule.
Chelsea Johnson says
Me too! Meeting new people is one of my favorite things about blogging! I completely agree about scheduling, too! If you want to be serious about blogging, scheduling is something you have to do!
Bradleigh Huizinga says
Thank you for you for this series!. I just started a blog, (as in, last week!) on natural living, (www.widemeadow.com)with the goal of turning it into a source of income. I feel like I’ve been thrown into the ocean without knowing how to swim! Everything is new to me, from setting up a beautiful, user-friendly blog to gaining followers, so your practical steps are helpful. My biggest question is how to gain followers when you don’t have any at all. It seems like the sort of thing where the more you have, the more you can get, and the fewer you have the harder it is to get more.
Chelsea Johnson says
That’s so exciting! And you’re welcome for the series! Everybody starts small, you just have to keep promoting yourself and putting out good content. Create fan pages and share your stuff like crazy! Just remember that everyone starts with zero followers, and you’ll feel a little better! Good luck!