I’ve just reached my first year anniversary, and am feeling very pleased with myself for persevering! For someone who doesn’t write, it’s been an interesting journey, so I thought I’d share with you some things I’ve learnt.
First of all, to put things in perspective, I’ll go through some of my statistics with you. This is actually a bit embarrassing, a bit like revealing my measurements or my bank account balance, but let’s do it anyway.
Followers 79 Following 170 Posts 104 (including this one) Views 4453 Visitors 2616 Likes 432 Comments 67
My stats are low, and I’m sure many of you newbies have already surpassed them. The point is, despite these low stats I’m proud of my achievement and it hasn’t put me off from blogging. This takes me to my first point. Write for yourself, because you want to, not because you want people to follow you. Of course you’ll feel a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction if you get a lot of followers, everybody does. But if you get too obsessed with stats which doesn’t grow, then I guarantee you’re not going to make it to your first birthday here.
Second, despite what I’ve said above, you’ll still want to know how to increase traffic. Did you know that on average 21 posts are posted on WordPress every second?! WordPress is a community, and blogging is all about networking. Everybody will tell you to go out and network. The key is, don’t just like others’ posts, because that’s easy and frankly speaking a bit lazy because all you have to do is click click click. Leave a comment, follow them if you like their blog, and most will do the same in return. If someone leaves you a comment, always respond, I think its rude not to, a bit like ignoring a stranger if they say hello to you. If someone follows me, I always follow them back. Some say you should only follow blogs that you like, but the way I see it, if someone buys you a drink at the bar, its only polite for you to buy the next round. But the most important thing is, if you only follow blogs that you’re interested in, you could be missing out on interesting topics that you’ve never thought of reading. Blogging is not only about writing, it’s also about reading. Following back others is a great way to add variety to your reading.
Third, quality over quantity. Don’t just post any old rubbish because you haven’t posted for a while, your followers deserve better than this. On the other hand, don’t leave it for too long if you can help it because you might end up giving up. I aim to post twice a week, but it has ranged from 4 to 13 posts a month. I don’t keep a blogging schedule because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. If I want to post and have a blockage, the Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges are great for inspiration. It’s also a fantastic way to network.
Here are some other tips which you might find helpful:
- I try to keep my posts to around 500 words (this one is an exception). Everyone is so busy nowadays, so it’s a bit unrealistic to expect them to spend too long reading just your post
- photos speaks a thousand words, and is great for breaking up the text in a long post
- get a friend to look at your blog from their mobile or PC to make sure it’s user friendly and easy to navigate around. Some older themes don’t work well on mobile phone
- don’t clutter your page with widgets that doesn’t add any value. It’s quite annoying to have to keep scrolling down before they reach your post
- tags helps people to find your post so use them, but you don’t actually need to show them on your page. Once readers have got to your post, tags are kind of irrelevant then. It also helps to de-clutter your page
- finally back to the million $ question – use social media to reach more followers. You already have a group of ready made followers through your Facebook friends. I often share my posts to relevant Facebook interest groups and am seeing a gradual increase in followers. However that’s all I use outside of WordPress. The more social media you post, the more effort is required to manage and network, so be prepared to invest your time in order to reap the rewards.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful and aren’t put off by the hard work. If you have any of your own tips, please do let me know or leave me a comment. Let’s start networking here!