Friday, September 20, 2019

11 Things Which Exploded My Blog ♥

I've been blogging on Dolly Dowsie for over six years now and in that time I've raked up over 4 million views. During these six years my blog has grown in leaps and bounds and even though the past couple of years I've spent considerably more time trying to grow my Instagram, @dollydowsie, neglecting my blog somewhat, it still gains over 1,500 views a day minimum, without me even promoting it.

But how?

The 11 tips I'm sharing below are the things I've done to grow and monetise my blog. Doing these things has allowed me to make blogging my job and I've also shared how I made blogging my full-time job if you're also looking to make a career out of your blog.


1. Embrace Pinterest. Every few years there's a new platform for gaining the most page views (it used to be StumbleUpon for me), however, one platform which has been consistent in gaining page views has been Pinterest. 

Pinterest is such an easy site to use and is a great tool in growing your blog. However, Pinterest is ALL about the images and you'll want these to be great in order for people to feel compelled to expand your pin and click on your link. A catchy title on your pin will help too.

My Pinterest traffic really took off when I discovered Tailwind and paid for a yearly subscription. You join tribes, share your content and re-pin other people's content too, so everyone is gaining. My reach in just one Tailwind tribe alone is 17.4 million, which is a reach I could never get to alone - or at least not without a whole lot of work!


2. Explore different niches. If you're like me and have a wide variety of interests then don't be afraid to evolve your blog and explore different niches in your spectrum of interests. 

My blog began solely as a beauty blog but after time this got quite boring for me, so I decided to delve into the world of lifestyle and parenting blogging and it really paid off for me. It means I have many different audiences and I'm not stuck writing about one particular niche every time I go to write a blog post.

I have a wide variety of topics that I can write on so I never get bored with the possibilities of a post and the direction which it might take and having a 'mixed bag blog' means that I've been able to avail of opportunities from all different kinds of brands, etc. too.

3. Interact with other bloggers. Blogging as a full-time job can be lonely sometimes, but forming friendships and communities with other bloggers has been so beneficial for me.

It means that I've been able to gain 'colleagues' of sort, who are never short of advice, help, etc. and I'm always happy to help out my fellow bloggers too. Other bloggers just 'get' the struggle of a fellow blogger and are always appreciative and on hand for shout outs, shares, etc. which are great for reaching new audiences and followers - just make sure to reciprocate though. It's nice to be nice.

4. Write about what you want when you want. There is no limit to how many times you can post a day, no matter what anyone tells you. If you have something on your mind and just have to share it with the world then do so. 

Your blog should not be constrictive to your creativity so write about what you what whether it be how you're feeling, a topic you would like people to be aware of, a moment you want to remember, etc. 

I've found that some of my 'spur of the moment' posts have actually been my most popular and I'd have missed out on all those conversations with readers, traffic and shares if I had stayed quiet. Yes it's always good to have a bit of a set schedule to your posts but hey, if the inspiration takes you and you just can't wait to publish a post then why should you have to? It's YOUR blog!

5. Use your social media for promotion. My blog has almost every social media account you can think of and I use the majority of them to promote each post I publish. Use your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instastories so share your posts and encourage people to click-through to your blog.

One thing I always like to remember is - you are your own cheerleader and if you're not out there promoting yourself who will?

It's also a good idea to keep your social media on brand with your blog. For example, my blog is currently a family lifestyle blog with a big focus on the outdoors, days out, travel, etc. and my Instagram definitely reflects this. The pictures and words you share on your social media are essentially an advertisement for you and your blog so use these to your advantage to gain readers for your blog.

6. Optimise your posts with SEO. SEO (search engine optimisation) is such an important element to consider for anyone who wants to eventually monetise their blog. 

Good SEO is essential for gaining traffic to your blog and is the reason why my blog gains so many organic search hits each day through Google and other search engines. 

If you're clueless about all things SEO, or are simply looking for a little extra help in getting your blog or business found on Google then looking into SEO services London, like I did when I needed help with my SEO, could be a great thing to do.

Remember to research your keywords and phrases so that they fit into your target audience. Installing an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO if you're a Wordpress user is a great thing to do too.



7. Remember the aesthetics. A good blog is ultimately about the quality of writing and how engaging, informative and interesting it is to readers, however, people notice a blog with their eyes first and if I'm honest, when I see a blog which looks quite sloppy, is riddled with spelling mistakes and has blurry pictures it really puts me off reading the blog and I usually won't come back to it. 

It only takes a few minutes to perfect these things. There are lots of affordable and beautiful blog templates available these days from the likes of Etsy, etc. and they're so easy to install too, making your blog not only look better but easier to navigate too.

You don't need to be a professional photographer to have beautiful and good quality images to go with your blog posts either. There are lots of free stock image sites - I have an account on Unsplash where I share copyright free images that I've taken myself and are free for anyone to use, where you can access amazing quality photos to go with your blog posts.

If you'd prefer to have your own images on your blog I recommend investing in a DSLR camera and an editor such as Lightroom for making your images look amazing. You'll use the images for your social media, blog posts and Pinterest pins, so it's a good thing to concentrate on if you want to gain page views from your efforts.

8. Enjoy what you do! For me this is one of the most important aspects to blogging - enjoy it! There's no point in doing something if you don't like it, otherwise it will end up as a chore, something which you feel you have to do and this is not the case at all. If you ever feel like blogging is taking over your life in a bad way then take a step back, maybe even take a break for a few days and re-think your blog, reevaluate what you want to share with the world and refresh your mind. A hobby should always be enjoyable and if you find it to be a hindrance or chore in your life then maybe it's not for you.

9. Make use of Facebook groups for bloggers. These are such a great and free resource for bloggers and I think it's important to only join them if you're going to follow the rules. The majority of these groups are not for self-promotion, but rather for helping each other out - remember my point above about how important other bloggers are in helping you to gain more of a reach?

My favourite blogging groups are -  
Parent Bloggers UK - a lovely tight-knit and super helpful group for Irish and UK parent bloggers.
Awesome Bloggers - a great reciprocation group with daily threads for promoting your posts and social support.
The Social Ninjas - another fabulous reciprocation group with daily threads. 

The best way to make the most out of Facebook groups for bloggers is to avoid self-promotion (unless people are looking for posts on a particular topic and you have something helpful to contribute) and be social, helpful and not just an 'askhole'. Answer as many questions as you ask - if you're able to of course. It's the most genuine way of establishing relationships with your fellow bloggers.
 
10. Recycle old posts. Don't have time to write a new blog post? No problem! Recycling old content is a great way of being able to create more in less time. 

This is also a great way of giving a new perspective of an old topic, if your views, experiences, etc. have changed over the years. I find that recycling old posts also helps me to give a new spin on different topics, inspires me to create new posts of the same niche and allows me to correct the mistakes of my earlier blogging entries - back in the days when I didn't create pins or have nice pictures!

11. Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics are essential for gaining insights from your blog and understanding where your traffic is coming from, what people are clicking-through to and what content is performing best for you. 

Google Analytics are a fountain of knowledge for bloggers and will allow you to work on areas of your blog that need improving by giving you all the metrics you need. Google Analytics are also essential for paid work on brand campaigns via your blog as clients will want stats.

I hope you've found these points helpful and that they help you to explode your blog too!



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2 comments

  1. I've been on and off with tailwind before I think it might be about time I renew my subscription and really buy into it again

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post Fi! It's so good to see you doing so well! x

    ReplyDelete

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