How to Increase Your Blog Following
Everyone has interests and hobbies that they love to talk, write and blog about. Fashion, beauty, cars, food, computers, games or events, everybody can have a voice when it comes to what they love. So much so that the number of blogs in the UK has risen enormously. WordPress alone hosts 61 million blogs (WordPress, 2013), Tumblr hosts 93 million (Tumblr, 2013) and the most popular platform, Blogger hosts even more; a total that Google likes to keep under wraps. But in such a saturated market place, how can an individual make their voice heard? Here are a few top tips:
With so many people writing about the same topic as yourself, it is difficult for a reader when a blog is a clone of another. It does not give a reader an incentive to follow you as they already follow your duplicate site. Be yourself. Design your site to reflect your personality, either through colour, layout or the style of imagery you take. Write about products and items that you love, not because someone else has written about them. Use an imagery style that suits you and your skills; don’t try to be fancy if it’s not something you will excel at. But at the same time, push yourself. If there is a blog style you want to create, push yourself to design something incredible that makes your blog stand out from the crowd.
Make Your Content Interesting
There is no point in writing a blog post that you yourself would not be interested to read. The content needs to be useful and informative to the reader. If the post concerns a fashion product or a beauty product review, make sure you write a review that is informative in a number of ways. The chances are that the reader wants to know how it worked for you, how you applied it, if you would repurchase or recommend it, even how it smelled. Most of all, they will want to see images of the product that show a clear picture of how it looks and that sells that product to them. This leads me on to my next point…
Utilise the Power of Imagery
Imagery says so much more than the text. So many times I read blogs and skim the text to see the images. If I can see someone using a product or trying it out, it tells me straight away how it might appear or be used, and if I’m still interested, I will then start to read. With the help of Instagram and other cheat photoshopping tools on phones or computers, anyone can take a fantastic picture of an item, scene, car etc. and give Patrick Demarchelier a run for his money (almost). By uploading these images in a large and consistent format, the user will be able to view your subject in detail and your blog will look much more professional. So many blogs consist of imagery of all shapes and sizes, mingled together without thought for the reading journey. Small images are hard to see and do not sell the product or the story to the reader. If you are going to use a lot of images, make sure they are the same size in either width or height so that they sit perfectly with the text. They must also be clear and vivid, there is nothing worse than a blurry and pixelated image. If you look at some of the most popular bloggers, you will notice how consistent their imagery sizing and layout is. These blogs are popular for a reason.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Starting a blog and adding content to it daily may seem like a fast way to gain followers, but unfortunately it no longer is. There are too many blogs writing about the same products or topics, that one individual blog no longer stands out. This is where social media has become so useful for bloggers. Twitter especially is a great place to meet other bloggers and interact with them about your shared interests. You can share your latest posts, ask other blogs for opinions and tweet at the brands that you are writing about to try to increase your exposure. A Facebook page can offer another way for users to follow your feed and again spreads awareness whenever you post. Pinterest allows you to create pinboards of your interests to share with others with links back to your blog and Instagram delivers a feed of exciting imagery that again promotes the content of your site. By making other bloggers aware that your blog exists, it is the easiest way to promote your website and grow your following.
Google loves to link your life through the Internet. It has made it a simple process for anyone to link their various social accounts with others, so that a reader can jump from blog to social sites and back again with a few clicks. Google+ allows you to create pages, specifically for your blog page which can lead readers to your blog. You can then share all of your recent posts on your Google+ page, adding hashtags that can widen their reach and this creates another feed for users to follow your posts. Youtube can be linked to the same account and a Youtube link added to your Google+ page. Youtube then enables you to add links to every page you use, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. and again creates a continuous link of your social sites. This all might seem quite complicated, but ensuring that you have added your blog link and other social links you use, to every site and back again, means that maximum exposure and click throughs can be gained. You want your readers to be able to find you everywhere! Be aware that people like to follow in various ways. Either through the blog itself or via news feeds such as Bloglovin, Bloggers, Google+, Facebook or RSS Feeds. Make sure a reader can follow you the way they want to, or simply, they will not.
Use SEO effectively
You do not have to be an SEO genius to use basic SEO tools. At the end of the day, you are writing content that is of interest to someone somewhere, and if they use Google to search for this interest, you want your particular content to be shown for this search. By utilising keywords related to the product correctly, such as the brand name and specific product name, i.e. Mazda MX5 convertible, or Chanel No.5 Perfume, the chances that these search terms will bring up your post will be increased. I wrote a post on a particular product that was gaining a lot of hype and TV exposure at the time. The page views of this particular post are still the highest of all of the posts I have written, all because I utilised the correct keywords labeling the product correctly and utilising imagery that was of interest to readers. It seems so simple but this could be the key to your blogs exposure.
With just a few of these ideas, you could see great improvements in your readership levels. Of course there are many other ways in which you can increase footfall to your website if you want to utilise it on a more professional level, and in such a case we are here at Return On Digital to offer advice and services. Feel free to have a look at my Fashion and Beauty blog, In the Frow, where I’ve tried and tested a number of these tips and tricks.
Tumblr (2013), “Tumblr”, Tumblr.com, accessed 08/02/2013, available from http://www.tumblr.com/about
WordPress (2013), “Wordpress sites in the World”, WordPress.com, accessed on 08/02/2013, available from http://en.wordpress.com/stats/
Img1 Source: cristina-diamond.tumblr.com
Img2 Source: themadgrad.files.wordpress.com