I hope your Wednesday is going well. We’ve had a nice week so far. Nothing super exciting, but we are soaking up the sun. It is so nice that it is finally warm around here. No more heater! YAY!
Today is the final installment of my Pro Blogging Mini Series. I’ve got a list of tips/ideas for growing your readership along with my best blogging advice. . . so far! I’ve been doing this for 6+ years, but I’m still learning & growing my blog. Maybe someday I will have another one of these mini series & have more to share 🙂
WAYS TO GROW YOUR BLOG FOLLOWING
- Write about something you absolutely LOVE! If you love what you do, other’s can feel it. If you aren’t passionate about something, it will show through in your content.
- It’s all about the content! I’ve mentioned this a couple of times during this mini series, but it bears repeating! The absolute MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to grow your blog is have great content! By great content, I mean interesting blog posts with clear instructions/explanations, and awesome photos. Post things that people want to see/read about. If you just slap some sloppy stuff together & don’t make it great, readers aren’t going to be interested in what you have to say. Seriously, take your time and make it great! If you’re spending 5 minutes on your project or blog post then 5 hours trying to grow your readership, you’re doing it wrong! Have great content be your #1 priority.
- Offer RSS options – Use a feed subscription service like bloglovin or feedburner so that people can subscribe to your blog. With a feed service, people can receive an email every time your publish something new & they don’t miss out on your blog posts. It saves your readers time because they don’t have to check back to your blog waiting for something new to appear.
- Celebrate visitor milestones & thank your readers! Even small milestones. This can be as simple as writing a blog post & telling your readers how much they mean to you. Or it can be offering up a nice giveaway for your readers. This is not only just a super nice thing to do, it can also help to grow your readership. As a reader of other blogs, just hearing a THANK YOU every once in a while means a lot & lets me know that the blogger actually cares that I am there. I don’t enter many giveaways but I do enjoy offering them up for you guys as often as I can 🙂 A little appreciation goes a long way.
- Interact with your readers – There are lots of ideas for doing this. Ask questions. Answer reader’s questions. The more interactive you are with your readers, the better your blogging community will flourish.
- Join an online community – There are tons of different crafty message boards out there to join. Pick one to stick with & have fun there. Going back to my first post in this series, don’t spam your blog around, but just be helpful & friendly. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can make friends in an online community! Of course if your blog post is relevant to a discussion, share where allowed, but otherwise, just make friends! I frequent a couple different communities. It might help my blog, but more than that, I learn so much & get inspired by the other members! It energizes me & gets my crafty mojo flowing so it helps me to keep making great content.
- Add a blog link to your signature line – In emails and in message boards where allowed. Make sure people know where you “live” on the internet.
- Visit other blogs/Youtube channels & leave them some comment love! Not only can this be super inspiring to learn more about crafting, it can also help you build friendships & get your name out there. Your username always clicks back to your blog or Youtube channel so people can find you if they enjoyed your comments.
- Ask people for what you want – Do you want people to subscribe to your blog or youtube channel? Then simply ask at the end of your blog post/Youtube video. You don’t have to be needy or cheesy, just ask nicely 🙂
- Offer easy ways for readers to share your content with their friends – Notice that Pin It button at the top of my blog post? That’s what I’m talkin’ about! I’ve made it super easy for my readers to Pin my blog posts on Pinterest so they can refer back to them later. There are many of these type of share buttons/widgets for Facebook/Twitter, etc that you can find by doing a Google search.
- Don’t only sell stuff & pressure people to buy all the time! Share projects, share ideas, and inspire. It’s ok to sell stuff too, but don’t be pushy. It really turns people away when it is always sell sell sell.
MY BEST PERSONAL ADVICE ABOUT FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS
In this section, I just want to offer some words of advice & encouragement. Doing anything even semi-professionally in paper crafting is hard. You have to put your ideas & artwork out there. It can be scary to share that part of yourself. My best advice is just do it! If you want a career in paper crafting (or in any other field you feel passionate about), follow your dreams. Here are my best bits of advice on the personal side of things:
Don’t let your biggest skeptics in your life hold you back. You just can’t listen to any of the Debbie Downer talk, not from family, not from friends, not from yourself. If there are genuine reasons against starting a business then OK, but don’t listen to the useless negativity. Just because your dream isn’t the typical “9 to 5” job dream, it doesn’t make your dream any less special or any less real.
My biggest skeptic (other than my own inner critic) was my mom. She wanted me to get a “real” job & do something that was more “normal”. She’s very proud of my job now, but in the beginning, she was definitely 100% against me starting a business or taking my blogging seriously. I had to put her criticism aside and follow my heart.
I started my company without building up debt, while going to school at two different colleges (full time at a university 25 miles away & also some graphic design classes at a community college), with a chronic health problem (chronic migraine), & while working part time (as a nanny) to help pay for the business. I don’t say that to brag, I say that to encourage. If I can do it, YOU can do it!! Don’t listen to those negative people in your life.
Come up with a solid realistic plan, set goals, and work to make those happen! If you don’t plan, you plan to fail. Seriously, have a plan for what you want to achieve. Better yet, have a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C, etc. Take time to really think about what you want to accomplish with your blog or “professional” paper crafting.
If you can, find your support person or persons. My hubby has always been my rock. Even when I wanted to throw in the towel, he was there cheering me on. Find someone who is going to be your biggest fan. We all need someone in our corner. It would be even better if you had more than one of these amazing people in your life.
Remember to do the best you can & follow your dreams. It is difficult, but it is something really amazing.
And that’s it!
I hope that you enjoyed this mini series. Please let me know what topic you’d like covered in a mini series in the future. I’d love to hear what you’d like to see 🙂 Leave me a comment below & let me know!
In case you missed any parts in this mini series: