Thursday, 22 March 2012

How I increased my blog readership



Ok, I just wanted to share with you my blog stats and the amazing increase I've seen over the past 3 months. There are 100s of blog posts out there telling you how you can increase your blog traffic but the posts I find most helpful and inspiring are the ones written 'by people' 'for people', with a personal slant. Again, as with other blog posts I have written I don't claim to be an expert, all I am attempting to do is pass on my personal experience and share how I have done things and how it has worked for me.

As you can see from the screen shot above I was quite happily pootling along this time last year with about 300-ish blog views a month. I was enjoying blogging but I didn't really have any strategy in place for my blog, I was just sharing what I was up to at the time, using my blog as an online 'diary' telling my readers what I was doing and how things were going with my work. Having listened to a lot of podcasts and reading up on how to increase blog readership over the past six months or so I came to the conclusion that I wanted to give my blog a broader appeal, make it more interesting and not just about 'me-me-me'! Looking back I was even starting to bore myself, so goodness knows what my readers thought!!

So what have I done to gain a 400% increase in my daily/monthly blog views? Well, here are a few tips that I have found to have really worked for me (or it may just be coincidence!), and that you may find useful and be able to easily implement yourself:

Planning ahead: I have started to plan my blog posts ahead of time. I have been dedicating about an hour or so every week to write some blog posts and scheduling them to be posted on certain days of the week. About three to four posts per week seems to be working for me, I think any more and I would soon run out of things to say or risk repeating myself!! Everyone is different, some may not have the time to invest due to other commitments/reasons and if you only blog once a week that's fine, if people enjoy reading they will know to look out for your posts and will keep coming back for more.

Themes: I've made a conscious effort to blog in 'categories' or 'themes', I have been featuring several very talented artists and designers every week peeking into their sketchbooks and also have been scouring Etsy for work I like for a weekly 'featuring' slot. I always email to ask if people mind being featured as I think this is only polite. Everyone I have approached so far has been happy to be included in the blog and they have also let all of their contacts know about features and interviews too, which drives more traffic to your blog. BTW, if anyone would like to take part in sketchbook peeks please get in touch, I'm always on the lookout for creatives to interview. I am also sharing my preparation for an upcoming Trade Fair and the obstacles and challenges I'm facing and how I'm tackling them.

Social Media: I have also been a LOT more active on Twitter and as well as gaining lots more twitter followers, I have also been tweeting my blog posts. You can set this up to happen automatically. I use Twitterfeed which links your new blog posts to automatically post onto twitter and other social media. I also retweet once or twice more throughout the day to capture other time-zones. You can also get this to link to Facebook but I'm finding twitter is working better for me at the moment. I've also been retweeting popular blog posts, such as 'Writing Your Terms of Business'  and 'Writing a Sale or Return Agreement' and these have been picked up by others and retweeted too, again driving readers back to my blog.

Forging links with others: I have done this through Twitter and also directly. Tell people about your blog and if it's got good quality content, is engaging and interactive people will continue to read. I think regular posting also goes hand in hand with this, encouraging readers to return. People connect with people and I do believe in 'blog-karma'. Visiting other blogs, reading, commenting and generally engaging with others is always recommended and you will find over time that you will get traffic coming back to your blog too. Treat people online as you would treat them in person (not rocket-science I know), retweet great content, help people out and you will see the results in your stats!!

Grab opportunities when they arise: If you invest time writing for other blogs, guest-posting, taking part in interviews, taking part in tweet chats, sharing your experience, writing useful constructive comments on other blogs, you will get plenty of links back to your blog/shop/website and see those figures keep on going up! I've found that joining LinkedIn groups, UK Handmade, Folksy Forums all to be great ways to interact with others and also to let them know about you, your blog, what you do etc...

Ok, hope those few points were useful. As I said I'm no expert, I'm just picking things up as I go along, learning from others, and sharing what I've learned along the way. Any comments would be really useful. It should be easier to comment now as I've taken the annoying verification thing off here now so I would love to hear from you and any helpful tips you might have which have helped increase your own blog traffic....

17 comments:

  1. Well done! It looks like your hard work has certainly paid off. I need to be more organised with my blogs. My current style is rather haphazard to say the least!

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  2. How apt! I just wrote about my feeling "What's the point?" about my blogging! Lovely to read this and feel more inspired - thank you!

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    1. HI Ailsa, well I'm really pleased I have inspired you! You are very welcome!!

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  3. Great post Sue! I keep thinking I need to do more planning, and get a bit more variation onto my blog, and I will ...eventually! :)

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  4. glad you liked the post Dawn, Good luck with the planning!!

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  5. an interesting post Sue, thanks - i'm pretty new to blogging so its good to hear about your experiences (i followed your link from UK Handmade so i guess that proves your point about networking!)

    looking forward to more of your posts :)

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  6. Afternoon Sue,
    I think after reading your post, you've nailed it! Good subject matter or content and a bit of planning has made such a difference for you.

    It's great to see your enthusiasm for it. A good read, thank you! ;O)

    Cheery Xo

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  7. Hey Sue,... Great advise,..... I could definitely use this info....
    love your work BTW :),.... just found your blog a couple of days ago

    Cheers
    Daz

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  8. Hi, I'm new to blogging and have only just set up my own, so reading your "how to increase traffic" post was really useful.
    Now I have found your blog I will be following with interest.
    Thank You.
    Kris @ woolly mammoth zone

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing what you did, I've been wondering how to get more views for a while now and considering sitting and wishing didnt work I'll be trying your advice!
    :)
    http://sequins-and-glitter.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. New stats for April, all time high, have smashed 3000 visitors this month! Onwards and upwards!! And thanks for reading!

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  11. Hi Sue I found you through Twitter and I am surprised at how well it is working for me particularly against Facebook. My blog is definitely in the phase yours was pretty much just a design diary read on Facebook by about 10 people! Thanks for the tips
    Poppy

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  12. Hi and thanks for commenting! I need to do an update my post now, last month I had 3300 hits on the blog! Just shows what social media can do! Good luck!

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  13. Really good that you have shared your experience and what has worked - writing blogs is a art in itself .....good subject content, planning and a broader sense of the world can really help !! Glad its made a difference for you. Enjoyed reading it !!

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  14. Great post! Just started my blog and having trouble gaining readers... Gonna take your advice and see how it goes!

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  15. Very interesting post! I have been blogging for a few years, but it is only now I am taking it to the next level and thinking about gaining more readers and followers. Thanks for the advice!

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