Growth: How to Grow Your Blog (and Make Money!)
So, now you’ve got this great blog that you’ve just started and now you’re ready to focus on growth. From here on out, your goal should be focusing on creating the best posts for your readers and promoting those posts.
For some of us, this is the hardest part of blogging. Somehow we’ve got keep up with weekly posts, promote them, and we’ve got our manage our social media too. So much work! If you’re finding yourself swamped, you might want to hire a virtual assistant. Yes, it’s totally possible to get help with your blogging tasks!
Don’t think about the numbers. If your content is great and you’re actively promoting it, the visitors will come in naturally. Remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. You’re going to have to work for it. You’ve already made it this far, so don’t stop now!
This post is Part 5 of a five-part series on creating a successful blog:
Successful Blogging for Beginners Introduction
Part 1: Discovery – What to So Before Starting Your Blog
Part 2: Education – What to Learn While Creating Your Blog
Part 3: Creation – What to Do to Create Your Blog
Part 4: Launch – How to Launch Your Blog
Part 5: Growth – You’re here!
Sign up for the free e-Course and receive all 5 sections in a completable course format. Track your progress as you learn!
Create new posts
Now that your blog is open and you have some posts under your belt, it’s time to create more content. Your schedule should include at least 1 post per week.
If you have trouble coming up with your own posts, you can always try to find people to guest post for you. You can also substitute a post for an interview of another blogger in your niche.
This is another great use for your Facebook groups. You’ll find plenty of bloggers who may be willing to guest post or be interviewed for your blog. Some even do guest post swaps (you write a post for them, they’ll write a post for you).
Another benefit of having guest posts is that the blogger will probably mention the post on their blog or to their social media followers. You now have another link leading to your blog. This helps with your SEO a little bit, but more importantly, it will lead people back to your blog. Try to do a swap if you can!
Grow your traffic
After each post, you should be dedicating time to promoting these posts. Pin them to group boards as well as your own boards on Pinterest. Create a weekly promotion schedule from daily prompts in Facebook groups. Announce your posts on social media and don’t forget to schedule reminder posts over time, especially on Twitter.
Twitter posts are buried so fast that it’s useful to keep posting your link several times in one day even (let’s say no more than 3). Make sure you change up the tweet text so it’s not just you spamming your link everywhere.
Don’t forget about your search traffic! When you’re first starting out, search traffic may be the best source of traffic for you. It does take some time to build, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
Spend time researching keywords for your next post. Look at search data to decide which combination of words people are searching for. Include several in one post, but remember to keep your text sounding natural!
You can use guest posts and interviews to tap into other blogger’s audiences. Chat with them on social media or through email first and pitch your ideas. Don’t take rejection personally, just keep moving until you find the perfect opportunity.
Grow your social media
Keep up your efforts to collect new followers, but don’t stop there. Do your best to convert those followers to email subscribers.
You don’t want to be dependent on the life of that platform and its changes. If your followers become email subscribers, you will always have a way to contact them. You have control over your following target than Instagram or Twitter ultimately having complete control over it.
Grow your email list
You’ve already created one lead magnet, now it’s time to make more. At best, you’d like to have every post linked to something you can give people for signing up for your list.
Some of these items may be what we call content upgrades. These are things you can give your audience that enhance the content of your posts. For example, the content upgrade for this series of posts on successful blogging for beginners is the checklist I’ve provided for you to track your progress.
Some of the best performing lead magnets include short email courses (5-7 days); printable guides, checklists, and planners; and access to a library of all your lead magnets and free content upgrades.
Monetize Your Blog
Since you’re trying to create a successful blog with lots of traffic, it makes sense that you’d want to monetize some of that traffic. There’s nothing wrong with this. You’ve worked hard, and you’re still working hard to maintain and grow your blog.
Really, you should start monetizing your blog as soon as possible. A lot of ad networks and affiliate programs require your blog to already be live to be approved. Some also require certain traffic stats. I’ve added this in the Growth section because of these two things, but if you plan to make money with your blog, don’t be afraid to start as soon as you can.
There are quite a few ways you can make money blogging, but I’m going to go over how you can use ads and affiliate programs since these are two of the most popular ways for beginners. I highly suggest you look into creating your own product to sell eventually.
Join affiliate programs or ad networks
I’ve left this in the growth stage since most affiliate programs require your site to be live before you can sign up. Some ad networks are the same way (sup, AdSense).
Once you’ve launched, you can start applying for applicable programs. Don’t think you need to have thousands and thousands of views. While more views definitely come with increased earnings, think about all the opportunities you will have wasted if you wait until you’re getting hundreds or thousands of views each day. That could be months of lost income.
Take note of this disclaimer you’ll see below. It’s going to come up later!
Affiliate Programs and Networks
You can join affiliate programs as a part of a large affiliate network, like Share a Sale, or affiliate programs dedicated to a certain site, like Amazon Associates.
- Share a Sale*
- Amazon Associates – Remember to check if your country is supported for your local Amazon
- ShopStyle Collective*
- Affiliate Window*
- CJ Affiliate
- Rakuten Affiliate Network*
You can also monetize your blog with plug-ins like Viglink* and Skimlinks. These turn all your links into affiliate links for available programs on their networks. For more information on exactly how they work, please visit their websites.
If you choose to display ads on your blog, you have a few different options. The most widely known advertising network is Google AdSense, but there are certainly others out there. Find something appropriate for your traffic and learn about the different types of ads available.
One website that’s popular for purchasing and displaying banner ads is BuySellAds. You may decide to sell specific ad space on your blog, and this is one way to do it. If you consistently review different types of products for a certain niche, brands may want to contact you directly to purchase ads on your blog.
Present offers to your followers
Now that you’re in an affiliate program, you can start earning a little money when you share your favorite items. In addition to your affiliate programs, some brands may approach you specifically to recommend their products. Make sure their offer is fair and their terms are clear.
Whenever you have a post with an affiliate link, you need to disclose that there are affiliate links in the post. Even if that post is on social media.
You’ve seen them in the other sections of this guide and even on this post as well. It’s not a difficult thing to set up, but it is required.
Some people suggest having a single page that’s linked in the header or footer, but the FTC itself has said that this is not an acceptable practice. You need a notice on every page with links:
“As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. The closer it is to your recommendation, the better. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a “terms of service” agreement – isn’t good enough. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. Consumers should be able to notice the disclosure easily. They shouldn’t have to hunt for it.”
Remember, just because you see someone else doing something, that doesn’t mean it’s the correct and legal way!
You can read the full set of questions about the Endorsement Guidelines here.
If you are not from the US and not promoting a US company, you’ll need to find out the regulations for your own country. Many companies tell you if you need to abide by FTC Guidelines, but check to make sure if you don’t see it mentioned.
Where to share
Typically, you’ll talk about stuff in one of 3 places:
- Blog posts
- Email newsletter
- Social media posts (including YouTube videos here!)
You don’t want to appear too salesy all the time, so don’t immediately start sending emails with affiliate links in each one. People are much more likely to check out your link if you have a glowing recommendation rather than “BUY THIS NOW, OMG!”
On to you!
This post completes the Successful Blogging Roadmap posts! You should now be able to create your own plan for creating, launching, and growing a new blog.
Has this information been useful to you? I certainly hope so! I took my months to work everything out and it seems like no one had any free info that was really useful as far as planning and marketing a blog.
I’m hoping to slowly fill out the rest of my blog and courses with more in depth information over time. Sign up for my newsletter so you can stay informed!
If you enjoyed this info, don’t forget that you can also sign up for the free e-course to track your progress.