Growing Your Blog: You Know You’re A Blogger If…

Hi, friends!  This month, I want to talk a little about something incredibly important for all of us who are trying to grow our blogs: driving readers to our sites.  There are certain things we bloggers have to do that may at times seem a little crazy to outside observers, but they have to become the norm for us.  Today we’re going to take a light-hearted look at the serious things that help us get found by readers.

You know you’re a blogger if…

1. You’re busy making Christmas crafts even before Hobby Lobby puts out the trees. {aka July}

Star Bowl

The truth behind this is that as bloggers, we have to stay ahead of the trends and the seasons.  The average person is going to start searching for Christmas projects in early or mid-November so they can create them in time for the holidays.  Which means you and I have to create, photograph, and write up posts about them ahead of time so they’re ready for our readers when they go searching.  If you don’t stay ahead, readers are going to go elsewhere for their inspiration.  You don’t necessarily want to post your Christmas crafts in July, of course, but you want to have them ready to go when your readers start scouring Pinterest.  Stay ahead of the game!

2. You got caught sneaking into your neighbor’s yard to “borrow” their tree as a backdrop for your photo when the lighting was perfect.

tree

I’m pretty sure all my neighbors think I’m a total nutcase, but the reality is, in this business photos are everything.  You can have a great recipe or craft, but if your pictures are dark and crappy, you can forget about drawing readers in.  It’s important to carefully stage your photos, paying attention to lighting and background so that you get high quality images of what you’re posting about.  Readers are very visual, so if you have consistently gorgeous photos, they’ll keep coming back for more.  So, don’t be lazy.  Do whatever it takes to get the best photos…even if your neighbors give you funny looks as you snap pictures in their yard in your pajamas.  You’re building your business, baby!

3. You stop every five seconds while you’re creating something to snap a photo.

starbowls7

My friend Erin, pictured above, found it hilarious when she was crafting with me that I kept stopping to photograph every step of our creative process.  It’s a pain, really.  I’m the type of crafter who likes to start and finish something without interruptions, so to keep pulling out the camera and snapping images kind of disrupts everything, but the reality is that readers depend on our tutorials.  They want/need to see those step by step instructions.  I admit that I don’t necessarily do that for every single project, especially the most simple ones, but in general I do try to take as many “process pictures” as I can because it helps readers to understand everything fully.  Which, in turn, makes them feel successful if they try to recreate the project or recipe.

4. You walk around spouting things like “SEO,” “UMV’s”, and “HTML,” while your friends’ eyes glaze over.

SEO

Like it or not, as bloggers, there are a lot of things we have to become experts about that may not be interesting to the general public.  It’s our job to understand things like Search Engine Optimization so that we can drive as much traffic to our blogs as possible, and to have at least a limited understanding of HTML so we can make our blogs look and function the way we want them to.  We are responsible for monitoring our stats and traffic, knowing how many Unique Monthly Visitors and pageviews we have, because that is a measure of our growth.  It’s often up to us to educate ourselves on these things, or to seek out other bloggers who can help us along the way…which brings me to #5.

5. Your BFFs are people you know from the other side of a computer screen.  You spend more time communicating with them than you do with your own family.

blog friends

In all seriousness, the single best piece of advice I can give to you is to “find your tribe.” Get involved with a small group of like-minded bloggers who you can go to for advice and encouragement.  It is more valuable than I can say to know that you all have each other’s backs, so to speak.  They can serve as a sounding board, giving you feedback and suggestions about anything and everything related to blogging {and sometimes life in general}.  It’s also a great support system to have so that you can help promote each other’s posts and collaborate for various projects, giveaways, and special events.  By all means, connect yourself with a few other people you like and trust so that you can go through the journey together!

I hope that today’s tips gave you a giggle as well as some things to think about as you take the next steps in growing your blog!

Hugs & Glitter,

siggy

About Amy Latta

Amy Latta is the author of One Artsy Mama, where she shares a variety of project types including home decor, kids' crafts, sewing, jewelry, and more. In addition to posting on her own blog, Amy writes for several other sites and has published an e-book. She also keeps busy by running a Blog Mentoring Program designed to help others achieve their blogging goals. She is happiest when creating something and enjoys making all kinds of projects with her 5 year old "Little Crafter." When not on the dance floor or crafting, you can probably find her at Starbucks.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for your terrific article. As a new blogger this fall, I am slowly learning lots of little tidbits to help grow my blog.

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  2. Great post, Amy! I found myself chuckling at a few of these. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  3. I agree with ALL of this!!!!

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  4. Thanks for the insight! I am starting to try to grow my blog! I think something I’m trying to get over is that every post must be spectacular! I think less is more? I maybe need more posts about the details..? Thanks for this!

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  5. Ah, you have made me laugh! I am not the only crazy person taking photos out in the garden in my PJ’s because rain is forecast later! (I’ve found the clocks changing and the darker evening particularly challenging)
    And just yesterday my husband commented that I now “can’t do anything without photographing it” whilst I was baking some biscuits.
    I’ve already met lots of lovely friendly supportive people though, it’s just that I message them first thing in the morning sitting in front of the computer in my dressing gown eating my breakfast before work!

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  6. Amy, at least you were only borrowing your neighbors tree to hang the ornament. I would of taken clippers and chopped a branch down! I need some fresh pine for some photos.

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  7. Funny and true! Hey I spy one of my online friends in your pic. I was lucky enough to be roomates with DeDe at SNAPconf last year.

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