6 Ways to Make Your Blog Grow for Free

Thursday, May 23, 2013



6 Ways to Make Your Blog Grow for Free

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I decided to start a whole series on blogging tips and tricks--not just for newbie bloggers, for everyone. Periodically, I hope to post some really useful info that you can apply to your blogs. Everything I post will be things that I actually do so I have 100% faith and confidence in them.

I'm no blogging expert. Let me admit that straight away. So what qualifies me to share blogging strategies with you? Personal experience! Until January 2013, Anyonita Nibbles was just a hobby. I had 14 followers, 13 of whom were friends I had known for years. I had no email sign ups and my Facebook likes were in the double digits. Barely. I was doing a bit better on Twitter in terms of followers, but nothing to brag about.


In January, I got serious with my blogging. I wanted one of those enviable blogs with loads of followers and loads of PR opportunities. I wanted a blog that generated conversation. I wanted recipes that people wanted to pin and make and I wanted to gain some type of income from my efforts. So, I got serious and strategized and saw pretty quick results.


By March 2013, my Goggle Friend Connect count more than tripled. My email signups had increased by 800% and overall traffic to Anyonita Nibbles increased by 400%. My Facebook likes grew and I became active and engaged on Twitter. I optimized my Pinterest and I attended and started hosting link parties. All of which resulted in the type of growth I wanted. Most importantly, I did all of that without spending a penny! In fact, as a result, I started earning money and perks through my blog.


6 Ways to Make Your Blog Grow for Free

1. Bloggers are Friends not Food

Make friends with other bloggers! As bloggers we all want the same thing: to be read and appreciated and for our work to be shared. There's no need to get competitive! Respect your fellow bloggers: did you know that about 70% of an average's blog's readers are other bloggers? Become friends with other bloggers, engage with them and work with them, not against them. Build relationships by leaving meaningful comments and support them by sharing their work.

2. Change your Commenting Style

We all like to get comments, but let's be honest. Comments that simply say, "Yum" or "How great" are pretty boring and counterproductive! Comments that at least acknowledge an aspect of the post and inspire some type of dialogue are best. You don't have to write a book, you don't even have to read the entire post--just leave thoughtful, meaningful comments and you'll start to build relationships.

3. Make your Blog Known

What's the point in all of this hard work if no one's reading your blog? To truly benefit, you need to put your blog out there! One of the best ways I've found for generating traffic to my blog is through link parties and blog hops. Find relevant parties to attend and share relevant posts that are engaging. Remember to visit other blogs, too! Don't be content with just participating in link parties, co-host some as well and find opportunities for guest posting to tap into a whole new set of bloggers. I welcome guest bloggers and co-hosts for my link party; if you're interested, let me know!

If link parties aren't your thing, considering doing a button swap! For free, you can display your blog logo on someone else's blog in exchange for you displaying their logo too! If you're looking for a blog to swap with, check me out! I do swaps here.

4. Keep the Conversation Going

Have you ever asked someone a question and they didn't answer?
Have you ever been walking through a door behind someone and they let it close in your face?

That's what not replying to comments is like! It doesn't matter if you reply on your blog or reply solely by email or reply on the blog of the person who left the comment. JUST REPLY! Even if you only say "Thank you", small communication is better than no communication and people are more likely to engage with you when you engage with them! Even if they don't become a regular visitor! No one becomes a regular without stopping by that first time.

5. Make it Easy for People to Follow You

If you want followers, don't make them work for it. Provide links to your social media networks near the top of your blog. Don't be afraid to ask people to like or follow you either, and don't be afraid to ask more than once! A quick look at Anyonita Nibbles, I ask for followers in my welcome message, I include my social media buttons in every post and I also have them on my sidebar and at the bottom of every email I send from my blog's account.

6. Cross Post like Crazy

Not every one uses all the same social media. I have bloggy friends who are follow me on Facebook and GFC but who aren't on Pinterest or Twitter. I have friends on Twitter and G+ who aren't on Facebook, etc. The best way to reach your followers and to get new ones is to share your posts on all of the social media networks you use.

I'm not saying you should use them all! For instance, I don't use Bloglovin', but I do use Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, GFC and G+. So every time I post something, I share it on all five networks. Blogger makes it really easy to do this: at the bottom of every post there's a one-click option f0r sharing on G+, Twitter and Facebook. I've installed the Pin It button to my toolbar and simply click on it after I've published a post. It takes two seconds and it means every thing I post gets maximum exposure from my followers with minimal effort!

That's it for the course this week! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get updates straight in your inbox just in case you miss one!

Disclaimer:
The first three tips in this post, first appeared in a guest post on The Wondering Brain. I've been working with Jessica for the last two weeks, co-hosting her SHOW OFF link party at the weekends so it was really nice to get a guest post in, too!

26 comments:

  1. Great tips ... and I agree with every single one of them!

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  2. Anyonita,

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. My niece and I just started our blog in January 2013, and we will certainly use your ideas to grow our following. I am not sure how I found you, but I love your blog and all that you have to offer! Congratulations on your success!

    Karen

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    1. Aw thank you, Karen! :) I'm glad you found you this post useful! I"m off to have a look at your blog now.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your blogging tips, I found the information to be very helpful. I could definitely use improvement in supporting other bloggers. ;o)

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    1. You're welcome, Paula! I'm glad they were helpful :) Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

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  4. Thanks for linking with us at Marvelous Mondays, pinned to my Blogging board.

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  5. Thanks so much for this! I recently started blogging (February 2013) so I am about a month behind you! LOL! Thanks for confirming that what I am doing is right...and works! I am just starting to see an increase in my followers, and link parties were the key! Glad to find you through Hump Day Blog Hop! Connecting with you now!
    Also, I am you in reverse....I recently married and American, now living in California, originally from England!!

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    1. Hi Ruth,
      Yes, I've been blogstalking you for about a week now! :) I love that we're the reverse of one another! Would be great to get to know you better; I'm thinking it'd be fun to send each other items we both miss from home! Plus, I want to know all about your time in America & your expat experiences!

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  6. Awesome information Anyonita!!! I'm glad to see that I am doing some things right ;) I am off to grab one of your buttons!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad to see that I'm doing what other are doing too! lol :) Nothing better than a little bit of validation every now and then, is it?

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  7. Wow, thanks so much for sharing these, Anyonita! I will definitely try to implement your tips, you spelled things out so clearly, thanks again!
    ~Rachel :)

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I hope they work for you too!

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  8. All of these are good tips! Thanks for sharing at the Shady Porch Rock 'N Share! Hope to see you again soon! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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  9. Such great tips! Thank you for sharing at www.frugalfitfamily.com! I have only been blogging for 6 months and have some big goals to get to by my 1 year blogiversary!!! I definitely need these reminders!!! Thanks for visiting the Friday Follow along! I can't wait to grab more tips and tricks from you!!!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Good luck with achieving your blogging goals; can't wait to watch you as you make them a reality!! :)

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  10. i went through your article and these information's which are given below are very valuable. I'm going to bookmark this and Thanks for sharing.

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  11. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing them at the Friday Follow Along. I have been working to build my blog and followers and have been co-hosting a link party and it has been great getting to know other bloggers and build my followers. I am co-hosting another one this week, a new one called the Lovely Linky and would love if you stop by! Hope to see you there www.leahinspired.com

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  12. Found you on pinterest! Great tips, just started following along!
    xo,
    ashley
    www.ashleyfrederickson.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Ashley! :) Glad to hear the tips were helpful!

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  13. Thank You so much for the great tips!! I am looking to start my own blog and have no idea where I want to start. I will keep these tips in mind once I begin my blog!

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    1. Thanks! :) I'm glad to hear they were helpful! Good luck with your blog! :)

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