Hello! Sorry there’s been a bit of a delay in writing the next post in my Blog Tips Series, but I feel like I’ve been weirdly busy so haven’t had time to sit down and have a proper think. But, I’ve set aside some time so here’s the fourth installment of my little tips for new bloggers. I’ve tried really hard to not sound mean, but these are the topics that sort of frustrate me the most and the ones people mention most frequently when emailing me for advice (ie. why haven’t I gained any followers? I’ve been blogging for like three days. Seriously.), so please remember that’s it’s my opinion and not gospel.
Tip One: It Takes Hard Work | Gaining followers is hard, there’s no overnight trick to help you go from 1 to 1000. It takes time, effort and persistence to create a strong readership. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I blogged for about a year with around 10 followers. It didn’t bother me at the time, as I enjoyed (and still do) sharing the things I loved but I still think of it as a good reminder that building up your followers is a long process. I wasn’t promoting my blog whatsoever, producing very mediocre (not like it’s uhmayzing now) content and not really making an effort. It was only after I started using social media more, improving my blog overall and putting in the time that I started to see my follower number creep up.
I’ve already talked about using social media in this post and it is important to get the hang of it as early as you can. But, it’s only part of the follower building process, as you’ve got to think of everything as a whole. You could promote your blog until your fingers hurt from typing and, although you might get some traffic, it doesn’t always mean you’ll gain the followers. You’ve got to think ‘what would make people click follow or return to my blog?’ and look at everything from your content to your layout. If everything is as good as you could possibly make it (or to a standard you’re content with), then by all means crack on with the promotion as it will probably pay off! Remember though: It Takes Time. Don’t get too fixated on the numbers!
Tip Two: ‘Promotion’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Spam People’ | Following on from the above, promotion definitely doesn’t mean constantly blagging people’s heads in with your blog link. There’s absolutely no problem with leaving your blog link in a comment. In fact, most people encourage it as it helps people find new blogs (I certainly don’t mind. Send them to me. Send them all), but leaving your link plus links to four other posts or social media accounts is a bit much and will, more often than not, make people steer clear of your blog.
There also seems to be a new thing of mass emailing bloggers asking them to check out your blog. Why? I’ve received so many of these recently and not ONE has used the bcc: option and, instead, essentially spammed myself and hundreds of other bloggers with the same email. Now, I’m not saying it’s better if you bcc: (please, stop sending these emails full stop), but there’s better ways to go about promoting your blog rather than sending a mass email essentially begging people to look. That’s not me being mean, either, but that’s the way it comes across.
Twitter often leans the same way when you get some bloggers sending out the same ‘check out my blog’ link at a random time of the day to blogger after blogger. Again, sharing links is encouraged during blogger chats and people are always asking for them, but I (personally) find the statement of ‘look at my blog right now’ fairly off-putting, especially when in reply to a completely non-related tweet.
Follow for Follows are also one of those things that the majority of bloggers raise an eyebrow at. Especially the ‘follow my blog, let me know and I’ll follow back’ …so you’re not following my blog because you like it then? Only if I follow your first? To me, that isn’t someone I want sitting on my follower list. I like my followers to engage with my blog, to talk to me on social media and really get involved in the whole ‘community’ spirit that blogging does offer. Blogging would be pointless if it was completely one sided. It would just be me churning out posts to people who are never actually going to read them, mostly because they’re only following you because they got something for it. No thank you.
So, think about sharing your blog in a more natural way as mentioned in my social media post. Leave a link in a comment and try not to spam people. Nobody likes spam, guyz.
Tip Three: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others | This is something I used to do a lot, but recently stopped myself as it really doesn’t do you any good. When you’re first starting out, it’s really easy to put yourself down when you look at the ‘big’ bloggers doing so well. Their follower numbers are huge, comments are always plenty and the overall enormity and popularity of the blog and its influence on people is often quite daunting, especially as an aspiring blogger.
But, there’s one thing I always remember and have done from day one: They all started at 0.
Everyone, from the lovely llymlrs to Kate from gh0stparties to Rumi from fashiontoast, all started from the basic idea of wanting to share things with people. They’ve all combined working hard over the years with promotion to get where they are now and I congratulate each and every ‘successful’ blogger for getting off their arse and putting in the effort. I’d rather appreciate the content they produce, take some tips and make mental notes of how they do it and apply the same work ethic to my blog, rather than sitting around moaning that I’ll never be popular like a nerd in a teen film. It’s much better to aspire to do as well as another blogger than negatively compare and put yourself down because you aren’t at their level yet. ‘Yet’ being the word here, because you will get there. It’ll take time and effort, but aslong as you appreciate and acknowledge that you bring something new to blogging and people want to read what you have to say, then you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.
Hope you find these vaguely useful, even though they were more of a rant than straight up tips haha. If you want me to cover any particular topic in future, please do let me know! (seriously. do)