Earlier this week I shared with you the first part of this series – How I Had More Than 8000 Pageviews My First Month Of Blogging. I told my blogging story, and explained what a pageview is and why they’re important in the blogging world.
In this post we’ll continue with that topic, and I’ll share the 5 things I did before my blog launched and during the first month of blogging to increase my pageviews.
(This post contains a couple of affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only mention products that I love and would recommend, whether I was being compensated or not. This does not cost you any extra, and it helps pay for running my blog site. Thanks!)
Here are 5 things I did before my blog launched and during the first month of blogging to increase pageviews.
1. Researched Blogging
I’ve talked about this already, but it’s the key to all of the other steps. I researched blogging for months (almost 5 months), before my site launched. It felt like I had gone back to college to earn a degree in blogging! I read everything I could about having a successful blog.
Most of my research didn’t cost any money, but I did spend some money and took a couple of blogging courses before my site went live. One of those was not so great, so I’m not including it here. The other course was very helpful and informative, and it’s first on my list of helpful resources. The other resources listed are blogs that I’ve found very helpful to learning about blogging.
- Blogging Your Passion University – This course was very helpful to me. I learned the basics of blogging, including how to start setting up and writing posts in WordPress.org, SEO, social media and so much more. I learn best visually, so the step-by-step videos were ideal for me. They were very helpful and easy to understand. Jonathon Milligan from Blogging Your Passion University has just come out with the newest version of the course – 2.0. There is open enrollment for the course from today until next Wednesday, April 8th.
- Learn To Blog Hangouts – Kelli and Crystal are the two amazing gals behind the Learn To Blog Hangouts. They are seasoned bloggers who started a weekly Google Hangout to help other bloggers learn how to blog. Kelli blogs at Three Boys & A Dog, and Crystal blogs at Crystal & Company. The hangouts are free and you can watch them by going to the Learn To Blog Hangouts site. They also now offer an Online Blogging Class. I have not taken the course, but it comes highly recommended by others who have taken it. It’s on my to-do list!
- Amy Lynn Andrews (formerly known as Blogging With Amy) – When I started researching blogging, I googled – how to blog. The first site that came up in Google was Amy Lynn Andrews. Her site was formally called Blogging With Amy. Amy has a wealth of information about how to start a blog, and I highly recommend you read her blog if you want to learn more about blogging. Her site has gone through some changes since I first started reading it, but all of the information is still there. She’s also in the process of updating some of the posts.
- Moms Make Money – Deby Coles blogs at Moms Make Money, which is a wonderful site that’s full of blogging tips for making money with your blog. I’m going to be talking more about this site later. I’m a big fan of Deby’s. I’m constantly amazed by everything she has accomplished in the last couple of years. She also blogs at her wonderful sewing site – So Sew Easy.
2. Had My Site Professionally Designed –
The more that I researched blogging successfully, the more I realized that having a well-designed site was an important key to the success of my new blog. When readers come to your site, it should be easy to navigate, and pleasing to look at. I knew that I couldn’t design a site myself. Some people who have more computer knowledge than I do, can probably do a site design on their own, but I knew I would need help.
I was reading Amy Lynn Andrews blog one day, and stumbled across a post about hiring a good blog designer. That’s where I found my wonderful blog designer, Jennifer Bruce from New Seasons Design. She’s been so helpful in my blogging journey. First with the first site design, and then with blogging consultations and now a new site re-design that we’re currently working on.
She is so pleasant to work with, and always has great ideas for how to make my blog better.
3. Wrote Good Content & Took Good Photographs–
There’s a saying in the blogging world – content is king. This is another thing about blogging that kept popping up during my research. You have to have really good content to keep your readers coming back for more. One successful blogger’s advice – give something to your readers. Help them learn something, make them laugh, write touching blog posts that they want to read. I don’t think of myself as being very funny, but I can teach people how to sew, decorate their homes, or do certain DIY projects.
During my research I found some really good information about how to write tutorials, and I also researched how to make very informative and easy to understand video tutorials for my posts.
When my site first went live I had ten good posts ready to publish. That way, if anyone came to my site, there wasn’t just one blog post sitting there. I also had 15-20 posts that were almost ready to publish.
Also, I quickly realized that I needed to have very good photos to go along with my blog posts, so I started researching how to take better pictures. I don’t have a fancy camera, just a simple point and shoot, but there are some easy tricks to taking really good pictures. I did a guest blog post for Deby Coles at Moms Make Money, where I share some of my tips and techniques for taking better pictures for your blog.
4. Learned About SEO
During my research about blogging, I learned about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Remember when I mentioned above that I googled how to blog, and Amy Lynn Andrews site came up first (after the ads)? Google has recognized Amy Lynn Andrews as a good resource for learning how to blog. That’s ideally what you want to happen with blog posts that you write – you want them to pop up on the first page of the search engine you’re using, so that people will come to your site.
I use WordPress SEO by Yoast to optimize my blog posts, so that people searching for a certain topic will see my blog post pop up. I just do a few extra steps after writing a post.
About three weeks after my blog went live, my college-age nephew (who didn’t even know that I had started to blog), made a pillow for his girlfriend. He told me that he googled how to sew a pillow closed, and my post, How To Hand Sew A Pillow Closed, came up third on the first page of Google. He used my video to learn how to sew his pillow closed. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear this! That post still comes up on Google’s first page if you do a search for that topic, and I still get traffic from that post every day. It’s also my most popular video on You Tube.
5. Joined Linky Parties & Submitted To Feature Sites
I found out during my research that a good way to get traffic (more pageviews) to your site was to join Linky Parties. Deby from Moms Make Money has written a great post about linky parties. Basically, you link a blog post and a picture on the hostess of the linky parties site. There are lots of linky parties out there. Try to find some in your niche. The best ones will also feature the most popular links from the previous week’s party. I’ve been featured a few times, and that usually drives more traffic to my blog.
There are also some great blog sites that are feature sites. You can submit a blog post, and the site may feature it. This is also a good way to drive traffic to your site. I’ve submitted some projects to Craftgawker, Totally Tutorials, Sew Can She, and Tip Junkie to name a few. Craftsy will also let you submit projects for free on their site, and I have a few on there too.
Whew! Thanks for sticking with me! I know this is a lot of info to wade through, please let me know if you have any questions.
Do you have some tips for getting more traffic to your site? Please share in the comments below!