Friday Five – February 6th – Five Ways to Grow Your Blog

Each month, I continue to be amazed at how much my blog continues to grow.  What started as a small space on the web to share my thoughts and running journey with those who were interested has evolved into so much more.

I used to think that in order to grow my blog that I needed to write in a specific way, that I needed to mimic the big name bloggers and try to be more like them.  The mistake in that is that you’ll likely loose your voice and that you’ll actually push readers away instead of drawing them into your story.

So what can you do to help grow your blog?

five ways to grow your blog

1.  Only blog about topics that you’re passionate about.

While this might seem a bit obvious, your blog is your space.  Nobody else dictates what you have to write about.  You are the author, and readers will be able to read right through posts that you have no clear interest in.

2.  Be true to yourself.

This should go without saying, but why would you blog about something that you don’t believe in?  Remember why it is that you started your blog, and even though the purpose of your blog might evolve over time, its critical that you remember why it is that you started writing.  There are 1,000s of blogs out there, but what will attract readers the most is when they are able to learn about the interests and passions of the writer.

3.  Only agree to review products that you have an interest in or that support the purpose of your blog.

Its very easy to get caught up in the excitement of receiving products to review, and sometimes, being asked to host a giveaway.  Nothing will push readers away more than reading a blog full of product reviews, or worse yet, reading product reviews that have little or nothing to do with the blog they’re reading or the interests of the blogger.

4.  Join smaller networking groups.

Its easy to get lost among large networking groups, especially those who have Facebook groups with 1,000s of members.  By choosing to join one or two smaller networks, you’ll be more likely to be able to get to know the members, which will likely lead to more meaningful interactions.

5.  Join blog hops.Grow Your Blog Image

This month I’ve joined my first blog hop.  Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner is hosting the “Grow Your Blog” Blog Hop during the month of February.  By participating, its allowed me to get to know other bloggers who I’ve never previously interacted with.  There are tons of blog hops out there, just make sure you do your research before agreeing to join one in order to make sure that its the right fit for you.

For more blogging tips, be sure to check out these posts:

QOTD: What tip do you have for helping to grow blogs?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

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85 Responses to Friday Five – February 6th – Five Ways to Grow Your Blog

  1. Those are great tips! I still need to participate in a blog hop. How did you learn about this one? I imagine that it is now to late for me to join, but if you hear of any other, please let me know it. 🙂

  2. eatsandexercisebyamber says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you on the “review only products you feel support your blog” I got offered to review a “meal enders” lozenge for curbing appetite and weight loss, and while I thought it would be cool, I also thought it didn’t align with my blog’s message or my ideals so I declined… my tip, SHARING IS CARING, gotta show other blogs love for yours to grow 🙂

  3. Pam says:

    I have quit reading alot of blogs due to product shilling. It is hard to read blogs when they wear 5 different brands of shoes because they are “free”. We enjoy writing our blog and feel the same way as you!

  4. Being true to yourself is the best advice. It’s important to remember why you started blogging and what you hope to accomplish. Good tips!

  5. I can honestly say I’ve picked up quite a few tips from your blog, so thanks for that! I, for one, tend to just skip over the blogs that are constantly posting product reviews, unless it’s something I was already interested in. Keep up the great work here and I hope you’re feeling better!

  6. Great tips Kathryn! I am always sure to only blog about products that I like or will actually use. That said..I don’t review a lot of things but you can be sure if I’m reviewing them that I liked the product. I also think it’s important to blog about the things that are important to you. Don’t just blog so you will have a post for that day.

  7. Great tips, all of them!

  8. I agree, I really like these little link ups I’ve become a part of. It’s gotten me to find more people to connect with!

  9. Lesley says:

    My tip would be to be patient… and I need to follow that too. I’m not a patient person, but patience and persistence will help. I’m enjoying the blog hop this month and I’ve discovered a lot of blogs I already like after one or two posts.

  10. Good Tips! I wish it could really help me though! But I do enjoy reading other blogs!
    I need to look for a blog hop!

  11. Great tips! I think that one of the most important is to stay true to yourself and not try to mimic others…yes, you can learn a lot from others, but, it’s important to use your own voice and make your blog about who YOU are! 🙂

  12. I’ve been struggling with this lately. I see my engagement go up and then drop and I haven’t been able to pin point why. I do find that engaging with other blogger through commenting and groups like Sweat Pink helps.

  13. Jill says:

    Agree on being true to you! Now that I’m a member of a few different blogging groups I have opportunities to review products more often but most times they are not things I’d use or support so I decline. Everyone has their own voice and just as in life you should strive to be authentic in your blogging!

  14. Great tips! I think being authentic is so important. If you write good contact that is authentic to you your blog will grow on its own. And I completely agree with the smaller networks. The big ones unfortunately are too hard to follow.

  15. Smaller groups are awesome for getting support. Great tips!

  16. Great tips! Thanks for this. Being patient definitely helps, too — it’s a long, slow process to grow your blog, but so incredibly rewarding (and fun!) 🙂

  17. Joining blog hops and linking up with other bloggers is a great way to connect with others. We have met so many great bloggers thru doing this.

  18. briwifruit says:

    These are fabulous tips. Most of the others I’ve seen are all about writing lists, how-tos, joining content networks, commenting on other blogs and posting three times per week. An authentic voice is so important.

  19. Excellent tips! Connecting with other bloggers has been HUGE for me! It has not only helped grow my blog, but it has helped me make life long friends!

  20. Get out of my mind! Okay, I’m kidding. Shout it from the rooftops. My post today mirrors your sentiments and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  21. This blog hop has been one of the best I have ever participated in and I am picking up a lot of ideas/inspiration to help with my running goals. Blog networking can help make some great friends.

  22. apkussma says:

    #4 was a definite ‘ah-hah!’ for me… must look into this.

  23. Mandie says:

    Awesome tips! Thank you for sharing! I have just recently re-vamped blogging and switched platforms for it, so it is good to know that I am doing the right things, and just need to be patient! Do you have suggestions on how to find appropriate smaller blogging networks? Thanks again!

  24. Great tips! I love the tip to be true to yourself. After all, we’re bloggers sharing OUR personal passions, not those of others.

  25. excellent tips – i’m really happy that you are seeing growth and progress with your blog! 🙂

  26. HoHo Runs says:

    Good tips. I think you should take the time to read and comment on other blogs (the fun part anyway). In turn, if someone comments on my blog I always reply. There is effort involved.

  27. cassi9879b says:

    You can find some great blogs to follow in the hops.

  28. Great tips! As my blog continues to grow, I worry about losing my voice. I love that you say be true to yourself! That is advice I will stick with!

  29. Farrah says:

    I completely agree with all of these! ❤ I've also started learning to say no sometimes, even to things that I think would be really amazing opportunities. ;_; It makes me super sad to have to do it, but at the same time, if I know that I can't do it justice, I feel like it's better for me to politely decline. That being said, I do love the smaller networking groups a lot more, and I love Kristy's blog hop! It's not overwhelming, but it definitely has given me the chance to get to know bloggers I might never have met otherwise!

  30. These are great tips and I completely agree! Blog hops and link ups have gotten me so many more readers. And it’s great to interact with other bloggers! I also agree with the product reviews one- I’ve been approached by a lot of companies wanting me to review product that my blog really isn’t about. I decided not to do a few reviews because of that and I don’t regret it. I review the products I use daily and love and that is what’s important!

  31. It is definitely important to find your own voice. I need to join more blog hops for sure! Great tips!

  32. RunFarGirl says:

    New to your blog here:) These are really great tips especially your advice on not saying “yes” to every review opportunity. I think to that you have to have the attitude that Content is King. If you’re not creating value for your reader in the form of well written, quality content then they aren’t going to stick around. Draw your reader in with good writing and keep them by being engaged and authentic. Look forward to reading more.

  33. great tips. Definitely agree on being true to yourself and I’d add, like others, being patient. The shift I’ve seen in the blogging world on product reviews is becoming a turn off.

  34. Katrina says:

    Great tips! Being a genuine blogger who shares helpful information is great

  35. alicenronan1 says:

    These are great tips. I especially agree about not reviewing products that aren’t in line with your blog. It can be tempting to try to make your blog fit with a number of different directions, especially when people are offering you freebies. If it takes you in a weird direction though it doesn’t help you grow and it doesn’t help your readership.

  36. Love your tips! Being true to yourself and blogging on topics your passionate about are the things I look for when I am looking for new blogs to follow. Sometimes I see on blog forums that bloggers are running out of things to blog about and they ask others what they should blog about. I always comment on those and say, blog about what you love, you can’t show your passion on a topic that is not close to home as well you can on those you are. Readers notice too:)
    I too also agree on not too many product reviews! I don’t mind a few, but like you said if its all they are doing I do lose interest, especially if its a product that I saw reviewed on 20 other blogs that same week:) I think reviews are great, but I also think we should be selective and choose the right reviews!
    Thanks for sharing all your tips!!!

  37. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    What has worked for me is the networking. VIsiting other blogs and engaging!

  38. Love number 3! I’m so tired of seeing sponsored post after sponsored post. I get that people want to make money on their own blog but with a whole bunch of sponsored posts a month it just makes it seem like the author is desperate. And it makes me that much more turned off about a product. It’s also my main reason why I stopped reading and commenting on many blogs. Thanks for the great post! I’m enjoying connecting via the Grow Your Blog Hop (not a sponsored post-ha!)

    • Completely agree with you. A sponsored post here in there is fine (and is usually expected in order to fulfill ambassador commitments), but when a blog is filled mostly with sponsored posts it becomes a bit difficult to put faith in the writer.

  39. imamosier says:

    Great post and tips. I completely agree with only reviewing products that you love and that fit your blog. I

  40. FitMomma says:

    Great Tips!! I just recently declined a product review for the very reason you mention. I don’t believe in the product…why receive it!?!? I’m also participating in the blog hop but am finding this post via the blogger support group…small world. lol

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