Blogging is difficult, there is no getting away from that.
Writing new posts, managing social media, planning future posts, engaging with your comments and taking photos are just a small part of what takes up a lot of time, and that’s before even having a life, spending time with friends, family etc.
2017 is set to be a huge year in the interior blogging world so now is your best chance to grow your blog and reach out to as many people as possible. Here we have rounded up our top tips for growing your blog in 2017 to help you gain and maintain more readers…
1. STAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE BY CREATING AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Blogging can be very hard to stick to at times, especially when it’s competing with a full time job, and other responsibilities. By creating a content calendar to know exactly when you are posting what – it gives you a clear focus to work towards and you’ll be much more likely to stick to the schedule.
Try to plan at least 3 months ahead and never let it get less than 1 month to go before adding to it – you can always change it if something new comes up but always have a plan, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Further Reading: How to create a blog editorial calendar
2. MAKE FRIENDS & HELP YOURSELF – LINK OUT TO OTHER BLOGGERS
By linking out to your favourite fellow bloggers you will not only get them exposure but you will also give them a little SEO boost. Let them know you have linked to them in a post and ask them to check it out – if it’s good enough they will share if and in turn they will send your site some extra visitors.
Further Reading: Link Out to Medium-Level Bloggers
3. REACH NEW AUDIENCES BY ACCEPTING GUEST POSTS
You most likely already get many requests for guest posts for your blog, although the majority more likely fall on the spammy side, or are completely impersonal. Having said this, guest posts can be a vital part of any blog so it is worthwhile sorting through the spam to find the ones that are legitimate and beneficial to you.
Only accept posts that you consider good enough for your audience and are relevant to your blog. Also research the writer to scope-out their social media following, email database and even the brand they write for as you may be able to negotiate some extra shares for them to reach new audiences.
If you find that you are getting a lot of poor quality submissions, you can always make it an invite only guest posting opportunity and only reach out to people who you’d like to post on your blog – this gives you much more control over the content as you will already know what to expect from the contributors.
Further Reading: The Easiest Way To Bait Links – Get Guest Authors
4. RELAUNCH AN OLD POST WITH UPDATED CONTENT
We’ve all had a blog post that did really well, got loads of traffic then dried up after a while, but by relaunching it you could make it even more popular than the first time round.
Make sure to add some fresh new content to update the post then republish it and promote it as you would any other article to see it become successful yet again – you could also expect to see a bump in the organic traffic with the new content as Google will see it as freshened up content.
5. REACH EVEN MORE AUDIENCES BY GUEST POSTING FOR OTHER BLOGGERS & BRANDS
For the same reason you should accept some guest blogs on your own blog, you should also approach other bloggers or brands to guest post on their sites.
Be careful to only guest post on established blogs that will send you traffic and never guest post for links alone – guest posting with the aim to gain more email subscribers is much more beneficial.
Note: We’ve had great content from guests on this very blog!
Note 2: Our new Editorial area includes authors who are experts in their field to bring you the best content.
Further Reading: 7 Benefits of Guest Blogging (Plus 2 Case Studies)
6. BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIPS BY CREATING PARTNERED CONTENT
Try to find another blogger, brand or interior designer with the same interests as you that may want to help out with a blog post. Ask them to go halves to help you build the article or split the content between one of you providing images, the other the writing or give contrasting views to create an engaging read. The other person/brand will also share the post, potentially doubling your reach.
Further Reading: How Content Partners Can Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy
7. BE DIFFERENT AND CREATE AN INFOGRAPHIC – IT COULD GO VIRAL
Infographics if done well can be really popular, especially on Pinterest where they can be spread like wildfire. They are a fantastic way of presenting data and ideas which keeps the reader hooked right until the bottom. So research the best performing infographics out there to find a topic which will match your blog. They can be really easy to make using very cheap / free tools such as Canva.
Further Reading: How To Make An Infographic In 7 Easy Steps
8. TAKE A CHANCE – ENTER AWARDS TO BUILD YOUR REPUTATION
Entering your blog into awards can be a very daunting prospect – with the internal thoughts of what if no one likes my blog? Or what if no one votes for me? Even just entering into awards, whether it be the Amara Interior Blog Awards, the Cosmo blog awards or the UK Blog Awards – at the very least you will find new bloggers that you may not have heard of before and they will find you. Getting your name out there in front of more blogs & brands will result in more opportunities for you to work with brands and other bloggers in future.
Make sure you put in the effort though once you have entered, don’t just enter and forget and hope for the best, as with many awards you’ll need to try and get some votes. Whilst you may not want to sound like you’re begging, a lot of your readers friends, family, would love to vote for you if you let them know you’ve been nominated and you never know, you may get to attend a glamourous awards ceremony!
Further Reading: 6 Reasons to Enter Blog Awards
9. KEEP A CONSTANT TRAFFIC FLOW BY NEVER STOPPING SHARING
A lot of people just share their blog post once on each platform before moving onto the next one. BIG MISTAKE – you are missing out on loads more traffic by doing this. Buffer showcase how many more visitors you can get by sharing the same blog post multiple times.
You have followers in different time zones and followers who might only check a few times a day and might not scroll through their whole timeline so make sure you catch their eye. Buffer is also a great tool for scheduling tweets (and it has a free option) so get involved and schedule your posts to go out multiple times each time you put one live.
Further Reading: How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media
10. FIND YOUR BEST PERFORMING POSTS & DOUBLE DOWN FOR A TRAFFIC BOOST
Look at your analytics and see which of your blog posts are performing really well. It might be your how to guides, an inspirational post or it might be an old guest post you accepted.
Look where that traffic is coming from and work out how you can replicate it within new articles. If a ‘how to decorate your bedroom’ post is performing well – maybe an inspiration post on bedroom ideas would work well to complement it, or maybe a how to guide on a different room in the house.
Further Reading: The 7-Step Process We Use to Grow and Convert Organic Traffic
11. HELP YOUR SEO – LINK TO YOUR OLD POSTS
Internal links are crucial to keep your readers engaged and reading more of your content (also if they see more than one of your posts – they are much more likely to subscribe to your email list). By keeping your readers engaged with your content it also increases the likelihood of them returning.
Further Reading: 5 Quick & Smart Ways to Promote Old Posts from your Blog
12. CREATE A COMMUNITY BY GROWING YOUR EMAIL LIST
Repeat visitors will be your biggest fans who will share your content much more than new visitors. To keep readers coming back for more, build an email list so you can inform your most loyal supporters when you have new content for them to read.
Use whatever tactics you are most comfortable with to grow this list, whether it be lightboxes, exit intent pop ups, slide up boxes or smart bars, they all work amazingly well.
If you want to make serious money from your blog, your email list is your best friend.
Further Reading: Why You Should Start Building An Email List
13. GROW YOUR ORGANIC TRAFFIC BY TARGETING A SPECIFIC KEYWORD ON EVERY POST
Targeting a specific keyword is one of the best ways to grow your organic traffic. By using the Google Keyword Planner you can find some great potential keywords for your posts. For example: ‘how to decorate a bedroom’ gets over 8,100 searches a month – and this could be a complete guide in the form of a long article with plenty of images for inspiration and guidance.
There are millions of potential keywords to target, pick one you like and run with it. An additional bonus to help you rank for your chosen keyword (if you are running WordPress) is to make sure you have Yoast SEO plugin installed, it can help you focus and make sure you use the keyword correctly to give yourself the best chance of ranking.
14. MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO CLICK ON YOUR HEADLINES
On average, only 2 out of 10 people will read beyond your headline (title of your post) so you really need to catch their attention to get your writing read. Some large blogs are known to brainstorm up to 25 headlines for each post they write, you might not need to go to such lengths but it’s a good principle to go with – maybe try 5 for each and pick which one you’d most likely click on.
You will need to give a clear idea what the user will gain from reading your post for example is it inspiration? Is it a how to guide? Is it a DIY guide or a before and after interior design transformation? Whatever the content make sure the title entices readers in!
Further Reading: How to Write Viral Headlines: New BuzzSumo Research
15. BECOME A SOCIAL MACHINE & DRIVE TRAFFIC FROM INSTAGRAM
If you want to be serious about social media – you need to focus on Instagram. The platform currently has the largest potential than any of the other major social platforms. It’s a vastly underused channel for traffic as people often confuse the lack of links in post means you cannot drive traffic.
An extremely easy way to offer leverage Instagram for traffic in a real and tangible way is by encouraging your audience to click your bio link. Using tools like Bit.ly to track and monitor how much traction your bio link receives will give you hard data on how much value you can offer them.
Further Reading: Half A Million Real Instagram Followers In 1 Year: How Foundr Did It
16. HAVE SOME FUN & LAUNCH A QUIZ
Quizzes are an excellent drawing in tool, people love to take quizzes, they are quick & fun and potentially very viral. Buzzfeed grew their social traffic through running quizzes, and received hundreds of thousands of visitors because of them. They can be easily created through plugins or tools like PlayBuzz, who make it really easy to embed quizzes on your site.
Create an interiors focused quiz and ask all your friends & family and followers to take it, sometimes it just takes a few people to share their results and the virality can take hold and traffic will begin pouring in.
17. GROWTH HACK USING YOUR EMAILS – USE YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE TO ALWAYS BE PROMOTING
How many emails do you send a day? 10, 20, 50, 100? Each email you send to someone is an opportunity to let them know about your blog, even if it’s not in the topic of the email.
Build a signature within your email that includes a call to action to read your blog particularly if it’s a ‘p.s.’ – people always seem to read and click on these more often than a standard signature. An example could be ‘p.s. check out my latest blog post on styling your bedroom’.
Further Reading: 14 List Building Hacks to Grow Your Email Database Fast
18. NEVER STOP LEARNING, ALWAYS CHECK OUT THE BIG GUYS
Look at what the top interior blogs are doing. For example Freshome, they focus on targeting keywords and utilising evergreen content into their blog posts to achieve plenty of organic traffic. They also use amazing images – which is why their posts often get thousands of pins to each of them.
Kimberly of Swoon Worthy utilises big “PIN” buttons when you hover over any of her images – so it’s not surprising to see that she has thousands of pins to her articles in recent months. Get inspiration from what other blogs are doing and if it looks like it’s working see how you can incorporate something similar on your blog.
Further Reading: 7 Blogging Skills You Need To Become A Professional Blogger
19. HELP YOUR AUDIENCE & WRITE EXTREMELY DETAILED HOW TO POSTS
Research suggests that pages with more words gain more organic search traffic and social shares, so it pays to go into a little more detail with every post you write. So write a definitive guide, like an in-depth step-by-step ‘how to’ guide – just make sure it’s the best content on that topic and you will reap the rewards.
There are thousands of ‘how to’ keywords that are searched each month that you would potentially produce a step by step guide to, you can see some below…
Further Reading: Why Most “How to” Posts Suck (and How to Write Great Ones)
20. ASK FRIENDS TO SHARE YOUR CONTENT
So simple, yet so often forgotten, your friends may not be bloggers, they might not be interested in interior design, but the chances are, some of their Facebook friends or twitter followers might be. As your friend, they would always want to help you succeed in your endeavours, so most friends will more than happily share your posts.
Further Reading: 101 Ways to Promote Your Blog & Get More Visitors (Right Now!)
21. REACH OUT TO THOSE WHO HAVE SHARED SIMILAR CONTENT
The publish and prey methodology, of publishing a blog post and hoping people will find it just doesn’t work; over 2 million blog posts are published each day and you need to promote your work to compete in the busy world of blogging.
Find people who have written about similar topics – using tools like Buzzsumo and searches on Twitter can be a great way of finding people who have shared similar content to what you have just written. By reaching out to these people and letting them know about your new content, you will get more new eyes on your blog, and more chances of shares from those influencers.
22. LEARN SEO – LIKE REALLY LEARN IT
Bloggers generally despise ‘SEO’ from the emails they get from the low quality SEO professionals just fishing for links. However for growing your blog, SEO becomes invaluable as it can drive a lot of consistent traffic to your posts.
The best basic SEO tips to learn are your title tags from your meta descriptions and discovering how to find out what people are searching for in google. Getting the SEO right will make sure you can continuously grow your blog with organic traffic to support your other channels like social media.
Further Reading: Learning SEO – The Ultimate Resource
23. USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE – REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT
You create a great how to guide with 10 steps to create something great, the post does really well initially and you move on to something new. However, you can use that very same content and create something new and beautiful and get a whole load more traffic.
An instructographic could be the key to thousands of Pinterest visitors, or maybe creating a Slideshare or a short video of your guide could create some more buzz. It’s often easier than you think as you have already written it all which takes up most of the time.
Further Reading: 11 Genius Ways to Repurpose Content
24. GO VIRAL ON PINTEREST – ALWAYS ADD PINTEREST FRIENDLY IMAGES
Never underestimate the power of images, particularly on Pinterest, to help your blog grow. Spend considerable time when creating each blog post choosing the perfect images to accompany what you’re saying (portrait lifestyles work well) along with writing the perfect caption and you could soon reap the rewards with an influx of Pinterest traffic. Kimberly at Swoon Worthy does this brilliantly, you can see a recent example below.
Further Reading: How to make your WordPress blog Pinterest Friendly
25. BUILD A LEAD MAGNET TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST TWICE AS FAST
Lead magnets can put your email list building into hyper drive and they usually take the form of an ebook or guide around a particular topic. The idea is you offer an exclusive piece of content to your visitors in return for them subscribing to your blog (a small bribe if you will).
Lead magnets nearly always result in more subscribers than standard sign up forms as you are offering an incentive for the visitor to part with their email address.
Further Reading: How To Create A Lead Magnet And Grow Your Email List Faster
26. LET BRANDS KNOW WHEN YOU FEATURE THEM
Throughout your posts you probably naturally mention products and brands quite often. By contacting any brand you mention just to let them know you have featured them, you make it very likely they will share the post as a thank you.
Simply reach out to their community / social / PR team and let them know you featured them in a post – it will make sure you are on their radar if they want to work with bloggers in future which could help with more growth in future.
Further Reading: 10 Things Every Blogger Should Know About Working With Brands
27. TRY OUT SOME PAID SOCIAL PROMOTION – IT WORKS!
Using promoted posts on your Facebook pages can really boost your blog traffic. You don’t need to break the bank either for a promoted post to go far, with some viral posts getting 5000 visitors for just a £10 spend. Promoted posts also help to boost your organic traffic and can result in many more likes for your Facebook page.
Pinterest Ads – rolled out to the UK (and selected other countries in 2016, these promos like the Twitter and Facebook versions above will promote your best posts so make sure whichever you decide to push has an incredible image to get the most shares.
Further Reading: How To Use Facebook Ads to Promote Your Blog Content
28. JOIN PINTEREST COMMUNITIES AND REACH NEW AUDIENCES
Just like there are many relevant Facebook groups to join, there are even more boards on Pinterest which you can apply to join to share relevant content with like-minded people. Seek them out and start engaging by commenting on other people’s pins and content and promote your own along the way too. PinGroupie is the best place to find these boards and they can drive you thousands of visits if you get it right!
29. CREATE CONTENT UPGRADES TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST 10X AS FAST
Content upgrades are like lead magnets on steroids – they are uniquely crafted lead magnets designed to be downloaded based on the post a visitor is reading. For example, if you have a post about Scandinavian interior design, you could add a specific upgrade with 10 tips to perfecting your Scandinavian inspired living room.
You can see a good example of this, with the use of a checklist on The LuxPad’s Hygge article.
This bonus engages with the reader as the chances are they like the topic they are reading – therefore by engaging them with a closely related extra bonus greatly increases the chances of them subscribing to your blog.
Further Reading: 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List
30. SUPERCHARGE YOUR SOCIAL SHARES WITH CROWDSOURCED CONTENT
Expert round ups, as they are often known, are a great way of driving some serious traffic to your blog. By acquiring tips, ideas and advice from popular people in the interiors world, you can create a really engaging piece of content as well as having plenty of people ready and waiting to share it when it’s published.
Ask other bloggers, interior designers and even the brands you love, they will all usually be more than happy to contribute as long as it’s a small ask. Here’s a great example from Hollywood Mirrors on bedroom decorating tips.
Further Reading: How to Rank #1 on Google with Expert Roundups
31. SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION BY COMMENTING ON OTHER BLOGS
Commenting on other blogs is a fantastic way to create awareness of your own blog, both to the blog you are commenting on as well as their audience. These days it’s rare for blogs to have many comments on at all (as more and more conversation is happening on social media) but there is still a huge opportunity to be tapped into.
When commenting always make sure it’s a worthwhile comment, for example complement the post or ask the author of the post an engaging question on the topic of the post, this will make the author aware of you and also any other readers of the post will see your great question too.
Further Reading: 10 Tips for Commenting on Blogs
32. MAKE NEW FRIENDS BY ATTENDING EVENTS
Events can range from blogging conferences like Blogtacular and press shows from brands, to award ceremonies or small blogger workshop events. Sometimes these can be difficult to get to around work and family commitments, but they are really useful for meeting new bloggers and getting to know brands all whilst having a fun time.
It gives you a chance to get your blog in front of similar bloggers and brands who can help you drive more traffic to your blog.
Further Reading: Why Bloggers Should Attend Conferences & Networking Events
33. FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT YOUR READERS WANT – ASK THEM!
Surveys are really easy (and completely free) to set up with Google Forms, simply choose your questions and you are ready to start accepting answers. Make sure you ask questions that people will be able to answer easily, closed multiple choice questions like ‘which rooms would you like me to cover’ with a selection of rooms in the house, would be better than just a text box requesting an answer.
Make sure you can use each question to improve your blog, you might learn your audience loved the video you did a few months back and want to see more, or they really love your how to guides. Listen to your audience and act on it.
Further Reading: The Essential Guide to Creating a Survey Your Readers Will Love
34. GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME WITH AUTOMATION
There are some great ways to save time with blogging particularly by automating some parts of your social media. Buffer, a programme great for scheduling tweets, allows you to do it in one sitting and you’ll save so much more time than just popping on twitter each time to tweet and it also tells you how well your tweets have done.
There are also some great plugins for WordPress that allow you to connect your Twitter so it automatically tweets your article when it goes live. A particularly great piece of automation is a welcome series for new subscribers to your blog, send 3-4 emails introducing your blog, your best content and maybe a survey to hear what they want, or a single question asking what they struggle with most in their home, most email providers can easily help set these up.
Further Reading: A Beginner’s Quick Guide To Marketing Automation
35. GIVE BACK TO YOUR AUDIENCE (AND GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST) BY RUNNING A GIVEAWAY
Giveaways are an amazing way to both give back to your audience for being part of your blog, as well as growing your email list, building your audience, increasing followers on social media.
There are many tools, Gleam is a free, easy-to-use option to run the giveaway and has viral aspects like refer-a-friend which can help expand your audience too.
Team up with brands by asking if they would like to donate a product for the giveaway, most are happy to contribute something and you could end up with a great prize haul.
Further Reading: How To Run A Successful Blog Giveaway
Well what are you waiting for, go grow your blog!
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