I had too much to say about blogging apparently, so I needed another post to get it all out there!!
Can I just say that, once I started blogging and getting readers that weren't related to me (hi mom), I became slightly obsessed with getting new readers. Although I'm no longer in that place, I certainly thought I could share some alternate ways to draw others to your blog!
1) Join "groups"
There are so many "groups" out there in the internet universe that you can join and broaden your readership with. One group that was really useful to me was Mom Bloggers Club. They have a wealth of resources for bloggers and certainly helped introduce me to awesome blogs and introduce awesome bloggers to me. Don't think that there are only groups out there for "mom" bloggers- get googling and find groups out there that allow you to link up with other bloggers who write in your genre- it's an excellent tool for learning and growing as a blogger.
2) Guest Post
I cannot tell you how beneficial this is to you as a blogger. Listen, I personally wouldn't email every "superstar" blogger and beg for a guest post opportunity. However, there are some sites that allow for guest posts (some do it monthly, some do it weekly, etc.) and this is an excellent way to garner new readers and allow you to flex your writing muscles in a different capacity.
Had I not put myself out there and asked UrbanMoms.ca if I could do a guest post on being a new mom, I never would have realized the amazing opportunity I was provided to be a regular blogger for almost 2 years. Yes, it's nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and send your words to someone else for them to "judge" but it can have awesome results.
Some other sites that offer guest posting opportunities include: yummymummyclub.ca, Theta Mom, Sweet Mama (they used to, you'll have to double check now though). The list could go on!! Use a guest post opportunity to give blog readers an opportunity to really get to know you and what your blog is all about- and don't be afraid to put yourself out there!!
Alternatively, consider having people occasionally guest post on your blog- it's a mutually beneficial opportunity to undertake with some bloggers you enjoy!
3) Utilize Tools
Google Analytics, SEO, Stat counters, etc. (go ahead and google them if you're not sure what they are- I wasn't! and I don't use them all). They're all really useful tools that allow you to see who is reading your blog, what they enjoy and when they read. For example, using the stat counter that Blogger provides, I know that my posts are most read in the morning, Facebook and Twitter send the most traffic to my blog, posts such as Top 10 Life Changing Books and When You Miscarry have been shared more than any other. The tools I've utilized have allowed me to get a better understand of what people enjoy reading on my blog and, while it certainly doesn't drive or even change my content, it's good information to have in your back pocket.
4) Attend Blogging Conferences
I have yet to follow this advice but I KNOW it's good advice. I've been pregnant or just given birth during "conference season" over the past two years, but I'm sure I will attend at least one blogging conference in the next year or two. My understanding is that they are about 80% social and 20% learning. Conferences in general offer an excellent opportunity to meet other bloggers, pick brains, connect with those in the know, and generally gain insight you wouldn't have otherwise.
5) Host a Giveaway
When I first started blogging, I was in love with bibs from Sarita Baby and contacted the owner. Lo and behold, she agreed to host a giveaway (check it out here) on my blog. It was a win-win for both of us and the traffic it drove to my blog was awesome! Providing you enjoy the product and think it's of value to your readers, a giveaway is a fantastic way to bring others to your space.
As always, blogging is an individual sport. What worked for me might not work for you. Or it may. Despite everything I've written here, one of my keys to blogging has been and will always be: Be Yourself. Don't write for others, don't bow to pressure, don't feel boxed in- write what you want to write and readers will come.