7 Ways to Grow Your Blog Readership9.11.15
I was the guest speaker at a Q&A for ONE-FIFTY - a networking event designed to allow the Birmingham creative industry to " know...
I was the guest speaker at a Q&A for ONE-FIFTY - a networking event designed to allow the Birmingham creative industry to "know more people and do more things" - answering questions about how to quit your day job, working for yourself in the creative industry, and writing a blog. I spoke a little about the things I did that helped grow this blog and I thought I would share them all with you too.
Shout About It (A Lot) on Social Media
When I first started my blog, I still only had one twitter account for my business so I used my existing friends and followers on there to boost traffic to my blog. It’s not the recommended way of going about things, but I shouted about my blog all day and all night and it worked. I'm sure I annoyed some people but I also found a whole readership because I put myself out there and made my blog easier to be found.
Be an Active Member of the Community
I commented on blogs and engaged in Twitter chats; I went places I knew my ideal readers would be hanging out online, and I did it in a way that was "natural and authentic." Meaning I didn't do it just because I wanted to promote my own blog but because I cared about the community, I wanted to be a part of it, and I enjoyed discovering and reading other people's awesome blogs. Being engaged plays a huge role in creating a blog with longevity.
Start with a Niche Blog
Originally, The Private Life of a Girl was a straight up beauty blog at a time where beauty blogs were at the peak of popularity. Things have changed a lot since then and so has my blog. Although I would argue you don't have to pigeonhole yourself to have a successful blog, I do believe writing under a specific niche can and will help you grow your audience, especially when you're just starting out.
Create Solid Blogging Goals
I am a very goal driven person, I like to set myself challenges and work hard towards achieving them. In the beginning I often set number related goals such as 'reach 500/1000/5000 readers,' 'achieve 10,000/50,000/100,000 pageviews,' etc. As the blog grew, I focused on more content related achievements. None of these goals are meant to compete with anyone but rather to set myself challenges and milestones to work towards. Personally I found this was something that really helped me focus on blogging consistently and therefore helped grow the blog's readership.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Keep your head down and your eyes on your own work; everybody starts at zero when it comes to writing a blog and everyone takes their own path. Looking around you and envying other people's success only interferes with the success of your own work. One of my favourite quotes of all time, which I think applies to a lot of situations is this: "A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." - Zen Shin. I don't look too hard at what everyone else is doing and I certainly don't compare myself to them either.
Create Useful, Consistent, and Quality Content
Obviously this is subjective, some people might find my content uninteresting and inconsistent, but quite a few people stick around to read what I write, so I figure that’s a good sign. Personal blogging is great but providing content that readers will find informative and useful is key to growing and maintaining a readership.
Criticise Your Blog
I try to write the blog I would want to read; I regularly look back over the past week’s content and ask myself, “am I happy with the content?" It's really important to keep improving our skills whether its in the writing, photography, or the content we create. Being self-critical is a great way to push ourselves for bigger and better things.
Create an Editorial Calendar
I'm never going to stop banging on about this. Creating an editorial calendar and planning out content, whether you blog once a week or daily, means you're more likely to post regularly and the consistency of content will remain stable. As soon as I started using one, I found it much easier to keep on top of a regular publishing schedule and I never find myself running out of ideas.