So you’re thinking about growing your blog…
This post is for everyone who’s ever asked me how to grow their readership or following base. If you’ve already started a blog or an Instagram account and want to take it to the “next level” and grow it into a business you can monetize, then hopefully this post will help you do just that.
Think of it as the Part 2 to my “7 Steps to Starting a Blog” post– in this post I walk you through all the ways that I have increased my blog traffic and Instagram followers (AKA “grow” my blog) over the past seven(ish) years of blogging. From getting your social channels integrated to honing in on your search engine optimization, there should be a tip for just about every blogger who wants to start growing their blog, in the next seven steps.
I also link out to a number of my most helpful resources that I’ve used over the years as well (I share only the ones that I’ve tried and have really worked for me!), and it’s my dream that you may find them just as resourceful as I have!
As always, thank you all for following along and helping this little hobby of mine “grow” into the business and community that it is today. ????
Step 1: Make sure you have everything ready
If so, you’ll most likely feel like you’ve hit a good cadence with content creation and want to start growing your platform– in both the business and community aspects. Which brings me to the two obvious benefits of gaining traction– earning more money from your blog and developing a stronger community around it. The two can inextricably go hand in hand if you do it right.
So when I talk about “growing” your blog in this post, I’m talking about gaining a larger readership on your site, and following on Instagram, so that you can “grow” the business and community parts of your brand. But I’d first recommend making sure that your site has all of its kinks worked out and is in a really good place to start putting your content out there as much as possible. I would make sure you’ve completed steps 1-6 from this post before diving into this one.
Step 2: Get your social channels together
Let’s talk integrating social. I think it’s an absolute no-brainer to share all of your blog posts on every social platform you have associated with your platform. From your Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… you can share links to all of of your blog posts from each of those platforms, and get more eyeballs on them that way.
The platforms I use the most for this are Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Facebook (although I need to be much better about sharing things to my blog’s Facebook page!). I talk about how I use Instagram more below (thought it deserved it’s own section), but I absolutely love my Pinterest (it’s my favorite social platform behind Insta).
Periodically (I should do this every week but if we’re being honest I do it about once a month), I will use Tailwind to schedule out all of the images from my recent blog posts to be pinned to my Pinterest account. The awesome thing about Tailwind is that it automatically optimizes your images for Pinterest, and schedules them to go live during optimal times. I also use their ‘SmartLoop’ tool a lot to have specific pins be re-shared at various times throughout the year.
They will walk you through the whole platform once you sign up, so I won’t get into it much more, but it’s been such a helpful tool in helping me share out and optimize my blog post images to Pinterest. The best part is that whenever someone clicks on one of your blog post images in Pinterest, it will automatically direct them right to your blog post! I pay $15/month for the program, and it’s so beyond worth it. I save a ton of time by scheduling out my pins and letting Tailwind do the heavy lifting in optimizing them so they have the best chance of going viral on Pinterest. They have a new program for Instagram as well, but I’ve yet to try that!
As for my TikTok, I honestly have just been using it for fun (not to grow my blog quite yet) but feel that it definitely has the most growth potential out of every social platform. People are going viral on TikTok in the way that Instagram posts used to go viral back in 2011 ????, so I would definitely say that it’s the place to grow organically right now. My recommendation would be to link your blog in your TikTok profile and direct people there!
As as for Facebook, it’s always a good idea to share your blog posts directly to your blog’s Facebook page, along with a link to them, so anyone who has liked your Facebook page in the past can see it on their timeline and easily click through to the blog post.
Step 3: Harness Instagram to drive traffic
Let’s get into Instagram a little bit more… I’ll preface this by saying that it’s taken me over seven years to authentically grow my Instagram account to 120,000+ followers. I don’t say that to freak you out or anything, but just to explain that it’s a steady climb and takes a lot of tenacity and sticking with it to keep consistently, and authentically, growing your account.
I would say that I’ve had the most success in growing my Instagram through partnering with other brands and influencers (who I believe to have similar or compatible audience demographics to mine), and sharing each other’s content or doing compelling giveaways. Giveaways are a controversial subject in the influencer world ????, but I believe in them if they’re done right.
Let me explain… a huge loop giveaway that’s promoting a product that you’ve never used isn’t the smartest way to gain new quality followers. For instance, you’ve never seen or heard me talk about a Peloton before on my blog or on Instagram (I don’t love cycling to be honest), so it would pretty much make no sense for me to join a giveaway that was giving away a Peloton bike.. right? BUT, you have seen me talk about my love for Sail to Sable (quite a few times actually!), so you’ll find me partnering up with the brand and a few other adorable influencers (many of which I’m already friends with) soon to give away a gift card to Sail to Sable. ???? That’s a much more honest and authentic story for me to tell through a giveaway, and thus will result in more quality and engaging followers, which I will happily welcome into my community!
Now that I’ve touched on that, I can share all the ways that I use Instagram to promote my blog posts… which pretty much boils down to Instagram posts and Instagram stories. If I have a blog post that I really want to share broadly, then I’ll share it via it’s own Instagram post. I’ll usually describe what the blog post entails in the caption of the Instagram, and literally type out my website URL to direct people to head to my site, either via their phone or desktop. You can see an example of me doingthis in this Instagram post.
As for my Instagram stories, I usually will talk about each blog post that I’m working on (either as I’m doing it or after it’s been live) and include a direct swipe-up to the post once it’s up. Sometimes I will also share roundups of recently posted or past blog posts (just to bring them to the surface and remind people of them again) in ‘”Recently Posted” or “From the Archive” segments, which I create in templates on programs like Adobe Spark. That allows people to be directed to just swipe-up and land on the post that I’m talking about.
If you don’t have the swipe-up capability yet (as of right now your Instagram account has to have at least 10,000 followers in order to do swipe-ups), then I would recommend creating a landing page on your blog like this one, that you keep in the link of your Instagram profile (which any account can do, no matter how many followers you have). Then keep telling your followers to head to or click the link in your bio. I created that “links” page using Elementor (a free WordPress plugin that I LOVE) and you’ll find it in my Instagram bio 95% of the time.
I know that’s a rather obvious tip, but hopefully the aspect of creating your own landing page will help direct your followers to all of the links that you’re sharing, in a really cohesive way, even without the swipe-up capability. I also know that some people use LinkTree to create a similar page that shares all of their links, but I would rather have my followers land directly on my site (even if it’s just a page that links everything) rather than LinkTree’s page, if that makes sense. The more you can organically direct your Instagram followers to your blog, the more page views it will receive and the faster it will grow.
Step 4: Set up an email platform & build your subscriber list
I’ll admit that I’m no email marketing expert (in the slightest), but I have managed to learn the ins and outs of Mailchimp and really like using the platform to send out any mass emails (like my monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to via the popup on my homepage).
I bought a Mailchimp email template from Etsy for under $20 (they have a ton of fun options) and have honestly just played around with the platform and learned a lot about it that way. It’s very user-friendly and a no-brainer way to send emails to all of your subscribers.
To grow your email subscriber list, you can build a website pop-up through Mailchimp (I had Chloe Digital, the company that manages the backend of my site and redid my site design last year create mine!). Also, Jenna Kutcher, who is an all-around marketing guru, has a blog post on how she grew her subscriber list by 5,000 people every week and a whole webinar on how to grow an email list that algorithm-proofs your business. She will do a much better job of educating you than I would– her site + podcast have been helpful blogging resources of mine for years!
Step 5: Focus in on your SEO
This is actually one of my favorite topics to talk about and one of the aspects that can totally differentiate your blog from the rest, in terms of the traffic it receives. Simply put, search engine optimization is the process you go through to grow your website traffic by increasing its visibility to people using an internet search engine.
For example, you know when you type something into Google and nine times out of ten only peruse the first page that pops up?! The articles that are on that first page most likely have used search engine optimization effectively. They integrate specific key words into their sites and articles/blog posts (among a variety of other things) to increase the chances of their pages showing up in search engines, and in turn being seen by people. The more opportunities that you can get your blog in front of new eyeballs, the more likely it is to GROW.
I’ve tended to outsource this and use InfluencerSEO to go into my blog posts and optimize them for me. They are really smart and savvy about how they do it, so I’ve felt more comfortable hiring them than doing it myself.
I also found that this SEO guide for beginners does a really good job of breaking down SEO terminology, how it works, and how to optimize your content as best as you can. Additionally, Chloe Digital, the agency I work with to manage the backend logistics of my site, has their own blog that shares a number of articles on SEO for blogging, that I’ve found to be very helpful!
Step 6: Set up an analytics tracking system
In order to grow your blog readership, and even Instagram followers, it’s important to actually track your numbers so you can see your progress and determine what’s working and what isn’t. I would start by writing out a goal for the number of page views and Instagram followers that you want to get to in a certain period of time, and then setting up an Excel sheet to track them weekly or monthly (or both!).
The thing is, if you want your blog to become a business, you have to start running it like a business. That means instituting weekly reporting and tracking your analytics (your page views, new users, sessions, Instagram followers, Instagram engagement rate, etc.– not to mention what you’re paying and earning, but that’s another topic!).
In terms of reporting, I use Google Analytics to track my website stats and Iconosquare to track my Instagram stats. I keep track of them in a rather pink and overly-highlighted Excel doc ???? and also round them up in a comprehensive report (in Powerpoint) every Monday morning. Sound kind of psycho? Not if you want to strategically track your growth, figure out what’s working best, and capitalize on that so you can take your site from a blog to a full blown business.
7. Get your mom on it
And with that, I’m back to not taking myself too seriously ????. This may be my favorite step from this post! And I’m *actually* serious about it– tell your mama, friends, family, etc. about your blog and ask for their support! More often than not, you will be pleasantly surprised by how they react to your enthusiasm for wanting to grow your blog into a larger business.
Have them email it around, tell their friends, and overall spread the word on just how fun and fabulous your little corner of the internet is! You’d be shocked by how much word of mouth marketing has helped me grow Amy Believes in Pink. Do not underestimate the power of moms playing tennis or going for walks together and chatting while they’re at it… ha!
Every single blog reader and Instagram follower is a vital and special part of your community, so welcome in every new person with open arms, no matter how they stumbled up or discovered your site! xx
p.s. If you’re looking for even more information on how to take your blog to the next level and become a fulltime influencer, Julie Solomon’s course ‘The Influencer Academy‘ is incredible. I’ve taken her courses before and can confidently say they’re worth the $$ over and over. She knows what she’s talking about and is the best of the best in educating about monetizing your blog and turning it into a full blown career!