I’ve been blogging a long time – seven years. In dog years my blog is now officially older than me ya’ll.
Even though I am burned out on blogging now, admittedly, and struggling with writing consistently while working full-time as a social media strategist AND being a mommy blogger whose kids are now old enough to ask for their own Instagram accounts, I still love it. Blogging is a great way to network, a wonderful creative outlet, and I’ve been able to enjoy experiences through my blog that I’d never imagine I would have (like stalk Keifer Sutherland in Beverly Hills.)
Occasionally I’ll have a new blogger ask how they can build their readership and what steps they need to take once they launch their blog. I started blogging way before Twitter and definitely back when pinning was something I did to an actual cork board, so a lot of publicizing my blog involved good old networking via commenting on other mom blogs. The social part of social media still rules (second after King Content).
Here are 10 tips for new bloggers:
- Gather up all your blog real estate, from Pinterest to Instagram. You may have no plans to ever filter a pic on Instagram or pin a thousand different recipes for margaritas, but you need to claim that branded account name just in case. There’s nothing worse than deciding you want to open an Instagram account 6 months into blogging and realizing that a tween from Topeka has already claimed your account name (speaking of which, make sure your Instagram account name is the same as your Twitter account. Here are some great 10 Commandments of Instagram)
- Find bloggers in your “niche” and connect by commenting on their blogs, following on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. It’s great to highlight your favorite bloggers in a #followfriday Tweet
- Find bloggers in your area and connect (I helped found a Nashville Women Who Blog Facebook page. Now at more than 100 members strong, we share social media tips, blogging ideas, etc. I know there are similar region-specific blog groups in Philly, Cincinnati, Boston etc.)
- Create an invite only Pinterest board with a specific focus unique to your blog brand (family travel, women’s fashion, recipes, etc.)
- Organize a local blogger event, perhaps for charity or for fun.
- Launch a Facebook fan page for your readers and use it to help supplement your blog content, as well as communicate and connect with your readers. I find that asking readers questions generates a TON of responses, sometimes surprisingly so. Take this recent example when I asked a simple question about hair products: https://www.facebook.com/blondemomblog/posts/565182200189999
- Host or participate in a “blog carnival” series where you invite a group of bloggers to all post on a certain topic; highlight everyone’s posts in a wrap-up post. I regularly participate in Fashion Friday.
- Update your blog regularly with fresh content. Content is still king. Consider asking your readers a question at the end of every post.
- Attend a blog conference. Although BlogHer (this weekend in Chicago!) is one of the largest blog conferences, there are many smaller conferences. Mom Spark has a fantastic list of 2013 blog conferences as does Skinny Scoop. Don’t have the budget to attend a blog conference? See tips #3 and #5. Your blog conference could be a dozen bloggers meeting up for coffee.
- Don’t get discouraged. Building your readership is a slow build. Genuine, organic growth takes time and consistency.
Lastly…but not on the list, have fun!
What questions do you have for me about blogging? Although I follow quite a few social media blogs, some of the best advice I’ve received about blogging has been from other bloggers.