Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Let's Grow Your Blog!

A frequently asked question by a lot of newer bloggers is, "How do you grow your blog?"  Honestly, I can't say that there is any right or wrong answers to this question.  For some of us it is a lot of blood, sweat and tears -- and for others it's one post that goes viral and the rest is history.

I do know that I can attribute some of my growth at Live Laugh Rowe to a few particular things, so let's start there.  I'm going to share four things that can play a rold in growing your blog.

>>Promote and Collaborate!

Promote your posts and collaborate with other bloggers to promote theirs!!  Trust me, it's in your best interest to team up with a few of your bloggy friends and start promoting each others posts.  Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc.  Your readers will find new blogs. Your friends readers will find you and it's a win-win!  I believe that if you generously share the blog love, you will reap the benefits.

Of course you should promote your own posts, but in moderation.  You can also promote your own posts on sites such as:  Craftgawker, Foodgawker, TasteSpotting, Hometalk and/or Sulia.  As you can see, some are craft related and others are food.  Hometalk is all home projects (indoor or outdoor).

On days where you just feel like it's not paying off -- keep promoting!  Consistency is key, friends.  If things start to feel a little stale -- spice it up and round up another group of bloggers to start promoting.  You'll feel all warm and fuzzy when you start to see your pageviews going up because you were paying some blog love forward. 

>>Party like a ROCK STAR! 

Link up your posts to as many linky parties as possible.  Get your blog out there in front of as many blog readers as you can.  Will you see instant growth?  Most likely not, but I always say that if I gain ONE reader, it's worth it.  I could probably write an entire post about this on it's own, so I'll try to keep it brief {hee-hee}.

Quality pictures are important.  When partying -- make sure you have quality pictures.  Pictures are what catches the readers attention.  A dark or blurry photo will get overlooked and that's not what we want.  So take a little extra time to style your pictures, make them bright and beautiful!  With quality pictures (and content) you'll have a much greater chance of being featured, which means more traffic!  I'm hoping to post some tips for styling and picture taking in the near future, so stay tuned!

Where do I party?  A great resource to find some parties is Linky Here, it's a linky party directory! Pretty fantastic, right?  Some of your favorite blogs probably have a party page too -- here's mine in case you're interested.  Over time, you'll start to see that some parties are a better fit than others and you'll try new ones all the time.  Consider creating a party page on your blog where you regularly party too.  

>>Pin It, baby!

I'm sure most (if not all) of you have a Pinterest account.  Are you active?  If not, get active!  As with most social media outlets, the more you use it -- the more you will get out of it.  This is yet another subject I could write an entire post about, but that will come in time.    A couple quick tips include:
  • group boards.  Try to get on a group boards, as that will allow you to put your work in front of other pinners who may or may not be following you. 
  • when to pin.  It's been said that the best times to pin are between 2-4 p.m. (EST) and 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. (EST)
  • vertical vs. horizontal. Recently it's been discussed that vertical pictures are much better than horizontal.  I have mixed feelings on this one as I tend to do 99% of my pictures in a horizontal format.  Supposedly, the most clicked on image size are the vertical (long, skinny pins).  I'm trying to use more vertical, I just like the look of the horizontal better on my blog.
Here's where I'll plug for my Pinterest Boards {giggle}.  Of course I would {love} to have you follow along!

>>Post Consistently!

How often are you posting to your blog?  I would highly recommend posting at least twice a week and, if at all possible, on the same days each week.  Maybe that will be Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesday and Fridays each week.  Of course the more you post, the better...  Some bloggers post multiple times a day, five to seven days a week.  Good lordy!  I could never do that, but it works for them.  I think the key is to post when you can with consistency.  It lets your readers know what they can expect from you.  Here at The Intentional Blogger, I've committed to Tips & Tricks on Tuesdays and the Meet& Greet blogger feature post on Fridays.  Will that change in the future?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  However, that's what works for me right now and what I want YOU to expect from me.

These are just a few of the basic tips on how can grow your blog!  Other avenues include advertising, button swaps, and another fabulous way is to Guest Post.  Next week I'll share some specific tips on how you can make the most out of those guest posting opportunities. See you there!

SAVE THE DATE!  Sunday, June 16th.  Thee Networking Blog Hop returns! 
Be sure to grab a button and spread the {love}.