Hey guys! I know I’ve done quite a few blogging tips posts (here and here for example) but today’s post is gonna be a little more focused specifically on growing your blog with WordPress.com. I’m going to share my experience and tips with you on how to navigate some of the special features of WordPress.com and make the most of them to grow your blog to maximum success!
The WordPress.com Reader
With the WordPress.com Reader you can read posts from all the sites you follow (even the ones that aren’t on WordPress.com), find new sites to follow, and keep track of what sites you follow all in one place.
I don’t know whose idea this was, but it was a great one! As a blogger, you’re most often on both sides of the WordPress.com Reader. You’re using it to keep up with other blogs that you follow, but you’re also using it as an advertising tool.
Tags (which I’m gonna talk about in a minute) are a super important part of getting found in the WordPress.com Reader, but there are a few other things you can do as well to boost your visibility. One thing I’ve found is the WordPress.com Reader really likes it when your posts have a few characteristics, 1) Lots of photos 2) Lots of likes and 3) Enough content to keep the reader on the post for a few minutes. This content could be photos or text, just whatever will keep the reader on the post for as long as possible.
I’ve found tags to be SO important for getting found, both on Google and on the WordPress.com Reader. I often just spend hours at a time researching keywords on Google and on the Reader. Typically I type in things I think people in my niche would be looking for, and go from there. This is how I find ideas for my posts, and also tags and titles. Also, as a side note, both Google and the Reader REALLY don’t like it when you put tags that aren’t relevant to your post on your post.
I’ve also heard from different bloggers to only put 8 tags, or 10 tags, or not more than 15, etc. Personally I don’t think that there is a magic number, but I do think that you need at least 10 to even make a difference. The thing is, there are SO MANY articles and blog posts on the internet, and so getting yours to be found is next to impossible if you have like 3 tags on your post.
Another thing I’ve found to be super helpful is to tag both your blogs name and your name, for example, since my brand/blog is the striped plaid, I literally type, “the striped plaid” “the striped plaid blog” “sp” “Hannah” “Hannah Snoke Blog” etc. into the tag box. I don’t know how many other people do this, and if it even works, but I figure it really can’t hurt.
Likes are a confusing business, let me tell you. I honestly don’t really even know the real purpose of them, other than for people to literally just “like” your post. Anyway, when thinking of likes in terms of stats I like to see it as people who have most likely read the post (although maybe not) but who didn’t have time to comment/didn’t have anything to comment about. I find that people who comment sometimes like and sometimes don’t. I mean it really is confusing, so if you have any theories about WordPress.com Likes, I’d love to hear them.
The Storage Limit
If you’ve been blogging with WordPress.com for more than a few months, you’ve probably seen that there is a storage limit for photos and other files. I think the limit is 3GB and I know that you can upgrade, but I’m gonna share kind of a little “secret” trick of the blogging community. So go start a random blog (for example: mysitetouploadthings.wordpress.com) and post all your photos on there. Copy and paste the photos into your post, on your real blog and you should be good to go! But, let me warn you: Do not delete the upload blog when it’s full, because then all your photos will be deleted from your real blog. Let’s just say I learned that lesson from experience. XD
Best WordPress.com Themes
When you’re looking to customize your blog, it’s annoying how many are outdated and don’t work well. It seems like every year the options get less and less. Currently (as of January 2020) there are only 110 free WordPress.com themes. Ugh. The best and what I’ve found to be the most customizable themes are: Sketch, Nuclear, Edin, Canape and Toujours.
I hope these tips will be helpful for all your WordPress.com bloggers out there! 😀 If you use WordPress.org you can download a plugin so that you’ll have the WordPress.com Reader advertising and also the likes installed on your site.