Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: 12 Ways to Grow Your Blog Community.

12 Ways to Grow Your Blog Community.



When you first start blogging, it's so easy to get discouraged if your blog doesn't immediately take off. When I first started, no one, including people in my personal life, even knew my blog existed. Nearly two years later, I'm still working to grow my community and spread all the happiness I can! 

One question that everyone has when they're trying to gain a following on their blog is "how?" I've learned that, unfortunately, there isn't one surefire way to grow your blog. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and a combination of several strategies to get your following to where you'd like it to be. These are a few methods that have worked for me, and I hope they work for you too!

REPLY TO ALL COMMENTS
This is key! If someone takes the time to comment your blog, then you should take the time to thank them by replying to it. Sometimes, this may even lead to a dialogue, and maybe even a new friend!

Additional tip: Note that if you use Blogger as a platform, if you reply directly on your blog, the person who commented won't know that you commented back unless they keep checking back. It's usually the same on Wordpress too. As a commenter, I would recommend either installing Disqus (if someone replies to your comment, you will get it in your email. A Disqus account has to be created to comment on a blog with Disqus, but many people have it now, and it's pretty convenient) or you can check the box below the comment area that says "Notify me of follow-up comments," and you'll be able to see when someone replies to your comment.

ENGAGE WITH OTHER BLOGGERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Bloggers love keeping up with other bloggers on social media. Show your blog pals some love with a retweet or a favorite. Like their post on Facebook or repin their image. Spread the love to other bloggers, and hopefully that love will be reciprocated. 

UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Because there are so many different blogging platforms, just allowing people to subscribe to your blog only through GFC or Wordpress probably isn't going to cut it. Even if you have a Bloglovin account, most non-bloggers don't even have Bloglovin. And sometimes, even those that do may not use it as their primary way to keep up with their favorite blogs. The best thing to do is to give your readers options. Some people are obsessed with Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest. Create social media accounts associated with your blog to give your readers options on how to keep up with your posts.

SPONSOR OTHER BLOGGERS
Sponsoring other bloggers is a great way to get your name out there. Before choosing which blogs you want to dish money out on, check out their blog perks, and make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. Opt for sponsorships that include features or spotlights, social media shout outs or guest posts. Sidebar ads are great, but it doesn't always lead to exposure if there are no perks attached. If you're on a budget, swap buttons with other bloggers and brainstorm ways to grow your blogs together, such as a collaboration. 

HOST GOOD SPONSORSHIPS
If people are paying for an ad spot on your sidebar, you want to make sure that people think it's worth the money. Make sure you have great perks included with your sponsorships. Here are a few ideas:

-- Sponsor feature or spotlight (in a blog post, newsletter, etc.)
-- Social media shout-outs (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
-- Social media engagement (pins, +1's, retweets, regrams, etc.)
-- Offer for them to guest post
-- Free entry in a giveaway
-- Comments on all their posts

Hosting a good sponsorship is a great way to create loyal followers. They'll tell their friends what a great sponsorship they had, and that may lead to even more people in your blog community.

PARTICIPATE IN LINK-UPS
Link-ups are a fun way to engage with other bloggers. Most link-ups are themed, and in order to participate, you have to blog about a certain thing, such as a recipe, music, an outfit or even your weekend. Rules of link-ups include visiting other blogs in the link-up and leaving some love. You can expect people to come and visit your blog, and you may even create some loyal readers out of the experience.

COMMENT ON OTHER BLOGS
I've found a lot of great blogs through people that have commented on my blog. If you use Disqus, most people have their blog link on their profile. Also, some people leave their blog links on their comments. If people do this, it's a great way for you to visit other blogs and return the favor by commenting on a few of their blog posts too. Just like responding to comments on your own blog, this could create a dialogue between you and another blogger, which could create a loyal reader.

JOIN NETWORKS
A good chunk of my followers came from blogger networks that I'm a part of. Networks are a great way to meet other bloggers, especially if they're specialized networks. These are a few blog networks that I am a part of:

Southern Girl Blog Community: From the name you can tell that this is a network for female bloggers living in the south.

Blog Life Chose Me: This is a relatively new blog network based on Facebook. A few of the members in this group are bloggers that I'm actually pretty close with, and this is one of my favorite blogging communities. 

Blog Love: I actually just joined this network recently, and I've found a lot of great bloggers through it. It's also based on Facebook, and it's a fun group to engage with other bloggers and spread the blog love.

HerCampus Blogger Network: I've met so many great bloggers through this network. One of my favorite things about HerCampus is that the members are all around my age, so a lot of them are going through the same struggles as me. #thestruggleisreal

GIVEAWAYS
If you're looking for a way to gain followers fast, participating in a giveaway is probably the easiest way. There's no guarantee that these people will stick around after the giveaway is over, but some of them may turn into loyal followers.

THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
What will your audience gain by coming back to your blog? Give people a reason to keep visiting. Analyze what your most popular posts are (I like to use Google Analytics), and try to create posts similar to that one. Everyone knows something about something that other people know less about. Don't be selfish with it. Share it! 

Additional tip: Make it easier for your audience to keep up with your posts by sticking to a blog schedule. When I first started blogging, I used to publish my posts whenever I felt like it. Later, I learned that it's better to post at the same time every day that you intend to publish a post. Personally, my posts go up at 8 am central time, even though I usually write my blog posts at night. It's super easy for you to schedule your posts for the same time each day. Consistency is key! If you blog consistently for a month and then disappear for a few weeks, post a couple times then disappear again, it's unlikely that your followers are going to stick around. If you want to create a blog community, try to be consistent with both the timing of your posts and the frequency. I try to post every day Monday through Friday, but even if I can't I usually post at least 2-3 times every week.

GUEST POST 
Help get exposure for your blog by guest posting on other blogs. Make sure that anything your write for someone else's blog is something that you would want to put on your blog. Be authentic, so that when people visit your blog from that other person's blog, they'll know exactly what they're getting. Ask the other blogger to include clickable links to your blog and other social media.

SUBMIT ARTICLES TO OTHER WEBSITES
There are tons of other websites looking for contributors that already have a huge following, such as Thought Catalog, BuzzFeed, and Hello Giggles. In order to post on these sites, you usually have to create a short bio where you can include a link to your personal website. Take advantage of these sites by submitting your articles. 

Even those these methods have all worked for me, every blog is different, and it's important to note that things that work for my blog may not work for every single blog out there. Like I said before, there isn't one surefire way to grow your blog. If you want to grow a loyal community, try out a few different methods, and see what works for you! Remember, what you give is what you get.

What methods have you used to grow your blog community?

89 comments :

  1. I agree with replying to all comments and commenting on other's blogs! It's a great way to build a relationship with your readers and other bloggers. Also contributing to other sites has really driven traffic back to my site and helped me a lot <3

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  2. Love this! Very helpful for those of us starting new blogs!

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  3. I have disqus on blogger right now and I can't tell you how much it increased my comments and user interaction immediately. I have a community now rather than an echo chamber! Great tip!

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  4. Excellent post! I absolutely believe in commenting on other blogs and returning comments to those that take the time to comment on yours. I also have joined a few groups and find that helps grow blogs as well :)

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  5. Love this! I think you hit the nail on the head with all of these-- some of these things slip through the cracks sometimes and I forget about them-- you are absolutely right in how crucial these things are though!

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  6. You're so right! Building a community takes so much time and effort, but it ends up being so worth it when you find yourself developing real life friends out of blog friends!

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

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  7. Great love these!

    I always reply to every single comment! I hate when bloggers don't. It isn't hard to acknowledge a comment!

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  8. I definitely want to do a give-away soon but we shall see how that all goes...

    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    http://www.theaccidentalmama.com

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  9. Community is my favorite thing about blogging! These tips are really great. I've found that is it also great to partner with bloggers to host a series or an event on your blog. Working together helps to get to know each other!

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  10. This is a really great list of tips, thank you!!

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  11. Great tips! And YAY to Blog Life Chose Me! We are awesome!!

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  12. So many great tips. I have to say I have been getting better at comment back to people how leave comments on my blog. I normal take one day to comment back to them all.

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  13. Lately I've seen a checkbox on Blogger blogs, that allows a commenter to get emails of any follow-up comments. The emails you get are not as sophisticated in formatting as the Disqus ones, but they do show up. On WordPress blogs I've also noticed people using some kind of plugin that uses the WordPress.com infrastructure to power comment subscription emails. So there are definitely different choices out there now no matter what platform you're on.

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  14. OMG! So these are all great, and I enjoyed the post, but your pin it button! It's seasonal and I love it!!!

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  15. Coffee Beans High HeelsOctober 7, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    great tips, Tiff! Thanks for sharing them!
    xo
    Orly
    coffeebeansandhighheels.weebly.com

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  16. thanks for this! great tips ♥

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  17. Thanks for sharing! These are some awesome tips.

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  18. Thank you so much for posting! I'm looking for ways to grow my little blog into something bigger!

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  19. I love the idea of supporting other bloggers by buyer ad space on their blogs. Help both parties involved!

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  20. I had never thought about submitting my articles to other sites, I definitely need to try that! Now it is just time to find my perfect blogging niche!

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  21. You touched on great points! And I totally agree, it can definitely be discouraging in the beginning, when no comments or views are coming it. I definitely felt that way in the beginning, but the commenting on other blogs sponsoring, etc helped so much.

    - MeYouAndHayleyLarue.com

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  22. I was definitely discouraged in the beginning too, but I'm glad I tuckered through!

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  23. I've only submitted one to Thought Catalog, but I want to look at submitting more!

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  24. It really does! When people buy ads on my space, I usually turn around and use that money to sponsor other blogs.

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  25. You're welcome! I hope these tips help!

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  26. You're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

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  27. You're welcome, Orly! I'm happy you enjoyed them!

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  28. Thank you! I love my pin it button, too! Emily from Designs by Emily did it for me, and she's a genius!

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  29. That's good to know! I literally know nothing about Wordpress, and most of the blogs that I visit that use Blogger have Disqus installed. That's so good to know that that option is available along all platforms. Thanks!

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  30. Thanks, Amy! Sometimes, it takes me awhile to comment back on posts as well.

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  31. Yes! Blog Life Chose Me is the best!

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  32. You're welcome, Daisy! I'm happy you enjoyed them.

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  33. That's one of my favorite things about blogging too! All of the collaborations I've done with other bloggers have been so fun, and they lead to such awesome things!

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  34. Giveaways are a lot of fun. Good luck with yours! I've only ever hosted two, but I've co-hosted many others.

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  35. Giveaways are really beneficial! If you're looking for some to participate in, this is a great resource, and I've seen amazing results: http://www.ohmygoshbeck.com/current-blogger-opps/

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  36. Thanks, Rebecca! I'm glad you found them helpful!

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  37. Replying to comments has always been really important to me. I don't like when I comment on someone's page, and they don't take the time to comment back.

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  38. It's definitely worth all the time and effort you put into it! It's amazing how easy it is to make connections with people that you haven't even met!

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  39. It's definitely hard to implement all of these tips at the same time all the time, but if you have the time to, it's definitely worth it and usually heeds great results. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  40. Thanks, Julie! Returning comments is a huge one to me. It upsets me when I comment on blogs and don't get a reply. And blog groups are my favorite! It's an easy way to meet other bloggers.

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  41. I am such a huge advocate for Disqus. I love it. Ever since I've installed it, I've been a fan.

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  42. I'm so happy you enjoyed the post, Ashleigh! I hope these tips bring you success!

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  43. I'm so happy you agree, Angelic! Replying to comments is so huge to me. If I comment on someone's blog and don't get a reply, it makes me not want to waste my time commenting because for all I know, they didn't even read my comment.

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  44. These are all great tips! Thank you for sharing :)

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  45. I love your design-- thanks for mentioning Southern Girl Blog Community! Sharing this on our main page.

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  46. Thank you! I've only been blogging a few months and any advice is always appreciated.

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  47. I know what to do.. I just struggle finding the time to do it! lol it's very time consuming!

    Great post ! I need to get more interactive with fb blog groups im apart of.


    miyaloves.blogspot.com

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  48. Great tips! And I THINK I told you this before but I LOVE your new blog design! It looks amazing!

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  49. I try to reply to all comments, too! I've done all of these tips except sponsoring other bloggers. I need to look into that. Thanks bunches!

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  50. These are wonderful tips. Probably the most concise I've found in one post.

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  51. These are some great tips!

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  52. Replying to comments is huge! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  53. Thanks so much, Rachael! You da best.

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  54. You're welcome! I'm so happy you found these tips helpful. Good luck with growing your blog community!

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  55. EXCELLENT post! I've bookmarked it for future reference.

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  56. Yay! I'm glad! I hope these help you out with growing your blog community!

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  57. Thank you very much for your post. It's always nice to read tips from bloggers who've managed to make their blog quite popular! :)
    Love,
    Svenja

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  58. I'm so happy you enjoyed the tips, Svenja!

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  59. Hi there! Nice to meet you via the blogging world. I like all of your tips and here and agree with them all. I'd also recommend finding local bloggers you can meet with in real life to connect. Have a great weekend, and happy blogging to you:)

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  60. I was looking around on Google for this kind of information and I stumbled across your site and this post in particular. I took a lot away from this, and looked around a bit. Great site, I added you to my blog boomark tab, keep up the hard work!

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  61. Great advice here. I would say that I have done a couple of guest posts before. Aiming to be consistent with that and also commenting on other blogs. Glad that you are growing your community here.

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  62. That's a great recommendation! Blogger meetups and conventions are a great way to make connections and gain awesome insight. I've never done either because there are unfortunately not many bloggers in my area, but I'm hoping to attend a convention some time in the future.

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  63. That's so awesome! I'm so happy you found this information helpful. Good luck on your blogging endeavors!

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  64. Thanks so much for that wonderful compliment, Cheval! Guest posting is definitely a great way to gain exposure and new followers. Commenting on other blogs is also huge. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  65. Thank you, Tiffany.

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  66. I just found your blog and appreciate this post. Lots of great ideas for community, networking and helping each other. Love it.

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  67. I'm so happy that you found this post helpful! Good luck on your blogging endeavors!

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  68. Love this list! I need to work on submitting past articles!!

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  69. Nice list :) Right now I'm not too focused on growing my blog's numbers. I do spend quite a bit of time visiting other blogs and leaving comments though, because it's one of the things I really enjoy about blogging :)

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  70. Thanks! Commenting on other blogs is definitely beneficial, and sometimes you can create lasting relationships out of it. I enjoy that part of blogging as well.

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  71. Great tips!! I def. am trying to get to know other bloggers in the community. After all, we do have that one passion in common. It's a great way to make friends too! Thanks so much for sharing this post! Bookmarking now! :)

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  72. Exactly! I think sharing a passion for writing and/or blogging is a great thing to bring people together, and, like you said, make friends! I'm so happy that you enjoyed the post, Dani!

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  73. Love all these tips - I've never really thought about doing a giveaway but they seem like a great way of introducing people to your blog. Super helpful!

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  74. Hosting giveaways are lots of fun, and it's really quick way to grow your following. Not all may stick around, but I've gained a few loyal readers from them.

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  75. Hey! Thanks for sharing all of these great tips :). I'm currently trying to grow my blog, so this post has been wicked helpful! I never knew that could submit articles for Hello Giggles! I love that blog :).

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  76. Love this! These tips I feel like are something easy to do! I am so happy I came across this!

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  77. You're welcome! Hello Giggles is awesome! I just heard of another blogger that submitted an article and they liked it so much that they offered to let her be a frequent contributor. You never know what could happen!

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  78. I'm glad you did too! These are definitely very easy to implement, and the return on that little bit of time is so much!

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  79. I'm so glad I found your blog! I have already pinned 2 or 3 things from it that I think are wonderful pieces of advice :D Can't wait to see more!
    www.myfairdaily.com

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  80. That makes me so happy! Yay! Thanks so much!

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  81. Really helpful Tiffany! Do come check out my studio/shop website at http://83oranges.com to find out about my work and life. I'm a designer :)

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  82. I have yet to try a giveaway but it's on my list! Great post - very well articulated.

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  83. Of course! It's definitely one of my favorite blog communities! I love the diversity!

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  84. You're welcome, Ashley! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

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