Whether you are just starting to blog or have been blogging for a while, you’ll always be wondering about how to grow your blog. However, getting your blog to grow isn’t always the easiest thing, especially when there are already so many great blogs out there.
I wish I could tell you that all you need to do is write great content and the rest will follow, but it doesn’t work that way. It can be very easy to get caught up in just creating awesome content and forgetting some of the other things you need to do to ensure your blog’s growth.
Here are 9 easy ways to grow your blog:
- Write like you love it
- Use social media to build relationships
- Create lasting content
- Give others props
- Focus on a single topic
- Don’t treat email like a sales pitch
- Understand SEO and use SEO
- Build connections
- Promote as if everyone needs to read your stuff
Nothing crazy or complicated here. Just some simple principles you can use to grow your blog. These are things all of the big time bloggers do so there is no reason why you can’t do the same thing.
How to Grow Your Blog and Keep Life Interesting
1. Write Like You Love It
This one is first because it should be the most obvious. If you don’t enjoy writing about your blog’s topic, people will know. Nobody wants to read stuff that people aren’t enthusiastic about.
When you read Regina or Melyssa Griffin, does it ever seem like they want to be talking about something else? Hell no! In fact, it seems like they have the most fun when they are writing. I’m not sure if that is true or not, but that’s the feeling I get when I read their content.
What you are writing about doesn’t have to be your #1 passion, but it does need to be something that you care about.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t remain curious about something for more than two years then you should avoid it. Why is curiosity the measuring stick?
Because curiosity is what can drive you forward to always wanting to learn more about something.
Curious people always win.
2. Use Social Media to Build Relationships
Social media is tough. I know, trust me.
You see all of these gurus with thousands or millions of likes/followers/friends/goombas and you wonder how you are ever going to get like that.
Well, let me tell you something right now.
You don’t need thousands upon thousands of Internet strangers following your social media accounts to be successful. In fact, you might not want that many at all, because not all of them genuinely care about what you are doing.
I’d rather have 100 followers who are truly interested in what I am doing vs. 10,000 who just follow me because I’m in the same niche as them.
True Fans are a real metric for business success.
While social media can be a great promotional vehicle if you only treat it like that, you will find that your following never grows. Instead, use social media as a place where you can build relationships with fellow bloggers and your tribe. You don’t have the time to get on the phone and chat with everybody so social media is a great outlet for people to get to know you.
3. Create Lasting Content
In the business world, they call this Evergreen Content. That means the content is useful for a long time. Maybe not forever, but it’s not something that will be useless 3 months from now.
For example, this very post you’re reading is meant to be evergreen content because the subject matter is never going to change. There might be things that I add to it later, but none of these principles will disappear for a while.
I don’t have any hard-set rule about how much of your content should be evergreen content, but I do believe the majority of it should be.
The reason is that as you grow your blog, more and more people will find you through search engines. These people are looking for specific answers to their problems and you want to make sure your content helps them out.
If you are only writing about current events, then how can you be sure they are getting the value out of your content that they need?
4. Give Others Props
It can be very easy to get carried away and only make your blog about you. I get it, I love talking about you as well! You are awesome.
However, in this world, you need to boost others up. People on your site will have plenty of time to get to know you if they haven’t already. From time to time why not shine the spotlight on someone else through an interview or site analysis?
For example, check out this post on Pat Flynn. That has nothing to do with me and everything to do with him and how awesome he is doing with his site.
Another great thing about giving others props is that you can feed their egos a bit. If someone writes something nice about you, wouldn’t you want to share that with your audience? I’m not saying this is the reason why you are raising someone else up, but it can sometimes be a nice side effect.
5. Focus On a Single Topic
I love this advice because if you want to build a successful blog you need to follow it.
I hate this advice because it can be very confusing.
What constitutes a single topic? Is how to grow your blog a single topic or can it be more than that? If it can be more, then how much is too much?
Part of living the Odd Noodle Life is about building a lifestyle that you want through blogging. But I could probably extend that to all online businesses if I wanted to. However, if I decided to throw in Java programming tutorials then I am going a bit too far.
The reason why you want to stick with a single topic is that you want to become the authority on that topic in your audience’s eyes. When someone is wondering how to make money online with their blog I want them to think of Paul Scrivens and Odd Noodle.
You also want to ensure that your audience knows what to expect when they visit your site. If you are all over the map with your content then you will find that your audience is broken up into different segments that like different topics.
When this happens you begin to try to please everybody and that means you end up pleasing nobody. When you know that your audience likes the single topic you are focusing on, then you can work on the best ways to monetize things. You know they love this topic so you also know they will love that ebook or course you were thinking about doing.
Topical Authority for Strong SEO
But probably the most important reason why you should consider sticking to a single topic (at least until you’ve exhausted it) is so that you can build topical authority on a subject.
What is this?
It’s where you cover a topic exhaustively so that it looks like you know everything there is about it. For example, in our Blogging Library, there are over 60 posts on blogging.
That’s a ton of posts on blogging but it shows that we are a topical authority on the matter. This is why you need to focus on building out Topic Clusters so that over time you begin to build your share of search engine traffic.
6. Don’t Treat Email Like a Sales Pitch
When I first started to build up my email list I had a big problem of only sending emails out that were selling something.
I was terrible.
You would’ve hated me.
Every couple of weeks thousands of people would get an email asking them to open their wallets and hand over money.
I was the bad friend who always wanted someone else to pay for drinks.
In all honesty, I’m surprised people even stuck around.
I bring this up because you might be tempted to do the same thing. You have your tribe and you know you’re supposed to sell to your tribe so that is exactly what you do. However, that shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you are doing. Most of the emails people get from you should be providing them with huge value. There is a time and place to try and make the sale and that time isn’t always and that place isn’t everywhere.
7. Understand SEO, Use SEO
Search Engine Optimization can seem like black magic. If you are just getting started with blogging I encourage you not to go too deep into SEO because I believe you need to get a feel for your site first. After some time you can really dive into SEO (researching keywords, keyword planning, backlinks) and push your blog forward.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro you should understand the very basics of SEO that can help ensure you aren’t setting yourself back.
- Page titles
- Clean URLs
- Alt attributes in images
- Internal and external links
These are things that don’t require a ton of thought and if you can ensure they are setup properly from the beginning it will end up making your life easier. Once you start to see what type of posts are most popular on your blog you can begin to do a better job of targeting specific keywords to really take your site up the rankings.
To learn more about SEO check out 7 SEO Tips Every Blogger Should Know.
8. Build Connections
This is something that I’ve always been terrible at because I can get caught up in my own world. If you want to be successful in blogging you can’t view other blogs as the competition.
Instead, view them as colleagues that you should be teaming up with.
When we all help each other out, assuming it’s beneficial to both parties, everyone wins. There is no way one site can provide all the awesome content on a specific topic and it’s not fair to your audience that they are left unaware of the content that is out there.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to other bloggers from time to time, but do so with a purpose. Don’t just write them and say you would love to work with them and leave it at that. They are too busy to figure out ways they can help you out. A good way to get started is by writing about them. Maybe you want to interview them or write a review of one of their products.
9. Promote as If Everyone Needs to Read Your Stuff
This is probably the thing that I am the worst at when it comes to my blog.
Promoting my content.
It can be a tough thing for a blogger to do because you are telling the world that you’ve written something that is worth their time to read. Now some people think that anything they write is worth other people’s time and others heavily scrutinize anything that leaves draft mode.
Either way, you need to do a lot of work AFTER you press publish.
So how do you promote your content? You figure out the perfect audience for your post and then you go and find where they hang out.
For example, if you write a post on SEO, maybe you go to some SEO forums/communities and see if your post will help people out. You can also email different thought leaders letting them know about your post, even better if they are included in your post.
You should post it on social media.
You should post it on social media.
You should post it on social media.
Why did I say that three times? Because that’s the minimum amount of times you should be posting stuff to social media. I’m not saying you should do three tweets in a row about your most recent post, but simply tweeting about it once isn’t going to get you very far.
Tweet it today. Tweet it tomorrow. Tweet it next week. Tweet it next month. Tweet it in 3 months.
You spent enough time writing that excellent piece of content so you should spend an equal amount of time making sure that people know about it.
Nothing Is Passive
Writing great content is the most important thing for your blog.
However, everything else is a close second.
Don’t get so caught up in creating wonderful things that you forget you need to make sure you are growing our blog/business as well. It can be easy to get too caught up in one mode so it is important to remain conscious of the fact that great content and the methods I discussed above all go hand in hand.