After my first blogging conference, Blogfest16, back in November last year, I promised myself I would write a post outlining some of the useful tips I gained for improving my blog, and growing an audience for social media. There were lots of great tips being dished out, so I made a note of what was relevant to me and how I could improve my online image!

 I certainly didn’t expect that using all the tips I gained would magically grow my following overnight (that didn’t happen!), but I have certainly seen gradual growth over time by adopting some of the methods. I’ve seen this more on social media (Instagram) than my blog – which would make sense because I post at least once every day on Instagram.

I will go straight into the points I picked up.

1. Using Images

I’ve learnt how powerful images can be in making your content stand out.  “It says the message quicker than text”, said Emily Quinton from Makelight in her photography session. I was slowly figuring this out anyway and so when she said it, it click and I tried harder to take better quality photos. She talked about using only the best photos for social media like Instagram and your blog. She also stressed the importance of natural light for your photos. I wrote a little bit more about this in a previous blog “6 ways your camera can inspire and motivate you“.

2. Using social media (to steer audience to your blog) 

If you use social media like Facebook, Instagram or twitter regularly, use it to promote your blog. Talk about your posts, let your audience know about what’s coming up, or if you’ve put something out recently. Put up a link of your blog’s website with your latest content and tell people how to get to it. I mostly use Instagram on a daily basis, so this is the platform I use to promote my blog when I have written something new. I do occasionally use twitter, but I wouldn’t say I’ve invested any real time or energy there. For me, it’s easier to stick to one and be consistent with it.

3. Being Useful

Whatever you are putting out there – Can it help someone? Can they learn from it? Will it cheer them up? Encourage your audience to interact with what you have put out there, for example ask them a question or their thoughts on your topic. Try to put out content that you think your target audience might relate to. I try to have a rough idea about what going on with the people I generally interact with and so that gives me more of an idea about what they might relate to. Having a purpose to your posts is important to think about.

4. Planning

Planning your posts, or thinking about what you would like to write about next (for your blog) or taking good quality photos ahead of time, that you might like to use later is probably a good idea. I usually like to take a bank of photos on the weekends, as I don’t have the time in the week. Most times when I get home from work, it might be too dark for natural light photos or I am too tired.  If you know you want to do a blogpost about something specific, and you have the time there and then, why not take some photos? 

With regards to planning posts for Instagram, Alison Perry (Not Another Mummy Blog) mentioned MOSAICO app, where you can pre-plan what photos you want to post next or see how a particular photo might look amongst others in your grid before you actually post it. I find it a really useful tool and I have used it ever since I went to this blogging conference.

5. Consistency

This tip is probably the most important one in my opinion. The more you post, the more following will come your way, and sticking to the same colour scheme or interest might add to, or improve how appealing your page looks. It was said that the last nine images will let someone know if they want to follow you or not, as they know roughly from this what they are going to get. So I guess being consistent help others to make a decision on whether they want to stick with you or not.

6. Interaction

In addition to all of the above, don’t forget your loyal followers or readers. Appreciate their support and interact with the people who always show support. They are also more likely to tag or recommend you this way. When commenting on someone’s post (especially to a person you are not familiar with), show a general interest and not just a generic ‘one liner’. Responding to others will always go along way. I also believe, and have proved that you can develop real bonds and even friendship with some of the people who you interact with on a regular basis.

I hope these were useful and if you would like to comment on anything or share any ideas you have, I’d be happy to hear. All the best!

Alicia x

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