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Blog growth- getting those blue bars rocketing

It has been a while since I last posted something that wasn’t really travel related. It is funny because my blog wasn’t intended to be a travel blog. I had lots of inner thoughts that I wanted to get out there, and when I moved to Australia it was difficult for me to post anything but travel. That and photography.

And now I am in London I am sure travel will still be a huge part of my blog, but it will be nice once in a while to blog about other things.

The world isn’t exactly experiencing a shortage of travel blogs…

But I can see why. We all love to read about places we haven’t been to, and read other peoples perspectives of the place we call home. It is in our nature, the curious beings that we are. And I love to read what people have to say about the locations I post from, whether they are people that haven’t visited or live right around the corner.

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The trouble is, how do we get people to view the blogs? There are so many blogs out there, some that I know will feel like they were tailored for me perfectly. The problem is I know they are there, but knowing where they are is a different kettle of fish. A bit like music really. Our favourite songs are often found by chance, listening to the radio or hearing a friend listening to. But getting out there and searching really increases our chances of finding what we want.

Luckily I have met a lovely bunch of you that I talk to daily and I am glad we do. When I first started blogging, writing is all I did. Open laptop, write a post, publish and shut laptop. I was always a little disappointed when I powered my laptop back up to see that no one seemed to want to engage. It had a couple views, maybe a like or two and that was it. There are a few reasons for this.

For one, my blog is one of millions. On the journey to work (especially in London!) we don’t notice individuals during rush hour. It is one continuous blur of passers by, waves upon waves in a sea of commuters. Our brains just aren’t capable of processing all that information so fast, nor do we have the time to do so. The same with blogs. We can’t read all of them, nor can we find all of them within the masses.

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Secondly, why would anyone want to talk to me if I didn’t want to talk to them? I kept quiet for the first couple of years, and with that I was left alone. If you don’t go to other people’s parties, why would they want to come to yours? By getting out there, introducing myself and having the time for others, people were more interested in wanting to know me. It felt much better.

It is a bit like a relationship. You get out of it what you put in. You give time to your partner, they will (hopefully) devote time in return. It is how so much of life works, but sadly this effort isn’t always put in. Social media doesn’t help, we see people posting and receiving a ton of interest and engagement, it is easy to feel we can just replicate it, sit back and watch as the views flood in. I have seen first hand so many blogs come and go, and I imagine that the lack of engagement and interest is a big factor. You cannot simply set up a site and have it be successful overnight. It takes plenty time and commitment.

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Another factor is how much we blog and actually give readers something to read.

The chart I used in the picture above reflects my actual blogging stats, however in reverse. Below I have added the stats as they are currently, from 19th October 2019.

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These are my daily numbers, the tallest bar is the day I last posted. As you can see bloggers had something to read, the following days not so much. It isn’t a sudden drop, as some of my followers weren’t able to read on the day I posted and did so in the days after. But the trend is obvious. Post and get views, don’t post and, well, get less views. But to get views in the first place I had to do what I mentioned earlier in the post. Get out there and let people know my blog actually exists.

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As you can see above, February has clearly been my most successful month in terms of views. This is no coincidence, it was the month I finally announced my blog to people outside of WordPress. That’s right, until recently I kept my blog secret to the outside world, no-one knew about it apart from my mum and sister and a maybe one or two people that managed to find it. By announcing it on social media the views went from just shy of 10,000 to 17,000 in one month. It was actually much more that I had anticipated.

But since then I didn’t blog so much. I posted 42 posts in February, the closest I have gotten since is 24 in August. This was the month that I was leaving Australia, and I posted all my favourite pictures from my two years in Australia there. Frequent blogging is vital for me to receive views, and being absent clearly affects the stats. I love looking at these statistics daily and seeing how consistent the trends are with blogging.

Lets zoom into daily stats again, but zoomed out to show more days.

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Again, a clear trend can be seen. September I blogged a little about flying back to the UK, going to see Muse in Berlin and moving to London. Since moving I have only posted twice, and the drop in views is evidence of this. I used to blog daily for quite a while, and as much as this took up a lot of my time my views increased daily. Another thing I want to state here is that by posting everyday, my views didn’t stagnate. They always grew gradually every single day. Reason for this wasn’t just because of frequent blogging. It was by getting my blog out there. Introducing myself to others, reading other blogs, literally getting my username into the notification feed of others. Not relying on people searching my name, afterall how could they if they didn’t know it was there? Have bloggers actually see my name pop up in their feed was the answer. And if ten or twenty new people everyday were introduced to my blog, my views would slowly rise each day.

Blogging everyday gets me consistent views. Reaching out to new people everyday gets me more views.

Consistent blogging+reaching out=growth.

And despite my recent slow down in blogging, I am still blogging more and more each year. This graph shows my blog from 2016 to 2019.

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I think this is the most important graph of all, for any blogger. It is the one that gives me the confidence and motivation to keep going. Zooming out helps us to see that overall we are gaining ground. If we zoom into anything, whatever if may be, it looks less consistent. More rough around the edges. Even though my stats are currently seeing a fall I understand why and know that I am still moving forward.

Try it for yourself. I would love to know if yours follows the same trends. If your yearly views are dropping, try using the consistent blogging+reaching out=growth equation and take another look at the daily and monthly stats. Stick to it, watch the daily and monthly stats improve and the yearly ones will look after themselves.

Consistent blogging doesn’t have to be every day. Whether it is daily, weekly or monthly readers need to know you will deliver when you say you do. If not, followers will probably look elsewhere to where there is consistency. Whether my views are rising or falling I love looking, as the stats coincide with the above equation. The answers are there, and the stats help me figure out what to do next.

Also, get out there. I love speaking to you everyday and it makes blogging fun. I am glad I have found you all amongst the ocean of people and the only way we can do so is waving to blogging strangers and hope they are happy to wave back. Thank you to all of you that have done.

I hope this helps those that have asked me for a little advice, and thanks to you all that have engaged with me and helped my blog grow to where it is today.

Have a good weekend and happy blogging!

 


 

Rush Hour Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

 


 

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60 replies »

  1. Thanks for such a thoughtful post regarding enagement! It was really nice to see your analytics and hear how the numbers corresponded to different things you did. I have read a lot of post like this and I think you did a particularly great job condesing info. Thanks so much! Happy blogging!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you! I though it was an appropriate post not just because people have asked me to post on it, but because I haven’t blogged too much recently as I get settled back in the UK and the stats really do change when I am away. Thank you for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good question: why blog and for whom? And even on days when a lot of views of my blog are reported, I usually have no idea who the people were (and even posted a blog asking). Sounds like social media helped you get a lot more people reading your blog, but I canceled all my memberships in them, since I realized I was just wasting too much time on the many banal posts in them. Why blog? Why try to entertain and interact with people who do not want to be entertained by me nor care what I think or do? But then it’s fun writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is certainly best to blog for yourself, and if people want to follow, then great. It is much better than trying to blog simply to make others happy, as if we aren’t happy doing so, it won’t last! Plus as you said it is hard to know exactly what everyone wants (or who everyone is as a person) and pleasing everyone is impossible.

      Whether that is getting of social media and only using WP or the opposite, if we are happy with what we are doing, happy days 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, I’ve noticed travel folks get a lot more followers so you were probably really wise to post those and the pictures! And I guess it makes sense, people really like to follow those. I have a friend who does a YouTube type video of his travels (his wife just died, but they did them together) and had followers in the hundred thousands. So now that you have a following you can probably do some other writing. Unfortunately for some of us, we can’t travel and/or don’t want to do videos or podcasts which also help. Mikhaila did really well with her Carnivore blogs, but she posted videos and did YouTube and all. But nice you’ve done so well!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Travel is certainly a popular topic of interest!! It is sad to hear about your friends loss, especially if they did the vlogs together. With this in mind, I do find being creative and keeping busy with blogs and other things a great therapy. I hope your friend is still able to be creative and share their stories with others 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I dont necessarily care about getting views, as my blog is mostly me shouting into the void and grappling with heavy philosophical concepts. I do WANT engagement but i want meaningful engagement, so im letting things grow organically, as it were. I started posting on a schedule in july, and kept it up for about 10 weeks before personal matters caused me to interrupt the schedule. July and August were my best months on record, and id been blogging since December 2018. Consistency is key. People learn your pattern and that provides stability for growth. There is a definite correlation between frequency and viewership. I honestly dont know who reads me or why they read me. But i try to engage with everyone who engsges with me and i explore the blog space around the topics im interested in. Its been fruitful, if slow, going. Your tips have been interesting and i enjoy seeing your blog grow! An example to follow!
    AMDG
    -Scoot

    Liked by 3 people

    • Let me also clarify what I mean by meaningful engagement: There’s a blog I follow with 40k followers and just absolutely tremendous reach. The blogger will respond to every comment, but I do not feel like they are thoughtful responses. I read other comments and there’s “thanks for stopping by” and “glad to hear your thoughts”. Genuine, authentic engagement means giving everyone the time of day (which I perceive you do, and which I aspire to myself). It takes more time but is more rewarding.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I do find it great that such big bloggers can message everyone back individually, but is it really worth it if the response is almost robotic? I can imagine it takes a lot of time to read everyones messages, but I don’t ever want to be the person that simply says ‘thanks for reading!’ if the comment I am replying to took time to write.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I understand, a blog with heavy philosophical concepts isn’t for everyone! But I am sure that those that read do so because they are really interested in such thoughts too. I love blogs like this, I used to blog my inner deep, deep thoughts when I first started and found myself having fascinating conversations (and sometimes heated debates!) with those interested in familiar topics. I then started to get anxiety and a little depression and found myself put off such talks. Travel was easier to write about when I was feeling low. But I still love it, I just have been too distracted with my travels to talk about anything but travel really. Keep up the good work and keep sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the advice! This is exactly what I’m going through at the moment with my blog, Finding Sonder. Although I’m in the steps of getting it to grow (46 followers, but better than 10 last year!). I noticed frequent posting and using social media will help, but still looking for growth. Due to having a full-time office job, I can really only post weekly, often about past travels or local places. Any other advice would be awesome :).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do strongly feel that you get out of blogging what you put in, and found that despite daily posting taking up most of my time, it helped my blog a lot. I have a full time job, and some months still post every single day. Sometimes it is just 20 minutes of the day, which most people spend scrolling through memes on social media! I admit I don’t have kids and I am single, so I am lucky to have a lot of free time on my side.

      But my advice would be to find time where many people don’t. I create drafts and write down my thoughts and blog-bits on public transport, on escalators and on work breaks. Each and everyone of these little moments can provide valuable time and really help to have more of a productive week. I also hardly watch TV or Netflix, which gives me the edge over a lot of other people it seems haha! The blogging time can literally be increased by hours everyday, but it depends how much you want to prioritize blogging. Thank you for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good stuff 🙂 I don’t carry a book as I know fine well I will lose it, but whether it is phone drafts or a book to write in those small windows of time to write a word or two can help us remember ideas we have when we are busy. I bet so many good ideas go to waste due to us simply forgetting!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Engagement is key in all areas of life! For me at the moment with blogging, it’s more a personal thing, I’m not sure I want to put my name on it as it is literally my brain on the internet and that could be damaging. No one knows who I am, and only some exceptionally close friends and family members have access to it. I may one day edit it and release it out into the world.. we’ll see! But for now, the random likes and connections I have made and the stats (though small) do make me smile. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • I found it such a weight off my shoulders when I told everyone about my blog. Unless it is a danger to yourself by talking about certain things with the public, I say go for it! But even in your blogs current phase, I am pleased it is making you smile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m always confused about people who have ads on their site? Do they make money doing this? Do people support themselves blogging? I know people sell products — some of the health people or their books. But does is it worth putting ads on? I don’t really like the look of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can only speak for myself, but I’m on a free WordPress plan, and apparently viewers see ads because I haven’t purchased a paid plan. I just don’t know if it’d be worth upgrading at the moment.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I see! Hm. That answers some of my questions. I do pay for it. I understand you can get paid by some companies if you run their stuff somehow, but don’t understand any of that. Thanks for that info!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I find upgrading has its bonuses (such as increased theme options and technical support) but that isn’t for everyone, nor does everyone need it. Ads for me just aren’t worth it right now as the revenue just isn’t enough to justify it, especially if I cannot choose the ads!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the insight👍 I have thought about it, but I’m not sure, with such a small viewership, that it would pay off vs. the random ad popping up for people.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I did have ads on my site but realised that it didn’t look very good, especially considering that I was only making a few cents from it. In the space of a couple of years I have only earned a total of $35, not worth the ads! However for some it may be worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with lyonadancer100, thanks for sharing your analytics! It was nice to see another blogger’s since mine on a day to day can be a bit sad. But the stats by year are still going up so that leads to hope!

    Happy blogging! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • If they are growing year to year, great!! That shows that you are moving in the right direction. My daily stats seem like a bit of a rollercoaster at the minute, hence why I keep checking the yearly ones!

      Thanks for the comments and happy blogging to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Admittedly, I need to do this a lot more. It is much easier for me to post and engage with everyone that comments on my posts… but I still really need to get better at getting over to other peoples blogs as there are some great ones out there.

      Thank you for the comments!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It really is great to hear so many different perspectives on something (or someplace) that you’ve come to think of in a particular way. It’s almost like travelling itself. You get used to one perspective, the rhythm of one city or town, and when you’re in a new one, you’re learning little things about how others go about their lives, and what they think about your city and experiences. I’ve recently moved out of Toronto, I’m now in nearby Kingston, and the vibes are so different! It goes from being one amongst a million, in a very multicultural, well known city, to a place that considers itself a small, close-knit unit that’s happy with its obscurity, and I’m loving both. Talking to as many people as I can here is really teaching to look at things in a new way!

    Of course, moving again also means having to make friends again and all of that, so I totally agree with you: engagement anywhere is super important! There are so many different people with so many different ideas that whether on my blog or in real life, I wish I could reach out to more of them! On my blog though, I sometimes find myself asking me, when I write, am I trying to engage with just the people reading, or with me too? And I guess that can slightly affect the way I write. (It also just meant that I took a block of a break for a while :P)

    How was the Muse concert? 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great to hear you are liking the move so far! It is always interesting to move to somewhere much smaller, and both large and small towns/cities have their perks. Also if Kingston is nearby then you can have the best of both worlds, whenever you want either!

      Regarding whether you write for yourself or just others, that is an important question you ask yourself, as sometimes the desire to please others and give people something they like means we become biased and pretend it is for ourselves when it may not be. I hope you know the answer and I guess you could be doing both! As long as you are happy writing, that’s the main thing.

      The gig was amazing! I have just uploaded some footage to YouTube whilst I get familiar with Adobe Editor if you want to see 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzzJE8TVAZ8

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I agree that consistent posting+engagement is the key to make your blog grow which is something I failed to do. I also wish I could reach out to more people and interact with them on topics that we mutually love.

    Liked by 3 people

    • What do you mean you have failed? You can do this anytime!! Maybe if it is something you haven’t been doing, try from today to find blogs that are similar to yours and let them know you exist. Also do what you are doing here and start new conversations! See if there are positive changes. As I saw written on a wall recently, ‘One day, or day one. You decide’ 🙂

      Thanks for the comments and all the best with your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I failed in keeping my blog posting schedule 😂 Sometimes I’m late a day and sometimes I just postpone it for a week. Being consistent in posting has always been my weak point in blogging but I’m trying it now. Just like you said ‘One day or day one, you decide’

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I agree that even in the blogosphere there’s a relationship that we must have to reap a reward. It’s a give and takes, kind of thing. Actually, you are good at having a lot of followers. Mine through the years some just dropped and I understand why… I hardly post while in AD just maybe 1-2 per month and sometimes none. Or sometimes life gets in the way haha! But when I get the chance I always make sure to talk to them and read their post too. Congrats!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hy sam . Thanks for you Advice , and your time . Sam i woould like to know how much you earn for views. Or how much you are earning . may be that will be helpful to other. we know that you are a open mind person so i expecting your replay

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m not getting paid! If I turn ads on I may make a few cents every day, in total I’ve made $35 in the years I’ve been blogging. And that’s not every year, that’s altogether haha. I would probably be more hesitant to make it public if I had a bigger income, depending on how much I guess. But I can tell you I’m doing this for free for now 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • wow thats cool sam . i need some advice from an expert like you can you sahre your Contact id like whastapp number or instagram id pls. I think you don’t have .com domain , why ?

        i am not expert in technical talk like this Haha

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for sharing Sam. I feel like many of us do it because it’s therapeutic. It’s self-care in a way. I like reading and sharing, and the interactions in-between make for some meaningful connections.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If readers have nothing to read they don’t have a reason to come back! Hopefully you get back into it and enjoy blogging regularly again. All the best with your blog!

      Like

  14. If I would say sth (although I am not an exemplary blogger) I see some bad trend (as well as in mine blog too). This trend features very unstable statistics. It means, that your blog doesn’t apear in the search engines, but the hits are affected by your posts. In my case is slightly other way round. My single post means nothing, unlike to Google Search Console stats, which are powered by some specialist articles i.e. in GIS section. I think, that an issue is, that most of people blog about travel, hence you cannot appear in the web enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Now I feel I should know more about this as I have been using the platform for five years, however I haven’t really looked into what gets you onto search engines and things. I am under the assumption that the more hits you get, the more search engines favour your posts and articles? And for sure there are so many posts out there it is hard to keep our heads above the water.

      Have you done some research into this? Most of my hits come from my readers and also my social media when I post there. I think Google etc has very little impact for me!

      Like

    • I think I am happy to settle with a couple posts a week, and really concentrate on a good post instead of rushing to publish every day from now on. I feel your current posting frequency is good and I am going to aim for that too 🙂 Keep it up!

      Regarding reaching out, I find that my biggest success has been from getting my name in the notification box of other bloggers. Just by the sheer amount of times I have been following, commenting or liking my engagement has risen, and the best way for others to know about me hasn’t been waiting for people to find me but to have my blog pop up in their feed. That, and making sure I respond to all my comments as nothing makes me not want to go back to another blog more than having a comment ignored! Bloggers knowing they can have a chat with you anytime is a great motivator to add a comment into your blogpost. Not that I am saying you don’t respond of course, I just think it is a important factor to me.

      Thank you and I hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

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