How to: grow your blog

Hi friends, happy Wednesday! How are you all doing? I hope you’re having a lovely week so far. Today I’m thrilled to be back again with my blogging ways feature, and my second “How to” blog post! After the lovely comments I received on my first post with tips and tricks, I was impatient to write more. I hope you’ll enjoy that one as well!

Today’s topic is going to be all about growing your blog,ย  but before diving in, let’s ask ourselves one tiny little question….

What does growing your blog mean, exactly?

We could be talking about a lot of things when it comes to blogging and, depending on where you situate yourself on the whole blogging spectrum, growth can mean loads of different things.

We could be talking about pageviews, followers, overall statistics and numbers, which is something that feels good for sure but is, for me, more of a paid-bloggers-goal ? I don’t know, my personal opinion here, even if let’s admit it, I dream of thousands of pageviews as well.

We could also be talking about growing your blog in terms of community. Of bloggers’ references. Of overall, having the feeling of being “known”, not because you are famous and making tons of money, but because you are making sense in the community: exchanging, talking, fangirling, overall feeling like you have a presence there. If I make any sense?!

No matter what your goal is, growing your blog is something we all have in mind whenever we’re starting to blog, right in the middle of it, or in a bit of a blogging slump. In my two and a half now years of blogging, I like to think that I have got this blogging sh*t together by now but oh, I wish I had it all figured out – to be honest, I’m still quite of a mess at times. ANYWAY, I still managed to learn some things along the way, a couple of quite simple yet effective advice to overall feel less alone in your blogging thing!

5 tips to grow your blog

THINK about your blog in terms of design, brand, personality, EVERYTHING

Whenever you are blog-hopping or finding out new blogs, do you often stop to look at the blog’s design? Do you pay attention to it and, sometimes, do you *gasps* close the window without reading it because it’s too messy, unreadable or anything else that bothers you? We are ALL guilty of that – it’s only natural to stop at that even if it’s a bit superficial.

This is the reason why my first advice here to grow your blog is to attract people to it by having a “good” design. Whether you like blue, pink, yellow, a side bar or no side bar, a header with a big logo or a tiny one, emphasis on images or little widgets on the sides, YOU CAN DO IT YOUR OWN WAY. You don’t have to – and should NOT – copy another bloggers’ design because it is WORKING for him or her. Inspire yourself from other bloggers’ designs for sure, see which layout you enjoy, which blogs are agreeable to read for you and ask yourself WHY. Then apply these things to your own blog your own way to make it all beautifully yours.

Blog CONSISTENTLY – or at least, try

If there is something that works to grow your blog, it is to try and write blog posts consistently. For some people, consistent is all about having a blogging schedule and being able to keep up with it -like me!-. Some days are dedicated to particular posts and some others to other posts, some days are without any posts which allow me to take a breather once in a while. For others, it might be writing blog posts each week but not having strict schedules.

Do not think that consistency means having to post every single day. I’m not doing it and I do not know a lot of bloggers doing this because work, school, real life exists besides blogging and if it feels like a job, blogging IS NOT MY JOB (insert crying here).

Consistency, really, is all about being there in the blogging community: with blog posts, with comments, with engaging with others and most of it all, with working your presence online. Blogging hiatuses are, obviously, something that can happen and NO ONE WILL BE MAD at you for having to take a break, though.

On writing: what interests your audience but most of it all, what you love

When I first started blogging, I thought I had to pay attention to the blog posts I would write. I thought I had to participate in what every one else’s was doing, like blogging memes such as Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday and more.

I am NOT here to bad-mouth these memes, on the contrary, I LOVE these and they are and were definitely so helpful in growing my blog. However, with time, I found out that these posts weren’t the most interesting for me to write. They took me hours to think of, I wasn’t entirely happy about doing these and they just overall felt like a chore. So, I decided to stop and focus on what interested me more, such as blogging discussions, bookish discussions and reviews.

It worked, because it both interested my audience, which I am so grateful for, but also, because I poured my heart out in every single one of my blog posts. I sometimes scream, fangirl, sometimes I’m just overall mildly confused about things, yet I found out that whenever I wrote my blog post with HEART and not with the feeling of being forced to, I got both great feedback and more happiness in my blogging life. Point is here: WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE because it shows.

Communicate with the community

To be honest, this should be my number one advice on this list because for me, growing your blog is all about being part of a community. I know I’m not a “famous” blogger or anything, though I feel like I have people to talk to and fangirl with about books, which is the BEST thing that happened to me in blogging. My blog’s growth is that: you, people reading this, commenting and all. Question here is: how to FIND the community, how to talk to them and how to basically, grow your blog this way?

Comments are, for me, everything. When pageviews matter to others, for me, it’s comments, and not only on my blog – though it feels awesome to get comments on a blog post, best feeling, ever. Engaging with other bloggers did wonders for my blog’s growth but it also made me happy, which, let’s be honest, matters most.

I answer to every single one of my comments, which, when I forget to or take a little break, takes me hours to catch up on at times. But it’s worth it. Show people you care because yes, they took the time to leave a comment and isn’t that the best?! , engage a conversation, ask questions, answer thoughtfully because it both works and feels good – doesn’t it?

I comment A LOT on other blogs. I blog-hop every single day and try and leave thoughtful comments as much as I can on the blog posts I enjoyed. More than “Great Post”, I talk about my feelings, share my thoughts on the book or topic at hand, overall try my best to leave a genuine comments like the ones that makes me happy to read.

There’s no RULE to blog-hop or answer to your comments all the time: the only rule here working is to PAY ATTENTION to others, comment and answer your comments and engage with people, on the daily-weekly-monthly-whatever basis you can handle.

Be yourself

I KNOW. I’m saying this all the time – but I do think that what makes a blog stand out, what makes it grow, what makes it unforgettable, is YOU. There will always be a blog that looks like yours, in terms of design or the books they talk about or like, in terms of the discussions they post. It is hard to be unique and original as a book blogger these days because we are billions.

Yet, we are ALL ORIGINAL in our own way. Tons of bloggers, bookish or not, already wrote about tons of topics I tackled on the blog lately. If that made me confused of hesitant to write mine, I did it anyway because…well, I’d like to think I have my own way of talking about things – just like anyone else has. Don’t let anything stop you from being yourself, really. It’s that, it’s your blogging voice overall that makes you stand out, make your blog grow and most importantly, makes you happy every single time you write a blog post.

 

How do YOU want your blog to grow? Are you thinking pageviews, talking to more people, etc?

Do you have any advice that helped you get noticed? Share them in comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

197 thoughts on “How to: grow your blog

  1. This was a lot of great advice! I just started a blog myself and this post is super helpful. I loved the part about being yourself, because even if it’s a cliche, it’s still a true statement, and still holds true. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these posts, I find them so helpful and a little bit of confirmation. I sort of just randomly figuring things out and I’m having fun with it. I like seeing followers go up but it’s not the main thing I’m looking for. I like the conversations. I feel like I should try to schedule, but I’m a little afraid of putting to much pressure on myself, right now I just do a weekly wrap up. Thanks again for the post:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH I’m so glad to hear it, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I’m so happy that you like the conversations you can have whenever you’re blogging: it’s the best part for sure ,so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhh this is the post I needed as a newbie blogger!! Thanks so much for writing such a lovely post Marie! ๐Ÿ™ˆ I think commenting is definitely the biggest way, in my eyes to grow your blog. It’s also the best way to make friends, and is so much fun, so really it’s a win-win situation here haha. And posting consistently, though I struggle with it at times, can also be quite important and I really want to try and make sure I do better on that front! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh thank you so, so much Analee, this makes me SO happy โค โค
      Commenting definitely helps A LOT – most than anything else, really, ahah, and it's fun, so double yay! ๐Ÿ˜€
      I'm sure you will manage to post consistently, Analee! Just don't put too much pressure on yourself and you'll find your own rhythm ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just clicked the follow button coz, why not? haha thank you for the tips! I really find it helpful. I just started my blog here, and I really want to have atleast a sense here in community. Thank you for inspiring

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post as usual Marie! I can only agree with all of them and I do try to put all of these into practice myself ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m always a bit torn about this: on the one hand I do want to grow my numbers (page views, followers,…) because I do feel like despite everything, it’s still relatively low. Especially compared to other bloggers (I know, I know, big NO NO to compare, haha) But on the other hand, I don’t mind all that much about those numbers either, and I think it’s more important to grow in interaction and feeling like a part of the blogging community. And all of your tips all play a big part in that, but especially the interaction. It’s also what I love most about this blogging thing โค But it's also what takes the most time so it's definitely tricky haha ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And YES to being yourself! I just recently started branching out just a bit more on my blog – it's still a book blog first of all, but I also like talking about other things I like once in a while. It feels even more personal which can be awkward sometimes, but it also made my blog feel even more like ME ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so, so much Lindsey, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post ๐Ÿ™‚
      I understand – growing numbers is something that obviously IS on my mind all the time, can’t help it ahah, and comparing myself to other bloggers just as well….so you’re not alone in this ahah ๐Ÿ™‚
      I think in the end, what matters most is to be able to feel part of a community, because for me, that’s what makes me keep on blogging – the comments, the friendships and everything ๐Ÿ™‚
      YAY! I’m SO happy to hear that – it’s good to branch out once in a while and write about other things we love, to keep things different and surprising a bit ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  6. I love this post – this is such great advice! (I really need to figure out how to do that “blogging consistently” thing in college, haha.) I completely agree that you should be doing what works for YOU first and foremost – I can really tell when a blogger LOVES doing a certain kind of post, has an individual writing style, etc., and that’s what makes bloggers stand out for me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah so I typed enter but was NOT finished here ahah. I was saying, it is hard especially while in college or working full time. I think that for me, what makes things work is having a schedule and times in the day / week dedicated to writing blog posts, blog hopping and everything. It helps me stay organize and everything ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’ll find your rhythm, Emily! โค Thank you โค

      Like

  7. Solid blogging advice as per usual Marie!! I agree with all of your tips, and couldn’t have said it all better myself. I definitely think interaction in the blogosphere is the #1 way to grow your blog (views, followers, comments, likes, etc etc). I feel it’s one of those things that you have to give in order to receive. Along with design, ease of navigation is a big one, or so I’ve learned personally. When I redesigned my blog, I re-did all my navigation bars and made my blog much easier to navigate. I’ve found that since I’ve done this, my page views are way up because people are browsing my past posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much, Amanda! โค โค I so agree with you on this – it's a community where you give and receive as well, and without that I wouldn't have grown my blog at all. Or have fun either ahah.
      That's such a good tip as well! I agree – at times, when I just can't navigate on a blog, I find myself giving up on reading more :/

      Like

  8. Great post, Marie! These are some fantastic tips. I’ve learnt that leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs and communicating with others is the best way to grow your blog. But it’s also great fun because you can fangirl over the same book or discuss an important topic.

    PS: I’ve never said this before, but I love the GIFs you use in all your posts. I’m a huge Friends fan, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Lauren! โค โค I agree, it's so good to talk to other people, it's fun and good for your blog to grow ๐Ÿ˜€
      OH REALLY? This makes me so happy – I can't help myself, Friends is my favorite tv show of all times โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have lost count of how many times I watched it as well! It makes me laugh all the time, the characters are perfect and everything is always so relevant. โค Who's your favorite character, if you have one? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s true. The characters are amazing and the things they talk about it are still so relatable even though it took place in the 90s before everything became digital.
        That’s a tough question! ๐Ÿ˜€ It changes from time to time but, overall, I’d have to say Chandler. Matthew Perry is absolute gold. The writing is obviously really good, but there’s no one who can deliver the lines the way he can (I love his facial expressions!) I know that’s the same for all the other characters too, but Chandler has a special place in my heart haha ๐Ÿ˜€ I love him โค
        What about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha right? I 100% agree, it’s always so much fun every single time he has to speak. I love him so much as well. I think I have a soft spot for Ross, despite popular opinion not liking him too much? I’m not sure why, poor guy awlays messes up but I don’t know, I just love him so much ahahah.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This was a great start to my day! Good down to earth writing about blogging AND something we all tend to forget at times…. be true to yourself.
    Thank you… I’ll be taking your wise words up to my writing room.
    ~Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes ! I agree with all you said . I personally never thought about page views , and I never really knew much about blogging but I started it just to put down my thoughts , and I must admit , one of the best rewarding feeling is comments ! It let’s you know that there are people out there that know you exist , and they took the time to read what you wrote . I met some amazing people in the book blogging community and I’m always grateful for it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much – Im’ so happy you enjoyed this post. It’s so great to see people taking the time to read what you have to say and leave their thoughts about it. It makes me so grateful as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hm, I don’t really think there is a right length for each blog post – but I know that when it comes down to it, I really like to read discussions and book reviews where the blogger actually develop their thoughts a bit more, like around 500 – 1000 words I’d say? If you’re interested, I’ll have something coming up on the blog about blog posts, their length and everything pretty soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great advice! I feel like I really need take another look at my blog’s design and am super guilty of posting something without double checking how the formatting looks on the actual thing. To be fair, WordPress’s formatting can get a bit crazy sometimes. Haha.
    Comments are definitely the best. I feel so guilty when I don’t reply to comments. Sometimes I would just stare at them and can’t think of a good way to respond, so I would leave it, intending to reply some other time, only to forget about them. And when I do remember them, it would be a month or two ago and I feel like responding to those would just be annoying the commentor. I mean, it’s got to be weird to get a reply to a comment you made months ago, right?
    Anyway, thanks for the advice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jamie, thank you so, so much for your comment! โค Oh I get it, sometimes even when I double check I find some weird things in my posts, WordPress really does whatever it wants at times haha.
      To be honest, it wouldn't seem too weird for me – I mean, we're all busy and bound to forget some things, at times. If you have something to add to the cmment, replying even months later is okay, as long as you're aknowledging the comment in some day – it makes me happy, if I'm taking my own example ๐Ÿ™‚
      You're so welcome, thank you so much โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some days, I feel like WordPress really has a mind of it’s own. Haha.
        Hmm… that does sound sensible. I’ll be sure to respond to comments, no matter how old, going forward ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much for the tips. I’m a new blogger and I started blogging only because I like to write and read. I realise its a dedicated task that one must enjoy which also requires a fair amount of discipline and strategy in order to reach out and be heard.
    And the best tip of all is to be yourself. Loved it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re so welcome, I am so happy this was helpful! Blogging really takes dedication, but it’s a community of passionate people and I’m hoping you’ll love it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for your sweet comment, and happy blogging! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

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