In the past few months I’ve been asked by at three different friends how to blog effectively.
I’m not a fancy-pants blogger. There are people out there with quadruple my hits on a daily basis. But my blog does well- it’s a nice space with awesome readers and it has been growing in the past few months more than I could ever imagine. So, while I’m certainly not the MOST qualified to give advice, I’m dishing it out anyway.
1) Have an idea of what you want your blog to be- but don’t box yourself in.
When I started Sleeping Is For Losers, I knew I wanted to write about being a mom to a baby that was exhausting the heck out of me. But it hasn’t been SOLEY about that. Decide what the “main” focus of your blog will be but don’t be afraid to stray and post about anything that catches your eye and means something to you. In blogging, content is king and most people don’t really care who (or what) your content is about as long as it’s passionate, real, and meaningful to you.
2) Use social media to garner readers
Social media (ie: Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc.) are amazing resources for drawing in readers. Don’t worry that you’ll alienate people by always posting links to your posts. Do you know how often people post things that I don’t bother to read? It’s not a big deal! Instead, use it as a tool to market your writing and draw in readers who would otherwise have no idea that you exist. HOWEVER, do not use social media to only pimp your blog. Make sure you’re still utilizing it as a way to keep in touch, chat, learn, etc. Just throw your blog posts in there every once in a while. I have garnered more readers through social media then any other source!
3) Read other blogs- and comment!
I don’t read as many blogs as I would like, but every time I read a blog post that I like, I comment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a huge blog or a small, just starting out blog. Comment. You will almost always gain a reader in return! That being said, don’t be fake in your comments- comment because you actually have something to say! HOWEVER….
4) Don’t get caught up in comments on your blog
I don’t get TONS of comments as a general rule. But my per post hits are well into the the thousands. Lots of people don’t comment for lots of reasons. Don’t let yourself get caught up in this! When someone new does comment on your blog, make sure you either respond or check out their blog (assuming they have one).
5) Use writing prompts!
I don’t really use these any more, but writing prompts (and linking up your post) is an awesome way to get people reading your blog!!! Twitter is a great place to hop on board linkups (where you post a link to your blog about a specific topic) and generally gets people noticing your blog!
6) Don’t get caught up in the “Free Stuff”
If you are active in social media and have a few followers, PR people will notice. And they will want to give you free stuff. Which is AWESOME. But it’s also a bit of a trap that you don’t want to get caught up in (unless you want your blog to be a review blog, which is something entirely different and I can’t help you with!). Working with brands is great but only do it if the brand means something to you or can add value to your life or the life of your readers. This is different for everyone, but I have chosen to only work with brands/products that I would A) actually use or B) allow me to give back. You make up your own mind-but don’t be afraid to say “NO”!
7) BE YOURSELF
It’s great to read other blogs. It’s great to see what works for other people. But it is most important to be yourself and write the content YOU want to write!!! You will not have thousands of hits overnight. Let it build slowly. Don’t be controversial just to be controversial. Don’t write posts just because you think people want to hear about that topic. When you’re disingenuous in your writing, people will know. And they won’t like it.
8) Just write
That’s all. Write. That’s the whole point of a blog in the first place. Write your heart out!