This has been my first true year blogging. Well, more like first six months blogging. Last year, I made a resolution to dedicate my creative energy towards writing. I was feeling lost after finishing my book and still had all of these ideas floating around my head! Starting blog seemed like the perfect creative outlet. Only I had no idea how difficult it would really be!
Starting a New Blog
I thought that I would just write, write, write and like the Field of Dreams, people would just come. If you are a new blogger, you might think this, too. This is not how it works! Writing your post is the easy part! It is the most important part, as you will hear over and over, “Content is King!” You want to create quality content, but for me, this is where I seem to have boundless energy.
The challenge arises after you post your killer content. Now, you need to promote. You need to get people to your blog to actually read your content! When I began, I would tell my friends and family about my blog post on my personal Facebook page. Unless you are satisfied with a few dozen visitors to your site, this is not going to cut it!
How to Get REAL Traffic to Your Blog
The absolute best thing I did to get real traffic to my blog was purchasing Find Your Tribe Online. There are tons of awesome blogging courses and resources out there, but this resource is extremely economical for the new blogger at just $27 (one-time purchase). This resource allowed me to connect with hundreds, if not thousands, of other bloggers.
Jen Snyder is constantly updating this list, as well! Through this resource, I was able to join over a hundred Facebook groups and dozens of Pinterest group boards. I joined groups that are within my “mommy blogger” niche, so I am able to interact with like-minded bloggers daily. We share each other’s posts and pins, as well as give one another helpful feedback. You truly feel as though you are a part of a tribe!
One of the most important takeaways I have this year is that I cannot do this blogging thing on my own. I need support and encouragement! Not to mention plenty of advice! FYTO provides me with all of this and more! Without this, the only page views I would be getting on my blog would be from my husband and aunt!
*I am an affiliate for this resource because I love it SO much!
Top 10 Blog Posts and What You Can Learn
These are my top ten blog posts this “year”. Each of these posts has taught me a very valuable blogging lesson that YOU can learn from, too!
This post was originally posted on Creative Child as a series of posts. The first listed my tips for how to get your fussy eater to actually eat by getting them in the kitchen! The second was a series of my own hands-on recipes that I use when cooking with my toddler.
One way to get traffic to your blog is to guest post for online magazines or other bloggers. Creative Child is a wonderful parenting resource and I am very grateful to be a contributor for their site. However, I have to say that in this case, my republished blog post did better than the original! Here is why:
This pin has been my most popular pin all year! I created this pin with Canva. Once I started creating pinnable images for Pinterest, my traffic really took off!
This post was number nine on the countdown, I assume because holiday gift guides were all the rage in November and December. Doing some research to find out what people are searching for and what people are pinning is really helpful for developing blog content! It is important to figure out what your readers really want.
Your blog should not be all about you. You need to offer something of value to your readers! BrittanyAnneF
I wrote this post in the middle of the night, as I was trying to clean my house, work on lesson plans, and write another blog post. It all just got to me and I was tired, frustrated, and overworked. I put my energy into this blog post and out of it, developed what we bloggers like to call a “lead magnet”.
Any successful blogger will tell you that building their email list was probably the number one contributing factor to their success. I started building my email list…ummmm…last month. If you are a new blogger, do not be like me and wait tor start growing your list! You need to start right from the beginning.
Here’s the thing, nobody is going to join your list to “read your newsletter”. You need to offer your reader something, like a door prize, for visiting your site and subscribing to your list. I created a three-step plan for moms to actually get things done. My “lead magnet” also includes printable “To Do” lists that help busy moms, like me, prioritize their tasks. I received very positive feedback from my, ahem, dozens of subscribers. Curious? Sign up below!
Just to be clear, although I am a mom and a teacher with a degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Education, I do NOT know it all. This is my first go at parenting and I make plenty of mistakes. My hope is that my readers can learn from both my parenting wins and mistakes.
This post is one of my “funny because it’s true” posts. I have absolutely no problem laughing at myself and I encourage you to join in on the joke. You can probably relate to many of my humorous mom stories. Writing stories that your readers can relate to is going to keep them on your site and coming back for more!
Seriously though, what is up with Target and their toddler merchandise on every toddler eye-level shelf? This post also did really well on The Huffington Post, which definitely helped my traffic.
Teething troubles are something that my reader can definitely relate to. It is absolutely awful watching your little one suffer with teething pain. When Baby Mum-Mums reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to review their product, it was a no-brainer.
Sponsored posts are a great way to get traffic to your blog! When you review a product or service, you are helping them get real feedback. Businesses need reviews! It is great if they are positive or favorable, but they must be honest. As a new blogger, you want to build credibility and the only way to do that is by being honest.
I provided an honest review and in return, Baby Mum-Mums helped promote my post. It is a win-win!
There a couple of reasons why this post rounds out my top 5 posts. One, it is so important to set blogging goals for yourself. Setting goals helps you set a purpose for what you want to achieve with your blog. My first several months blogging, I was writing away, but not really paying any attention to my statistics. I know, I know.
You have to use your blogging stats to see what is really working and what is not. BrittanyAnneF
Once you see what is working on your blog, you can set realistic goals. The second thing that helped this particular post is that if you need a little extra boost with reaching a goal, you can ask your blogging tribe! Do you need more page views, shares, or repins? Ask your tribe!
You may notice a theme here, my most popular posts include an element of humor. People want to learn from your blog, but they also want to be entertained. If you can provide both information and a bit of entertainment, your post will do very well!
Another trick that helped boost this post was using the “Click to Tweet” plug-in on WordPress. Readers can instantly share quotes from your post on Twitter, which helps to engage your audience. You want to pick highlights from your post that will generate some interest or response. The idea is to get your Twitter followers to want to read more!
This post was very successful because it is a list post. Lists posts tend to very well on blogs. One, your reader knows exactly what they are getting. Want to know what to get a toddler mom this holiday season? You know that you will get a list of 5 gifts to give her if you click on my post.
Another helpful trick with creating list posts is to include words like “top” and “best”. This way, your reader knows that they are not just getting a random list of something, they are getting the best of the best. For more tips and tricks on how to write a successful blog post, check out this article.
I was somewhat surprised that this post immediately did so well. It is possible that it really is super hard to find a gift for the guy who has everything, but I credit another reason. After several months of blogging, I switched to going self-hosted through WordPress.org instead of WordPress.com.
I use Blue Host for my hosting needs and still manage my blog through WordPress. Why go self-hosted? There are SO many reasons, but the first is the ability to include numerous helpful plug-ins on your site. The one essential plug-in (and the one that helped make this post by number two of the year) is the Yoast Plugin.
Yoast does two things that are very important for the success of your blog. First, it helps make your post SEO friendly. This means that your post is optimized to ensure that search engines find it. Guess what? A lot fo people google “What to get the guy who has everything” and my post is on the first page of this Google search! Thank you, Yoast!
The other thing Yoast does it to help with your post readability. I have this tendency to be rather verbose (like this post!) and Yoast helps me keep my paragraphs more concise and reminds me to use headings. If you are struggling with either of these aspects, the plugin in guides you on how to fix any issues.
There are many different sites that offer self-hosting, but you can check out Blue Host using my affiliate link below. No matter which service you use, do it! Go self-hosted! You will thank yourself later. The worst thing I have ever done to my blog is not going self-hosted right away!
Drumroll, please! This was my most popular post of the year. I think that this post was the most popular because it had a little bit of everything that helps make a blog post successful. This post generated about 10% of my total page views for the year! It received great shares and comments, too! Here are the things you need to include to create an epic blog post:
Quality Content- It should be relatable and offer something of value for your reader.
A Great Title- An awesome title will capture your reader’s attention AND lead to more shares. Check out Co-Schedule to help analyze your headlines.
Pinnable Images- Pinterest is currently my number one traffic generator! Creating pinnable images allows people to find your post through Pinterest’s search engines and continue to share your content over and over!
Be SEO Friendly- Using a plugin like Yoast will help people find your post in search engines!
Find Your Tribe– Once you create your awesome blog post, you want people tp read it and share it! The best way to do that is to collaborate with other bloggers through Facebook and Pinterest groups. Share and be shared! Ask questions and learn from others!
Are you a blogger? What have you learned this year? Are you a newbie like me? Do you have any questions? Please comment and share below!