There, you did it! You published your first blog post. You refresh the page.. "view count = 0". The biggest problem for new bloggers isn't always what to write about or how to make your blog look good but is how to get people to actually read it. After all you can spend hours writing your blog posts or taking your photos but if you don't already have an audience, how will it reach anyone?
A few weeks ago i did a post on people buying followers (here), even though I'm against it i can obviously see the attraction; you'd be a fool not to recognise that numbers matter in this game. I don't mean blogging is about followers, i mean your reach is larger when you have more followers meaning more people see the things you spend ages creating. So naturally people who despair tying to gain an audience in a world of changing algorithms, sometimes result to buying useless fake followers.
5 things you should be doing to grow your audience without buying followers or engaging in spam activities:
1) Promote your blog post links in scheduled tweets.
It might seem a bit excessive, sending multiple tweets a day just talking about your blog posts but trust me on this one it works. Download the "buffer" app which allows you to write out your tweets - kind of like drafts - and then set them to a timed schedule that will post automatically in the day.
Yeah i know you're probably thinking "its all very well tweeting about my blog posts everyday but i don't have any followers to see them???" This is where blogger RT accounts come in, they're something i didn't fully understand until i started using them but essentially they're accounts set up to help support bloggers. Some accounts want you to use a hashtag or others will want you to physically use their '@' in your tweet, just check the account bio to see their preferred method.
Heres an example of one of my scheduled tweets once posted:
The "formula" i use when writing a blog promotion tweet is usually a short description of what the blog post is about, followed by a link to the post and then tagging accounts such as @Femalebloggerrt and #blogginggals - i find those two to be the best. TIP: As you can see from above, links, tagged accounts and hashtags turn blue once posted, to avoid your link getting hidden between tags or hashtags separate the two using an emoji or some form of punctuation.
2) Follow other bloggers!
No i don't mean spam follow 500 people at once just to get them to follow you back..
Look through blogger RT accounts, hashtags and bloglovin feeds to find other bloggers; but don't just follow aimlessly, actually look through their blog posts, tweets or Instagram pictures to see if you enjoy their content. You'll probably learn a few things from each person you follow or just find a new blog you love to read. Once you're following them engagement is key, by all means ask questions or tell them you love something they wrote about but don't leave spammy comments for the sake of leaving a comment.
Sticking with the theme of engaging with other bloggers, blogger chats are a whole new way to do it. If you're new to the world of blogger chats, they're basically run by one account who asks questions around a topic and bloggers who have come for the chat answer said questions using a hashtag. Blogger chats are a great opportunity to actually chat to bloggers you've never come across before, instead of just following an account and never interacting with them it starts with the interaction meaning they'll always associate your account with having previously talked to you. Blogger chats are amazing but i've stopped partaking in them a lot recently so i need to get back on track with blogger chats in 2017!
4) Engage with brands.
A lot of the time when I'm blogging i'm discussing products and with products, come brands. When writing about a product or posting a photo on instagram i always make sure to tag the brand so when i do it so theres a chance they'll see it and either reply or repost. This means that their whole audience will end up seeing a link to your post or a picture you've taken and be exposed to what you do.
My post on the kiehl's UK instagram page!
5) Utilise instagram.
Instagram is probably the social media site for bloggers, although twitter is one of my biggest traffic sources because of instagrams visual perspective it provides a different side to blog promotion.
Everyone knows about posting a photo from your blog post when you've published a new one but recently i've been posting multiple photos from each post, this way people see more of your content. Its kinda like double exposure, with more exposure to your posts they're more likely to click that link to your blog to see exactly what you're banging on about.
Now i don't think instagram hashtags are anything like they used to be, since the algorithm change a lot of people have seen traffic from hashtags really decrease with some people claiming hashtags "don't work anymore". While it's true they don't work as well as they used to i don't think you should skip them, after all i do think they're worth something even if it is just one new person finding your account. When using instagram hashtags the new algorithm means only new posts will appear so you have to post your hashtags straight away or your post won't appear under a hashtag if its posted later. Another thing to remember is to post your hashtags in a comment under your post not the caption otherwise it can look a bit messy!
Hopefully you've picked up some tips about how to increase traffic to your blog, especially if you're new to blogging. The key to boosting traffic is definitely through social media promotion, don't assume you have to constantly produce content to ensure consistent statistics. As long as you're promoting your posts you'll always get new visitors therefore growing your long term audience!
- Maria x
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