Tips for New Bloggers

Tips for New Bloggers (2)

 

So, you’ve started a blog and you want some tips for how to get followers and exposure? Well, I’m not the be-all-end-all expert, but I have seen an upswing in the amount of traffic to my blog in the last year. Here are some of the hints and tips that I have used, and they have seemed to help:

1. Content: You can’t have people like your blog if you don’t write well or write about meaningful, interesting things. Find your passion. Check your grammer (yes, I did that on purpose). Write about something that is worthwhile to you. To make sure my content is “good enough,” I always have my amazing hubby Tim read each post. He does a quick spell/grammar check and a review of the content as well. It’s nice to have another set of eyes before it goes in front of the world.

2. Amount of Posts: I tend to write a lot in each post (I am VERY wordy), but I don’t post any more than 1 post a day. I try to limit myself to about 5 posts a week, but I know that often that is too much. Try to spread it out, but don’t forget about your blog either. However, you only need 1 good post to hit it “big.” When my grandfather passed away in 2012, I had about 600 independent views of his post, and that was what rocketed me towards the numbers I get now. That initial exposure gave me some interested readers, and that has fueled me to where I am now- steadily at 400-500 views a day.

3. Include Pictures in Posts: I love including pictures, because I find that my favorite posts on other’s blogs include good pictures. I have been known to skip over the words (gasp! since I write so much myself) and just look at the pictures.

4. Organization of Blog: Once I gave my blog a makeover in April 2013, I saw a huge difference in my viewership. Maybe it was my confidence or just that the layout was easier to navigate, but I think it’s a much cleaner, more organized look and feel. Plus, it’s pretty! People like pretty blogs! Oh, and include a search button somewhere easy to find! I can’t tell you the number of times that I am looking for something on a post on a blog, and I give up and move away from that blog because I can’t search it easily!

5. Pinterest is Your Friend: That is the number 1 way that I started seeing spikes in my views (From there, Google noticed me and it since took over as the #1 referrer through searches). Include a picture in every single blog post. Then, on your Pinterest profile, have a board that is your blog title. Pin a picture (or 14) from your post to that blog board. People like things that visually intrigue them. My Classroom (In Progress) post has hundreds thousands of re-pins because I pinned just about every picture from it. Teachers love organizational ideas, and I am always getting re-pins every day of my pictures from that post.

Oh, and when you upload pictures to your blog, give them an interesting title AND the name of your blog. That way, if someone is on your blog and pins one of your pictures, it automatically has a good pin description instead of “IMG1234.” It takes time at the beginning, but it is worth it in the long run.

One final tip: don’t just post your own content on Pinterest. Have other (well-organized) boards and post other content to them. I read somewhere that it should be about half original content and half pre-existing content from other sites. That will be the most interesting to other Pinterest users. Oh, and DESCRIPTIVE PINS ARE NECESSARY!

6. Link to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: You can automatically link your posts to Facebook and Twitter. You can connect your Instagram pictures to your blog. Your Instagram pictures can instantly post to Facebook and Twitter (and other social media sites too). Yes, Facebook now has some weird settings so it doesn’t get a lot of views, but there are ways to circumnavigate that and increase its exposure. I haven’t had time to look into that (raising twins, you know), but check Pinterest.

7. Link Parties: Bloggers host themed “parties” where they invite other bloggers to repost one of their favorite posts onto their link party. This is great exposure. Make sure to follow the rules of the party, but post your content onto them. Once I link up a post, I will go to the bottom of my post and write a little line like “This post was linked to XY’s Link Party #42” and have the link to that party. That way, I remember that it has been linked to a certain site, and I won’t do that post on that site again. Some of my better/favorite tutorials have lots of link-ups at the bottom of the post.

8. Blog Button: Make yourself a blog button. If you don’t know where to start, a new website called Canva can help you make a professional-looking and free button. Then, you can create an HTML code via “Grab my Button” for your blog.

9. HTML: You don’t have to learn HTML with the awesome blog sites like Blogger and WordPress. Still, it’s nice to be able to read  coding. Every now and then, switch to your “text” view and see if you can figure out what code does what. Also, simple searches will help you out too.

10. Reviews: I enjoy doing reviews for products that I use. It’s a perk of blogging to be able to get “free” stuff (though it’s not the reason I blog). If you want to get started in this realm, start by asking local artists (such as Etsy sellers, direct sales consultants, or local businesses) if they would be willing to give you ABC Product in exchange for a review. I have a “Sponsoring” page where you can see my spiel for reviews and giveaways.

Once you get established, you can go to sites like Tomoson and other review-based websites and apply for reviews. These often depend on your stats, so you do have to build up a following first.

11. Giveaways: These are a great way to get your name out there a bit more. You have to be willing to push your giveaway a bit at first, but hopefully if it’s for a good product, the news of it will spread. One of my favorite blog moments was when I received my first giveaway entry from someone I didn’t know. Eek! Strangers read my blog! Of course, you will want to have good content to keep them coming back! By the way, I love using Rafflecopter to host my free giveaways.

12. Message Boards: Once you know your niche, go to your already-established message boards and look for questions that you have already answered in a blog post. Then, say to that poster: “Oh! I wrote about that in my blog. Here’s the link: www.YourPostHere.com” Be warned, you will want to already be established first, or you will be known as The Annoying Blogger that Only Posts About Her Stuff (and you may get banned).

13. Comment on Other Blogs: This is a big part of link-ups and social media. Don’t just be a one-way street! Go visit other blogs. Love on them. And comment! Bloggers love to get comments! And then leave your blog address. We WILL visit your blog and share in the mutual love.

14. Bloglovin’: This is where I organize all of my favorite blogs. Then, I can read when they add new posts. Make sure your blog is on Bloglovin’ too! There are other sites that do the same, but that is my favorite. While you are at it, follow me on Bloglovin‘!

15. Guest Posts/Collaborators: Contact some of your favorite blogs and ask if you can do a guest post or if they will do a guest post on your blog. This is a great way to get more followers. Or submit some of your original content into review blogs, like I did with Favorite Paint Colors and Totally Tutorials. Better yet, link up as a continual collaborator (meaning you constantly give content to a certain blog), as I am with How Do You Do It? I have another really exciting collaboration coming up that I will announce in about a month. I’m so excited to share this one!

16. Links in Your Posts: If you refer back to something that you wrote, link to it. If you have a theme of posts, make a tab and do a bunch of links, like what I did with Life with Twins or Twin Pregnancy or Tutorials/DIY or Recipes or Reviews/Giveaways. Readers like easy access to content. Make it easy for them.

17. Social Media Icons: These are much more simple than you think. They are just pictures that, if clicked, link to your specific social media site (such as Instagram or Twitter). Some can be fancier and automatically make you “like” a Facebook page or “follow” on Twitter, but you don’t have to make them that special. Just a link to your other profiles is enough! If that reader uses that Pinterest site, they know how to follow you!

 

Shout Out Time: Thanks so much to Leah at That Mama Jama for being my inspiration for this post! I hope that you see lots of great stats in your blogging future, my friend!

Worry-Free Wednesday with Doyle Dispatch
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Comments

  1. #1 – Yep. If you don’t do this, the rest of it isn’t going to help you much.

  2. Hello Dory:
    Thank you so much for this great post! I am not a new blogger and I still learned a lot! There is always something to learn in this exciting business of blogging! I appreciate the input!
    -Amy Kelsch

  3. Thanks Dory!!! And double thanks for the shout out! You’ve been such a wonderful help to me!!

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