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How to grow your blog- Part 3

#1: Welcome Note- This takes 30 seconds. Click on your design tab, add a gadget, choose a text gadget, then move the gadget right above the blog posts section.
Here is my welcome note for C.R.A.F.T. :

Sometimes I take the welcome note down to announce other things. I just save this exact note in a draft of an email so I can easily get to it when I want it back and I don’t have to re make the note.

#2: Favicon- I recently did a little favicon tutorial... Just another super simple way to personalize and brand your blog.
#3: Alexa toolbar– I’m hesitant to put this one on the list… Use it nicely and with caution. It validates that what you are doing with your blog is “working” as you see your own score get lower. Basically, Alexa traffic ranks websites based on lots of factors. For instance, here are the top 11 sites according to Alexa:

First, you need to claim your site. Click HERE. You can either add an Alexa Toolbar or go to and enter your blog url.   Find out exactly what comes with the toolbar HERE.This is what the tool bar looks like:

I recently discovered Klout scores. I think it useful to know this kind of information. But, also realize that is just ONE score from ONE site. I get excited when I see it improving, and when it goes down… it encourages me to get my butt back on twitter.

#5: Promoting giveaways- I’ve had a few e-mails about this topic. We all want our giveaways to be successful! When I’m hosting a giveaway, I always link up to these 2 giveaway directories.
#6: Cooperate- Lorie, from Be Different Act Normal said it best when asked what is your number one tip for new bloggers. She said, “Cooperation is going to build your blog 100 times faster than competition!  That is always my answer to that question.  If you are only worried about who has more readers or how to grow your blog than you are going to burn out!  Have fun, blog about what you love, and make friends with other bloggers!” True story. Thanks Lorie!

#7: Search bar- Make sure your blog has one. It will help people find what they are looking for. If you have a blogger blog, you can find it as a gadget. See where it says “search box” (mine says already added!). Just click the plus sign and you’re done-skies. :)

#8: Try and make your blog navigation as simple as possible. The search bar will help, but have a page just dedicated to your tutorials, home tour, projects…make it make sense for YOUR blog. Feel free to use my tab titles if they work for you.  Copying is a form of flattery–that’s what my mom always said when my little sister would borrow my clothes!

#9: Back up your blog. Thank you, Thrifty decor chick. I just recently did this, and it is super easy. Go to settings, basic, export blog. SUPER SIMPLE. I would cry if the blog was gone forever. I like blogging and C.R.A.F.T.

#10: Learn SEO- Search Engine Optimization. I know, I know… it sounds boring and technical. I am NOT an expert, but I’ve been trying to read more about it. I found the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors to be a very useful first start. Here is another great What is SEO? article.

These are just tips and tid bits I have learned along the way. In the end, blogging should be FUN! If you’re having fun reading, sharing, growing, meeting bloggers… then all the time and energy is worth it!  As always, leave any questions you have in the comment section and I will do my best to answer!

How to grow your blog- Part 2


I thought of some more things, and decided we needed a Part 2!


How to grow your blog
HERE is how to Grow your Blog Part 1 in case you missed it!

1: Be a nice human… give credit when credit is due, only leave nice comments, feature other bloggers, try to be helpful…!

2: Blog button and featured button with html. See mine here. Occasionally blog about your blog button and make sure to have it easily accessible on your sidebar…this is free advertising!


3: Add alt text to your blog button code to increase SEO traffic–this is about as technical as I get! So, if your button does not show up for some reason the alt text will appear, like this:
alt= “handmade projects”handmade projects So, if for some reason my button doesn’t pop up, it says “handmade projects”, like you see above. This also makes it better for SEO purposes. HEREis a great post about how and where to add your alt text.Blogging with successsays, “The ‘alt=’ attribute is part of any image you add to your site. Normally the alt value is blank, but you should always add a description. The tag stands for “alternative text.” If the image fails to load, visitors see the alt value instead.  For SEO purposes, the alt value can help bring new visitors just from the image indexing.

4: Start a series and ask other blogs of similar size and interest to join. I recently used google docs to help organize Creating Really Awesome Free Trips and it was greatness. It lets everybody see everything. C.R.A.F.T. has hosted 5 on Friday and Creating Really Awesome Free Trips. I removed their emails for the picture…but see how organized it is:


5: Thank your top 10 referrals– this goes back to being a nice human. I actually just realized I did not do this for the month of May! HERE is my post for April. You can easily do this with google analytics. I also use this post as a friendly reminder about C.R.A.F.T.’s other social networks… like this:P.S. Please join C.R.A.F.T. on facebook and twitter… It will be fun, promise :) I usually post my latest craft project pictures on facebook first! AND if you just can’t get enough of C.R.A.F.T. you can also be my friend on Blog Lovin , Stumble UponPinterest  and Blog Frog !

6: I mentioned this is #5…Sign up for google analytics –it’s FREE–HERE is a great beginner video to get you started… by no means do I know what all these numbers mean… just play with it and try to learn as much as you can!
google analytics


7: Have a profile picture on your main page… I just like to put a face with a name! Anybody else with me on this one…? This is me, Jamie…
hi :)
8: Swap buttons with another blog of your similar size and interest. This is a great first step for getting sponsors. Girl in Air and I just swapped bling the other day!  I’ve also seen blogs offer free advertising until a certain number of followers.
9: Create a signature for your blog email so that when you reply to comments, you make it easy for someone to click on your other social sites….mine looks like this:

10: Be a lifelong learner and READ about how to make your blog better! I’m guilty of not doing this nearly enough… In my spare time I find DIY projects and crafting to be a lot more fun :) It’s summer now, so I have no excuses! Here are a few to start with:

I recently saw THIS post on SITS girls: Starting July 19, in the SITS Girls Community on BlogFrog, a group of bloggers will be taking ProBlogger’s Build a Better Blog in 31 Days Challenge. I’ve heard this is an awesome program, although I’ve never personally done it! HERE is a great discussion with Laurie @ Tip Junkie and HERE is what she learned from Blissdom 2011. Laurie’s thoughts on linky parties are pretty interesting…I had no idea!

In the end, if you enjoy blogging…do it! For me, blog or no blog, I am going to keep creating really awesome (mostly) free stuff. So, I try to make that my priority. That is really what I love to do. 

Hope this list was helpful :) Happy Blogging!


How to Grow your Blog- Part 1
How to Grow your Blog- Part 3
Blogging for Bacon
10 blog tips and/or lessons learned
How to make a favicon (in blogger)
How to make your blogger blog a