Every day I get emails from my readers around the world asking me for advice on destinations, tips, photography, software, social media and anything in between!
There is one in particular that I received just recently that I wanted to reply back because I am sure many other people are asking themselves the very same question but are too shy or afraid to ask.
In my books any question deserves an honest answer. Now I know that some will think I am nuts and probably should not reveal such information but I’m so not like that! I am a student of life and anything I learn I share with others and I am sure that they will find it not only helpful but valuable. After all sharing is caring right? Here is the question
Q: Dear Karla, I enjoy reading your blog and enjoy your photography quite a bit. Now I’ve only been blogging for the past 5 months and I have been learning a lot from people like you. Although my numbers are low, I am willing to work as hard as I can to make this work. I have very few visits to my site on a daily basis and I would like to change that. I share them with my friends, family and post it to all my social media channels but sometimes I feel as if I am writing to myself which is discouraging some days.
How do I get more shares and how do I grow my readership?
Thank you so much for your help!
Now how could I possibly not answer such a question? 😉
Here is my answer,
A: Dear reader, Your email really caught me by surprise. Before I go any further I would like to thank YOU for being courageous and fearless!
I really saw myself reflected in your words because I too was in the very same situation about 3 years ago when I started blogging and probably had a handful of readers or maybe two.
So I admire you for having the guts to just write and ask. You certainly did not go unnoticed! Let me share with you some of the things that have worked for me so far.
1- Content is KING
We cannot stress enough this point and I have learned it through trial and error! Trust me at first I used to write as if it was a diary and now that I look back and read again some of the early entries (you know it was pretty funny too. Like that time I got lost & ended up near the DMZ in South Korea. You can read that adventure here) I realize and can see that it really was!
You should write about things you really love and truly are passionate about because it shows and people will pick up on it!
If it’s really good they will share it without asking for it. That’s a sign that you wrote a good piece and entertained them 🙂
2- Add high quality images to your post…A LOT
As a photographer I know how important it is to provide awesome images to complement the text. Photos have the amazing power to speak a thousand words…literally.
One of the most popular posts until this day is Petite France in South Korea. In all honesty, when I decided to include more photos in a single post is when I saw traffic increase and helped me grow tremendously!
3- Make sure your text or content is error free and simple to read
This is a biggie. A spell checker is found in email accounts, word processors and any publishing platform, so there is no excuse for NOT using them.
I still see some things such as:
should of instead of should have
you’re own time instead of your own time
It is important to double-check that it is polished and not written for an exclusive audience. Simple is always better (unless you are writing for a luxury magazine!)
4- Promotion is QUEEN
Ok so this is probably one you will really have to spend most of your time doing. After you’ve got great, interesting content, spell checked it and it’s ready to be published, what’s next?
Here is what I do after hitting the publish button:
a) I get a short link for the URL, I normally use Goo.gl (I’ve a Gmail account related to the blog) It allows me to keep track of my posts and see who sees it anywhere in the world and which platform they read it on.
b) I use Hootsuite
I love Hootsuite as I can share it on 4 Social Media sites instantly:
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + Pages
I program my daily tweets there too and make sure the new post is published at different intervals throughout the day, say 12:30, 3:30, 9:30 pm. That way people in different places will get a chance to see it.
Don’t forget to add a hashtag # to the tweet as it is important to be found in the searches. It can be in this format *NEW* Title of your post, short link, #travel or #country then send
c) Share it on all the other Social Media channels (Yes it’s time consuming but it must be done no other option, unless you get an assistant!)
One site that TRULY left me speechless is Stumble Upon.
I humbly say this to give you an example. A couple of weeks ago someone found my post Top 5 websites for free images & suddenly I got over 3000 views in just a day!
I felt like I had won the lottery, can you imagine THAT? It sure is powerful!
Another one that drives significant traffic to your blog is Pinterest.
Again, it is worth repeating, we are visual creatures and we LOVE photos!
Uploading the images from posts to your Pinterest account after publication will help your numbers increase and gain more followers!
Now I know what it means when they say that patience and persistence pay off 🙂
d) I was on Triberr but left…do you want to know why? What in the world is Triberr you may ask? Well it is a blog amplification site.
You join a tribe (group of people with common interests) or you can create your very own and invite people. Everyone has to share your posts on a regular basis or you are kicked out. Is it clear enough?
I heard about it last year during a travel conference, so I decided to jump in the bandwagon and gave it a go. However I realized pretty quickly that the same people are in different groups, thus I ended up sharing the same posts over and over again while they only shared perhaps 1 of my posts per week or 2 at best.
It really wasn’t fair at all and I really got tired of doing this. Yes I know that there in the same blogosphere and we’re part of a global community. However not everyone is out there to help you or wants to see you do well. In fact there is a lot of competition, people going against each other and some will take advantage of you. I learned that the hard way and I just think it’s just pretty sad.
That’s ok, life is a boomerang and you get what you give right? Now leaving the site was quite a headache. Actually it took the intervention of one of the founders for me to delete my account. It’s as if I was in jail and could not get out. Seriously!
So I am quite glad that I stopped stressing and share out of pleasure and not because I am forced to! Honestly, my readership grew and numbers improved significantly AFTER leaving that site.
You can always try it and see for yourself, just keep in mind what I said. Everyone’s experience is different so I hope it works out!
5- Last but not least, PING your blog!
What the heck? Pinging your blog simply means that it notifies the main search engines and lets them know that your site has new content and that the crawlers should check it out. It should help your rankings and visibility!
Some sites I suggest are:
And my favorite
Ah I completely forgot to say something. The most important thing to do after following all of these steps is to just let it go. BIogging IS a lot of work (Like a FT job!) and can leave you exhausted but it is well worth it in the end.
Once you program everything, go concentrate on other things, it is important to live your life and go have fun! I know you may be obsessed with the numbers at first or may feel down and discouraged sometimes because they don’t move as fast as you’d like to but just let time make things happen!
Things have a way of working out, they ALWAYS do. Trust me on that one! I firmly believe in that quote from the movie Field of Dreams, do you remember that?
The character from the movie gets a message that he should build a baseball stadium right down in the middle of a corn field. If he builds it, people will go there and ultimately they do. I couldn’t agree more as it is quite true.
Just keep going and give the best you have. Results will follow!
Now that was quite a detailed answer which you probably not expecting but are happy to receive yes or yes?
My apologies if I did sound like a teacher, well that’s actually because I am one…or used to be 🙂
I just feel quite honored to be looked at or considered as someone knowledgeable and it is a pleasure for me to share what I know with you and anyone who needs help.
These suggestions are the result of over 3 years of blogging. Now it may not be the best technique or the tactics the big bloggers with millions of followers have used but it’s just from my own personal experience.
I hope it is appreciated and also well received. Let me know if this helps you in any way. I would love to hear back from you!
Now dear & loyal readers,
Is there something else I should add to the list?
What other helpful tip or advice would you give us?
Share it with us in the comment section! I am looking forward to reading your two cents on the topic.
Until next time,