7 Tips to Help You Grow Your Blog in 2013

Ask any blogger and they will all agree this one simple truth – blogging is hard work.

Sure, many bloggers love to write (like I do). But, it still takes a lot of time and effort to come up with ideas, write content, vet guest posts, find photos and keep the technical aspects of the blog humming along nicely.

When we see people burst onto the scene and begin to gain some level of notoriety or acclaim for their work, we often think they are an overnight success.

This is far from the truth.

Most successful bloggers will tell you that it has taken months, or even years, to get to where they are now.

Take Gini Dietrich. Her popular blog, Spin Sucks, took six years to achieve the growth and accolades it now boasts.

And just last week, Mark Schaefer revealed that he received more traffic last month than in his entire first year of blogging. There are many others who could tell similar stories.

I’ve been blogging here for two years, and I blogged separately on another site for a year before that. Even though my audience is much smaller than Mark’s and Gini’s, it’s still taken me 2-3 years to build up the traffic and readership I have now.

If you’re discouraged about your blog and you’re not seeing any traction with it, don’t be. Blogging success takes time.

But as my Mom always said – good things come to those who wait, if you work while you wait. So, as you’re working to build your blog, here are some things you can do to help it grow:

  1. Keep writing – and do it consistently. Most bloggers give up well before they start to achieve some level of success. Don’t let that be you. Write regularly – even if you don’t publish everything that you write. It will help you get in the habit of writing. And, once you do, you’ll find that ideas flow much easier and you’ll get much faster at producing content.
  2. Increase your publishing schedule. Although there are successful blogs that publish very sporadically, for those starting out, it’s critical to publish regularly. I encourage clients to strive for at least once a week. Doing that will help you gain some momentum with your content. If you publish much less than that, it will take longer for you to gain traction.
  3. Find new inspiration.  Oftentimes, bloggers burn out because they run out of things to write. I urge you to look for inspiration in unexpected places – get and then be sure to write down ideas so you always have them at your disposal. And, if you’re stuck, here is a whole list of blog topic ideas to help get your wheels churning.
  4. Help others. ‘Tis the season for giving, so this is the perfect time to focus on helping others. There is some level of reciprocity on the web, so if you help others, they will be more likely to help you. But, don’t do it for that reason. Help others because it’s the right thing to do. Spread the word about great content you discover. Comment on blog posts that move you. Donate to someone’s charity or cause. Be a champion for those around you. I promise you that it will pay off.
  5. Guest post. I can’t talk enough about the power of guest blogging. If you’ve not yet written a guest post, make that part of your strategy for 2013. It’s a great way to get your content in front of a new audience.
  6. Spread the word. If you want your blog to grow, you have to be passionate about promoting your content. For some reason, many folks are scared to promote themselves. You’ve got to get over this fear to get the word out.
  7. Get help where you need it. If you’re struggling with your blog, don’t be afraid to get help. We work with businesses all the time to develop a content plan for their blogs (aka editorial calendar) and offer guidance on writing content that people want to share and read. And, my pal, Stan offers a blog review service that pinpoints areas of your blog that needs help. If you feel like you’re hitting a dead end, a fresh perspective may be exactly what you need.

 You can do it!

The bottom line is that if you are struggling with your blog and are frustrated that it’s taking time to get to where you want to be, don’t fret. You are not alone. There are hundreds of others who have been in your shoes.

As you go into 2013, try these tips to help you get your blog on the right track. You can do it!

Are you frustrated with your blog? What are you struggling with? What tips would you add to this list?

Image credit: Crishna Simmons

About Laura Click

Laura Click is founder and CEO of Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based integrated marketing firm. In addition to being the lead blogger on the Blue Kite blog, Laura is a proud Mizzou alum, avid runner and dog lover. You can connect with Laura on Twitter at @lauraclick, on LinkedIn or Google Plus.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    I think numbers one and two, combined, are the most important. Like you, we encourage our clients to – at the very least – work toward a publishing schedule on the same day, at the same time, of every week. If people know to expect your blog post at 8 a.m. on Thursdays, for instance, you’ll have much better luck gaining readers than if you do it sporadically.

    I’d also add a #8: Learn how to optimize your posts without writing for robots.

    • http://www.Tufable.com/ Tufail Shahzad

      @ginidietrich:disqus thanks for sharing on Google+ :)

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Totally agree. I feel like a broken record talking about blog post consistency, but I think that’s really the trick to growing your blog. If you go weeks (or months) between posts, it’s really hard to gain momentum.

      And yes, SEO optimization is also key. But, like you said, you can’t stuff it with keywords. Definitely a delicate balance.

  • http://www.Tufable.com/ Tufail Shahzad

    Laura, very useful information, first of all thank you for taking the time to write this post, I think consistency (as you mentioned) is very important aspect in blogging, especially when you have large list of readers, we have deliver something that is good for our target audience, in this aspect I think guest blogging is already taken it’s place.

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      So glad you liked it, Tufail!

      And yes, consistency and delivering something of value is so darn important. Without that, it is definitely hard to grow your audience.

  • Kurt Wiberley

    Excellent ideas that I will put into practice.

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Glad to hear that, Kurt!

  • http://www.writerightwords.com/ Erin Feldman

    You already stated this point, but patience is huge. That, and trust in the work you’re doing.

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Amen! It’s hard to remember that when you’re in the trenches, but it’s so true!

  • Adam

    Okay Laura, we must have had some sort of mind meld last night with Gini and Mark. Go read my post from this morning, you’ll see why! Funny.

    This is a great list Laura! One thing I am going to be focused on in 2013 is guest blogging, in both directions. I agree that it is a powerful tool.

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      You’re right – mind meld indeed! I just read it and it seems that it IS the season as Gini mentioned!

      Glad to see you’re focusing on guest posting. I’m starting to add more guest posts here as well and I want to get more focused on where I guest post as well. Definitely a smart plan for growth!

  • http://www.businessesgrow.com Mark W. Schaefer

    Solid advice Laura. The hardest thing for me was always promoting the content. Not easy or natural to self-promote, at least for me and by the time you write the thing and then serve customers, promotion always fell off the table. I have always though my blog thrived in spite of me!

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      I think you’re not alone in that, Mark. I think it’s naturally hard for most people to promote themselves, for a variety of reasons. But, once you do (and you are an example of this), things begin to naturally snowball. You just have to get it started. Thanks for serving as the inspiration for this post! It’s something folks really need to hear!