I am relatively new to the blogging world, prior to starting my blog I had been considering blogging for a very long time, as I do a lot of travelling, love photography, writing and of course exploring the world. Prior to blogging, I was doing photography on my travels, lots of people suggested I take up blogging too, as I was travelling to so many places and also helping lots of friends and work colleagues plan trips as well as giving them valuable information.
To date I have travelled to about 41 countries some countries, I’ve visited multiple times simply because each country has so much to see and do and unless you stay in one place for a long time you can’t always cover the full country and do and see everything you want to.
I finally decided to take the plunge last year, and Launched Digital Travel Guru, a travel website focusing on the full 360 travel experience, to document and share my travels as well as to feature other travel writers and showcase my photography. What I didn’t realise how much time, effort, and ground work needed to be done beforehand. I really thought it would be really easy, but there is actually a lot to learn and do continuously.
When I decided to start my blog, I was pretty clueless regarding the technical side of things. I knew I needed a website, logo, branding, etc. What I didn’t know was all the different aspects that was needed to set it up effectively, and even up to now I am still learning. The biggest challenge for me was dealing with the technical side of websites, but I’ve been amazed at just how much I have learnt just from self learning, asking others online for help, from the groups, reading, and general trial and error.
I would strongly advise anyone that wants to begin blogging is to read, research & try and speak to a few bloggers to find out as much as possible beforehand, to ensure it all runs smoothly and you don’t end up making costly mistakes or spending unnecessary money along the way, there is a lot of things you need to check and find out about before you start and yes there are cost involved depending one what type of blog and platform you want to use and hosts etc. Once I got over that hurdle of setting up everything and armed with some knowledge about the blogging world, I started on building my following across the various social media platforms.
These are the four platforms I will focus on to tell you about. Below are my numbers to date on each platform. Nearly a total of 14.6K in just under 6 months.
• Facebook Fan Page: 2863
• Facebook Personal Page: 250
• Instagram: nearly 8K
• Twitter: 2011
• Pinterest: 614
• Website: 587
• Other Sites Total: 308
(Flipboard, BlogLovin, SnapChat, YouTube)
So once I started how exactly did grow my following?
I signed up to all the major social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) with my brand name. I did a few others, but for this post, I will focus on those four and of course my website subscriber list. Ensure you fill in all sections about your brand, including links to your sites, add your logos and as much information as it lets you. This will give your audience information about your blog; it also looks more appealing than seeing blank spaces. Make sure your branding fits across all your social media networks, I use my Brand’s Logo across my sites, so followers can recognise it and for consistency.
Utilize Instagram business account as it gives you insights into analytics like how many views your posts are getting, where your following is based, age group of people that follow you and of course the times of the day your followers are most active.
I have nearly hit 8K as I write, this means I’ve gained nearly a 1000 follows per month, I have to say it has been very hard work and a lot of effort but absolutely worth it. I do not believe in buying followers or using bots. I feel engagement should be real and natural not fake. I think if you put in the work and time you will get the benefits.
Share good quality photos.
Write some information about the picture you are sharing for example:
Some people use it to write a mini blog of the place or about what is in the photo
Say where you took it
Be creative – try and engage people.
Geo Tag the location
Reply to comments people leave on your posts.
Use good quality hash tags up to #30 per post; you will need to research use of hashtags
Reciprocate back to others (like and comment on their posts)
Work on it daily
Join some Insta pods groups you can find people doing these on Facebook or even start your own.
Don’t over post (I post a max of 1-2 per day)
Join Facebook groups that have Instagram follow’s and comment’s threads
(two links to two group I run are noted at the end of this post)
Get to know other bloggers and build relationships with them they will also visit your page and page and engage with you. Remember this is a two-way process.
Share your Instagram handle across your sites.
Share photos from your Instagram account to Twitter / Facebook and encourage cross engagement across platforms.
Write a good Instagram bio with your website link.
Use Instagram stories.
Post photos and videos to vary your content and you can now share up to 10 photos on each share you do.
Facebook Business / Like Page:
I’ve nearly reached 3000 this has taken a lot of time to achieve, it’s been the hardest platform to gain followers on in my opinion. But again, consistency is the key, and remember to share good valuable content. They way I built this number was using a umber of techniques. First of all ensuring my page was set up correctly with all the information, you can also add social media links direct from your page to other social media handles like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, are great for people browsing your pages to connect and browse your other accounts.
Secondly, once my page was set up, I invited as many friends from my Facebook to like my page as well as encouraging them to share my page around, make sure you have some content up like photos, articles, and even videos. I joined various groups that allow you to engage with fellow bloggers or travellers (join groups to whatever your niche is). I got lots of likes and comments from those. I have not used Facebook paid adverts or post boost yet, but I plan to in the future, buts thats another option you can consider. Share you Facebook page to your other social networks and encourage people to do the same. Competitions and giveaways are also things you can do to bring traffic to your page and hopefully follows and likes.
Twitter is huge for companies, as it provides a place to share news, engage with loyal customers and attract new ones. But it isn’t easy. I have not done too much work on my twitter, but it seems to have grown. Again I would not recommend you to buy followers; it will not provide you with the engagement that organic followers give you.
Some Simple ways to build your Twitter are:
Follow people back that follow you.
Do Re-Tweets of content you like.
Post your blogs on Twitter and ask people to re-tweet for you
Ensure your Twitter profile have a nice profile photo/logo and cover. Also you complete all the relevant information inn the profile.
Make comments on tweets.
Be active on Twitter, every day share something; it could be a photo, a quote, your blog post old or new one, do some re-tweets, and a few comments.
Make tweeting a habit daily – you can apply some of these to other social networks too.
Tweet good content.
Engage back with others who regularly re-tweet your content and return the favour.
Keep your brand / Blog visible on Twitter.
You can share engaging tweets on Twitter such as asking questions and even doing polls.
Find influencers. Reach out to other thought leaders and feature 10 people on your blog. They will be happy to share your content to their readers, and this will also grow your readers as well as followers.
Also, again Facebook groups with engagement threads and networking with fellow bloggers can also help grow your account.
You can use some of these tools to help you schedule your posts and will help you stay consistent.
Did you know? tweets that include hashtags receive 2x more engagement. This is because hashtags tie your tweets to a specific topic or subject. When people are searching for things under that hashtag, they’ll come across your tweets as part of the larger conversation. This can get you more views on your page and intern some follows. Remember to keep your 1-2 hashtags appropriate to the content of your tweets so that they’re relevant to the intent of the searcher. The more relevant your tweets are to the hashtag, the more engagement it’ll receive.
Add your twitter profile to your blog page to show it’s feed.
Pinterest has a simple function: Pinterest users group images from websites on ‘boards’ that allow them to express, explore or create a theme, such as travel, food, beauty, social media, etc.
These boards are visible to other users, who can ‘repin’ the images to their own boards, with each image acting as an instant link to the site from which it came (and including a brief description underneath). You can pin your blog posts to Pinterest and also sell things. Work on it regularly and again Facebook groups and engagement groups are great for getting follows and repines / likes and comments.
Pin consistently and frequently
Pin good quality images only
Write keyword-rich descriptions for pins and boards
Confirm your website
Use rich pins
Optimize your website to be Pinterest friendly
Build a community
Fill in all the required details.
Share your pointers account on other social media pages
Add the pin interest share button to your site and posts.
Here are some quick tips I’d like to sharers with you.
20 Quick Tips:
1. Be consistent (work a little one each site every day)
2. Engage and network with your followers and remember to reciprocate back to others (by following them, sharing their content, liking their posts, replying back to comments and making comments too one their posts)
3. Do not buy followers or use bots.
4. Join Facebook groups that help with engagement – it’s also a good way to interact with fellow bloggers in your niche and even different niches.
5. Offer to guest post on bloggers sites; it’s a good way to get backlinks to your site and also to promote your blogs. There are lots of collaboration opportunities available especially on Facebook and in Facebook groups. You could also to offer others to guest post on their sites.
6. Make a weekly schedule to follow, to plan out your sites and what you need to do each day, remember Rome was not built in a day; it takes time, effort and patience.
7. Share good and valuable content, relevant to your blog niche, research to ensure the information you are giving is up to date and useful.
8. To get subscribers to your website, you can offer a freebie, for signing up. I am in the process of doing an Asia Travel Guide as my freebie incentive.
9. Read as much as you can about blogging and building following there are tons of useful articles online, take bits from each and follow the tips and try out different things to see what works for you.
10. With regards to the technical side side of things, you have a few options you can hire an expert to set it all up, or read and learn and teach your self, from articles and also youtube videos. I did a mix of both.
11. Set your self weekly or monthly goals – these can be small or big goals, it helps to you focus on getting things done, in bite-size pieces, so you don’t feel or get overwhelmed.
12. Develop your online presence – network, share, ask questions, join discussion, give tips, help others if they are stuck and you have some tips, this all helps to develop your online presence.
13. Be unique – think of content that is different, share your perspectives, research.
14. Don’t be afraid to post in groups or ask for help.
15. Have at least 10-15 posts to put on your site when it launches.
16. Share – Share – Share – anywhere you can share your posts. Reply to comments on your website, create a buzz, make your brand and presence felt.
17. Use analytic tools – all 4 social media sites I have mentioned have them, some you may need business accounts for those, but those are free to sign up to, and will provide you with valuable insights about your pages and traffic and loads more. Check them out.
18. Try joining Insta-pod groups a great way to get likes and comments one your posts each time you share.
19. Read up one the technical terms of blogging, like SEO, bounce rate, DA, PA; it will help you in the long run, its a lot of information to take in but read a little each day or week to familiarize your self with it. There are some good sites online that have glossary for blog terms and meanings. It just means as you read and see words you know what they mean, or it will get very confusing.
20. Do a giveaway – to promote your site you can do this one any of the sites mentioned above, get your site promoted by asking followers to share and tag their friends.
You Can Check Out My Sites and Groups Here:
Bloggers Social Media Engagement Group:
Travel Bloggers Social Media Engagement Group: