While I firmly believe that your blog’s statistics should not be the driving force behind your blog, the reality is that if you do plan to monetize your site, the numbers unfortunately matter. You’ll need them to sell yourself to brands, to land campaigns, to negotiate products, and other great perks that come along with the role. In my experience, if you provide quality content that remains true to your authentic self, the readers will come. It’s really as simple as that. However, there are little things you can do along the way to give yourself a boost. And after blogging for just over six years now, with a steady growth since the start, there are a few things I’ve learned over the years. Following are my best tips and tricks for growing your blog stats.
I used to have it drilled into my head that one must stick to a 5-days-a-week posting schedule. However, with all of the noise that has become of blog land in recent years, I’ve since shifted my focus. In order to stand out amongst of massive sea of truly talented people, you really do need to put your very best foot forward. And if that means coming up with one or two really stellar blog posts a week in lieu of 5 mediocre ones, I say go for it. I’ve stuck to the 5 days a week posting schedule for a while now (hi, creature of habit!) and have brought on some wonderful contributors to help me alleviate the work load. But as my design business grows I’ve begun seriously contemplated stepping back to 3-4 times a week instead, and only putting out the best of the best as far as content is concerned.
I know, I know, easier said than done. But after working as editor for Style Me Pretty Living for over two years, I quickly realized that the most people don’t know that outlets the likes of SMP, Rue, Domino, Glitter Guide, Martha Stewart and the like are constantly churning out great articles (often 20+ each and every day), and they’re all in need of a revolving door of pieces to feature. Most sites have submission tools built right in so you can seamlessly upload items and articles you think might be a good fit. If you have work that you’re proud of, and you’re dying to reach a new audience, it’s well-worth a shot! A tremendous amount of my growth was by and large thanks to Style Me Pretty, and I continue to submit work to them (and others) on a regular basis.
SPEND AS MUCH TIME PROMOTING YOUR CONTENT AS YOU DO CREATING IT
I will be the first to admit that there’s a very fine line between promoting yourself and spamming your readers. After much trial and error, I’ve realized that the magic number is within the 3-4 posts per day across each channel (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…) realm. In addition to promoting new posts, I also sometimes dig up old, relevant, articles, and am not afraid to schedule additional mentions on pieces I know will do well way into the future so they’re constantly relevant. Lastly, submitting posts to foodgawker, craftgawker, dwellinggawker, stumbleupon, and the like have proven beneficial to drive traffic (and new readers) to my site on a consistent basis
When blogging was at its inception, pre-pinterest/instagram/twitter days, the only real way to get your name out there was to leave meaningful comments on other blogs. While this is hardly the norm any longer (it’s become apparent throughout blog land far and wide that comments have diminished significantly over the last year or so), I still fully subscribe to this notion. It instantly allows you to introduce yourself and your blog to a site you love. There is one blogger I know who legitimately reads hundreds of blogs each day, and leaves thoughtful comments on every post she reads. Her site (which is brand new but incredibly beautiful) has grown exponentially, and I’m convinced this technique is the driving factor. A kind and heartfelt note still goes a very long way as far as I’m concerned.
COMMIT TO YOUR SEO
As a creative, the last thing I want to be doing is tinkering around with SEO and backend stuff that literally makes my eyes glaze over, but know how important it is for driving organic traffic my way. I semi-recently installed an SEO pluggin (I use Yoast) that allows me to input a keyword, change my meta description, and give me an SEO rating on each individual post. It’s easy to use, and since installing it some months ago I’ve seen a tremendous increase in organic traffic from search engines.