Following last week’s more conversational, getting-to-know-you chat, this week’s chat gave bloggers the chance to share tips on growing your blog.
There were, of course, the usual ‘I’m not in this for the views’, ‘bloggers shouldn’t want to make money’ and ‘blog about what you love and the rest will fall into place’ but 99% of the participants were able to admit that, ultimately, that’s why we’re all here! And so, here are my highlights from the chat, including the tips and comments that I took away from it.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I primarily advertise mine through scheduled posts. When a new blog post goes live, it is automatically shared on Google Plus and Twitter (and Facebook by default, as my Twitter links to my Facebook). Then at the end of each week I manually pin all of my posts to Pinterest.
Where relevant, and when I’m trying to increase the reach of a particular post, I may also “@” certain people on Twitter, use extra hashtags and post directly to Facebook pages. I try not to get too spammy though as I know how much that bugs me as a reader.
Most bloggers cited Twitter, particularly blogger chats, and working with other bloggers as their main platform for advertising – very few mentioned paying to advertise, despite several bloggers offering paid advertising/sponsorship on their blogs.
A lot of bloggers have regular slots where they share other blogs. I have a ‘highlights of the week’ where I share links that I’ve found and loved during the week and regularly write additional posts where I solely profile one blog/blogger. This has become common practice in the blogosphere with bloggers supporting each other rather than competing for hits.
Twitter was the most cited method of advertising, with many bloggers stating that it generates the bulk of their traffic. I got to thinking about how people generally get directed my blog and delved into my stats a bit…
94% of my page views are referrals. 69% of those originate with search engines but Twitter is the most popular social media referral, with 10%. Out of those search engine results, 62% of them are Google searches and 33% are Google image searches – who knew pictures were so important?! Speaking of which…
I don’t really use Instagram myself. I have an account but since I started Instagramming for work, I couldn’t really be bothered with the faff of signing in and out all the time. The general gist with Instagramming and blogging seems to be that it’s difficult to use it to promote your blog link wise but it’s always a good idea to remain visible across various popular social media platforms.
It seems what a lot of us want to know more about is SEO. I know enough about it to get the gist of how it works and why it’s important but when it comes to implementing it fully, I don’t have a clue.
Fortunately I’ve just discovered some free training in my local area which i’m hoping to make the most of over the summer!
It also seems that many bloggers use sites such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to schedule their tweets. I must admit, I generally only share my posts the one time – when they’re published – and it could be handy to schedule two or three tweets a day to try and make the most of the potential coverage. How many of you guys do this and is it worth it?
As with most #lbloggers chats, I found myself questioning the value of bloglovin. I’ve recently set up an account and am using it as a way to read more blogs while on the go but it seems that a lot of people rate their number of bloglovin followers above all else. Some have pretty impressive stats, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day I’d rather see the interaction on my blog, rather than reading a post somewhere else, clicking through to the original post and then following. Plus you can’t appreciate just how beautiful the designs are on there!
The question of ‘sponsorship’ really threw me at the time because I didn’t have a clue what everyone was on about!
Sponsorship is something I haven’t tried before – either by offering it on my blog or asking for it elsewhere. I’m all for people paying to advertise their products or services but when it comes to bloggers advertising themselves, I think I’d rather someone share/advertise ‘organically’. As a reader, I enjoy ‘discovering’ new blogs and sharing them with my readers and I wouldn’t want to feature someone just because they had paid. Plus, as with other advertising, it would need to be appropriate for the blog (compliment the content).
Towards the end, the chat moved towards what makes you come back to a blog for more. For me, it’s content that keeps me coming back but it’s the initial design that hooks me – I like something that looks visually appealing. But even before that, there’s something in the name. I’m a lifestyle blogger – I cover a reasonable broad range of topics and the blogs I follow act similarly, therefore I don’t click on any blogs with fashion or beauty in the title. I also like names that sound fun or original, such as Bed in the Kitchen or Hello Wonderful. Sometimes I’ll come across a link shared by a blogger I follow and then I start exploring the blog from there but, generally speaking, the reasons for first visiting a blog are quite superficial! Then, if I like the design, I’ll peruse the most recent five posts. If I like the content (nice pictures, similar interests to me, bit of variety), I’ll read a further five. Then, if I like the majority of the posts, I’ll hit follow. Simple as that!
Here are some blogs I’ve stumbled upon and followed during this week’s chat, plus a few I missed in last week’s post:
My Little Tale
The Persephone Complex
Once Upon an Island
A Rosie Outlook
The English Mademoiselle Diaries
As you may have already read, I’m currently carrying out a reader survey. Whether you read my blog daily, weekly, monthly or less often, I’d love it if you’d take two minutes to answer these ten short questions to help me establish my readership for a marketing course I’m currently on. If this is your first time here, take a look around. If you like what you see, please complete the survey and pop back soon!