The Girl Creative has been my “baby” since 2009 but I started blogging long before then. I am not an expert and I don’t have all the answers or know every secret to growing your blog but I’ve learned a few things this past year and have come up with this list of 6 Tips for Growing Your DIY Blog and Increasing Traffic. This post is not the end all in growing your blog and I’m sure there are many other ways. These are just some things that have worked for me and I wanted to share the wealth! Holla!
1. Join GROUP Boards on Pinterest
This alone has seriously helped grow my blog tons! In case you are wondering, group boards on Pinterest are boards that belong to one main person but have numerous contributors who pin to it. Joining group boards is by invitation only and not all group boards are open to just anyone. You will know if the board is open to new pinners by what’s in the description. Many will give group rules along with what you need to do to score an invite. The benefit of belonging to a group board is that the number of followers is higher so that means more exposure. Not all group boards have a huge following, but there are a lot that do. To find group boards to apply to, look through some of your favorite bloggers boards and see which ones have a little grey icon that looks like a group of people. Those are group boards. Read the description and see how you can apply to become a contributor.
2. Be Active on Social Media.
If you have a blog, then you should definitely be active on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon and Instagram. It’s best to focus on one or 2 social media sites and really work those. If I had to narrow down which 2 to focus on it would be Pinterest and Google+. That is just my opinion. Pinterest is hands down my number one referrer. It has changed blogging altogether (for the good and bad – but that’s another post!) This not to say that you shouldn’t promote your content all over the place but if you are going to invest any time online, focus on 2. Promote yourself AND promote others!!! Promoting others will take you a long way!
3. Use a Pin Scheduling Service
I personally belong to Ahalogy. The people who run this site are AMAZING! They have done. their. homework. and know when the best time to PIN is. Ahalogy allows you to schedule pins from your site and from other sites and it will automatically pin during peak times on Pinterest. You will see your rate of repins increase by using an auto scheduler. Seriously, you will. Combine #2 and #3 and you will see an increase in traffic, I promise you. Another pin scheduling service is Viral Tag. I don’t have any personal experience with it but have heard good things about it.
4. Join/Start a Tribe
Don’t get all “Uh, but I’m not an American Indian”on me . That’s not what I mean by “tribe”. (he he he) A tribe is a group of like bloggers who are committed to supporting and promoting each others blogs. Imagine how far your reach will go when you aren’t just promoting yourself but other bloggers are promoting you too! There is strength in numbers! In my experience, smaller tribes work better. Get yourself a group of anywhere from 5-12 bloggy friends start a tribe. Facebook and Google+ groups are great places to set one up. You decide together how your tribe will work. Will you have one thread each week to put links to your blog posts/pins that you’d like promoted? Will you have one thread each day dedicated to a different form of social media? Once you have your gaggle of girls together, work out the details and come up with something that works for you. A tribe is not just great for cross-promoting but it’s an awesome place to bounce ideas off each other and just to be supportive of this crazy thing we call blogging.
5. Content, Content, Content – Photography, Photography, Photography
If you build it, they will come. Or rather, if you build it AND take great photos, they will come. In the Pinterest age we are living in, you need to be able to take a decent photo. My photography has improved a ton since I first started blogging. I bought myself a DSLR camera last year and started reading tutorials on how to stop shooting in Auto and use Manual mode instead. That has been a big game changer for me. What also has been HUGE in improving my photos is shooting in natural light as opposed to using a flash. I don’t have a photo studio. Heck, I don’t even have one of those fancy light boxes to set my projects up in. This girl just sets up some foam board on her kitchen or living room floor next to the window or back door and snaps away. I do edit my photos but boy, shooting in natural light has made a big difference. Now, don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a DSLR camera. You can still take fantastic photos using your point and shoot camera (even your smartphone if you have one!!) just by shooting in natural light and ditching the flash. With that said, I have seen some “so so” photos go VIRAL on Pinterest because the content was just that good! So if nothing else, keep creating awesome content. Awesome content + great photos is the recipe for success.
6. Join Facebook/Google+ Share/Support Groups
Dude. Up until last year some time, I had NO idea that there was such a thing as share/support groups for DIY bloggers. NO clue. Then one day I got invited to a DIY support group and was UH-MAZED at how many bloggers I recognized. Since then, I’ve seen groups pop up all over the place on Facebook and G+ serving different purposes. If you’re doing a roundup post and are looking for content to include, there’s a group for that. Want help promoting a particular blog post/PIN, there’s a group for that. Heard about Stumble Upon but not sure exactly how it works, there’s a group for that. It’s just amazing! This little piggy over here co-owns a GREAT group on Facebook called Blog it Forward and we’d love for you to join! Click HERE to join!
Now, if you always wanted to know how to make money blogging and how to get in on these sponsored posts you see all over blog land, Tara from A Spectacled Owl just wrote an amazing article, 70+ Media Companies and Networks for Bloggers that you will want to check out!
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