Mar 16, 2015

Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog

Being a blogger myself, I know how long and stressful it is to publish posts on your blog.. and have little to no readers. It's an awful feeling. Knowing that you put that much work into a website and the posts.... it's not fun. So I've been blogging here on Classy Cathleen for a year + now, and I thought sharing some tips on how to grow to your blog might help those who are just starting out.. or maybe just give some good ideas for those who have been blogging for awhile. Let me know what you think in a comment:)

1. Instagram: This is a social media platform that is very important in growing a good readership and loyal followers. There are 300 million monthly active users and of those 75 million are daily users. Those are HUGE numbers! If you can figure out how to do Instagram the right way.. You can find so many new readers and followers of you and your blog. Do some reading up on "how to take the perfect Instagram" posts from bloggers (make sure you read this one, and this one.) and also search Pinterest, and you should find some good articles as well.

One tip I'll go ahead and give you right now is to go to the store and purchase a white poster board to take some of your grams on! They give such a nice white and clean background for your photos. See my feed here.

2. Facebook Pages: These can really help with your page views. If you have a lot of facebook friends, blogging friends, or just people you know in general.. Tell them to like your page! Share all of your posts to your page, and then people will click, and you'll get some views! They are fairly easy to set up.. And quite honestly I'm not the right person to give you advice on Facebook pages.. mine sucks.

3. Blogging Friends: I have a post planned on this very topic for later in the week.. so stay tuned! But it really is important to have connections in the blogging world. You need those people who are always going to read your posts, like your instagrams, give you helpful advice whenever you need it, proofread your posts, and just chat with! I've made so many friends throughout this whole experience (you ladies know who you are xo). I don't know how I would have made it this far without meeting new people and connecting so much.

4. Invest in a good camera: Again, I don't know how anyone can have a good blog, or at least one that will continue to grow without good, high quality images. I own a Canon EOS Rebel T5 and my dad has a Nikon d3100 so both are great choices, and I have used both on my blog. With a slight bit of editing.. your pictures will look very professional. If you are using your phone... That could be a reason why your blog is not growing, or is not growing at the speed you would like.

5. Twitter: When most people think of Twitter, they think of teens tweeting random little things that the world doesn't need to know.. I'm here to tell you that yes there are some not-so-great parts to Twitter.. but If you are following the right people *cough cough* follow me *cough cough* Twitter is super fun! It's also a great way to get some page views on your blog. Many people get lost on Twitter and spend hours on it. If you share links to your posts.. You'll get at least a couple clicks! Sometimes when I get super close to 100 views on a post, I'll tweet it and end up with 45 more views than I had initially wanted. I know it's only 45, but if you're struggling to grow your blog.. Those 45 views could be huge. Also, use the hootsuite app to autoschedule tweets to the times that are supposed to get the best response! (post coming soon on hootsuite!) follow me here

6. Pinterest: I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO BE ON PINTEREST. I have gotten the majority of my views from pins that went "viral" and linked back up to my blog! It's a great tool, and activity to do when you're bored. Honestly, I'm an addict and I could spend hours on it. The image at the top of this post was my Pinterest a few months ago. Now I'm at 18.2k pins or something crazy like that #sorryimnotsorry. I wrote a whole article on Pinterest for The Undeniable Report.

7. Google Plus: Surprised to see this pop up? I was too when I heard it could actually help.. I've gotten a good bit of views from the communities that I am a part of on this platform. It gives a significant boost of views. It's also a great way to connect with other bloggers that are interested in the same things as you. I wrote a whole article on google plus for The Undeniable Report.

8. Spend a bit of money: Loop Giveaways are a great option if you are interested in growing your Instagram followers. You can organize your own, or reach out to someone who participates in many different giveaways to find out who organizes them. I love loop giveaways because they allow you to meet new bloggers and companies, and also gain a good bit of followers. You do have to spend some money to pitch in for the prize.. but I've never paid more than $25 for a giveaway. If you want to learn more, or see an example go to @sarahlouisezerbe on Instagram.. she's always participating in a giveaway!

9. Trade space with bloggers: Make a little blogging badge (the sidebar images) for yourself to share with other bloggers. Ask if they would be interested in exchanging buttons, then put their image in your sidebar for your readers to find! Read this post for a tutorial.

10. Don't be scared: Don't be scared to reach out to other bloggers for advice, guest posting opportunities, link ups, collabs, giveaways... or just to chat! I've reached out to a few bloggers to get to know them better lately, and I'm so so soooo glad that I did! Also, don't be scared to tell more people about your blog than just your mom and your grandma and your cousins. Make sure you tell as many friends (as you feel comfortable with obviously) because most of them will be extremely supportive and will follow you across social! Just don't be scared to talk to people about you and your blog..

11. Collaborate with others: REACH OUT! SAY HEY! COME UP WITH IDEAS! Link ups are perfect ways for tons of other bloggers to find you and connect with you and jump on board as a follower! Also collabs between two bloggers are super fun for readers to see.. especially when the posts are outfit posts. One of my favorites is this collab with Abby & Renee. Guest posting is also so much fun! If you're going out of town, you can get others to guest post for you.. and if you just have tons of free time, offer to guest post on other blogs!

12. Blogging Networks: If you run a search for blogging networks.. You'll come across so many to join! Here's a short list of some to look into:

-Clever Girls
-Smart Girls Group
-High School Blogging Network

Other resources:
-Reward Style

~Search pinterest for ways to make money blogging or networks to join~

13. Comments: Leaving comments on other blogs gets the name of your blog out there and makes more people familiar with it. When I want to leave a link to my blog in a comment I use this bit of HTML code:

Classy Cathleen

Feel free to edit it so you can use it! See where those " " are? Put the link to your blog between the " ". Where you see Classy Cathleen, put the name of your blog!

I hope this helped give you some new ideas at how to grow your blog! I will be adding to this list, so if you see anything I missed.. Let me know so I can update this post:) Also, do me a favor and share this on social media so other bloggers can learn new ways to help their blogs grow!

So now you tell me: What's one way you grew your blog?

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