I think one thing all bloggers have in common is that we want our baby blog to grow.
I’m definitely NOT an expert on growing your blog and I’m definitely not even the most popular blogger on the block, but I wanted to provide some tips that worked for me regarding different situations, and, hopefully, this will help!
Less Tags and Reviews, More Lists and Discussions
In my first month of blogging, pretty much all I did were tags and reviews back to back. It was the type of content I posted on Books Amino and was often very successful, so I assumed that I’d just do the same thing on my book blog and get the same amount of success. Obviously, that wasn’t the case, and those posts weren’t as popular as I thought they’d be.
I will say that I got a surge in views and comments on two occurrences: when I posted lists and when I posted my first ever discussion. It was the beginning of the new year when I was posting, so I posted lists about my favorite and least favorite books of 2016 and books I was embarrassed I hadn’t read yet, and those were noticeably more popular than my first ever mini reviews post and the Book Quotes Tag. With that knowledge in mind, I changed the way I blogged from January to February; you can easily see the difference if you look back at my Archives! And, surprisingly, I gained more followers, more comments, more likes, and more attention in general!
I feel like most people are more likely to read discussion posts and lists over tags and reviews, and in general, are just more popular in terms of likes and comments, so you’ll definitely be able to gain an audience that way!
Share Around Social Media
This doesn’t have to mean that you just post links to new posts on your Twitter and Instagram bio! It can also mean leaving your link if people ask for book blogger links or actively advertising your blog in your bookstagram photos or signing up for as many social media accounts as you can to get exposure. Sometimes, being everywhere and constantly shoving your blog in people’s faces is what gets people to actually read your posts; I know that there are some blogs that I ended up checking out just because I see them EVERYWHERE, so it definitely works.
What Are You Trying To Accomplish?
This definitely pertains specifically to your posts. Depending on the type of post you’re promoting, you might want to advertise it differently. I’ve noticed that people are more likely to click on a list if numbers are incorporated somewhere in the title – such as this one. I’m more intrigued by a discussion post if it asks a question in the title and the title gets straight to the point of the subject of the post. For reviews, I’ve found mini reviews or compiling reasons in lists pulls people in more, especially if you add an interesting epithet in the title (such as “A Magical Mysterious Adventure / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern”). If you’re doing memes, make sure to not just link your meme to the masterpost; go check out the lists and memes of other people! To get people to read your posts, advertising is always a good thing (which is probably why I panic about titles so much).
Commenting, Commenting, Commenting
I know for sure that one of the reasons people visited my blog was because I commented around on theirs! Keep in mind that just because you comment on someone’s blog post does not guarantee they’re going to comment back nor does it obligate that person to comment back, but if you can find some popular bloggers who enjoy commenting back on others’ posts that have a large group of friends, take a chance! I’ve seen bloggers that visited my blog because their friends did it, and I’ve seen people who often comment and visit my blog who seem to be best friends with each other, so it definitely works! And make sure not to ignore smaller bloggers as well! Having a nice buddy system with other smaller bloggers where you all support each other is always super helpful.
Stay On Top Of Blog-Hopping
Depending on how many blogs you decide to follow and comment on, this will either be easy or difficult! I personally follow less than thirty blogs, and that’s basically enough for me, but some people like to follow 100+, so more power to you! When you first start out blogging, I think it’s critical to be on top of visiting other people’s blogs and commenting. The more you do that, the more people notice, and the more likely someone will check you out if you seem like a dedicated follower! Also, I feel like most of the time, your blog is tied to your interaction. If you don’t interact as much, there’s a less likely chance that people will visit your blog (which I think is dumb because some people don’t have all the time in the world to read and comment on your posts and, sometimes, they’re not interested in every single thing you post), so keeping it up will definitely get those stats steady!
Design Is Key
Pretty much every single time someone talks about why they follow a blog, one of the main reasons is because the blog is attractive. Is it shallow that most people are more likely to look at prettier blogs with meh content over less attractive blogs with much better content? Yes. But, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when creating your blog! You don’t have to be the best at bookish photography or an expert at making graphics or a connossieur at web design to make a pretty looking blog – trust me, if I can make my entire blog with no help and minimal experience, you can, too.
Be Everywhere, All The Time
I touched upon this earlier, but shoving your blog in people’s face can work. I’m sure you can think of at least one blogger where no matter what post or blog you’re on, you ALWAYS recognize their profile picture in the comments section. With that type of visibility you’re making yourself more open to people clicking on your blog name or the latest post that’s linked or wondering what you have to offer! And don’t feel scared that you’re “being annoying” because commenting on people’s blogs and sharing the love is never an annoying thing to do.
Examine The Types Of Posts You’re Writing
Like in my very first tip, you have to look at the posts you’re writing. If you want more comments, but the only posts you’ve been posting so far on your blog are reviews, that type of communication isn’t going to happen. Even if you talk about a hyped or popular book, there’s no chance that anyone will find yours among the hundreds of reviews of the same book out there!
Discussions are usually the big money-makers to get comments – here’s a post about how to write one if you need some help – and I feel like a good list is also effective with getting comments. Interesting tags can warrant discussion, such as the Unpopular Opinions Tag, but some can fall flat on their face. Recommendation posts are also on the meh side for getting comments. I didn’t get many comments on my memes, but I think it definitely depends on personal experience, since I know other people who have so many comments on their meme posts.
Ask Questions At The End of The Post
I know that sometimes, I want to comment, but I just have so much to say that I don’t know where to start or just lose interest in commenting in the first place. So when a blogger has questions in place for me to answer that are related to what they talk about, it makes me more comfortable to comment when I at least have a launching point or if I’m just plain tired and have no energy to think up original thoughts at the moment. I do hope that asking questions makes people comment on my blog more, at least!
Observe Those Who Do Get Lots of Comments
There’s probably at least one or two bloggers that you look up to as “model bloggers” or who are super popular or you just plain admire. If there’s a blogger out there that gets a lot of comments, just look at what they do! Don’t copy EXACTLY what they do – I’m actually going to have a post about plagiarism versus inspiration coming out later this month! – but it’s totally fine to be influenced by them and see what’s working for them! Is it their blogging voice? The blog design? What are the posts that get the most comments? How are they writing those posts? How long have they been blogging to get those stats? I know I got inspiration from my favorite bloggers when I first wanted to publish more interesting content, and it worked for me!
All About The Networking
Make friends! Talk to people! Get on social media! Comment on other people’s posts! Join link-ups and memes! Follow lots of blogs! Host a giveaway! Sometimes, you have just have to get out there and DO something instead of tapping your foot and hoping someone will find your brilliant posts along the way. Sometimes, a blog that’s great isn’t popular and a blog that isn’t that great is popular, and most of the time, those popular not-so-great blogs are just networking all over the place! Having good posts doesn’t guarantee people will comment; sometimes you have to get people to do it!
What are some tips you have for growing your blog, if you have any?