My name is Mikaela, and I have a problem with writing too many blogging tips related posts. Please forgive me.
I’ve talked a lot about how to grow your blog in general and also how to navigate the world of social networking, but I decided that it’d be nice to focus on giving tips when it comes to blog traffic. I’m sure we all want to have a high amount of views and likes and comments on our posts, but can’t really figure out how to get to that point. So, I thought I’d write up a post about some tips when it comes to gaining traffic, whether your blog has been around for a while, or it’s brand new!
Evaluate your stats.
I know that as bloggers, we’re supposed to do what we love and not care about the numbers and all that jazz, but I personally think it’s very helpful, and one of the reasons why my blog grew so much!
Seeing what’s working month to month and adjusting what you post or when you post based off of it definitely isn’t a bad thing. There are lots of people who say, “Don’t blog for your audience,” but isn’t the point of blogging to gain an audience? I know that it’s been crucial for me – I don’t post as many tags as I used to, I’ve started writing mini reviews, I stopped wasting so much time writing book recommendation and new releases posts, I write more discussions, I’ve started writing more posts related to blogging tips. And with that, my overall monthly views tend to increase every single month, along with the rest of my stats.
Stats have definitely helped me find my rhythm and help me figure out what I should and shouldn’t do, which has been super helpful (and I have a lot of fun with it).
Examine which posts work well and which posts don’t.
Jumping off my previous point, I also think it’s good to look at what posts exceed your expectations, fall short, or do okay no matter what. It can really cut down on stuff that you might not be enjoying as much as you thought it would.
I’ve talked a little about this before, but there are some early series that have completely died that I created in those early months of blogging. I used to do these posts called “Book Playlist” where I listed songs that fit the mood of the book. They were easy posts to write, but at the same time, they weren’t doing too hot in terms of stats, and I realized I wasn’t that into the idea either, so I quit. In an effort to get more views on my reviews, I announced a series called “Book Spotlight” where I’d review a book, then have a mini discussion related to it. This completely flopped, and the announcement was actually more popular than the two posts in the series I wrote, so I stopped that (and started Bite-Sized Reviews much later, which did really well). I also had Monthly Recommendations posts, but after spending hours and hours in them with little to no payback, I quit those, and I haven’t looked back since.
Sometimes, posts you’re excited about flop, which is totally okay! But I’ve always felt that if it’s a pattern, it’s not the best to continue doing it.
Comment in new circles.
I feel like once we’ve been blogging for a certain amount of time, we just stick with the same people we’ve been following and never bother to branch out. I can see how it’s so easy to do that; if the same people comment on your blog and your stats are doing well, we can become sort of stagnant, especially since we’re all really busy.
But I think it’s definitely valuable to comment in new circles or new blogs. Scour through the “book blog” tag on WordPress. Go to Bloglovin’ and see who some of your followers are following. Check out a new blog that you saw in someone else’s comment section. It’s definitely hard to be EVERYWHERE, but we don’t have to comment on every book blog under the sun. It’s always nice to branch out, though.
Promotion, promotion, promotion.
This is always a good thing. Much like the last point, it’s easy to get stagnant when it comes to this stuff when you have pretty great stats, but it’s always nice to reach out to a certain audience.
I feel like some people might be scared that they’ll put time into something and it’ll be wasted, but it’s always nice to try. If you enjoy taking pretty pictures of books, try Instagram! If you think Twitter will help your blog grow, sign up! If you think a discussion of yours on StumbleUpon will get big, download the app! There are so many social media sites for everything, and I feel like if you’re curious about something, just do it.
Do all the commenting, all the time.
When I first started out, commenting was huge for me. Nowadays, most people find me via Twitter, Internet searches, and when I’m linked in blog posts and tags, but when I first started out, I got a lot of readership just by commenting around on popular blogs that I really enjoyed!
I know I personally enjoy scouring comment sections of discussion posts to see how everyone else feels and can sometimes find new blogs that way. Plus, the more you comment, the more visible you make yourself. Commenting becomes less and less crucial when you start to really build a following, but when you have nothing to go on, this can be really helpful!
Join in on memes and link-ups.
For me, I know memes and link-ups haven’t really helped me at all, but I know for most people, it’s been really helpful for them!
I think the meme you choose definitely plays a part in what growth you’ll gain from it. I personally find that the most popular ones are overwhelmingly Top Ten Tuesday, Top 5 Wednesday, and WWW Wednesday, though there are many others and multiple memes for every day of the week.
Link-ups might also be helpful! I know there are lots of people who use Saturday Situation to advertise posts and giveaways, and the Discussion Challenge has a monthly link-up for discussion posts if you sign up for it (which is very simple). People might be more inclined to find your posts through there!
Sign up for Twitter.
I avoided Twitter for a long time based off the fact that it has a lot of drama surrounding it, but, thankfully, it really depends on who you choose to follow.
I used to be on Instagram to try to gain more traffic from there, and it spectacularly flopped. I ended up caving and signing up for Twitter, and within a week of being on the app, I got way more views and traffic than I had when I was on Instagram for three months. It’s naturally grown, and I now have people who have solely found me because people share my posts on Twitter, which is awesome!
I am actually the poster child for impatience. I’m terrible at waiting for things, and I’m one of those people that easily quits things because I expect to do well, and when it’s not working out exactly like I thought it would, I can’t stand it. It doesn’t matter if I lower my expectations or not – in the back of my head, I’m still hoping that I’ll go viral by some miracle.
I actually almost quit blogging after a pretty bad day when it came to my stats way back in January, my first official month of blogging. I ended up pushing through, and lo and behold, my hard work paid off. It was definitely slow-going, but it was all pretty much worth it when I got featured on WordPress back in September or when I reached 1,000 followers or that I’m super close to my first ever blogging anniversary. It’s all worth it, I swear!