Sometimes people start a blog and think that all they have to do is publish a post and it’ll grow like wildfire. (That “people” might have been me a few years ago.) However the truth is that there are many steps that you have to take in order to grow a blog. Growing a blog does not happen without blood, sweat, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A few weeks ago I shared with you how to start a blog but today let’s talk about how to grow and build your blog.
So how do you grow a blog? There’s a few simple steps to get it started on it’s way.
1. Social Media
Anytime I teach about social media I always refer to it as multiplication upon multiplication. This will not always happen but when you put out something that is funny, or fills a need in any category people will send your message out. Then their friends will turn around and share it and it keeps going and grows larger and larger. People will find your blog through their friends on social media and hopefully will stick around to see what else you can do. Social media immersion is a must for any blogger wanting to grow their blog. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google + are the large 4 ones that I recommend to start with. However there are a ton of other social media avenues and you need to research and find the one that is right for you.
Start an account that reflects your blog’s name but has your personal picture. People want to connect with other people, not a picture of a hamster eating a taco. Grow these networks which will take time but it’s worth it. Most importantly, don’t just use it as a way to send out the link to your blog post and nothing else. Interact with people, develop friends that you would have never of met otherwise and support other bloggers that are trying to grow like you.
2. Find a Support Community.
Local Blogger groups are starting to pop up all over the nation. I personally belong to the Houston Bloggers, which has helped me more than they will ever know. It’s a great place to educate yourself about the different ways to run a blog and how to grow it. The goal of a blogger group should be to educate and support. That is what you need when you are trying to grow. Then as you grow you can give the same back to others that are just starting out. If you cannot find a local group where you can meet in person, find an online support group. As you learn more about Search Engine Optimization, Pinterest Optimization, Sponsored Posts, Blog hops, you will see your site start to grow and a support community can give you those keys to do so.
Research online about blogging and read, read, read. Blogging changes every single day as social media changes and advancements in technology is made. Blogging has been around for years but the government is just starting to figure out how to regulate and tax it. In order to grow, you have to be legally sound or people will attack your blog rather than follow it.
The more you can learn about the scenes behind blogging, the better chance you have to make it as a blogger. Other blogs and websites such as ProBlogger, Tent Blogger, Mashable, Social Media Examiner along with our best friend, Google, can really help educate you on the behind the scenes of blogging.
4. Provide Amazing and Unique Content.
There are 5,000 fried chicken recipes on the internet. What’s the one thing that’s going to make yours special or different? Anyone can write a grammatically correct post (well except for me) but no one wants to read the same exact hum drum post from 100 people. Use your voice to be different. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
At the same time you’re finding your voice you also have to make sure to give great content. If you want to be a fashion blogger, don’t spend two weeks in a row photographing your sweats and talking about how you just don’t have time lately to get dressed up. Anyone can see that same exact thing anytime after 9pm at Walmart. Give people quality because that is what will bring them back. Spend time learning better photography and writing skills.
Growing a successful blog will not happen overnight. It could take years to learn everything there is to know about blogging such as SEO, edgerank, authorship, longtail keywords and post optimization. There’s so much involved that no one realizes when they begin and it’s too much to take in too quick. Just do your best and commit yourself to learning more and you’ll be on your way to having a thriving blog set on a steady course for growth.
And of course if you’re interested in a really great blog conference that is geared towards education, please check out Blog Elevated Conference.