This is a reply to an email I received from a lovely follower who wanted to know ‘my secret’. I don’t think there really is a secret, but over the years I have definitely learned a few tips and tricks from observing (and asking) the greats.
In general, these are some good rules to follow:
- Blog consistently
- Produce quality content
- Blog about the same topic/area/subject
- Find a niche to make you stand out
- Take note of what generates the most interest
- BUT… don’t get too obsessed with your stats
- Get personal, but only with what feels comfortable
- Be honest & genuine
- Have fun
- Write when inspiration strikes
- Engage with other bloggers
- Reply to those who comment on your blog
- Reach out and comment on other people’s blogs
- List your website on all social media
- Don’t plead with other bloggers to visit your site
This is all really great advice, but what this follower really wanted to know was the actual steps I take on a day-to-day basis.
Be a member of the ‘crew’
I think a lot of what I do is behind the scenes. You’ll notice I only blog around 4-6 times a month, but what you might not know is that I spend a lot of time interacting with others, whether that’s through reading, liking, commenting or following their blog.
In the early days, I used to think I was talking to no one. But once I began to reach out to other bloggers, they started visiting my site in return and everything just snowballed from there.
If you don’t know already, the WordPress Reader is great for finding other bloggers.
This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but before I discovered the Reader, I was using twitter to find other WordPress bloggers. Yep, I was manually looking up #amwriting and trawling through dozens of accounts until I found Twitter users with links to WordPress blogs.
It’s no surprise then, that it took me a few months of blogging before I got the hang of it.
Find what works for you
For those who are curious, this is the blogging strategy I have adopted:
- Blog 1-3 times a week
- Always use around 6-8 tags
- Use good cover images from pixabay.com
- Stick to my writing theme
- Add lots of cat GIFs
- Link to other bloggers as a thank you
- Check grammar and spelling with Grammarly
- Post blogs at 11.55pm AEDT (UK lunchtime, US morning)
- Post blogs during the week only
- Reply to any comments on new posts within a few days
- Check out the blogs of those who comment on my blog
- Add my favourite bloggers to my blogroll
- Check the WordPress app every morning (15 mins)
- Every night, find and follow new blogs (30 mins)
- Use the weekend to come up with new articles
I don’t always follow this perfectly. Sometimes I skip a few days, only to find I have a humongous mess on my hands. Sometimes it can take almost an entire weekend to catch up if I get lazy during the week!
I would say I devote around 1-2 hours a day on my blog, which is definitely achievable if you cut out some of your Netflix time, or alternatively, spend time blogging while watching Netflix (the latter a much better option in my opinion). On the days/weeks I neglect my blog, my stats suffer badly.
It’s like going to the gym, you have to keep at it every day if you want to see any real results.
Investigate those stats
Here are some of my stats for January 2018 if you’re interested to see what is possible after 2.5 years of blogging (please note I think you can achieve way more than me as I don’t blog very often, even though I wish I did):
- Average 155 views a day
- Average 77 unique visitors a day
- Average 47 likes a day
- Average 30 new followers a day
- Average 17 comments a day
- 400+ views on days I blog
- 90 views on non-blog days
- 250 unique visitors on days I blog
- 50 unique visitors on non-blog days
You can see it makes a huge difference when I post a blog. My stats jump up almost 340% on those days!
If I blogged every day, I could make my monthly stats in just under 2 weeks!
So why don’t I? Well, funnily enough, my favourite part about blogging is not the act of blogging itself, but the many opportunities I have to interact with other bloggers. You’ll be more likely to see me on any given day reading someone else’s blog, rather than writing on my own. But that’s just the way I like things. Everybody’s different!
In regards to monetization
I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to monetize your blog when you start to get on average, 500+ unique visitors a day. You could make anywhere from $20-$70 a month with those numbers through the Google AdSense advertising programs (there are so many different variables though, that an exact number is impossible to pin down).
Even on my really, really good days, I only make it to 250 visitors. So… I’m pretty far off that golden ‘500’ mark, but it doesn’t bother me so much. I much prefer to have repeat visits from my followers, as you guys are the ones that matter (to me) in the grand scheme of things.
Keep things in perspective
Before I leave you, I can’t forget to mention that I’ve made some truly wonderful blogging friends here, for which I am eternally grateful.
And I hope this helps you out, even if just a tiny bit!