10 Free Tips to Grow Your Blog

18 March 2010 2,372 views 8 Comments

10 action steps for growing your blog right away

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Great folks in the outdoor industry contact me regularly usually to say hello and sometimes to discuss blogging and business strategy. Some of these folks – being the savvy business folks they are – usually like to find some simple things they’re simply overlooking.

Most folks that inquire about information ask for pricing on the Hunting Business Marketing Services

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. I share the prices for the various services up front and then give a few tips on the subject specifically referred to in the inquiry. Most folks like the free tip and advice and it hopefully helps them with their current strategies.

For folks interesting in something more detailed and specific to their needs, we move onto specific strategies and planning with the paid services offered such as Marketing Consulting

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, SEO
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, and Copywriting
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.

In terms of blogging, I usually share some basic things as advice up front with folks. These can often be the most helpful for those in the beginning stages of blogging.

Since I repeat these tips often I thought it would make sense to share them in a post (head slap moment).

Here are 10 Free Tips to Grow Your Blog…

1| Guest Post

Guest posting is the number one way for bloggers to grow their audience and increase traffic

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(after writing your own great content of course). Writing guest posts puts you in front of audiences that are already established readers of the blogs. By offering to write guest posts on popular blogs you’re providing the blog editors with quality content and in return you get exposure and increase traffic
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for your site or blog.

Start seeking out blogs in your niche and outside of your niche and offer to write guest posts. Make sure the people that visit your blog can subscribe to your posts so you capture them as readers.

2| Determine Goals

When starting a blog as a stand-alone entity or when adding a blog to your existing site, it’s important to determine the goals up front. While there is always going to be a point where you have to just let go and go for it, you want to make sure that the focus of the blog aligns with the goals of the business.

For example, are you starting a blog with the goal of gaining attention of major publications for a potential job?

Are you starting a blog as a way to drive traffic and interest for your e-commerce store?

Determine the goals for your blog and create content with that goal as the focus.

3| Read Other Blogs

Reading other blogs is a great way to gain inspiration for your own writing. It’s also important for finding great content to build on and to link to with your own posts. Reading other blogs will allow you to determine the type of content that you enjoy and the content your readers enjoy. Also, read the comments to see how people react to certain kinds of posts. Try to copy successful patterns

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for your own posts.

4| Comment and Post

When you are reading blog posts and forum posts, be sure to leave your insight by commenting and posting. As a blog owner, you’ll realize that receiving a comment is a great reward. Comments validate the content a writer is writing and lets them know they’re connecting with readers.

Commenting and sharing your thoughts off your site is another way to build your audience through exposure just like guest posting.

5| Write Catchy Headlines

Headlines are the first thing potential readers see regarding the content on your site. Write your headlines after your write your content and make sure you address the interests and desires of the people you’re targeting.

You can come up with ideas for posts (which can be seen as a headline), but be sure to adjust the headline accordingly once you’ve written the post.

A great way to come up with ideas for headlines is The Cosmo Guide to Writing Effective Headlines

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.

6| Post Regularly

Writing your posts regularly is good for two reasons:

1) Your readers crave consistency just like they crave the news every night.

2) Search engines crave consistency as well. They will crawl your site more and increase your authority the more often you post quality content.

7| Structure Your Blog Posts

Your readers (and search engines) will love your content more if you make your posts easy to read and easy to scan.

Use headings, lists, bolding, and other structure methods when writing your posts so the content is easily digestible for readers and search engines.

8| Link to Other Sites

A way that gains attention from other bloggers in a positive way is to use your site and blog to link to the quality posts of others. Just as receiving comments on a site is rewarding for blog writers, receiving links and mentions on other blogs is validation for their hard work.

Don’t expect it in return, but most times when you link to other blogs you’ll find the other folks visiting your site to check you out and in wonderful cases even sharing your content and linking to you when appropriate.

9| Link to Your Own Content

When writing posts (and I forget this discipline sometimes) remember to link to your own content using relevant anchor text. Search engines use your internal links to determine your important content and your readers follow the links as they look to digest more of your insight.

Ex: Hunting Pictures

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, Hunting Resources
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, and Web Conversion Tips
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10| Ad Revenue is Tough

When starting blogs folks will often look at ad revenue and affiliate revenue for ways to make money to support their work. This is a tough road to take since it requires a lot of traffic to generate enough revenue to make the effort worthwhile.

Something I often suggest for outdoor bloggers is to focus on writing quality material while making connections in the hunting industry that can lead to writing jobs with major publications.

Show that you’re an expert in your field and others will take notice and seek out your insight. Some will be willing to pay you for content.

With the focus on your content, you can also take advantages of other opportunities for revenue that may come about besides ads and affiliates.

Summary

These 10 tips are the ones I share the most often with folks asking about blogging. They’re very basic, but I think most find them useful nonetheless.

I hope they will help you.

What other tips can you add to the list?

Please share your thoughts in the comments (See Tip #4).

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Image courtesy of Sam Ilić

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8 Comments »
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  • kmurray
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    said:

    This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so very, very much!

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    I’m glad it helped. Good luck with your blog. :-)

  • Mark - Wired To Hunt
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    said:

    My biggest tip would be in regards to the topic you choose to blog about. If you really want to be successful, you have to be very passionate about your topic. Managing a long running blog takes a LOT of work and time, if you don’t really love it, you are very likely to lose steam and quit.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    Great point, Mark. I completely agree. Giving up early is something many bloggers fall victim too.

  • Albert A Rasch
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    said:

    Hey Dayne!

    Nice list with good advice. For noobs to blogging, six is numero uno, followed by four, eight, and nine which are pretty much related. Comment frequently, even if it’s just “Hey great blog! Fantastic post!” and add your link so they can also see who you are.

    Check the following link out:
    Blogs of Note: Hunting Business Marketing

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    Not only does it point out one of my posts, but it highlights another blogger. Dayne in case you’re wondering!

    Then there’s my signature:

    Regards,
    Albert
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

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    Ruger 10/22 Rotary Magazine Tutorial
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    Not only does it point to my blog, but it also links to a great post I did.

    So I added value to Daynes post by commenting, but I added value to my own blog. Win! Win! for all.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    Win Win. I love it, Albert. :-)

  • Rudy Hassall
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    said:

    Mark makes some great points! If you use your “passsion”, it should come through in your blog, show a genuine and very real person…you!

    Dayne, as always a great post! I like “Determine your goals”! The reason is for me these have changed from 2yrs ago, so you need to set new goals from time to time!

  • MNAngler
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    said:

    Great post with great information. I’m glad to see I’m already doing a lot of these things to publicize my fishing blog. But I picked up a few more tips that I’ll have to think about.