I am new to blogging – incredibly new in fact – and though it might be a tad overwhelming at times, I am finding that I am absolutely in love with the process. One might describe me as the type of person who dives in head first whenever I am learning something new. I immerse myself with as much information as I can find and do my best to learn as much as I can in as little time as possible.
That being said – it has been one hell of a week.
A good kind of hell if there is such a thing.
***Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or sign up for a service through one of these links, I may receive a small commission towards making my dream of staying home full time with my son a reality at no extra cost to you. Every opinion expressed through this post is my own and I genuinely believe in each item listed and they are used regularly in my home. I would never endorse or recommend something I have not used myself. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
The decision to start a blog wasn’t an idea that I came up with because I am a technically savvy person or even because I have a hidden passion for writing. It was an idea that was born from the sheer amount of “wtf” parenting posts that I found myself (and my momma friends) sharing on Facebook on a regular basis. Given that I had already purchased my domain name and hosting service for a crafting venture that never quite took off, I figured it was time to learn all that I could about blogging.
I have been very fortunate to come across a number of bloggers that have been incredibly generous when it comes to sharing their wealth of knowledge. In a considerably short amount of time I have managed to learn enough about the business of blogging to grow my page views from 97 to just shy of 3000 in only 7 days. When I said I was new to blogging what I really meant to say was that I have only been doing this for two weeks.
I am a complete newb.
If you have read any of my other posts, particularly my Monday Motivation Blogging post where I feature the bloggers that have helped me the most, you will know that it is no secret that I have rather large dreams of being able to stay at home full time to be with my son. Slowly but surely I am working on monetizing this site and I figured it was only fair to share with my fellow newbie’s the tips, tricks, and other advice that I have found to help grow my blog.
***Note: I am going to assume that whoever is reading this has already started a blog, or at least have gone through the process of securing their domain name and hosting service and are working on publishing their first post. If you would like for me to go to over the process of securing a domain name and hosting service, just drop a note in the comments.
Here is what has worked for me so far in this amazing blogging game:
Good, solid, keep reading content. If your blogging goals are similar to mine, meaning that you hope to eventually monetize your blog (or even just grow your readers), you need to have killer content for your audience to read. You need to be genuine and authentic in what you post and always keep your readers in mind. Before you publish always make sure to consider what’s in it for the reader. A great title will hook your reader and bring them in and great content will bring those readers back. Once I increased my number of published posts and made sure their titles were catchy or interesting, my page views increased as well.
What does your blog look like? Is it clean and simple or crowded and messy? What do your images look like? Are they “pin” or share worthy? If you think about the blogs that you enjoy reading the most, what stands out? If you aren’t sure of the impression your blog leaves yours readers or you don’t feel as though you can take a completely objective look at your blog, you should consider using Peek. It’s a super simple and quick user testing service that will send you a 5 minute video of a complete stranger visiting your blog for the first time. After using this service myself, I took some time to think about the impression I had left on the user and ended up completely reconfiguring my blog. I redid all of the images to make them more pin-worthy (Canva is my go to for this), changed my theme to make it look less like a photography blog, and I even purchased the Genesis Framework that comes so highly recommended by other bloggers.
Once I had a good solid handful of posts, and was happy with the packaging of my blog I moved forward with what has been the biggest contributor to driving traffic to my site:
I joined as many Facebook blogging groups as I could
I am sure by now most of you have heard about what a huge force Pinterest is when it comes to driving traffic. It’s free and a completely organic way to market your blog. If you have pin-worthy images and great content your posts will be pinned and repinned and shared over and over and over again. But how do you build followers and get your pins repinned to begin with? Facebook groups. That’s how!
Or at least that’s how I did it.
Now I have to be honest here, when it comes to joining Facebook groups, it is really easy to get over excited and want to share your blog on every single post offered. Depending on the group you can leave a link to be shared or commented on by other bloggers, you can work to expand your Facebook reach, Instagram likes, Twitter followers etc.
If you go post crazy and share on every single thread you are going to find yourself drowning in all the reciprocating work that you will have to do – that in itself can be quite overwhelming. I have spent hours and hours and hours commenting on other blogs, sharing posts via social media, liking and commenting on Facebook, and making sure I am keeping track of all the threads I comment on. Not only that, if you get so overly enthusiastic about posting on every single thread, you may find your sharing your work with the same few bloggers even if a group has thousands of members. Don’t get me wrong this can also be a huge advantage, but right now I am focusing on expanding my reach and the one time I will agree that too many cooks in the kitchen is actually a good thing.
So even though it has only been a (very) short time, I feel as though I have come up with a strategy that is currently working rather well for me. I am only focusing on Pinterest threads and the occasional blog post comment thread – and I don’t sign up for every single one. Generally speaking once I have published a new post – pinworthy images included, or if I have revamped a previous post with pin worthy images I will comment on blogging group thread.
If you were to head over to my Pinterest account you will see that I don’t actually have very many followers and that is okay. For Now. Eventually I will be focusing on growing that number but for the time being I am happy to focus on the fact that my pins are being repinned by fellow bloggers and reaching a much broader audience than I could have reached on my own. My “A New Mom’s Guide to Teething and Being Eaten Alive ” pin has been repinned about 60 times which resulted in 130 page views yesterday from Pinterest alone. With everything I have read about Pinterest that is only just the beginning.
I am pretty happy with that.
I know that I still have a long way to go and a lot more to learn. Just like with parenting, what works for one blog might not work for someone elses. I happy to continue to share my process, to talk about what is working and isn’t for me and taking every opportunity I can to learn more. There is a good chance that by next week I may have learned an entirely new process that drives even more traffic. If I do, you can count on me to share it with my fellow newbies #newbiebloggersclub!
Next weeks focus is going to be building a mail listing and developing a newsletter. I can’t wait to dive right in to that topic!
Do you have any tips or tricks on the business of blogging that you would like to share? Or is there something I mentioned above that you would like me to discuss in further detail?