How to Grow Your Blog!!

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Randomness
November 19, 2009
31 Comments
1836 Views

I started blogging in July 2008.  I had 10 readers – my husband (1), my parents (2), my sisters (2), and a few friends (5).  I was thrilled when my follower count jumped to 15 and SLOWLY increased over the next few months as I reconnected with old friends.  I kept writing, but figured my posts were floating in a black hole somewhere in the blogosphere!

How did I come to start The Mommy-Files?  I stumbled across a few blogs while doing a Google Search and entered some fun contests I found along the way.  I figured I wouldn’t win, since I’m not really good at winning – lol!  To my surprise, I won 2 of the 20 or so contests I entered.  What a rush!  I entered some more and won some more (and this is why I don’t gamble)!  I decided that I wanted to get into reviewing products and hosting giveaways.  I emailed a ton of companies and a few responded – some with a “yes,” some with a “no,” and some didn’t respond at all.  I even hosted a few giveaways of my own (meaning I paid for the product being given away).  What can I say other than I loved people visiting my blog, leaving me comments, and thanking me when they won!

It has now been over a year and a half and my numbers have jumped through the roof!  Back when I was at Blogger, I had over 1,000 followers through Google Friend Connect.  I was ecstatic!  That was a goal I was trying to reach.  Then when I moved to WordPress, my Google Friend Connect reset at zero – dangit!  By the end of the first day on WordPress, I had about 40 followers (big hugs to my readers).  I began to wonder how long would it take to get back up to over 1,000 again?  Well, it’s been a few months and I have over 500 followers on Google Friend Connect.  Not to mention I have over 1400 subscribers and over 1600 followers on Twitters – woo hoo!

It is possible to grow your blog, but it takes work and enjoying what you do!  Here are a few helpful tips I’ve come to learn along the way:

Write consistently.  People will be more inclined to return to your blog if you have current posts.  I know that if I visit a blog and there hasn’t been a post for 3 weeks or more, I don’t usually return (unless I know them personally).  I make an effort to write at least one post a day (with the exception of Sundays – I try to stay off the computer on Sundays).

Give comment love!  Who doesn’t love a friendly comment on their post?  I, along with other bloggers I know, make every effort possible to respond to comments left, as well as visiting the commentor’s blog and leaving them a comment.  I do not set “automatic” comments, but respond to individual comments.  Please note:  I do not respond to individual comments left on my giveaways.

Participate in daily memes!  I have been introduced to many new blogs through my participation in daily memes.  I first started with Wordless Wednesday (linky love to 5 Minutes for Mom) and Aloha Friday (linky love to An Island Life).  I have even created a few of my own, including: Tell Your Good News Tuesday and Thankful Thursday.

Give your readers a place to link up!  I have found it helpful to provide a link each week where other bloggers can enter links to giveaways they are hosting.  I provide a link-up page with my Share Your Giveaway Sundays post.

Establish Credibility.  I have read on many blogs that the reviewers don’t like to write negative comments or reviews about products.  I, on the other hand, feel more inclined to trust their advice if they write about both the likes and dislikes of a product.  I aim to do that with my reviews. 

Post about real life.  While I don’t write about every personal thing that happens to me, I do write about many of them (i.e. embarrassing moments, moments in motherhood, things I’m thankful for, and more).  I have found a huge support system with my readers and hope they feel the same way. 🙂

Post professionally written material.  Before publishing your post, run a spell-check and make sure the article sounds good (avoiding misspelled words, poor grammar, or other typos).  Also, be sure to abide by the new FTC rules regarding reviews and giveaways!

Have fun with your blog!  I hope these tips may be helpful to someone out there!  Happy Thursday everyone.  HUGS!!!

P.S. Feel free to leave a link to your blog below and I’ll be sure to visit and leave you a comment!

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

31 Responses to “How to Grow Your Blog!!”

  1. Thank you so much for talking about how you started. I started following you back in May when I discovered blog giveaways and your blog was the first one I won on…and because of that I was bitten by the “blogging bug”! After months of winning I also decided I wanted to start a new blog and do reviews and giveaways. Now in addition to my personal family blog, I now have a second blog (Second Time Around) where I talk about my thoughts as well as giveaways and reviews. I started with one follower and I now have 155…all in about 2 1/2 months! You were a great inspiration to me for getting my blog going, so thank you and thanks for all your great giveaways as well as all your great posts!

  2. How great, I just wrote a post like this today too! LOL, maybe great minds think alike 🙂

  3. joanna says:

    Thanks for all the info…..every little bit helps:)
    Hope your evening is a good one:))
    Take care!

  4. Angela says:

    I’m a recent follower of yours.

    I’m so happy with the 13 followers that I have. I’m not trying to go crazy with building my blog. I just write about my experiences and things that I’m interested in. I just hope that some people are interested too.

  5. Thank you for the great tips. As a newbie blogger, I appreciate any help I can get.

  6. Angel says:

    All great advice.. I am the worlds WORST with what I fondly call Angelspell. I know how to spell truly I do except on tiny words like THE my fingers go faster then my brain and it often comes out TEH
    I used to call it chat dyslexia ( yeah I can spell that blindfolded just not the words the, and , for) till I began attending online services for my church since it was so far away.. they call it my special anointing thus Angelspell lol

  7. Michelle says:

    Well, you are great at what you do and that’s why we keep coming back to read your posts! Isn’t it amazing how quick a blog can grow? It seems like just started my blog yesterday, it has been 7 months and I am loving it! Thanks for these great tips.

  8. LyndiLou says:

    These are great tips Shannon… thanks! I want to get better at blogging so these are helpful hints! First things first… got to update and work on being consistent! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

  9. This was a very imfortative post, and I’m so glad I found your blog . . . I’ve glean much from you! As a newer blogger, I feel like I’m still getting my feet with, but I desire to have a really good blog. Daily posting is a need I have felt convicted of for some time now. I’ll have to find a way to make that happen! 🙂

    I’d love to have you check my blog at http://www.CleverColleen.blogspot.com

    Thanks!

  10. Heather McD says:

    Thank you for this post! It is very helpful for us new bloggers. I am just getting started and I’m having a hard time getting a following going.

  11. Badger Momma says:

    I appreciate all the blog advice – especially when it comes from who I think are the upper echelon of bloggers! 🙂 I’m relatively new to blogging and love it very much. Any sage advice for people that are trying to consolidate blogs but don’t know how to mix and match? I have personal, business, and review blogs and I have no idea how to go about trying to minimize.

  12. Launi says:

    Thanks for all the great tips. I love your blog!
    I’ll run over to Divine Caroline and vote for you–
    I’m in 5th place in the “Home and Food” catagory! Wahoo!
    Anyways, thanks again for the great post.

  13. I did my first Monday mingle over at Eighty MPH mom. It was SOO much fun. My hubby even joined in this next week. Never thought he would say yes.

    You are so right about growing your blog. Comment love and a whole lot of patience. And the abillity to make your readers laugh I think.
    Good posts are a must.
    And if you throw vlogging in there people LOVE it! If you are interesting that is.
    Thanks for stopping by in advance! 🙂

  14. Chelle says:

    Awesome post! I agree 100%–and by the way…I heart your blog 🙂

  15. I really enjoyed your tips. I had to run through the list and make sure that I do all of them.

  16. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  17. Amy says:

    Great advice 🙂 I have been building blogs for years and had one too many of my own for work related purposes but not too long ago decided to start my own “my life” sort of blog and am just now getting in to product reviews (I got my first company offer this week! YAY!) I absolutely LOVE it and I love the people I have met so far 🙂

  18. Rita A says:

    Wonderful advice. Your writing keeps me coming back.

  19. Kris says:

    Its refreshing to read advice from someone that is encouraging rather than some of the blogs I’ve read by others that say you can’t do it. And I love the fact that your blogs are like conversations!

  20. Deborah says:

    Thanks so much for this post.

  21. Sondra says:

    Thanks for the tips. I am new to all this and need all the tips/advice I can get. Love reading your blog – Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Cinde says:

    Thanks for the great post!

    Cheers!
    Cinde 🙂

    The Freebie Fairy ~ Giveaways & Product Reviews
    http://www.freebiefairy.blogspot.com

  23. Kayla says:

    Those are all wonderful methods to help newbie bloggers!! I’m actually going to pass this onto a friend who has been looking to start 🙂

  24. Kristy H says:

    Thanks for the great info!
    I’ve been blogging since June of this year, and I love getting little tips and info on how to have a great blog!
    I love reading your blog, and keep up the great work : )

  25. noelle says:

    thanks for the great advice

  26. Dawana says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s hard to know how to get started and increase your audience!

  27. I love your blog and appreciate all the things you post, especially the truthfulness of your reviews!!
    I truly appreciate all your help and advice to us newer bloggers. I love getting comments and replies from you and others that I comment on. It is really depressing when you constantly visit and comment on a persons blog and they never acknowledge you at all.
    Thanks for all the tips and for writing a wonderful blog that I completely enjoy visiting every day!!

  28. Kelly Hupcey says:

    I love this article! Great tips and wisdom! I just started my blog, The Pursuit of Mommyness last month and I have to say, this getting traffic thing is tougher than I thought, but I do LOVE blogging and will stick with it! I am going to head your words about directly contacting companies about reviews and giveaways and even do my own. Do you choose relatively inexpensive items for your self-hosted giveaways?

    Thanks so much for this article, I am looking forward to visiting your site more often!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your family btw!

    Kelly

  29. amy says:

    thanks so much for sharing – I’m going to save this page because I’d like to grow my blog as well!

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  31. This was very helpful, thank you! I think it’s written very honestly – an added bonus. I am new to blogging and have been published in a magazine;however, the process still feels frustrating. I am definitely not a technically savvy person. I think it helps to establish a blog when you know you way around a computer (sigh) Thanks again!

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