Build Your Blog Series: 10 Ways to Get Noticed as a New Blogger

 When we started our blog, we used it solely to keep in touch and share our ideas with each other.  After blogging for a few weeks, we noticed that a few other people had found us!  As we continued to post on our blog, our numbers began to slowly increase.  We got more and more excited as we saw our blog begin to grow in popularity.  We then decided to focus on improving our blog and increasing the number of page views and readers.  We spent countless hours trying different techniques to get our blog "out there" and exposed to more readers.  Through a lot of trial and error, we found that these 10 techniques helped our blog to get noticed in a crowded field:


(Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4)

1.  Participate in link parties.  Participating in link parties gave us our start in the blogging world.  Link parties allow you to share your ideas, recipes and projects with other bloggers.  When our blog was starting out, we would participate in 5-10 link parties every day!  It was a little time consuming, but made a huge difference in the traffic we were seeing on our blog.  Most bloggers who host link parties, host them weekly.  We made sure to link up our best posts from the previous week as to try and get featured on each blog we linked up to. You can find a list of link parties we would participate in here.

2.  Participate in blog hops.  The main purpose of a blog hop is to introduce new bloggers to each other.  We gained a lot of our followers, in the beginning, by using blog hops to meet new bloggers and followed each other to help all of our blogs grow.  You can find a great list of blog hops here.

3.  Be personable.  Your readers want to know about you and where you come from.  The more your readers can connect to you, the more dedicated they will be to you and your blog.  We found that when we started adding personal touches to our posts that our readers would respond positively.  It also helps to respond to your readers when they leave comments on your blog or other social media outlets.

4.  Team up with other bloggers.  It never hurts to ask a blogger to write a guest post for them.  When we started our blog, we were contributors for blogs who were bigger than ours.  By writing occasional posts on other blogs, we were able to gain readers for our own.  We have also teamed up with other bloggers on giveaways, where those who enter the contest have to follow both blogs.  Two heads are always better than one, or two blogs, that is!

5.  Always use your URL.  The more you use your URL the more it will be seen.  Leave your URL in comments, on Facebook pages, or wherever you leave your name.  You want to make it as easy as possible for others to find your blog!

6.  Comment on other blogs.  Commenting on other blogs is a great way to connect with other bloggers.  When we started our blog, we would go to link parties and comment on as many posts as possible.  We would leave a nice comment and invite them to our blog.  It takes a bit of time, but is worth it to build good connections with other bloggers.

7.  Add every post to social media websites.  Anytime you have a new post, be sure to put it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media outlets you use.  The more people who see it, the more traffic you will receive. 

8.  Host a giveaway and invite others to enter.  When we started our blog, we would supply products for our own giveaways.  I remember sewing baby neckties in my apartment to use for giveaways.  It might be a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it is a great way to attract people to your site.  Be sure to invite other bloggers to your giveaway by leaving comments on their blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  There are tons of Etsy shops and businesses who are willing to supply giveaway prizes for even the smallest blogs!  It never hurts to ask!

9.  Use catchy headlines.  The more enticing your post headlines are, the more people will be intrigued to come to your blog.  Use descriptive words in your post titles that will appeal to your readers.

10.  Make each post "pin-worthy." We receive a lot of our traffic from Pinterest.  By making your pictures and descriptions eye catching, people will pin your posts more frequently.  Using hashtags on Pinterest will also help people find your blog.



Build Your Blog 2013
Build Your Blog Conference
Registration is now open!
Click here to register.


 There are only a limited number of spots available, so you will want to be sure you get in.
Connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest for all the latest info about this conference.

Build Your Blog Series: Blogging for Beginners- What Should You Blog About?


Are you interested in starting a blog but just don't know where to begin  or even what to write about? Here are a list of questions that might help find what would be perfect for you to write about. 

1. What do you LOVE? Choosing a subject that interests you is very important when starting a blog. You will burn our rather quickly if you try and blog about things that you think people want to hear about. When writing about your passions, your followers will see your enthusiasm and it will keep your readers coming back for more. 

2. What is your message? There could be so many different things to write about.  Just make sure what topics are off limits for your blog.  You don't want to write about something that may embarrass you or put you in an awkward situation. Being honest is always the best policy - but being too honest about certain things might scare off your readers.

3. Think about your readers. Who are your readers? How can you appeal to them to make your blog interesting? Do you care about how many readers you have? If you do, what are you going to show them or teach them to keep them coming back for more?


4. Do you enjoy talking with people? Blogging is one way to connect with a lot of different people all over the world.  For most bloggers, being successful is defined as attracting, keeping, and growing an audience of interested readers. I love when our audience leaves comments and interacts with us and other readers.  Being thick skinned is also important when blogging.  Let's be honest -some people are not nice. Taking criticism well is also important when blogging. (Although, I will admit, it is hard to do sometimes)

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Talk to bloggers. Ask them what the pros and cons are about the topics they write about.  Do they love what they write about? Making friends with other bloggers has huge advantages! We are friends with many bloggers and are constantly asking them questions about how they do things.


Here are some ideas of what others have blogged about...

Your Kids: A lot of bloggers are moms. "Mommy Blogging" is a way to relate with many women on many different levels.

Your Hobbies: We LOVE cooking and crafting! For some people blogging is an opportunity to connect with other bloggers. If you love knitting, fishing, carpentry, pretty much ANYTHING...  other people love them too!

Technology:  Technology is everywhere! There is also a huge interest in technology because a lot of people have computers, cell phones, Ipads, and MP3 Players, and most of us are not sure how to even use those items! Technology is very popular thing to blog about right now.

Politics: There is always a lot to be said with politics. Good and bad... people are interested.

Specialized News:  Give your viewers a service by collecting all the news from certain subjects with links and quick tidbits about what is going on.  People are always curious about what is going on around them.

A Personal Journal: This is usually called the tried and true blog. With great writing you will be able to attract readers who will turn into friends.

Join us on February 16th in Salt Lake City, UT for the Build Your Blog Conference to learn more on how to Grow Your Blog! Please let us know if you have any questions! 



Build Your Blog 2013
Build Your Blog Conference
Registration is now open!
Click here to register.


 There are only a limited number of spots available, so you will want to be sure you get in.
Connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest for all the latest info about this conference.
 

Build Your Blog Series: Increasing Page Views


(Have you entered to win a ticket to Build Your Blog Conference? 
The giveaway ends September 12, 2012, so enter now!
Click here to enter!
As soon as you start blogging, it is so fun to check out your stats and see how many page views you are getting each day. I remember when we first started our blog, we were checking our stats almost hourly and we would be so excited to see that a couple more people had stopped by our blog.
As our blog grew more and more, we realized that there was strategy behind increasing your page views! 
Here are the top 5 ways that we found to help increase our page views:

1. Link Parties and Blog Hops

     This is seriously one of the best and easiest ways to help your blog grow. There are so many blogs out there who host weekly link parties and hops and the more that you can get your posts out there, the more traffic that you will see. We set aside a certain amount of time each day to link up to as many different parties as we can. Blog hops also fall into this category- putting yourself out there as much as you can is only going to benefit you in the long run.
     Check out our post that we shared earlier all about link parties- if you have ever had a question about a link party, it's answered here!
     Here are a couple of places with HUGE lists of link parties:


2. Use Social Media

      Facebook and Twitter are some of our best friends . . . Facebook is the second most popular website in the world (second only to Google) and you need to have it included with your blog if you want to grow. Shortly after we started our blog, we made a Facebook page so that our fans could follow us there instead of checking our website everyday (but we were hoping that by seeing us on Facebook, they would want to click through to our website to see what we were up to). We share each post on Facebook and have found that once something is posted on Facebook, many people will share the post on their own personal timelines, exposing us to their friends and followers (and helping us reach a broader audience and gain more followers). Facebook is an easy way to personally connect with your readers. They chose to “like” your page for a reason- they want to see what you are doing. It is a great way to build relationships with readers and also with other bloggers and businesses.
     For some great Facebook tips, check out this post where we share our best Facebook tips.
     We consider ourselves to still be Twitter newbies and we are still learning new tricks to Twitter everyday. It took us a long time to finally set up a Twitter account, but we did notice a spike in our traffic when we started connecting with others on Twitter. Twitter also gave us another platform to connect with our readers, other bloggers, and MANY businesses, which turned into huge sponsors for us.
     There are studies (like this one from SEOmoz) that show there is a strong correlation between people who use both Twitter and Facebook will have an increase in their Google search rankings. Twitter is definitely something you want to look into if you have not already!
     When we started using Twitter, we found this post from Blogging With Amy EXTREMELY helpful!

3. Make Your Site "Sticky"

     I like to think of your site being sticky like a sheet of flypaper: once a fly is on there, he’s not coming off. Have you ever visited a site and found that you just have to keep reading and see what else they have to offer? There have been a few sites where I have easily spent an hour just going through their old posts and reading their story. You want your site to suck people in and make them stay for a while.
     When you look at your Google Analytics, it will tell you the average duration of time that people spend on your blog when they visit (ours is about 1 minute and 40 seconds). That means I only have 1 minute and 40 seconds to make an amazing impression. Is there going to be something that catches their eye and makes them want to click on it to see more? Here are a couple of things that we have done to try and make our readers stay on our site longer:

     -Feature your most popular posts. In our sidebar, we have our top 10 most popular posts listed. We hope that people will see something that they like and click on it.

      -At the bottom of each post, we have added a LinkWithin widget that automatically generates other posts that the reader might like. It includes the title of the post and also a small thumbnail picture of the post. We see a lot of traffic from this everyday.

     -Refer to past posts with links that readers can click on in each post. We try to include these links throughout each post and sometimes we will even list similar posts (especially recipes) that we think the reader might want to read. This is also a good way to introduce your reader to some of your early posts- chances are people didn’t see many of your first posts.

Here are a couple more articles about making your site "sticky":
http://www.homebiztools.com/sticky.htm
http://weblogbetter.com/2012/07/25/5-ways-how-to-make-your-blog-sticky-and-keep-your-readers/
http://www.smartbloggerz.com/2010/05/how-to-make-your-blog-a-sticky-to-your-readers/
http://www.attractionmarketingonline.com/make-blog-sticky/

4. Pinterest
     Before we started blogging, we honestly had no idea what Pinterest even was. We did know that it provided us with a lot of traffic each day (more than 75% of our traffic currently comes from Pinterest) and so we started looking into it a little more. Pinterest is taking the blogging and social media world by storm! There are currently 11.7 million registered Pinterest users, and that number is growing by an average of 200,000 daily! (via AppData). The bottom line is this: If you want your blog to grow, you have got to be on Pinterest.
Here are some of the best tips that we have found when it comes to Pinterest:
http://unskinnyboppy.com/2012/08/how-to-go-viral-on-pinterest-and-other-pinnable-tips/
http://pinforums.com/showthread.php?750-6-Lessons-for-Pinterest-from-100K-Visitors-in-1-week&p=982#post982
http://boostblogtraffic.com/viral-on-pinterest/
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/going-viral-on-pinterest-driving-big-traffic-and-making-pinterest-a-real-marketing-solution

5. Connect with Other Bloggers

     To get ahead in this blogging world, it’s important to have blogging friends who can help you every step of the way. When we first started blogging, we viewed other blogs as the competition, but we have come to learn that it’s actually quite the opposite! Even blogs that contain similar content have a completely different following than we do. Here are some things that helped us connect with bloggers from all over the world:

      -Attend a blog conference. There is nothing that will help you meet other bloggers more than hanging out with them all in one place. It is incredible being able to meet so many bloggers face-to-face. We loved talking to other bloggers and finding out what works for them; picking their brains about the best ways to grow. We have learned so much more just from talking to other bloggers than we have from any class that we have attended. (Here is another shameless plug- if you are looking for a great conference to attend, be sure to check out our Build Your Blog Conference that is going to be happening on February 16, 2013. We are packing the day full of informative classes and it would be a great way to connect with other bloggers! Registration is now open!)
 
      -Even if you can’t attend a blog conference, try to find other bloggers who live near you and arrange a time when you can meet. Even if you just all meet up for dinner, it’s a great way to connect and talk about ways to help your blogs all grow. Collaborating with other blogs whom most likely have different followers than you will only help you all grow. Plus, it's so fun to talk with other people who share a passion for blogging just like you do!


     -Leave comments on other blog’s posts. Make sure that they are true, genuine comments that show you are engaged in their blog. There are a couple of blogs who even show their “Top Commenters” in their sidebar, which would be a great way to get some traffic to your site, too! Be sure to be positive and say only nice things- we all know how bad it makes us feel when people say mean things.

      -Follow other blogs on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and any other way you can. Leave comments on their Facebook page, re-tweet their posts, share their posts on Google + . . . anything to let them know you support them and love their work (and a lot of times they will return the favor!).

Here are a couple of other posts about connecting with other bloggers:
http://www.sitesketch101.com/connecting-with-others/
http://whitehatcrew.com/blog/how-to-connect-with-other-bloggers/
http://adriennesmith.net/5-simple-ways-to-connect-with-other-bloggers/

I hope that this helps you increase your page views! Good luck with your blog!

Looking for some ways to make money on your blog?
Check out our latest eBook:
Button

Button

Enter now to win a ticket to our Conference!

We are excited to announce that we are giving away a ticket to our Build Your Blog Conference!

Head over here to Six Sisters' Stuff to enter!
Giveaway ends on Wednesday, September 12th.

Build Your Blog 2013
Build Your Blog Conference
Registration is now open!
Click here to register.


 There are only a limited number of spots available, so you will want to be sure you get in.
Connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest for all the latest info about this conference.



Build Your Blog Series: How You Get Paid


So, you have a blog. Congratulations!

Now, how do you get the money flowing your way?  Why would people pay you to have a blog?  Is there a secret blog fund set up by the government that sends us all a little cash every month? Not that I know of....you have to do it the old fashioned way - work for it.

Think of your blog as a TV show.  Every show sells advertisements and every now and then they 'break for commercials'.  Advertisers pay the TV show to display the ads.  For example, Super Bowl ads cost millions of dollars per minute - but because so many people see the ad, the advertisers are willing to pay.  Just like that, there are advertisers willing to pay you to be seen or a link clicked from your blog.

So now you just need to build up the number of times people see your site and you will get more advertisers interested in advertising on your site.  In this post, I will explain a simple process to get started collecting money.  You can then use the other 'Build Your Blog Series' articles to build up a nice stream of income.  So let's start...

1. Setting up your bank account.
This seems like an unusual place to start, but before you can set up advertising accounts, you will need to have a place for the advertiser to send you money.  And they will send you money - so you have to be ready.  It is easy to use PayPal for local advertisers and they have an invoicing process for you.  If you don't have a PayPal (or similar online payment system) set up, now is the time to do it.   You will need an email address and a bank account to get set up.  You will also want a separate bank account (which you can link to your PayPal account) from your personal or family bank account.  Tax accountants will always suggest you have a separate account for any business money.  You can set up a separate account at a credit union or local bank.  Easy to do, and a great place to get started.

2.  Find an advertising source.
You have to have someone willing to advertise on your blog.  You can contact local businesses to see if they would like to place a simple link on your site (this is how we started).  Or an easier way is to have an advertising middle man.  The easiest is Google Adwords or Yahoo Advertising.  Go to either of these sites and follow their tutorials on how to get set up.  You will need an account with either of these linked to an email address and a bank account.  Once your account is set up, you are ready to display some ads on your site.

As you grow your site you will find that there are many 'middle man' advertisers ready and willing to help you fill up your ad space.  We'll cover more of this at the conference, but you can find them fairly easily with some general advertising searches on the web.

3.  Place your ads.
Depending on the tool you used to set up your blog, there will be a gadget, widget or tool to add either HTML or an ad spot to your blog.  www.blogger.com has an Adwords gadget you can add anywhere on your screen.  If you are using a different advertising source, the source should give you the HTML you will need for the size of ad you have decided to show.  Create an HTML gadget (widget or box) and paste the HTML code exactly as you see it into the box.  Your blogging tool should display it correctly.  Always check your blog after you make any changes to make sure the changes didn't mess up your site.

The best place to place ads is where the visitor will see them.  Most advertisers like the top and left hand side of the pages, as these are the most viewed parts of any web page.  I will show you where the prime spots are at the conference.  We like to move the ads to the outside of the blog, so it doesn't distract from our blog, but you can set them up anywhere you want.  The size of the ad also matters as well as the type of ad.  Bigger ads make more money and ads with pictures tend to get more views and clicks.  Check out www.SixSistersStuff.com and see where we've placed our ads.  The sponsor ads on the right side are local ads that have directly asked for a link from our site to theirs.  The more national ads are placed through a middleman who decides what ads work best for our content.

We'll talk more about ad placement and show you how to do a simple ad at the conference.  For now, you this will get you started.

4.  How the advertisers pay you.
Getting paid to advertise is the fun part.  Once you get set up, all you have to do is wait and watch as the cash starts to flow into your account.  Google Adwords and Yahoo Advertising have ways you can see how much you are making every day.  Your middle man advertising connection should also have a way for you to see how your ads are performing.

Basically the advertisers will pay you for one of 3 things - the number of clicks to their link, the number of views of the ad or a monthly fee for a link on your blog.  This is where we could discuss the CPM, CPC, CPL and CPA which are all acronyms used to determine how much an ad costs and how you are paid.  We'll cover more of this at the conference, but the simple way to describe these is that you are either paid for clicks or views.  Every time you display an ad you can be paid.  You are paid more when someone clicks on the ad.  The advertising source tracks all of this and pays you (usually monthly) for the activity on your site.

5.  Spending your money.
This is where I should explain who I am.  My name is Larry and I am the 'Dad' of the Six Sisters.  They came to me when they were first starting the blog looking for ideas on how to grow their revenue from the site.  I pointed out a few ways to help and continue to work with the various advertising options in the background.  I don't cook much, so they won't let me add blogs to the SixSisters website.  But they will let me help taste all the recipes - my favorite part!

So I have some very great ideas on how to spend the money.  But most of my suggestions for this are not given much credit.  So I guess you are on your own how and where to spend the money.  I hope you find a fun way to enjoy the money you make.  Come join us at the conference and we will give you more ways to increase that flow of cash!

Looking for more ways to grow your blog?
Check out our eBook: 
Six Sisters' Success: 10 Ways to Grow Your Blog
Available now!

Button

Also, be sure to sign up for our 

Build Your Blog 2013
Build Your Blog Conference
Registration is now open!
Click here to register.

 There are only a limited number of spots available, so you will want to be sure you get in.
Connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle +, and Pinterest for all the latest info about this conference. 

Join us next Monday for the next installment of the Build Your Blog Series!