I’m constantly coming up with ideas, drafting, writing bits and pieces of inspiration down as soon as it crosses my mind. I completely forgot I had written this a few days ago when I was at 489 followers in anticipation of hitting 500. I ended up writing a new one this morning when I saw the follow count at 506. Since this has different content, I figured I’d share so that I didn’t write that to toss 🙂
I am so humbled! I can’t believe 500 people have chosen to have my posts hit their reader, feed, and email! Thank you to each and every one of you. As you may or may not know, I attempted blogging 3 years ago and thought it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t know how to find blogs and found myself writing to an empty audience. I didn’t know how to get started or really what I even wanted out of my blog. I walked away and forgot all about it. About two years later, I started reading blogs that I liked and decided to give it another chance. The timing wasn’t the best as I was pregnant with my second daughter and while I enjoyed it I had to set the idea aside for a while. In January of this year, my husband asked why he didn’t see me write anymore. So in January I decided to use a new layout, delete my old content, change the blog name and start over. I hoped the 52 followers I had from the previous attempt would be intrigued by this new to them blog that was suddenly appearing on their Reader. I never would have imagined just two months later my followers would go from 52 to over 500!
I don’t know if there is a secret to growing your followers or if the secret is in the combination I used. This time around I was focused, determined and wanted to be consistent. Here’s what has turned out to be the recipe to my little blog’s success-
I came up with topics that interested me and I thought others would find interesting
I didn’t want my blog to be an extended format of Facebook and just post random pictures of myself and my day. Nothing wrong with that, it just wasn’t what I wanted to do with my blog. So I went through several lists of weekly topics before I came up with the one I’m using today.
I chose to post daily
This was very difficult at first but between my daily topics to prompt me and a timely daily posting challenge I signed up for in February, it made it really easy and once I started I couldn’t stop. The more times a blog hits the reader, the more chances someone will decide to click it. That means more exposure based on the categories and tags used (another pro to writing about different topics).
I get involved with the blogging community
The first time around I couldn’t understand why no one came to my blog. I didn’t get many views, the ones I did weren’t very interactive and I quit within a few months. This time around, I liked and commented on the posts of bloggers I followed. Surprise, surprise! They replied and even stopped by my blog! That lead to me reading other comments left on posts and checking out their blogs. One thing lead to another and I found Danny’s meet and greets over at Dream Big, Dream Often (one of my blogging role models) and started leaving links whenever Jason opened his platform for them at Harsh Reality (another blogging role model of mine). The more you interact, the more traffic you’ll get. I don’t interact for the sake of doing so. Sometimes I like a post and come back to it later, sometimes I comment and it turns into a conversation. Bottom line, you can’t expect your blog to be found in the crowd by following a handful of blogs and being a silent reader. If you don’t want to grow your audience then continue to the next point, if you do, then head over to one of the blogs mentioned above or any of your favorite blogs that provide meet and greets, link parties, or have content you love and start engaging!
If you read my blog, you know me. I don’t try to color my life inside the lines. You will see the whole picture for what it is. I don’t follow any rules to grow my blog. I write what I’m inspired to. If I get a spike in views, GREAT! If not, I’ll be back at it tomorrow.
It’s hard work!
I put at least 2-5 hours a day into blogging. For me to write a post it takes me at least 2 hours to draft the content, find pictures and quotes, design the header image, put in links, make it look how I want and then schedule it to post the next day. The next day I’m reading and rereading to make sure things look how I want and come across how I intended. Then I read blogs, lots of them! I visit blogs of commenters, likers, and followers to see who is apart of my blogging community. Sometimes I don’t realize I’m not following someone because I’ve been to their blog so many times, I think I must have accidentally unfollowed them when reading on my phone (because that button is so easy to click without meaning to!)
Thank you once again for following me on this journey, and inspiring me to keep going! While I don’t let the stats control my content, I think it would be hard to write knowing it wasn’t going to be seen on anyone’s screen, so thank you for reading!