25 Amazing Ways to Grow Your Followers

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them. Thanks as always for your support!

As a relatively new blogger, I’m constantly looking to improve ways in getting traffic to my blog. It’s not easy, and I’ve tried so many things to get things moving in the right direction. While many things I’ve attempted to do to get more followers have failed, I’ve have had some good success with others. In today’s post, I’m going to share some of my most successful tips on how I’ve been able to grow my followers. I hope some of these prove to be successful in helping you learn how to get traffic to your blog.

25 Amazing Ways to Grow Your Followers

1. Put effort into your blog’s design

You may be wondering what your blog’s design has to do with increasing your following, but it has everything to do with it. A blog that’s well-designed (theme and navigational structure) attracts more readers. Make it easy for your visitors to find what they need without having to swim through mountains of ads and links. Your menu should have the basics (home page, about me, contact me, resources page). You only have once chance to make a good first impression, so spend a little extra time setting up your blog’s appearance. Trust me, it’ll make a difference!

Another aspect of your blog’s setup is to make sure it’s fast. Is your page taking too long to load? There is a direct correlation between site load time and traffic volume. The easiest way to find out how fast your site loads (beside trying to load it yourself) is to use WP Engine’s free site speed test. Site speed has a big impact on search engine ranking. It’s worth it to take the time to investigate and repair anything that’s slowing your site down.

When thinking about how your visitors get to your blog, remember that not all visitors are using the same device. While some prefer tablets or personal computers, many visitors are using a smart phone. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile viewing. When using WordPress themes, you can filter themes down by only those that have been optimized for view on multiple devices.

2. Respond to comments

This goes beyond just acknowledging that someone responded to one of your blog posts. Your response should be meaningful. Don’t wait days or weeks to respond. Show your readers you are extremely interested in their feedback by responding immediately.

Respond on other blogs as frequently as you respond to comments on your own blog. Most of the time, you have to enter your name, email and website whenever you comment. Hello??!! Free advertising!

3. Get to know other bloggers

Do you know other bloggers in your niche? If so, network with them. Engage with their blogs and provide them valuable feedback. By doing so, you are getting your name out there and creating a positive reputation. There are many ways to get to know other bloggers. Search for blogging groups on Facebook. These groups have been extremely helpful for me as I have grown my blog. Not only do you get to share your content, but you get to see other bloggers’ content as well. I get a lot of good feedback from the groups I’ve joined.

Social Media

One good piece of advice I was given is to be where your readers are. Social media is the number one place to do that. If you aren’t an avid user of Facebook or Twitter, get started today. Twitter really is a gold mine. Up until about a year ago, I wasn’t using it more than just to share my latest post. Unleash the real power of Twitter by commenting on other bloggers’ tweets. What I’ve found is that nine times out of ten, if I show engagement on other blog posts, that blogger usually reciprocates. If that blogger has 10,000 followers, all of a sudden I’ve shared my content with 10,000 more people! Amazing!

Hey, one more thought about Twitter. The great thing about it is that it’s easy to mention other writers. If you do mention or thank other bloggers who are on Twitter, make sure you include their Twitter handle in your post. By doing so, they get notified that you mentioned them (and all of their followers also see it in their feed).

4. Write more

I know some bloggers that post 2-3 times a day, while others post 2-3 times a week. I can’t give you an exact formula for success, but it has been proven that the more VALUABLE content you write, the better chance you have of driving more traffic to your blog. If this means you can spit out 1 or two valuable posts per week, then you’ve found your answer. For me, it’s been 2-3 on average.

When you start to think about increasing your writing frequency, you also need to think about increasing your social media posts as well. Plan ahead by making your own social media schedule and stick to it. The more blog posts you write, the more time you’ll need to share that content on social media. I use a scheduling tool called Hootsuite for my Facebook and Twitter posts, and Tailwind for my pins on Pinterest.

5. Create a freebie

Have you considered making a freebie for your readers as a perk for signing up for your mailing list? There are really so many ideas out there! While I don’t have a freebie for my own mailing list, I do have my own 7 day email course teaching bloggers how to create a profitable blog. I use MailChimp to create the campaign and have it set for emails to go out each day for the next week. Each email has a different tutorial on creating a profitable blog.

Another popular freebie idea is to create a eBook. Think about it. If you already have hundreds of blog posts, why not take that body of work and convert it into an eBook? You can start out by making the first book free and subsequent books can be a paid product. If you are going to use a third party to help design your eBook, I highly recommend Blurb to help with that.

6. Build a YouTube channel

If you are anything like me, the idea of watching myself in a video isn’t very appealing, but, getting your face out there to your audience is key in increasing engagement and followers. A lot of bloggers have their own web series in addition to their blogs. Videos don’t have to be very elaborate or long. Create a video to serve as a companion video to your blog posts.

You will be surprised at how many people actually prefer watching videos on a topic versus reading about it. Here’s an example: I needed to install a dishwasher I bought and wasn’t willing to fork out the money for a plumber to do it. I started out by doing a google search, but was left dumbfounded by the few posts I found that were partially helpful. So, I turned my search over to videos and immediately found a ton of them that were of high quality. I was able to see the work done and was able to use that information to install my dishwasher. (It’s still running today!) Again, you don’t have to go the elaborate route with a video, but make sure you have good lighting, good volume and of course, valuable information to provide to your audience.

If you do decide to create videos, make sure you include a call to action just as you do in your blog posts. Invite your audience to subscribe to your blog and social media accounts. If you come across as a trustworthy source, you will get followers. I guarantee it!

7. Allow guest posts

If you’ve blogged for any length of time, you’ve probably seen emails come in asking to guest post on your blog. Now that my following has dramatically increased, I get maybe 5-10 requests per day.

Allowing guest posts is a great way not only to get to know other bloggers and share their content, but it allows your blog to get in front of more readers. Most bloggers asking to guest post on your site will share their post with their followers. If they have thousands of subscribers, your blog suddenly gets more exposure.

If you do allow guest posts, make sure you create clear guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not. Will you allow do-follow and/or no-follow links? How about length? I usually expect my guest posters to provide a minimum of 1,000 words.

Remember, you want to remain the dominant voice of your blog, so limit the number of guest posts that you accept. Proofread and reject posts that don’t fit your guidelines. Definitely don’t accept guest posts where advertising is the primary content. You don’t want your blog to appear as spammy and the same goes for the guest posts you publish.

8. Don’t publish garbage

Only write a new post if the content is going to provide value or a solution to a problem. Don’t publish just to publish. You’ve seen me talk about a blogger who only posts about running marathons. How does that benefit their readers? Oops, it doesn’t.

Don’t write garbage. Think of your blog as a marketing tool. If you were shopping for a new car, would you go into a run down building where everything was falling apart, and the salesman wore a tshirt and jeans? Probably not. If you’ve ever been in a car dealership, you are probably impressed by the quality of the showroom. The same holds true with your blog’s content. Post to impress. The more value you provide to your readers, the more trust you establish. The more trust your readers have with you the higher level of traffic you will see.

9. Make your readers want to return

Ok, so you’ve brought a new user to your site. Great. Are they eager to return? A good habit is to find ways to entice your readers to come back later. One way to do this is to run a good contest or giveaway. The more of these you host with quality products, the more interest you are going to see from repeat visitors.

Another way to make sure your readers return is by utilizing your newsletter. Have a good deal your readers will love, or offering up a freebie? Now’s a good chance to let your subscribers know. Make sure to encourage your subscribers to forward the email to their friends. You’d be surprised at how many people want the information your providing. If that information is provided on a regular basis, you’ll see a boost in traffic volume.

Would you want to return to a blog that had countless pop ups and ads all over the place? I’m not talking about one or two ads in a post, but pop up ads that cover up the content. I certainly would not return. If I’m searching for information and it leads me to your blog, the last thing I want is to have to close a bunch of windows just to read the content.

If you do choose to go with a popup for your email subscribe form (which does increase signups), make sure it is non-invasive and easy to close. A lot of visitors (like myself) immediately close out of popups. I am usually in a hurry when I’m searching for something and don’t want to have to spend my time getting past pop ups and ads.

10. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe

If you are serious about gaining more followers, one of the easiest ways to do that is to make it simple for visitors to sign up for your newsletter. If you are using WordPress (if not, why not?), you can put a sign up form in your sidebar (see mine over there??). You can also use Mailchimp to create custom sign up forms and embed them in blog posts.

Create solid call to action statements at the end of every blog post, and make encouraging your readers to subscribe a regular practice. The more you promote it, the more response you’ll get. You can also coordinate signups with your Facebook page. See mine as an example.

11. Update old blog posts

We all have those old blog posts sitting in our site from 2 years ago. More than likely, your knowledge of that subject and maybe even the subject itself has changed. By regularly reviewing your old blog posts and updating them, you show your readers you are committed to keeping your information relevant and current.

Reviewing old blog posts can also reveal how much traffic they are getting today. If you are in WordPress (again, if not, get on it!), you can go to your site stats and look up the post to see how well it’s performing. If the post hasn’t had very many views, why? Find out what’s happening and fix it. Or, if the content just flat out sucks, don’t be afraid to delete the post altogether.

12. Ask for feedback and suggestions

Have you ever wondered if the content you are providing is something your readers actually enjoy and want more of? If you aren’t asking them, how can you know for sure? It’s a great idea to ask them through social media or through polls on your blog. You’ll be surprised as to how many actually respond. If you are opening yourself up for feedback though, be prepared for the negative comments as well. Just because you are getting negative feedback, don’t get upset. The feedback you are getting is going to be used to make adjustments to your blog.

13. Pick the right niche

Ok, so maybe this one should be at the top of this list, right? What I mean by this is if you pick a niche that you don’t know much about, or, there isn’t a lot of interest in, you aren’t going to be able to write regular posts (and posts with quality). Pick a niche that allows you to write about something you love. For me, I love helping others succeed with their blogs. I know a lot about how to do that and love sharing my experiences and expertise with them.

You want to pick a niche where you can write about something new every time. While it’s okay to focus on a subject in your blog, make sure you put a new twist on it so that the content is fresh and exciting. If I’m a food blogger writing about baking brownies, posting about brownies over and over will get old fast. Mix it up and make it new to your audience. How do you do that? Make a video or info graphic. Offer a free tutorial. Do something that generates interest above just writing about it.

14. Make yourself available to your readers

How do you interact with your readers on a regular basis? Skype? Email? Facebook? Blog comments? Let your readers know the best way to contact you, when to contact you and how long it will take you to respond. A great place to put this information is both in your call to action and in your Contact page.

Making yourself available is more than just posting your social media links and contact me form. When someone does contact you, you have to be able to provide a valuable response. Always respond professionally and respectfully. You’re going to get very weird emails from time to time. Remember to not let it get to you personally. Turn a negative into a positive. If someone is complaining about something on your site it means that you have pushed a button. It’s good to generate a little heat from time to time, but be ready to support your readers and keep things as cool as possible.

I once wrote a blog post about the misconceptions non-Catholics have about Catholics. Since I’m a Catholic convert, I once believed some of those misconceptions too. The post I wrote about it generated a little heat and I got a lot of questions from my readers. It’s good to create a little controversy. It means readers are engaged with your topic enough to strike a nerve. But again, be prepared to defend your answers!

15. Offer a service

Offering a service is something every blogger needs to be able to do, and do well. If you’re good at photography and graphic design, offer up your services to your fellow bloggers. If you are good at training and leading others, create a webinar or video tutorial series. If you do this and do it right, your following will increase as your reputation gets around with other bloggers.

16. Share with family and friends

Sharing your content with your family and friends (and asking them to share) is easy. A lot of bloggers get embarrassed to do this, but in reality, they are your greatest support circle. Tag family and friends in posts on Facebook and you’ll see an increase in likes, comments and hopefully subscribers to your blog.

17. Create an epic resources page

A resources page is an opportunity to provide your readers with a list of everything you find valuable and useful. If you click on my link above, you’ll see my own resources page. It’s kind of small and growing at this point, but as I learn about new blogging tools and products, I make it a habit to update my resources page. Share your resources page regularly with your readers. Whenever you add something new, share it! Don’t forget to give a shout out to the creator of the product on social media. Again, do everything you can to bring in views.

18. Make your About Me page stand out

Would you say today that your About Me page stands out above the others? I’ve read in the past that it’s the most important page on your blog. It’s the opportunity to tell your readers about how you can help them. It’s NOT an opportunity to self-promote. Consider your About Me page like a brochure. The whole purpose of your About Me page is to draw your readers in to what you can offer them and why they can trust you. Provide links to some of your most popular posts, and of course, list ways on how they can contact you.

19. SEO is everything

I know, I know, you’ve heard a lot about SEO. So have I. I’m still trying to become an expert at it. It’s a difficult concept, but so important in generating traffic. I use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress that does a lot of the work for me, but there are things I need to do on my own to increase SEO rankings. Things like:

  • Use keywords in post titles and meta tags
  • Use headings and subheadings (and include keywords in them)
  • Limit affiliate links and ads in posts. The more you link to these the harder it will be for sites like Google to rank you high in search results.
  • Link out to other good sites. If you are writing an informative post where you may have gathered information from other bloggers, link out to them (and make sure to give them credit in your post).
  • URLs should be short and contain keywords. (Yoast SEO helps with this)

20. Use images

Integrating images into your posts is a good way to break up the content for your readers. I make it a rule not to use low-quality images. Any image I use is directly related to my content and is a good visual aid for my readers.

When using images, make sure to name them something related to your blog post topic. Did you know search engines can find images? Don’t name them some oblivious name. Make sure you are also include alt tag descriptions that relate to your post as these are also crawled by search engines.

Alongside images, you can also include videos, charts, graphs, info graphics and slide show presentations. Vary it up the best you can, but don’t over do it. The more images you have on your site can actually hurt you as they take up space on your site, cause your site to load slower and may detract your readers from staying focused. My rule of thumb is 1 or 2 images for every 1,000 words.

21. Participate in affiliate programs

You’ve seen me go on and on about affiliate programs and how they have increased my blog income. Yes, they are a good source of passive income, but offering high quality products on your blog is a great way to generate interest. There are many different affiliate marketing sites, but the one I use the most is ShareASale.

Of all the affiliate programs I’m a member of, the top income producer for me has been Candy Club. Have you read my review of Candy Club? If not, you should. I got the chance to sample the candy and fell in love with it immediately! It’s one of those products that have sold very well through advertising on Facebook and Twitter. I usually see a few sales come through every time I share my review post.

You can also visit merchants directly to see if they have an affiliate program. The application to join is usually at the bottom of their website. Keep in mind to limit the affiliate programs you join to only those you use and truly believe in. Don’t over do it. The last thing you want to do is come across as an advertiser only and not a niche influencer.

22. Showcase your popular posts

Your blog is a prime place to show your readers everything you have to offer. Why not showcase your popular posts? There are great plugins and widgets for WordPress that can put your most popular posts in your sidebar. I use a free widget called Top Posts & Pages. This widget automatically looks for posts that have had the most activity over the time period you specify and puts them in your sidebar. I limit mine to only 5 top performing posts (not pages or categories). There are other good plugins and widgets out there, so find one that suits your needs and get it up and running.

23. Reference your other posts regularly

The longer readers stay on your site will reduce your bounce rate. This is definitely a plus for you. A good way to keep readers on your site is linking to your other internal posts. You can see examples of that in today’s post. I’ve found ways to route readers to more information I’ve written about these tips that will be of value to them.

If you are going to do refer readers to your other posts, this goes back to tip number 11. Make sure you are keeping the other posts you are linking to updated and accurate. The better organized and updated all of your posts are, the more trust you are going to build in your readers, and your traffic volume will increase.

24. Stay mobile

One advantage to running a blog is that I can do it from just about anywhere. I use the WordPress app to keep my blog updated when I’m on the go. Whenever I go on vacation, I don’t have a laptop, but I can use my tablet or smartphone to respond to comments, write new posts and answer any emails that come in. Being mobile helps you to stay connected and visible to your readers.

25. Use a consistent profile

Every single medium you use to promote your blog gives you the opportunity to create a profile. Do everything within your power to make every profile as consistent as possible with your other profiles. Doing so makes you look more professional. Profiles are also a great opportunity to gather email sign ups. Even if you can’t gather them in the post, you can still ask your readers to sign up using the form on your site.

Are you ready to boost blog traffic?

I hope today’s post has provided you with a ton of useful information and sets you out on a course to seeing a rise in traffic. I’m here to help, so please reach out to me at jeremyatkins1@outlook.com or in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help.

Facebook Group

Want to be a part of my Blogger Share and Promo Facebook Group? Click here to join. There are daily threads giving you the opportunity to meet other bloggers, share your content and boost your traffic.

Pinterest Group Board

I also have a Blogging Tools and Tips Pinterest group board with over 12,000 pins and more than 140 contributors. I’m always accepting new contributors so please follow me on Pinterest then fill out my Google form to request contributor access to the group board. You can share as many pins as you want as long as you share another blogger’s pin for every pin you share.

Please share this post with your readers and get it going viral!

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Win a $500 Gift Card to My Gift Stop for Valentine’s Day!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of My Gift Stop. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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How to Make Money Blogging

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

How to Make Money Blogging

Hey gang! I am super-psyched about today’s post because it’s all about how to make money doing what we all love – blogging! The tips I give you today are a combination of things I’ve learned on my own plus tips I’ve picked up from other bloggers along the way.

I only made about $1,000 in my first year blogging and then about $5,000 in my 2nd year. Whatever I’m doing seems to be working, so I’ve captured everything I do into this little post just for you.

By no means am I at the point yet where I can make writing/blogging my full-time income, but I really believe one day in the near future, my blog income will be sufficient enough to support my whole family.

The great thing about blogging is that you can be your own boss, set your own hours, work from anywhere in the world and get paid to do what you love. If all of these things sound amazing to you, then you are in the right place!

Let’s get started…

1. How to get started blogging

This may be a stupid question, but it’s really not if you think about it. Before you can start creating content, developing a following and earning income, you have to set your blog up the right way. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve hopefully read my other posts about how to start a blog.

You can’t focus on earning income in the beginning. The first thing you have to do is decide on a blogging platform. There are several big ones out there, but to me, WordPress is by far the most superior one of them all.  Click here to view my detailed post on how to start a blog.  I also have a free 7-day email course designed to help you start a profitable blog. Both of these tools are great starting points if you’ve never dabbled in the blogging world before.

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to set your blog up, you can get started on your way to creating amazing content!

Make your blog design amazing

With WordPress, there are unlimited options to customize your blog. If you don’t do anything else with your blog’s design, make sure that you don’t use the default WordPress themes. Not only do they point you out as a newby, but they can also make you appear lazy. Thousands of people are already using the default WordPress themes, so why be one of them?

Go the self-hosted route

You may hear “free” vs “self-hosted” a lot when researching WordPress. Here’s the low down – there are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com is the free version. It’s ok if you are starting out with no intention of growing and monetizing your blog. WordPress.org is the self-hosted route. By self-hosted, I mean you are using WordPress with a web hosting provider from which you have purchased a hosting plan and domain name. If you need a domain name, you can register one right now from NameCheap.com starting at $.88 cents! For web hosting, there’s really no better one in my opinion than SiteGround. I switched to them towards the end of 2017 and have been extremely pleased – both with the price of their service and with their customer service!

Related Post: Why I Moved My Site To SiteGround

WordPress Themes with a bang

2. Drive traffic to your blog

There are so many popular ways to drive traffic to your blog:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • StumbleUpon
  • Flickr
  • SEO
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Instagram
  • Email Marketing

One of the biggest drivers of traffic to my blog is Pinterest. In 2017, I signed up for the unlimited plan with Tailwind. I pin about 100 pins throughout the day. The rule I made up for myself is for every pin I share from my own blog, I repin 3-5 pins from other bloggers.

As you can see from my list above, Pinterest is just one of the many ways you can drive traffic to your blog. My recommendation is not to try everything at the same time. Pick one or two and focus on building a strategy to drive traffic. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

When you are trying to think about the best ways to build traffic, think about the places you go to find traffic. Do you go to forums? Facebook groups? Twitter? Think like your audience!

Related Post: 15 Little Tricks to Get More Blog Traffic

3. Write stellar content

Like I’ve said before, anyone with an internet connection and time can sit down and write a blog post. Not everyone can sit down and write QUALITY blog posts. This is where you come in. Write valuable and shareable content. What are people looking for?  What type of information are they seeking? If you write about things that don’t get a lot of attention, you aren’t going to see much traffic.

If you are planning a blog post about new cars, do a quick search on Google or Pinterest for new cars. Then, you’ll be able to see what readers are looking for when they search for new cars. Are they looking for trucks? Mini vans? Blue cars? Red cars? Cars under $30,000? Do a little keyword research and find ways to insert those keywords into your content.

I highly recommend (and use) Google AdWords

Related Post: How I Write And Publish Quality Blog Posts

4. Don’t write just to write

I can’t stand when bloggers just write a post to write. You know, the ones that have no purpose for the audience other than “hey, look at what I just did!” I often refer to a blogger who only posts about running in marathons. Enough of the bullshit. If you want to chronicle your life like that, get a diary. If you want to serve a purpose and get readers interested, your posts need to accomplish something for THEM, not YOU.

Focus your posts on the needs of your readers 100% of the time, and you will be surprised at the results. Don’t try to shove your personal life down our throats. We already see it every day on social media. Solve a problem. Provide a tip. Write a tutorial. Record a how-to video. You see where I’m going with this?

5. Only promote relevant/high-quality products

Once you sign up for sites like Amazon Affiliate or ShareASale, the temptation is going to be there to sign up for many different programs that promise a good commission. Resist! I make a rule to only promote products that are relevant to my readers, are high-quality or are products that I have used myself. If you promote lingerie on your sports blog, you probably aren’t going to see much commission.

Please, please please do not shove your affiliate links or banner ads down your readers throats. You are trying to build their trust, not turn them away. Find creative ways to integrate your products into your posts. The more you build trust with readers, the more conversions you will see.

Wondering how to make money with affiliate links? Check out this post.

6. Create a Tools/Resources Page

If you don’t already, create a separate page on your blog for tools and resources you use. You can also include products you recommend. This should be a page that is regularly updated as you learn of new products and find better tools to blog. Take a look at my resources page for a good example.

Your resources page should NOT be a page full of affiliate links and ads. While you can include some affiliate links to products you use, make sure you create a good balance. The primary focus of your resources page is to help others – not yourself.  If you run a parenting blog, a list of good parenting tips, books, baby products, etc. is a good idea to start with.

Add to your resources page regularly, and make sure you put a “last updated” date on your post to let your readers know your page is constantly updated.

7. Be yourself

I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read in the past where I could tell the blogger was writing to try to impress someone. My rule of thumb is that I’m no different writing a blog post than when I’m talking to someone. The more truthful and genuine you are, the more your readers are going to trust you and your expertise. After all, you started a blog because you are an expert in some field, right? Let your voice shine and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.

The key to making your connections real with your readers is truly to be real. What they see is what they get. Don’t try to deceive or hide something from your readers. Be honest, forthcoming and be willing to take criticism. You are the voice of your blog, so let that voice speak when you are writing your next blog post.

8. Implement a solid email marketing plan

I don’t care which email marketing tool you use to gather user emails and to send out your newsletters as long as whatever you are doing is consistent. I personally use MailChimp. It’s got great free options until you get a large number of subscribers, and it is very useful if you are trying to create an email course like mine.

Related Post: How to Skyrocket Your Email List in 30 Days

 

Ready to start writing?

You can do it! It’s time to bear down and do the dirty work that will eventually pay off. I hope these tips help steer you in the right direction to better and successful blogging. Don’t forget to share your posts on social media and look for ways to network with other bloggers. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

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How To Start A Blog in 2018

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a little bit of pocket change to keep this blog up and running when you make a purchase through them.  Thanks as always for your support!

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Happy New Year to you! I hope that 2017 was a very successful year for you, and that 2018 is even more successful. Are you ready to finally start that blog in 2018? If so, I’ve provided some tips in today’s post that will help drive you to success. Some of these tips come from my post, “How to Start a Blog in 2017” and some are brand new!

Why start a blog?

Before we really dive into the steps on HOW to start a blog, we need to talk about WHY you should start a blog. If you already know why you want to start your blog, you can skip ahead in this blog post. If not, here are several common reasons why people like you start a blog:

  • You want to share information on topics you know a lot about.
  • You want a way to chronicle your life.
  • You are looking to become a better writer and communicator.
  • You want to supplement your income or even make writing a full-time job.

Blogging is fun, but there is a lot of hard work involved in making it succeed. Anyone can sign up for WordPress, find a web host, and post content. Only those who are committed to continual success will find success. If you need any help along the way, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help. 

How to Start Your Blog

  1. Decide which platform to use
  2. Select a web hosting provider and domain name
  3. Set up your blog
  4. Write your first post
  5. Share your post with the world
  6. Monetize your blog
  7. Useful tools and resources

1. Decide which platform to use

There are several well-known and widely-used blogging platforms out there today that will suit your needs. For me, there really isn’t any other choice other than WordPress. WordPress is the standard in the blogging world. Over 80 million bloggers use it today. You can’t go wrong with it!

WordPress can take a little time to figure out how to work, but once you get comfortable with it, there are so many possibilities with it that you won’t want anything else. With thousands of plugins and themes, it really is the best bet for any serious blogger.

You’ll see two types of WordPress sites out there today. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  Wordpress.com is not a self-hosted option, which means you are limited in what you can do and the income you can earn. WordPress.org means you are self-hosted and can do more in terms of options and income.

2. Select a web hosting provider and domain name

If you are looking to make money with your blog, you must go with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Before you can really dive into monetizing your blog, you’ll need your own domain name and a web hosting provider to host your site.

  • Domain Name: The domain name is the URL of your blog. Readers will type your domain name into their browser to get to your site. I highly recommend Namecheap.com for domain names!
  • Web Host: The web host is the company that houses all of your files for your site and displays the site on the web for you. For web hosting, you definitely can’t go wrong with Siteground. If you do sign up with Siteground, they have a very easy WordPress install process.

3. Set up your blog

Here’s where the fun begins! Now that you’ve purchased your domain and hosting accounts, you can dive in and design it to your liking. If you are using WordPress, you have access to thousands of free and premium themes. I highly recommend ThemeIsle for a great selection of themes that will make your blog stand out.

I usually opt for a clean theme that allows me to customize the look to suit my niche. There are some themes that will allow for full customization, while others are limited in the number of features you can customize.

Wordpress Themes

4. Write your first blog post

Now that your blog is ready to go, it’s time to write your first post. I do want to admit that my very first post sucked badly. This is because I had no clue in how to structure a blog post. Now that I’ve done my research on the best ways to structure blog posts, readers have given me positive feedback. My trick in structuring my blog posts is by using an outline. An outline allows you time to think about where you want to place your headers and links, and gives you time to analyze the structure before you write it down. Outlines do take a little extra time, but in my opinion are worth every second because it makes the post much easier to read and follow.

In WordPress, you have the option to save as a draft, which is a great feature if you like to write in pieces and then come back to finish up. There are several other options you’ll want to pay attention to as you are creating your post.

  • Categories – Categories are like the table of contents in a book. Let’s use my site for an example of how categories work. Look to the right of this post into my sidebar. You’ll see a drop down menu called “Categories.” Let’s say you want to see every post I’ve written about sports. I created a “Sports” category and selected it every time I wrote a sports-related blog post. If you select “Sports” from the Category menu, you’ll be presented with any post I’ve written about Sports. Go ahead and try it, but come back to this post!
  • Tags – Tags are more like an index than a table of contents. Tags are keywords that tell the reader what the post is about. Go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this post. You’ll see I’ve included several tags that tie to the subject matter of this post. Tags are also a good way to group related posts. Think of them as being just like hashtags on Twitter. If you click on a hashtag in Twitter, you’ll be presented with any posts that include that tag. It’s a great way to read related content.
  • Featured Image – The featured image is the image that will show up at the top of your blog post.  Look at the top of this post. Do you see the very cool image I’ve created for this post?  That’s the featured image.  Whenever you share your post, unless you’ve told WordPress to use a different image, by default, it will use the featured image. I use a creative featured image for every blog post.
  • Sharing –  Under the featured image is an option to select which social media sites you want to share the post to once you’ve hit publish. While you can connect to any service you want, I usually share to the big boys – Facebook and Twitter.
  • Post format – I don’t mess with this feature very much, but can be useful depending on the type of post you are writing. If you are only posting an image or a video, this feature will format the post to that particular medium. Since I primarily post in regular text and images, I leave this setting at “Standard.”

5. Share your post with the world

You’ve spent hours writing and perfecting your post before publishing it. The next step is critical in getting readers to it. I always share my posts through a variety of mediums: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flipboard, etc. I take the extra steps in sharing my new post inside the many Facebook groups in which I participate.  For Pinterest, I highly recommend you try out Tailwind. It is doing wonders for my blog traffic and engagement!

6. Monetize your blog

If you are looking to make income with your blog, and don’t want to rely on Google Adsense, affiliate links are fantastic income producers. If you find the opportunity to incorporate an affiliate link to promote a product that relates to your post, do it. I wrote a very informative post on how to make the most of affiliate links. I recommend checking it out, as well as my post on how to make passive income with affiliate marketing.

7. Useful tools and resources

The following articles are tools and resources to help you in your blogging journey:

That’s it! I hope these tips will help you on your quest to starting and running a very successful blog!

Have fun!

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Start 2018 Off With Book Outlet!

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

Get $5 Free to Spend at Book Outlet

Cheers! It’s 2018 and I can’t believe we’re already starting a brand new year! With the holidays over, it’s time to start getting your life back in order and focus on yourself. Did you make a resolution yet? Whether you know exactly what you want to accomplish this year or if you’re not sure, let Book Outlet help!

With a large variety of books at a fraction of the cost that big box retailers offer, you’ll be able to find anything you need. With so many ideas waiting for you, here are some of my suggestions to start the new year with.

Start 2018 Off With Book Outlet!

START A NEW HOBBY

Ever wanted to learn how to crochet or sew your own clothes? Check out the crafts and hobbies selection for some amazing tutorial books. You can even learn how to make jewelry and start a new business or ramp up the kid’s creativity with kid-friendly craft options.

Shop Crafts & Hobbies!

IMPROVE HEALTH & FITNESS

Everyone is sure to be starting some type of diet or hitting the gym all week this month, but forget the fad. Instead, resolve to make a true lifestyle change and have a healthier year. With a diverse selection of healthy recipe books, you can start cooking at home and not only help your body, but your wallet too. Also, find the right workout that you can do at home to easily add to your daily routine with any of the workout books Book Outlet has.

Shop Health & Fitness!

TRY A NEW RECIPE

Speaking of recipes, Book Outlet has a great category for everything food and wine. Maybe your resolution is spending more quality time with the family or maybe you want to fine tune your cooking skills. Find a helpful cookbook and try out some recipes! If you burn everything, you have a whole year to perfect it.

Shop Cooking, Food, & Wine!

FIND PERSONAL PEACE

Everyday life can be hard and stressful, find your inner peace for a better new year. Explore different religious teachings that can help you find what’s missing. You can also start small by decluttering and organizing, or reinvent yourself with some self-help books.

Shop Religion & Spirituality!

Whatever you’re looking for to bring you a new and exciting 2018, you can find a hand to get it done with Book Outlet. Be sure to check out all of their categories to see what else you can find!

Shop All Categories at Book Outlet! Here’s to a happy new year!

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Hey Dads, Time to Think About Valentine’s Day!

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

You’re probably reading this post and thinking, What? It’s New Year’s Eve. Valentine’s Day is a month and a half away. Trust me when I say this, dads, but it’s NEVER too early to start planning for that special day. You and I both know stores will put away their Christmas merchandise and roll out the Valentine’s Day merchandise within the next few days.

Dads, I can’t stress it enough. Valentine’s Day is one of the rare days in the year that you need to make perfect for the special woman in your life. Don’t screw it up.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to find a great gift every year. Whenever this happens to me, I almost always turn to jewelry. Jewelry is almost a win-win for the special woman in your life – especially for the woman who loves anything to do with fashion. If you know her likes and dislikes, you can make your jewelry shopping experience so much easier.

If you are going to go the jewelry route, let me highly recommend a great company to you, Jeulia. Jeulia.com is one of the top jewelry online stores worldwide specializing in unique and innovated jewelry for every occasion and offering more than 1000 flawless jewelry in a wide variety including engagement rings, black diamond rings and birthstone jewelry.

As always, I strive to share only those products I highly recommend and/or use myself. I’m proud to be an affiliate for Jeulia. As an affiliate, I’m able to offer these special discounts to you today. Here are some of the great deals Jeulia has going on right now:

 

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