I always like to reflect on why I first started blogging.
I started because I wanted to network, be creative and have fun. These ideals are always what keep me grounded and focused, and I often also reflect on how far I have come since I first started.
Since developing my blog and really immersing myself into the blogosphere, I have had the opportunity to connect and work with a variety of other bloggers and digital influences.
One burning question that I get asked constantly from other bloggers is “How do I grow my blog without spending any money”?
I always smile when I hear this question, because it’s the exact question I would ask myself every day when I first started out (and still do!).
When I first started blogging, I was blogging in a realm where people worked and helped each other out for no cost, and it was a very much a I’ll help you out, you help me out basis. I didn’t charge people to collaborate with me, nor did I have a fee for guest posts or collaborations either.
However I bet you’re wondering why didn’t I try and make a quick buck or two?
And the reason for this is well, why should I? What right did I have to start charging people for my services, when I had only JUST started blogging. There was not a lot of credibility behind my blog (having just started), so why would people want to pay for that? It’s just common sense really…
Doing it this way, with no fee’s or money involved really worked for me. It was really efficient, as I was able to work and interact with a variety of people and it attracted a lot of new readers and followers.
Some of you may notice on other blogs that a lot of bloggers are immediately trying to sell adds on their site, when they’ve just started blogging. They do this because they think that if everyone else is, they should be too – and aren’t really thinking about how it’s affecting their blogs.
They are also ignoring the fact that there are plenty of other FREE ways to grow their blogs (and I’m going to show you how!).
Also, before we get started I should note that these methods are ones that have worked for me and a few other bloggers that I know and work with. Of course they aren’t the only methods, but are a great place to begin!
So, considering it’s a pretty competitive blogging environment out there; how can you possibly grow your blog (for free)?
Do not focus on money making
If you’ve started a blog with only one intention – to make money, then delete your blog right away.
Starting a blog shouldn’t just be about wanting to become rich and famous (literally, people think this), and you certainly shouldn’t have this goal in mind when you’re first starting out either. Instead, focus on what makes you love blogging, and what you love blogging about.
When you have this mindset it will come out in your posts, and you will appear genuine to your followers. The more genuine you are, the more your readers are going to want to come back for more.
Do focus on producing quality content
I know I harp on about this a lot, but it is just so important!
Quality over quantity is so so SO crucial. Why? Because readers like to read proper articles – not one or two sentences with 10+ photos of your outfit attached. With so much information and blogs out there, you need to keep your readers hooked.
Aim for 400-500+ word blog posts, Google will love you for this as well!
Networking is crucial. If you’re a blogger who wants to grow your blog, but not a people person – then become one.
I recently wrote ‘15 Tips That Will Help You Become A Networking Pro‘, because attending your first few networking events can be super daunting and scary. Trust me, the more confident you become at networking, the more opportunities you will receive for your blog.
You can also network online too! Visit new blogs, comment on these blogs and blog posts, and engage in good conversation.
Also, get on social media and interact with people. Spend a few minutes each day going through your Instagram and finding new blogs and people to follow. Connect with these people, and they will (hopefully) connect with you too.
What I like to do is click on the names of people who comment on my posts, and visit their pages too. This sort of networking does take time, but it works.
This is something that I did A LOT of when I first started out, and still do from time to time.
Guest blogging is one of, if not the best way to grow your blog and get your name out there. For those of you who are not familiar, guest blogging involves one blogger writing an original blog post for another bloggers site, and generally the other blogger will do the same. These bloggers then promote each other’s blogs via their own blogs and social media. They then both get exposure to each other’s followers too.
I can’t express enough how important it is to get into guest posting when you first start out. One tip I do have however is that when you are approaching other bloggers to see if they are interested in having you guest post, don’t just send them a generic email with a few links to other posts you have written. Write this blogger a personalised email and tell them exactly how them writing for you will benefit them, as well as what original content and ideas you could bring to their blog.
Guest posting is also a great way to network too!
Spread your articles across the web
It can be scary putting yourself out there at first, but another great way of getting your content read by a wider audience, is to spread it!
Try posting your blog posts across all your social media sites, as well as relevant Facebook groups and other blogging communities. I also tag relevant people in my social media posts who I think would be interested in reading them, this works too!
Focus on posting evergreen content
This is content that is useful year after year, no matter what’s happening in the world – hence the title ‘evergreen’.
If you focus on producing content that rewards readers with answers to their problems, or provides them with a solution or an idea, then this will get you an audience. Articles like these will gather higher search rankings and will ensure you receive some loyal subscribers.
How have you grown your blog? What methods have worked for you?
Image sourced via Pinterest.
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