Grow Your Blog

Many people email me regarding making money on their blog/ website. Since I am totally unqualified to write about that,  Homemaker Barbi  addressed this question in a guest post a few weeks ago.

I do believe that before you can make money on your site you need to have readers. While I am not an expert on this either I put together a few tips on creating a successful blog.

  • Define Success – When I started blogging I was happy if 10 people read my site each day. I remember the day 50 people visited my site. There were high fives going around my house. When I hit triple digits, you would have thought I won the lottery. Then I went back to double digits for a while and was severely depressed. The problem was that I hadn’t defined what a successful blog meant to me. For some people success means lots of comments, for others lots of hits, for some subscribers and for others it means lots of links. Figure out what you want from your blog, set goals, and then figure out how to reach them.
  • Create a brand – One of the speakers at Blissdom said that you are the brand. Your title needs to be something that represents what you are writing about. Create a catchy and appropriate tag line. In the internet world, I want people to know me as The Happy Housewife, Thriving on One Income…. that describes my site and when you look at my header you know what you are going to get when you read my blog.
  • Create a clean site – When you look at your site is it easy to navigate? Do you have an easy to find search bar, subscribe button, and twitter button? When I visit sites that are cluttered and difficult to navigate I rarely return.
  • Find your voice - This was a phrase spoken many times at Blissdom. Be genuine in your blogging, don’t blog about thrifty living if you are taking expensive vacations and eating out 7 nights a week. Don’t blog about raising kids if you don’t have them. Readers will know if you are the real deal. Being honest on your site will give you loyal readers. This does not mean you have write your site like a tell all book. Just be true to yourself, don’t pretend to be something you are not.
  • Blog consistently - If you are only going to blog once a week your blog will probably grow slower than someone who is posting 3 times a day, and that is okay. One of my favorite bloggers posts only once or twice a week. This works because it is her schedule. Do not post every day for three weeks and then stop posting for 2 weeks, and continue sporadically, you will lose readers very quickly.
  • Use spell check and the return button- No one likes reading posts that are one gigantic paragraph filled with spelling and grammatical errors. Format your posts so they are easy to read.
  • Read other blogs - This is a great way to get to know other bloggers (which can lead to networking) as well as understand the blogging community a little better. If you never read another blog, why would you expect someone to read yours?
  • Comment on other blogs- This does not mean comment spam! A thoughtful well written comment that corresponds with the post will usually catch the eye of the blog writer. The chances of them visiting and possibly discovering your site goes up significantly when you leave a good comment.
  • Respond to comments- This is so important, especially in the beginning when you are only receiving 3 to 5 comments a day. Once your site grows and you are receiving 20-50 comments or more per day you will probably not be able to respond to every one of them. Try to respond to those who are asking specific questions, loyal readers, first time commentors, and those who have taken the time to write a thoughtful comment.
  • Link to other blogs- When you read a post that you enjoy, link to it on your site, stumble it, or tweet about it. Blogging is a community and we are all trying to spread information in one form or another.
  • Participate in Memes - You can find a large list of bloggy memes on my other site. Memes are a great way to bring traffic to your site as well as connect with other bloggers who are writing about similar issues. Just remember the Meme’s Golden Rules, link to your actual post- not your home page, link back to the meme on your site, and visit other meme participants.
  • Get Connected - Twitter is a great way to microblog (in 140 characters or less) as well as meet new bloggers. Just don’t sign up for twitter and then only tweet your own posts, join the conversation.
  • Don’t get discouraged - Many of the “big” bloggers have been blogging for a few years. Although there are some blogs that rise to the top very quickly, most blogs are slow growing, especially if you have other responsibilities and cannot sit in front of your computer 24/7. Most mommy bloggers have a family to raise, a home to maintain, and a husband that would like some attention. If you sit in front of your computer all day obsessing about how to have 10,000 subscribers by March, you will probably run out of things to write about very quickly. Start slow and work on building loyal readers by giving them great content.

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Amy from Mom Advice has written a great post with more ideas for growing your readership. You can read her thoughts here.

For more Works for me Wednesday visit Shannon.

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. Bree says:

    I dont have a blog but love to read yours daily… I really look forward to your posts and your ideas and they do help motivate me-thank you!

  2. Marie says:

    Thanks for the post! It is very informative!

  3. MNKristy says:

    Great post! Lots of useful information in there Toni. Thanks!

  4. This post was SO helpful! Not only did you pass along some great ideas, but gave me a bit of perspective on how to run a genuine, heartfelt blog and not get caught up in gimmicks to acheive quick, superficial success. Thank you!

  5. Great post. I would’ve loved to have seen your household high fiving when you hit 50. We get the hits but not the sign-ups. I think your advice on creating a clean site may help. Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.ImaNicePerson.com

  6. Nancy M. says:

    Thanks for such a timely post. It is very easy to understand and follow!

  7. Jessica says:

    Did you design your own blog layout? If not, who did yours? I’m looking to get a new layout so my blog is easier to navigate.

  8. Success to me is glorifying God with my blog…and making new friends. If I can do that then I will consider myself successful…be it 1 or 100 readers :)

  9. I am so glad I clicked over from Crystal’s blog to discover yours! After poking around a bit, I really love it here. SO… I am your newest subscriber!

    Can’t wait to read more from you.

  10. Shynea says:

    I really like this post. When I first started blogging in August, I was extremely happy to get a visitor. I had no idea what to blog. All I knew was I liked being a mom and saving money. Your tip on responding to comments is something that I need to do more often. I find myself getting so caught up in everything else that I don’t spend enough time saying thank you to the people that visit my site everyday. Thank you once again for this post.

  11. Tonya says:

    Thanks for the tips!! I will definitely try some of these.

  12. Okie Sister says:

    Great tips.
    Glad I found your site.

  13. I just left a super-long comment and it disappeared and gave me an error from WP-Spam Free. aaagh! Well, the general idea of what I wrote ( I think!) is this:

    Thank you for sharing these great tips from BlissDom, Toni. I think the most important one is the last one- not to get discouraged.

    Even the “rock star bloggers” get discouraged just like the rest of us. There will always be more to do than we have time for. We just need to make sure that we get out of our blogging experience what we want, instead of comparing ourselves to others and their accomplishments. Thank you!

    Danelle Ice / Homemaker Barbi

  14. Sarah says:

    Thank you for all the great tips, there are definitely some I’ll be using!

  15. Roan says:

    I still consider myself a new blogger (I think I started last May). Your tips were very informative. Thanks so much!

  16. Great ideas! I just started my blog in January, I am not trying to make any money off it. But I do want a solid readership. I don’t know how to check on how many visitors I get. SO if there is anyone out there who uses blogger who could tell me, that would be fantastic.

  17. Fabulous post! That’s it — I’m definitely going to Blissdom next year! Sounds like you had a great time, and really got to be filled with excellent information!

  18. Rachel says:

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your blogging wisdom. It’s really hard to know what to focus on when first getting started. This is a good road map!

    Blessings!
    Rachel

  19. Holly says:

    Thanks for the tips. I think I need to consider what success means to me, and to try to find my authentic niche.

  20. kristine says:

    i love your post…. keep writing!

  21. Leanne says:

    Great post. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  22. Kristin says:

    Fantastic post! I started a new blog last month and am really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing your helpful tips!

  23. Sherry says:

    Wow, I have some work to do. LOL! :D Thank you for sharing!

  24. Chicky Mama says:

    I’ve only recently begun blogging and am still developing a sense of how it all works, so these tips were really helpful! Thanks so much for posting them!

  25. Abbi says:

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post. I truly enjoy blogging and have a fairly good readership but I had to (maybe I’m still working on it) get over feeling bad when I would go through a time of having less readers or less comments. I think it is very important to remember that blogging is fun and can be useful but it is not what life is truly about.

    To Dave: Statcounter (you can google it) is a free and very nice resource for keeping track of how many hits you get, also how long they stay to visit, where they are from, what keywords have been used to google your site or who linked to you. It is very fun to check out all the stats and can become a big time waster if you aren’t careful!! :-) (at least for me.)

  26. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for the great advice!

  27. amy says:

    This is such an excellent post- we must have been on the same wavelength this week. I so agree with all the things you have stated especially with responding to comments and being proud of wherever you are in your blogging journey. I know it can be hard when you don’t see the numbers yet, but it takes years to build a loyal following :) ((hugs))

  28. Lori Gray says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am bookmarking it. It is something I really struggle with. I love the blog-community, I just struggle with the “consistency” part. at least on the writing side…reading them is never a problem! LOL!
    Thanks again! BTW, I’m subbing to your site!
    Blessings!!!!

  29. Fantastic tips. I learned a tip or two that I hadn’t even thought of and you really made me think. I wish I could have attended blissdom but I hope to make it to blogher this year.

    Nell

  30. Suz says:

    Great post! I’m a relatively new blogger with 25-50+ guests a day & struggling to get anyone to leave a comment… lots of lurkers I guess.

    I’m happy to have so many looking, but get discouraged. Thanks for the ideas and the pick me up!

    I am looking at having someone design a header and set up some tabs, etc for me to make it more memorable… hopefully that will help me too!

  31. Kris says:

    Those are great tips! I’ve tried many of them and they do work. Thanks for summing up one of the great workshops at Blissdom for those who didn’t get to attend.

  32. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement.

    I am fairly new to doing a “real” blog (have had a family/friends update blog for about 10 years) and am still trying to find a “voice” for my new “real” blog. I hit 20 visitors in one day last week, and I was estatic! And then the next day, I had 3 visitors.

    I am slowly getting comments, but I can’t wait for the day when I have a true “following” and have lots of comments on my posts – good conversations!

  33. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  34. PiterKokoniz says:

    Hello !! ;)
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Tnx!
    Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

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