7 Things I Did To Grow My Blog In 2016

7 Things I did to grow my blog and how you can grow your blog tooThis little blog has had an insane year. My blog has grown so much although it still has a way to go before it’s where I want it to be. This time of year normally brings reflection and reminiscing. Which got me thinking about what I did this year to grow my blog. It didn’t just happen by itself, it took a lot of work to make it happen. This growth is down to a few things I did differently or put a little extra effect into. I’ve narrowed it down to 7 key things I did which helped grow my blog this year. Hopefully, you will also be able to use these tips to grow your blog.

I Installed Proper Analytics (and learnt how to use them)

At the start of the year, I was on Blogger and was quite happy using its stat function to check page views etc. Until I installed Google Analytics I didn’t realise how wrong the Blogger stats were. At first, it was really disheartening realising I didn’t get 10,000 page views a month and it was more like half that. However, once I got over that initial disappointment I could see just how useful Google Analytics is. With Google Analytics you can find out how people are finding your site and which posts they view. You can learn about your audience and where they’re from. Once you know which posts are your most popular you can then write more similar posts. Similarly, once you know how people are finding your site you can target that channel to increase traffic or target a smaller channel to get more from it. I would recommend installing Google Analytics to anyone looking to grow their blog especially if they’re on Blogger as its stats are useless.

I Defined My Niche

Up until the end of last year, I was writing about any topic I fancied. My blog had no clear niche and readers didn’t know what to expect one day to the next. This year I took the time to work out what my message was and why people should follow me. I thought about who my ideal reader was and wrote posts to target them. Focusing in on a niche has been incredibly helpful and has really helped me to grow my blog. Readers now know exactly what kind of content I create and what to expect when they visit.

I Wrote Valuable Posts

Along with defining a niche and targeting my ideal reader, I made sure that every post I published had value. I read somewhere (sorry I have no idea where) that your reader should have a clear takeaway from every blog post. For example, the takeaway from this post is a list of tips to help grow your blog. The majority of my posts this year have been about providing advice and support on capsule wardrobes or ethical fashion. I’m writing blog posts with helping the reader in mind and not doing it for the sake of posting. These types of posts do really well on Google search and Pinterest as the content is useful and something people are searching for.

I Upped My Social Media Game

I started to think about social media more strategically. Nothing was scheduled and I posted whenever I felt like it. However, once I changed my mindset and started to think of social media as part of this little blog business I saw a big difference. My following started to grow and was bring traffic over to the blog. Now I have a mini content calendar from Twitter along with a clear strategy. The same with Instagram. I’ve also started using external apps to help me stay on top of my social media and schedule it out. There is still have a lot of room to grow but everything is heading in the right direction.

I Got Serious About Pinterest

Like everyone else, I used to use Pinterest for finding outfit inspiration, recipes and home interior ideas. I never really thought of it as a useful resource for my blog. However after a few tweaks to my profile and developing a strategy it’s now one of my biggest traffic sources. The trick is to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than another form of social media. Hide all your random boards and focus on boards relating to your niche. And pins lots (and I mean lots). As I already said useful posts which help readers do really well on here.

I Moved To WordPress

My blog seemed to really take off once I moved from Blogger to WordPress. As much as I loved using Blogger, WordPress is an amazing blogging platform. There is scope to create pretty much anything you want. With Blogger Google owns your content and can remove your blog at any time, whereas with WordPress you own your content. This is so important when you want to create something more from you blog. There is so much I love about WordPress and think anyone serious about growing their blog.

I Put The Time In

I wish I could say I did all this in only a few minutes a day but the reality is growing a blog takes time. Once I decided to start taking my blog seriously and trying to grow it I knew I also had to put the time in. The more time and effort you put into your blog the more you get out of it. I’ve seen massive growth since I was able to dedicate most of my day to my blog. If you want to grow your blog it does take time and lots of work. You have to work hard, but it isn’t hard work. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve had.

7 things I did to grow my blog this year. Click through to read how I more than tripled my page views this year.

 

22 Comments

  1. December 28, 2016 / 8:52 am

    THIS post was really helpful! A post about Pinterest for the blog would be so useful xxx

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      I think a post on Pinterest is on the cards

  2. December 28, 2016 / 9:02 am

    These are great tips – I need to up the game this coming year although my blog has only just turned one.
    I need to go self hosting with WordPress so that’s my first big step!!
    Will keep this as a guide going forward!!
    Em x
    http://happywiseowl.com

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Good luck with moving over to WordPress. I’m sure your blog will continue to grow in 2017

  3. December 28, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Great post and your blog is great. It’s always good to see success in figures from what you do..
    I can’t say I personally have a niche, I prefer being a little of everything and like I do with other blogs, I’ll follow and pick and choose which posts to read. I dislike samey posts, I prefer a range.
    I’m excited to see what 2017 has to offer now I’m on wordpress. I’m so happy I’ve been able to do it for the beginning of a new year. 🙂
    I too have also delved back into Pinterest with a new light. I attended an event not long ago and there was a guest speaker on the use of Pinterest and pointers etc and I went in thinking I’d just cat nap through it, as i’ve never understood it or seen the benefit of it.. But I began making notes and mentally and right there I updated my account and when I got home I tweaked it a little more and now I’m on it most days! Haha!
    Here’s to 2017! All the best!

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Pinterest is great once you start using it right. Your blog is looking great on WordPress so glad you made the move. I like that your blog has a range of topics and like you I read a wide range of posts. For this site I did find once I pinned down what I want to write about it help it to grow. Always interesting to hear how things work differently for others.

  4. December 28, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Fantastic post – I also felt the same when starting to use Google Analytics! I’m off to read your post about moving to WordPress now, it’s something I’ve been considering for a while but I’m afraid I’ll lose posts/SEO/etc.

    Besma | Curiously Conscious

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Moving to WordPress has made a huge difference. I think it has improved SEO and I had no issues with moving everything over.

  5. December 29, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Really great post. I’m so glad you’re sharing what worked for your blog. Thank you 🙂

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      thanks

  6. December 29, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Great post and funnily enough I was thinking about Pinterest today as hardly use it for blog. I really need to get Google Analytics but I’m worried I won’t understand the stats! I just go off my WordPress stats. Xh
    http://Www.theheatherlee.com

    • Jen
      January 4, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Think a bigger post on Pinterest will be coming up soon. Don’t worry too much about Google Analytics once you get used to it it’s pretty simple. I love that you can delve deeper into what people are reading and how they found your site. So useful when planning posts and thinking about how to promote them

  7. January 4, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    This was a great read! A question though, how did you move from blogger to WordPress & are there any fees? I’m looking into it but I don’t want to start my blog over again. Thanks in advance x

    • Jen
      January 5, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      You will have to pay for hosting and a domain (if you don’t already have one) this isn’t too expensive. You don’t have to start over and can bring all your posts, photos and comments over when you move. You may want to pay someone to move your blog across for you, I did it myself and although it is pretty straightforward it is time-consuming. I think it’s well worth the move and had definitely helped my blog grow. x

  8. January 6, 2017 / 1:08 am

    Really interesting read. I started blogging on Monday, so the whole concept of my blog actually going somewhere seems daunting. I’ve been enjoying the whole process so far though, but I just can’t wrap my head around certain aspects of it, i.e. Google Analytics. I can’t wait to give these other things a try though! x
    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

    • Jen
      January 6, 2017 / 9:59 am

      It takes time to grow a blog so don’t worry about doing everything now. I think the best thing to do when you first start is create great content you can then work on building traffic and followers. Good Luck x

  9. January 6, 2017 / 10:42 am

    Brilliant list! I found you via Instagram so making sure your social media game is on is definitely important. I’ll be taking all of these ideas on board for my tiny little blog. Thanks!

    • Jen
      January 6, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Thanks for letting me know you came over from Instagram always good to know that people are clicking over. Hope you found the tips helpful

  10. January 8, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Excellent tips here.

    I have just returned to blogging after taking a year off. I originally started in 2011, but decided to have a break. Back with a new blog, and I am playing catch up ; so much has changed since then. But these tips I take on board, and will work with them to try and improve my blog.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Jen
      January 10, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      Welcome back to the blogging world, hope you find the tips useful x

  11. January 29, 2017 / 4:55 am

    Great post and I keep reading about Pinterest helping to build traffic so thinking of spending some time to sort that out. I’m still struggling to find my niche but I do like writing valuable posts as a reader myself, I always like to feel I’ve been given useful advice rather than posting for sake of it? As a result I feel I can’t blog as much as I’d like, probably once a week instead of 4 times :/ I’m definitely going to get the Google Analytics as think it would help. I find WordPress stats quite useful at the moment but is it enough?
    Thanks for the tips and I’ve bookmarked it for future ref 😀 xh

  12. February 12, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I found these tips really interesting and I’ll definitely try and adapt and do a lot of what you’ve mentioned. I’d love to hear about your social media and pinterest strategy as well!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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