How To Grow Your Blog Following & Traffic
So, you want to know how to grow your blog following & traffic? Recently I was honored to have a subscriber ask me for any tips on gaining followers. I was excited about this because I knew it would make a great post and I’d be helping someone somewhere. That’s always the goal here:) I don’t have thousands of followers but I am pretty close to 1K on my more personal blog, GoldenPinkJournal where I’ve been blogging for a little over a year. During the year I wasn’t as consistent as I could have been (with anything) so I know my blog didn’t reach its full potential in that amount of time. I plan to change that this next year.
While there are many factors that come into play when growing your following/traffic I’m going to be talking about some of the easier ways for beginners. If you want to get more advanced you can look into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which I’ve been learning about and working on since starting sheliveslove.
Two great articles on this:
Blog SEO: How To Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content
SEO Basics: How To Optimize A Blog Post
The first and easiest way to start growing your following and increase your traffic is to post more. Obviously right? But when you post, and how you post will play a huge role. Think about what times you’re posting to your blog. Do you post more often in the morning? Evening? Late at night? Maybe you just post at random times altogether.
I’m one that posts at random times but I usually try to post in the morning or at least before 5 PM. I’ve noticed that any content later than that doesn’t get as many views. After 5 PM people are winding down from work in most cases. I do understand if you’re a younger blogger still in school, your audience might be the same. In this case, posting later might work better for you when most of your audience is out of school and has time to read your blog. If you work in the morning (outside of blogging) try working on your posts in the evenings or on weekends and schedule them for the morning.
Lesser views = A lesser chance of growing both your following and traffic
If you have a good following that is already familiar with your posting schedule and you find the opposite to be working better, that’s fine too!
Use Appropriate Tags!
Yes, posting is the first step to grow your following and traffic but it’s simply not enough. Nobody will see those posts especially when you’re first starting out unless you include tags or share on social media of course but that’s another point.
By using tags, you will find that the views and followers are coming more from people who are passionate about the same topics as you. That is why it is important to use the appropriate tags, don’t use random ones that have nothing to do with the post.
Don’t just use tags in your post though. You’ll benefit even more if you go to those tags (you can also follow) and check out the other bloggers using it. Read and comment on their post, give them a follow if you think you’ll be interested in seeing more from them. I consider myself mainly a lifestyle, inspiration blogger so I use life, lifestyle, and inspiration as a tag for every post I upload. Other tags I often use are blogging, personal, journaling, and writing. It really just depends on what the post is about and I’ll add more accordingly.
Be careful not to use too many tags — less than 15 tags (or categories or both) is a good number. The more tags you use the less likely your post will be featured in the reader. This is straight from WordPress support. You can read their tips on getting more views and traffic at the link below.
Another small tip about tags, make sure you have them spelled correctly! No one is going to be searching “inxspiration” which was a mistake I recently found in one of my posts.
Interact with others!
This is an obvious one that you’ll always see. After you upload you need to find time to read and comment on other blogs. Also be sure to find time to reply to your own comments. When I read a blog post, I often read the comments before or after leaving my own and this allows me to see who else has commented. Sometimes I check out those bloggers if I’m not familiar with them. I know others do this as well so it’s a great way to be noticed by others stopping by…but don’t comment on someone’s blog for personal gain! This is only a bonus of interacting, please be genuine! No one is going to follow you if you comment “Nice post! Follow my blog at…” There are posts out there made specifically for self-promotion. You can even make your own and have your followers (and other bloggers) drop their blog link and something about themselves in the comments.
Other ways you can interact is by reposting, giving shoutouts to your favorite blogs, checking out their social media platforms and interacting there, also blog collaborations, and Q&As. Which brings me to my next point-
Take Advantage Of Posts That Help You Grow!
This can be a specific type of post or series for you, one that you know usually gets you the most interaction but some popular choices are:
• How-to’s (Teaching your audience something valuable is a great way to grow! They’ll thank you and want to come back for more)
• Top 10 List (or any number)
• Your opinion on something debatable, something that can be discussed. (I’ve noticed discussions get a lot of feedback because everyone has a different opinion, everyone can add something more to the discussion, and sometimes even relate)
• Case Study (Not everyone enjoys these, but I love a good case study, polls etc for blog posts)
• Q&A (Who doesn’t love a good Q&A? We all have questions we’d love to ask our favorite bloggers, and many of us love answering and reading them. This is a good way to get to know each other in the community, as well as interaction.)
• Collaborations/Guest Post (Collaborations are always fun and can help you build friendships with other bloggers. You will also benefit by being seen on another blog, reaching their audience)
• Interviews (Interview another blogger, if you can interview anyone famous that would be great! You could also interview someone who is professional in their field)
• Blog related posts (like the one you’re reading now)
• Posts everyone can relate to (What is something everyone can relate to? What is something everyone has or does?) On my personal blog goldenpinkjournal, I made a post describing each zodiac sign according to my experiences. This post was one of my most viewed and has the most comments out of my recent uploads. Everyone has a zodiac sign so many of those views were probably from people who wondered what someone thought about their sign, and if they could relate to my description or not. It was a fun post that everyone could enjoy and comment on.
• Freebies (ebook, free printable, free wallpapers, blog tools etc)
These are all great topics to grab readers attention but of course, you need to blog about what comes most natural to you as well. Find your writing voice and write what you’re most passionate about. Most of your followers (if they followed for the right reason) will be genuine and passionate about the same things as you which always makes for a better experience.
Having social media accounts can help you grow followers very similar to the way of using tags in your posts. I am still working on using social media for my blog when I started out I was more consistent so I was noticing more interaction and traffic from this but then I went through a lot of blog changes. I have just started using Instagram and Twitter again. I still use Pinterest occasionally.
Whenever you upload a blog post, let your followers know in whatever social media accounts you have. Make sure to use appropriate tags (there are some good twitter tags for bloggers!) interact with those tags as well. Self-promotion definitely and shouldn’t be boring so have fun with it! Use Instagram stories, share little back stories or behind the scenes of you working on a post, upload a nice picture relating to the post and share your link, highlight key points the reader might want to check out. Just have fun and be creative! I’ll be doing a follow up on how my new experience with Instagram and Twitter is going and what I’ve learned later.
*a few hashtags for Twitter: bloggerstribe, blogginggals, bbloggers, thegirlgang, grlpowr
Photography & Design!
And finally, my last tip… Photography and design. So you’ve got some great content ideas, good posts already uploaded. But are you including pictures? A featured image? Is your blog design easy to navigate through and pleasing to the eye? The first thing a person sees when you post is the title you have and your featured image. While they are reading that post, more than likely they aren’t going to read a bunch of text without any spacing, pictures or anything!
The first thing they see when they click on your blog or website is the header/logo and overall design.
I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, so maybe you shouldn’t judge a blog by its design but I have to be honest here… I’ve found myself immediately clicking off of a blog because the design was too plain and boring, I’ve also scrolled past blog posts because they didn’t have any images. Not every time, but more than enough.
Which blog post would you most likely click on?
Most of you if not all chose B. So if something that simple can make or break your views on a blog post, think about it the same way when designing your website. I also have a post on how I create my blog headers that you can check out.
As with anything, in order to grow, you have to put in the time and dedication. You have to be consistent, and you have to be adding something of value. Ask yourself, what can my readers gain from reading my blog? I hope this post has helped you in one way or many! Let me know in the comments. What other ways to grow your following/traffic can you include?