31 experts weigh in on growing a blog in 2021

I asked 31 experts throughout to share their best tips to grow a blog in 2021. The result? Jam-packed actionable blogging advice. I guarantee that after reading all the tips and tactics you will have pretty good idea about best practices in blogging. Let’s dive right in. Page Contents Winning mindset Too many bloggers will … Continued

I asked 31 experts throughout to share their best tips to grow a blog in 2021.

The result?

Jam-packed actionable blogging advice. I guarantee that after reading all the tips and tactics you will have pretty good idea about best practices in blogging.

Let’s dive right in.

Page Contents

Winning mindset

Too many bloggers will try a promotional tactic and give up on it without exploring why it didn’t work. Then, they may even tell their friends – “oh this tactic sucks” and they’ll miss out the context.

So, what’s the deal here?

What works in one niche doesn’t always work in another. Your ability to build a successful blog can depend on other factors such as audience demographics and seasonal trends. Even the combination of monetization channels you choose and how they align with your personality type can import the results.

Whenever you implement a new blogging tactic or strategy, don’t dismiss it just because it doesn’t deliver quick results. If things aren’t working out, you need to understand why.

Could you have given it more time? Would a different approach work better? Does the tactic align with your business model?

Get back to the blogging basics

Reinvigorating blog growth by reducing the clutter that all blogs accumulate is one small move that can make a major difference. If 2021 is the year you launch a blog, do yourself a favor and commit to a high-quality, clutter-free blog from the start.

Assess your blog for the following popular errors that can occur with a blog that has been around for a while:

  • Out-of-date or out-of-touch blog posts
  • Links that are broken, unnecessary, or redundant
  • References to goods or services are no longer valid.
  • Navigation systems that are slow and inefficient
  • Scope creep is when you go outside of your niche in a way that doesn’t fit.

After that, take some time to evaluate your blog with fresh eyes. When it comes to each content piece on your blog, ask yourself,  “What value does this give my audience?”

Make some early money

I think the best way to grow your blog is to get some early rankings and money wins, and then invest that dough back into your business.

That way, not only will you have the money to invest, but you will be buoyed by the clear blogging success you obviously have and your confidence will be sky high.

How to achieve that?

I’m sure there are more ways than one, but in my experience the best way to make money quickly is to target coupon code keywords. Those are money phrases where web users are eager to buy and are just looking for a deal to save money.

In my case the first coupon page I ever ranked was my Smart Podcast Player discount post, which has been glued to the first page for several years now, and to this day earns me ~$300/mo.

Not bad for just one article:)

Set a schedule and stick to it- be it a weekly or monthly or an yearly.

For example, research on Mondays, draft posts on Tuesdays, create graphics for posts and social media on Wednesdays, publish and promote on Thursdays, and comment and connect with other bloggers and social media marketing on Fridays.

Just an hour a day on each of these on a consistent basis will make amazing changes!

5. Jennifer Rogina of Clearpath

It may sound boring, but the best thing you can do to grow your blog is to post consistently. Determine how often you can blog and then commit to that schedule. Make sure that your schedule gives you enough time to create high-quality posts and isn’t so ambitious that it’s impossible to keep up with.

Choose a niche that you’re passionate about and also have a growth potential.

Blog niche can be the difference between creating a successful blog that can rank within months to a dead blog with no traffic. 

Think about your blog niche as your initial blogging investment. Spend some time researching new trends and find if people have an interest in them. Then spy on your competitors and learn what kind of content they create to generate traffic and sales.  

Quick checklist to find growth potential of any niche:

  • Does the niche have keywords that are of high search volume to drive you traffic?
  • Does the niche have affiliate programs to help you make money?
  • Are audience willing to spend money on courses, eBooks and sponsored content?

If you find yourself saying ‘Yes’ for above questions, then the niche is good for you to pick.

7. Paul Franklin of Sidegains

Narrow down your niche

Growth in a competitive blog niche can take years to achieve: there’s simply too much competition to make an impression in search engine results in the short term.

  • If you haven’t yet started your blog, try to be as narrow as possible with the niche you choose for initial time. Once you have accumulated good amount of content and readership in place, you can anytime expand your niche.
  • If you’ve already started a blog in a broader niche, try to target future posts to content ideas within a sub-niche of your chosen broad topic area, since this will likely give you a better shot at growing traffic more quickly.

Focus on building your tribe

Let it be your lifestyle blog or a niche blog but a strong audience base will help you grow your blog in the right direction. Focus on forming email lists, creating Facebook group community, or growing your follower base from the day one.

As you pin focus on adding value to a specific segment of audience, it get’s easier for you to grow and expand your blog in 2021. 

You don’t have to start with thousands of new people. Just start with even 30 new readers and turn them into repeating visitors.” 

Be presentable

In order for more people to visit your blog make sure that the presentation is more focused on the reader. The layout of the page should be easy to use and understand, as when people find what they want quickly, it enhances their experience.

Have a clear navigation tab and keep a search box that’s easy to use.

Most of the users access the internet via smartphones. So optimize your blog for phones and develop a fast loading website.

Use visuals aids. Keep the paras short, highlight main points, use subheadings and lists to keep track, and most important, use readable and smart fonts.

Offer easy-reading experience

People have short attention spans, so they skim content rather than read it word for word.

To make your content readable:

  • Use subheadings so your main points stand out so someone skimming can find the answers they need.
  • Write shorter paragraphs that consist of only two to three sentences.
  • Use bullet points where you can to highlight information.

Don’t make your articles too complicated. The general consensus is that the 8th-grade reading level is perfect for easily digestible internet content. The Hemmingway App is a great resource to ensure you write to that level.

Use a grammar checker such as Grammarly, so your writing is free of errors.

Many bloggers pick pretty fonts without any thought on how easy or hard they may be to read. Pick a larger font size like 18 and one that is easy to read, like Montserrat or Poppins.

Produce convincing content

“Creating good content that Google and your audience loves is no longer about creating something longer or more in-depth than your competitors. More and more we are seeing the need for differentiated content. That’s content that is backed by proof not just opinions, and sometimes vulnerability. To create the kind of blog posts that climb high up the SERPs and stay there, consider gathering original data with a poll or a survey, interviewing experts and using the quotes to support your points, or presenting your posts with a better user experience.

Create high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience.

The two types of posts that are proven and tend to drive the highest traffic consistently over the long term are:

  • List posts (e.g., The Top 10 this or The 21 best that) and
  • How-to type posts.

However, it’s also important to mix in other types of posts—interviews, industry research, more newsy content—in order to provide variety for your readers. Don’t fixate on word count. Although the top search results are often longer posts (1,500 or more words), shorter posts can rank quite well depending on the topic.

To discover topics that are likely to resonate with your audience, use tools like Answer the Public, SEMrush or Serpstat.

Perform proper topic research

I’m amazed how many bloggers skip this step and wonder why their blog posts aren’t performing – blog posts take a lot of time and energy.

Thinking of things to write about isn’t the best way to go about this; you need to see who else has covered that topic, read their articles, look at the size and authority of their site, and determine if it’s something that you can do better.

Aim for low K.D keywords using Ahrefs

Ahrefs’ keyword difficulty is a representation of how many backlinks it would take to the blog you write to rank for that keyword. To have an easier time ranking for keywords, it’s best to target a keyword difficulty of less than 10. After that, we look at the SERPs for each keyword. Our goal is to choose keywords that have 3 or more first page results with a domain rating lower than our website’s. This means that we will have a very high chance to rank for those keywords we are targeting. 

15. Michael Tomaszewski of StoryDoc

Internal linking with proper anchor text is the lowest-hanging fruit.

“Orphan pages” (pages with no incoming internal links) are a huge obstacle to getting solid blog traffic. Do your best to include links to your blog posts on other blog posts on your site, simple as that. Also, remember to use relevant anchor text, do not link phrases such as “learn more.”

Why is it so important? First of all, you give SEO power to the page you link to. It’s not as relevant as a backlink from another page, but it is an important factor in ranking algorithms. Secondly, you give your readers more opportunities to click through thus reducing bounce rate—another important ranking factor.

It’s very easy to identify orphan pages using crawling software such as ScreamingFrog or Ahrefs.

16. Ian Campbell of Nozzle

Interlinking

If you have a post that touches on something you’ve written about before, link to that from your post. If you do this consistently (while remaining relevant, of course, to improve your users’ experience), your efforts will certainly pay off.

We recently linked to some of our more popular blog posts in our site wide footer, thereby giving them an internal link on every page, and we have seen their rankings skyrocket.  

Tweak your CTA’s

One of the most effective experiments I conducted on my blog was related to call to action (CTA) placement and found success in it.

Initially, the CTA button was at the bottom of the blog. However, after analyzing scroll depth data, we A/B tested placing the CTA at the point where users were most likely to exit the page. By moving the button, we saw a 2,000% uplift in conversions!

Thinking about where best to place your CTA can have a huge impact on the success of your blog. Use scroll depth data, or tools like Crazy Egg, to better understand how users interact with your page, and where a CTA is most likely to catch their eye.

Get your competition to do the work for you

When it comes to growing a blog, the most important factor is undisputedly the link building. Of course content, on page SEO and outreach are essential but if they are not underpinned by strong page level backlinks, ranking for competitive, high traffic keywords will be unachievable. 

The most effective method for link building is definitely the Shotgun Skyscraper.

In this method, you use a tool like Ahrefs to locate the pieces of content that are generating the most backlinks for your competitors. You can then go on, craft a superior article and send out bulk emails to the hundreds of people that linked to your competitor’s article to persuade them to link to your article too. You can use a tool like Hunter.io to find and generate the list of emails you need easily.  

Overall, this method is far superior in terms of cost and time exhausted per link and is essential to expedite the growth of any blog. The links obtained via this method will also be pointing to a specific piece of content which is also better for SEO than generic links pointing to the home or About page. 

19. Reuben Yonatan of GetVoip

Master the art of the guest post pitch in 2021 more than ever.

Blog owner inboxes are more crowded than ever with these kinds of requests, and it’s all too easy to overlook these requests as a result.

Have someone else on your team edit the pitch before it goes out. Use bullet points and bolding to show exactly what you’ll discuss in your guest post. Also, be sure to add statistics and citations, just one or two to show the tangible aspect of your informative post.

Add value in other ways if you can. A free trial of your software or a product sample can motivate the blog owner to add your post to their site.

20. Malte Scholz of Airfocus

Guest posting is an amazing growth strategy for bloggers and should be taken seriously.

People often go easy with the guest posting, they write articles just to meet the word count. However, If you produce high quality content, you will get a chance to write for big and credible publications which can improve your brand image and SEO results.

When doing outreach with a guest post suggestion, present unique topic(s) or an unusual angle. Don’t just produce one of the many similar articles and hope that serious websites will accept it. It’s better to invest more resources and chase quality than just write generic blog posts that have no significant value.

I recommend link building using HARO

Without the need for an advertising budget or sending uncomfortable outreach emails, you get strong links from authority blogs. The publications will give you credit as the source for the insight you provide them on a specific topic.

At a point in time, you might encounter journalists who write for Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, MarketWatch, etc. Such busy reporters receive tons of responses, so you really need to stand out by crafting original and top-notch insight along with the enticing subject line. The key is to pay attention to the requirement so you can match it with your expertise.

Link building with HARO takes efforts but is worth the results. Since the day I started leveraging this technique, the domain authority of my websites gets improving, thus my SEO rankings.

Master email marketing, and you will never suffer for income (or traffic) ever again.

“Equally as important as any traffic building activity, is the ability to retain that traffic. Unfortunately, this is something that many bloggers neglect.

Thousands of visits a day from Google aren’t necessary to make a full-time income blogging. Instead, you only need to be sure that you are making the most out of the traffic that you are already receiving.

For example, if you bring in 100 new visitors a day and manage to sign up 5 of them to your email newsletter, that is 1,825 subscribers after one year. More importantly, those people know you, like you, and trust you. They will purchase your products or the products you promote, and spread the word about your brand.

With a profitable email system, scaling traffic is easy – even if you decide to pay for it.”

23. Nicole Graham of Womenio

Thrive with email marketing

When done correctly, your email newsletter feels like a private love letter delivered late at night; it feels exclusive, important, and urgent.

Sticking to a routine pays off in email marketing. It is important that you constantly strive to develop your email newsletter in order to expand your blog. Try providing new opt-in freebies or creating skilled landing pages. Diversify the material in your newsletter by, for example, hosting an exclusive webinar for subscribers only.

24. Ashley Barnett of HitPublish

Networking with other bloggers was critical to my success as a blogger

A lot of times bloggers see other sites in their niche as competitors but that is not the case. Collaborating with other bloggers is a great way to build your blog. It opens up a lot of opportunities for guest posts, backlinks, social shares, introductions to key people, and the ability to stay on top of trends in your niche. 

For example, landing a guest post on a larger blog in your niche is tough when you don’t have a relationship with the site owner, but easy when you are already friends. 

Also, your blogging friends are out there trying to grow their blogs as well. They are experimenting with new tools, tricks, and strategies. When they find something that works they will share that information and help you grow.

Befriending bloggers makes the journey much more fun for sure.

Grow your blog and business by connecting with people

Producing valuable content via writing, graphics, data, structure, and story is only the beginning. A solid foundation built on quality for every piece of content you deliver, in whatever form, is an essential first step. 

Once you are sure you’re bringing the bling by delivering consistently top-notch work, only then make your content move and make it sing by sharing it with people to consume and appreciate. Letting it sit on your website without adding propulsion to share it around just won’t do! Organic social sharing through appropriate platforms and channels is a great place to start.

Finally, you can grow your audience, find new traffic, and gain more recognition by multiplying your content.

Build meaningful relationships

“Blogging success and expanding the reach of your content mostly relies on connecting with other bloggers. This involves building genuine relationships where you get to know other bloggers and their goals, and you help them reach those goals through sharing one another’s content, making introductions to other bloggers, helping with things like link building and other activities that lead to building your blogging empire.

The more you show the value you bring, the more likely they’ll be to want to help you out in return. Once you build the relationships, make sure you maintain them by getting to know the bloggers in your network and consistently working together.

Improve your social signals

This is a strategy we’ve only started using on our blog, which has already seen our domain authority (DA) jump 5 places!

For bloggers there’s more to social media marketing than what I call SLIM – sharing, learning, interacting, and marketing. That’s because social signals is one of the ranking factors used by Google. We know this because the sites which appear on Page #1 of the search engine results pages (SERPs) usually have a high social share.

So, how do you improve your social signal? Here are a few ideas:

  • Be clear on your social media objectives – So when you know what you are trying to achieve, your call to action will be clearer. 
  • Determine your ideal audience and and categorize the platforms they’re active on. Don’t focus on Twitter if your target audience eat, drink and sleep TikTok. 
  • Be more visible on social media by being a bit more active interacting, and sharing interesting posts and original content to your feeds.

Let me talk about this little known tool that has helped us share our content over 5,000 times on social media in just 3 months. 

Quuu Promote

We started using Quuu Promote about three months ago. And so far, 10 of our articles have been shared by real people over 6,649 times on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn! And those shares have had over 2,169 click throughs to our blog. Simply amazing, if you ask me. The tool is not free, but it’s money well spent.

Focus on social engagement

Creating a Twitter account has done wonders for increasing the traffic and engagement I receive on my blog. I managed to connect with over 1,000 followers in less than one month (and 6k followers in less than four months).

While follower count is only a number and engagement is more beneficial, it is likely that you will receive more engagement if you have more followers – if you play your cards right, of course. Fostering these genuine connections will make a positive impact on your blog. Not to mention, you will make incredible friends and be able to learn from them. 

Twitter profile link of Brianna – https://twitter.com/bstrykerwrites

An old-fashion way to grow your blog through blog commenting

Commenting on other blogs not only sends people to your blog in most cases but allows you to be seen by the blog and the others who comment on it. You can connect with them and get to know other bloggers. It’s a great way to NETWORK on blogs today.

I have had many new readers come to my blog from another one from comments. For instance, from the comment I left at Donna Merrill’s post about blogging.

If you don’t have time to manage them, consider hiring a VA to help you with that. If you receive too much spam add a spam filter or use Akismet plugin to help relieve some of the spam. There are many different comment systems that you may use. Check some comment system out here to see what may work best for your blog today.

Leverage Facebook groups

While organic reach for Facebook pages has dropped significantly over the years, Facebook groups are still an effective way to drive traffic to your site and grow your blog readership.

Look for niche groups to get involved in. Don’t just drop a link and run. Engage in the conversation and look for ways your content can answer questions or solve problems that users come up with.

It’s also a great way for you to get new content ideas.

31. Kevin Mercier of Kevmrc

Conduct interviews

A great way to grow your blog is by inviting famous or exciting people with interesting stories. Unless you already have an expansive reach, people aren’t simply going to stumble upon your blog unless it has something that really attracts them. An interview of an exciting personality often encourages people to flock to websites as this gives them a great reason to visit. It’s also great for SEO as a popular individual is also likely a good keyword to rank for!

Conclusion

Do you have any blog growth tactics you would like to share? Let us all know in the comments!