The seduction of blogging.
Becoming a blogger is one of the easiest things anyone can do. With a myriad of free blogging platforms available like Medium, WordPress, Wix and more, anyone with an internet connection can set up a blog in no time. Growing a blog, on the other hand, is frustrating, difficult, and often painful. Well, maybe not really painful but it can feel that way to the writer struggling to see growth on their blog.
If you’re depending on your blog for income, the sporadic nature of blog growth can be an added stress while you watch your traffic yo-yo. Without growing your blog, you know you’re not making as much as you could be making. But how to do it? What is the magical formula that so many other bloggers have hit upon that you’ve missed?
Social media can not be stressed enough as a primary means of driving traffic to your blog or any blog. Some bloggers do zero marketing except from social media, garnering hundreds of thousands of visitors. For each blogger the channel varies, sometimes from Pinterest and sometimes from Twitter, but that they’re traffic comes almost exclusively from social media is clear.
What it comes down to however, is getting social media right. You can find additional tips for using social media as an author here. Getting that formula right takes some research, study, and patience. Even if you stumble in cracking the code to social media gold, remember to keep your engagement on social media authentic and genuine.
Years blogging has taught me one key thing: It doesn’t matter how great or frequent the content you produce, if you don’t engage as well as share on social media you will never grow your blog through any platform. Having shareable pictures (find great stock images here and here and here!) and leaving/responding to comments on your blog and other’s blogs is great interaction and genuine engagement.
Also, capitalize on social media memes. Rachel Thompson at Bad Redhead Media has some awesome tips about memes as well as a ton of other great tips about blog growth and social media marketing. Rachel also created the social meme #MondayBlogs to help maximize blog visibility and collaborative sharing.
Memes I follow/use:
But the biggest thing to know about growing your blog and sharing on social media is to provide useful content that helps others. By creating quality content that isn’t all about you, you’re more likely to pick up growth through sheer interest. Don’t forget to optimize every post with SEO; use headline and keyword analyzers to make sure you’re optimized to the max.
What are the top social sites?
Debate over the top social media sites to share your blog varies wildly and hotly depending on who you ask. Every blogger should be prepared to share on the major social media channels, but remember to ensure postings go out on Twitter and Google+. Google immediately crawls both platforms when indexing.
Pinterest, in my opinion, is an underutilized social media platform by most authors. While many bloggers for fashion, DIY, and more use the site, authors seem to be a little later in jumping on the pinning bandwagon. Writers need to keep in mind however, that Pinterest is actively pursuing varying demographics of users, trying to steal some of Google’s users. That pursuit of growth is a free bonus to you trying to grow your blog.
Why? Pinterest is unique as a social platform. Most social media is about sharing and engaging with others, but Pinterest users are discovers, searching for information or products. Also, as an image search engine you gain the added bonus of making attractive pins that stand out to hook discovers into reading your blog and growing it.
Work smarter; tap Google.
There are a few bloggers who don’t experience the majority of their growth through social media. For them, Google is their hotspot. Let’s face it, Google is the search engine.
I know a lot of bloggers. Some are successful and some aren’t. What is the difference between those that are successful and those that aren’t? SEO.
If quality content were enough to drive traffic to your blog, you wouldn’t be reading this article and I wouldn’t have to write it. Google has needs, and those needs are called SEO. With a ton of resources about how to use SEO properly and so many plugins that make SEO optimization a snap, there is zero reason for himhawing around any longer about how “difficult” or “technical” SEO is.
Tips for SEO
- Take 15 minutes to research post keywords, look at their ranking to determine how well they drive traffic. The Hoth has a great (free!) search engine rankings checker.
- Link it up, baby. Back-link, link share, link-building…links are SEO bank.
- Google never stops learning. Help Google learn more about you by providing keywords.
When you come down to it, SEO isn’t a scary or difficult process.
If bloggers follow some very basic steps with social media participation, sharing and memes, and SEO addition, you end up maximizing your efforts and guarantee blog growth. Content is important in blogging, but it doesn’t matter how amazing your writing or knowledge is if no one knows where to find it.
What tips do you have for increasing blog following? Are there methods you’ve tried that have proven more/less successful to develop a readership?
BC Brown is the author of four novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of How To Be An Author, she now strives to educate others through humor and simple instruction, as well as use her celebrity to advocate for others.