Every day, I get up to 20 emails in my inbox from beginner bloggers.
And many of them ask a similar question: “Sue, I am just starting out. I’ve written a bunch of blog posts, but I don’t have any followers or traffic. How do I grow my blog?”
Lucky for them (and you), there are lots of ways to grow your blog. And most of them work even if you’re just getting started. Follow these 5 steps, and before you know it, you will have hundreds and then thousands of page views and subscribers.
Follow these 5 steps, and before you know it, you will have hundreds and then thousands of page views and subscribers.
1. Choose a specific niche
Many beginner bloggers want to write about everything for everyone. The problem with this is that there is nothing to make your blog stand out. Your readers won’t have a reason to come back and keep reading if your blog is all over the place.
Fight the urge to write about everything from your kids’ soccer games to your favorite movies.
Instead, choose a topic that you are an expert in, or that you are very interested in. What do you know a lot about? What do people come and ask you to help them with? What could you learn about for hours and not get bored?
Get specific. For example, I help beginner bloggers make money from their blogs. That is a lot more specific than just having a blog about blogging. So if you want to write a blog about fitness, instead, consider choosing one sport and writing about that.
If you are worried about choosing a niche that is too narrow, don’t be. It is much easier to choose a too-broad niche than one that is too specific. And the more you can nail down your niche, the easier it will be for your audience to find you.
2. Be consistent
Once you’ve chosen a specific niche for your blog, pick a posting schedule and stick to it.
When you blog consistently, your audience will know to come back each week to read your new posts. You will start to see consistent traffic from regular readers.
Many beginner bloggers ask me how much they should post, and most of them are actually writing too many blog posts. Yes, you read that right. Most beginner bloggers post too often. They set themselves up for failure by creating an unrealistic posting schedule that they are unable to stick to.
Instead of posting 3 times a week, I recommend that beginner bloggers post every other week. That may not seem like a lot, but I also recommend that they guest post every other week. When you put the guest posts and regular posts together, they are posting every week.
If you are inspired to write a lot of blog posts in the beginning, great. Just don’t publish them all at once. Instead, schedule them out to be published in the future. That way, you will continue to publish consistent content even if you have a dry week.
3. Choose the right social media platforms on which to promote
Once you are writing regular content, it’s time to get out there and promote it.
- Where do I like to hang out?
- Where does my audience hang out?
Many beginner bloggers make the mistake of trying to be on every social media platform. This will quickly lead to frustration, time-wasting, and burnout.
By focusing only on the platforms where both you and your audience like to hang out, you give yourself the chance to really get to know those platforms, and you make it more likely that your audience will actually see your posts.
If you are a DIY blogger, for example, you probably want to spend more time on Pinterest and Instagram than you will on LinkedIn. If you are a personal finances blogger, you will probably want to be on LinkedIn and Twitter.
2 ways to find out where your audience hangs out:
1. Search for them.
2. Ask them.
Go to the social media platforms you are considering investing your time in. Search for relevant terms to your niche. See what comes up. You should be able to get a clear sense of whether your audience is hanging out there.
If you have an existing audience, don’t be afraid to reach out and survey them. Ask them where they hang out online. They will be happy to tell you.
4. Promote every post many times
Once you know where your audience hangs out, get out there and promote your blog posts. Many bloggers think they will be “bothering people” if they share their posts multiple times. That’s just not reality. Most people are not going to see your post the first time you share it, and they will miss out on reading your content if you don’t share it more than once.
If you are on Twitter, use a service like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule multiple tweets per post. Vary your tweet each time. One time you can use a quote, another, an interesting fact.
KISSMetrics has a great post on how to increase your blog traffic by sharing your posts multiple times on social media.
If you are on Pinterest, find relevant group boards and post your blog posts to all of them. The more you get your posts out there, the more your audience will become familiar with you and your blog.
5. Make friends in your niche
One of the strategies that has worked the best for me is building relationships with other bloggers. This, more than anything else, is a quick way to skyrocket your blog traffic when you are just starting out.
Create a list of 20 bloggers with whom you want to build relationships, and then strategically comment on their posts, invite them to contribute to round up posts on your blog, and even pitch guest post ideas to them.
If you are a beginner blogger, and no one is reading your blog posts other than your best friend and your mom, you will be so happy once you’ve used these 5 strategies. They are the quickest way I’ve found to grow my blog, and my clients have been thrilled with their results, as well.
What are your best strategies for growing your blog? Share in the comments below.