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.
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.