With Instagram and it’s annoying algorithm changes being at the top of everyone’s mind lately, it’s easy to forget why most of us even have an IG account in the first place: to support our blogs! It’s hard to believe because we spend so much time on our social media accounts, but many bloggers actually got into blogging not to become an “influencer” but to actually share content + build their own communities (and if they are able to provide influence in some way, sweet!). The ability to monetize changed the game, but I also think that sometimes it makes us focus on growing our numbers without focusing on doing the things that will cause those numbers to grow on their own.
If you’re in the blogging game for the long haul and want to work on growing your audience, I think it’s really important not to forget the tried and true ways to gain traction with your blog. Instagram may be the top focus for many right now, but when I look at certain accounts that have been in the game for awhile (Cupcakes & Cashmere, Fashion Steele NYC, Gal Meets Glam, Song of Style), they never put their blogs on the back burner. Now it’s not to say that you won’t ever reach a plateau with growth-this is normal and you may have to switch your strategy up a bit, but before you hire someone to help you “take your blog to the next level”, make sure that you’re doing these 4 things first:
Post regularly to you blog
I know, I know. Sometimes I fall short with this when my life gets really busy, but I’ve always known that posting to your blog regularly will always be the number 1 way to grow your audience. Every time you publish a new post to your blog, Google crawls it so that it can come up in search results for whatever keywords are tagged, and it also let’s your current audience know that they can come to your blog regularly for content. When you go too long in between posts readers will drop off, so try to publish at least once weekly until you can get back onto your regular schedule.
Engage with other bloggers + regular readers in your audience
Commenting on other blogger’s blogs used to be one of the top ways to grow readership and community. Usually when you’d comment on a person’s blog, they’d return the favor (and sometimes their readers would too). People have moved to commenting mostly on IG posts, but I still think that there is a place for this. Just make sure it’s substantive and authentic. If you have readers that aren’t bloggers but they also follow you on IG and you know who they are, be sure to engage with what they post as well, even if you don’t follow them. THIS is how you build a real community.
photos: Michael Butler, Jr.
Share your posts via social media (more than once)
I know that many of us are on multiple social media platforms and share our blog posts when they go live, but did you know that you can (and should) share them more than once? Whether you do it manually or use a plug-in that will automatically reshare your old posts, you should DEFINITELY be sharing your posts on a continuous basis. Each platform has their own algorithm in place so depending on the time that you share your posts, your readers may not see it so don’t feel bad about it. Space out when the links are shared (every 2-4 hours is fine) and this will help boost traffic to your site over time.
Make a Pinterest board specifically for your blog posts and pin them there. If you didn’t know by now, Pinterest is a search engine (NOT a social media platform), so when people are looking for info on a certain topic, they can find your posts and it’ll lead them to your site. Pinterest is a huge traffic referrer for a lot of bloggers, so try to utilize this as much as you can (here are some tips to help you).
Get Your Newsletter Poppin
If you follow any Infopreneurs, you know that building a newsletter list is one of the most important things to do if you have a blog. Reason being, if someone trusts you enough to give you their email address, this means they really find value in what you have to share, so whether your newsletter is an RSS feed that sends out a link to your blog posts when they go live or you send out a weekly recap, make sure that you have one in place. There are so many ways that you can make your newsletter interesting, so don’t forget to use it!
Before you try any grow quick schemes, make sure that you have these tried and true tactics in place. If you start doing them consistently, you will definitely see a shift in your blog’s traffic.