My friend Natalie wears a lot of hats. She’s a wife, mom to a six-year-old son and four-year-old twin girls. She’s a wannabe foodie, lover of wine, and all things social media. She is the author and creator of Mommy of a Monster and Twins, her awesome personal blog where she writes about the good, the bad, and the ugly of parenting. I just love her advice on How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids (awesome, right?), and here she’s writes How to Gain (or Lose) Twitter Followers. She also works as a freelance writer and virtual assistant. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest pinning more recipes than she can possibly ever try, or sharing funny and usually inappropriate Ecards on her Facebook page.
So you have decided to start a blog. Or maybe, you’ve been blogging for awhile now and are looking to expand your audience. It’s a lot of work! But if you have some helpful tips, you can definitely do it. Here are some tips for new bloggers that I’ve learned.
Reply to Comments (And Leave Them On Other Blogs, Too!)
If someone leaves a comment, especially one that contains a question, I always try to reply. Responding to comments helps keep the conversation going and it also helps you begin to develop relationships with other bloggers.
Sometimes if I notice a new commenter or haven’t visited someone’s blog in awhile, I’ll visit their blog and leave a comment. When I was a new blogger, I both responded to comments and visited each person’s blog.
Join Social Media Sites and Blog Communities to Meet Bloggers
I think you’ll find most bloggers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. That’s a lot of places to be, but worth it! Pick one or two of your favorites to spend time on each day, and make sure to try to post to the others a few times a week.
TapInfluence (formerly known as BlogFrog) is a fantastic blog community to join, as is The SITS Girls. If you are new and just starting out, definitely join them. There are many, many others out there too – ask some of your new blog friends about their favorites.
Participating in memes is also a great way to join a blog niche community. Find a couple you are interested in and link up! Memes help grow your audience because you get to be around so many bloggers that you may have not otherwise run into anywhere else.
Ask questions and ask for help when you need it. Find a “tribe” – a few other bloggers that you know and trust (or even maybe who you look up to) – and go to them with questions, concerns, advice, or to vent.
You can read a post I did at SITS for more tips on building a blogging community.
Give Bloggy Love
Stumble posts. Retweet. Like on Facebook. Link up to other blogs on your blog (maybe have a page or area on your blog for “Blogs I Follow.”) If you get an idea for a post from another blogger, give them a shout out and link back to their blog. I can’t tell you how much traffic I get to my blog from other bloggers. But you have to give it to receive it!
If someone offers you the opportunity to guest post, take them up on it! Guest posting opens you up to an entirely new audience. You may even get a new follower or two. When your post goes up on their blog, make sure to tell your readers about and help promote it too.
Not sure about what is expected of you when guest posting? I wrote a post about guest posting etiquette that will help.
Don’t Obsess Over Numbers
No seriously, don’t worry about them. If you do, you’ll just get frustrated and want to give up. They aren’t important when you are just starting off and trying to build an audience.
Above All, Content Rules
If nobody is interested in what you are sharing, you won’t build or keep an audience. Find fun, interesting, eye opening, funny, or yummy things to share. I share lots of recipes, but I also talk about things that affect me not only as a mom, but as a woman too: mommy guilt , depression, infertility struggles, books…you get the idea. People who have decided to follow you do so because they enjoy the content of your blog.