Not long ago I wrote a post about a different approach to blogging. I was delighted to find that this post got a much better reception than anticipated and I got a lot of great feedback. In particular, I had mentioned discussing tricks for getting a bit of exposure for your blog and you guys were very interested in knowing more.
Let me preface this with a disclaimer. First, I haven’t personally tried all these tips, so I really cannot vouch for their effectiveness. I’m a bit too lazy to aggressively promote my blog. Second, views don’t always bring about engagement. These are only suggestions for attracting more eyeballs, they won’t necessarily translate to likes, follows or comments. However, you may still find something useful in the cornucopia of random advice I’ve collected.
Yup it’s annoying, yup there’s a chance that it will backfire, but clickbait is so prevalent because it works. Salacious or scandalous titles are much more likely to get clicks. One of my readers endlessly suggests adding the words “nude”, “naked” or “boobs” to post titles and watching those view counts rise.
Like I said, this method does come with certain risks. Abusing this with every post is likely to make regular readers weary and you may actually end up losing followers because of it. Moreover, if the title really has nothing at all to do with the post, you’ll likely incur some wrath from some poor internet dweller that had really gotten their hopes up.
This said, used in moderation or with some degree of self-awareness, it is a very powerful tool to generate interest in your posts.
Tag yo pics
I actually read this in one of Arthifis’ SEO optimization posts. Basically, you should always make sure that the pictures you use in your posts have at least a relevant name, a description helps as well. If you don’t know how to do this, the post I linked will give you detailed instructions.
This is one I have personally tried, and it’s worked quite well for me. I started doing this as soon as I read about it and the amount of traffic, I get from google image searches has visibly increased. Although, I will assume that most of these people are only curious to see if any other similar images are on the page and aren’t like to read the post at all, let alone interact with it, there’s still a chance that 1 in 1000 will actually discover my blog through this.
Follow for Follow is a very well-known way to get more followers quickly. The more you like, read and comment other bloggers’ posts, the more likely you are to get some reciprocity out of it. And other bloggers are usually more likely to comment or like as well.
Easy peasy! This said, I can’t see this being sustainable in the long run. Let’s not mince words, this reciprocity is often self-serving. As such, if that other blogger loses interest in their own blog (which happens pretty frequently), they also tend to stop interacting with everyone else’s. Moreover, trying to keep up with thousands of blogs is pretty much impossible.
Of course, there are tons of better reasons to keep up with the community, so I would take this more as a beneficial side effect rather than the main reason to follow blogs.
Cross platform reference.
Most of us already auto post on other platforms such as twitter and facebook. Of course, you can take it further. Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and Tumblr are all great ways to reach people outside of the wordpress community. However, even in this there are ways to refine it.
I have a pluggin called revive old posts that can be configured to tweet out your…old posts.. Since reposting breaks your links and can get messy if you don’t plan it out well, it’s a decent way to have your new followers find out about your older content. I wouldn’t say it has done wonders, but I will occasionally get a comment on a year-old post thanks to it and that’s nice. Some of my early stuff got entirely ignored and it’s a shame because I do think I had a few good pieces.
Moreover, having your posts reproduced on different sites (such as tumblr, blogger or MAL) won’t necessarily bring readers to your wordpress blog as they will be content to read your stuff on the platform they are already familiar with, and having to maintain an active presence across multiple sites is tiresome and divides your audience. Whenever possible, it’s better to post excerpts.
Also, organically referring to your content in context works much better than simply blindly reporting on a platform. What I mean is that having a link to a relevant post in a twitter conversation or reddit thread is much more likely to get views than simply tweeting out your latest post.
Finally, the best cross promotion is third party cross promotion. People aren’t all that interested in bloggers that constantly promote their own content. Obviously you’re going to be biased when you say that your own post was great! It’s still worth mentioning, especially if it’s relevant to the conversation, but when somebody else mentions it, it’s even better.
Some time ago a random reader (who isn’t even following my blog) dropped a link to one of my posts in a tiny reddit thread. This thing had like 6 replies. And yet, I got over a hundred views from it. Since I’m almost completely inactive on reddit, I was really surprised to see it as my top referrer one day and found out what happened.
This sort of thing is out of your control of course, unless you can afford a PR team. (or kidnap some orphans…you didn’t hear it from me)…
It’s no secret that most people prefer watching to reading. Even a modest video on a tiny youtube channel is likely to get more views that a successful post. That’s why a few bloggers have opted to turn their blog posts into scripts. Basically, they will create videos for their reviews, essays or top 5 lists and use their blogs to post transcripts. Others will still post good ol’ posts and occasionally promote new videos through their blogs as well.
I’m not too sure on the effectiveness of this. From outside observation, it seems that people who have success on their youtube channel will often abandon their blogs altogether pretty quickly. So, it may not be the best for “blog” growth. You also have to keep in mind that a youtube video is considerably more work to put together than a post. If you find yourself short on time and energy already, this is probably not an option for you.
Tags, roundups and collabs
Having you blog mentioned on someone else’s will expose you to their audience. Duh.. This is wonderful, especially when you’re starting out. It actually works both ways in fact. Mentioning other blogs in your posts almost guarantees that those bloggers at the very least will see your post and will likely drive a bit of their audience to you. Round up posts and tags are often some of the most viewed content on wordpress, regardless of the quality of these posts.
And it is a nice way to form bonds between different members of the community as well!
This said, since I started this blog, I’ve often had posts featured on other blogs and it hasn’t always had an impact on my views. (By the way, the referrer and click stats on wordpress are not to be trusted)
Blog compilation site and feeds.
There are a few of these like blogloving. You need to submit your blog for consideration and people who use the service can now find you through it. For me, the most successful has been http://www.animenano.com/ as it is specialized for anime centric blogs.
At the end of the day, there’s a tendency for views to be driven by quantity over quality. If each of your posts gets 100 views and you post 5 times a day, you will get more traffic than someone who nets 1000 views for their weekly post. Every new post you publish is a new chance to get discovered by a reader so short but frequent posts are more likely to give a wider reach than longer ones that take more time to put together.
This becomes particularly interesting when you have multiple contributors who post regular content on a single blog, allowing for several substantial posts to be published every day. There’s a reason all professional blogs follow that format.
So here are the most common tips I have for you guys, if you want to share any of your own, please let us know. Also, don’t hesitate to ask if you want more details on any of those. I may not have all (or any of) the answers, but I’ll try!
54 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Blog Out There”
Hey Irina… Do you know if Arthifis deleted his blog? when I try to click the link it said that the site couldnt be found…
He moved it out of wordpress https://animeshelter.com/
What do you mean by round up posts? Ah, this is interesting. I’ve never really thought about this topic before.
I use to do these posts every week that would be a collection of links to posts other bloggers had done reviewing seasonal anime. Many bloggers have features that link to posts of other creators they enjoyed that week or month.
Ohh, yeah, I know those. Just forgot what they were called hahaha.
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I do not endlessly suggest it. Just intermittantly.
Thanks for the tips and tricks. I think it will really help me a lot since I’ve only started blogging….
Oh awesome – I hope some of it helps!
Nice tips. I had no idea you could write descriptions on images. For a while I have been thinking of posting my reviews on YouTube. My pronounciation of Japanese names is so bad though that I can only imagine the comments I would get. Years ago I had a gaming channel on YouTube and it was way more popular than my blog. Back then however getting noticed was much easier. Modern day YouTube’s algorithm only favours big channels.
Still, the demos are in a completely different league than blogs
I still consider, to this day, the prospect of a YT channel . . . maybe one of these days I’ll try it out. Ooh, and I’ll have to try pic tagging now that you’ve reminded me of Arthifis’ post. As always, thanks for the tips!
This was a really interesting read!
We tend to find our views are pretty decent most of the time, even though we’re terrible at getting content out on time. I think it is a mixture of getting it out on Twitter using # and the fact that because I have depression and people want me to check blogs before they post them so I have to be motivated to do so which I’m usually not we do end up with a quantity over quality thing with more posts being posted in a small period of time then if we were up to date with what we were doing.
Scheduling also helps. For the majority of the year we had a weekly question every Monday. It stopped because we were doing them in bulks and scheduling them for one or two months in advance but then when I hit a poor period in my mental health we missed a deadline and a few weeks then decided to stop them and start doing it for next year. It sounds like hard work for no actual reward at that moment but I have blogs scheduled for next year that give me enough time that if I go through a month or two of no motivation it doesn’t matter because I have near enough a whole year to figure out what I’m doing. Of course that doesn’t work when it comes to reviews unless they are retroactive reviews (I’ve done Penguindrum, Madoka Magica and a few others like it) but it does help when you have the man power and the ability to do so.
I don’t know if any of that makes sense, I’m babbling!
It does make sense and was lovely. Thank you for sharing – you can ramble any time. I need to check out those retro reviews
Great post, learnt some new things.
I also prefer the written word over videos, although I’m not sure exactly how many other WordPress people would say they are the same way…
From experience, the best method of promotion is simply sticking around for a long time, to the point where you and your posts become a fixture in other people’s lives, and putting out content regularly. When I was a rookie blogger, I heavily relied on word-of-mouth/its digital equivalent, interacting with other bloggers to strike cross-promotion deals (i.e. “you link me and I’ll link you”) and cross-promotion through various accounts of mine. Those have serviced me just fine over the years.
Lately, resilience in blogging seems at a premium
I’ve tried almost half of these, and they work! I mean, I used to be hungup about getting more followers and readerships, but now I just do this stuff and let the tides of destiny decide.
You’re a reddit guy if I remember. Depending on the type of content, that’s a great place to get readership
Reddit accounts for about 50% of my views, I’d wager. My most viewed post (first that broke a thousand views) was posted on reddit. Only “downside” is discussion was not on my blog proper but the reddit threads.
Cool post. It’s always good for people to know these things
Thanks! Im sure you’ve got plenty of tricks yourself
You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much I prefer reading posts to watching youtube videos. I follow a few blogs; I don’t follow a single youtube channel. I read blogs daily. I watch a youtube video maybe once every two weeks.
You and I are clearly not people…
Your GIF game is on point yet again. I didn’t even have to read the title to click on this one. Well done!
My version of clickbait!
I’ll never do Clickbait on my blog, I absolutely hate it. I want to sell my blog on the value of my words, not following trends or fads. That will probably net me few followers, but I write for myself, so that is ok.
But, all the luck to people who want to do what they can to get their voice out there.
These are some great tips (in Arthifis’, too!). I’ve been naming my pictures differently ever since.
Let me second your recommendation for Instagram and Pinterest. I started posting on Instagram, and though it doesn’t drive a ton of activity to my site, I get solid engagement there.
And Pinterest? Since I started using it just a couple of months ago, it’s consistently the #2 source of traffic to my blog — right after Google!
Fortunately, my wife is skilled in social media campaigning, and she patiently explained how Pinterest is an image search engine. Like a dozen times. It just wouldn’t stick in my brain for some reason… That’s why I only started using it recently.
Have you ever used Facebook ads? For $20 US dollars, you can increase your traffic to your site. I usually do something like that at the beginning of a season to see if I can drum up interest in the series I’m reviewing. It often works! Though I’m consistently disappointed with engagement on Facebook…
Thanks for the tips!
Pintrest works well for me too. Ive never tried adds . maybe I will
Some really great ideas here in both the article and the comments. Clearly i’m going to have to investigate some of the sites and plug-ins. As is, I mostly just push things across social media.
Well that’s really the most effective (along with community engagement)
I like clickbait as much as anyone, but I don’t like using it. The other tips are great through.
I hope you find something useful!
I tried to convince a group of author friends to do a joint blog where we can rotate who’s posting and keep content regular and varied. Most weren’t interested, which is crazy considering how you can funnel it to all social media and with multiple authors doing the exposure would be much larger.
I hate clickbait, but there’s lots of things that advertising does that rubs me the wrong way. I tend to keep my posts shorter with images and lots of paragraphs. It’s easier on the reader and they’re less likely to skim over parts.
What you’re saying about adding boobs or nude to the post title is so true, sadly. I had another blog where I watched 365 films in a year. One of the most viewed posts was the terrible movie ‘American Hot Babes’. Make of that what you will.
That makes me a little sad. Hate works well too. Worst anime ever for instance
Yeah, it’s a shame that it works that way. People seem to need to large emotional responses to draw them in. It’s possible that these aren’t the right type of readers to draw in anyhow. I’d rather get five engaged readers than a hundred that just follow the clickbait emotion charged titles.
Hmm, I need to install that widget that gets older posts out there.
Yeah, me too. It’s been on my list of things to do for too long.
Yes you do. Everyone should be able to enjoy your old posts
I didn’t even know something like this even existed before this post… -Mind Blown-
*blush* Oh you. Trying to kill me with kindness are you?
I don’t use clickbait that much, but my senran kagura episode reviews all use inuendos in the title or are just blantently ecchi based. And collectivelly they are some of my most viewed items. I dont intend to make it a regular thing though. Thanks for sharing these tips, I’ll be sure to use these.
Clickbait is really getting a bad name… I hope ypu find something useful
I absolutely refuse to do clickbait, too, and around the Internet generally I make a point of not clicking on titles that are obvious clickbait. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way, too, so I would discourage people from doing that if they want a sustainable, engaged audience that actually reads their stuff. If your article headline looks like it belongs in one of those obnoxious Taboola “Around the Web” grid advert things, change it. Please. For the love of God. If I have to see promises of “the latest heartbreaking news about Michael Schumacher” one more time I’m going to set fire to something.
For sharing old stuff, I do have some suggestions, however; I’ve started using these recently and they’ve proven quite effective.
Firstly is If This Then That aka IFTTT — https://ifttt.com/. This allows you to set up all manner of different things to happen under different circumstances automatically. I use it quite simply to post links to useful static pages on my blog (my All Games and Cover Games pages, for example) and my Patreon/Ko-Fi at set times each day. It saves me having to remember to pimp the latter in particular.
Secondly is some form of social media scheduling tool. I use Buffer — https://buffer.com/ — and set up a daily schedule so I can just plug in a bunch of old posts and leave it to it. I have to manually compose the tweets/FB posts, but that takes a matter of moments and then I have a day’s social promotion taken care of.
As for picking the posts to do that with, I either do it manually if there’s something I particularly want to highlight (my podcast or my recent Awards nominations post, for example) but otherwise simply make use of the oft-forgotten WordPress random post feature — https://yoursitename.here/?random, e.g. https://moegamer.net/?random
Note that the randomiser link does not work if you plug it into IFTTT or a link shortener — if you do that it will always come back with the same post every time. Instead, YOU go to the randomiser link when preparing your social posts (it’s helpful to make it a link on your site’s menu for convenience’s sake), keep clicking it until it spots something you want to promote or haven’t promoted recently, then copy and paste that link into Buffer or equivalent.
Amazing. Thank you so much for the great tips!
You’re welcome! Hope they come in handy.
I’ll second Buffer! It’s been pretty reliable over the years.
I flat out refuse to use clickbait if I can help it. I know I’m probably shooting myself in the foot by acting this. Journalistic Integrity is an antiquated concept these days anyway, but it’s the one silly, romanticised aspect of the job I hold onto from my brief time journalisming.
I agree that quantity is probably more valuable than quality also. I really need to stop writing posts of 1200 words all the time, it’s so much more investment than I get back… Or maybe I should just break everything I write up into multiple parts and release it throughout the week.
Nice read anyway Irina.
I also write 1200 word posts so I know where you are coming from…
Great post Irina! Thank you for referring my post eheh 🙂
First, a question: Can you explain http://www.animenano.com/ a little better? I just started using the app (like two days ago), but I don’t understand what you are trying to say with Blog compilation 😛
I would have to say that clickbait is just almost a no to me xD I mean, I try to use catchy titles, but never something that seems too freaking awesome or something like that 😛 I despise clickbait, so I don’t really want to go that route… However, they do work >.< To me, Social Media just doesn't seem to work as good as I wanted… I think I might write a post talking about that. Truth is, the only one that seems to actually return my efforts is Pinterest 😛 Everything is just way too much work and almost no return 😛 Although I love Twitter, so I just continue there because… Fun! Keep up with the good work! 😀
Well if you go to that link you’ll see that its a compilation of posts from a lot of different anime blogs and it links back to them. Once your site gets approuved, your new posts are automatically featured on there. Like the reader app.
Nevermind… I read Amino and thought you were talking about https://aminoapps.com/ LOLOL Thank you, I’ll be seeing that now <3