One of my most requested blog topics to write about is 'how to get a popular blog' - I get comments and emails about this almost daily! I've wanted to talk about this for a while now, but have never known where to start. There is not one specific thing you can do to surely grow your blog readership, and it (most likely) won't happen overnight. Blogging takes a lot of patience, hard work and commitment! If you are really dedicated and try your hardest, your blog can become whatever you want it to be. Instead of titling this post 'how to get a popular blog', I've decided to list my 10 tips for a successful blog:
1. Enjoy what you write about
If you are enjoying something, it keeps you motivated and helps you to achieve better results. It is crucial to write a blog about something you are truly passionate about! If you are genuinely interested in what you're writing about, it will shine through your work. If I all of a sudden started writing about food, I don't think my blog would be as successful because cooking is not my passion (I personally love to read food blogs, though!). Your readers will be able to tell if you're enjoying what you're writing about, and they will enjoy it too.
2. Try something new
Originality is key when writing a blog. People are always searching for that 'next big thing'. Brainstorm new ideas that no-one has thought of before, and you could start a new trend. Try not to be afraid of failure, I'm sure every blogger (myself included) has put time and energy into an exciting idea, but doesn't get any interest. Dream big and take a risk, whats the worst that could happen!?
3. Set goals
I am constantly setting goals for myself, whether it be for tomorrow or 5 years from now. Goal setting is a great way to prioritize, and figure out what you want to achieve through your blog. Have a hard think about where you would like to see yourself in a few years time, and what some of your biggest aspirations are. Then make smaller, more achievable goals - these smaller goals will all contribute to your bigger goals. With every goal or milestone you complete, your dreams will seem closer and closer. Goal setting is exciting and fulfilling, and are super important when growing your blog!
4. Don't feel the need to know it all
When I first started blogging, I was completely clueless - all I knew was that you could share your writing and photos with the world. It was probably 2 years into blogging when I first started to learn about blog design + coding, and worrying about my number followers and page views. I'm really glad I had those first 2 years just to focus on my writing and photography, and to learn all the basics to blogging. I'm not saying that you can't have a blog design unless you've been blogging for 2 years, it's completely fine to make one whenever you feel ready. What I'm trying to say is, don't put too pressure on yourself to learn every single detail about blogging all at once! Your blog belongs to you, don't compare yourself to others, and remember to keep it fun.
5. Use social media
Probably the #1 way to get your blog 'out there' is by using social media. Every single day millions of people log onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and tons of other social networking sites. Because there are so many people connected through the internet, you are able to reach so many people who share the same interests as you. Try setting up a few different accounts for your blog, and use these to connect with readers and promote new blog posts. When I did my blog survey a few months ago, I found out that my main source of new readers came from Instagram. It is such a great way to meet like-minded people, too!
6. Make blogging friends
Making friends through blogging is not only fun, it's also rewarding! I have made some lifelong friends through blogging, and I don't think I would have had the chance to meet them otherwise. Building a community of like-minded bloggers is such a great way to promote each other. You could swap ads, guest post, interview each other, collaborate, meet up and take photos together, start a club - the possibilities are endless. Everything is so much more enjoyable when you have a friend by your side! (If you're not comfortable with making friends over the internet, you could always do the above with "real life" friends).
7. Be patient
As I said before, patience is key when blogging. When writing a blog, I personally think you should write one for the right reasons. For example, you shouldn't write a blog just to get 'free stuff' and to get tons of followers. You should write a blog for fun, to meet other people, talk about your interests with others, inspire people etc. Try to be patient for followers; unless you go super-crazy-viral overnight, it will take lot's of hard work and time to build up a readership. Start by setting yourself small, achievable goals for yourself, and work up to bigger numbers when you feel ready.
8. Write about what you would like to read, not what you think everyone else wants
I am guilty of doing this a few times; I'll sit down to think of blog post ideas, and just try and think of what you guys want. Of course this is a good thing, but the posts often aren't as authentic as the others. Posts where I am writing about what I love, and writing something I would read myself, are always the most popular. It's super important to stay true to yourself + your personality when blogging, it is much better for you readers and yourself.
9. Stay organised
Staying organised while blogging is super important; it will help you to keep track of your ideas, maintain a good schedule and not get overwhelmed with everything. If I am super unorganised, I feel really stressed out and end up not blogging at all! You should try to plan these three things: your blog schedule, post ideas and goals. If you keep these three things organised you'll feel so much more motivated!
10. Quality over Quantity
When I was first starting out as a blogger, I felt so much pressure to post everyday. My favourite bloggers were posting such great posts multiple times a day, so I started to try and do the same. Because I was just starting out, my posts were not very interesting (or, interesting enough to attract any new readers). I have now learned that good, quality posts are SO much better than posting everyday. If you do post everyday, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that - look at A Beautiful Mess! Just don't put pressure on yourself, or feel like you have to post every single day. If a post has lot's of time and energy put into it, you will attract readers, even if you post once a week!
I really hope you guys liked this. Let me know if you would like to see more blogging tutorials! Basically what I'm trying to say is, is that your blog is YOURS. YOU can do whatever you like! There is no rule book, no exact way to gain readers and you don't need to spend thousands of dollars. Just be yourself, try your hardest and have fun! xx