I debated about writing this post because it’s not at all in my homeschooling/homesteading/tree-hugging niche but I feel like I learned something important and I wish someone had told me sooner so I thought I’d share my experience. If you are not a blogger, I apologize. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. If you are a blogger, I hope you find this useful.
When I decided that I wanted blogging to be more of a vocation (that seems a lofty title for what I’m doing…. I’m writing this in my PJs, sitting in my recliner. Can you call that a vocation?) and less of a hobby I started looking into what I needed to do. It became pretty clear, right away, that there were three things that every advertiser or sponsor was looking for, in addition to good content:
1) A good amount of blog traffic.
2) A decent social media following.
3) A fair ranking from Google and/or Alexa.
I decided to put a lot of effort into #2, assuming that if I had a lot of followers they would automatically come over to the blog and the upswing in traffic would make my rankings jump (or… since I didn’t actually have rankings at that time, it would make them appear).
In order to increase my social media following I started linking up to every blog hop and linky party I could find. Every. Single. One. No matter what the focus of the group, as a whole, was I would find (or write) a post that kind-of sort-of fit into that niche and link it up.
Then I would follow every single other person on the hop.
I went from under 100 Facebook followers and none on Twitter to over 600 followers on each in less than a month.
Well… maybe not.
I watched in horror as my Alexa rank fell by tens of thousands of points, my Google rank remained non-existent and my bounce rate climbed to nearly 80%. Eighty percent?! What the heck was going on?!
I had followers. I had content. What was the problem?
I took a step back and looked at what I was doing.
I was linking my blog, which probably fits best with the “crunchy mom” set to parties most likely frequented by people with no children, or those who couldn’t possibly care less about which pesticides are being used on American produce.
I was reaching eyes, but they weren’t, for the most part, eyes that were going to continue to look in my direction for more than a split second.
Imagine buying ad space for your knitting supplies business during the NBA playoffs. You may reach a customer or two but your money would probably be much better spent on sponsoring a Hallmark movie.
I decided to calm down about my numbers and spend more time connecting with fewer people on a deeper level.
I returned my focus to doing what I love – writing about saving the planet, promoting world peace and raising productive citizens (without expending too much effort).
I interacted with those who were reading my posts and expressing interest in the subject matter.
I went in search of others who cared about the same things and I interacted with them on the subjects they were writing about as well.
I did continue to link up at blog hops, but only those few where I’d found like-minded folks who were looking to join in conversation about how we can help each other move forward with our goals.
Guess what happened?
My social media numbers continued to grow! They increased more slowly, for sure, but still quite steadily.
My traffic increased! The people who were coming to my blog were sharing it with their friends. They were coming back multiple times, commenting, interacting, and visiting multiple posts.
My bounce rate dropped! It didn’t just drop a little. It went from almost 80% to just over 3%. That means that nearly 97% of the people who visit my site stick around to leave a comment or look at a second page and that makes me one very happy blogger because it means that there are others out there who care about the same things that I feel are so very important.
My Google and Alexa ranks improved! Google finally recognized me with a starting page rank of 2 and my US Alexa rank went from 500,000th (US) to hovering right around 100,000.
Advertisers and sponsors became more willing to work with me.
Am I the Huffington Post with half a gazillion views every day? Hardly. I’m still looking forward to my first 10,000 view month. I’m a tiny little blog-fish in a great big ocean. But I’ve learned that keeping true to my vision and creating and maintaining meaningful connections with others who share my passions is the most effective way for me to reach my goals and… super-extra-special bonus points!…. it helps others reach theirs, as well.
I recently joined the Top Mommy Blogs Network. It would mean a great deal to me if you could click this banner. One click = one vote for this blog as a great mommy blog. You can vote one per day and, if you browse around over there, you’ll find some other awesome blogs to love as well. Thank you!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!