from the mailbag

From the Mailbag: How to Build Up Your Blog

from the mailbag

I recently was emailed by another blogger, asking how I drove traffic to my blog. Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t have the traffic of some of the other mega bloggers. I do okay though! So I wrote back and detailed what has worked best for me personally.

I pretty much learned via trial and error. I do have a small group of bloggers that I definitely rely on for support and encouragement, and I have to say until that little team formed…things stayed a bit stagnant for awhile. I definitely suggest all bloggers carve out a little group within their niche. Blogging can be lonely, but it really doesn’t have to be.

I’m definitely not any kind of blogging guru, but I think it’s really important to pay forward the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the past few months. The truth is, blogging can be really hard work. What’s the point of putting in all that time and energy if no one is reading? Traffic is important, whether you care to make money from your blog or not.

So without further ado, here are 7 things I did for my own blog that really made a big difference:

  1. Moving to self hosted wordpress (I use hostgator for my hosting, they’ve been excellent thus far!). Google really started taking notice of me once I made the switch. Hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done for my blog.
  2. Having more white space on my blog. Less ads have actually lead me to making more money. It was hard for me to take down the ads at first. I was so scared taking them down would strip what little income I was earning, but honestly it increased my earnings! I used to have 2 whole sidebars FILLED with ads though. It was overwhelming and I think ads can be really intimidating to our readers. What we see as helpful (“of course they’ll want to see this ad for this incredibly relevant coupon site!”) they see as mess or as something to be wary of (“Oh, look at this blog, it’s plastered with ads…there probably isn’t any relevant content here”). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any ads or that you shouldn’t have sponsors. Just try to group your ads tastefully and keep them to a minimum.
  3. Getting more involved with other bloggers. I started involving myself more with other bloggers and commenting more on the “big” bloggers blogs, this sent a lot of good relevant traffic my way. Submit deals to them for them to link back credit to you, write guest posts for them, comment…just get them to notice you and than their readers will notice you. Don’t ever be spammy, and don’t try to make friends with anyone you don’t truly like. Relevant, interesting conversations on other blogs will do wonders for you. Spammy comments will likely be ignored, or even worse get you banned.
  4. Reviews/Giveaways. I have to say that they are almost essential to building up a decent following. I resisted doing them for awhile, because I really wanted to focus on frugal living and felt that reviews/giveaways would dim my efforts. Instead, I just wasn’t growing like I wanted to. When I started adding reviews/giveaways though, my readership started increasing exponentially.  It’s also really cool to get to try these cool new products AND to be able to “pay back” my readers a bit for being so great. So I’ve changed my view of reviews/giveaways and I’m MUCH more open to them now!
  5. Build up Facebook. I’ve had well over 1000 twitter followers for like…ever. And yet, those followers never seem to come to my blog! Twitter just doesn’t do it for me. Facebook does. My pageviews per month increase as my Facebook followers do. I just hit 1000 Facebook followers and my pageviews are the highest they have ever been! The best way to build up Facebook that I have found is to run Facebook fan only giveaways, where all they have to do is “like” you to enter. So many giveaways are so difficult to enter nowadays, an easy Facebook only entry is a breath of fresh air.
  6. What you earn, invest right back into your blog and your readers. Just keep making it better and offering more incentives (both financially and content-wise) to your readers and you will grow! Remember, you would have none of that change in your pocket if it weren’t for your readers. Give back to them and give freely. This does not mean you can never profit, or that you can provide crappy content if you just pay your readers. It does mean that, just like anything else, investing in your business is always a wise course of action.
  7. Whenever you do a giveaway, be sure to submit them to all of the directories here on my friend LeeAnn’s blog.

These are just a few of the best traffic building techniques I’ve used for my own blog. What builds traffic to your blog might differ, but hopefully if you are struggling this list will help you out a bit! I wrote a bit more about traffic building techniques a few months ago, so be sure to check out that article as well.

What do you do to generate traffic to your blog? Tell me in the comments!


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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

7 thoughts on “From the Mailbag: How to Build Up Your Blog”

  1. I love your giveaways! I also think having less ads (more white space) helps the overall look of the blog too. 🙂

  2. Great tips. I am pretty much a newbie to this. How do you get into doing reviews/giveaways? Is there something special or do you just start reviewing items that you have and love??

    1. Jessica, you can start doing that…but I recommend just contacting some companies. You know what? I think I’ll compile a list of places to look for reviews. I know this was tough for me at first. To start though, Country Bob’s is ALWAYS very blogger friendly. Definitely contact them.

      You will get a lot of no’s…but then you will start getting a lot of yes’s!

      Also, do you do swagbucks? Consider giving away the $5 amazon gift cards you earn. Those actually can build up your following pretty nicely, which will in turn get you better products to review/giveaway!

  3. How do I sign up to be in yo ur “group” lol. I am a military wife and I swear they are the hardest group of people I have ever met to support one another. I am looking for other bloggers to do giveaways with and help each other.I have the followers just not the “team bloggers” yet lol. So if you are willing to take on a fellow blogger I would be greatful!

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