How’s it going?
I know…no food picture up there. Weird, right?
That’s because today I’ve decided to take a little break from baking (break from baking–say that three times fast) and address the question most frequently emailed to me.
“How do I get more people to read or comment on my blog?”
First off, let me be clear that I am no expert. Most of the time I just bake what sounds good, take a few photos and type whatever is on my mind. And what I type usually has NOTHING to do with the dessert I’ve posted (even though sometimes I try to tie it in somehow like I planned the whole thing).
The fact that people are regularly taking the time to send ME an email asking such a question blows my mind. But it also deserves the best answer I can give. So here is all I know.
1. Reach out to another blogger who is new as well.
Now listen–I read every single one of my comments. And there are many of you who comment regularly, and I look forward to reading what you have to say and I miss you and always notice when you aren’t here.
With that being said, I unfortunately don’t have the time to visit the blog or email every person who comments on each post. Not because I don’t love you all, but because I am a human, not a robot and I tried to pay my son to do it for me but it turns out that he can’t read yet. So…yeah. No help there.
Part of growing is having a good support system. And finding someone who is in your position and understands where you want to go helps tremendously. Find a few women (or men) you feel a connection with, and reach out to them. Trade links for each other’s blogrolls and bounce ideas off one another. It helps a TON.
2. Insert your personality–please!!
I look at my relationship with my readers like any other relationship in my life. If I am not willing to be giving of myself, I can’t expect anyone else to be giving of themselves either. Comments, emails, sharing your blog links on Facebook and Twitter…all that takes the valuable time and energy of your readers.
So let your readers KNOW YOU. The very worst thing you can do is either lie or not share any of yourself at all. It makes you seem untrustworthy, and readers will be hesitant to invest time getting to know you.
3. Write like you talk and think.
It’s as simple as that, I promise.
And please, don’t stress out over punctuation and sentence structure. If your personality shines through and your readers love what you have to say, no one will really care about any of that.
But keep in mind that this is coming from someone who didn’t go to college. So…yeah.
4. Engage, engage, engage.
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I am all about social media. And with good reason–it gives me a more informal forum to connect with my readers. I can ask questions, share things that happened during my day, and respond to questions. Same with Twitter–it is a very open and easy way to carry on a conversation with my readers. And unlike email, it’s live and always moving.
If you want your blog to grow quickly, you need to close the gap between you and your readers. And in MY opinion, social media is the very best way to do that.
5. It’s not all about the free stuff.
Many people start a blog with dreams of big opportunities to work with brands, huge giveaways, and maybe even a free appliance or two.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. And even if it IS, if that’s what you are after, it becomes abundantly clear to your readers and is very off putting.
When I am presented with an opportunity, these are the questions I ask myself:
If you develop a habit of doing posts that are completely irrelevant to your blog it will create distance between you and your reader, and you will be suffering the effects of that long after the money or products you received are gone.
6. Stop comparing your blog to other blogs.
The whole reason you started a blog was because you thought you had something to contribute that wasn’t out there already. So why on earth are you holding yourself to any other standard that the best YOU can do?
The truth is, you never know what is going on behind the scenes of any blog. For instance–my son is in kindergarten. Instead of going to a normal job while he is at school, I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home (in a quiet kid-free house) and blog. So for a single mom of three kids working a full time job and blogging on the side to compare herself to me would be doing herself a HUGE disservice.
Seriously, I have it easy compared to so many of you. So whatever you do, please always keep that in mind.
7. Never do anything that doesn’t feel right.
This includes blogging relationships. Bloggers are savvy women–and most of the time, that’s a good thing. But sometimes, you’ll run across someone who is only looking out for their own best interests. If you’re feeling wary, or used, or like you’re being dragged into something you don’t want to be involved in, step away. Or click away. It’s easy, and there are plenty of other fabulous bloggers out there who will care about what is best for YOU.
The thing I HATE about doing this post is that I feel that I am making it sound like I’m an expert. So to clarity again–I am NOT a blogging professional.
I’m a mom, with too many cookies in the pantry, a head of lettuce that’s gone bad in my crisper, and a basket full of socks that need paired that I’ve put off for a month.
For those of you that have reached out to me for advice, this is the best I can do. I hope it helps.
Have a happy Tuesday and thanks so much for stopping by!!
**Did you know I’ll be in New York City next week?! I’ve dreamt of going my whole life (it’s my destiny…I’m certain of it) and my husband surprised me with a trip for our anniversary. I’ve got TONS of fabulous guest posts scheduled for the next week or so and I’ll be on Facebook and Twitter, so feel free to follow and chat with me there!!