Last updated on December 16th, 2018 at 09:25 am
Before I really decided to start growing my blog I was ALL OVER the place, with no plan and super overwhelmed. I would make a to do list, even try to schedule things, but still was going nowhere.
My to do list would be something like:
- write 2 blog posts
- create an editorial calendar
- create a checklist
- update Instagram
- schedule twitter
- pin for 15 minutes
- edit my recipe images
- update old posts
- guest post
- change the design of my website
- research best ways to lose weight
But first lunch.
Then, to my surprise, at the end of the day I’d realize I’ve spent my time checking out random Instagram “celebrities”, watched some youtube videos and researched a completely different topic. And I didn’t get ANYTHING done.
Since then I learned a lot about organizing my blog, actually doing things and as a result growing my traffic.
If you feel like you’re all over the place as well, here are 5 things that you need to finally grow your blog.
The 5 Most Important Things To Grow Your Blog And Get You Unstuck
If you haven’t started your blog yet or struggling to grow your blog, make sure to work through my step-by-step guide here. It teaches you: 1) how to choose a blog topic, 2) launch your WordPress blog without spending a ton of money on things you don’t actually need in the beginning by choosing a reliable, but cheap hosting, 3) grow your blog traffic fast and 4) start making money with that blog. Yes, it takes longer than just buying hosting in 20 minutes, but if you stick with it – you’ll launch your blog within a week.
1. Your Own Opinion (don’t throw up in your mouth)
Focus on you. This sounds like something you’d want to punch me in the face for, but it’s so so so so, soooo important, I can’t stress it enough. But I am, I’m stressing it.
Don’t spend more time on “research” than on creating your own content, promoting it and connecting with your audience.
Don’t try to sound like everyone else out there, because you think people won’t like what you have to say.
As cliche as it sounds: be yourself and BE HONEST.
It’s surprising how very few people are really honest, even when none of us need to censor what we write on our blogs. People appreciate honesty. And honesty can make you very successful.
So stop comparing, stop judging, stop censoring yourself and just focus on what you REALLY want to say. People will want to read it.
2. A REALISTIC schedule
To grow your blog you need structure. Structure that works FOR YOU.
I tried structuring my days and my blog the way I thought was smartest (the way people said works for them), but still got nothing done.
The reason: I still wanted to do EVERYTHING in almost no time. I wanted to have a new post every day. But to my surprise, I couldn’t keep up with that.
Then I decided that 3x/week was also ok.
But I couldn’t stick to that schedule either. I couldn’t just write 12 articles in 3 days to schedule them ahead for the next 4 weeks. I just couldn’t do it. With everything else I was trying to do in my life – this was a very unrealistic schedule.
Not if I wanted to offer some value.
Some months I was so stressed out that I couldn’t even post twice a month. I would beat myself up about it and still set unrealistic goals. I thought the problem was me, not my schedule.
Now, lately I decided to be nicer to myself and to face the facts.
So I made a schedule of posting once a week. At the moment, this works GREAT.
By posting once a week, I can ensure to write better content, content that makes sense for me and my audience and to actually make time for other stuff as well.
My posts are scheduled ahead, my pins are scheduled ahead and I can focus on other things like creating opt-ins, soon maybe even my own product.
So if you’re all over the place, this is the one step I HIGHLY suggest: a realistic schedule.
3. The right platform
I bet you’ve heard somewhere that you need to be everywhere to be successful. Well, I politely disagree. Because this very advice turned out to be a complete waste of time when I was just starting out.
You don’t need to be everywhere. You don’t need to spend your day juggling between the 80 social media platforms out there, film videos, get on every forum and beg every site out there to accept you as a contributor.
You don’t need to be everywhere, what you need is to be in the right place.
Whether that’s Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter – it all depends on you. What do you like? Where are your strengths?
Do you like taking pictures during your day – Instagram might be for you!
Writing clever phrases? Then you might like Twitter.
For me, I love making collages. I simply LOVE it.
So I ignore Instagram, Twitter, and I focus on my blog and on Pinterest.
The other platform I want to focus on is Google. Because Google, while not as fancy as Instagram, has more power than all social media platforms combined. And it’s never too late to join the fun.
The reason why Pinterest and Google are the best choice to grow your blog, is that people go there to actually look for stuff. Not to mess around, but to look for stuff. When you’re just starting out – this is what you need: people who look for stuff! Help them find you. Nobody on Instagram looks for things.
4. A strong foundation
There are two things that you need for a great foundation of a blog – a great hosting and a beautiful, engaging WordPress theme.
While these might sound like technicalities, a strong foundation is important to grow your blog and audience. There’s no sense in trying to build a beautiful house without a strong foundation. With time you’ll get cracks and have to invest more time and money than you would if you had a great foundation in the first place.
It’s the same with your blog.
When people come to your blog you want them to have the best experience and ultimately to stay/ come back. You want them to be able to access your blog at any time and to easily find the content they might be interested in reading (even if they don’t know it yet).
For me – I switched last year to Siteground, because they have the best uptime and did the whole site transfer FOR FREE. I’m extremely happy with their customer support, my uptime is 100% (rare to find) – it’s honestly all I need. If you want to get your blog started with Siteground, right now you can get 60% off.
As for the design – I use Genesis and the Divine child theme. These “themes” aren’t free, but they load fast, are SEO optimized (helped me come up higher in Google search results), look great on mobile and what’s super important to me – are highly customizable to showcase my content in a way that helps visitors stay longer and come back.
Be clear about your goals. (eyeroll) Right? We’ve all heard that.
What not so many people tell you is to actually remind yourself of why you’re doing things consistently. Remind yourself of your MAJOR goals consistently.
If you’re anything like me, your mind might be, well, let’s call it hyperactive. Like a little kid.
You get ideas, after ideas, after ideas and if you’re having a good day, where you’re not comparing yourself to random people or learning from others things you already know, you act on all those ideas. You do things halfway, some of them you actually finish but then you’re wondering why nobody cares and you’re not making any money. While others with half-written articles full of generic tips make more money than your whole family.
CLARITY my friend, clarity.
There are people on this planet who do things on purpose. Those people are clear about the reason why they’re doing EVERYTHING they’re doing. They don’t just do it because they have to or because they want to, but because it will bring them one step closer to achieving their big goal. And they keep their eyes on that goal.
So when you create content, don’t just create content because you need to post every day.
Don’t create content because you think people might like it, because you kinda like it.
Create content that will take you closer to your goal, content that serves you and your audience.
So if your goal is to have a big audience?
You create content that can potentially go viral and bring in traffic. You promote it on the platform that will bring you the biggest exposure. You stop playing around and stop writing things nobody can act on.
Here’s how lack of clarity made me waste more time than I ever needed:
When I started my blog I wanted to make money from anywhere in the world and to help people all over the world live healthier and happier life (that’s still my goal).
My strategy was to put out as much content as possible. Blog every single day was the motto at some point. Too bad that this was a dumb strategy.
How is that helping me achieve any of my initial goals? It wasn’t. When I was just putting out content, I didn’t have time to promote it. So nobody read it. And I didn’t make ANY money for the first two years of writing my blog.
So my two goals? FAIL.
Nothing worked until I became really crystal clear about what I wanted.
With this in mind, I made sure I spent time on promoting my content, on creating the content people actually can use and on finding ways to monetize my blog.
On the other hand – I’ve found out that posting less often than once a week results in less traffic and in me procrastinating for weeks after. So between 2-3 times a week is what I aim for when planning and scheduling content.
So, be clear about the big picture and take small steps that will add up to get to your initial goal.
I hope these tips help you make better decisions and prioritize the things that bring you the most benefit.