After starting a blog, the natural next question is how to build a following. Today, we’re going to share the secrets with you that can help you triple your blog’s pageviews in under six months! These things meant the difference between hobby blogs and lucrative careers for each of us!
A little bit of backstory. January 1st, 2013 I re-branded my personal blog and switched from blogger to self hosted, WordPress (If any one has questions about why or how to do this please ask and we’ll be sure to write about it!). Re-branding was awesome but it took me about 2 months to get my page views back up to what they were before the change. It was mid-march before I was once again averaging 350 page views each day.
- March 2013 (and before the switch) I was getting about 11,000 views a month.
- In December of 2013 I got over 110,000 views just for the month.
- The last 3 months of 2013 I got an average of 93,000 views each month.
I’m not sharing these numbers to brag, I just wanted to give you some context for what can be done in a year, and why my goal this year, is to double my stats and my income by December 2014.
The natural next question, is HOW. How does this happen?
I will start by saying, it’s not easy. You can’t get there by doing what you’ve always done. I changed a lot about my blog, my writing style and the time I was putting into my blog in 2013. The change certainly paid off for me, but it might not be your priority this year, or something you’re willing to invest that much time and effort into.
The last thing I want to do in the post is discourage you. I want to encourage you that this is possible. You can reach numbers that you never thought possible!!! But, it won’t be a walk in the park. It’s going to take lots of hard work. Here are my top tips for doubling, tripling and/or greatly increasing your blog’s page views over the next year.
- Focus on one thing – It was very tempting to start monetizing as soon as I re-branded but I decided to focus soley on getting my page views up before I started spending lots of time seeking sponsored posts or creating adspace. This worked best for me, because it allowed me to throw all of my efforts into getting my views high enough, that when I started to make money, it would be a significant amount, instead of just a little here or there. I got a few opportunities to earn before I was “officially” focusing on monetization, and I certainly took them! I just didn’t go seeking out new opportunities as much.
- Writing Style – This is huge and required the most changes for me, and I would venture to guess, this is where the majority of bloggers need to focus their efforts before anywhere else. I’ve actually written a full post on how to turn your average posts into stellar ones, and you can read my 5 tips for writing style and improvement there! This made a HUGE difference in my blog, so I definitely encourage you to take the time to figure out how you can improve in this area. Your writing is what keeps people coming back more than anything else! You could have revolutionary ideas, but if you method of communicating those thoughts is not stellar, they will never be heard.
- Images – Another key part to blogging is the visual. Having beautiful eye-catching images is essential! The better your images the more clicks you will be getting from Pinterest and even search engines and other social sites, all of which translates into more traffic for you! Danielle has written a fabulous post about how to improve the images on your site, I encourage you to check it out if this is an area that you think you could improve in. You can also go back and re-make better images for old posts and then re-pin them! I’ve done this myself and it has brought in lots of new traffic on older posts that had been neglected for months or even years!
- Engaging Posts – Engage your audience with your writing. Find creative ways to involve them in the conversation, instead of just monologuing. This will help you create a core group of followers that are invested in your writing and your story, even as your blog grows and expands. You can do this by asking on Facebook for their input and quotes for posts before you write them. Or, asking creating questions at the end of your posts to invite a dialogue and by writing with your readers in mind!
- Write for Searches & Pins – Let me preface this section by saying, you can’t exclusively write for searching and pins and I would never advocate abandoning the topics you are passionate about writing, but you can add to those topics. This was a hard transition for me, but it ended up being very helpful. Like many bloggers, I enjoy writing inspirational posts and encouragement. Unfortunately, these usually aren’t the type of posts that go viral or bring in lots of page views. What I finally realized was, that if I started to write posts specifically catered to Pinterest (e.g. more tutorials and “how-to” types of posts) and started to see an increase in traffic as a result, that would just mean there are more people around to read when I write more inspirational posts about parenting, marriage or faith. I have not stopped writing what I love. I have just added to it, and that has made all the difference! See also: How to write a viral post.
- Figure out what will do well & write it – Or ask some one else to do it for you! You may not always guess right about what will go viral, or do great on Pinterest or search engines, but after a few tries you will start to get a better idea. Spend time brainstorming how you can help people improve their lives and write on those topics! Even if it’s something as simple as organizing a playroom or how to survive on one income. You’re an expert at your life, and your tips, so share them!
- Grow Your Pinterest – Add your pinterest to big giveaways, start following lots of other pinners, and pin fabulous content. Basically, do whatever you have to do to get your Pinterest followers UP! Then, of course, pin your own posts periodically and watch them get re-pinned and bring you traffic! Here are some more tips about how to get noticed on Pinterest!
- Find a Blogging Group – Band together with some other bloggers and commit to helping each other grow! We wrote a whole series on blogging groups awhile back, that’s how important they can be in the life, and growth of a blogger! Find some friends and help each other out!
- Be Willing to Change – This is one of the most important points. My blog more than doubled in size last year, but I will still have to change, tweak and improve things this year if I want to see significant growth in 2014. Let yourself grow, and be willing to take an honest look at your blog and what needs to be changed in order for you to go to the next level this year.
Lastly, PLEASE do not get discouraged if your blog did not double in size last year. I’m not saying any of this to try to compete with another blogger or to come across as better than others. There is enough room for all of us to succeed and reach our blogging goals together, and I wanted to share tips from my experience so they could help you along the way as well!
So, if it is your dream to grow your blog, and you have the time and energy to pour into this year, then go for it in 2014! Don’t expect your blog to grow by doing the same things that you’ve always done. Find those little ways that you can improve and start doing them one by one and watch your blog expand!
Looking for more tips? Check out this post on how to go from earning NOTHING on your blog to earning $1,000+ a month (in under a year)!
What are you going to do this year to help your blog grow? Which of the points above stood out to you the most?