1) Don’t be a lone ranger
When I first started blogging I was thrilled if even one person read my post. After a while, I realised growing my blog was less about ‘building’ my community than it was about actually finding them in the first place. Unless you’re incredibly lucky or popular, building your readership can be a challenge. The best thing I did was to join Digital Parents and participate in a couple of their weekly linkups. I met a lot of talented bloggers this way. I also joined a couple of Facebook groups, which have been a valuable source of advice and support.
2) Go out on a limb
Don’t be afraid to take risks with your blog. You might be surprised what happens when you do. I wrote about issues I felt strongly about, instead of what I thought people might want to read. This helped me figure out what I really wanted my blog to be about. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot when you never run out of ideas.
3) Put your writing out into the world
Don’t focus solely on your blog if you want to grow your readership. Write for other publications, both online and off. Pitch articles to magazines, guest posts for sites you love or other bloggers that you read. I’m still working on this one myself, and I know it’s hard when you don’t have much time. If you set yourself a goal, for example to pitch one or two publications a month, it makes it much more doable.
4) It doesn’t have to be perfect
Just start your blog, and then keep improving as you go. Whether it’s updating your design, improving the quality of your content or making your social media channels look professional, there’s always something you can do to lift your game. But don’t stress, it’s ok to be a work in progress (aren’t we all?).
5) Develop your own style
I struggled with blogging at first because I felt I couldn’t be an authority. I didn’t know everything there was to know about writing. It was only when I started writing from a personal standpoint that things really clicked for me. Of course, this approach won’t be right for everyone, but it’s worth giving some thought to the style that’s best for you.
6) Sadly, you can’t ignore Facebook
Several months ago I attended a blogging course given by Nicole Avery at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Nicole had lots of great advice to share but one thing that stuck with me was how you can’t ignore Facebook if you want to grow your readership. As it turned out, Nicole was right. Facebook has definitely helped me grow my blog and I’m working on building my following there, instead of semi-ignoring it like I used to. Of course, if you really hate Facebook there’s always Instagram, which is next on my list of addictions to do list.
7) Commitment, baby
Blogging is a lot like a marriage – not something you should enter into lightly. It’s a commitment, and if you want a business, then you need to keep up your end of the bargain. Whether you post every day or once a month, you do need to be consistent to attract readers as well as keep the ones you already have.
8) Treat your blog like a business
If you want to make money from your blog, you’ve got to treat it like a business. I discovered Kate Muegel’s Secret Bloggers Business ecourse through one of my Facebook groups, which is just as well, because frankly, I knew jack about sponsored posts, affiliate marketing or income layering, before she came along. So if you don’t want to half-ass it on the business side, I recommend her course (and yes, this is an affiliate link). See what she’s done to me?
9) Keep your ideal reader front of mind
Blogging is fun, and you can never tell which topics will take off and which will bomb. One of my most popular posts is about words and phrases I’ve vowed to stop saying. I guess people like it because it’s something we can all relate to. Now, before I write a post I always ask myself, what will my ideal reader get out of this?
10) You might fall in love with your blog
Whether you have a business or a personal blog, or you write purely for self-expression, blogging can get a little addictive. Try not to ignore the family ok? They deserve a little love too
Those are my personal lessons. What are yours?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT