Sunday, 15 February 2015

How to Generate an Audience For Your Blog - and Increase Interaction

How to Generate an Audience For Your Blog - and Increase Interaction #blogging #tips
As a pro blogger I'm often asked how to generate an audience and increase interaction on a new, or not-so-new, blog. Getting more people to visit, comment and return again and again to your blog is difficult, and it took me a long time to find out the best ways to do it.

Here are some of the tips I've written and emailed to other bloggers who've asked me for help in the past, all summarised in one post for you. This is definitely not an exhaustive list so please add any great tips of your own in the comments. I'd love to hear ideas that are new to me - I certainly don't know everything (far from it!) and am always looking for great tips that I can implement myself.

Learning in blogging never ends, and neither does the potential for improvement...!



1. Make friends with other bloggers

Most bloggers start wondering how on earth to get their blog noticed (I certainly did back in July 2011). Think of it this way: in real life you don't make friends by sitting at home waiting for someone to knock on your door and invite themselves to tea. You have to get out there and find new people, be friendly, start a conversation. By getting out the house and reaching out to others, after a short while they're bound to say yes if you invite them round for a cuppa. Or if you tell them to drop by whenever they're passing they'll almost certainly pop in one day.

Blogging is no different. You have to start conversations. Make yourself someone that others want to talk to. Find a community you'd like to be a part of and invite yourself to join - in the right way, of course*.

If you're wondering where to find bloggers, look at blogrolls. Read blog post comments and click through to the commenters' blogs and make friends with them directly. If you want to be a part of the 40+ community, for example, read these posts I did about 40+ bloggers for some great blogs in that niche:

8 Over 40 Fashion Bloggers You Should Know
and Why It's Great Being a Fashion Blogger Over 40

- if you're not already, make friends with the bloggers themselves and the commenters by saying hello on their blog. Say that, for example, Catherine from Not Dressed As Lamb said you should visit - bloggers like to know how you found them. Becoming a major player and being known by everyone in your chosen community is a great way to increase your audience.

*Please note inviting yourself does not mean spamming people with "follow for follow" requests. Never, ever go down that route... you will do exactly the opposite and get blocked, marked as spam or simply just ignored.


2. Share the love

Sharing the love sounds a bit soppy, I know, but the quickest way to be recognised as a great blogger is not by constantly (and only) tooting your own horn, but by tooting the horn of others.

I firmly believe in the Paradox of Generosity - that is, you enrich your own life by giving to others (often in a way that's worth far more than the value of what you gave originally). If, like me, you get more excited about giving the presents you've bought for your loved ones at Christmas than you do about opening your own, then you'll know what I mean.

Talk about other bloggers. Tweet about other bloggers. Post your favourite links from that day/week/month. Share other bloggers' Facebook posts. Do a round up of your favourite bloggers. It will all come back to you not just in an increase in visitor numbers, but in the great feeling you get from making someone's day.


3. Become an inquisitive sponge

By this I mean become very aware of what everyone else is doing and react accordingly. If a blogger mentions something you're not familiar with, Google it. Question things you don't understand and soak up information. Whether that be directly through posts like this one giving you blog improvement tips or indirectly by making note of what other bloggers are doing, become a sponge for information.

  • What tweets is this blogger sending out that seem to get a lot of interaction? Can I do something similar?
  • Why did that post get so many comments? What did the blogger do that I could emulate? [note: emulate, not copy.]
  • Why is this blog so easy to navigate? What makes it so aesthetically pleasing? Is mine as easy-to-use and as easy-on-the-eye?
  • What blogger outreach programmes have they featured in their sidebar? Can I join up to those too?
  • What link parties (if you're wondering what they are - see below) have they mentioned in their post? Can I link up to them?

Make use of all the resources available to you, whether that be on a plate in a blogging tips post or hidden somewhere amongst the blog itself.


4. Link up parties

In a nutshell, link parties are the best way to a) promote your blog, and b) find new bloggers to connect with. They are regular 'gatherings' hosted by a blogger (usually weekly and on the same day) where you can add a little hyperlinked thumbnail and a caption from one of your posts that will go through to your blog. So you're sharing your posts on the host's blog in a thumbnail gallery, in other words. Link parties are more than just a showcase for your work, however: in the process you will also find loads of great posts from other bloggers who link up.

So for example I'm linking this post up to Let It ShineBrilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites and Sunday Funday. I always mention this at the end of my posts, so if you see this on other blogs click through and find out what the link party is all about.

Due to the generosity of the host, it's important to keep it in the spirit of fairness and that you don't just link and run. Make sure you're doing the following:

  • Read the rules and adhere to them regarding commenting, follows, etc.
  • Add a link or their button to the end of your post. Even if they don't specify this do it anyway.
  • Follow the theme of the link party - don't publish your all-black outfit on a fashion link party when the theme is pink. It may also infuriate others who came by to see pink.
  • Choose which image you select for your thumbnail carefully and always go for the "crop yourself" option (the thumbnails are always square).
  • Write a compelling caption so that others simply have to click through. You may be restricted by character numbers so make it sound strong.
  • Leave a comment for the host to thank them - sometimes I tweet it with a link instead to share it with my Twitter followers. More exposure for the host this way!

If you've just started out as a blogger or you're stuck in a rut and want to increase interaction, this is one of the very best and most direct ways to get people to visit your blog.


5. Reply to comments. All of them, everywhere.

I will admit that a year or so ago I was getting overwhelmed by spam and found replying to comments very hard indeed. Replying to all blog comments was absolutely impossible. I therefore made a conscious effort to sort out the spam (as much as I could) and made a promise to myself to reply to every single comment on my blog. I'm not saying you should do this as it does take up a huge amount of time (it's easier for me now I'm a full time blogger), but if a post has many comments and the blogger never replies to any of them ever, it does give the impression they're not being read.

By replying to at least the main ones it shows that you're interested in what people have to say - you're then more likely to get more people to comment further. Your replies to others are confirmation that you'll read what the current reader is about to write. They might change their mind if they see that you never reply.

I think it's even more important to reply to comments on social media. Bloggers should never leave a tweet or Facebook comment unacknowledged, even if it's just a smiley face back or a quick "thank you". When you're trying to build relationships it's very, very important to do this to build trust and engagement.

If I tweet about how much I love something by another blogger and they don't reply, I may only do it once more without an acknowledgement before I never mention them again.


6. Use Google+

I've written before about how to create eye-catching Google Plus posts, but many bloggers don't like it because they don't understand it. I didn't like Twitter before I used it, and that was because I didn't understand it. I don't know how I'd get by without Twitter now.

The main thing to remember is that Google run Google Plus, so of course you will become more visible in Google searches if you're a regular user of G+. If you're ever given a chance to boost your SEO, this is one of the best to take.

This rewardStyle article 7 Reasons to Join Google Plus (pinned to my Blogging Tips board because rS only make it available for their members to access) about the benefits of Google Plus is very insightful.  It's growing massively, and I always seem to get several new followers on Bloglovin after I've posted on G+.

Note: If you're still displaying GFC followers on your sidebar it's time to get rid of them. It won't affect those who are already following you that way, but it does look old-fashioned now. In 2014 my GFC followers went up by just 2, but my Google+ followers went up by over 1,500. I've even read comments from new bloggers asking what GFC is(!)


7. Make blog post titles useful

Blog post titles are often something that stumps bloggers, but there is a simple trick that makes naming each and every post quick and simple. Think: If I were searching for this information on Google, what would I type in the search box to find it?

BLOG POST TITLES: THINK, IF I WERE SEARCHING FOR THIS INFORMATION ON GOOGLE, WHAT WOULD I TYPE IN THE SEARCH BOX TO FIND IT?

There's no need to be witty or super clever with post titles - if they're informative and describe exactly what the reader is going to get then that's what matters.

My post "What To Wear To A Wedding Evening Reception (Party Dress & an Updo)" is the second most viewed post on my blog ever. It was written in 2013, and from spring to autumn it always goes back into the top three most-read posts each month because I can see from my stats the title is almost word-for-word what people are searching for on Google.

Likewise, my post "Why It's Great Being a Fashion Blogger Over 40" is also a highly-viewed post because the keywords are "over 40 fashion blogger" - something that's being typed into Google a lot.it seems, if my Google Analytics are anything to go by.

So naming posts like this make a massive difference - I always try to think what people would type into Google to search for the information I'm offering.


8. Leave comments, tweet comments

It's important to nurture relationships by leaving comments on others' blogs - it's a no-brainer for getting people to visit your blog and commenting regularly. I'm convinced it's the readers that come to my blog for every single one of my posts that are the ones that keep the numbers up (you know who you are).

I also tweet comments a lot, including a link and always tagging in the blogger so they know you've tweeted it. It means all your followers will see that you loved that post and it will send more traffic to that blog - a great way to spread love around the blogosphere. They're more likely to reply to a tweet and may also visit your blog and do the same back to you. The sort of tweets I leave say things like:

"Stop WHATEVER you're doing right now & drool over @XXXX's new outfit post on her blog [link]" and...
"You simply HAVE to check @XXXX's amazing new dress! [link]".

Tweet at least a couple of links to other bloggers' posts every day if you can and the same for comments. If you can do more - do more.


9. Sort out a good blogroll

The more links you have to other sites - blogs is an easy one - the more you'll improve your SEO. If you tweet people to say they've been added to your blogroll, they're almost certainly going to check it out and and maybe even retweet your tweet. Post a link on your Facebook page to tell your followers to check out your new/updated blogroll and tag in the relevant bloggers.

Don't, however, expect them to add your blog to theirs. Doing it for this reason is not the way to build relationships.


10. Plug your own posts all the time

There are so many opportunities you may be missing to plug things you wrote about in the past. Your readers don't have time to trawl through your entire blog archive, so give it to them in small doses like a drip feed. For example you can:
  • Add a P.S. at the bottom of every post: "P.S. If you liked this post I'm sure you'll love this one about XXXX too!"
  • Schedule daily tweets linking back to great posts you wrote in the past. I tweet every post from "a year ago today..."
  • Mention and link to relevant past posts in your copy. Never miss an opportunity to give your readers further information about something that's relevant to what you're talking about, which is what 3 years of blogging have taught me (see what I did there...?!)


11. Read the Blogging Tips posts you pin

Don't just pin them, in other words. Read the post when you pin it and act on it straight away if you can. What you're doing is streamlining your blog and your blogging activity and making the whole experience better for your readers - thus increasing your audience.

I pin all the articles that have peaked my interest on my Blogging Tips board and read them there and then. If I see anything I can implement quickly I'll do it immediately, otherwise I set aside a time to act on all of them as soon as possible. Most of the stuff I've done that I've listed above has been as a result of taking notice of blogging tips posts and taking action.


12. Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm gets you everywhere because it's infectious. Nothing gets you noticed more quickly than enthusiasm in your writing; your love for photography through posting beautiful images; an enthusiastic comment or tweet about others. Blogs don't always have to be about gorgeousness / fluffy stuff / positivity, but even if you're going to have a mini rant about something, rant constructively and enthusiastically.

No one wants to read a lacklustre post where no effort has been made, and you don't want to put people off visiting again by coming across as indifferent or lazy.


13. Add a question

Last but not least... Adding a question at the end of your post really works. None of us can help answering a question we've been asked in the posts we read, especially if it's super-relevant to us on a personal level. If you look at my posts I always try to do this. It's a bit awkward at first, but you soon come up with them quite easily after a while. So with that in mind...

What are YOUR number one tips for generating an audience? Can you remember what were the first things you did to get people to visit your blog - and comment? Or if you're wanting to get more people visiting your blog let me know if you think these points are going to be helpful to you...!


Catherine
P.S. Like this? You might also enjoy other posts in my Blogging Tips series!

Linking up to: Let It ShineBrilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab FavouritesSunday Funday
Image credit: Espen Sundve (modified)
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92 comments

  1. Great post Catherine! I agree that developing a relationship with other bloggers and becoming part of a community is so very important. I also agree that the other forms of social media are so important as well. I'm definitely pinning this (and I'll go back and read it again...lol) for future reference.
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.com

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    1. I think so many of us agree that the community part is the best bit of blogging, Debbie...!! And it took me a while to realise the importance of social media - it's basically a prerequisite to blogging now. Glad you liked the post, thank you x

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing all this with us, Catherine! I have a lot to learn, I know, but I'm enjoying this blogging adventure so much. I'm a little unsure of myself on Twitter, so I think I need to play around with that more. I really admire and look up to you and thanks again for all the great advice.
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. No problem Dawn, I hope it comes in useful! I was very unsure of myself on Twitter too at first, but with all things it's just a case of the more you use it, the more confident you get (and the more addicted)!!! Sometimes I have to close my tab with Twitter altogether if I need to concentrate on what I'm doing because Twitter is so addictive ;))

      Thanks for the lovely compliments, I really appreciate them x

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  3. Hi Catherine, First thanks for the follow on Instagram! Great points, I snickered when you suggested to read the blogging tips you pin, because I have an entire board just for blogging tips and I rarely revisit them.
    Delilah
    www.pumpsandstudz.blogspot.com

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    1. It was my pleasure, Delilah - so glad Sylvia featured you! I was very bad at pinning posts that I never revisited, but after implementing one or two things I soon realised I was missing out if I didn't act straight away. Sometimes they go onto a to-do list, but I do try not to forget about them...!! Thank you hun so much for coming by x

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  4. I always read comments on the blog posts I read, looking for other blogs to read.
    Rubi | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com

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    1. It's a great way to find other blogs, isn't it Rubi... only trouble is sometimes I find myself opening up tab after tab and don't know when to stop!! Thank you my lovley x

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  5. Great post Catherine. I do not use tweeter or Google+ enough and need to tackle them. I do try to leave feedback in different platforms as well and that seems to attract different readers from these platforms.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. It all takes time, Alice (a lot of time!) - I know only too well ;)) For example, I have yet to tackle Youtube but when you're unfamiliar with using a new-to-you platform it puts you off because you don't know how to use it properly. I know once I get started I'll be fine, it's just starting that's the problem...!!

      And yes, you're right about attracting readers from different places. You never what amazing new friend or influential person might find you, and that's SUCH an exciting prospect. Thank you sweetie x

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  6. Thanks for this, Catherine. Great advice, from a true professional. I am saving it! xox

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    1. Patti that's a wonderful compliment - thank you SO much x

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  7. Catherine, as always, you are so generous with your blogging knowledge and experience. Thank you for this post. I do enjoy the interaction with other bloggers and readers so I do ask a question at the end of my posts but I am still a newbie and learning as I go. Thanks again.

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    1. Deborah thank you - it's my pleasure! We're all newbies to begin with and I'm sure you know a lot more than I did at the same stage. Just do the sponge thing I mentioned and you'll do brilliantly! C x

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  8. Hia Catherine! Yet again a very useful and informative post on blogging, thanks a lot! :) Im still learning the ropes of Twitter and such, thanks again for your little nudge on Twitter, means a lot! :) To be honest I always feel a little starstruck when you hot shots bloggers reach out to my little corner in the bloggosphere. ;) Silly I know, hehehe but I cant help it. :)

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    1. Awwwwwww Monica that's so sweet of you - I really don't think of myself as a 'hotshot' blogger at all, but that's such a lovely thing to say!

      It's funny - today I tweeted one of the bloggers I've been following since long before I started a blog myself (in fact I think hers was one of the very first I found). She replied and said how much she loved my photo (which had been inspired by one of her photo shoots) - she joked that we should do a shoot together! It absolutely made my day, even though I know it won't happen, hehe ;))

      So keep at it with the tweeting, you'll grasp it soon enough. Thanks again my lovely for such a wonderful comment xx

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    2. =DOH= what I meant to ad was that I too get a little starstruck as she's one of my favourite-ever bloggers (she's a hotshot to me!) and her tweet really made my day. Maybe SHE looks up to other bloggers like us...?!!

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    3. Aww, I totally get it, I would have been over the moon if one of my hot shot favourite blogger would suggest a photoshoot together, even if it would never take place. ;) At least she has taken notice of me. ;) Actually learning even you feeling starstruck makes me feel less of a douche, hehehehe.

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  9. This is such a great post! Seriously one of the best I have read about increasing readership and interaction. I think choosing clear titles is so important. Some people can come up with some really cute and creative titles but sometimes I have no idea what they are even talking about or how it relates to the actual post!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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    1. Oh wow Jessica that is high praise indeed - thank you, thank you! It's simply a post that's an accumulation of all the emails I've ever sent out so I've been 'composing' it for a while. And yes I agree with you about the titles! It really confuses me too when they're cryptic or named after song lyrics(?!!) x

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  10. Catherine, a brilliant post ( as always) - thank you x
    When giving a list a title do you advise using brand names e.g " Floral Biden Tunic Dress With Statement a Necklace" or do you think it's better without the Boden? Love Liz xxx (www.whatlizzyloves) xxx

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    1. Liz thank you!! I think it's a bit like selling on eBay - the more info you put in (within reason!), the more likely someone will find you from a Google search. If someone's searching for a "Floral Boden Tunic Dress" then your post is more likely to come up than if you hadn't put Boden in the title. As long as your post title isn't ridiculously long I say put it in there...! C x

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  11. Awesome tips Catherine! I have nothing to add, except maybe use more keywords in posts, so that people find it easier to find your blog on topics they are interested in reading! My sister just started her blog and I immediately resend this to her, I'm grateful you wrote this, it's very helpful ^_^

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    1. I agree about the keywords, Keit - very good point! There's sooooooo much to learn when you start blogging, and as you know Keith, he's finding out how much work there is to do to get an audience!! Hope your sister does well and I hope this is useful for her! Thanks sweetie x

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  12. Thank you for sharing all of these great tips! As a fairly new blogger I have so much to learn! I really need to play around more on Twitter!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. My pleasure, Jill - you're right about having so much so learn... when I started I just blundered along not even thinking to look for tips like these!! Good luck with it - do everything steadily and you'll pick it up soon enough.

      The next stage is social media addiction...!!!!!!!! hehe x

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  13. Hi Catherine, thanks for this wonderful blog. You are so generous in sharing your knowledge while all the time you actually have to make a living out of blogging. I find that quite special! Like a chef who is giving cooking tips and recipes out for free. I can't imagine what it must be like to blog professionally. I ''only'' started blogging as a way to get things flowing again in my life and now I am a bit of a hobbyist. I have experienced that blogging takes up an enormous amount of time! I like it to stay a hobby and aim to get better a photography and so on. I was pleasantly surprised by the community element of blogging. It is great to meet people this way!
    I see a lot of room for improvement for my blog still and I will chip away at that step by step.And this post comes in very handy indeed! All in the comfortable position of not having to pay my bills with this 'work'...I don't think I could cope with the pressure! How do you do that? You come across relaxed and happy about this choice you made (how about your other live changing thing you posted about the other day, moving house?)
    Take care, Irmin
    www.fashionsabbaticaldress.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww Irmin that's really nice of you to say, I appreciate that! To be honest I always enjoyed the blogging even when I was a hobby blogger and had a full time job... it's no different now, I just have more time to commit to social media, planning, writing tips posts like these, etc. etc.

      Yes there is pressure to earn a living of course, but I ended up so unhappy with my full time job during the last two years (I was there 11 years) that nothing could ever be that bad again, even the pressure of having to earn money as a freelancer. At least it's my responsibility, and I guess I earn as much as I'm willing to put in work-wise. And I enjoy it - that's the MASSIVE bonus! I get to chat online to lovely people like you all day - for a living!!!

      Now if you you could sign your name at the bottom of this cheque that would be lovely, thank you...

      heehee thank you my sweet!! C x

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    2. Oh and the big plans are going to be looked at over the next few months... watch this space! :)

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  14. Couldn't agree more, Catherine!! Excellent advice and all based on own experience, that's what makes it so useful.

    I'll answer your email soonest...
    xo
    Annette | Lady of Style

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    1. Thanks so much Annette - means a lot coming from you. And no rush with the email! All in your own time :))

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  15. Brilliant post Catherine - I've been blogging for almost 7 years now, and have made some fabulous contacts through doing it, but still feel like I need to give my own blog's community/following a boost. Some great tips here that I'll be putting into practice.

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    1. Wow you're a lot more seasoned than me at this blogging lark, Emily - so to hear from you that is a huge compliment! Thanks so much. I guess it does ring true about the fact that there's always room for improvement for all of us! x

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  16. It feels really good to say that I think I'm doing a pretty good job on almost everything on your list!! I definitely think the most important thing is to interact. You can have all the comments, but if you're not replying to them and interacting and commenting on the commenter's blogs as well, they're not going to want to keep coming back and supporting you. It's a two way street!

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    1. That's really nice of you, Chelsea - quite apt seeing as we found each other very recently! I do think that replying to comments is so important, there was a time that I just wasn't doing it, mostly because I was getting so much spam. I've had time to clean it up (fingers crossed it won't come back in the same quantity!!!) and can concentrate on the real comments now. Thanks hun x

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  17. Thank you very much for this post, some awesome tips! I definitely always reply to comments people make and try to show them my appreciation, as I love reading comments. I'll make a note of the other things x

    www.amandasays.org.uk

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    1. That's great to hear, Amanda - it's pretty much impossible to do everything but we have to do a much as we can if we want to increase engagement! And yes, reading comments is so nice, I completely agree with you x

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  18. Loved the post. Thank you for all the useful tips. I'm brand new to blogging, but not new to reading blogs. Sadly, I tend to hold the status of lurker as I don't naturally interact much on forums. I'm working on it tho! I've challenged myself to comment more. :)

    Getting people to interact on my blog is my current challenge. I need to figure out how to create posts that make people want not only to read, but also to comment on.

    www.preciselyhousewifely.com

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    1. I do understand that, Marianne - I didn't comment anywhere EVER until I started blogging myself. So I started my blog, then took a while before I was brave enough to comment anywhere (why??!! seems so silly now). I think it's a confidence thing... I know I felt that my opinion didn't seem "worthy" enough if I wasn't a blogger myself.

      So if you're reading this and you don't have a blog but would like to comment: PLEASE DO SO! We'd love to hear from you, you're opinions matter whether you have a blog or not!

      [Sorry, just used my reply to you as a platform for a little public service announcement...!!]

      In terms of getting people to comment, I think the question is an important one. Make it something personal that they just can't help themselves to answer is always a good one. Good luck with it, and let me know how you get on!! C x

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    2. *your opinions matter, NOT you're opinions. I'm such a stickler for this and I get it wrong myself, grrrrrrrr!!
      Must. remember. to. proof. read. ;)

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  19. Thank you so much for posting such helpful tips.
    I am going to try these all out - just started blogging in December 2014 and loving it.
    I really love your style and love the way you mention other bloggers.

    Yvonne x
    www.funkyforty.com

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    1. Yvonne you're such a doll, thank you so much! Just seen your follow on Twitter. I'm amazed no one else came up with your blog name before you... well done on getting that, it's a good 'un. Remember to have fun and you'll be great - good luck!! c x

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  20. This was a very informative post. Thanks Catherine for sharing this! I'm a new blogger and I'm still learning to be social and looking for ways to promote my blog. That's one thing I'm having trouble with along with coming up with content to post. You have some really good tips here that I will definitely be trying out. Thanks again x

    Love, Chowster
    http://lovechowster.blogspot.ca

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    1. Jenny that's so good to hear! I wish I'd found posts with tips like these when I first started, so if you're already putting things like this into practice you're way ahead of where I was when I was just starting out! Good luck and have fun x

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  21. Hi Catherine,
    Yet again a great inspirational post from you. I really need to get focused and boost traffic to my site. I blame time being short with a FT job but actually its about planning and making time to interact with other blogs, do research and absorb myself in the community
    Thanks again, I'll be saving this to my homepage, re-reading the tips and putting them into action

    Rachel
    Http://www.ladympresents.co.uk

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    1. I know how hard it is to blog when you have a full time job as well, Rachel...!!! You can only do as much as you can do - as well as having a normal life at the same time. I'm so glad you liked the post, hope the tips are useful x

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  22. Another fantastic informative post Catherine. Some fantastic tips and advice. I always answer all the comments people leave, I just love reading them all. I have just been and removed my GFC followers badge :) I really do need to step up with the Google+ though xx

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    1. That's brilliant, Gail - GFC looks so old fashioned now, it's important to keep things looking up to date! G+ is a tough one to get into... I don't "enjoy" it like I do Twitter, I see it as a bit of a means to an end. It's done me well though, so I'd definitely recommend you stick with it! Thanks hun x

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  23. Hi, I'm a new(ish) blogger of around 6 months, first time commenting but I have read and enjoyed your blog for awhile now thanks to a friend's recommendation. So much helpful information in this post. I feel like a lot of "how to grow your blog" posts out there (the ones that come up as a new blogger doing searches) don't really speak to the personal effort and communication that you emphasize here. I know I'm guilty of putting up a post and thinking "Ok where are all the readers?", even though I know it doesn't work that way, there is still some small part of you that hopes the writing will be enough. I have tried finding other bloggers on Twitter and it's slow process I think of finding like minded blogs. But your post has given me some truly handy pointers, thanks. And I really need to pay attention to number 7, I tend to try to be more creative than useful in my post titles, it's totally a vain writer's habit that I need to drop! :-) Thanks again, I'm bookmarking this one! Steff www.deepgreensandblues.co.uk

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    1. Hi Steff, thanks for such a great comment!! That's a really lovely compliment (what you said about this post compared to other blogging tips posts. Though they are all useful even if you only take away one small thing)!

      The post titles is a funny one; at first I thought mine had to be witty, or be clever with alliteration, or wildly creative. Once you realise people can actually find your posts when you start using basic language in a real "it does exactly what it says on the tin" (and back them up with the same keywords in your post to boost SEO even further) you'll know to go with the basics every time! C x

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  24. Not doing too badly after reading your post... At least that is what I think. For some things I just simply haven't got the time as my more than full-time job demands a lot of my time.
    Greetje

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    1. I have every faith that you are doing these things, Greetje! I know for sure your commenting rate is second-to-none...!!!!!! And oh, how full time jobs get in the way of blogging... ;)) but we can only do what we can do - and what we WANT to do, of course. If you're enjoying it that's all that matters!
      Thanks hun x

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  25. Another fabulously informative post Catherine. You have helped me tremendously in the past with your tops tips and even helped me via email last year. You are so generous with all your knowledge and engage with your followers so personally, that's what makes me keep on coming back to this wonderful blog of yours, oh and being a woman of similar age I like to see what I 'could' be wearing!!!
    Thank you.
    Steph x
    www.pricelesslifeofmine.com

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    1. Aww Steph that's so sweet of you, and yes of course I remember your emails! Hope you're getting on okay with Twitter now (and did you get Photoshop in the end?! Or do you use Picmonkey/something similar...?)

      Hopefully you'll still be able to come to the blogger meet in May and we'll meet then...! Thanks so much my lovely xx

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  26. Great tips, definitely somethings I have to take into consideration.
    thank you
    Zeynab xx
    The Beauty Load

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    1. I'm really pleased you thought so, Zeynab - thank you x

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  27. This is such a well-written post Catherine and further evidence of why you're the professional blogger and I'm not! :) I'm just terrible at all of this. I did just sign up for Google + though so we'll see. . . baby steps, right?

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    1. Awww Jenn bless you, thank you! And yes to the baby steps! Don't forget I was blogging for nearly a year before I did ANY social media. Better to start late than never x

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  28. Even though I've read hundreds of 'How to grow your blog' articles, this was still really useful and there were lots of useful reminders for me like - leave comments! I read so many blogs and it never occurs to me to leave a comment. Will also be checking out some of the other linkys as we've found them a really useful way to interact with other bloggers. #brillblogposts www.everyday30.com

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    1. I didn't leave comments until I actually started a blog myself, Rachel - and even then I was very hesitant to do so. It's amazing how well it works in terms of getting interest in your blog! Thank you hun, I really hope the post helps x

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  29. Great post. I struggle with the Google+ thing but I know its just that I need to dedicate some time to it, especially also being a Youtuber. This has made me feel I need to book that time in and stop talking about it! #brilliantblogposts

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    1. I'm the same as you though, hun - but round the other way with Youtube! I've just got to start doing it rather than constantly talking about it. Need to take my own advice ;) And thank you for dropping by and your lovely comment x

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  30. SAVED! Thank you so much for sharing such a lot of questions i needed answers to Catherine. If I ever need to know how to do something, it's you blog i will turn to. Into my seventh month now, I must have been one of the un-pc-literate (i think thats right lol) people to start a blog, and i have learned so much and still have so much to learn!. Getting comments is where I am at, at the moment. Have you ever thought of publishing a book for us just starting out? We need a good blog bible
    Laurie x

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    1. Aww Laurie that's such a nice compliment - thank you!! I have thought about publishing a book, but to be honest there are lots out there already. Though the ones I've read are a few years old now, I don't know what's been published recently...? Maybe you're onto something! x

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  31. Smart....thanks for your post...so helpfull for me as new blogger...i'll try as your tips....
    wish me luck...

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    1. I do, Siany - I do!! As a new blogger these days there's so much more information than I had when I started so I kind of blundered along aimlessly... but then I guess too much information isn't always a good thing. But work your way steadily through all the blogging tips you find, and as I said to Jenn a few comments back it's all about baby steps! Best of luck x

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  32. When I started blogging I was ignorant that there were others out there...When I did find them I became member of a community that another blogger built and actually made a lot of friends on the way. But one day the community dismantled, I became bored with blogging (long story) so needless to say that interaction on my blog dwindled. I struggle a lot finding a community out there and your post reminded me how I'm going to do that...comment and connect! True story: I found one of my old blogging "buddies" through a comment she left on Garance Dore's blog! So yes...I'm going to delve more into commenting and finding other blogs to follow (that are lifestyle, rather than just fashion, beauty or travel) and who knows?!

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    1. That story sounds VERY familiar to a story I have about how I rediscovered Amber of Forever Amber... I knew I'd looked at her blog long before I blogger myself, but because I didn't use Bloglovin or anything in particular to follow blogs I forgot what she was called and subsequently "lost" her blog.

      But then on another blog a year or so later I was looking at the comments and recognised her name and avatar - I'd found her again! By that time I was well into my blogging so told her the story via a comment or two and now we're pretty great blogging buds!

      So I TOTALLY agree with you that commenting and visiting other blogs is the way to build online friendships... it makes such a huge difference. Thanks for sharing that story, it's wonderful! C x

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  33. Thanks for the tips! Really helpful post!

    http://atouchofpink1.blogspot.ca/

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  34. Fabulous post as always, Catherine! Google+ confuses the heck out of me so my mission for tomorrow is to tackle it and try get my head round SEO....snore. In reality I shall probably spend the time hopping between Twitter and Pinterest! :-D

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    1. Haha NEVER try and do serious [boring] stuff on a Sunday, Adele - Sunday should be called Pinday!!!!! But SEO *is* important, just tackle it a bit at a time. I find Facebook as confusing as hell (so user UNfriendly) but I've got used to it now. I find G+ simply a simpler and easier version of Facebook so stick with it, you'll get there!

      Glad you liked the post, thank you hun x

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  35. Thank you. These are such useful tips and I found them through someone else (Anna from Aspects of Style) directing me to them - she has obviously read and implemented them.

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    1. That's great to hear, Lyn - thanks for popping by! C x

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  36. Outfit posts will always be my absolute fave, dearest Catherine - they are why I started my own blog, after all! - but your "how to" posts come in at a VERY close second!! I'm always so excited to learn new ways to improve my blogging skills...and always very happy when I read that I seem to be doing (almost) everything right!! Working full time in addition to blogging can be challenging - I know you remember those days! - and things like tweeting throughout the day are just not possible for me. But I really should start making my blog post titles a little more descriptive...even though I have so much fun coming up with quirky ones!! Thank you - always! - for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us!! XOXO

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww Monika that's a lovely compliment, thank you!! So glad you like these posts. Don't forget you can use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule tweets for you - I'm definitely not on Twitter all day so it really helps to be able to schedule them. Plus you don't then get distracted by time-wasting links if you're on it all day! ;))

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    2. Tweetdeck?? Hootsuite?? Oh my goodness...the blogger learning curve just seems to get longer and longer, Catherine!! But I'm all for enjoying the journey...even if I'm a little "slow" about it!! ;D

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    3. I'd recommend Tweetdeck as a starter, Monika - it makes Twitter soooooo much easier to use and follow! x

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  37. Fabulous article - thank you for all of these great tips!

    I started my Blogger blog in October, 2014, and have found that I love to blog. But, I haven't been sure how to go about building an audience. Planning to run with as many of your tips as possible as I really want my blog to be a success.

    Once again, thank you so much!

    Dawn
    jewlryartbydawn.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh gosh that's great, Dawn - I really hope they do help! It can be overwhelming, knowing where to start... good luck with it and thank you x

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  38. This is a really great post, very useful and helpful, even to someone who had previously been blogging for 6 years! Lots to learn and take note of! Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Charlie! All just tips I've picked up on the way... still learning myself now :))

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  39. Thanks for this post Catherine!
    So useful for a complete novice, like me.
    You are super generous to share your tips and tricks... and it is most appreciated!

    XXX

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  40. Thanks for this post, Catherine, really helpful how you've gone into detail about why each tip is important and how to implement them. I always enjoy seeing your posts in my inbox. X

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  41. Such great tips, thank you! I try to do all of these but it can be hard with 3 part time jobs in addition to keeping content creation going for my blog! I can't wait to have more time to dedicate to it :)

    #brilliantblogposts

    Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride)

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  42. Comment on other blogs and joining linkies are great for building an audience. Tweeting big sites your links when you have something relevant helps too. My biggest reads have been after a post was shared on a big sites.

    #brilliantblogposts

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  43. Great tips Katherine! All of them are brilliant, and things that have really worked well for me too. I guess one of my biggest tips would be create a post that people want to read (therefore it will be shared more and boost your audience) or write for websites that are much larger than your own blog. So for eg I write a lot for Huffington Post and have found that this not only boosts my traffic but increases my social media followings too. It's certainly not easy finding or keeping a loyal audience, but it's why we're all here afterall. Great post! xxx #BrilliantBlogPosts

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  44. Great post! Iam just starting to blog more regularly and sometimes its difficult to know where to start, this is a great list of things to make sure your doing :)

    #brillblogposts

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  45. Hi Catherine, being a blogger I'm always looking for ways to increase readership (aren't we all?). What you have shared in your post makes so much sense; replying to peoples comments, taking part in link ups and sharing other peoples posts are top, as is patience and consistency.

    I am never sure how of much plugging my own posts is acceptable, without getting in peoples faces. I use Buffer and HootSuite to schedule posts (not just my own) and often worry that I schedule too much. I'm still trying to find that balance.

    Great post.

    xx

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  46. This is very useful. I need to get starting with the #10. Plug your own posts all the time. Thank you for sharing this post. :)

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  47. Thank you Catherine, these tips are really helpful, I'm new to blogging so its always useful to learn more about how I can get my post noticed.

    krystalspring23.blogspot.co.uk/

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