I celebrated my 1-year blogging anniversary in January and have learned SO many things by trial and error during that first year about creating and growing this blog.
When I first started Grapefruit & Granola, I wanted to create a resource where people could find credible nutrition advice and dietetic students could find tips about becoming a registered dietitian. I had about 6 readers per day, haha.
My blog has grown into so much more than that, and I wanted to share some things that have helped me since Day 1:
– Purchase your own domain name: It’s pretty cheap to do this and if you’d like for your blog to grow then you might as well do it Day 1.
– Self-host your blog in Worpress: I know nothing about internet stuff, so I didn’t even realize there was a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Self-hosting your own site through wordpress.org will open up many doors for you to make money on your site and customize everything the way you want it.
– Create quality content: this is what will initially attract people to your blog. Whether it is a recipe, fitness tip or something you learned from a personal experience, readers want to come across information that will benefit them in some way. You may (hopefully) get to a point where readers get to “know” you and follow you because of that, but the good info is what will initially bring people in. My top posts of all time are:
- Erin Condren Planner Review
- A Day in the Life of an RD
- Slow Cooker Bulk Chicken Prep
- Adult Tonsillectomy Advice
– Make sure your quality content is easy to find: When I first started my blog, I didn’t have any sort of menu and all of my posts were just sort of floating around in blog-o-sphere. I cannot tell you how many more pageviews I got when I created menus at the top of my page and organized my RD, nutrition and recipe posts so they were easier to find. I wish I had done this in the beginning because once you get started, it’s really easy to ad to it as you go along.
– Find your voice: make sure you personality shines through in your writing so readers get to know the “real you”. I’m still working on this!
– Make sure it’s easy for people to comment on your blog- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to comment on a blog and I can’t. Whether it’s because I can’t find comments location or because the site requires I sign in to a specific program (like OpenID or Discus), if I’m not able to comment then I probably won’t be a regular reader.
– Join Bloglovin’: A lot of people use this as their blog feed these days, so go ahead and make your blog available to be followed on there, even if you don’t personally use it. You can also add a ‘follow me’ widget to your blog page.
– Use Google Analytics: if you don’t have Google Analytics on your blog (or some other program that analyzes your pageviews) then please go install the plug-in ASAP. This will give you so much insight into who is reading your blog and what content is the most popular. For example, I know that Fridays are my slowest days and Mondays are my busiest, so I adjust my content accordingly.
– Guest post for someone: I did a guest post for Kath Eats Real Food about my experience as a school dietitian and it still brings traffic to my site.
– Get social: It’s one thing to write good content, but it’s another thing for people to actually read it. The blogging community is very social, so take a minute to get to know the people who comment on your favorite blogs. Follow them on your blog feed and comment on their posts. Interact with people on twitter. Share good blog content. Using social media is my biggest weakness because I struggle enough just trying to balance my blog and FT job. You can schedule social media posts in advance through using programs like Hootsuite and CoSchedule.
– Be positive: No one wants to visit a blog where someone has a lot of negativity. It’s okay to share if you’re struggling with something, but generally try to keep your posts positive and light-hearted.
– Don’t be afraid to share your struggles: So I know I just said to be positive, but if you are going through a tough time then it’s okay to share that in your posts. People appreciate knowing that your life isn’t perfect and someone may relate to what you’re going through. I found so much support when I shared my journey with my knee injury.
Here are some great blogging resources if you’re looking for more tips and advice:
Peanut Butter Fingers: Posts About Blogging
The Fitnessista: Build Up Your Blog (e-book)
Running with Spoons: How to Start a Blog
fAnnetastic Food: Tips for New Bloggers
Please feel free to add any blogging tips you have below!!