21 Ways To Expand Your Blog Audience

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


It happens every January.

My inbox starts to fill up with emails from people who've started a blog and now want to expand their following.

So how do I respond to a question that has a million different answers? The best I can. I'll tell you what I did and what worked for me.

Stage 1: You just started your blog. Now how the hell do you get followers?

1. Use your resources.

2. I started with Facebook. My friends and family were the first to read my posts because I put them on my personal page every day.

But what if you're one of those people hesitant to share your blog with people you know?

You have to get over that. Your friends and family will be your biggest supports and readers -which you'll need in the beginning. Eventually your friends will tell their friends.

And now you've started getting your first batch of followers.

How to gain the "blog audience."

When you're ready to expand beyond just friends and family, here's a few tips.

3. Comment on other blogs. You've heard this before because it works. When I decided to take my blog "more mainstream" as I call it, I commented on 5-10 blogs every night for about 6 months. My blog went from 20,000 hits to 100,000 in a year.

4. Join blogging networks. Like Bloglovin or Blogher.

5. Then join blogging groups on Facebook. This is a great way to network with like minded bloggers.

6. Get yourself a circle of blogger friends. You'll need to talk shop and bounce ideas off each other.

7. Do sidebar ad (or button) swaps. Find blogs similar in size to you and reach out to initiate this.

8. Look at the blogs you admire and take note of what they're doing. Why are they successful? No need to reinvent the wheel here.

9. Guest post on other blogs similar in size to you and allow people to guest post on your blog. Why? Because the person guest posting on your blog will blast it to their audience, as well.

10. Participate in link-ups.
They allow you to find more bloggers and bloggers to find you. I'm going to roll one out on Friday called "Blast Your Blog Friday." That's it. No expectations or guidelines. Just a way to blast your post that day, or blog, or whatever it is you want to talk about on a Friday.

11. Share other blogger's posts you like. Why? Because they'll return the favor. Sharing is caring.

Spending money to gain an audience. 

Or as I call it, advertising.

12. Buy spots on other blogs who's audience you'd like to acquire. For example, if you're a food blogger don't pay for advertising on a fashion blogger's site.

Or do, it's your thing. This is just my opinion.

13. Fork out the extra money to write a post on a "big blog." In the beginning I just purchased side bar ads, but eventually I moved on to only guest posts.

14. Boost posts on Facebook. I spend about $5 once a week to boost a post I think people will like.

15. Host a giveaway every once in awhile. Right now my top requirements for entries are:
Like on Bloglovin
Like my Facebook page
Follow on Instagram

Those are my top because that's where I get the most traffic from- right now. But this is always changing... gotta follow the trends.

Using SEO and niche posts to get more traffic.

16. I love the niche posts. This one has had 55,000 views. It's been shared a lot. Not all of the viewers stick around, but some do and that's worth it to me.

17. So write a post about your high school, your home town, CrossFit, whatever. Just find a niche and write a good post and it will get shares.

18. SEO- my knowledge is minimal. But here's what I do know. Blog post titles matter. Don't use something vague that won't pull up in google.

19. Image titles matter. The image you see above is saved as "growyourblog" so when people google that phrase this will hopefully come up in google images.

*I like to have fun with naming my images. For example, google "homely nebraska kid" and see if you recognize the second image that pops up.... hehe.

20. Check out Helene's post for more SEO info. Want to go even more in depth? Check out Helene's webinars about blogging.

I knew this post would get long, there's just TOO MUCH INFO.  I'll write part two later this week or next week about social media platforms, how to make money from blogging, and answer a few more of your questions.

Lastly, my number one tip to expand your blog: write content people want to read. You won't hit a grand slam every time (like today, does anyone care about this?!?) but if you care about what you're writing, your posts will reflect that.

What did I leave out that you want to know? What are your own suggestions for getting a bigger audience? Tell me below.


30 comments:

  1. I care!! Haha - thank you for writing this! I hadn't thought about writing a niche post! I agree about side bar ads. They're just not as effective as guest posting or social media shout outs would be!

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  2. I struggle with this so much because part of me is like, "write for yourself and whoever happens to stumble on it" but then I'm like, WAIT. I put a lot of time and effort into this and when I know I have a good post, I want it to be seen. It deserves to be seen. But sometimes it feels like I'm losing an uphill battle. I do most of the things you mentioned with a few exceptions and it's helped a lot, but I do wish I could get a better reach with some new readers and even non-bloggers. Working on it! Thanks for the tips ;)

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    1. I'm exactly the same! It's always challenging battling between the two.

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  3. I've always wondering if spending money to boost a post on Facebook was, you know, worth it. Seeing it listed here, I may have to try it out.

    I need to stop being lazy and step up my blogging game, so I'm definitely going to try out a few of these tips. Thanks for sharing!

    Bianca | Born in August

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  4. I've started advertising on blogs recently and I'm really excited to see if my blog traffic increases! These are some really great tips lovely, thank you!
    Aisling | Aislings beauty bytes
    x

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  5. Sharing my posts on social media is where I struggle the most! Once I hit publish on a blog post, I feel accomplished so I'm done. I need to step it up and share as soon as I post. What are your favorite blogger Facebook groups?

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  6. Tay - I am SO glad you posted this. Great tips and tricks! I've been trying to network like crazy in the last 2 or 3 months. My goal for 2016 is to Grow my Blog. but I never know where to start because I feel like I'm posting constantly on all social media platforms I can..and I've been getting more hits that I used to but there are still those days when I am feeling stuck.

    I've been commenting like CRAY CRAY on others blogs and it's definitely helped me grow in the community.

    -Ashlee Michelle
    www.makeupandmodifieds.com

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  7. These tips are super helpful, thank you! I never really thought about the importance of image titles... and I'm starting to think seriously about taking the plunge and investing in some sponsorships. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
    - Nellwyn
    www.thecardinalpress.com

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  8. I Love this. it's straightforward and honest. thanks for sharing your brilliance taylor! and thanks for the shoutout!

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  9. I love this post! It is very helpful! Once again, your blog is one of my favs!

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  10. Ahhh, the whole "getting over people I know reading my blog." That's my biggest toughie! I cringe every time someone says "I love your blog!" and I have no idea why! But you're right, it's definitely the best place to start. Thanks for the tips! :) It's time for me to suck it up and use some of them for once!

    www.samantharosesays.com

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  11. Bookmarking this post for sure! Thanks for the great resource.

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  12. Your blog is one of the blogs I read all the time, and never do you disappoint! :) Definitely going to use these tips to help grow my blog. Thanks!

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  13. Came here expecting to see a play on growing your blog, and was totally shocked (but also excited) to see a serious post haha. These are awesome and no-nonsense tips. Thanks, Taylor!

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  14. Looooove this post!!! these are amazing tips!! Will be sharing!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  15. This is an awesome resource, thank you for sharing! Looking forward to your link up on Friday! :)

    -Chelsie
    www.thebotoxandbubbly.com

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  16. I feel like you literally read my mind! I love it! Thanks for the tips :)

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  17. What do you do about your old posts from before your skill set advanced? Do you go back and redo all the images for it? You don't what to delete content. You could also leave it as is so you can see how you've grown as a professional.
    -Corrine
    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/corrine-elizabeth-14600427

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing all of your tips!

    Ally
    http://www.substance.cc

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  19. I always feel like I'm stepping over the mark if I advertise on another blog. I mean it makes sense but I still have the turf mindset.

    I've recently started a new blog in a completely new direction and I'm not ready to pay for space yet, but definitely some great ideas :)

    www.meanderingmanatee.blogspot.com

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  20. Thank you so much for these tips!! I've been commenting on tons of blogs to get my link out there!! I've definitely seen a surge a traffic after I've done it for a period of time! I also use Bloglovin and it's a great way to find other blogs like mine! I need to work on my image saving names! I also use twitter to share my posts and retweet other blogger's posts I've enjoyed! =)

    Have a great weekend! Melanie | Blog: Toots + Dill

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  21. Some good tips here, thank you :)

    aimee-barnes.blogspot.com

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  22. these are great tips here and some I have already tackled and trying to find new ways to bring more readership to my blog.

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  23. praise hand emoji x 4. Hahaha but really, I am in the throes of trying to get my blog up and running again and I need posts like these to kick my ass into action!

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  24. This was really informative and just the way I like it! Short and sweet! I've recently revitalized my blog and this came in handy. (:

    http://alyssatay.blogspot.com

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