Today is Thursday and it’s time for a 1st year blogger! This week, I am hosting Alexa from No Holding Back. Her blog is full of humor, parenting, and also serious discussion on loss, grief, and twin-to-twin transfusion. She is an incredible woman with a lot of strength. I hope you’ll pay her blog a visit!
I am so honored to be guest posting on Julie’s blog. And now that she’s been part of a BBC discussion, she is elevated even higher in status! –editor’s note (hardly) 🙂
I love this series “What I Have Learned in My First Year of Blogging” because I am still IN my first year, so I enjoy reading other perspectives and realizing that this insanity is not unique to me!
Here is what I have learned:
There are four kinds of bloggers. Those who blog to chronicle their daily lives in an open journal, those who blog purely for SEO, those who blog to market their business or product, and then those of us who just love to write, but wind up in category two if we are not careful!
“Don’t quit – and just keep on building your blog.” To me, this is by far the most important tip. Niche blogging can be difficult at times when it comes to growing an audience. Some people have a super talent and will grow their blog and followers to hundreds within months. For others (especially those of us focused on a topic that may not be as popular) it will take more time. I’ve been blogging since June 2012 and although my Facebook and Twitter accounts are growing fairly well, I have yet to hit 100 followers on my blog. But I’m ok with that because I have really awesome readers, and my topic is not always sugar and spice and everything nice.
“It Takes a Village.” Oh Lordy, I had no idea when I entered the world of blogging, I was also entering a new world of popularity contests! But as we have all come to find, we cannot do this alone. I’m thankful to groups like “Bloppy Bloggers” where we can all unite to support each other, even though our blogging interests vary all the way across the spectrum. If we are trying to raise our popularity levels, it cannot be done without an army of supporters. Support other bloggers, and you will receive support back. Also, I like to help people. If I am on a page and I see they are an Amazon Affiliate, (as an example) and I know I need to get something from Amazon, I go through the link on their page, since I can’t go through my own!! 😉
Showing the love gets you everywhere! Kind of like spreading an STD, if you visit and comment on blogs, tweet out posts you love, comment on the Facebook comments, you will leave your mark. I relate it to an STD because just like the theory when you sleep with one person, you sleep with every person they have ever slept with, when you comment frequently, in theory, you will eventually reach many of the loyal readers to that blog. You will bring people back to your site. Which leads me to…
Comment Luv is good. If I am on another blog and I see a recent post title of another visitor that looks interesting, I am very likely to follow that link.
CAPTCHA is the devil. I hate entering those stupid words. Especially from my phone. Please, please, please turn them off. You are probably lowering your amount of comments, and most blogging platforms have some kind of spam control.
Be true to yourself. When I first started blogging, I wanted to immediately be one of those blogs with 5000 followers. Clearly, after almost a year, I am not. But I really enjoy writing, and I know for a fact that I have made a difference in at least three people’s lives. I will never get rich from blogging, but I am healing my soul and I like to think that I am honoring the life of my lost daughter, so I am ok with that.
Consider having multiple blogs. I am an activist and very interested in politics, but I blog about life after loss, grief, and mommy issues. I started a second blog (www.democratornot.com) where I toss around the other stuff. I know the people that are drawn to my primary blog have no interest in my stance on gun control or what I think about politicians, etc, so I put these posts where they won’t scare away my primary readers.
Reviews and Giveaways are not going to bring you a ton of new followers. For some blogs, they just don’t work. They do great at other places. I have hosted three giveaways now, and people are just not entering them. I don’t really understand why. I thought I chose products that would be of interest to my reader base. It’s not for lack of visits to the page because I’ve been watching the statistics. I think it’s because people don’t come to my blog for giveaways? I don’t know.
OK, so most of these are not rocket science and have been said more than once through this series. That means they must be TRUTH. If I have to boil it down to the two most important it would be to be true to yourself or you will burn out and build your community of support.
Thank you Julie for allowing me the opportunity to share my “expertise” I mean experience. I hope you’ll all come visit me at No Holding Back and show me some love!