Holy moly! This past week, my blog surpassed one million pageviews! And though I know that it is a vanity metric, I also think it is a milestone worth celebrating. After all, most blogs die within their first few months of existence. And that is sad. I truly believe that the secret to blogging success lies in perseverance and not giving up.
The longer you blog, the more opportunities you have to figure out what works for you.
When I first started blogging, I thought getting to one million pageviews on my blog would be a breeze. I mean, seriously, there are almost 8 billion people on the planet. How hard could it possibly be to reach 1 million? I’m not being greedy. I’m being reasonable right? Once I hit publish, people will see how awesome I am!
In reality, on my first blog, I got 3,000 pageviews in my first six months. Wa wa wah. Well that fell a little short of my expectations.
Blogging is harder than I initially thought.
I guess that is the point that most bloggers throw in the towel. But I didn’t. I became addicted to blogging. I was hooked. I loved blogging and connecting to other bloggers. Plus, I was determined to figure out how to get people to notice me. I’m the youngest of four children so I’ve tackled this problem before.
So I started another blog. And then another.
I’m crazy right?
And believe it or not, each new blog became more successful than the last. I was able to build as I went along, relying on this simple but effective formula:
Write. Promote. Listen. Repeat.
The most important element of that equation is listen. When you learn to listen to your audience, and respond back to them in new posts, it is so much easier to build a community around your blog. Give them more of what they want and they will come back again and again.
Everyone’s blog has a unique audience that they can learn from. Even if it is super small for you right now, it is important for you to listen to the few readers you do have.
- How do they respond in the comments?
- Do they ask you questions?
- Are they sharing your posts?
If you have absolutely no feedback from your readers (doubtful as even no feedback is feedback), ask for feedback. And don’t get your back up when you get it. You may not like it. Don’t be stubborn about it and look at it as constructive criticism. Even if it isn’t. Yes, you can even learn from assholes that want to bring you down. Be open minded and adjust. Over and over and over again.
Understand that growing a blog takes time. And sometimes a little luck. You may be one of those bloggers that easily finds their people. Good for you. But for most of us, we have to find them amongst the 8 billion on the planet and get them to engage with us before we truly know what works and what doesn’t work for our blogs.
You may be like me when I started my first blog and want your audience to be everyone on the internet but that’s simply stupid not wise. As the old saying goes, try to be something to everybody and you end up being nothing to anyone.
In real life, you don’t try to be friends with everyone do you? Well maybe you do. But only a few, you will consider your besties. The ones you make plans with. Check in with. Share your inner most secrets with. That’s how you should think of your readers, and they you. You only need a few readers to start the ball rolling.
Talk to your blog readers like an old friend and listen.
Find that sweet spot of sharing your own personal experiences wrapped in take-aways that your audience can use and you will grow your blog, your traffic and your subscribers. Because guess what, those first few readers that you listened to will become huge fans and will help you spread awareness of your blog. Every new fan will get you closer to one million pageviews.
3 Key Elements That Helped Me Reach One Million Pageviews
Literally the foundation of any blog. Stop producing content or continue to create posts that your readers do not engage with (because you didn’t listen to their feedback) and you are sure to see your traffic stagnate and/or die.
Blogging will never be a write it and forget it type of adventure. You have to keep pumping out new content and analyzing/improving your old content based on the feedback from your readers. It’s a continuous loop that helps grow your traffic.
I realize that in the beginning of your blog’s life, you may not have any feedback to build on and that can be difficult. Until you reach the threshold of 100 posts, you probably won’t be able to assess or recognize what kinds of content your reader really wants and enjoys.
So what do you do?
Quite simply…just write.
Tim Ferris, the author of 70 books was asked how he is able to create so many best-sellers. He answered, “By writing two-hundred crappy words a day.”
How freeing is that???!!!
No pressure to pump out epic content everyday. Just write. I bet you can commit to two hundred words a day in your sleep.
Listen, I’ve never proclaimed to be a writer. I’m a numbers person. I have my degree in Economics for Pete’s sake, so writing was a skill I had to learn and a habit I had to force myself to do. You may be the same. It will get easier with practice. You just have to do it.
By far the most gratifying thing about blogging is connecting with other bloggers. Not only do you find some great new bff’s, you also get a great support system. I have learned so much from other bloggers. In the beginning of my blogging journey, I relied heavily on their feedback. That feedback helped me to eventually expand my reach beyond my blogger friends and the blogging community.
Plus, who else can I bitch to about blogging that will understand my issues and kick me in the butt to get over it. I love you guys!
Commenting on other blogs, guest posting, joining Facebook groups or going to conferences are great ways to connect with other bloggers. These wonderful people you meet online or in person can help you blog better and increase your reach when they share your posts in their own communities.
And one day, you will pay it forward to another blogger. It feels so good when you pass your knowledge on to someone else.
Recently, one of my blog readers nominated me for an award in the category of best blogging/writing blog. Thank you to whoever you are. If you love my blog, I’d appreciate your vote by clicking the badge below.
If you live close to London in the UK, I recommend you go to the Blogger’s Bash. I went in 2017 and it was so much fun. Believe it or not, I actually spoke at the event too, about my favourite topic of course, Pinterest!
I’m not really sure if I ever would have made it to a million pageviews without Pinterest. It drives so much traffic to my blog. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you aren’t sharing your content there, you are missing out. You don’t have to be a recipe or DIY blogger either to have huge success on that platform. Creating a business account, having nice, shareable images and joining group boards are a great start.
My strategy includes manually pinning directly on the platform everyday, using Tailwind to automate some of my pinning and sharing great content from other bloggers. I share a lot of other people’s pins. Mainly from the Tailwind tribes I belong to. I love tribes and have had huge success sharing my own pins to these micro communities on the Tailwind platform. I have personally started 2 tribes. One is open to all bloggers, Blog Share Learn, and the other is for bloggers over 40, Midlife Bloggers. If you want to join either one, just click on the tribe name.
Pinterest can be tricky to learn but once you grasp the concept of it, it does get easier. If you are struggling with getting Pinterest to send traffic to your blog, I strongly suggest you get my friend Amber to do an evaluation of your account. She will tell you exactly what you should do based on your blog and your Pinterest account. It can be the game changer you are looking for.
Reaching one million pageviews is so exciting. And it is all thanks to all of you, reading, sharing and engaging with my blog. I do appreciate it. Thank you so much!
Now I would like to help you practice the 3 key elements that helped me reach one million pageviews on this blog:
- Leave a link to your best blog post* in the comments.
- Visit other bloggers in the thread.
- Share those posts on Pinterest.
*Note: I recommend you share your best post, not your latest post, whenever engaging with a new blogging community, Facebook group or link-up. You want to make a great first impression.