writing posts is the key part of having a blog, but close behind is the promotion of your work and using it to develop your following and traffic figures. it is no secret that the bigger the blog the bigger the opportunity, so just how do you go about growing your fan base? here are a few pointers:
when you write a post, think smartly. if you have written it as 2am, is posting it right then and there really the best time to accrue traffic? no. schedule it for when people are most likely to be browsing; during their commute, during their lunchbreaks or during their evenings. remember that when your post goes live it instantly pushs through to your bloglovin account (if you don’t have one don’t panic, we can work on that) and if your post is 10th in line to somebody’s feed, it’s unlikely they will read it.
take a look at your blog and work out when and where your traffic comes through. for example, when I do a post I set it to publish at 8am as the majority of my hits are between 8 and 9.30am UK time. i then use twitter to stagger some ‘reminders’ to my home and international followers during the day…
twitter and scheduling tweets
when i first started my blog i didn’t have a twitter account and used to get the majority of hits from people browsing via topic through search engines and from people searching for particular images (more on those later). the truth is, it wasn’t until i joined twitter that i got any significant readership or following – i’m a bit annoyed with myself that i left it 4 months until i did.
i would highly recommend you having a twitter name that is the same as your blog. for example, if you run LifestyleBlog.com then your twitter should be @lifestyleblog as it adds to the overall brand persona of you and your site. you can also add your name in the description so people know it is you.
as mentioned above, i stagger my tweets after publishing a post. my posts go live at 8am, so I run tweets at 8am, 1pm and 8pm as that covers all 3 of my highest reader time periods – it also allows my international readers to get a look in too (1pm UK time is 9am in New York, and 8pm UK time is midday in San Francisco which conveniently when and where my other readers mainly come from). you can schedule your tweets using programs such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck.
writing tweets smartly
next up, the tweets themselves. remember that brands are dying for a piece of the twitter-pie and also any extra coverage in their market – the retail/FMCG sector isn’t all that healthy at the moment. when you write your tweets, remember to link in as many people as possible without your post looking like a blatant promotion attempt.
wrong: ‘My attempt at chocolate brownies *withlink*’ right: ‘My attempt at chocolate brownies with a little help from @RosieLondoner and @nigella_lawson *withlink*’
can you see why the ‘right’ tweets are stronger? for a start you will attract some attention from your own followers by adding in some brands they recognise (or perhaps smaller brands that they don’t, as they’ll be curious). you also show brands what you’re up to – 50% of my brand relationships were born out of me tweeting them the posts i’d included them in. they may even retweet your tweet (likely if you only highlight one brand, otherwise they will effectively be promoting a competitor by doing so) which will do wonders for your viewings, and will gain you twitter followers when others see your tweet.
as i said above, the majority of my blog hits in the early days were from people searching for images – so for gods sake make sure yours are findable! it is a real bug bear of mine when bloggers do an amazing outfit post with their new clothes and then keep the image file ‘IMG_001.’ had they changed it to ‘dorothy perkins green blouse and current elliott jeans’ then when someone is searching for either item, your blog’s image comes up – and boom – you get a hit.
image crediting and linking
by the same token, image crediting is very important. not only because it’s the kind thing to do, but also because when you provide a link back to the site you found the image on it is great for your own SEO (search engine optimisation) providing the site is trustworthy and finally, when a blogger reads their traffic report and sees traffic coming from your site they will most likely check out your blog.