Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel | The Style Scribe

I hope you all enjoyed the first installment of my blogging miniseries last week, on how to start a fashion or lifestyle blog! This week I’m covering a new topic: How To Grow Your Readership and Increase Engagement on your blog. Here’s a list of things you can and should be doing to get and keep new readers/followers.

1. Post Consistently and Be Patient!

I can’t tell you how many brand new bloggers have emailed me asking for tips on how to grow their readership and wondering why they don’t have a big following yet. Before I respond, I take a look at their site only to discover they’ve only posted content for a few weeks or only posted a few times overall. First off, it takes time. If you’ve only been posting on your site for a few weeks, you haven’t even given Google a chance to find you and get your content in search results! The more relevant content you have, the more desirable you will be to Google and will show up more often in search results. So the lesson here is to post often and consistently – I would suggest posting 3-5 times per week. If you are posting consistent, beautiful content, you are giving people a reason to come back time and again, as well as giving Google a chance to find you.

2. Comment On Other Blogs & Instagram Photos of People and Brands You Admire

Something I’ve been doing since I started this blog is commenting on other blogs. It’s a great way to get discovered by new people (bloggers and readers alike), and increase pageviews to your own site. It’s also great for SEO! If you comment on blogs that are newer or have a similar-sized readership, they will likely be grateful and push a comment or two in your direction. While it’s certainly more important to encourage readers to comment (not just other bloggers), even getting just one comment on your posts a day will help open the door to more. If you see someone else comment on a post, you’ll be more likely to comment yourself – it’s simple psychology.

3. Create Exclusive Content Offerings on the Channels You Want To Grow

I recently started a new newsletter-exclusive weekly series and was able to secure hundreds of new subscribers by promoting that new offering on my SnapChat and Instagram. I’ve always had my newsletter and sent out my blog posts every morning, but by sharing how this content would not be featured anywhere else I got my current followers on other channels interested in subscribing to see what it was all about.

Another example – I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about my SnapChat content, and decided to do SnapChat-exclusive tutorials and beauty features. I promote sneak peeks of this content on my Instagram, and have gotten hundreds of new followers on SnapChat each time I promote that exclusive content.

4. Partner With Brands and Bloggers to Create Content Both of You Can Share

In addition to commenting on other blogger’s pages, start a conversation offline about collaborating on content. Whether’s that’s doing a guest post, styling the same piece two ways with another style blogger, hosting a local event together, or just highlighting a new blogger in a roundup each week, it’s a great way to expand your readership to a new audience.

I would only recommend reaching out to brands and bloggers who have a similar-sized audience to yours. It’s a little annoying to get emails from strangers who just started out and who want a shoutout from someone with an enormous amount of followers in comparison – don’t insult bloggers who have worked hard to get where they are by asking for a hand out.

5. Network, Network, Network

Attend local events like trunk shows at boutiques, designer appearances at department stores, fashion shows, conferences, etc. You can never meet too many people in this industry. People are always switching jobs and moving on to new brands or exciting venture – get to know as many people as you can, because you never know who you might have the opportunity to partner with later on!

It’s a great chance to give your elevator pitch to like-minded people and add a few new readers to your list! On that same note, be nice to everyone. While this industry can be cliquey, you don’t want to be that girl. And again, you never know where people will be in a year – that random girl you met who works at Brooks Brothers now may work for Ralph Lauren or Caroline Herrera in two years time! It’s just not worth being impolite or unprofessional.

6. Use Hashtags and Tag Brands on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Hashtags can be really annoying from a reader perspective, but they really help with the “discoverability” factor. They are especially helpful for travel content, when people are looking for photos and tips for a specific location. For example, while in Miami and shooting around the Wynwood area, I didn’t just tag my photos with “Miami”, but I also tagged “Wynwood”, “WynwoodWalls”, “WynwoodMiami”, etc. You can get detailed with these!

In addition to hashtagging your photos on Instagram, it helps to tag brands featured in the photo on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This brings your photo to their attention, which if anything, helps with building awareness – in the best case scenario, they may reach out to you or potentially regram your content!

7. Employ Good SEO Practices Early On

Remember when I spoke about finding a niche? Here’s where that could be important/helpful – for example, if you Google “style blogger” there are thousands millions of results. The more specific and focused your content is, the easier you will be to find if someone is searching for content on that topic. Here are some easy practices to start incorporating into your blog posts:

  • Install Yoast SEO (if you’re on WordPress) – this plugin makes it easy to create the ideal title and meta description for what you want to show up in Google searches for that specific post. For example, you may want your blog post title to display “Off-The-Shoulder” to your readers, but that title won’t do you many favors in Google because of the sheer volume of sites with that word. Something like “Best Off-The-Shoulder Tops Under $100” or “How To Style An Off-The-Shoulder Top” would be a better option for Google. With Yoast you can have both! You enter the title you want to display, and then in the Yoast plugin you type in the title and description you want Google to see.
  • Use Title and Alt Tags in all of your photos – just like you give your blog post content a title, you should be doing this to all of your photos as well. When I’m editing my outfit photos, I save each photo as the name of the hero piece featured in that look – “J.Crew Striped Popover Shirt” for example. Once each photo is uploaded into WordPress, I use the title and alt tags to add more keywords. Whether that’s just using the title of your blog post, or writing in J.Crew Women’s Popover Shirt, it will help Google find your photos in addition to your content.
  • Link Within Your Own Site – you’re probably used to linking out to other websites and stores in most of your blog posts, but be sure to also link within your own site. Any chance you can link back to another page on your site or older content, do it. Not only does it help increase pageviews and bounce rate, it helps SEO. A good example of how I did this can be found here – you’ll see I link back to THE EDIT and BEAUTY category pages in the first paragraph.

If I think of any more tips, I’ll be sure to update this post! Stay tuned for next week’s installment on Monetization and Brand Partnerships, and click here to read the first post in the blogging miniseries. See you next time!

{ photo from this post last year!}

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