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How do you grow readership for your blog?

edited April 2013 in Blogging
While I'd love to live the dream and blog as my career, I know it's not suuuuuper feasible, at least not right now. That being said, I'd love to be able to get my blog out there a little more simply for the networking, support and general awesomeness of the community that comes with it. How did/do you all get your blog out there? Any newbie tips and tricks would be really appreciated! Thanks!
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  • edited April 2013
    Following for any comments as I would like to know, too! :)

    www.diyjill.blogspot.com
  • @kellylawler1 @jillofalltrades I'm a blogger too and my best advice is to network, network, network! Leaving comments on blogs you love with a sincere comment and then include a link to your blog at the bottom.

    I've also found that sponsoring other blogs or doing guest posts helps too. Depending on your content, link-ups are a great way to meet people too!

    Danielle at Framed Frosting
  • Hello!

    @kellylawler1
    @jillofalltrades (love this screen name BTW)

    My blog isn't by any means a SUPER successful one at all, but it feels like it is really picking up quickly lately, and who knows where it will go in the future. It is difficult NOT to seem self promoting all of the time when you share your posts, etc. on pinterest/fb/other social media. I struggle with this, but try to find a balance.

    I do pin a few of my own projects/Etsy items here and there on Pinterest and plug some of my most favorite blog posts on my (personal and company) Facebook every once in awhile. I try not to overdo it, but we have to be our own promoters (in my opinion) - at least as we are trying to get started.

    I offer lots of free printable items and DIY on a budget tips via Pinterest and lots of people take interest in those. I think if it is a good tip/idea/freebie/etc. people are more apt to go to your blog to find out more/read instructions on how you did a project. Over time this builds up solid, consistent traffic and people who actually check back somewhat frequently to see what else you might be up to.

    I am glad I took chance and pinned this blog post last year..just this one pin brought in so many Pinterest repins and so much traffic from all around the world and has sent over 220,000 people to my blog just to see more details on this one project. I have also had this project featured on numerous blogs around the world...it's crazy and pretty cool to see this (I still get giddy about it).

    I have had a few other successful posts like this (DIY kitchen remodel and free printable calendars are very popular) and am sitting at almost 500,000 views now...which is nothing compared to some of the big name blogs, but it's a start. :)

    I have also had some posts posts featured in local KC blogs and a magazine, which help drive some interest/traffic to the blog. I was contacted by the KC blog, but I shared a couple of my posts/prjects with the magazine (for their DIY blog) and they ended up doing a feature on some of my DIY projects in a print issue and have told me they are going to feature my DIY nursery project in the next print issue. This might not do much for my blog at the end of the day, but it is very fun for me...it keeps me going somedays, ha.

    Now here is where I ask for advice:

    Blog traffic thus far has upped my google adsense earnings, but I want to eventually sell ad/sponsorship space. This is where I get hung up...I am not sure when/how to even go about the selling of ad/sponsor space. I know I have a ways to go to make by blog more of a desirable place to advertise with, but it is something that is always in the back of my mind. I also think I might need to break away form the basic blogger template and get more customizable blog. I am thinking about contacting a professional blog designer/blogger to seek assistance in this matter. Does anyone have any advice at all on this by chance? If so I am all ears. :)

    It may be a pipe dream, but a future goal of mine is to eventually earn enough from my blog earnings (+ etsy sales + my photography + graphic design freelance) to possibly make it a full time job. Who knows if that will ever happen, but it is always in the back of my mind, ha.

    Wow, sorry for my rambling thoughts....I hope this advice (while really simple and newbie-esque) helped give you a few ideas on how to drive more traffic to your blogs. I am still pretty new at this too (I started my blog last March.)

    xo,
    Audrey
  • great advice @framedfrosting! i need to do more networking and link-ups.
  • @audrey You are SO right about Pinterest! I've had about a few pins (like My Fave Things party) go viral and each day they bring a TON of traffic to my blog! A few of them alone have 300+ re-pins which is so so awesome! Since using Pinterest, it's become my #1 referral and has about 4,000 hits per month.

    My DIY Gallery Wall was also accepted on the DwellingGawker website (spin off FoodGawker) and that brings me hundreds of new page views each week!
  • Also, @audrey...I've done sponsors/giveaways in the past and they're a GREAT way to grow your blog but they are a lot of work too! Before you start down the path, make sure it's definitely what you want to do.

    Putting together sponsor posts, group giveaways, doing all the tweets/promotions takes a lot of time and you have to set prices that reflect that. Your time is worth more than you think! I have an ad space at the bottom of EVERY blog post that goes for $50/month. I also have a few sidebar spaces that are about $20. Figuring out what to charge is difficult at first, but take a look at other blogs that are your size AND your genre and base your prices off that.

    As for a custom blog design...I can totally help you out in that regard! Melissa Rose Design did my design and it's AWESOME! It looks a bit wordpress-like which I love! Let me know if you have any questions about hiring a custom blog designer!
  • thanks so much @framedfrosting!! i am looking ito different blog designers as we speak.

    great tips! ps. love your blog!!!
  • last thing @framedfrosting...

    did your blog designer set up ad spaces for you in the right hand sidebar or did you have to set them up that yourself? i am hoping it is normal to have that included in the blog design price.

    thanks again for the great advice!!
  • @audrey Setting up ad spaces is something I did. She made the "sponsors" banner but I have my ads set up through PassionfruitAds. Users purchase spots on my sponsor page & they're immediately added to the sidebar using a script code!



  • Thanks for the advice! I can't wait to try it out! :)
  • While I'm not a popular blogger by any means, I'd say that a lot depends on the platform you're using. For example, my personal blog is on livejournal.com where the best way to meet people (and have them meet - and thus read you) is to a) leave comments and b) join communities. I've had my LJ blog for almost 6 years now, and have met some fantastic people through it. Some of them in person, too!
    The blog I write with my husband, however, is on wordpress.com, where commenting is not nearly as popular. But blogging there allows you to fiddle with settings (such as blog urls) to be more likely to be found through search engines etc.. Also, if your posts are of interest, you can get featured on the front page, which guarantees hundreds upon hundreds views a day.
    One thing we do for our blog is post a link to each new post in our Facebook status.
  • Thanks everyone for the tips, I have a question on the topic: at what point do you start advertising? I signed up for Passionfruit but haven't done anything with it because I'm only at 300 daily views (on a good day). When would it be feasible to start? Thanks!
  • Wow! What a great thread to stumble upon!

    Thanks to @framedfrosting & @audrey for the great advice. I'm just getting started in the blogging world and I love hearing from the experts. Plus I've now added your blogs to my (ever growing) list of addictions daily reads! :)

    Becky at Sketchy Styles
  • I'm also new to blogging and find this thread helpful!

    I've only been at this for 7 weeks, but am enjoying the process. I'm going to start networking. That seems to be a great place to start!

    Jennie at A House Called Home
  • Be active on social media. Comment on other blogs. Form a group of similar bloggers and promote each others posts!
  • GilitC said:

    Thanks everyone for the tips, I have a question on the topic: at what point do you start advertising? I signed up for Passionfruit but haven't done anything with it because I'm only at 300 daily views (on a good day). When would it be feasible to start? Thanks!

    Personally I think that's a little too early but it really depends on how many MONTHLY page views you get and how interactive your readers are.

  • @decorandandthedog You are so right! Finding similar blogs and building friendships with those bloggers is a great way to grow your blog! I'm part of a few Facebook groups and Google+ communities where we promote each others posts, pin, tweet, leave comments, etc.
  • Wow! Thank you all so much for your comments, feedback and ideas! I had a busy evening last night and didn't get a chance to check back on this until this morning, and LOVED reading what everyone had to say!!! Thanks again!
  • This is a great discussion because I am in the same boat with my new website, and also with my nerdy podcast. Right now I'm getting a decent amount of hits (well... I consider it decent hahaha) but I definitely would love more! I think these forums are an awesome way for us to share our projects with each other. We all have a lot of cool stuff to say and it's great to have the support of people who share interests!

    I would love to do a guest post swap at some point, if anyone is interested!
  • I honestly found that advertising was a bit of a waste. I get 90% of my hits through Pinterest, and then a few through Facebook shares/organic views/word of mouth. Any time I make a new post, I pin the best picture to Pinterest with a helpful and detailed description, and that helps a lot! I think it also helps that i'm addicted to Pinterest and use it a TON for non-promotional stuff, so i was able to build a few followers that way.

    After my first year, my numbers dropped a little, but my comments and subscriptions went up a lot, so i was getting fewer drop-ins and more subscribers, so keep that in mind too!

    http://www.radicalpossibility.com/
  • I think the biggest thing is to have good quality content with well lit and composed pictures. No matter how hard you self promote, you won't gain any readers if you're blog is filled with half assed projects or low quality photos.

    if you build it they will come.
    hah

  • HouseUpdatedHouseUpdated Seattle, WA
    Another random tip: name your photos something like "DIY floating shelf" instead of "IMG 009" for better search engine results (especially searches through google images). Good luck!
  • Whatever you do, don't comment on someone's blog post with a link for your blog at the end of the comment. Use the forms to link your blog, the other way can get annoying.
  • Following this thread- very interesting- you go, Girls!
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