Last summer, I brought my blog from almost no readers to about 20,000 page views per month. I’m a huge proponent of working on your blog during the summer because: 1. it gives you something worthwhile to do while you’re not in class and 2. it’s satisfying. I wrote a post last summer that still continues to bring me traffic along with a bunch of other posts that have ended up being huge on my blog. My creative juices flow better in the summer. It’s a fact. Along with writing better content/being more inspired, I also did a number of things for my blog last summer that have really helped me to grow and connect with others!
I’m writing this post for those of you who have small blogs (or no blog at all!) and are wanting to start or grow your already existing blog. My blog was not always this put together, and I wasn’t always getting 20 comments per day. And I CERTAINLY wasn’t getting over 2,000 page views in one day (that happened this week and I was like, um what?!). This post is for all of you and I really hope it helps!
Make separate social media accounts.
Okay, I wrote a whole post on why separate social media accounts are for me, but I’ll give you my quick spiel now. It allows you to start from scratch, you can participate in as many Twitter chats as you want without feeling guilty, and you’ll be able to connect so much better with other bloggers/readers.
Last summer, I created my blog’s Instagram. It actually originated as a bookstagram, which I then changed username of to reflect my blog. Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms because it’s purely visual and you have a ton of creative freedom with it! I post pics of anything from food to books to my desk to planners to my view that day. It’s super fun to see the world through other blogger’s eyes and I love it. If you don’t already have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Bloglovin’ page, and Pinterest for your blog… work on that this summer! Work on creating your pages, advertising them on your blog, and growing your following. Also make sure these accounts are all PUBLIC!
Switch to self-hosted.
I made the switch from blogger to self-hosted WordPress last summer and I am SO glad I did. At first, I was super overwhelmed and a little confused about how it all worked but I feel like my blog is so much more professional now and I feel like a true “big girl” blogger because I own all of my own content and it feels good!
If being self-hosted is not for you, you can also better your blog by investing in a pretty, professional theme or making the plunge and buying your domain. Both are really great steps to take for your blog and can instantly make it seem more legit!
Join some Networks + monetize your blog.
Last summer I took the plunge and joined some Networks to get my foot in the door working with companies. I had my first sponsored post written by the end of the summer! I still work with a lot of the same networks now that I applied for last summer. I encourage you to do some research and only apply to networks that you think will give you opportunities that are in line with your blog + brand! Here are some networks that I applied to last summer (some of these are affiliate links meaning, if you sign up I get a small commission!):
Join blogging Facebook groups + group Pinterest boards.
I joined a TON of Facebook groups over the past year. These groups are the perfect place to promote your blog posts, get feedback from other bloggers, and learn a thing or two! Some of my favorites include: The Millennial Blogger Network, The InfluenceHer Collective, #BloggingCollege, Gal Pal Girl Gang, and The Blogging Elite.
For most of these groups, you’ll have to fill out an application to join. Be sure to also read the rules before you join because a lot of groups frown upon JUST self-promoting and encourage more discussion and sharing of others’ posts instead of just your own.
If you join these groups, chances are you’ll be able to join their Pinterest group boards as well. Group Pinterest boards are awesome for getting your stuff out there to other bloggers and Pinners. I love finding new blog posts through group boards!
Set goals for yourself.
I keep a notebook that’s filled with ALL things blogging related. I bought this notebook last summer and on the first page I wrote a list of blogging goals for the year. It’s so fun to look back on them to see which ones I accomplished, what goals were my “priority” at the time, and how my blog is different from how it was back then.
I also love to write blog posts about my goals and aspirations for the blog. I just wrote one about my goals for this summer and I’ve already been working towards the goals and can even cross a few things off my list!
Participate in Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are a ton of fun and are a great way to meet new bloggers! Some chats even allow guest hosts, which is something I did last summer and had so much fun with it. Take to Google and search around for a list of Twitter chats that interest you! Last summer I also started my own Twitter chat and Facebook group, Blogging College. I met so many awesome girls through it and I love that I’ve created my own little community for bloggers. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments in the blog world.
Above all else, you should be having fun blogging. If at any point blogging feels like a chore or something you’re not in love with, you should take a break. I was having SO much fun last summer, and I truly believe that is a big part of why my blog grew so much. I was coming up with posts I wanted to write about and I was having fun promoting and bettering my blog.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment, shoot me an email, or fill out this Google form and I’ll talk about it in a future YouTube video!