Ways to Better Your Blog This Summer

Ways to Better Your Blog This Summer

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!):

IzeaInfluenceHer Collective (formerly HerCampus Blogger Network), LinqiaPollinate Media GroupAcorn Influence

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.

Have fun!

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!

Follow:
  • Molly O’Connor

    You’ve inspired me to create a twitter for my blog! I’m not a big twitter person, so I’ll be doing so looking around to see how others use it and what all a twitter chat entails!! :)

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

    • That’s awesome Molly! I’m glad I’ve inspired you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! I love Twitter, it’s such a great way to promote + connect with other bloggers.

  • I’ve really thought hard about making a separate Instagram for my blog. It’s so hard to build a new platform, though. I’ve thought about instead making a new Instagram to be my *personal* instagram, and then using my current one to work as my blog instagram.

    • That would be a good idea if you’re scared of starting from scratch! I thought it was easier to start with a fresh Instagram for my blog because it was easier to theme!

  • Amelie

    I’ve been thinking about taking the plunge to self-hosted, but I have to admit that it sort of scares me… haha. And you’re right, making separated social media accounts make SUCH a difference!

    Amelie | http://awanderersadventures.wordpress.com

    • It was really scary at first but I think it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my blog! The themes and plugins are totally worth it!

  • These are some great tips Kayla! I will definitely start putting these to use. Congrats on bringing up your traffic so much too! That’s amazing :)

    • Thank you Jillian! It was a lot of hard work + took a ton of time but I’m pretty proud haha.

  • I’m going to start applying and becoming a part of those networks you mentioned! I’m so ready to take the next step and start monetizing! What’s your experience like with Acorn?

    • I actually haven’t worked with Acorn yet, but it’s one that I know a lot of bloggers rave about!

  • These are awesome tips Kayla! I’m really working on bettering my blog this summer and I think that joining some networks would really help me to further monetize it – I’m glad you listed networks you like!! I’ll have to check those out :)

    X,
    Cristina
    cristinawashere.com

    • Thanks Cristina! Good luck and if you have any questions let me know!

  • Switching to self-hosted was one of best things that I did. I definitely want to improve my blog this summer as I am less busy.

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

    • Summer is the perfect time! I feel so much more legit now that I’m self hosted!

  • mckenna bleu

    These are all awesome tips to help a blog move a long smoothly this summer!

  • Shelby Howell

    All such great tips!! Summer is a perfect time to experiment with your blog theme + pre-schedule your posts! Thanks for sharing :)
    Shelby // thegolddime.com

    • Yes! I rarely ever pre-schedule posts but I’ve been doing it a lot this summer!

  • EdyeNicolesMakeup

    Awesome tips! I actually found this post through Pinterest :)

    Blessings,
    Edye | Gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com

    • Awesome! So glad you found this helpful Edye!

  • Love these tips, Kayla!
    xoxo, Jenny
    xoxo, Jenny

  • Thank you for this post, Kayla! I’m trying to focus on my blog a lot this summer! I wonder if there’s a network directory of some sort. I can’t wait to start monetizing and producing more content.

    Sunny | astoldbysunny.com

    • Yay! So glad you found this post helpful Sunny. Good luck growing your blog this summer!

  • Miss ALK

    Yes to separate Instagram accounts! I made a personal account last summer and still couldn’t be happier.

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • Yes! And I can post any pics that don’t fit my “theme” to my personal Insta haha.

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are all great tips Kayla! Will be sharing this on social media! :)
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  • Living in Full Bloom

    Lovely tips! I definitely agree summer time is a great time to work on your blog and feel like you’re doing something worthwhile (plus staying sharp for essay writing)!

    • Yes! Can’t forget about those essays! Thanks girl!

  • Birdie

    I love this! Most posts about bettering your blog are the same old stuff, but this list is a nice refreshing difference! Thanks for this, I’m looking forward to implementing some of these things with my own blog =D

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad I could provide you with some fresh ideas!

  • Kayleigh

    Such great ways to continue to expand!
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

  • Taylor Stanford

    This is a great post especially for someone like myself. I just decided recently to switch from a personal blog hosted on wordpress.com to self hosting and starting a whole new lifestyle blog. It has already been so fun to create and learn. This post has defintly shaped the way I am going to create content over the summer.

    • Thanks Taylor! I’m so glad you found it helpful. Good luck with your blog!

      • Taylor Stanford

        Thanks a ton!

  • Amy

    Such great tips girl! Def using this summer to grow my blog and shape it to how I want it to be. Also, I second on making separate social media accounts. I feel like I can post what ever I want blogging related and not have to feel bad that I’m spamming my friends!

    xoxo

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • Right! That’s exactly my thought and why I made separate accounts. I can self promote as much as I want and not feel guilty haha. Although, I have found that I kinda stopped posting on my personal Twitter/Instagram but it’s still good to know that they’re there!

  • Great ideas. I have never done a twitter chat…I should try that. :)

    • They’re a ton of fun and a great way to meet new people!

  • Mariah Campbell

    Great post! I will definitely be referring back to this post when I am blogging this summer!

  • I’ve never done a twitter chat .. sounds fun though!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • They’re a ton of fun! Such a great way to meet new bloggers/creatives!

  • These are great ideas. I’ve never done a Twitter chat but I’m really interested in participating in one.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

  • Kristin Thompson

    These are great tips!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

  • Great tips! I’m hoping to join more Twitter chats this summer in my down time!

    Xoxo,
    Amanda
    trulyyoursa.com

  • adriana nudo

    I LOVE this!! I think summer is the best time to grow your blog honestly! I just graduated this May so I’ve been focusing 100% on my blog and it’s been amazing. Happy summer!

  • Summer is such a great time to do some re-evaluating of the blog and stat working on new ideas! I know i was feeling pretty burnt out after the holiday season, but now I’m ready to keep working hard on my blog!

  • I still haven’t participated in a twitter chat! I need to join in!

  • Kelsey

    These are such great tips! I didn’t know there where so many Facebook groups for bloggers – definitely will be checking those out :)

    Kelsey | kelssays.com

  • Elizabeth Hunter

    This is really encouraging. I’m not sure my blog is ready to go for the InfluenceHer network, but that’s definitely a goal.

  • Stumbled across this from pinterest! Definitley in the same boat with summer inspiration and feeling even more so after reading this xo

    oliviadipede.com

  • Thank you for the tips, I did not know about facebook group. I will apply for them in a few months!

    xx,
    Fiorela
    http://www.dfiore.com

  • I never thought of twitter chats before! I am going to have to look into this more.

    xoxo, ❤︎ rachael ❤
    RachaelBurgess.com | Instagram

  • Chiayo Koffman

    These are really great pointers! I am actually just looking into starting my own blog and I just love how all you lovely bloggers are so open and willing to share tips and help the community grow. Loves!
    -Chai