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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How Do I Generate Traffic on this Blog?

I have to give a special thanks to BreeAnn of Lullafly Illustrations and Joy from HowJoyful for a very successful blog makeover. If you've been around for awhile, you know I went from Olive Weddings to the Butterfly Cottage to now, Sincerely Sara. Rebranding, while not great for generating traffic and a solid readership, has been a necessary process for me to hone in on my blog voice and style... Now that I finally have the right name and the right look, I want to focus on generating traffic.

Firstly, I would like to get to know who is reading this blog. I need to dig into Google Analytics and learn to use that information wisely. How do people find out about Sincerely Sara? How do I maximize those sources?

Secondly, I need to figure out why I don't have more of an audience. Sometimes I think it's because this blog is not specific enough; as you know, I blog about everything from our wedding to our house to running. Is that OK? There's people who there that like to read a variety of topics, right?

Pinned Image

So with that in mind, this is my plan of action (and please chime in on any of these ideas):

1. Invest in a DSLR camera. I've wanted one forever anyway, and I know that good pictures - my own pictures - will automatically improve my blog. I LOVE seeing original pictures on blogs - that's what it's all about!

2. Post more often. I am always thinking about posting and not always posting; that's going to change. If there's a thought going through my mind, I'm going to tell you all about it! Good, bad?

3. Promote it. I use Twitter, but I guess a Facebook page would help. I have the widget now so I need to set one up anyway. Does that improve traffic? Anyone have one?

4. Invite family and friends. Basically everyone. For some reason, I've been sorta embarrassed of my blog. I haven't wanted to post the URL to Facebook or announce it to the Making Things Happen alumni group. I guess I think I'm/it's not good enough? That kind of thinking has got to end!

5. Fix the broken stuff. There's broken links and misspellings and all sorts of problems with this blog! I'm going to take the time to fix all of that, add more pages, and improve the pages I have.

6. Be a better blog reader. I know that a big part of receiving comments is giving them to others. My Google reader is so full of junk I don't read anymore. I want to clean it out and read the blogs I'm interested in, and comment on them!

I would also love to engage readers more. I want to host giveaways and make people feel like there's a reason to check my blog everyday... The point is not to be a big ole' success, but to hopefully begin a better dialogue with you guys. I'd love to surpass a handful of comments on a single post and don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have any comments (oh boy do I remember the days of blogging to the crickets!) but it's only natural to want to hear MORE from you.

So many of you have awesome, very popular blogs and I'm begging to know your advice on how to generate traffic on my blog.

How did you get followers? Comments?

How did you promote your blog?


Allison said...

What great questions to be asking yourself! I feel like, as bloggers, we need to always be asking ourselves these questions all the time. I agree with so much of what you said, and I think having specific regular posts is key. That way, readers will know what to expect when they come to your blog, and they'll know to check in regularly. I know it's disappointing when, after a few days of checking back, there's still no new post. I also think that being a good blog reader and commenter are essential. First, we learn a lot about writing by reading, and second, I think people are more likely to check out your blog if you've taken the time to read theirs. And you'd be surprised by how many hits you can get simply by leaving comments! :) I'm excited to see where your new blog ventures take you - and the makeover looks fabulous!

Sara said...

Hey Mrs. Parasol! Thank you so much for your thoughful response! I'm really determined to do it right this time and I'm confident Sincerely Sara is it for me ;-) Hello, blog number three! I love your blog and I'm glad I know about it now! I will take your advice and try to be more present on other's blogs, I do think that helps a lot!

Sarah said...

Such a great idea! I personally love your running posts and I have to admire you for asking these questions Both of your readers and of yourself! I would definitely be interested in the insights you discover!

Clare said...

Well I'm a blog reader and I try to comment on others' blogs as much as possible. It can be hard though. Especially when you don't see those comments in return. But that doesn't discourage me. I get excited when I see how many hits my blog has gotten in one day and I like to see where people are finding my blog. I find I get a lot of hits if I put a post of mine on Facebook/Twitter. I also have my link on every site I'm on (twitter, Pinterest, gchat status!) and I think that helps. I've also heard that if you tag and categorize each post more specifically that it can help your blog turn up in search results. I'm sure over time, your readership will grow. I love the new look btw!

Rycrafty said...

I'm struggling too with the what to write about part. I post a lot about my knitting, but I'm not just a knitting blog any more. I posted all about my wedding when planning, but I'm not a wedding blog any more (minus a few coming posts). I like baking, but I don't do it every day, sometimes not for weeks!

I guess I like to think of myself as a lifestyle/crafty blogger? Really, a blogger who makes things (knitting, cards, bread, flowers).

Almost no one I know in real life knows about the blog. When I started it I just couldn't face explaining it to my parents, and now it is 6 years later and even harder to explain! I don't think I'd ever link to myself on facebook, but I need to be better about tweeting new posts.

I had an audience of knitters back in the day, but I think I scared them off with 12+ months of nothing but wedding stuff, so now I'm trying to get them back, AND not be boring to non-knitters. It's hard!

The Nest Chapter said...

I love the new look! :) I don't really promote my blog, but the couple times I did guest posts brought my biggest increases in traffic. Anytime you have the opporunity, go for it! Good luck with the new blog!

Mila @ loftyappetite said...

well reading other blogs helps because that's how I found your blog! thanks for stopping by my blog. :) your blog design is beautiful! i've never had any intentions to monetize with blogging, just for hobby. but i have found that connecting with other bloggers whether on twitter or via blog comments has helped me not only grow my readership but make some really great friends!

Amanda Forbse said...

Beautiful!! Congratulations on the new site! So excited for you!

Anonymous said...

I lost my comment, bummer. So again I would check the links like you mentioned. Unless I messed up, I tried to like you at Facebook but it brought me back to your blog.
I'm also curious about linking to Twitter but it is a protected account. It's bright, happy follow me at the blog but you might not make the cut at Twitter.

On a positive note, I like the new design and am looking forward to reading your posts and seeing your photos.

Jo said...

Love the new look! I'm pretty sure I came across your blog on shelikesruffles bee blog list and I picked out the bee's I followed along with to see what they were up to!

No idea about generating traffic but from a reader point of view its about having fresh content regularly. It's awful if you go to check a blog and it's had no new posts for a week!

I'll definilty be reading along!

Carpet Cleaning NYC said...

Beautiful!!really nice picture post & your blog content really nice.Good luck with the new blog!

Lauren said...

I really like the make over on the blog!

I have found that some of my bigger hit days comes when I guest blog for someone else, comment on other's blog and when I link up my blog to facebook or pinterest (when I bake or create a pin inspired by that site).

Also, I wanted to add that I actually like a variation of topics. While I really enjoy reading about house and home improvement posts on other blogs(because that is the stage of life we are in), I also enjoy reading about other things. I'm not saying to be all over the place, but I definitely think it's ok to blog about more than just one topic.

Erin McLean said...

LOVE this!!! Great blog Sara! xoxo, Erin

Kathleen said...

I really like the new look of your blog. I am kind of in the same boat as you. I used to have a semi succesful blog; but took a year or so off and now I don't want to write about the same topics. I tend to write what is going on in my life right now which is mostly wedding stuff since I am getting married in two months; but I don't want to just be a "wedding blog." It was nice to read your views on everything. Thanks for the ideas :)


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