This little blog has had an insane year. My blog has grown so much although it still has a way to go before it’s where I want it to be. This time of year normally brings reflection and reminiscing. Which got me thinking about what I did this year to grow my blog. It didn’t just happen by itself, it took a lot of work to make it happen. This growth is down to a few things I did differently or put a little extra effect into. I’ve narrowed it down to 7 key things I did which helped grow my blog this year. Hopefully, you will also be able to use these tips to grow your blog.
At the start of the year, I was on Blogger and was quite happy using its stat function to check page views etc. Until I installed Google Analytics I didn’t realise how wrong the Blogger stats were. At first, it was really disheartening realising I didn’t get 10,000 page views a month and it was more like half that. However, once I got over that initial disappointment I could see just how useful Google Analytics is. With Google Analytics you can find out how people are finding your site and which posts they view. You can learn about your audience and where they’re from. Once you know which posts are your most popular you can then write more similar posts. Similarly, once you know how people are finding your site you can target that channel to increase traffic or target a smaller channel to get more from it. I would recommend installing Google Analytics to anyone looking to grow their blog especially if they’re on Blogger as its stats are useless.
Up until the end of last year, I was writing about any topic I fancied. My blog had no clear niche and readers didn’t know what to expect one day to the next. This year I took the time to work out what my message was and why people should follow me. I thought about who my ideal reader was and wrote posts to target them. Focusing in on a niche has been incredibly helpful and has really helped me to grow my blog. Readers now know exactly what kind of content I create and what to expect when they visit.
Along with defining a niche and targeting my ideal reader, I made sure that every post I published had value. I read somewhere (sorry I have no idea where) that your reader should have a clear takeaway from every blog post. For example, the takeaway from this post is a list of tips to help grow your blog. The majority of my posts this year have been about providing advice and support on capsule wardrobes or ethical fashion. I’m writing blog posts with helping the reader in mind and not doing it for the sake of posting. These types of posts do really well on Google search and Pinterest as the content is useful and something people are searching for.
I started to think about social media more strategically. Nothing was scheduled and I posted whenever I felt like it. However, once I changed my mindset and started to think of social media as part of this little blog business I saw a big difference. My following started to grow and was bring traffic over to the blog. Now I have a mini content calendar from Twitter along with a clear strategy. The same with Instagram. I’ve also started using external apps to help me stay on top of my social media and schedule it out. There is still have a lot of room to grow but everything is heading in the right direction.
Like everyone else, I used to use Pinterest for finding outfit inspiration, recipes and home interior ideas. I never really thought of it as a useful resource for my blog. However after a few tweaks to my profile and developing a strategy it’s now one of my biggest traffic sources. The trick is to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than another form of social media. Hide all your random boards and focus on boards relating to your niche. And pins lots (and I mean lots). As I already said useful posts which help readers do really well on here.
My blog seemed to really take off once I moved from Blogger to WordPress. As much as I loved using Blogger, WordPress is an amazing blogging platform. There is scope to create pretty much anything you want. With Blogger Google owns your content and can remove your blog at any time, whereas with WordPress you own your content. This is so important when you want to create something more from you blog. There is so much I love about WordPress and think anyone serious about growing their blog.
I wish I could say I did all this in only a few minutes a day but the reality is growing a blog takes time. Once I decided to start taking my blog seriously and trying to grow it I knew I also had to put the time in. The more time and effort you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I’ve seen massive growth since I was able to dedicate most of my day to my blog. If you want to grow your blog it does take time and lots of work. You have to work hard, but it isn’t hard work. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve had.