Happy Monday! I’m really excited about today’s post!…it’s long though, so PLEASE stick with me 🙂
From today forward I’ll be posting with this schedule
M- Motivational Monday- Advice/Inspiration
T- Tasty Tuesday- FOOD!!
W- Geek Glam
Th- Family/mom advice and personal experiences
F- Featured Fridays- Product/Service reviews and Guest Posting by other bloggers
When I put my blog up in early May, I didn’t know ANYTHING about blogging. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to try my hand at writing in a fun way and that I needed a place to express myself. What I didn’t understand is that blogging is more than just writing. There’s interaction, visibility, and social media involved. I thought with having a facebook page with over 1,000 friends would be all the exposure I would need to get some readers…WRONG.
The first posts I wrote were regarding Influenster’s vox box program reviewing a handful of different products. Once that was over, I wasn’t sure what to write. I knew I had a lot to say, but I was lacking direction.
I decided to take some advice I had read years ago and just start writing. The rest would figure itself out. I started with a reflection of a devotional book that I had been reading. Next, I talked about Julep’s recent award and then I put a creative spin on Minnie Mouse’s latest nail polish from OPI.
Feeling like my content was lacking depth, I changed direction. After writing How to be Epic I felt that I wouldn’t be stereotyped as a ditzy beauty blogger, and that I had found the key to generating more traffic because the writing was more purposeful and inspiring. THEN...nothing happened. What is the problem?! I’d been sharing on Twitter and my personal Facebook profile as well as the Facebook page connected to this blog. On a whim, I DM’d another blogger, @aopinionatedman on Twitter who had started following my blog a week earlier. His blog Harsh Reality, has over 310,000 views and nearly 20,000 followers..in only 7 months! He told me, “You write great, so what’s the problem?”
Finally! Breathing a HUGE sigh of relief (thank God, I don’t suck!!)…we talked a little more. (The comment thread can be read here.)
FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS…
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve digested a TON of information about blogging, SEO, social media, and writing.
You DO NOT have to wait 12 months to get 3000 views. May, I had 19 views. June 250. For July?
Nearly 700. The growth rate is awesome.
UPDATE (Aug. 9, 2013): Need more convincing to read on? My final total views for July was 2,056, and 9 days into August, I’m at 1,255. That’s a total of 3,580! Now do I have your attention?
OK, so WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO YOU?
I’m going to pass on what I learned to you. According to OM, “Blogging is only 33% what you write.” No one is going to magically see what you write on Google.
1. Get a Twitter account. Follow people you DON’T KNOW who blog. Look at their blog, follow it, and comment on a post you like. Talk to them on Twitter and tell them what you liked personally. Start a dialog. Ask for feedback on your blog, but don’t be pushy. Do you expect people to interact with your blog, but you don’t interact with other blogs? You can’t be a writer without also being a reader.
2. If you find a blog that writes in a style you like, read it often. You will naturally write more like them, but in your own style.
3. POST regularly. I don’t care if it’s once a week or five times a week. Be consistent, and show up for your readers. Even if your audience is 10 people. ALSO, include several images in your post. Make sure they are royalty free- check out Pixabay. Some people will only read the captions under your photos, so make sure you use images and great captions.
4. Find a blogging community. If you are a woman, try The SITS girls. They have lots of ways to improve and connect with other women.
5. Maybe your writing could use some improvement, or maybe you just need to make it visually easier to read. Check out Jeff Goins. He offers practical tips and encouragement.
6. Blogging is fun but it is a lot of work. Take the time to make your blog readable. If your theme is cluttered with too many buttons and/or the colors clash, your readers will be leaving and moving onto a different blog before they read ANYTHING you have to say.
7. Guest Post. After you have a couple months of blogging under your belt and have a consistent rhythm of posting established, find a blog you interact with regularly and request to guest post. I’ve started guest posting for Geek Glam. Learn more about guest posting here.
8. Write to your reader! For example, if you are writing about photography, don’t be too wordy. Not sure what you want to write about yet? Pick 2-3 topics and start there. Then, schedule which days you will post on those topics. Deliver the same topics on the same days. This will automatically give you direction and help you feel organized. Your readers will come back for what they like. Blogging is fluid, so you need to monitor your stats as you try this tactic and develop your voice, writing style and grow your audience. Try Statcounter.com or Google analytics (no google analytics for wordpress.com users.)
9. SHARE YOUR POSTS. Every single share button should be at the end of each post. Just because you don’t use LinkedIn doesn’t mean your readers don’t. Make sure you include your personal social media contacts on each post so your readers have an opportunity to reach out to you.
Lastly, you are a human. Write like one.
There are a lot more tips than that, but I hope you found something helpful here.
What would you tell your beginning blogging self? How long have you been blogging?
What #1 tip would you add to this list?
What 5 words would you use to describe this blog? Do me the honor of answering in the comment section below.
Music this post was written to:
Easy -Sheryl Crow, Jua -Evan Duffy, The Garden -Mirah, You do the Same for Me -Dave Barnes, You Don’t Know me – Michael Bolton, Breathe -Ryan Star,Silhouettes -Sleeping At Last, No Such Thing – John Mayer, Awake- Josh Groban, Swimming-Florence +the Machine, Only Love -Ben Howard, The Heat- NeedtoBreathe, Clarity- Zedd feat. Foxes, Babel -Mumford and Sons