Within the first year of starting my blog, I grew my readership from my mother, partner, and the stray reader who stumbled upon my page by accident, to thousands of email subscribers and social media followers.
Since then, I have not actively tried to boost my followers, but nevertheless, I have doubled my daily traffic.
My blog is now my primary source of income. To monetize your blog, you will need to grow your blog and maintain a loyal and broad audience by following the tips below:
Key #1: Produce good, original content
People will not return to your blog without reason. In the beginning, focus on posting at least five strong articles before worrying too much about marketing. Later, write articles that specifically address reader requests.
I keep my posts between 500 and 800 words each. I focus on high-quality information that adds value to the lives of my readers. And I post at regular intervals, preferably two to four times a week.
I also write high-quality articles for other websites.
Key #2: Comment on similar blogs and forums
Find blogs within the same niche as your own, and leave thoughtful, engaging comments.
Link back to your own blog, as this not only encourages people to click on your name, but also increases your Google ranking by leaving your digital footprint in more places.
For at least six months, I spent one hour a day commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s time-consuming, but it will pay off when you have your own loyal reader base. In addition, I spend time on Q&A forums such as Yahoo! Answers, Quora and answers.com to provide thoughtful responses and, again, I link back to my existing blog posts.
Reply to the comments left on your posts, and respond to emails in a timely fashion to build a conversation and loyal friendship with your readers.
Key #3: Create social media accounts
I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest accounts for my blog, and I recommend participating in at least three of these social networks.
Many people prefer to follow posts via social media channels rather than through blogs directly so create original content for each channel and do not simply post the same thing repeatedly. You can use social media for small pieces of content (like mini blog posts) or glimpses into your personal life, too.
Key #4: Share other peoples’ posts
Do not saturate your social media channels with your own posts, like one giant advertisement. For every article of your own you share, post links to at least three other articles that are relevant to your blog. This will not only establish you as a voice of authority within your industry, but it will encourage other bloggers to share your content in return.
Key #5: Start a newsletter
In addition to displaying a prominent button on your website where readers can opt in to receive alerts for new content, I recommend starting a weekly newsletter. In this newsletter, share exclusive content (I mostly post free workouts and nutrition tips), and link back to your fresh blog posts. Your newsletter is a great place to sell products and services as your readers are all opted-in by choice.
By following these tips, you should acquire your first 1,000 readers in no time and then your next 1,000 in no time after that. Good luck!
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]