Yes, I know. We all start a blog with the intention of recording our journey - our experiences - for our own record. A 'Note to Self'. But, deep down, we all want to share this journey. And we want to join with others who share our love of quilting.
Don't assume that because you have only a few comments or followers that no one is interested in your blog! You just haven't yet been found!
Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Blog will help you to ....
Find & Attract an Audience
and enable you to ....
Engage & Retain Your Audience
- Join the Party:
In your day to day life, you might not fit the description of Social Butterfly. However, attending a few weekly linky parties is a great way to put your blog on the radar of others. Linky parties are designed to allow participants to see what others are working on and to encourage communication. Don't know where to start? Why not start by joining in the Let's Bee Social! If you want to attract more visitors to your blog, get out there and mingle at a party or two and introduce yourself!
- Join Hops:
More mingling! Blog hops are a fun way to meet new friends and encourage new visitors to your blog. There have got to be a million quilt related hops going on out there, but these are two blog hops I have participated in and would recommend.
Beth of Plum and June has been hosting a New Blogger hop for the past two years. The New Blogger hop is a chance to write a great introductory post, giving participants and visitors the opportunity to get to know you and see what your blog is all about! Will there be a New Blogger hop for 2014? Follow Plum and June to find out! Beth's blog includes this useful source of information for those who would like to grow their blog.
Madame Samm’s Sew We Quilt hosts monthly hops focused around a theme. Participants are required to make projects based on that month’s theme. The blog hop cheerleaders organize a schedule. And then all the participants make the rounds, visiting each others' blogs and being inspired by what everyone has made. Madame Samm’s hops have the added bonus of sponsors, offering generous prizes!
- Visit Blogs:
How does it make you feel when new people drop by to visit your blog and leave a sweet comment, some encouragement, or just to say hello? Well, it makes you very happy, of course! Visit lots of blogs and leave them some comment love. Add those blogs to your reading list and follow along. Repeat visits will encourage the author of those blogs to seek you out and they may become your follower, too! Leaving a nice word of encouragement also attracts other visitors who read those comments to click on your name. Where do you find these new blogs? And can you help others find you? Visit Michele of Quilting Gallery because she has a special page for that!
- Invite Others:
While you are out there distributing some kind words of praise and encouragement, in your comment, leave a link back to your blog. Don't say, "I'm now following your blog. Please follow me." Perhaps you are working on a similar project? Can you offer a solution to a problem they are having? Do you know of a technique or tutorial that would be useful? Are you hosting a giveaway? Let them know in the comment section, and leave a link back to the post you think would interest them. Even just leaving a link to your blog’s home page at the end of your comment is a great idea. Again, this encourages not only the author of the blog to visit you, but also their followers.
- Enable Comments:
Two words... Word Verification. To encourage comments and repeat visits, I advise you disable word verification. The top two best ways to turn off potential followers are word verification and you being a no reply blogger. Here is a link to take you through the steps to turn your word verification off. Are you a no reply blogger? Here is a link to help you find the answer to that question and remedy that annoying problem. By the way, if you are a no reply blogger you may wonder why no one ever responds to your comments or questions. And if you like to enter giveaways or contests, you will never win. The author of the blog has no way of responding to your comments.
- Attractive Design:
Consider your favourite blogs. What is it about the design of those blogs that you find appealing? A neutral or white background allows readers to focus on your blog content. Your blog header should not be so large that your readers must scroll down to see the beginning of your latest post. Don't be afraid to experiment. A spring and fall cleanup of your blog help to keep things fresh!
- Good Content:
Why do you read blogs? To learn how to do a new technique? For inspiration? Mostly, we follow blogs that keep us informed, educated and entertained. And sometimes we follow blogs because the author has become our friend. To gain and retain followers, this is your aim also. To inform, educate and entertain. Tell about your experiences with methods you have used. Provide a tutorial to teach others of methods you have mastered. Write your blog posts as you would write to a friend and you will make lasting connections!
- Good Pictures:
Nothing beats a great picture to hold our attention and draw us in! Use the camera that you have to your best ability. Take pictures using natural light. Get some close up shots - show the details! Use props like thread, pins, binding, ribbon, and even your pet to add interest to your photos. Enhance your pictures using Picasa or Photoshop to lighten and add contrast. When you post pictures to your blog, make them larger, as wide as your blog text. Who can resist a little fabric eye candy?!!
- Have Confidence:
No matter your experience or level of expertise, have confidence in your abilities. And let that confidence shine through in your content. Yes.... Even have confidence in your mistakes! We all learn from our past experiences and even from the experiences others share with us. Mistakes are a part of that learning experience. Speak highly of your work and your creativity. Believe in yourself and your abilities. See yourself as you would like your readers to perceive you to be.... and that is what you will become. You have to believe to achieve!
- Be Positive:
For many of us, reading blogs offers a little oasis and an escape from the daily grind. Try to keep the content and comments positive. You haven't blogged in a month? Please don't apologize. You goofed up on something you were making? Don't be down on yourself. Consider it a creative design element. Keep it positive. You learn from your mistakes and so will your readers. You see work someone has shared on their blog, but you think it is ugly? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Being happy encourages your readers to be happy. Show you're excited about your latest project and I will be excited for you! Relieved you completed a project you have been working on for so long? Share how glad you are to have accomplished your goal and your readers will readily congratulate you for completing your task.
And speaking of keeping things on a positive note...
Hope you all find these top 10 tips helpful!!!
Keep On Quilting On!