Wondering what you need to do to get your blog growing? Read on to find out the reasons why I’m finally seeing blog growth.
Recently, after what has felt like an eternity of hard work, I’m starting to see some consistent growth in this little space. It’s so exciting to see my page views and users grow and know that I’m able to reach more people – and that more people are enjoying what I have to say! When you first start blogging it can definitely feel like you’re talking to an empty room which can be so discouraging. But thankfully, if you keep working at it, things start to pick up. You start to have “regular” commenters and you make friends and, if you’re lucky, you start to make a few dollars.
Seeing this consistent growth has really made me think about what I’ve done differently. In January, I committed to making my blog grow and bringing it to a place where I can cover my student loans since that’s the one bill that I feel guilty about Alex having to cover to allow me to stay home with the boys. And since I’ve committed 100%, I’ve seen such great growth. So today I thought I’d share the reasons that I’m finally seeing blog growth so that you can see some too!
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Why I’m Finally Seeing Blow Growth
- I’m producing more content consistently. When I started blogging I was sort of kind of posting Monday through Friday. I often skipped days, I would post at random times, and I even remember scheduling HALF of a post a few times and finishing it in the morning – what was I thinking?! Since about February I’ve been posting every single day. I’ve missed exactly one post since this started, and it was because I was in the hospital with Owen and unable to work on a post on my phone. I have a schedule that I stick to, and I’ve even created an editorial calendar and scheduled posts 3 months out. Each post goes out at 4 AM (unless there is more than one post, which will either go out at 1 am or 8 am.) My readers know what to expect and when to expect it
- I’m producing different content. For a while, the only consistent posts were on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and occasionally Thursday). They were the days that my 3 favorite themed link-ups were active, and I wrote to them. I still write those posts – Monday is Best of the Weekend (which I link up with MIMM and Weekend Snapshots) Wednesday is What I Ate Wednesday, Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud, and Friday is Friday Favorites (which I link with Heather and Andrea). While I would get decent traffic on those days, it never exceeded 300 pageviews in a day, and after that day, the post was dead, more or less. Those types of posts, while fun and interesting are NOT evergreen – they are not the type of content that in a week, a month, a year will be searchable and sought out on Google and social media. The funny thing is, my least popular day used to be Tuesdays when I would post some kind of evergreen content. That was because I didn’t have a specific “high” traffic link up that I was focusing on that day, and even though I was creating a piece of evergreen content that day, I was letting it die by not focusing on promoting or sharing it. Now I heavily focus on making any and all evergreen content seen and shared by many people.
- I’m being smarter about promotion. With that said, I’m being smarter about promotion. I have a long list of link ups that I hit daily, and I know when they go live so I can be as close to the top of that link up as possible. I’m learning the ropes of Twitter and Facebook and excelling at Pinterest. I’m learning what type of content does well where. In short, I’m promoting better and more efficiently.
- I’m utilizing Pinterest. This has been my biggest one yet. As of the day I’m writing this, 40% of my traffic now comes from Pinterest. Just 2 months ago that number was less than 10%. I’ve been researching and playing around with Pinterest to find out what I can do to make Pinterest love me – what will make them show my content more so that I get more eyes on my content, more repins, and more follows. I’m not going to go into it more because I could be here all day, but I’m planning on putting together a post on what I’ve been doing once I have more impressive stats/more concrete advice, but I will say that in the past 2 weeks I’ve gained anywhere from 20-50 followers a day without much effort, and that is definitely translating into growth. Before, I would occasionally remember to pin my day’s post and it was rare that the photos I was adding to each post were optimized for Pinterest. So obviously my Pinterest traffic was minimal.
- I’m networking with other bloggers more. You know all of those blogging groups on Facebook? Find a few that you like and start talking. Find some that aren’t full of only follow threads, but where people are looking for advice and information. Supply your colleagues (YES, they are your COLLEAGUES if you are hoping to make this your job in any way, shape, or form.) with your knowledge, chime in on debates, congratulate people on accomplishments, ask questions. You will never meet people and create relationships if you just keep link dropping. Trust me. And relationships make blogging more fun AND those who support you will in turn support your content, sharing it with their own followers and readers. Oh, and you over there proclaiming you’re an introvert? Me too. My only advice is to get over it. Start small. Answer one question. Then answer two. Post a question. Send an email. Soon you’ll be contacting people to cohost things and create your own groups. Build your confidence slowly, you’ll be fine.
- I’m scheduling my time better. Rather than spending way too much time on Pinterest, I’m using a scheduler. (Interested in Pinterest scheduling? Try out Tailwind for free for one month by using my link! I’ll also get a free month if you do, so thanks!!) Same with Twitter and Facebook (though I’m still learning about those two – any tips or resources are welcome!!) I’m using a timer to make sure that I stay on track with each task. Since I have limited time during the day to get blogging done, I need to make sure that I’m using time properly. I have a list of all of my blogging tasks with times/numbers associated with each. If I reach the end of that list with time to spare I go right back to the top and do it all over. This way I don’t get stuck wandering Pinterest for hourrssss. Because I will.
- I lost the embarrassment. This was a hard one for me for whatever reason. For a while, I was embarrassed to talk about my blog, and about my goals for it, especially with people I am close to. I have no idea why. I think I feared being judged, but you know what? Who cares. If this is what you love and what you want to be doing, lose the embarrassment and start talking. Some of my best post topics, promotion strategies, and pitches come when I’m talking about the blog with Alex or my dad.
It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to start seeing consistent growth on my blog. To be honest, I think a large part of it was because I wasn’t completely committed with no question about it. Had I been committed from the start and followed the above guidelines, I think I would have seen so much more growth by now. I don’t believe in regrets, but knowing that I technically started this blog in 2013 and didn’t take it seriously kills me when I think of where I could be.
So don’t be like me – stick to it, be consistent. Learn all you can, talk to other bloggers. Become confident and ignore whatever stigma you there is. Focus on growth and commitment and you will reap the benefits.
Tell me – which of these have you found to be the most important in business for blog growth? Let me know in the comments!