When the doors to a new blog are opened, usually you don’t have a bunch of people waiting outside to run in. Well, this is exactly what appears to have happened with my blog. Apparently, for the short time that my blog has been online, the traffic and interactions on it have been called impressive by some other bloggers. I really don’t have anything to compare it to, as I’ve never witnessed another blog’s first month, so I am just taking their word for it. Nevertheless, I will admit that I have been working very hard on my blog which could attribute to its quick success. I wanted to take this time to detail exactly what I did during this first month to possibly be a help to others. Hopefully bloggers new and old will be able to take something away from this.
Guide to First Month Blog Success
So, before I had hundreds of followers on Twitter, I had almost 1,200 friends on Facebook. This came from 4 years of college and being very active. One of the first things I did to take advantage of this was to make a Facebook Page. You can have one set up relatively quickly, probably under 10 minutes. Once I had it set up, I didn’t just expect people to automatically come to it. No, I took the initiative and invited all 1,200 of my Facebook friends. Here’s a little tip on how you can do that quickly: Filter your friends by network and then a “select all” option should appear. That worked out pretty well and in a couple of days I had about 100+ people on the page. This is where a majority of my initial traffic came from. As a matter of fact, over half of my traffic during the first week alone came from Facebook. This traffic was pretty good, they looked at an average of 3 pages each and had a 19% bounce rate during the week. But they were not leaving comments. I wrote a post, “11 Things I’ve Learned as a Blogger”, where I reasoned why that was. Nevertheless, I did some research and learned of a wonderful community.
For those unfamiliar with BloggerLuv, it is a supportive community made up of bloggers. I stepped into BloggerLuv dazed and confused but I was welcomed with open arms. The owner, John Sullivan, saw my “fiery passion” as he described it and made me Blogger of the Day and later Blogger of the Week. That was how I quickly got to know a lot of the members there. They began to trickle over to my blog and actually started leaving comments! Great. Less than a week after I began my blog, a post on “Blogging Newbie Links” received 27 comments. Not too shabby.
- Getting Around
I met a lot of great people from BloggerLuv and began to visit their blogs and leave comments. Healthy Opal of “I’m Celebrating Life!” gave me advice to set up a feed aggregator to manage all the blogs I visited so I downloaded FeedDemon. Now I just needed blogs to put into it. Luckily for me, around the same time, Kissie of JustKisse did a “Name That Blogger” quiz. Believe it or not, I went through the entire list and added every single blog to my feed and began making rounds. Networking as a blogger is very important. Currently I have over 30 blogs in my feeder and I try to stop by them all when I get a chance. I am adding more and more each day.
- Blog Engage
Around the same time I discovered BloggerLuv, I also found out about Blog Engage. A decent amount of traffic has came from getting my posts published over there. Not all of them have been published but I have seen some traffic from the ones that have. Definitely worth checking out.
The first theme I used was the popular theme, Mystique. I really liked the way it looked and best of all, it was free! It wasn’t until I saw someone who had the same exact theme as mine that I realized the problem. In order to really set yourself apart, you need to invest in the way your blog looks. So, the first premium themes I used were Elegant Themes. I used a few of their themes for awhile and then I switched over to the highly customizable Canvas theme from WooThemes. Having this really gives my blog a unique look and if I ever wanted to change anything, it is very simple. You shouldn’t have the issue of someone’s blog looking like yours by using a customizable premium theme.
We finally arrive at Twitter. Twitter is thought to be the “Poster Boy” of social media promotions and rightfully so. With Twitter, you can easily promote your content and the content of others which is done so by ReTweeting. Tip: Try to focus on promoting others more than yourself. Sounds strange, but it works. Twitter is also a wonderful networking tool which we will talk about in a moment.So now, would you believe that before I started my blog, I didn’t even use Twitter? It’s true. I started using Twitter but the problem was I had no followers or those I followed. Well, I had already met a lot of people through BloggerLuv and other blogs so I began by following them. Shortly after, I learned about a wonderful way to network with other bloggers, #blogchat. The first time I participated in a #blogchat, I walked away with over 40 new followers. All bloggers who I could begin to further network with. Powerful tool that all bloggers should utilize. Blog chats are Sundays at 9PM EST. I hope to see you there. Oh btw, You can follow me on Twitter @WaynesBNP 🙂
LinkedIn is a secret hidden gem that some people don’t utilize as much as they should, I know I didn’t until recently. LinkedIn has a pretty powerful group feature that you can use to network and your content with people in the same niche as you. Here is a quick video on how you can use the LinkedIn Groups function.
- Social Bookmarking?
I dabbled with social bookmarking when I first heard that it was a good way to get traffic to your site. Shortly after, however, I stopped actively using it. Why? Well take a look. (Click to enlarge) As you can see, I did get a decent amount of traffic from Reddit and Digg, but the bounce rates were outrageous! Combining that with the time spent on the site, I figured that these people weren’t even reading the site before they left and it was a waste of time. StumbleUpon fared a little better but I’m even wary of using that. So, my personal experience with using social bookmarking wasn’t that great for me, so I stick to what works. Facebook, Twitter, and Networking.
- and finally… Launched a guide
Shortly after I began blogging, I actually made a guide on how-to blog. Amazing right? I’m a quick learner so I put together a quick 23-page guide and began promoting it. I also ran a contest to get people to refer others to it. The contest is still underway and you can find it on my blog. The contest allowed me to quickly build up subscribers to my newsletter which was the purpose of the guide.
That is pretty much the full spectrum of what I did for the past month or so. It goes without saying also that I wrote often, sometimes twice a day. I have slowed down a lot now, mostly because it takes time for me to actually think of something new to write about that hasn’t been said 1000 times.
Following everything I did, especially if you are a new blogger, may not get you the same results, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t get you some good results. And remember, above all else: Write Good Content.
How quickly did it take your blog to get off the ground and what were some of the things you did? Did you learn anything from this post? Let us know, thanks!