My Top 5 Tips To Build A Thriving Blog

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Danny

The most common email I get in my inbox is the one that asks a question about blogging.  “How do I grow?”  “How do I get more followers?”  “How do I network with others?”  There are so many of these questions that it is easier for me to answer via a post instead of responding to each of them individually.  I believe that growth comes for some and not for others.  I do not believe that just any blog can be popular, but I do believe any blog can build a following; and the two are vastly different.  With that said here are 5 tips I focus on  to build a thriving blog:

  1. You must interact.  Unless you are incredibly SEO savvy, you are going to have to spend the majority of your time building your blog with grass-roots tactics.  The way I achieved this was by using tag searches and then going through that feed and reading new pages.  I also spent time reading the pages of those people who decided to follow my page.  I then comment and like as I see fit and try to interact on a real level.  I avoided commenting just to show up in notifications as I think this is a bit fake.  I only comment if I feel compelled to comment.  If not I will always leave a LIKE to show my support of said blogger.
  2. Build a community.  When I started seeing my numbers grow it was because I began focusing on building a network of blog friends who cared about the same types of things of which I cared.  They didn’t have to think like me, but they definitely had to share some common bond with me.  To date that bond has been twofold: multiple sclerosis/chronic pain suffers and/or inquisitive people who enjoy getting inspired.  One of my most popular posts day in and day out is the Let Me Ask You a Question post.  When you surround yourself with people who believe what it is that you believe, now you are building a community.  After all, why should anyone care?  When you tap in to getting people to care, half the battle is over.  Next all you have to do is give the a reason to want to return.  Make sense?
  3. Publish content that people want to read and produce it on a regular basis.  Sometimes people don’t engage with a page because the blogger produces crap content.  This is not easy for some people to hear, but in some cases it is the tough truth.  And next of course you must produce regularly scheduled content.  Publishing posts once ever 2 weeks is simply not enough unless the blogger has incredible SEO skills and is driving hundreds of thousands of views via search engines.  I don’t know a lot of top bloggers who don’t produce content on a daily/weekly basis.  And the content MUST add value to people’s lives.  Why should they visit your page?  There are tons of blogs on the internet.  If you are not producing relevant, value-adding content then maybe you need to adjust your focus?
  4. Connect with bloggers that have what it is that you want.  What you want depends on you and your goals.  If you want a blog that gets tons of interaction, then email a blogger you know who gets a lot of comments and build a relationship.  Watch what they do and use their example as a way for you to develop your own plan.  Ask them if it is okay if you email questions so you can learn, but be careful not to overstep your welcome.  I have learned that it might take you emailing quite a few bloggers so don’t get discouraged if the first few don’t respond.  When I first began blogging, Jason over at Harsh Reality took me under his wing so-to-speak and allowed me to email on a regular basis.  He taught me some of the finer points of networking, producing content, SEO, Alexa tips, etc.  We talked about a lot of stuff and I took copious notes every time he opened his mouth.  What I wanted was to have a huge following and at that time he had 50,000 followers and I had a few hundred.  Because of Jason’s help and a lot of hard work I am now over halfway to my goal of reaching 100,000 followers.  But you will have to determine what you want for your page and then befriend someone who has what it is that you want; which might have nothing to do with the size of the blog.  That is the beautiful thing about a blog…you can make it whatever you want it to be!
  5. Stay active, stay consistent.  This is the toughest tip of all.  Why?  Because this requires a blogger to blog every single day.  Blogging for me is not a part-time interest.  Since I started my page in November 2014 I have never taken a day off.  I’ve had days of lower activity, but never a day when I ignored my page.  Also, blogging is not writing as some might think.  Blogging is a verb which includes producing content, reading other pages, commenting on friend’s posts, liking posts, finding new pages that interest you, etc.  Blogging is a verb which means it is so much more than writing.  I believe writing and blogging are completely different things which is why so many authors struggle when it comes to blogging; you don’t have the luxury of publishing a post and then watching the masses flock to your page.  As a blogger you must be present on a consistent basis.  Think of your blog as a store front in a mall.  If people are in the mall and your shutters are pulled shut, then people will walk past.  But if the doors are open, people will more likely step in and say hi.  You must be present and you must participate every single day.

If you interact, work to build community, publish content that people enjoy, connect with successful bloggers and participate in blogging every day, then I believe you are on your way to building a blog that will thrive.  All you need to do is define what you expect from the word “thrive” and you will be off and running.

One last bit of advice.  Be patient.  Blogs are not built overnight.  It takes time to reach blogging goals so keep at it and stick to your plan.  You’ll get there, but it’s not magic; it will take time.  Have a wonderful Saturday!

DR

A Little Blog Advice I’ve Found Useful

Danny's iphone 022You may have heard bloggers talk about adding a Featured Image or you may have noticed blog posts show up in your Reader feed with vivid, bright and eye-catching photos.  Featured images are in my top-3 most important aspects of creating a post, but why do so many bloggers not use a Featured Image?

I use FIs for a couple of basic reasons.

  1.  A Featured Image is going to draw eyes to your post.  Without an image you post will show as a text-based post and text based advertising simply is invisible.  I try to use my own images when I can and I try to use the same 3 images so readers recognize my posts from everyone else.
  2. A Featured Image is going to stick with your post regardless of where it goes.  Meaning if someone reblogs your post, your image is always present and constantly advertising your content.

It is a simple practice that can make a big difference.  When using FIs try not to use other people’s images unless you have permission.  Flickr, Shutterstock and others offer free images you can use if you don’t own your own.  But don’t go to Google and use images as it is a form of theft.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make big differences in your page.

5 Ways Commenting on Other Blogs Can Help Your Blog to Grow

Pearls Before Swine

  • It Introduces You

When you comment on a post that interests you (or disinterests you) on other blogs, it introduces you to that blogger and everyone else who sees your comment. If they’ve been blogging awhile, rest assured they will click on your name and check out your blog (Do be sure your name is linked to your blog. Jason Cushman explains how to do so HERE.)

Here’s a screenshot of an example. Even though the name of my blog is Pearls Before Swine when I comment what shows up is my actual name and photo so that it is understood immediately who I am and what I look like (in real life). Click on my name and it will take you to my blog.

  • It’s a Reminder

I follow over 400 blogs over the course of the three years I’ve been blogging. There’s no way…

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Danny’s World: Are You Confused About Social Media?

This past week I had a couple conversations about blogging and social media.  The question I want to address is why someone should link their page to social media.   There is so much misinformation about social media, blogging and SEO so I am going to clarify things for you.  Here are a few of my thoughts…

Danny's iphone 022Why should I focus on social media when I don’t get a lot of views from Facebook or Twitter?

I hear this argument/question a lot.  The truth is social media doesn’t have as much to do with getting views directly to your page as it has to do with helping your page to show up in Google searches. Google considers pages with social media to be more relevant than pages without; especially Google+ and YouTube.  Therefore, having your page linked to all the available social media pages will help your SEO.

Social media is one of easiest, FREE ways to expand your influence.

IT’S FREE!  Why wouldn’t you utilize a tool that is absolutely free?  I’m not sure what else to say.

Social media gives you an opportunity to go viral.

This might be the weakest of the reasons, but there are people who have created a video on Facebook who are now in business because of going viral.  Chewbacca mom, Candace Payne, comes to mind.  She’s now writing books and signing endorsement deals because of one video!  It’s like hitting the social media lottery, but it does happen.

Videos are the wave of the future so you should be utilizing YouTube.  

I think we all know the #1 search engine is Google.  But do you know which engine is #1 among millennials?  Anyone?  Bueller?   If you said YouTube you are correct.  When young adults need to search they most often go to YouTube, not Google.  So if you are not on YouTube you are missing out on exposure to a HUGE group of people.

Baby-boomers read newspapers, millennials read social media.

This is a generalization, but it is also accurate.  For the most part millennials (75 million by population) follow their favorite people, blogs, news through social media.  Once again when you are not connected to social media you are greatly limiting yourself.

Social media will bring people to your page 

If you still don’t believe social media will bring people to your page, then this post probably isn’t for you.  The truth is it does.  Tom Slatin has over 200,000 people who follow him via Twitter and it brings thousands of people to his page every year!   I have nearly 10,000 Twitter followers who could potentially visit my page every single day, which results in approximately 10% of my daily views.

I’m not trying to convince anyone as much as I’m trying to provide a clearer perspective.  Do you have your page connected to social media?  If not I’d love to read your reasons for not connecting.  Hope this helps.

 

Blogging Tips: Writing and Blogging Are Very Different Things

Do me a solid and SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel!!

Check out Jason’s post What is “Viral” on Harsh Reality

 

Video on How to Post to Reddit!

Michael’s Origins is such a great site so make sure you have him in your Reader!! He has a Follow to Follow Directory and has partnered with Mostly Blogging to help you post to Reddit AND Stumbleupon. He is one of my blogging friends and I love his willingness to help others before himself. As far as I’m concerned Michael is a must Follow!

Michael Rios

Who wants a video on how to post to Reddit?

I have a few comments, but I would like your input as well if you think this would be of some benefit to you. Choosing the correct subreddit is the hardest part especially when dealing with the rules the each one has.

I did an earlier post with a video, REDDIT, SUBREDDITS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW and this new one will go through the steps of how to submit a link to a subreddit.

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The killer known as “Stress”.

Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick is on my go-to list for blogs I read on a regular basis. I love to read blogs where the author is not afraid to express an opinion. I love this blog post on stress!

Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

I read an article today about stress, and the effects it can have on your body. I realized that I identified with nearly all 50 symptoms of chronic stress. Wow. I’ve been told so many times in the last year that I need to take care of myself. I usually respond with a half-hearted laugh and a response somewhere along the lines of, “yeah, when?” But I get it now. This stress is killing me, literally, and interfering with me being the kind of parent person I want to be.

So I made a few changes today after reading this:

1) Focus more on breathing. I apparently take shallow breaths and actually hold my breath a lot!

2) Prioritize! Can I get it done today? Do I have to get it done today? Can it wait until tomorrow without serious repercussions? If yes, then let it go! (This was…

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