Friday

Talking Point: How to grow a blog following





When I first started blogging, it was purely to play along with online challenges. Then it became my "resume" to apply for design teams. Right now, it is about maintaining and growing the connections and friendships I have made online. :)

Today's Talking Point: How to grow a blog following




It takes time and effort to maintain a blog. Decide what is possible for you. And do it on a regular basis. Once a routine is established, you will start to enjoy the process. These are the 3 things I've used to grow my following - content, visuals and social networking.






A lot of people think that a blog is all about yourself and thus one should just blog about anything one fancies. It is really about your audience. 

Do you like to hang out with friends who talk about themselves all the time? No right? You like to connect with friends who share common experiences or present you with a different perspective on things. And inspire you. Or make you laugh out laugh based on their kooky sense of humour.

Write your content based on that.  Your authentic (awesome) self.  

" I think for those projects that are technique based, tutorials & tips are always welcomed.  For those that follow me, they know that I'm not much of a technique kind of crafter but I'm always fascinated by them."                                                                                        Amy Tsuruta

Don't get me wrong. You still share what you like. But you curate it for your audience.
Give them more of what they like. :)


"I swear whenever Brookie "does" a blog post ... she gets more comments than me! LOL :) "                                                                                   Julie Tucker-Wolek


Can't write well? Use pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words.
People like to look at pretty things. Give them pretty pictures.
Take the time to edit them. Even brightening the picture a little is going to make a difference. No excuses. Lots of free photo-editing applications online.

"I follow other blogs because I love the way that their blog looks or feels."  
                                                                                                               Amy Tsuruta



Now, your blog following includes all the people who subscribe to your blog's feed in different ways - RSS, email or via Google Friend Connect [for those with a Google ID] plus other social networking sites that you post to like Facebook [Networked blogs]. 


"In terms of the Blogger Friends Connect Gadget, don't be deceived by the numbers associated with it.  There are other ways that people can follow your blog and as the time nears when Google Reader will be closing their doors, you may see a decline in your connections.  I have moved to the Feedly and have totally dropped Google Reader."                                                   Amy Tsuruta

You know the adage, "Build it and they will come...." ? It doesn't work in the Internet age. You need to go out there and socialize a little. Virtually. Not the blatant self-promotion we see plastered all over Facebook. That seems a tad narcissistic.  Just do it within the blogosphere.

"One way to get more followers is to visit and follow others! And COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT on your friends blogs! How we will ever know you have visited us if you don't comment?  I visit and comment on close to 100 blogs a day! Do I do it because I want people to come and visit me? No! I do it because I consider my bloggy buds my friends! I want to see what you are creating, what's going on your life, your families, what you are reading, what you are cooking, whatever is going on, I want to share it with you! :)
Let's face it, it feels good when someone visits your blog and comments! We like to know that our friends care about us and visit us. Yes, this is a 'virtual' world, but just like in the real world, it's nice when people come by and see what's going on in your life :)"                                                 Julie Tucker-Wolek

"I think the first place to start to grow your following is to visit other blogs and comment, comment, comment. I tend to follow other blogs that consistently comment on my blog... "                                                                        Amy Tsuruta

It does seem like people are less interested in blogs these days because of other 'social distractions' like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Keep churning out good and valuable content because Google still searches blogs for useful information. Do you search Facebook for useful information? Seriously? Plus, only half the world is on Facebook. So if you spend all your time on Facebook, you can't conquer the world! *winks* [Seriously though, Facebook has certain algorithms...that they change constantly... that determines if your post appears in your friends/followers' news stream so you actually don't reach 100% of your audience...]


"Even though there are other social media distractions, I know that blogs are still an important part of the social media interaction -- some people still don't have Facebook or Twitter, so they still come to blogs to see what's happening with their friends. :)"                                                                      Julie Tucker-Wolek

At the end of the day, you do what is possible for you. Social media can be a huge time suck and gratifying at the same time. The key is to strike a balance. I go off-grid by Friday after my last post of the week ...that's my time to de-compress.  And check in again on Monday....yes Monday is mad commenting day...[my greatest wish is for people to stop blogging on weekends so that I have less catching up to do...*LOL*]

A big thank you to my bloggy pals Julie Tucker-Wolek and Amy Tsuruta who have helped me with this post. What about you? How did you grow your blog following?


P/s: Happy weekend friends! :) 

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51 comments:

Chantal Vandenberg said...

Great post! You really have a gift of posting interesting subjects! xo

Sherry Eckblad said...

Great post Yvonne. I have made a few really good blog friends on here and agree about the commenting. I visit the blogs where people comment on my blog. I have to admit I do read a lot of blogs but don't leave comments since those people don't comment on mine. Not sure if that is the right thing to do, but it is what I do.

Lee-Anne Thornton said...

Great post! I agree with you wholeheartedly about people love seeing pictures and it is such a nice feeling when people take the time to comment. I agree that the more time and effort a person puts into their blog and also commenting and reading other likeminded people and their blogs, it becomes a great thing with friendships blossoming. I always enjoy reading your blog and your sense of humour.

Erin (Homemade Cards by Erin) said...

You crack me up!!! Great advice though.

Rose said...

fantastic post!!!
i used to have the time to "visit" each blog i follow every day, but now not so much as "real life" keeps getting in the way!!!
i do love to see what others are creating so sometimes i "cheat" and just look at blogger reader.

Julie E said...

You are just fab-u-lous Yvonne, that is why I follow. I find myself pulled in so many directions lately that even though I see what everyone makes I don't have time to leave a comment. I will definitely be cutting back in about 6 months - LOL!

Prisha Dharmani said...

This is a grt post for new bloggers like me..not reallyvery new but not regular...but yes real life hardly leaves time...so i just try to catch up wat others ard upto using google reader..is thrre any app available which allows you to leave comments

Tanvi Shah said...

Interesting tips Yvonne.Its always a pleasure to read your posts.

Miae said...

Thanks for doing this Yvonne! Well written, clear, helpful. What do you do in your "real" life? :) I needed to read something like this, helped give me focus!

Virginia L. said...

Awesome tips and advice, Yvonne! I know you care deeply about your blog and it really shows how you reach your followers with excellent content, tutorials and gorgeous work!

Lynnda said...

Awesome post.... hats off to you my friend...

Hell ya....[ha ha] you know how to maintain your audience!!!! This is a great post... now I get it how easily you catch your audience/followers!....

I think in our little convo... - i did ask you.."how can increase my audience!" - I know I can't...time is a huge problem for me...! [[i make do whatever i already have]]

I'm one of you many audience... whom is always excited from Monday to Friday... BECAUSE.... of your creations tips and sharing!!!

good to end your week post Yvonne....

have a great weekend... hugs...x

Kirsty Vittetoe said...

What a wonderful post Yvonne, I learn a lot today!!! Thanks!

Kaitlynne Roil said...

Thanks for writing this post!
As I was reading it, I was saying to myself 'yepthats true' to a lot of it. I am going to make sure I keep writing tutorials as much as I can and keep commenting! I live reading the comments on my blog, it makes my day!

Shivani Singh said...

Wow!! loved ur post...its soo true Yvonne dat we really don't appreciate ppl in life who just fancies about their own self!! and of course...Social media is one tool which has actually bridged the miles of distance in a less of a second. loved all ur posts n this one is no diffrent! Hugs!

Tejal said...

I so agree on so many points...I've lost the time to comment because I spend too much time on Facebook and pinterest...gonna cut that down now! More work in commenting and visiting other people.
And I love the point about going off the grid on Friday...
Fabulous post!! I will keep a lot of it in mind!

Lizzy Hill said...

Fab post...LOVE your visuals!!!! And I like checking out what others are doing & sharing the love....seems, like everything in life, if you give a little, it comes back to you:):):)

Pallavi said...

New Subbie.First comment.!This was pretty interesting.I agree with you that the best way to increase your followers is to follow and comment others.You get what you give.I personally suck at it.Sometimes social networking just overwhelms me.I think apart from that the content you put and how you present it is also important,like you said.I also tend to favour blogs which have a nice clean layout.Too many ads,links and a busy page turns me off.Thanks for this.I love your blog.You are doing everything right.lol

Tone-Lill said...

This is is all so true... And just like Lizzy ( 2 comments above) said... You give some and you will get some...
Leaving a comment is a nice way to show that you appreciate what other scrpbooking souls are creating

I like those little badges You have made with little notes how to improve your blog, lots of good tips to find here.

Visiting others blogs is a fun way to get inspiration and pick up news and learn new tequniques, so there will be an excuse to do some more shopping as well ;)
X


Reusing with Quilling said...

Wonderful posts Yvonne ! Many points to think about ! I agree about visuals,I like to read posts with nice bright n clean photos and its the first thing the reader sees before going to the details.Your are absolutely correct about comments I feel its bad to just visit the blog see the creations and not comment ! If you like the post then whats the harm in spending few minutes to appreciate.

Colleen Dietrich said...

Wonderful and informative! Enjoy your weekend off, Yvonne!

Val Thorpe said...

Wow what a fabulous, interesting and entertaining blog post. I am fairly new to blogging and I am really struggling to find my feet. Thanks for all the hints and tips. Really really helpful.

Amy* said...

Wonderful Post Yvonne! You hit the nail on the head! Gorgeous graphics hugged by sound advice...pinning!

PS I'm with you on the No weekend blogging...a girls gotta have a break :)

Amy*

Audrey Pettit said...

Awe-some post today, Yvonne! You are always so filled with great tips and information. I so agree with you about so many things on this post. I started blogging for the same reasons, and am still blogging today for the same reasons as you...I cherish and adore the friendships I have made with some amazing people across the globe. And I'm genuinely interested in hearing all the little things going on with my friends, as well as see all their beautiful artwork. It's not about numbers to me. Too many companies and teams are getting too caught up in the numbers, if you ask me....how many blog visits, how many "likes" on FB, how many "shares".....it gets crazy. And I'm over here, like, I just wanna see what my friends are doing today. :)
And I'm with you....totally stopped blogging on the weekends for a little R&R...

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

xoxoxoxoxox :)

~amy~ said...

You're thee best Yvonne!

Lynn Le5 said...

Thanks for all the great information and for putting it out there the way it is! You're great!
Have a good weekend.

Katy said...

This is a great post indeed! Thanks for the tips! :) I always love your tutorials.

Annette said...

awesome tips thanks for sharing.. will have to use some of these tools.. :)

Hussena said...

What a wonderful post Yvonne and some really interesting points here!! .. Like you I first started blogging because I wanted to participate in the various challenges online ...but never seriously thought about any DT position until it was offered to me ...since then I have come to appreciate the blogland a lot more ..It took me outside my comfort zone and made me visit blogs which were earlier unknown to me and i have really come to appreciate the spirit of sharing through blogs and do make it a point to interact with blogger's by leaving a comment whenever someone's work inspire me :)and your blog has been a big source of inspiration.. not only do i enjoy your post but the beautiful visuals you share so effortlessly too :)
And yet again I got to learn something new from your blog today ..so thank you so much for sharing such an informative post !!

Suman Pandit said...

Thank you for such a lovely post Yvonne, love how you made this so informative and lively, will keep in mind. i think the main point behind why we blog and want feedback from our pals is validation and reassurance and that is why comments are so important!!
http://www.kalasirjana.blogspot.in/

Mitra Pratt said...

oh my GOODNESS this is a terrific post! I thought was only me that went "off grid" on Friday night. I rarely blog during the weekend unless it's a post day or something really special. I have one of those posts going live Sunday in which case it's really "special" said sarcastically!

And Julie I love Brooke's posts! And yours too...;-)

Michelle Looi said...

Awesome Yvonne!

Cari Byers said...

full of uber useful information will definitely re read several time

Lisa said...

What an awesome post!! All of your tips are fabulous!! I am not as socially active as I should be...I don't Twitter and I don't use Facebook except for the basics. I love your idea of going off grid on the weekends!! I need to think about doing that too!! Thanks for all the awesome tips!! Happy Friday :)

Lisa
A Mermaid's Crafts

Roxy said...

Wow, great post! You know, I never really thought about it! I was like you, blogging so I could join in on challenges, but also so friends I scrapped with in other towns could see what I'd been making. I don't even know if they ever look at my blog, but it's amazing how many close virtual friends I feel I have! One thing that I really appreciate about you, Yvonne, is that you do come to my blog to comment - I comment occasionally on some blogs where they don't seem to get many comments, and do they ever write back? No! After a while, I don't even bother! Anyway, thanks for the great tips, I will definitely be keeping these in mind when I post!!!

C Wu said...

great post. I am on stage one and will continue work on it!

Helen Tilbury said...

A good topic to discuss. I see the downfall of most blogs - being loooooong posts about very personal stuff that no-one else is really interested in - those people say they 'blog for themselves' well it mostly stays with themselves! I've learnt plenty in 4.5 years online and did a post similar to this last year, but some things are very different now than they were then. Time is a massive factor - I could never comment on 100 blogs a day - and I can't choose my content as I'm obligated to share my DT work and news. Obvious winners are bright, clear photos and a small amount of text. I now try in general to keep my posts to under 20 sentences max - 10 is better - and have taken a leaf out of your book and mostly don't blog over the weekend. I'm certainly online then though but it gives me time to preschedule posts for the week, etc. Most people don't. Have the time to read lengthly posts so I keep it short, relevant and helpful. As far as comments go the more we give the more we get, which is fun but sometimes not worth the time if it interferes with our other priorities. I've had to accept that this year I simply can't comment on every post by every person who comments on my blog as some of those people are retired or unemployed and have the extra time that I don't. I've accepted that as a result I'll get less comments but it's all about balance and what works for you...

sandi said...

Fabulous post!!!!!!!!!!

Angi Barrs said...

Love this topic! Great tips too. Thanks you all for sharing your thoughts!

Shahrul Niza said...

WOW!! I learned A LOT from today's post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us :). Wisdom. Logic. Sweet truth. HUGS.

Linda R said...

Lots of fabulous info here.. And I have to agree with all of it.

Hugs~

Genevive Rulona said...

thank you for these Yvonne. I learned heaps!

Sharon Fritchman said...

Thank you so much, Yvonne, for your informative post! I learned a lot here, and yes, it is really hard work. You make it look so easy!!!!!

Cindy deRosier said...

What a great post! I think a lot of people believe "If I write it, they will come..." That might have been true years ago when there were only a few blogs, but now you have to actually work to get and maintain an audience. Great post!

alexa said...

Your lovely visuals and informative text and the way you involve the reader by asking questions makes your point perfectly!

Melissa Strassner said...

Hey, great post! I'm COMMENTING! Wahoo! :) Thanks for the thoughts and info.

Jenn said...

This is such a helpful article. I'm just starting out so I'll take all the tips I can. Thanks!

Lisa Barton said...

Just stumbled across your blog and am settling in fro a Friday night of reading ;) Despite it being 6 months since published your recommendations are still just as valuable - thank you for sharing :)

Kimie Weldon said...

You're post inspired me to get out there and socialize more to meet fellow bloggers. (How am I doing?) I'm finding that I'm having a hard time gathering subscribers, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'll just keep putting myself out there and hopefully I'll meet a ton of new people. Thank you!!

Elle Be said...

I just stumbled across your blog and was able to use several helpful tips! Thanks so much!

Claudeen said...

I agree with commenting on other peoples' blogs! I personally do it on my Instagram and definitely need to do more on my blogger as well...

Also clicked your "About Me" page only to find out that you are from Singapore!! I lived the first half of my life there. I miss it everyday. I can't wait to go back in the future to see how much it's changed.

Going to follow you and read your posts now! :)

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Thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it. Please ignore the word verification. It's just there by default.

Cheers, Yvonne.

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