The Number One Thing I Did to Increase My Blog Traffic

A lot of people ask me about starting a blog and how I got readers. I found one thing that made a HUGE difference in my blog traffic. If you look at my blog stats from where I started with my first post to now, you can see exactly when I implemented this strategy, and how I went from about 200 views a month to 20,000.

StatsScreen

So here’s the big secret: I owned it. I basically “came out” as a blogger. Meaning I put it everywhere and I told everyone about it, and I told people it’s what I do instead of just acting like it was a little hobby or not important. I made it important.

I had my first blog for probably 10 years, and I thought I had a good readership. Overall I got maybe 2000 views a month. I wrote about my costume shop, cosplay events and conventions. I never had very many comments or likes, and I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I had no idea how big a blog could be once you really focus on it.

So how do you make it important?

First, make sure your blog is on all your social profiles. I started getting a lot of traffic from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when I started sharing my posts there. Then I created a LinkedIn account, put on there that I was a blogger and linked my blog. I felt pretty official after that!

I also got a little more focused and accepted the mom blog thing. At first, I wanted a mostly geek-centered blog with crafting, plus movie and book reviews. But what I really enjoyed writing most was my personal stories and doing product reviews. So instead of a geeky blog run by a mom, it became a mom blog with a dash of geek. Once I had a focus, I felt more confident telling people I was a blogger because I felt more secure about answering the usual questions that follow, like, “What’s your blog about?”

It’s been six months since I made the change and became a blogger, not just someone with a blog. While the change was sudden, it takes some dedication to keep the momentum. I notice my stats slipping when I get quiet and stop sharing or commenting on other blogs. It does take at least a small amount of engagement to bring in new readers and stay connected with current ones.

So that’s the big secret. If you want to BE a blogger, you have to let everyone else know you ARE a blogger. Even if it’s just in your own mind to start, lol.

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So what’s your number one strategy for increasing blog traffic?

I Don’t Read Your Blog, and Here’s Why

I’m just going to come right out and say a lot of “Mom Blogs” annoy me. They are so bogged down with ads and giant photos that I can’t even figure out where the article starts and ends, but I can figure out where to buy a Vitamix blender, save on auto insurance and get the latest bundle on Direct TV.

I know, I know…you’re just trying to make a little money, right? Utilize all that advertising space? But do you have to do it RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of your damn blog post? It’s at the top, bottom, sidebars and sandwiched all up in there so much that I’m thinking maybe this is really just a GEICO ad that somehow got meshed with an informative piece on dealing with tantrums (observation based on an article that inspired this post, that pushed me over the edge and almost made me have a tantrum)

So here’s my Top 5 List of Reasons Why I Just Can’t Read Your Blog:

1 – Your photos are enormous, so they take forever to load and dominate the page. If you have a photography blog, great, that makes sense. But if you are trying to tell me a story and break up your text with HUGE photos, it’s just annoying. I post photos. Sometimes they are on the larger side, but I try not to have them dominate the text.

2 – You have large blocks of uninterrupted text. Writing for the Internet is different and massive paragraphs without line breaks make it hard to follow. You need to break it up and throw in a photo now and then. Just not a giant one.

3 – You have pop-ups. Does Anyone like these? No. My first instinct is to go around clicking all the little x’s to make them go away. I don’t even care what they say.

4 – Ads everywhere. Look, I understand we need to make a little extra money and even I have given WordPress Word Ads a try, but when they are at the top, at the bottom, in the freakin middle of your blog post…I can’t concentrate on the text at all.

5 – You don’t proofread. Spell check was invented for a reason, use it! And don’t stop there, read over everything and edit for grammar, punctuation, etc. We all make typos, but repeatedly doing so throughout the blog just makes it painful to read. And I know I’m not perfect, but I do make a considerable effort to proofread several times before ever pressing publish. (except that one time I published my rough draft and then wanted to scream and hide under a rock)

internet-marketing-jokes

Now I know what you are thinking…except for maybe #5, all these things are being done by popular blogs that actually make money. So maybe the trick to making money blogging is to cater to the advertiser and your google stats, and not the reader. And if that’s your thing, then you didn’t get into this for the love of writing and that’s OK. Since I started blogging I’ve learned there are ALL types of blogs from the personal diaries to product reviewers to business machines where you buy into a blog network and craft it to appeal to your local community. There’s short stories, poetry, beauty blogs, foodies, overall lifestyle blogs and my personal niche, the mommy blog. There’s a blog for everything and everybody!

But if you are going to put the time into writing articles you want people to be able to read and enjoy, just please clean it up a little, cut out a few ads and make it easier to read. I’m incredibly distracted already, I don’t need your flashing pop-ups and wallpaper sized photos competing for my limited attention.

 

The Mommy Blog Identity

Top Mommy BlogsIt used to bug the crap out of me when I’d see “mom” in someone’s bio. True story. I was like, I see you’re a mom, I feel that’s one of those things you don’t really have to tell me. The entire “Mommy Blog” trend annoyed me. I thought separating them into their own category was just silly. This was of course because I had no idea what I was talking about.

So now, here I am, with “mom” usually first in my short bio. It took me so long to become a mom, that people are just lucky I don’t walk around wearing a badge that loudly proclaims my mom status. Oh wait. I’m usually dragging a toddler while wearing clothing with various food smears and have Cheerios in my hair. I think that speaks for itself.

Today I got the message that my blog was finally accepted into the Top Mommy Blogs website. For some reason, it made me feel a little more official. Maybe because I got a cute cartoon badge. (Go ahead! Click it! It’s a vote for my blog) But also because I decided to embrace the fact that yes, I am a Mommy Blogger. That’s what I enjoy writing about the best – being a mom and raising my son and all the crazy things that come with it. <3

 

 

Bloggy Stuff

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I have been signing up for blog sites as I find them. Trying out Bloglovin, which requires you to do a random post with the html code in the top. I thought it would be weird to just have that post floating there with no explanation (like, why can’t I stick it in a side widget or something?) so I decided to turn it into and actual post.

I would love to hear what sites fellow bloggers are a part of and what is working or not working for you.

I’m currently waiting to hear back from Top Mommy Blogs. Anyone recall how long it took to get a response?

dog blogging