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Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Blog

Posted on: January 4th, 2014 by Lorna McMahon

You started a blog.  You are sharing posts and pictures of your work.  And now you wonder, “How do I encourage more people to leave comments?  How do I gain followers?  Is anyone even interested in my blog?”

Yes, I know.  We all start a blog with the intention of recording our journey – our experiences – for our own record.  A ‘Note to Self’.  But, deep down, we all want to share this journey.  And we want to join with others who share our love of quilting.

Don’t assume that because you have only a few comments or followers that no one is interested in your blog!  You just haven’t yet been found!

Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Blog will help you to ….

 Find & Attract an Audience 

and enable you to ….

 Engage & Retain Your Audience

  1. Join the Party:
    In your day to day life, you might not fit the description of Social Butterfly. However, attending a few weekly linky parties is a great way to put your blog on the radar of others. Linky parties are designed to allow participants to see what others are working on and to encourage communication. Don’t know where to start? Why not start by joining in the Let’s Bee Social! If you want to attract more visitors to your blog, get out there and mingle at a party or two and introduce yourself!
  2. Join Hops:
    More mingling!  Blog hops are a fun way to meet new friends and encourage new visitors to your blog.  There have got to be a million quilt related hops going on out there, but these are two blog hops I have participated in and would recommend.

    Beth of Plum and June has been hosting a New Blogger hop for the past two years.  The New Blogger hop is a chance to write a great introductory post, giving participants and visitors the opportunity to get to know you and see what your blog is all about!  Will there be a New Blogger hop for 2014?  Follow Plum and June to find out!  Beth’s blog includes this useful source of information for those who would like to grow their blog.

    Madame Samm’s Sew We Quilt hosts monthly hops focused around a theme.  Participants are required to make projects based on that month’s theme.  The blog hop cheerleaders organize a schedule.  And then all the participants make the rounds, visiting each others’ blogs and being inspired by what everyone has made.  Madame Samm’s hops have the added bonus of sponsors, offering generous prizes!

  3. Visit Blogs:
    How does it make you feel when new people drop by to visit your blog and leave a sweet comment, some encouragement, or just to say hello?  Well, it makes you very happy, of course!  Visit lots of blogs and leave them some comment love.  Add those blogs to your reading list and follow along.  Repeat visits will encourage the author of those blogs to seek you out and they may become your follower, too!  Leaving a nice word of encouragement also attracts other visitors who read those comments to click on your name.  Where do you find these new blogs?  And can you help others find you?  Visit Michele of Quilting Gallery because she has a special page for that!
  4. Invite Others:
    While you are out there distributing some kind words of praise and encouragement, in your comment, leave a link back to your blog.  Don’t say, “I’m now following your blog. Please follow me.”   Perhaps you are working on a similar project?  Can you offer a solution to a problem they are having?  Do you know of a technique or tutorial that would be useful?  Are you hosting a giveaway?  Let them know in the comment section, and leave a link back to the post you think would interest them.  Even just leaving a link to your blog’s home page at the end of your comment is a great idea.  Again, this encourages not only the author of the blog to visit you, but also their followers.
  5. Enable Comments:
    Two words… Word Verification. To encourage comments and repeat visits, I advise you disable word verification. The top two best ways to turn off potential followers are word verification and you being a no reply blogger. Here is a link to take you through the steps to turn your word verification off. Are you a no reply blogger? Here is a link to help you find the answer to that question and remedy that annoying problem. By the way, if you are a no reply blogger you may wonder why no one ever responds to your comments or questions. And if you like to enter giveaways or contests, you will never win. The author of the blog has no way of responding to your comments.
  6. Attractive Design:
    Consider your favourite blogs. What is it about the design of those blogs that you find appealing? A neutral or white background allows readers to focus on your blog content. Your blog header should not be so large that your readers must scroll down to see the beginning of your latest post. Don’t be afraid to experiment. A spring and fall cleanup of your blog help to keep things fresh!
  7. Good Content:
    Why do you read blogs? To learn how to do a new technique? For inspiration? Mostly, we follow blogs that keep us informed, educated and entertained. And sometimes we follow blogs because the author has become our friend. To gain and retain followers, this is your aim also. To inform, educate and entertain. Tell about your experiences with methods you have used. Provide a tutorial to teach others of methods you have mastered. Write your blog posts as you would write to a friend and you will make lasting connections!
  8. Good Pictures:
    Nothing beats a great picture to hold our attention and draw us in! Use the camera that you have to your best ability. Take pictures using natural light. Get some close up shots – show the details! Use props like thread, pins, binding, ribbon, and even your pet to add interest to your photos. Enhance your pictures using Picasa or Photoshop to lighten and add contrast. When you post pictures to your blog, make them larger, as wide as your blog text. Who can resist a little fabric eye candy?!!
  9. Have Confidence:
    No matter your experience or level of expertise, have confidence in your abilities. And let that confidence shine through in your content. Yes…. Even have confidence in your mistakes! We all learn from our past experiences and even from the experiences others share with us. Mistakes are a part of that learning experience. Speak highly of your work and your creativity. Believe in yourself and your abilities. See yourself as you would like your readers to perceive you to be…. and that is what you will become. You have to believe to achieve!
  10. Be Positive:
    For many of us, reading blogs offers a little oasis and an escape from the daily grind.  Try to keep the content and comments positive.  You haven’t blogged in a month?  Please don’t apologize.  You goofed up on something you were making?  Don’t be down on yourself.  Consider it a creative design element.  Keep it positive.  You learn from your mistakes and so will your readers.  You see work someone has shared on their blog, but you think it is ugly?  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  Being happy encourages your readers to be happy.  Show you’re excited about your latest project and I will be excited for you!  Relieved you completed a project you have been working on for so long?  Share how glad you are to have accomplished your goal and your readers will readily congratulate you for completing your task.

And speaking of keeping things on a positive note…

Hope you all find these top 10 tips helpful!!!

Keep On Quilting On!

49 Responses

  1. Thank you for the great post. Love your pictures! Very bright and happy!

  2. Hey, thankyou for sharing this with me, don't even sew but I found your advice very usefuol and inspiring. I really enjoy your writing style, and who knows- I might take up quilting ^_^

  3. Vera says:

    Great tips Lorna! I might work on that confidence one 🙂 and I totally missed your first linky, damn.

  4. JB says:

    Great tips Lorna!

  5. tubakk says:

    Thank you for all these great tips for our blogs. And yes, I know that link-up parties are one of the best ways of finding interesting blogs. In addition there are mostly new and updated blogposts. I have found my beste blogging friends through those parties. But I also know that technical skills can stop you. I would say; try and ask for help. We are all out here to help out each other. Have a nice weekend!

  6. Great tips and links – I just started a blog recently and your advice really helps!!!

  7. charlotte says:

    Hi Lorna. Great tips. I wish I had had these when I first started out. Two things: There are no links to click on for the fixes to no reply and word verification. And, I LOVE the pink and white quilt near the bottom of your post. Does it have a name? Is it your own pattern? Love it!!

  8. Sherry says:

    Great advise Lorna. Have a great day!

  9. Kris says:

    Great tips Lorna. I have to try to take some of your advice. I stepped away a bit in the last few months and getting back into the swing again for the new year I hope. Hope to see more of you in the new year!

  10. Dominique says:

    Thanks for this post, Lorna! Yor blog is a great source of inspiration. Cheers.

  11. Michele says:

    Terrific tips and ones I really try to keep in mind every day…but it never hurts to be reminded again too. Thanks so much.

  12. Jayne says:

    Thank you for this great blog post Lorna! I need to put more of these into practice! That being said:

  13. Beth says:

    Great tips!

  14. Mina says:

    Great tips. I like to join up linky parties and quilt alongs

  15. These are great tips. Thank you for taking the time 🙂

  16. Glinda ♥ says:

    Wonderful tips from a great lady! Thank you for taking the time and sharing with the rest of us. When I grow up, I hope I'm half as good as you, my friend 🙂

  17. What great tips! Thanks so much for sharing.

  18. Thanks for all the tips Lorna, and the beautiful pictures mixed in. I love to surf around and see all of the colorful, fun photos and read about others' experiences.. but I need to be better about commenting once in a while!

  19. Lisa says:

    Very helpful! Thanks

  20. KMSC says:

    This was a wonderful post; very informative. I don't have a blog (yet) but I will keep your post handy, in case I decide to start one. Thanks!

  21. This is such an informative post Lorna! I especially love all your quilty pictures to go with it 🙂

  22. Jereena says:

    Thank you for this educational, very useful and encouraging post.

  23. Great post! Really helpful for somebody starting out and a refresher for the \”oldies\”!

  24. Thank you for your timely reminder. I think it is time for my spring clean!

  25. Georgi says:

    Great post, Lorna! I first started my little blog just for myself to keep track of stuff that I've done ~ but it's nice once in a while getting to know people who stop by for a peek ~ Like you! I really need to figure out how to take better pics with my phone (or just go back to the camera). Your pics are always great!

  26. Great post! These are excellent tips.

  27. Vicki says:

    Why Lorna, these tips are really great! I find myself comparing myself to other great bloggers and get discouraged. You have helped with these tips….thanks!!

  28. All great tips, especially the be happy part and leave nice comments. Thanks a million for sharing.

  29. Another wonderful, useful post Lorna! For me, I struggle with being too critical of my own work, so your suggestion #9 is definitely something I need to work on! And I second your blog hop participation suggestion. It has been a great way to connect with other bloggers…like you! what I did right there…..)

  30. Thanks for all the great tips Lorna! I'm using a few already but looking forward to implementing the others soon too. See you on Wednesday!:-)(

  31. Anne says:

    Great tips, Lorna. :o)

  32. Farm Quilter says:

    Great tips!! Just wish my blog would let me add new posts – it won't give me the proper page to sign in so I can keep posting. Guess I'm not supposed to blog right now!!

  33. Farm Quilter says:

    Great tips!! Just wish my blog would let me add new posts – it won't give me the proper page to sign in so I can keep posting. Guess I'm not supposed to blog right now!!

  34. RobinSue says:

    Thank you for the reminders, links and great pictures. I needed a prompt to evaluate my motives and goals. I admit, I get \”happy\” when I get comments so my number one goal is to comment more frequently. That being said, looking forward to more of your fabulous work!

  35. Sarah Marie says:

    Very helpful for us new to blogland 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It will get repeated reads from me!

  36. Hi! Great post and I just love your quilts! You have so wonderful imagination and talented work. I love the quilt with cats and the duck with frog! Hugs! x Teje

  37. HappyNess says:

    Thanks for writing this post. Some very interesting things to think about when I finally get back to quilting and blogging. Much appreciated. HNY!!

  38. inchworming says:

    Just read your post, love it! Being new to blogging I am encouraged! Thanks!

  39. As a new blogger, your post not only speaks it sings to me!! 🙂 Thank you for the great info!

  40. Ingrid says:

    Thanks for your tips. Kisses from Venezuela!

  41. Anonymous says:

    I'm a new blogger, so your post was very timely. Thank you!!

  42. An EXCELLENT post, Lorna!!!

  43. RosieGma says:

    Hello, I was encouraged to start a blog, Weekends with Sew Thrifty, by my daughter. I Love that Threading my Way sent me a link to yours….I have done a few swaps, sewalongs and round robins and love the idea of keeping a journal of what I have made, or am inspired to make…Thank you for some great hints and things to do…….

  44. Catherine says:

    Thank you for this great post. I am a new blogger (since January) and joined the Grow your Blog 2014 run by 2 Bags Full. over 500 people participating but now closed to newcomers unfortunately. I have grown from 2 followers to 28 and working hard to improve my blog. I love the quilting and crafting community!

  45. Good post! Love #10….

  46. Unknown says:

    Brilliant post, and I love your quilts. Hopefully I'll be able to use your hints to increase my blog views and people can see my attempts at quilting and everything else!Cala's Crafts (