Hello and welcome to the last post of this blogging series! I hope you’ve been following the previous posts, especially if you’re a newbie and have found it helpful. Today I’ll be talking about something that is very relevant even to my “big” blog – how to grow your blog’s audience. Again, please note that I’m not an expert and I’m not going to be talking about SEO (because WordPress takes care of it on its own), but will provide tips based on my personal experiences that apply to WordPress users. With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
1. Use the ‘Sharing’ feature
One of the best things about WordPress is that I only have to write a post and hit publish. Promoting it on social media, be it via a Facebook post or a tweet, is taken care of by WordPress itself. Head to ‘Sharing’ from ‘My Sites’, which has a bunch of platforms you can automatically post to. You’ll have to log in the first time to connect your accounts with WordPress.
After that, in the ‘Post Settings’ area of each new post, a ‘Sharing’ tab will appear. You can modify the message that is posted (such as adding hashtags) and also decide which platforms you want it posted on by checking or unchecking the box next to each connected service. For example, I don’t usually share my Vocab Wednesdays posts on Facebook, so I uncheck it for those.
I find that this is really helpful because it lets my friends (and strangers on the Internet) find links to my blog post. A lot of people I know have randomly come up to me and told me how much they like my blog posts. My immediate reaction is always, “I didn’t know you read my posts!” This feature helps others outside of WordPress discover your posts and increase your views.
2. Find and Comment on Blogs
Up to this point, we’ve only talked about the writing part. Once your blog is set up, it’s time to pay attention to the ‘Reader’. Following blogs and leaving detailed, thought-provoking comments will help grow your audience within the WordPress community tremendously. It is very important that you add something to the conversation rather than just saying, ‘Great post!’ because it distinguishes you from the people who leave comments just to get visible and gain followers. Genuine interaction is highly prized among us bloggers.
Also check out The Daily Post, a blog run by the admins of WordPress, where they provide daily prompts for posts and offer a chance to interact with the community on every Monday in the Community Pool post. I’d advise you to follow the rules though (I mean, that’s just polite) and check out others’ blogs as well rather than just leaving links to your own blog posts. While it is tempting to trade ‘follows’, I’d suggest you check out blogs on topics in your niche and in topics that interest you or you might want to learn more about. Following a blog just for the heck of it and never reading their posts seems like a waste of time to me. Using features like ‘Search’ and ‘Discover’ will help you find new blogs easily, especially when you’re a newbie and still figuring out how things are done here. Lastly, even if you disagree with someone or someone disagrees with you, be unfailingly polite. Being rude or personally attacking someone in the comments section will definitely drive away visitors.
3. Participate in Challenges
I used to post a piece of flash fiction every Friday based on prompts and this is how I made my first few blogging friends. There is an abundance of weekly or even daily challenges out there. It brings like-minded people together, so you can connect with people who have similar interests. For example, book bloggers can take part in weekly book memes and leave a pingback so others in the community notice your blog. Daily Post has a daily prompt post that I mentioned before and you can get visibility by incorporating that into your posts as well. I feel like this is the best way to establish a friendship with people you can relate to since you share a passion.
That’s it for this post. I hope this entire series has helped you expand your horizons as a youngling here. Let me know what your biggest takeaway from this series has been. For all my blogging friends, I’m so sorry I’ve been terrible at commenting on your blogs, but keeping up with just the notifications on mine and still posting regularly with all the illnesses that have befallen me has been quite challenging. I assure you that I’ll do better in July and you can expect me to drop in your comments section from next month. Let me know how June has been for you in the comments. Happy weekend, folks! 🙂