Sunday, 8 January 2017

How I Got 1000 Blog Followers In 6 Months



I am not claiming that my blog is the most popular thing in the planet, in fact, it's a relatively small fish in a big pond. However, my blog has grown from 100 followers to over 1000 in around 6 months.  This isn't something that I expected, and I definitely thought it would take a lot longer to hit quadruple figures. I am very proud of my blog and although there has been some, lets say, 'critics', it's something I really enjoy. I've always loved to write, I just never liked being told what to write about and how it would be deemed as successful (aka, school grading). 

This post is based on what I did to get to this point in my blog. You may have a lot more followers than me, or a lot less, numbers aren't everything. However, this may just spark a, 'oh I might try that', moment for you. I suppose this is also for me, a way to remind myself of what to keep on top of and how to help grow this platform further. 


ENGAGE / SOCIAL MEDIA

Using a mixture of different social media can really help engage with other like-minded people. First of all Twitter. I didn't use twitter very much when I first started blogging. I used it occasionally to tweet some University pals, but other than that, it was pretty forgotten about. This last month or so, I have massively upped my Twitter game. I have come across so many great, creative people who have the same interest and goals as myself. Even if they don't follow my blog etc. it's nice just to talk to people who are similar to yourself and bare no judgement. 

Secondly, Pinterest. I think Pinterest is one that quite often gets neglected. However, one single post that I also pinned, has gotten over 2000 views in a month... directed from Pinterest. It may not directly increase followers, not everyone who uses it may have an account to follow blogs, however, it can massively increase your traffic. You only need one pin to take off and BAM, hello readers. 

Instagram. This bad boy is awesome for engaging with other creative, like-minded people. There are loads of blogger hashtags that you can search to find more content that you love. Follow, comment and like pictures and profiles that you think suit you and your platform. I do not mean spam. But let someone know what you think of their photo, or their day (read the caption). Don't just throw the same comment and emoji on every photo. It stands out like a sore thumb, what your game is. Don't be that guy.

Finally, BlogLovin'. I bloody love this website. I follow so many great blogs. I 'love' and 'save' posts that interest me and leave comments interacting with the writers. This in particular has really helped with building my blog. It's important to put yourself out there. It's a lot harder to people to find you if you're not out there to be seen. I do not mean leave, pointless, 'follow me' comments. That is annoying and does not work. It's also a little rude. But, if you've read a post and you think it was awesome, or have something you want to say, comment! Say hello, or say well done. You are making someone realise that their words are appreciated and you yourself are exposing yourself to potential readers. 

It's also a good idea to have all your social media linked to or from your blog. I made a new twitter for my blog, as to not annoy the people who were already following my old account. I didn't bother with Instagram, as by that point, my attitude was 'don't like it, then unfollow'. 

It's also great to share your new posts and content on social media. Don't bombard people or become annoying, but if people are following you, they probably want to know if you've posted something new. So why not do a quick tweet or Instagram post just to let people know.

HAVE A THEME

When you are first starting a blog, it can be tempting to write about anything and everything. This is awesome, don't get me wrong. I love people who have a billion different interests. However, it can be a bit confusing as a reader. For example, the main blogs I follow are lifestyle, beauty and food based. I know what kind of posts each writer is doing, so, when I fancy reading up on beauty products, I know which blogs to head to. Once again, I wouldn't say don't write about something you want to. It's your blog, if you want to have a rant about something or post something completely random, do it! But quite often people have a certain 'type' of content that they read, and if your blog seems to not really have one, it can be confusing and people may not bother to click follow. But saying this, if your blog is just a place to ramble and you're not bothered about numbers etc, then it really doesn't matter! It may just take more time to get returning readers. Basically, it is better to have a larger audience and readership in mind.

PHOTOS

I have always really enjoyed photography. I took it as a subject in A Level (all those years ago) and I am always the one snapping photos on days out and parties. This is another reason I wanted to start a blog, it was a place to combine my love of photography and writing. Often when I am reading other people's blog, the first thing I see, is the imagery. This might be unfair as someone may be an incredible writer, but not confident with photography, but being a visual person, it's how I work. I have found that having better quality images or more 'interesting' images has really helped my blog. I do not mean you have to be a photography wizard or know Photoshop inside out. I don't even use photoshop. But try and take photos that you are proud of, either by using natural lighting to help with brightness or by using free options like picmonkey.com or facetune to do some basic edits. It has meant I can post on Instagram and Pinterest, and the images get more traffic than the lesser quality photos I used to post. This in turn means that the traffic to my blog is also increased. 

DOMAIN & LAYOUT

Owning your own domain can sound very daunting and confusing. However, it does make your website look a lot more 'professional' at a quick glance. This in turn, will increase the likelihood of someone clicking on it. I purchased mine from 1&1, which also came with an email address which I could have especially for the blog. Don't get me wrong, I was a 'domain dummy', so I have no clue what I was doing. But, after a lot of googling and guessing, I managed to do it. You do have to pay to have your own domain, so it's not worth doing if you're not too bothered about blogging. However, if you're this far into the post, I'm guessing you are. I'd tell you step by step what I did, but to be honest, I don't have a clue. It took a lot of attempts and confusion and then just suddenly worked. I'd suggest searching around for different companies as a lot have guidance and support to help you get started. Secondly, Layout. I attempted to do my own layout, and although it was okay, it wasn't what I wanted. So, after googling, I came across Pipdig. I use blogger and found that Pipdig had a lot of awesome layouts to chose from. Again, you pay for this, but they will even load the layout on for you if you don't feel confident enough to do it yourself. I'd definitely recommend checking them out, the customer service was great! 

POST FREQUENTLY AND AT PRIME TIMES

This was something I really had to work on, and still don't have perfectly. I noticed a dramatic increase in followers the more often I posted. In a perfect world, I would like to post 3x a day, but working full time means that isn't always possible. However, having consistency is key. People are going to be a lot less likely to follow you if you most 5x in one week but then have nothing for a month. If you have loads of great ideas, then awesome! But try to write and schedule them in a more staggered manner, rather than just bashing them all out at once. Try and contain the excitement! It can be tempting to write something and want to publish it straight away. But if you're aiming for a UK audience, there's no point posting it at 3am at night as you will miss a lot of people. I've started to post mine at around 7/8pm. If I want to do it earlier, then I will aim for 7am. This is to try and get those people reading before and after work. This is obviously very generalised, everyone works different hours. But I noticed a complete difference in the amount of visitors from if I posted at 2 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, than when I posted at 8pm on a Wednesday. This is the same for Instagram and Twitter. Have a google and see when your prime time for your target audience will be. There is a lot of information available out there, you just have to actively look for it! 

MONITOR TRAFFIC

This is something that I'm definitely not perfect at. However, it is an area I am working on. Google Analytics is a great way to monitor your audience and track where they are coming from. This is how I know that Pinterest can drive a lot of traffic. You don't need to be a wizard in this area, it can look a little daunting at first. But all I look at is where my traffic is coming from and the times/days that it is most popular. This allows me to target these more and therefore increase interaction. 

CREATE HIGH QUALITY CONTENT PEOPLE WANT TO READ

Creating high quality content is always going to be the number one thing to do to drive traffic. You may be a SEO wizard, but if someone gets to your website and thinks 'this looks like it has taken them 5 minutes', they will probably just leave again. You have to keep in mind why you have a blog. Whether it be a love of writing, or a love of photography. There are going to be times where you spent a shit ton of time and effort on a post, and there's not really much engagement from it. However, just enjoy writing and putting it together. Don't get down because nobody commented or read it. Just enjoy the creative process and it will become obvious over time to others and they will look forward to your posts. Don't just write because you feel you have to or because you want a freebie. 

Another tip is to see what posts are popular at the time. For example, 2017 goals at the beginning of this year, were SUPER popular. Therefore, writing your own version of this is likely to get a lot of traffic. Obviously, don't write a post purely because everyone else is... that will be obvious to the readers. But write things that you want to read yourself and that you think your readers will appreciate. Oh and do not copy. It's fine to get inspiration, but straight up copying someone is not going to go down well. It's also useful to link back to old posts you have done, so people have a look around your blog, not just the one post. For example, 'if you find this post useful, check out my apps I use for blogging post' for more tips and tricks. It's not ramming anything down people's throats, it's linking to a similar topic that they might find useful. It's also more 'SEO friendly' to link the words as I did in that example instead of 'click here'.


Things I want to work on:

These above points are what I have been actively doing over the past 6 months, and therefore, I'm guessing helped get me to this point. I am by no means an expert, just someone who googled a lot, and worked their ass off. In the future, I want to work on SEO (it gives me such a headache), but it great for search engines and upping your traffic. I also really want to try some guest hosting/collabs with other bloggers. This not only a way to increase traffic, but also a way to make pals! Finally, I want to start attending events and blogger meets. This is something that is a little out of my comfort zone, but I want to push myself to do regardless. I will obviously be continuing with all of the things discussed in this post too just to help grow and promote my writing. But, at the end of the day, if you're enjoying what you're doing, then that is what really matters!

What have you found useful in regards to blogging? Any tips or websites that have helped you out? Leave any comments or links below :)

xox
SHARE:

50 comments

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so happy for you!! Hopefully your blog will continue to grow and grow! I'm concentrating so much on bloglovin at the moment as that's what I want to work on..aka how I found your blog. I bought a domain early last year and it made everything feel and seem more professional, I wouldn't go back!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I was super excited when I saw I hit 1k! Followers aren't everything, but it's nice to know people are interested after all the hard work :) xx

      Delete
  2. That took me ages to read haha! You are an expert when it comes to gaining followers - I'll take to take this all on boards, so hopefully I gain more than my usual 50 followers a year aha. Well done you! xx

    http://chloeharriets.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yeah theres a lot of words, hence the different sections! Thought people could pick and choose then hahaha. <3 I do love ya CloBlo xxx

      Delete
  3. This was super helpful - thankyou! Just out of interest how long did it take you to reach the 100 mark? I feel a good base following is key in getting you up to the higher numbers :) I have only been blogging about 4 months now, but I was only posting about once or twice a month for the first couple haha! So probably more like 2. It was such a faf figuring everything out at the beginning but I feel like I've finally settled into my style, found my perfect theme and am super happy with how my posts are turning out. I'm a photography newbie too so it's all a big learning curve but I just want to keep getting better and better! xx

    Frances Kayleigh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found it useful! It was a couple of years, but I posted once every blue moon (with month gaps) and didn't do any of the things above! Photography can be difficult, I still have a lot to learn with it, but it gets better the more you practice :) Good luck with your blog :)

      Jaynie Shannon | Beauty & Lifestyle

      xx

      Delete
  4. Smashed it!! Well done you xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congratulations on hitting 1k! This post is really helpful, definitely going to keep everything in mind! I'm trying to work on my Pinterest account, but I find it's really hard to grow! x

    luxuryblush.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be difficult to get followers on it, but all you need is one post/pin to get pinned a lot of times and it will help with traffic. :) xx

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on hitting 1k! I recently took a bit of time away from blogging but I've just got back into the swing of things and am loving it more than ever, my aim is to hit 1000 this year too :) I think engagement is key too, blog chats, leaving comments and sharing the blogger love. x

    Megan | http://www.meganjean.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks :) Good luck! Yeah engagement makes a massive difference! xx

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes girl! This post was everything! love it, I can't wait for my blog to grow too!
    Thanks for the inspiration, also with Pinterest.. do you just pin your blog images? As I've considered using pinterest.. but I always feel like readers won't visit my blog if it's just the photo?

    Just curious as to your thoughts!


    Emily x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha your blog is awesome, I'm sure it will grow really quickly! I pin it as a website, it then gives you the option to choose a photo :) When people click it, it sends them right to the post :) They may not follow but it will help with traffic :)

      Jaynie Shannon | Beauty & Lifestyle

      xx

      Delete
  9. Love this post! So inspiring. I think i'll create a Pinterest, that's one I have neglected.
    Holly x | http://www.thechroniclesofholly.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are some fab points, and congrats on your achievements :} Going to follow you myself now. I definitely need to get on the Pinterest hype - I've been saying this to myself for weeks, but your post has now sealed the deal for me haha.

    N xx | Lovelaughslipstick x

    ReplyDelete
  11. So many great tips! Really enjoyed reading this and I'm definitely going to try more with Pinterest now too!

    Ellie x

    www.elliesbitsofbeauty.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hopefully it's helpful for you. xx

      Delete
  12. You've reached 1k so quickly, and I'm happy for you! I've been kind of all over the place with my blogging schedule, photo layout, posting times, etc. which can relate to my drop in engagement over my first few months of blogging (I started in March of last year!). Awesome tips, and this year I really want to work on making it a success :)

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// Lifestyle & Beauty
    Let’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It definitely makes a difference when you get into a routine and you're happy with how your blog looks! xx

      Delete
  13. I love all these tips girl! Congrats on the 1k!

    xx

    www.dylanasuarez.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fantastic tips - I completely agree that working on theme and layout can have a huge impact! I am very interested to change my layout until I am 100% confident with it! xx

    www.hairwonderfulday.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it made a lot of difference when I was really happy with the aesthetic's of my blog. I found I was more motivated to write. xx

      Delete
  15. Wow 1000 followers in 6 months. Thats incredible!! Thanks for the tips :) Definitely useful!

    Renee | Life After Lux

    ReplyDelete
  16. Firstly, congratulations for getting 1k and I hope it will continue to grow for you! :) This post was incredibly useful! I've found Bloglovin' and Twitter to become real gems for me in bringing attention to my blog. But I am also guilty of writing loads of blog posts then ignoring it. Which is probably why I'm slow to the get go even though I've had my blog for three years! I'm definitely going to try these out and excited to see where they'll take my blog! :) x

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Having a routine definitely helps. It won't always work and you may take the odd break, but the more regular you are, the better! xx

      Delete
  17. Wow congratulations to you. I'm hoping to be in the same boat as you soon and grow my subscribers.I only started blogging from New Years day and these points are really helpful.
    Rachael | Rachael Blogs Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your blog! It takes a lot of time and effort but is really worth it. xx

      Delete
  18. Great post very helpful to all us newbies, i write my blog as a creative hobby and am amazed when anyone reads it! Im learning everyday and think its lovely that other bloggers help and support each other well done xx @thirtynineforever.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I still find it strange that people are interested in my ramblings! Definitely, we should all help and support each other! xx

      Delete
  19. This is a great informative and concise post about building followers and getting more traffic for a blog. I agree a lot of bloggers do not utilize Pinterest like they should.I follow a lot of bloggers that have skimpy Pinterest profiles.The majority of my traffic comes from there. I was lucky that I started using Pinterest as soon as I started my blog several years ago. I have had several post that have went viral because of it, and I still get a ton a traffic from pins I pinned from my blog 5 and 6 years ago. So it most definitely works but most bloggers tend to only focus on Instagram .
    LaToya
    www.toyastales.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be one that is easily missed! I probably don't use it to it's full potential so I do want to work on it even more :) xx

      Delete
  20. Such a great post which came at a time that I needed it the most lol! Well done for reaching 1000 followers so quickly! Hopefully it continues to grow for you! X

    www.mysterious-mannequin.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked it! Thanks so much :) xx

      Delete
  21. Congratulations on the 1000! That's seriously impressive, it took me way longer to get to that milestone! Lovely tips too, I really need to make the most of Pinterest more!

    The Makeup Directory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much :) It's definitely one that can help with traffic! xx

      Delete
  22. Love it. Please check out my new post on all things hair colour!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram @alionawithlove

    Twitter @alionawithlove

    ReplyDelete
  23. 1000 followers a month is really amazing. Well done babe x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Over 6 months hahaha I'd be proper chuffed if it was over a month! xx

      Delete
  24. This is amazing.. I will definitely be keeping these in mind, thank you! I am loving your blog too by the way, keep up the amazing work pretty gal! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks very much! Hope it was helpful xx

      Delete
  25. Incredible tips! Thanks for sharing your knowledge :) One of my goals this year is to try and really grow my Bloglovin following so these tips will really come in handy x

    Katina Lindaa | www.katinalindaa.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem at all! Bloglovin' is a great platform :) xx

      Delete
  26. Good work! Congrats :)
    Silvia | www.andoutcomesthegirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    www.travelbeautyblog.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting! I read all my comments and try to respond as often as I can :)

© Jaynie Shannon*. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig