Hello everyone!  I never thought I would be the person to post about blogging tips, but my recent increase in blog views had a few people asking how I did it so I figured I’d share.

Edit: After years of working in a cubicle (as a social media and marketing manager), I’ve broken free and am now writing on a separate site. If you want tips for growing your blog and/or business, head on over to Winn Creative Co.

In December, after taking a nearly two month break from blogging, I decided to get serious with Something Winnderful.  I missed blogging and I was ready to get my ish together.  It took time and was a lot of work (and I still have so much to do), but after I started making some changes I saw my blog stats triple.  My views tripled and are still growing rapidly.  I’ve also seen a consistent 20% increase in my social media following.  I’ve been loving blogging so much and it’s so wonderful to see Something Winnderful grow!

How I tripled my blog views in 30 days

I want to start by saying I’m still working on all these things.  I focused on cosmetic items first and touched on the others just enough to make noticeable improvements.  I should have started with my business plan first and it would have saved me time on all the to-dos.  Every item on this list deserve its own post, so today I’m just going to touch on each item briefly.  I will be posting on each topic, so leave me a comment if you have any questions and I’ll be sure to answer them in the topic’s post.  I have a degree in public relations with focus on blogging/social media and I’d love to put it to more use, especially to help other bloggers!

Switched to a new blog theme.

I invested in a new responsive theme from XO Sarah and it has made a world of difference.  It looks great no matter what device you are using and is so clean and easy to read.  I highly suggest investing in a good blog design.  I don’t have the designs skills yet to create my own nor do I have the budget to have a custom design made.  It was well worth the $45 to have a design that looks and works great.

Updated old posts.

When I updated my theme a lot of posts were formatted weird.  I went through and fixed my most popular posts first and plan to go back through the rest.

Completely redid my about page.

I looked around at the about pages of my favorite bloggers for inspiration and took to work on my own.  It’s still a work in progress, but it now reflects my brand and is more open to sponsors.  You can read it and know who I am, what I’m about, and what to do if you want to talk to me.

Created more pinnable photos.

Photography is hard and takes a lot of practice.  We all know what a “pinnable image” looks like, but creating it is just so hard.  I discovered some great sites for free photos and have finally found my style on Picmonkey.

Edited, reorganized and refocused Pinterest boards.

This is beyond time consuming but has made a big difference.  I created a board for Best of Something Winnderful and am pinning my best posts (with updated images) to the board.  I also went through bigger boards and split them into more specific categories.  I’m in the process of going through each board and deleting less than perfect looking pins.  I have more the Pinterest to-do list, but it’s going to take time.

Committed to creating a community and actively participate on other blogs.

This one is pretty straight forward.  I read so many blogs.  So. Many.  But I get lazy with commenting.  I’ve made it a point to actually comment on the blogs I read and sharing my favorites through social media and my Weekend Reads post. Participating in linkups and being sure to visit other blogs has also been helpful.

(Literally) wrote a creative business plan and determined my brand focus.

I should have done this first.  Now that I’ve finished mine I see how I could have saved so much time.  I’m used this post as a guide and it’s been fabulous.  I adjusted it to my liking and created a guideline full of goals and tasks that will get me to my final goal.  I wrote a post sharing how to create your own business plan if you are interested.

Develop a social media plan to reflect brand.

For someone who has a degree in this particular area I wasn’t really putting it to use.  It seemed so silly to do a big social media plan for myself, you know?  Once I started applying what I knew though I started seeing a major difference.  I will be drafting a specific social media plan to go with my business plan this week and absolutely cannot wait.  I love social media plans, so feel free to ask me for any help with your own!

Created new post categories.

My post categories were all over the place going into the new year.  I’m kind of ashamed, but there was a time I actually posted about fashion.  I know, it wasn’t my thing.  My categories got change and organized but they are about to change all again.  Once my business plan is finished they get a changed to fit my brand.

Again, I want to stress that these are all works in progress.  However, it makes the fact my views have tripled just from starting those tasks incredibly exciting.  Imagine what things will be like once I’ve completed the list!  I want to help you do the same for your blog, so feel free to comment or email me with any questions.

What issues or obstacles have you faced with your blog?

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  • Thank you so much for this post, Katie! I am new to the blogging community and this was really helpful. I have been struggling with trying to get my blog to a place where I want it to be. I just discovered that Etsy has blog designs and I find that to be an excellent tool for someone who does not know anything about templates or coding. I hope to continue to grow my blog and readership by using each of these steps you provided. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear! Please feel free to email me. Thank you! xoxoxo

    • katiewinn

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Purchasing a professional theme has been one of the best things I ever did for my blog. I will be happy to take a look at your blog! I’ll send you email by this weekend with any suggestions I have. Let me know if you have anything in particular you want help with or know more about 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

  • OK, I’m a design dummy/blog newbie. Help: What is a responsive theme? How’s that different from one of the themes I selected when setting my blog up?

    And what do you mean in the part about when you redid your About page so it is more open to sponsors? Did you put your stats there? I’m so confused:(

    I’ve also been really on the fence if a Facebook page is actually worth it. I get decent traffic when I post my blog links on my personal page, but will it really be any better to have an actual blog page there? (for your social media post to come)

    My last question is, is it really worth it to publish my domain without the “.wordpress.com”? It’s not a lot of money, but I don’t want to spend even that if no one would care or notice it was gone. You know?

    • katiewinn

      You’re not a dummy! Every blogger has to start at the beginning, I used to have all those same questions.

      1) A responsive theme means the design adjusts accordingly to whatever device the person is using to view the webpage. That means a person can use a phone, ipad, or laptop to view my blog and the site is going to look just as nice and easy to read/navigate. If your blog theme is not responsive (if yours is a general theme then it is most likely not responsive) it’s going to be the same format on a computer, phone, and laptop and not automatically adjust. The downside to that is people reading your blog on a phone or ipad are not going to be able to read posts, comment, or view other pages as easily.

      2) My original About Me had several photos (not all were good quality) and just an over view of who I was. I changed it to introduce myself, but also clearly state what my blog is all about. I also explain how I can be contacted and what method is best for every need. I direct anyone interested in contacting me to my contact form, bloggers interested in sponsoring my blog are directed to my sponsorship page, and businesses that might want to contact are directed to email me. It clears up any confusion on how to get a hold of me and what way is best for their need. I did include my stats on my sponsorship page where bloggers can sign up to run an add on my blog.

      3) I would recommend creating a Facebook page, mostly because you could potentially have your personal page marked as spam. If you promote your blog on your personal page too much, any of your Facebook friends could opt our of viewing those posts in their newsfeed and say their reason for doing so is because that post is spam. It’s not a highly likely situation, but not one you want to find yourself in. I would recommend starting a Facebook page for your blog, and every so often share a post from the blog’s page on your personal page. It’s not something you have to pour a bunch of time into, but I would set it up, make it pretty, and that way your personal page is protected.

      4) Dropping the wordpress.com really comes down to where you want to go with your blog. If you’re really working to monetize it and work with brands, I would lose the wordpress.com. Being selfhosted looks more professional and gives you a ton of more options in terms of managing your site. It gives you a lot more options in how your site looks and the things you can add to it. It also gives you ownership. Being self hosted means you own your name and all of your content. If you do choose to go self hosted and no longer be wordpress.com I wouldn’t recommend doing so through wordpress. I know they have the “Upgrade to a .com for only $18!” or whatever, but I would recommend buying your domain name and get your webhosting from a different site and just download wordpress from there. Self hosted is more work, but it’s a worth it if you plan to blog for money.

      I hope that answered your questions! Feel free to email me if you have any more questions! My email is somethingwinnderful@gmail.com Thanks for reading!

  • these are great tips! growing my blog is a major priority for me this year, and i definitely have a lot of work cut out for me. i never thought about refreshing/revisiting my older posts!

  • I love this post… thanks for sharing! I’m in the middle of redesigning/rebranding (if you will) and it’s so easy to get lost in code. I blog mainly for the content so to have a design out of the way and checked off the list will be helpful. I’m still working on those others!

    • SomethingWinnderful

      I’m glad you enjoyed this! I couldn’t agree more, design work is the most difficult part of blogging. Good luck with your rebranding, let me know if I can be of any help!

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  • Having pinnable photos is a weak point for me, probably because I stubbornly dislike photo editing. Creating community and getting involved on others’ blogs has been a big help for me!

    • SomethingWinnderful

      I agree, creating pinnable images takes more work than I’d like. I’ve gotten in a good rhythm though, now when I edit in PicMonkey I go ahead and edit my image into a vertical one to use for Pinterest. It saves me the trouble of having to do it later.

  • Thanks for sharing, Katie! Really got me thinking about how I need to set some goals for my blog! Do you have specific examples of social media plans? I’m familiar with business plans but not social media ones and would love to implement one for my site!

    🙂
    Sarah

    • SomethingWinnderful

      No problem! I’m glad you found it helpful! I plan on doing a post in the future about creating a social media plan. Be on the lookout for an email from me this weekend, I’m gonna send you the template I used for mine 🙂

  • Jessa

    I love all these tips. I’m a new follower but I can’t remember where from. I’m going to take some of these tips. I’ve been doing the pinterest thing too.

    • SomethingWinnderful

      Thank you for all your comments! I’m glad you enjoyed going through the posts. I hope they are helpful to you, let me know if you have any questions or would like any help!

  • Great ideas … I’m bookmarking this post for future reference since I’m not doing a few of these things 🙂

    • SomethingWinnderful

      Thanks! I hope this post helps you out, let me know if you have any questions or would like any help!

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  • Samantha

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! I’ve definitely been feeling stuck at my current average view count and followers so I’ll for sure be working on my blog and trying some of these tips!

    • SomethingWinnderful

      I’m glad you found it helpful! Let me know if you have any questions about anything!

  • Samantha

    I’ve been looking for a post like this for quite a while! I’ve been feeling stuck at my current view count/follower count and I definitely have my work cut out for me. Thanks for posting these tips, I’m off to try them out!

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  • Jamie Cochran

    Thanks so much for this post! I found this one through your creating a business plan post. Did you happen to also write a post about a social media plan??