Recipes

How I Grew My Blog

So I started my blog “Coco and Ash” in March of this year (2016). I am writing this in September and last month (August) I ended with over 70,000 views. It’s my first blog ever, I’m not a technical person (AT ALL!), and I had no clue what I was doing when I started…So if I can do this, SO CAN YOU! I am still met with shock when people find out that I have already grown my blog to over 70,000 views per month!

I am going to show you how I started and how I grew my blog and give you some key steps that have led to these numbers so early in my blog.

Now, I realize that there are bloggers who’s numbers outshine mine by the hundreds of thousands, however I’m quite proud of accumulating that many views in such a short amount of time. And I know a lot of people are still trying to grow their blog and just need a boost and some tips to get going. I am STILL working on growing my blog and it takes hard work. Every. Single. Day! I write, I pin, I edit, I photograph, I cook, I research…the list goes on. Creating your blog will be hard work but it’s so rewarding!

How I Grew My Blog

So the first thing you have to do before you can work on growing your blog is actually START your blog page/website. I have a wordpress.ORG (not .com) blog, hosted through BlueHost. Basically, what that means is that WordPress is where I work on my blog, and BlueHost is who runs my blog behind the scenes.

I would HIGHLY suggest starting out on a self-hosted blog. (WordPress.com is not self hosted. WordPress.org is self hosted.) If you use a wordpress.ORG (instead of .com) page, you’ll have more space on your website, you can edit the “behind the scenes” html codes, you’ll have thousand of plug-ins (like apps) that you can add to your page, you’ll have a much larger selection of free themes, and you can run ads and make money! And if you start out on a self-hosted WordPress site you won’t have to move it over later (which can be a pain).

And if all of this sounds like technical mumbo-jumbo to you…you aren’t alone! I had NO CLUE how to start a blog or do anything on a website. I promise it’s a simple step by step process and If you have any questions, just ask me in the comments below and I will do my best to help.

So HERE is a link to Bluehost to get your started. It’s simple and it’s less than $4/month for the basic plan. Once you sign up, you can choose your domain (website) name and go from there! You go through the Bluehost process of signing up and then you install WordPress. They are always available through customer service if you need any help too!

 

How I Grew My Blog

Once you’ve set up your blog, chosen your name, and added some great content, you need to get people to READ that content! Two words: SOCIAL MEDIA!! You can’t expect that people are going to find your blog on their own and just start reading and sharing it. That will never happen. I found this quote on DIY Budget Girl’s site and it sums this up perfectly:

“CONTENT IS KING. BUT SOCIAL MEDIA IS QUEEN!”

Usually depending on your niche  and what you’re demographic of followers are, you’ll be strongest on one social media platform. That doesn’t mean you ignore the others. But most likely, you will have one platform that outshines the others.

For me, it’s Pinterest. Here’s a screen shot of my one of my daily views and you can see just how much Pinterest does for me.How I Grew My Blog

I could write an entire blog post on Pinterest strategies but for now, I’ll hit the main points:

  • So here’s what I did to grow my Pinterest following:
    • Create a business Pinterest account. Don’t try to pin things from your personal page and expect people to take it seriously. The business account also has analytics and a few other features that are very useful.
    • Join group boards. A lot of bloggers have amassed huge followings on Pinterest and by joining their group boards and pinning to them, you can piggy back on those followings! I only have 3,000 followers but I also rely heavily on other pinners’ followings while I’m still growing. HERE’s a site that has a list of Pinterest group boards and you can sort them by type, followers or whatever you need. You can usually ask to join by commenting on the owners’ pins or by finding the owners’ blogs and emailing them directly. Make sure you are only joining boards that coincide with your specific niche.
    • Pin often! Sundays seem to be a huge Pinterest day. I know a lot of bloggers (heck, most!) use automated pinning services like Tailwind or Boardbooster. I have used those when I first started but I like to have control over when and what I pin so I like to do it on my own. I know at some point it will be too much to handle but it’s ok for now. So every Sunday morning and every Wednesday morning I go through and pin all of my recipe pins to group boards. Make sure you read each board owners rules (usually posted at the top of their board) to make sure they allow multiple pins. You don’t want to get kicked out after all that hard work!
    • Join a Facebook page for Pinterest. There is a Facebook page dedicated to Pinterest groups. FIND IT HERE. Pinterest users post boards that they have open for you to join in on and you can ask to join. This is a great place to start!

 

How I Grew My Blog

Follow other bloggers and share their content! This goes for all social media outlets. Other bloggers notice when you share their content. If you made a great recipe that you found on a blogger’s site, let them know that you made it and loved it! Follow other bloggers in your niche on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Share their Facebook posts and tag them! Pin their pins! Comment, comment, comment! You want to make yourself known and get noticed as well!

And here’s a little tip. Even if you share someone ELSE’S Facebook post, you can go into the “likes” on that post and click “invite” those people to like YOUR page!

And you also want to make sure that YOUR content is easy to share. Add a “Pin” button to all of your blog photos. There are WordPress plug-ins that make this super easy! And add “share” buttons to the bottom of all of your blog posts (also through a plug-in). No one will take the time to search your page for how to share your post. If you don’t catch your readers’ attention in a few seconds, you’ve lost them.

How I Grew My Blog

So I’m ashamed to admit this but when I started my blog, I didn’t even know what SEO stood for! If you’re like me, that’s “search engine optimization”. Now you can join me and pretend that we’ve known that all along 😉

Basically search engines look for specific things in your content and based on those “things” the search engine will either bump you up or bump you down on a search list. And as we all know, if you’re on the third or even second page of a Google search, no one will ever click on your site.

I try my best to work on SEO but I’m no expert so here’s a link to some great SEO tips!

 

Now I know there are certainly things that I have not touched in this post and some of you may have some other great tips. I would love to hear your input in the comments below!! And I hope this post helps you grow your blog too!!

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How I Grew My Blog

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  • Amanda
    September 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Love your tips! I read a few I have never heard before, which I will try very soon (like the Facebook groups for Pinterest…who knew? )

    • Coco and Ash
      September 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Awesome! I hope it helps you out!!

  • Natasha
    September 16, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Awesome advice! Thank you for sharing. I just launched my food blog 2 weeks ago and am excited to build up momentum on it. I’m on Pinterest but didn’t think about joining group boards before so I’m definitely going to try that now.

    • Coco and Ash
      September 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Good luck! I’m sure you’ll do great! 🙂

  • Hope
    September 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Great tips, thanks so much for sharing these Mindy. 70,000 views in 6 months is amazing, congratulations! I’m sure you worked really hard to get there! I launched a blog in June and am only just getting started on pinterest recently, I have a long way to go but definitely need to join some more group boards. Thanks for the helpful advice 🙂

    • Coco and Ash
      September 22, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you so much! Hope I could help! ?

  • Melissa Williams
    September 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Good job! 70k in 6 months is huge. Which app is that screenshot you used for your stats?

    • Coco and Ash
      September 30, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much Melissa! That app is just the wordpress app 🙂 You can also get the google analytics app and use that too 🙂

      • Melissa Williams
        September 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks, I have the GA app, I just never saw the WP version of stats.

  • Caroline Job
    September 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Great tips! I’m starting to focus on Pinterest now! Thank you for sharing x

    • Coco and Ash
      September 30, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you!! Good luck!

  • Emily
    September 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the article Mindy – that’s a huge number of page views in such a short time! I’ve had my blog for about 18 months but only got really serious about it in the past 3-4 months – I’ve gone from a few hundred page views to 4500 in that time, which I’m pretty happy with but would love to be doing better!
    I’ll definitely be using some of your tips to improve my numbers. 🙂

  • Angie
    October 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips! I have multiple blogs but decided to focus on my food blog this year. It’s been a challenge to blog lately with moving and smashing my finger in the car door. My views have dropped, and I seriously need a boost to grow this blog! Thank you for the boost!!!?

    • Coco and Ash
      October 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      I’m so happy that I could help you! Good luck!!!

  • David @ CookingChat
    October 3, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Impressive results, congrats! I will have to check out the Facebook groups you mention, I suspect some will be new to me.

    • Coco and Ash
      October 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you!! Good luck!

    • Coco and Ash
      October 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Great! Good luck!!

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