How I increased my following

At the beginning of this year, I jumped on the ol’ ‘bullet journal’ band-wagon. Although my “bullet journal” is something to be desired because I’m not creative, I can’t draw and I got bored very easily. So you won’t find any themed pages or pretty designs. It’s basically a glorified notebook. But nevertheless, it’s a glorified notebook that has served me well this year so far when it comes to blogging, planning and keeping track of things. And that’s the aim of a bullet journal, right? I wanted to be much more on track with my blog, now I’m taking it oh-so-seriously. I’ve drawn up each month and colour-coded different types of posts (purple for book reviews, green for blogging advice – that sorta thing) and I’ve created a graph where I keep track of my following and my growth of my blog and different social media platforms. 

I completely understand that doing this isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t care enough about their following and about numbers and that’s totally fine but I do. I make the majority of my income from my blog so growth and numbers are important to me. They need to be. And this has been a great way of keeping track of that. A month or two ago, I tweeted a little snippet of this page because I was incredibly proud of the growth I saw from January until the end of April and I got a comment asking if I could write a post about how I’ve increased it so much, which I’m doing right now.

I’m by no means an expert (in fact, I know basically nothing) but clearly I’m doing something right. I’m writing this post at the beginning of May and you’ll see in the photo below my stats increase in ‘overall page views’ and ‘total blog followers‘ between January and April. I also keep track of Twitter, Facebook (which basically never grows!) and Instagram but I want to focus mostly on blog stats in today’s post. So I’ve wracked my brain and here is some of my advice on increasing your following and how I, personally, have done it.

Consistency

I think the main difference is that I am much more consistent now than I have ever been. I have a “sort of” blog schedule of 3 posts a week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday although if I get a last minute sponsored post then I always have free days in order to accommodate those. I find 3 posts a week is a nice amount; it gives you some days free without having to promote a new post but you have enough new content to keep it fresh.

How to help with consistency? Schedule posts in advance. Bank a bunch of posts which are ready to go for say, the following month. This way you don’t have to worry about churning out a post the morning it’s due up and it takes a lot of pressure off.

Scheduling tweets

This is something which almost every blogger does but I didn’t start properly scheduling tweets until probably the beginning of the year because I hated doing it so much! But regardless of how tedious I find it, scheduling tweets and promoting my posts on the reg has definitely helped!

How do I schedule my tweets? I have a bit of a system. First of all, I use the app “Smartpost” which arguably isn’t the most professional app but it does allow you to schedule hundreds of tweets, add photos and specify your date/time for free. The morning I have a new post up, I’ll schedule my tweets for that day which is usually around 5. Then the days where I don’t have a new post up, I’ll schedule tweets for older posts from the month or the previous month throughout the day.

Photography

I don’t for one second think impeccable blog photos are what make or break a blog. Certainly niché is a factor in this (e.g if you’re a travel blogger, it’s beneficial to have nice photos of the place you’re staying / reviewing) but for me, a general, write whatever the heck you fancy type lifestyle blogger, photography hasn’t been a priority. However, since I’ve been working on my blog photos a little more – which incidentally, was at the beginning of the year – I’ve seen an increase. Is this related? Possibly. Possibly not.

What to do if you hate taking blog photos? Like me, I hate it. It’s probably my least favourite part of blogging. But I’ve found finding a “style” that works for you is helpful because it cuts down the thinking time when it comes to arranging the photo. Accumulate some props which are easily accessible and you know look nice in photos. And don’t compare yourself to others!

Find what does well

Although I’ve tried to introduce a lot more personal style posts into my blog this year, I’ve also become aware of what type of posts work well. For example, blogging advice style posts – like this one! – always tend to go down really well. So I’ve started using that information to my advantage. I actually did a write up about which posts I published in January did the best and it was quite eye-opening!

How do I do this? Hop onto your stats (e.g the WordPress stats page on the app – if you use WordPress – I’m afraid I don’t know how Blogger works with this) and check out your “monthly” views. It’ll tell you which were your most viewed post/s on any given month. If you start to notice a pattern (e.g a book review is always the highest viewed post) then take note.

Get involved – be social

I’ve always been a true believer that you have to be active in the blogging community. It’s not the be all and end all but it certainly helps. New followers and like-minded followers are everywhere but you’re more likely to find them on social media, in a place where you’re both there for the same reason. If you don’t put yourself out there, be heard, talk to people, make friends and offer opinions – how is anyone going to find you?

How do I do this? There’s plenty of ways to do this which will benefit different people. A few are; joining a comment pod, taking part in Twitter chats, taking part in comment threads, joining blogging Facebook groups, just simply talking to people on Twitter.

Be passionate

When you read a blog post, you just know if the blogger behind it doesn’t give a rat’s shit about what they’re writing. Honestly, you can tell. Passion shines through. Not just in blogs, in anything. If you’re writing about something you love, are enthusiastic and passionate then I believe you’ll attract those like-minded people (as well as putting the hard-work in!) Please don’t just write about something because everyone else is. Because it’s “cool”. Because it’s “current”, when you really don’t care.

Phew, that post was well over 1,000 words long so I’ll stop here! I really hope you found this even remotely helpful. If you have any questions about anything at all, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment and ask – I always reply! And if you have any of your own tips to add to this, do share!

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Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

139 thoughts on “How I increased my following

  1. Hey Jenny, Just came across your blog and it’s so wonderful. In this post you have sums up a lot of great tips for new bloggers like myself. I just started blogging a month ago and loving it. It’s very nice to meet you here. I would love to have you on my blog and I would also live to have any advice you have a fairly new blogger like myself.

    Take care,

  2. Pingback: Blogging – Top Blog posts – Mummy who
  3. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I’m new to blogging but am really enjoying writing about my travel experience. It’s also giving me somewhere to share the photos I took, although I think it’s impor not to overload a post with too many images. I’m also trying to be creative by adding artwork and music too, to make things more interesting. 🙂

  4. Loved this post! It was so informative and definitely helped cause I am having a bit of trouble with posting on social media and taking pictures for blog posts!

  5. I always struggling with partipating in social media, I’m not sure why but I guess it’s like I forget about it and am not completely sure where to start. Anyway, great read. 🙂

  6. Sounds like you have a well thought out, tried, and true plan of action. I guess I will have to learn about Twitter now. What kinds of things do you tweet?

  7. I’ve been having trouble this past year being consistent on my blog, since I spend most of my time drafting/revising books, but I do want to improve. You’ve given me some tips here to think about!

  8. This is an incredibly helpful post Jenny, thank you so much for sharing it. I find consistency so hard but it’s definitely key, hopefully I can get myself sorted soon and join you with a schedule haha! You work so hard and it’s so lovely seeing it pay off – you really are an inspiration to me!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

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