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How I’m Growing My Blog

it's Monday // September 12th, 2016

Hi friends! This week I want to share with you a little behind-the-scenes look at how I’m growing my blog. And by growing I simply mean, I’m working towards increasing my reach to creative folks like you.

I’m not going to be saying things like “you’ll have 100,000 readers by the end of the week if you follow these three steps” because I think that’s just silly talk. Growth takes time – time as in years, not one day. And growth takes work – work as in the hard, dedicated kind.

I’m just going to be sharing with you the simple little changes I’m making to reach more real people, like you! Which in my mind is growing my blog.

I honestly could care less about the numbers – what I do care about is the people I’m writing for. I’m not writing each week to increase my own personal revenue or to be able to say “look at me and my 100,000 readers“. I’m learning a lot as a freelancer / business owner / creative-preneuer. I’m writing because I genuinely want to share those learning experiences and help folks who are in a similar situation as myself.

Here’s how I’m growing my blog.

The Ever Popular Email Subscribe

I finally added an email signup. Scroll to the bottom of this page and check it out. Pretty snazzy, eh? I did this, not because it’s what all the bloggers are doing, but because I want reading my posts to be easy for you!

Unless I subscribe to my favorite blogs – I typically forget they exist. I’m so bad with that. I need the reminder in my inbox each week that says “hey! look at this new post that is totally relevant to you!”. 🙌

An email subscribe / newsletter signup / what-have-you is a great tool to keep current readers coming back, especially if you’re writing about a topic they love. It’s easy to get lost in your readers busy day-to-day, especially with all the websites and blogs that are out there. Don’t get lost. Be right there in their inboxes waiting.

I currently have 1 subscriber.

It’s myself.

I’m okay with that.

Consistency in Posting

I used to be the worst when it came to regularly posting. I couldn’t think of things to write about, my schedule was too busy, yada-yada-yada. Check out my “5 Reasons Why I Suck at Blogging” post, which explains all that jazz in total detail.

Since I’ve been posting regularly – every Monday to be exact – I have seen an increase in readers, and a more steady readership.

If people can rely on your content each week, they will come back. If you’re sporadic and posting whenever you “have time”, they won’t

Make the time to post consistent and quality content! It’s worth it, I promise. 👌

Consistency with Imagery

I’ve been using visually similar images that allow me to create a specific feel across the board. By this I mean – when I’m not posting things on my blog, and instead just posting Instagram updates – they still feel like the Simple Mondays brand. They all have a clean, bright, white-space sort of feel and I use the same filters for my Instagram posts as my blog imagery.

I used to suck at this. I’m getting better. I still like posting pictures of my dog and snippets from my personal life, which I think is totally acceptable. It can’t all be business, man.

Also, I have a template created for my blog posts that allows me to easily save out social media graphics and then share them. If you pin one of my posts, you’ll see those graphics and occasionally they appear on my Instagram.

Streamlining the imagery has made a huge difference in the time I’ve spent on posts. I’m not stressing over every single little detail and trying to find the right font to say what I need to say. I take my photos, apply the same visual edits, overlay the same type with a new quote and voilà ✨ I’m ready to share!

Creating a Post Series

Post series are great because they not only help you create new content each week, but they create the opportunity for you to explore something over multiple weeks.

I’m so excited about the post series I’m working through right now, My Etsy Business Adventure. I have no idea where exactly it’s going, or how many posts I will be creating, but I do know it’s allowing me to break out of my comfort zone, try something new, and possibly help some of you along the way!

Post series can be as advanced or minimal as you see fit. Take one topic that interests you and write about that over a period of time. It’s as easy as that!

I’m writing on my Etsy business adventure topic every two weeks so I have the time in between posts to research and do the work necessary. Feel free to do what works best for you and your blog / business.

Find a topic that will interest your current readers or may gain you the new audience you’ve been looking for. I’m trying to do both of those things at once. I’ll let you know how it works out. 💁

Monitoring My Stats

I’ve been using Jetpack, the WordPress plugin, since day one to monitor my stats – and I know this is super important for growing my blog. I use Google Analytics occasionally – but that’s one extra step outside of my blog. I love Jetpack because I can quickly see my stats right in my WordPress dashboard, the minute I login. I can see how many folks viewed my site, what pages they viewed, and where they came from. It’s pretty basic stuff but it’s all I really need.

I can monitor which posts are getting the most traffic and I can see which days people are checking out my blog and if the things I’m doing on my social media accounts – Twitter and Instagram – are getting people to click through and actually read my posts.

✨ Fun fact ✨ My post popular month was April with 1,194 visitors and my most popular post is 30 Things I’ve Learned After One Year of Working for Myself with 431 views.

Hey, I just started doing this whole blogging thing for real in April so I’m pretty happy with those stats. You gotta start somewhere my friends!

What I’ve learned from monitoring my stats

  1. People like lists. No joke, the short and sweet, easy to digest, listing posts are the most popular. I need to stop being so long winded.
  2. The posts I’ve created that start with a number “5 reasons, 3 Ideas, 10 Tips” are the most popular posts.
  3. The more I share on social media, the better my views are. Especially if others are sharing as well. Tweet, retweet, repeat.

I’m hoping these insights on how I’m growing my blog will help you continue to grow yours. I still have a couple more things up my sleeve, including rearranging my home page to allow for more content to appear, adding a much needed search field and also a freebies page.

Until then – I hope you keep following along with me. Next week, I’ll be back with My Etsy Business Adventure part two!

Happy Monday friends, let’s make this week awesome.

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