You’ve been blogging for awhile now and trying to grow your blog, yet you’re not seeing the growth you’re hoping for. There are countless posts in your archives, you leave tons of comments, you’ve designed and redesigned your site, but still, nothing. You wonder what you’re doing wrong. Why isn’t your blog growing?
Here’s the thing. Growing your blog doesn’t come quickly and it’s not easy. It takes a lot of work and it won’t happen overnight. However, if you’re looking to give your blog a boost, there are a few things you can do.
1. Create Valuable Content
Whenever I visit the blog of someone who is looking to grow their blog, the one thing I see a majority of the time is short, not-so-valuable content. If you really want to grow your blog, one of the most important things, if not THE most important thing, is to provide value for your audience!
This means long, detailed blog posts. I’m talking 1000 words or more. Go into detail. Be specific. Don’t gloss over something that seems like common sense to you. Just because something is obvious to you, doesn’t mean it will be obvious to others. Explain even the simplest of things.
Here’s a tip: think about the topic you’re posting about. What questions would an absolute beginner have on the topic? When you go to write your post, make sure to address those questions.
Beyond the text of the post, be sure to include visuals as well. Create graphics, infographics, charts, collages. Anything that can provide your audience with a visual is a good thing.
And let’s not forget about content upgrades. If you’re building your email list (or even if you’re not), content upgrades are a no brainer. Think worksheets, workbooks, mini guides, and templates.
The key is to provide your audience with tons of value. Make your post so chock-full of information that people are amazed you’re giving it away for free. They’ll in turn love you for it and keep coming back. And boom, blog growth!
2. Share Your Content
Okay, so you’ve posted some really valuable content. Great. Now you’re going to want to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. The first step to utilize your social networks. Share that post on Twitter, not once, not twice, but several times. No, we’re not going to spam our followers, but with Twitter moving rapidly, you need to share often.
Of course, be sure to share other people’s content as well. You don’t want a feed that’s filled with your content alone. Plus, sharing other people’s content makes you visible and it adds even more value to your feed!
Beyond Twitter, don’t forget about platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Unlike Twitter, these platforms usually require a bit less in terms of sharing. I usually only share my posts once a day on Facebook, as content seems to not fade away as quickly. Same goes for Instagram.
Pinterest is a whole other story. Make sure you’re pinning your content to any relevant boards, including group boards. Because you don’t want your boards filled with several of the same pins, one trick is to delete your pin and repin the post at a later time. Tools such as Board Booster (affiliate link) can automate this process by allowing you to cycle through your pins and deleting the copy that gets the least engagement.
3. Make Your Blog Shareable
You’ve shared your posts on your own social media accounts, but that will only get you so far, especially if you have a small following. If you want to get your content in front of new eyes, you’ll want others to share your content so you can harness their social network.
Assuming you’ve created truly valuable, amazing content, getting others to share it shouldn’t be difficult. You just have to make it easy for people to do so.
This means installing social sharing buttons on your site (my favorite is SumoMe). Add a Pin it button to your images (try jQuery Pin It Button for Images). Embed Click to Tweet links (here’s how to customize them) or Click to Tweet images. Make it easy and obvious and if people really like your content, believe me, they’ll share it.
4. Put Yourself Out There
Sharing your content (or having others share your content) is only a small part of putting yourself out there. It does create awareness, but it’s mainly focused on your content, not YOU.
People need to know you exist and that you’re awesome. That means you need to show people just how great you really are! Participate in Twitter chats. Help people out in Facebook groups (I have a great one you can join!). Make friends on Instagram.
Be genuine and helpful. Make friends for the sake of making friends, not just because you want more pageviews. Eventually, people will get to know and love you. And when that happens, they’ll want to help you out (because you’ve shown just how valuable you are!).
5. Simplify Your Design
We live in a highly visual world, so like it or not, your site will have to look good in order for people to actually stick around. But do you need to go as far as having a professional design a site for you? No, not at all. Nowadays there are so many beautifully designed themes/templates out there. There’s no reason why your site can’t look amazing.
But then again, who wants a mass produced theme, right? You want your site to be unique and on brand. Great. Here’s the number one tip I have for you then: keep your design simple. If you’re not a design genius (heck, I’m not), you’re better off keeping things limited. That way, your site will look so much better.
So how do you keep your design simple? First, choose 1-2 fonts. You may want to get fancy and pick a fun display font as one of them, but honestly, you’re probably better off sticking with simple serif and sans-serif fonts. They’re a lot less forgiving.
Now it’s time to choose a color palette. Pick 2-3 colors that work well together. Not sure? Use a color palette generator, such as Adobe Kuler. Again, keep it simple. I personally find using white or another light color for the background is easier on the eyes. That allows me to use other colors for things like headings, links, accents, etc. If in doubt, remember less is more!
Need help choosing fonts and colors and just generally making your site look awesome? Check out my ebook, Web Appeal.
Lastly, limit what is displayed on your site. Keep your sidebar as minimal as possible. Keep your menu links manageable. Every item on your site should be intentional and serve a purpose. Make it easy for people to find what they need and they’ll think of your site as an invaluable resource.
Bonus Tip – Keep At It
As I mentioned earlier, blog growth won’t happen overnight. It takes time. Try out the above 5 tips for a month. Do the same thing the following month. Have you seen any changes in growth? Keep at it for yet another month. Are you noticing any growth? I bet you are.
Now 3+ months seems like a lot of time to see results. I get it. But all those popular sites you visit daily? They didn’t go from 1 to 100k pageviews in a day, a week, or even a month. They started out exactly where you did. So give it some time. Don’t immediately think it’s not working. Keep at it and you will see results!