|Photo credit: Magnet 4 Marketing dot Net on Flickr|
Today’s focus is the blog! Because I just hit a special milestone (*EHEM* so maybe check out Writability next week? JUST SAYING). So yay!
Blogger birthday: May 2011 (3.5 years, as of this writing).
Followers/subscribers: Roughly 1.1k (according to feedburner, as of this writing).
Total pageviews: +1,000,000!!! *squee*
Time spent weekly: Roughly 3-4 hours ish.
- Post consistently. So in three and a half years, I’ve yet to miss a post. I’m not saying this to be braggy, I’m saying this because posting consistently? It’s important if you want to build a blog following.
I’ve already written a whole post about why posting consistently is so important, so I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty again. But the main benefit to bloggers is by posting consistently, you’re allowing your readers to get into the habit of checking/visiting your blog on a regular basis. Whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, several times a week or monthly is up to you, but no matter what, consistency is key.
- Figure out what you want your blog to be about early on and stay within that realm. While having a blog where you post about anything and everything under the sun can be fun, it's much harder to find an audience if you don't pinpoint a particular interest to target.
- Ask a question after your posts to encourage discussion. Case in point: 95% of my blog posts. :)
- Answer your comments. You won’t always get comments. In fact, there will often be long stretches where you barely get any comments at all. (FWIW, this is something that STILL happens to me, three and a half years later). But when you do get comments, I think it’s really important for bloggers to make a point of answering them. Yes, all of them. (Or nearly all of them, at least).
Why? To me, it’s common courtesy—your readers have taken the time to read your post and respond in some way, and by answering their comments, you’re telling them you appreciate their time and reciprocated with their own. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that on the posts where I answer comments quickly, I tend to get more comments—readers like to see that the blogger is taking the time to interact with the community.
As an added bonus, I’ve had some really awesome discussions happen in the comments of my posts—and those would’nt have happened if I hadn’t answered the comments to begin with.
- Share your posts elsewhere. I habitually share every one of my blog posts on Twitter, tumblr and Facebook, because that’s where I’m most active. Pinterest is another good one, but I’m not very consistent with Pinterest so I tend to let other awesome people pin my stuff for me. (People are nice).
But basically, if you’re on a social media site that allows for link or text sharing, then I highly recommend you take the time to share your posts. Just don’t get spammy about it (as in, posting about it twelve times in the same day).
- Make it easy for others to share. As in those lovely Twitter-sized bites below (directions on how to create those here). Or the sharing buttons below that. But the point is, the easier you make it for people to share, the more likely they are to do it.
- Comment on other people’s blogs (especially at first). This is something, that sadly, I haven’t had very much time for as of late. But at the beginning, one of the number one ways I found new blogs, connected with other bloggers, and found new readers was by commenting on blogs with topics similar to mine. This is especially helpful at first when you don’t have a lot of readers and you want to find people with similar interests, but one caveat: do NOT include a link to your blog at the bottom of your comment. That’s considered spammy and kind of rude. Instead, people will find your blog by clicking your name (because you usually have to include a link to your website (aka: your blog) in order to leave a comment).
- It’s okay to stop. Thankfully, this isn’t something I’ve had to (or wanted to) do. I love running Writability, and even though it’s time consuming, it’s something that I intend to continue to do for as long as I can.
But that being said, if you’re a blogger and you find that you’re no longer enjoying it, or it’s taking way too much time and becoming a burden, then it’s okay to stop. Really. The last thing you want is to dread writing your posts, because then it’ll become an emotional drain and quite frankly, your readers will likely notice.
Do you run a blog? What tips do you have for new (or even established!) bloggers?
Looking to build a blogging platform? @Ava_Jae shares her experience and a few tips. (Click to tweet)
"Consistency is key," and other blogger platform building tips from @Ava_Jae. (Click to tweet)