I’m the first to admit I’m no expert when it comes to knowing everything about how to become a great blogger! I, once upon a time ( just under a year ago!), started blogging for “REALS” myself and started off like so many of you! I was excited to record and share my adventures and wondered if anyone else would even care!
Over time I’ve learned a few tricks and discovered that there definitely were some rules to follow and ways to grow my blog and reach the goals I set for myself!
I’ve been receiving a ton of emails lately asking for advice on how to break out in the blogging world! After answering a handful and seeing a huge interest in knowing more I came to conclusion that I needed to write a post about what I’ve learned!
So take it for what it’s worth! Here are a few tips and tricks that have brought me success when it came to growing my site and gaining an amazing readership…
- Figure out what your blogs main focus is! Define your niche and hone in on it! What’s your angle? Are you an amazing cook? Do you love fashion? Are you refining your domestic skills? Are you passionate about green living, home schooling or raising exotic Birds? Narrow in on your specialty and dive head first into focusing on THAT! You will be more identifiable if you have a focus! You’ll see why a little more later!
- It’s important to get the word out that you’re starting up this new adventure! Start where you already have an audience! Announce it on your family blog, on facebook, twitter or in an email to family and friends! Simply let others know that you’ve started a blog where they can see your thought on ( fill in the blank!) This is an important start! It’s best to get the support of those who know you best! They will be your most loyal and most proud of your new gig!
- Now branching out and gaining new readers! The best way to get your new site out there is to register it on as many search registries as you can! It’s as easy as registering on sites under the category that best fits your topic! This is why having a specific topic is important! In my case I register under “Hobby” or “Craft” as my category! This way when people go to these popular search sites and want to find a new “Hobby Site” they can now find you listed! Here a just a few sites you can register your blogs on…
- Link! Link!Link! Another great way to get seen is to link at other sites that share your same topic! Chances are that their readers will be interested in what you’re working on too! I link to other linking parties every day! It’s one of my daily tasks for promoting my site! I’ve gained tons of new readers because they came to my site via a link and took a longer look around to see what else I had done! They liked what they saw and have become loyal followers! Check out THIS LINK to see the many other sites that have linking parties going on throughout the week! And if you ever plan on hosting a linking party on your own site
PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! use Mcklinky!!! It’s the most user friendly and makes it easy for your visitors to link up multiple posts! Trust me! The other linking features out there make it harder to link up and I tend to skip over those parties because it’s so much more work!
- Create a button that others can grab and throw on their blogs! I know! I know! I’m the worst example of this trick! My buttons have been under constructions for months! Consider it free advertising! Create an attractive button that they can easily grab its html code and post it to their site! Check out THIS LINK to learn how to create a “Grab my button” code!
- Make your blog attractive and welcoming to others! Think about the blogs you love to visit! Besides their content I bet you like visiting because it’s tidy, easy to navigate and orderly. Be sure to have commonly looked for features like a way to contact you! I hate not being able to find an email address! I’m also less likely to visit a blog if it’s cluttered with all sorts of distracting buttons and too much going on. This may just be my personal taste but if you look at all of the top ranking blogs you’ll notice a clean look that is less likely to take away from the real purpose of the blog which should be their great content! Here are a few ways to help tidy up a blog:
- Create internal post that can highlight info that may bog down your blogs main page. Thing like linking party buttons and a blog roll. Create Tabs that take you to that information rather then having them displayed in individual posts or in side columns.
- Avoid flashy and rotating banners or buttons or at least multiple ones. Too much movement can be distracting.
- Use consistent sizing when considering ad buttons and other tab sizes. If things look uniform and fit nicely together it will be more appealing.
- Try not to change your site too often. People like to know where they are when they come for a visit! It’s like moving the furniture around…People get used to sitting in the same place and then all of a sudden the favorite seat in the house has gone all switch-a-roo! If you find a layout and design you like stick with it for a while!
- Rub shoulders with other great bloggers! A great way to do this is by featuring others, blog swapping and inviting other great sites to participate in some way on your own site! It give you a chance to hopefully draw from their readership and link creative communities!
- Be approachable and nice! Kindness goes a long way! I have developed some wonderful new friendships and relationships with some of the biggest bloggers out there! A lot of their success has to do with the fact that they are kind, willing to help and encouraging! If you want to be big like they are some day BE NICE! It’s important to blog kindly, email kindly and be aware that people care what you think of them! Just because we don’t have face to face time with each other you will be responsible for the relationships you create with your readers! This is more important then you think!
- Always be in control of your content.Never endorse a product, person or site that you don’t want to no matter what you might gain from it! If you host another blogger on your site and feel their guest spot isn’t representing the integrity of your blog remember that it’s YOUR BLOG! Edit, shorten, kindly ask for a revision but don’t forget that everything that appears on your site represents you!
- Great content speaks for itself! The proof is in the pudding people! The best way to grow your site is to have great content! You can’t fool the masses! If you have great content the readers will come! Be true to yourself when you blog! Blog how you talk in real life! Be original! Give credit where credit is due and take good pictures!
Again… I’m no expert! These are just things that have helped me along the way! It’s not a fast road to instant success! I tried a few things that didn’t work but these tips have! It’s hard work people! It’s also incredibly rewarding! Opportunities will open and relationships will be made all because of your crazy idea to start blogging about something you love!
So go for it my friends! Good luck and happy blogging!