I’m no pro blogger. Actually, I feel like I’m the furthest thing from it. But I’ve had a ton of questions lately on how one goes about growing a blog, so I figured I’d do a mini- series. Maybe 2 posts, maybe more, depending on how much YOU like them, and how much info I can get into one post without overwhelming you. (Read Part II here and Part III here)
First things first: You need to form a network of other blogger friends. I can’t stress how important this is. It seems lately, some bloggers won’t help out a newbie, because nothing is in it for them. If you try to reach out to a fellow blogger, and they ignore you or give you a short non-helpful answer, move on. Ask someone else, don’t get discouraged. Because there are tons of GREAT friendly bloggers out there, willing to help out a newbie. We all remember what it was like to only have 10 followers and 1,000 pageviews. Join groups and forums. (If you’re an etsy seller too, check out the Etsy Blog Team forum, search for your question, it’s probably been answered, if not, just start a new thread, someone will help you!). Remember, some bloggers get hundreds of emails from readers per day, so you could get mixed in all the mumbo jumbo, don’t take offense if you don’t hear back soon, if at all.
Your network of bloggers will all become friends. You will be able to count on them to help promote your blog, and in turn help them promote theirs. You might never meet them in person, but you will become best friends. You will come up with ideas together and watch one another’s blogs grow. The best part? They will truly be happy for you when your stats go up, no jealousy.You’ll be able to lean on them when you’re feeling down, or uninspired. They will lift you up.These blog friends are a must! They are the only ones who truly know how frustrating, tiring and sometimes draining blogging can be, yet they understand why you do it and the satisfaction you receive from it.
Now to the good stuff. Guest Posting. At first, I didn’t like the idea. It takes me so much time to just come up with ideas for my own blog, let a lone someone else’s. But let me tell you, it’s worth that extra time. By guest posting, you’re not only getting your post seen by hundreds of people that normally wouldn’t even know who you are, but you’ll also be telling your readers “hey, this awesome blogger thinks I’m cool enough to post on there blog”. If you’re guest posting, there should be a short intro introducing you as the guest poster and a link to your blog. This will get people to see you. As long as you are guest posting about something that interests them, they’re going to go visit you, and possible be back to visit you again and again. Your pageviews just jumped up.
Hosting a guest post is always nice too. I don’t think it draws as much attention as guest posting on another blog, but it will bring you views and bring up your street cred’ a bit. Just be careful your blog doesn’t become a Guest Post. It’s easy to fall into the routine of hosting a guest blogger, because it’s practically no work for you, but you start to lose your voice. Readers who once came to you for advice, no longer seek your advice, because it’s never there.
I’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers complain about other bloggers wanting to use there tutorials. To me, I don’t understand why, it’s a form of guest posting. As long as the blogger provides the proper backlinks, you’re winning. That blogger is now promoting you, free of charge! In September, I had a high day of over 30,000 views. Know why?? Because several bloggers and a few top sites posted about my tutorials that day.
While we’re on the subject of backlinks. MAKE SURE YOU’RE DOING THIS. Bloggers and photographers spend a lot of time coming up with material. Every photo that is not yours, whether it Copyrighted or not, should be linked to it’s proper source. If you seen a post that you love, but want to do your own spin on it, totally fine, just make sure you say something like “I seen a post by thisblogger and new I had to share my version with you” (making sure you link to the blogger and the direct post). It’s a win for you, because you’re giving your readers something new, and it’s a win for the inspiring blogger, because you’re providing them traffic. Note that some bloggers require permission before this, and could make you take down your post if you havn’t received proper permission. I don’t usually mess with those bloggers that have HUGE Copyrighted messages all over there websites. Blogging has obviously went to there head. (just kiddingggggggggggggg)
Also know, that everything has already been done. I guarantee if you think up something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and then Google it, you’ll find at least 10 other posts like it. Keep this in mind when you see another blogger posting about something you already did, know that they could have thought of it on there own. NO they are not copying you. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Another way to build up your street cred’ is sponsoring other blogs. A lot of bloggers offer ad swaps. You know those pretty buttons the light up there page with the slogan “Sponsors” Some are paid, some are not. It doesn’t hurt to ask a blogger if they’d like to swap buttons for the month. The worse they could say is no, and then you just move on to another blogger. Remember, when you’re first starting out, it may be hard to get a high ranking blog to swap ads. Some bloggers have no minimum requirement, some require you to have a minimum of 500 followers, some have a minimum of 500,000 pageviews per month, so on and so on. Paying to get your ad on a good blog is worth the money when you’re trying to grow your readership. While small ads are cheaper and do get your button up on the site, I’d suggest going for something bigger so you get an actual link in a post.
Maybe more on this next week, a long with how Giveaways help you out, even if no one ends up buying anything.
Oh Oh Oh!! Speaking of sponsors, do you see all my new lovelies up there? Over to the right? Go check them out, they’ve spent good hard earned money to get you to click on them!
Do you have any questions, post them here and I’ll answer them next week. Or fill out my Contact form and I’ll get back to as soon as I can.