One Year Blogiversary: DG Blogging Tips

Crowd at a concert making "heart hands"

Do you ever get the feeling that when it comes to blogging, there is something that people aren’t telling you? You see these blogs with thousands of followers, and you read their blogging tips and it’s, “Use good photos!” “It takes time!” and “Get a Twitter account!” and you’re like… okayyyy…

Drunk Sex And The City GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I don’t know if I should be telling you this but you are right. There is something they aren’t telling you. So Damn, Girl, you know I am going to spill the secret blogging beans!

anniversary-2xDGGYST gets hundreds of requests for blogging tips and then refers to herself in the third person like an asshole because people are amazed that she has hit 5,000 followers just in time for her one-year blogiversary.

There isn’t going to be any “inspiration crap” in this post; this is a straight-up manual you can use to grow your readership and reprogram your DVR.

Be the WordPress welcome wagon

You never forget your first… commenter. We all come into the blogging world full of hope. Hope of a readership, a community, an eventual book deal, and a prime-time talk show. Connecting with bloggers who have let their first tentative post into the world is tapping an enormous source of energy and will usually get you a reader for life.

Be honest with yourself and others, but especially yourself… and others

If you want to make an income or even a mountain of riches on your blog, embrace that goal. Absolutely no apologizing for it anywhere on your website. No sheepishness. Don’t use the word “disclaimer” when saying that you do affiliate marketing. Just say “affiliated!” like you would say “Happy Birthday” or “Taco Tuesday.”

That being said, don’t use affiliate links to shit you don’t like or use. And more than that you should only be posting affiliate links to things you LOVE. It’s easy to sell things you can’t imagine your life without. If you would call your sister at midnight and say, “Holy shit! You neeeed to buy a fucking vegetable crisper,” then that is the sort of thing that you can effectively sell.

Have a true readership

Real talk: it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have if they aren’t interacting with your blog. It’s not uncommon for bloggers to have 5,000 followers and 80 pageviews a day. If you have 5,000 followers, you should have at least 4,000 weekly visitors. That is an engaged audience.

Forming an engaged, committed audience is like throwing a dinner party. You want to cultivate a group of people who you think would get on well and encourage them to discover each other’s mutual interests.

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You need to introduce these people to each other, and to each other’s blogs. This keeps your audience always coming back to you because you all have the same mutual friends. This is the same in real life. You always think of your friend Sarah when Sheila calls, because you have a mutual connection. And yes, I am going to tell you exactly how to cultivate this audience and make introductions.

1. Identify your audience

…and then use the crap out of your “WP READER” to find these people. So, for instance, if you are doing a post on coffee next week, search the WordPress reader for any blogger writing about coffee. That is your audience. Search the term “coffee” by  Date, not ”relevance.” I cannot stress this enough. Read a few of the posts, leave a thoughtful comment, mention someone else who did a similar post about coffee in your comment and drop your link.

My favorite keywords for finding blogs similar to mine in the WP Reader:

Adulting

Blogging

Shit

Coffee

Anxiety

Panic

Boss

Goals

Feminism

Self-esteem

Fitness

Healthy

Mascara

Writing

2. Try to engage with other bloggers within one hour of them writing a post

By using your WP Reader with your relevant keywords, and searching by DATE, you get the most recent, not the most popular posts. Connecting with a blogger within the first few hours of them writing a post, is especially effective in forming new relationships.

3. Don’t bother with blogs that have no staying power

When you are cultivating an audience, you are investing in a relationship. You need to be genuinely interested in what is going on in the lives of the people you are inviting to your own readership. If you can tell they are not committed to their blog, it is not a relationship worth investing in as far as expanding your readership is concerned. I know that sounds harsh, but the person who posts twice a year and doesn’t punctuate is not going to be a good source of mutual reciprocal audience building.

Make a personal request

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At the end of every post, I like to invite my readers to follow ONE of my social media platforms. I don’t say “Follow me on Twitter And Facebook and Insta.” Asking them to follow ONE, and highlighting that link is infinitely more effective than just having my social media buttons on the page.

Comment on uber-popular blogs

Find a few blogs that are your #goals. These blogs need to be similar to yours and have a massive readership. When you comment on these blogs, make sure you really represent your personality in the comment you leave and drop your link. I am a fan of and frequent commenter on the blogs I’ve listed below, and I discovered hundreds of people are coming to my site because they identify with my comments. This is why I am always telling you to drop your links when you post here at DG. DG gets about 20,000 page views a month and when you drop your links at the end of your amazing thoughtful and hilarious comments, it helps people find you.

http://thebloggess.com/

https://www.theskinnyconfidential.com/

http://theladiescoach.com/

https://abeautifulmess.com/

http://theeverygirl.com/

Don’t let anyone tell you blogging is cutthroat

The internet is no place to have a scarcity mindset. No one can “steal” your readers. You can’t be territorial. You are building a network, not hoarding acorns for the winter. Be gratuitous with promoting yourself, promoting others, and promoting me, because Damn, Girl, we got mutual friends and you owe me.


I am so grateful for all of you. One year ago today I started this blog and the amazing support and friendships that have come from it… well… I would cry right now if I wasn’t on Zoloft.

I have so much love for this community. I can not thank you all enough or express how much you have meant to me. Please use the comment space today to tell me what you would like to learn about for DGGYST Year 2, and drop your links, tell me about your blogs, and leave your own blogging tips. You might just help someone on their own path.

146 thoughts on “One Year Blogiversary: DG Blogging Tips

  1. Ayyyyy girl ayyy! Grats on your anni! You deserve every one of those 5K followers. Seriously. You;re a fantastic writer. I really do, like LEGIT LEGIT, think you should write a book. Perhaps a self-help-ish book…?

    Although this is technically my second attempt at blogging — I imported an old blog that I originally abandoned and moved over to WP. Now this blog has grown and morphed into what is basically my portfolio. I’ve realized that truly knowing what your goals are, what you’re trying to achieve with/by blogging, makes blogging easier.

    At the very beginning, I sort of just “followed the crowd”. Comment threads. Follow threads. Twitter threads. FB groups. I tried to do the Pinterest thing. Eh. And more bullshit. And, eventually, I realized this is not what I wanted to be doing, and, well, yeah it felt VERY superficial.

    I didn’t want comments, likes, and shares with the assumption that they would be reciprocated. I wanted to read, comment, like, and share content I genuinely enjoyed, and I wanted the same for myself. I comment on your blog because I want to, because I am genuinely engaged — because you’re a fantastic writer. I didn’t want an audience who wasn’t really there for the writing. I wanted loyalty. (Strong word, yeah, I sound big-headed, but you know what I mean.) I wanted real conversations about the topics I clearly wanted to talk about…that was the whole point from the get-go!

    When I started being honest about who I am, what I want, where I was trying to go with this — when I started focusing on my writing (and making an effort to always improve it, including older posts), that’s when the magic started happening. By engaging with my small, but miraculously loyal readership, amazing things started to happen. And, it really blows my fucking mind. Obviously I don’t have all (or any) of the answers, I’m sitting on a solid 250 followers, but *something* is going right. As you already know, my current project covers some heavy topics around poverty, social welfare, homelessness etc., and it was really hard at first, but through sharing my story, through persistence, I’ve connected to various online communities, non-profits in the homeless sector, job offers, just — wow. And it all of it just blows my mind.

    Personally, I think if you work hard on your writing, people will find you. If you’re honest and you write what you know and love, there is an audience out there for you. There is always someone looking for someone like you. And, I reallllllyyyyy believe that.

    But, if you want a large audience, well….

    Good shit gets shared around. I do it ALL the time. But, it’s probably not enough.

    Unless you want to be the best undiscovered writer to ever live….!!!!! *takes a bow*

    You’ll have to do a bit more work. For that, I’d say this post covers it. Nice job, DGGYST.

    Here’s a link to my blog…you know, for good measure:

    https://soulandscribble.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 9 people

  2. “The internet is no place to have a scarcity mindset. No one can “steal” your readers. You can’t be territorial. You are building a network, not hoarding acorns for the winter.”

    Uhhggg. YESSS. This, 100%. The more we treat blogging like a zero sum competition, hoard resources, et territorial over blogging topics, the lessblogging becomes anything worth doing; the point is to connect to people- even if your number one goal is to make money. And you can’t connect if you’re being an asshole (not unless you want to connect to other assholes, anyways)

    As always, A+ post, love!
    http://yeslittlehummingbird.wordpress.com

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow this was so insightful. I am a new blogger and have had to follow my nose and learn by instinct and by interacting with other bloggers. This has been totally natural for me and an act of passion and fascination for my topic (midlife female sexuality and modern relationships). I know my site will never be mainstream but I am just wowed by your stats. Go DG! You are an inspiration – and generous too.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I do find myself saying taco tuesday at an anomalistic pace, hmm.

    This was a really helpful post! It’s to the point with tips that aren’t tumblr quotes. Which, you know, that’s always appreciated haha

    I’ll definitely be putting these tips into practice x

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As ever, you are bang on the button! Your blogs are always a pleasure to read; engaging, useful and relevant. Happy blogversary and mega congratulations!

    And for any of you out there who are interested in giving up work to tour Europe adventurously in a caravan with four dogs and a windsurfer, please come and visit me on http://www.worldwidewalkies.blog

    It will make a change from mascara!

    And since you will all be coming to visit me – I shall certainly be returning the favour!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’d be terrified of 5000 followers! (But I’m willing to see how I’d cope), you deserve every one of them. I always worry that people think ‘oh god, not her again’ whenever I like or comment and maybe they get sick of seeing my name, so I don’t think I engage enough to build my audience! But I love how you encourage everyone to be unapologetic about advertising their blog or portfolio (to pinch Jocelyn’s word up there as that would be a good descript for me too 😉 ). At the end of the day, if we don’t want people to read our stuff we should just write it on a pad and hide it under the bed. A little bit of wee comes out whenever I see a DG comment or like over at my place, so thankyou for bigging us all up, for being funny AF and I’m looking forward to Year Two (didn’t you once promise us some help with car mechanics?). It’s a great crowd here. Found some fab peeps via DG and also see others here that I’ve found elsewhere, testament to that True Readership you talk of.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Hi, Happy Anniversary! I love your blog xxx. I write a post every Friday about whatever is going on. It is ‘not just a travel blog’ and ‘can get quite personal’. I am from the UK, at the age of 47 I sold my house, left my career, and went off to India for a year with my husband. We arrived in March. We bought a narrowboat to live on in the UK; the idea is to have lower overheads and escape the trap of working so much or so seriously. I am writing a book about it all. If anyone find this at all interesting, here I am https://sadiewolfblog.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! And right now, carrying a backpack around, my focus is all about what can I get rid of, rather than buying anything else to carry. It’s almost like it’s a metaphor for how stuff weighs you down! Thank you again, and all the best.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. OMG, this is actual gold DG. I’m readying my blog for “release” and this is the kind of real shit I hope to encounter in the community. I wish I was already ready so I could drop a link here but I wanted to comment anyway cause I only found you like a week ago and you’ve already given me all I expected and more! Keep rocking and congratulations!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I must be doing something wrong, sister, cuz I do 10% of everything you say and have less than 3% of your following.

    And those numbers just do not add up.

    One thing I know i do absolutely right, every time, is follow your blog. You were my first “find” when I went searching for folks (that weren’t me) to read. My. First. Find. I don’t even remember what search term I used. Maybe it was “feminism,” or “mascara,” or “how does a damn girl get his shit together” but whatever it was, I found you. And through you, so, so many others. You are a connector, a sage, a friend, and a guiding light.

    And, if it turns out you’re a 77-year old man, then also one hell of an actor. 😁

    Happy blogversary, or whatever they call these things. You are unequivocally the best there is at what we do. And I promise, in the coming year, to do 12% of the things you say and watch my readership grow to, like, 7 or so. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Topic is everything. If you have a topic that is never going to appeal to ‘most people’ then it’s unlikely you will ever achieve those numbers. However, numbers aren’t everything. I’m pretty sure I have a niche topic and that’s just fine with me 🙂 Be clear on your topic and it’s place in society and you will start to feel comfortable with finding and building your audience.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. The most amazing thing, investing in other bloggers! Yes. I agree… I hit 500 last week, I am thankful for every person I’ve met in this community! As you know, you roll out your blog with how you feel and sometimes, DAMN GIRL!… It just ain’t pretty! But this blogging community has your back! OK, I’ll drop my link and congrats to you! And I appreciate the advice. ~Kim
    http://itrippedoverastone.com

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Your stats are crazy! I’ve been feeling a little down lately after starting anew with my blog (https://thenicepeach.wordpress.com) and not seeing as much engagement I did with my own blog. So I guess I just needed a little reminder of the stuff you pointed out!

    You’re the most amazing writer ever, and I really really aspire to be as engaging and original like you someday.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Wow! I’ve been blogging for years and years and don’t have near the followers you do. So happy for you! I don’t have to tell you what to blog about because you’ve got this one nailed!
    But I am of a certain age and all of this “dropping” and “searching for others” leaves me stymied. That said, I’m going to try dropping my link here. http://heartprintsdotcom.wordpress.com

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’d cry if I wasn’t on Zoloft! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! You made me snort out hot tea through my nose on that one! Thank you. I agree with the person up there who says you should write a book. My daughter bought me the first one The Bloggess wrote because she said it reminded her of something I would write. She was right, I adored the book. I had never even heard of her until then and now YOU. If you wrote a book, I’d definitely invest in a copy!

    That being said, it’s been a dream of mine for as LONG as I can remember to write a book. Five thousand years ago when mySpace was “the thing”, I used to be in the top 5 most popular daily blogs in the Dreams and Supernatural category. I am slowly figuring out this place with help from gurus like you. In fact, thanks to YOU through one of your former blogs, I got my courage up and submitted a pitch to a popular local magazine and low and behold, I’ve just completed my very first PAID magazine article!! It comes out in August and I’m both thrilled and grateful to you.

    My blog at present is having an identity crisis. It’s a combo platter of real life inspirational stories including daily angel messages and tons of recipes because I’m a foodie. I know I need to separate the two. ARgh.

    Anyway, for heaven’s sake continue being you! Every time I receive a DG email notification, I know I’m in for a treat. Thank you.

    Here is my link: http://bobbecrouch.com

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy bloggiversary!!!!

    I hope that it was great!!!

    My 3 year bloggiversary is coming up and I’ve just reached 200 followers!

    Congrats on you getting 5000!!! That’s amazing!

    Also, thanks for the tips! Here’s my link if anyone would like to check it out.

    iblogalittlebitofeverything.wordpress.com

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Congratulationson the blogaversary beautiful!!! Thank you for these tips! I have been neglecting my blog recently and want to get back out there. Thank you for inspiring me annnnd giving me that kick in the ass that I need! ♥️♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Your blog is literally the best blog I’ve ever read. My blog is currently at 69 followers and I’m just over a year of having it. Thanks for creating your blog because you have given me so much inspiration by showing me that it’s okay to be who you really are and to share your real opinions instead of being and saying what everyone else wants. Keep up the great work! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s true what you say about commenting on new blogger posts. I had stumbled on your blog by looking for pages with a similar tone, and by that I mean completely irreverent but still somehow inspirational. I left a comment and I distinctly remember the day you first commented on my brand new blog. I felt like I had won the lottery! Or at the very least a free Chalupa after my team scored 100 points in a basketball game. Either way, what I’m trying to say is this is solid advice. Take it from this blogger with very minimal and mediocre success. Haha, thank you for the laughs, support, and community. Congrats on a year of success!

    And now, just because you told me to, here’s my shameless plug:
    https://acomediansguidetoenlightenment.com/

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The world (www) is awash with blogging tips and I skim through loads that basically say the same thing or are a big sell. Not these missus. Theses are fab – thanks you. Added to special Pinterest board and might print them (OH SHAME ON ME!) Cheers, Jill x And the shameless plug to my blog Midlife Smart – which takes a wry (and some might say hysteridal) look at MidLife https://www.midlifesmarts.com

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I cannot believe it’s been a year of DGGYST!! You’ve given me so much inspiration for really honing in on my honesty and making my readers laugh! I’m all about keeping it real about my trials and tribulations with fashion and beauty. I’ll tell you about a shitty dress I bought for cheap online and whether you should waste your money – because I already did that for you 😉 http://www.thefashionfauxpasofgabrielle.com

    Liked by 2 people

  20. My friend. I SO NEEDED THIS!!! I feel like lately I’ve been in a rut! I’m wearing a shirt that says I NEED FRIENDS!! Lmao. I’m kidding. I would fucking NEVER! I def have goals to engage more and promote more writers through my blog but then there’s the whole “be consistent” and WRITE thing right? It never ends girl. There’s always something wrong or missing. Lol but then you come along and you’re all like THERE IS ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US and tell us your secrets and there’s hope again. So thank you boo-boo!!!!!

    http://Www.shegivesnofox.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “but then there’s the whole “be consistent” and WRITE thing right?”
      Fuck that, even if you’re blogging to generate extra income it shouldn’t become a “job”. Sure we’re supposed to write a post every day but don’t go killing yourself if you feel like skipping a day.
      And leaving a genuine comment on somebody else’s post can be much more productive and efficient that you forcing yourself to write a post when you really don’t feel like it.
      Remember: This shit is supposed to be fun, keep it that way. And if not fun, I’m sure you had a pure intention when you started blogging, keep that intention alive and don’t force it.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. This was awesome and so informative, I think the content of my blog disqualifies me from having ads or affiliates but as a writer I still have a big enough ego that I want people to read my shit

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “Read a few of the posts, leave a thoughtful comment, mention someone else who did a similar post about coffee in your comment and drop your link.”
    What exactly do you mean with drop your link?
    Because I comment w my blog name, so if they like my comment they can just click on that, no?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. So…I’m one of those learning as I go bloggers (much older than you…and still giving it my best part-time (sometimes shitty) shot…) I digress! Anyhow…I’m curious to see if with all your fame since June if you still come back and reply to people who comment on older posts 🙂 How do you keep up with that? I enjoyed this post tremendously, thank you for your frankness and great tips. I just shared a similar post, for PT bloggers, and my blogging friend Laura from https://riddlefromthemiddle.com/
    gave me your link after she stopped by to read my post. Here’s my post, I hope you are able to check out my post (blog) and give me your frank critique! https://www.quaintrevival.com/slicing-up-6-lessons-for-the-part-time-blogger/ Happy Blogging to you!!

    Like

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