How To Grow Your Blog: A 12-Step Guide

I’ve noticed that some blogs magically grow followers, and others do not. Today I wanted to give some tips and tricks on how to gain followers.

I have gained quite a lot of followers over the past year (I’m still a bit baffled by how many of you are following me) and I think I might be able to help out those who are struggling.

Take notice, this is not a guide on how to make blogger friends or how to be famous or anything like that. This is just on how to gain followers and increase engagement. For me, engagement (commenting, liking, reading, sharing, etc) is still much of a mystery, so I’ll be mainly talking about followers.

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The Basics

1. A nice design

Having a good-looking design on your blog is more important than you’d think. A design is the first thing a person sees when they go to your blog, so you have to make sure it looks presentable. It does not have to look like it is super professional or anything, as long as it represents your style.

Some pointers for having a nice design:

  • Have a consistent color scheme (mine is purple and yellow)
  • Have a header
  • Use featured images for your posts (some people make special ones for each post, I do not)
  • Use dividers in your post (you know, like my swirly yellow thing. This cuts long pieces of text into small bite-sized pieces.)

2. Ease of use & navigation

Naturally, your blog has to be easy to use and navigate, but it is not always the case. Quite a few blogs do not have a search bar (THIS IS SO IMPORTANT GUYS) or have no menus or don’t enable you to go to a category of posts. Make use of a main menu to make it easy to find the posts someone might be looking for. Divide your posts into categories and use those categories to make it easy to find a post.

3. Make it easy to follow

Another thing that is surprisingly often not done: add a follow button to your sidebar or menu bar or anywhere, so that you can immediately follow the blog.

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The Content

4. Don’t focus solely on reviews

This might seem counter-intuitive, because book blogging is about reviews, right? Well, no. Book blogging is much more than just reading books and reviewing them. I am not saying that if you do only write reviews, your blog is bad, but most likely, it will not gain followers as much as you’d like. Many followers are there for other things than reviews, and want to know you as a blogger (which is hard to do if you only write reviews). In fact, if I come across a blog with only reviews, I am very unlikely to follow them, unless I really like the blogger.

5. Create original content (features, memes, tags)

Creating original content does a lot for your following, I believe. Back in November, I created my own weekly meme, and many bloggers are now partaking in it, and I think that is also where a lot of my followers came from. Other things you can do are creating your own features (weekly/biweekly/monthly returning things for on your own blog), writing discussions and lists and creating your own tag (such as I did in… December? And just the other week with the Book Mashup Tag).

6. Take part in link-ups

Some bloggers organize link-ups in which everybody creates a post on a certain topic or does a certain meme and you can link your own post to theirs. And if all of the people taking part do this, you can go through other’s blog posts and comment and follow. This can really help you get new followers. I cannot say I’ve participated in these often, but they are fun. I believe you can do a link-up for Top 10 Tuesday, which is definitely something you can consider taking part in!

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The Social Stuff

7. Applaud commenting

Having commenters is wonderful, it makes people more engaged in your content and above all, is much fun! However, getting people to comment can sometimes be tricky. If you want people to interact with the content on your blog, first of all, make it easy to do so. You can use questions at the end of posts that people can answer, especially for long posts about a lot of things, this can be very helpful because it gives some guidance on what to comment. Another thing is to reply to comments, always try to reply to comments because that’s not only how you get to know people but also will make them return to your blog.

8. Link your social media

I have multiple social media and linking them is very helpful. Overall, it is relatively easy to gain twitter followers and sharing your content on twitter is a really good idea! I found a lot of my now-favourite bloggers via twitter and it is really easy to connect. I also have my blog linked on my goodreads and instagramย (and also tumblr but who uses tumblr?? I don’t.). You can automate social media sharing in wordpress and then you don’t even have to press a single button!

 

9. Shameless self-promo

Don’t be embarrassed about sharing your blog links or social media, especially online, it is really okay. Just please do not ask people directly to follow you, that is just rude and can make it really uncomfortable. If you’re taking part in a twitter chat or are talking to people online, sharing your url is overall really appreciated!

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And then what’s left

10. Consistency

Consistency in your posting schedule will not only help you gain followers, but also will help yourself with maintaining your blog and not giving up. I have given myself a schedule, telling me when I post which type of post and how many posts I will have to write. This might make it seem like it’s becoming a must instead of a fun activity, but for me it’s completely not. It makes me aware of everything I have to do or want to do in a week and I can plan ahead. It also helps me massively to stay motivated. But, be aware, your schedule is not set in stone, youย do not have to post if you don’t feel like posting. It’s a guidance, not a rule to follow your schedule.

11. Have fun

Blogging is about having fun so don’t care too much about following numbers (I know a bit strange coming from someone who just wrote 900 words on how to gain followers). What is most important is that you are having fun with what you do and that will show in your posts. Therefore it will make people more likely to follow. Blogging should not be a chore but a hobby. So don’t be hard on yourself.

12. Luck

If you’ve ever read a success story, you might have thought: why? Why is it that they succeeded and other’s didn’t? Because for every success story there are a dozen stories of failure that are never told. Well, the thing is, with hard work, dedication and originality, you might get far, but what you really need is luck. Don’t be discouraged if your stats are low, sometimes it’s just random, but sometimes there are reasons. Try to find out what’s going wrong, and don’t worry too much about it if it seems to be random.

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What do you do to gain followers? Do you do any of these steps? Do you struggle with gaining followers? Why do you think this is? Did you find my post helpful?

[this is what I meant by adding questions at the end of your post]

62 thoughts on “How To Grow Your Blog: A 12-Step Guide

      1. I made them myself in photoshop, but I know there are websites on which you can easily make them but I don’t know which they are sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Very insightful post….thanks for all the very relevant tips……ultimately it’s a collection of multiple focus areas to really make a blog grow and attract people who will be interested in it……for me i have discovered Pinterest group boards and twitter sharing very effective for the same….pinterest activity is a must….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Consistency is definitely the most important! There have been numerous times where I didn’t have time to blog hop and I found my blog traffic suffered BIG TIME so I think it’s really important to just constantly being active and a big presence within the community ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve already done some of these but it hasn’t made a difference ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And to make matters worse been struggling to write posts lately because of work. I think it’s just luck and joining blog websites and groups hasn’t helped either but never mind I enjoy it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! I really like the way you wrote this, it has a bit of humour to go along with your points. It was all great advice, and I’m not going to lie, for each point I read, I was like in my head ‘do I have that?’ I never get tired of reading these kinds of posts because there are always areas you can improve on as a blogger, and every blogger has a different perspective and might notice something another didn’t. There was definitely a lot to take away here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post, Lia!! I definitely agree that you can put a lot of hard work into your blog and it can just boil down to plain LUCK. But doing all the things you said will DEFINITELY help raise the possibility of getting more followers. And yesssss to a good design, because while you may think it’s shallow, it’s really not. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE THIS POST. What you say about luck is totally true, some posts just donโ€™t do as well as others, and that is okay. And omg nice designs. .. if there isnโ€™t a nice design, or itโ€™s too difficult to navigate the blog (or just review after review) Iโ€™m probably not going to be a able to cope with it ahah a

    Liked by 1 person

  7. haha i love the way you ended this post! i think i do most of these things on my blog! i try to follow other people too who write about similar subjects because i know when someone new follows me i like to check out what their blog is about too and then usually follow back. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post! I’d also add that following other blogs and commenting on other people’s posts helps a lot. People tend to check out your blog if you followed them, and most of the time follow back. Same thing with commenting. People will check out your stuff if you leave a thoughtful comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Duude, I definitely need to try and implement some of these! A great post! I love blogging but I’m often just too tired/lazy to do much around promo-ing or participating in community stuff. (Which I’d really like to change.) (But also, you know, it’s cool if I want to have my blog as a personal things because I do have a lot of other stuff going on my life.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it ๐Ÿ˜€
      Yeah, I don’t do a lot of promo & participating in community stuff anymore, I just don’t really have the time, though it is really helpful to do though! I try to do as much as I can and can find the motivation for haha
      Yeah it’s definitely cool to have your blog personal, what’s most important is that you enjoy it and then follower count shouldn’t matter!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh this is such a great post, I love all of your advice here – definitely helps TONS in gaining new followers. I agree that there is a little bit of luck coming with it, sometimes you might do everything in your power, yet you’ll grow slowly, while other bloggers blogging for, like, a month, already have 500+ followers. I think my best tip and the one I prefer following here, is the interaction, because it both helps in growing your blog and it makes us talk to fabulous people ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yeah luck is a weird thing. It has definitely gotten me jealous over people who got a lot of followers in the first few weeks! Interaction is definitely key! Interacting with your own followers as well as commenting on other people’s blogs works very well!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. These are all fantastic tips! I feel like it’s a mixture of the work you put in and luck. You have to put some work in, but at the same time there have been those crazy success stories of people who just start and their followers jump so high. But this is great post full of wonderful information!

    Liked by 1 person

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