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!
Great tips! I remember when I first started my blog in July 2008… I felt so lost… But I did just what you suggested. I just started writing. Didn't overthink it. My blog didn't come HUGE over night, but over the years it has grown.
Readers will come and go… don't let that influence or change who you are. Be authentic. Be real. Be you. That's been one of my key mantras over the years! ~ NK
Great tips! Thanks Sarah! I must say, this is a well-written post and blog in general.
Teena in Toronto says
I started my blog 6.5 years ago and it's evolved over the years once I found my voice.
"do not use social media to only pimp your blog. " – yes, love that. Exactly.
Great tips, I just started my blog in September and am still learning. Very helpful.
Growing Up Toronto says
very helpful indeed- thanks for the advice 🙂
Great advice Sarah! I may just have to link my posts to Facebook…over the past month I've seen 3 or 4 friends on Facebook are "come out" with their blogs.
Sarah Newcomb says
You must link on your FB & twitter! People won't know about your awesome blog unless you share it!
This Mom says
These are great tips! And you've proved the one about commenting to be true, since I am here because of a comment you left on my blog! I will definitely be back!
Sarah Stogryn says
I'm a new reader and thought I'd introduce myself. I'm the Office Administrator at your parents new church in Brighton. I had a blog for a few years, took it all down when I felt like it had grown faster than I was ready for, have been blog-free for a year or so now… and am missing that outlet so considering starting up a new blog. I do have one connected to my website, (www.embracedoulacare.com) but I've only put up a couple posts & its not very functional at the moment.
Anyhow… sorry to hear your boys are under the weather today. If you're at all interested in natural & complementary health, elderberry syrup is very effective at reducing the severity and length of both colds & flu, and is safe for young children. Sambucol is a well-known brand – don't waste your money on the kids stuff though. The kids product is half the strength of the adult, but the same price. So just buy an adult bottle but do half dosages:
Under 1 year – would be 2.5ml 2 times daily
1 – 6 years – would be 2.5-5ml 2 times daily
Hope you're all back on your feet soon. 🙂
Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says
Congratulations on your nomination. Great advice too.
Sarah Newcomb says
Sarah- so happy to hear from you!!! Thanks for the advice, I'm going to search for some for Zach- he has a "daycare" cough that he just can't get rid of. I hope you do pick up blogging again…I'd definitely be reading!
Thank you so much for your tips. Really thanks so much:) I am new to this i have a new blog i just started a couple days a go. Only one member wich is my husband.LOL
Hugs from Toronto
Claudia Persi says
Thank you so much for sharing, great tips. 🙂