I’ve had several people ask me how I’ve been able to gain so many followers, if I have any tips on how to get more traffic on their blogs, etc. I have seen a few such posts, but today (by popular demand), I’m gonna write my own for y’all.
I don’t claim to be a pro and these suggestions aren't guaranteed to make your blog go from 40 to 400 followers in any certain amount of time, but these tips are from what blogging has taught me and of what I look for in a blog before I start following it.
1) Know What You’re Blogging About
Before you start a blog, you have to know what you’re planning on blogging about. Fashion? Photography? Movie reviews? Bible studies? Music? Don’t try blogging about different stuff and just do random posts all the time. Readers don’t like an author who doesn’t know what they’re writing about. Maybe, to start out, try a couple different subjects, then ask your readers what they’d like to see more of, what they prefer reading about, what they think you’re better at writing. (Polls are always fun for readers!) Yes, yes, go ahead and post about that new craft you learned, the last movie you watched, etc. - just keep a good balance!
2) Make Your Blog Fun
Simple but sweet. If you have a sweet (and busy) background, then keep your header and font simple. If you have a sweet (and busy) header, then keep your blog background and font simple. Mix and match, but do it well. And there are TONS of blog designers who can help you with this.
Find a background that really shows your personality. If you’re a cheery, bubbly, outgoing kind of person, find a bright and colorful background. Maybe with some yellows and pinks and light blues. If you’re a more classic, serene, quiet person, try getting some toned colors. Browns, dark(er) blues, and mint greens.
Your header should either include your own photography or something that ties in your blog title really well. Or, like mine, just an elegant font spelling out your blog title, simple background, and maybe a subtitle.
Font is probably one of the first (and most important) things that catches your eye when you visit a blog. Can you read it? Is it too large? Too small? Does it choreograph with the background well?
Pictures are something that always grab people’s attention, too. Even if they’re not your own, just use some from Google Images or Pinterest. Always remember to link back to the source.
3) Have a Guestbook
Many blogs don’t have this, but I would highly recommend it. When you have a guestbook, it prompts visitors to leave a comment, but not on a post. Sometimes, people just want to say hi or that they just happened upon your website and really liked it, but that has nothing to do with your recent post so they’re left sitting there like ‘uhhhh...should I comment or nah?’. A guestbook is a quick and easy solution to this question.
Also, don’t forget to put some sort of email address on your website that they can contact you via privately.
4) Don’t advertise
You post a link to your blog on Facebook: ‘Come check out my blog! You’ll love it! Be sure to click the ‘follower’ button when you visit!’
Uh, no. That’s pressure and that’s something that people don’t like.
When you post a link to your blog on Facebook, the best thing to write is something like: ‘Come check out my blog _____! And let me know you stopped by’...or something along those lines.
Also, another good way to advertise is to comment on a blog and leave your link after your signature. But show genuine interest in the post you’re commenting on, okay? Don’t just be like ‘Hey, nice blog! Come check out mine!’
5) Write well
Don’t EVER write like this: ‘i just luv my blog!!! and i luv all my fllwrs. i cant rite long. Gtg ttyl!!!’
Is this a joke? Honestly, stop blogging right now if you’re gonna post like that.
6) Write frequently
If you want to start a blog, be serious about starting a blog. Don’t just post every two months. If you want to see progress in your followers count and the amount of comments you get, POST! Don’t just think everyone will come flocking to a blog that only posts once a week. This is a BIG thing that I look for in blogs that I visit.
7) Host giveaways
E-mail small shops and ask them to sponsor you. Give away any extra books, movies, journals, stickers, etc. that you have laying around. (Just be sure they’re in good condition.) I promise that you’ll get followers while/after having a giveaway! Everyone likes fun and free stuff. Be sure to write good ways for people to enter. Quick and easy. Nothing complicated.
Photos grab people’s attention like flies to honey. Try to have at least one photo in each post. And if you’re not a good photographer, there are lots of sites out there that can help you out (Google Images, Flickr, Pinterest, We Heart It, etc.). Remember: link back to the source.
9) Visit Your Followers’ Blogs
This can get a little hectic, but people always love being thanked that they started following your blog.
10) Have Guest Authors
People enjoy hearing from other people on your blog. And it helps you, and your visiting author’s, publicity.
I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know if you’d like me to elaborate on anything.