26 September 2013

Lies About Growing Your Blog

I've had a couple of people ask me recently how I grew my blog so quickly, and I'll be honest with you. Part of it has to do with the fact that I have no children and was unemployed this summer. I had all the time in the world to play with this little creative space. Part of it also has to do with luck - plain and simple. When I first started writing my blog, I wanted to build up my readership a bit and start building a little internet community. Like almost every other blogger, right? That sounded terrifically fun!

So I read all of these articles that I'd found (mostly through Pinterest), and they made it sound so easy!

Link-up/Blog Hops
Swap Buttons
Comment


Lather
Repeat

Then they'd finish up with something like, "And that's how I got 2,000 followers in the space of 2 months!"

Bull. I'm calling it.

There is no way on God's green Earth you got 2,000 followers through link-ups (unless you've been doing them for years, of course).



How Things Really Worked For Me:


Link-ups/Blog Hops

Pros:
It's free advertising for your blog and you might be some awesome bloggers that wouldn't have otherwise!

Cons:
1) It's one of the slowest methods.
2) Technically, you should also link back to the blog hosting the link up, even if you don't really support them, and you're supposed to follow all of the co-host's blogs as well. You could end up following as many as 12 blogs that you don't actually want to read because of one silly link-up.
3) People are participating in Hops because they want people to follow their blog as well. You'll probably end up with a bunch of "Follow me back!" comments from people who aren't even interested in reading your blog.

This is best for the "Slow & steady wins the race" types. Your blog gets a little exposure every week and maybe a handful of followers as well. This is how I met Amanda. :)


Co-hosting Link-ups/Blog Hops

Pros:
Exposure for your blog... Sort of.

Cons:
1) Can become expensive
2) Very few people actually follow the rules and follow the cohosts. I've co-hosted blog hops before and never once got a single follower from co-hosting. Not one.

Anyone have better luck than me with this?

On a side note, this system is awesome for the main host. Basically, you're paying her to advertise her blog and her hop on your blog. She can't possibly lose in this deal. Sometimes hops have up to ten co-hosts and each of those bloggers is paying $10 to participate. That means the host is getting $100/week and free exposure for her blog on 10 different blogs!


Comments

We'll just include both writing comments on other people's blogs and responding to other's comments on your blog.

Pros:
1) Builds an awesome community.
2) Makes people more likely to visit/revisit your blog.
3) Helps maintain your current readership.

Cons:
It's time consuming. Sometimes, you just don't have anything to say, even if you really loved the post!


Giveaways

Pros:
1) Can get you a lot of followers in a short amount of time.
2) Is one of the best ways to get your blog exposure quickly.
3) Everybody loves free stuff.

Cons:
1) Costs money.
 2) Followers are not obligated to continue following your blog after the giveaway. You have to keep them interested.
3) Putting together/organizing a giveaway takes way longer than you think it would.



Sponsoring Other Blogs

Pros:
1) Can be great for getting exposure for your blog.
2) Can help you get more followers faster.

Cons:
1) Costs money.
2) There's no guarantee that you'll get any followers out of it!


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Has anyone's experience been different so far?

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