4 Changes That Helped Me Grow My Blog
This coming December will mark 3 years since I took the plunge and finally started this little blog. 3 whole years of sharing the witterings of my brain with anyone who fancied reading them - how bonkers is that?! It's safe to say that in the early days, there was nobody other than my Mum and a few friends reading my posts. I can still vividly remember the first day I got over 100 page views - I felt giddy with excitement! Yet somehow, over the past year or so, I must have been doing something right as I seem to have attracted more than a handful of new readers.
When I was looking through my stats the other week I realised that August was my most successful month ever page views wise. Not only were the numbers looking good, but I realised that you lot were engaging with my content more than ever before too. I started to look back at what I'd been doing differently and realised that there were a few key changes that had helped me grow my blog. And because I'm kind, I thought I'd share them all with you today.
I feel like I should caveat that I'm not saying you should all do these things or that they will necessarily work for everyone - I'm just sharing what worked for me. Here are 4 changes that helped me grow my blog...
When I first started blogging I had a very fixed idea of what a "successful" blog looked like. The blogs I'd been reading were full of pretty flatlays and beauty recommendations and list posts, and for a long time I felt like I had to follow the same format if I was going to convince anyone to read my posts. Ironically, as soon as I stopped trying to do what everyone else was doing and started creating the content I was most passionate about, my posts started to be read and shared more than ever before. It makes sense really - the whole appeal of blogs is that they're unique and different and cover topics that mainstream media doesn't.
2) I stopped being shy about promoting my work
Back in the early days of my blogging journey I remember feeling absolutely mortified at the idea that someone I knew might read my blog. I spent months squirrelling away on it in secret, and once I'd found my feet a little bit, I started to share it with my close friends and family. However, it's only in the last year or so that I've felt confident enough to push it out a little bit futher into the world, and unsurprisingly, that has brought a lot of new readers into the fold. I worried for ages that people would think my blog was silly or self indulgent, but everybody has been so lovely and supportive that I wish I'd done it sooner. Plus, what's the point in spending a load of time working on something if you're just going to keep it to yourself?!
3) I worked on my photography
The blogosphere has seriously upped it's game where photography is concerned over the past few years, and while I'm still a complete novice, I have been trying to make a bit more of an effort where my imagery is concerned. I've been learning how to use my Olympus PEN a bit better (the 45mm lens was a game-changer for me) and have been working with Matt to try and improve the quality of my style posts too. Honest and relatable writing will always be the most important thing for me and this blog, but there's no denying that a strong image can often be the thing that get's people clicking through to the post in the first place.
4) I got more personal
I reckon this last tip is the one that has made the biggest difference to my blog growth over the past 12 months. I had a bit of a realisation last summer that if I was going to spend so much time managing and maintaining this blog, then I wanted to make sure I was writing about things that were important to me and contributing to the wider internet conversation in a more meaningful way. That has completely opened up the way in which I approach my content and as a result I've written about everything from grief to mental health to surviving your twenties. I think that broaching these topics has helped new audiences to connect with my blog and has helped to build a bit of a community too.
What have been your blogging growth game changers?