At the start of January I set my blogging goal for 2013, which is to end the year with a growth rate of 56%. In case you’re wondering, that’s pretty huge. I’d like to explain what my strategy is to make that happen. Hopefully what I’m doing will give you some ideas on growing your platform. I’d also love to hear what has worked for you.
Having a goal is nice. Having a strategy is nicer. Without a strategy a goal is little more than a pipe-dream. So I’ve devised a seven step strategy to meet my goal.
1. Re-design the look and speed of my blog.
First impression is critical. When someone visits my site their first decision will be to scoot away if the blog takes too long to load. Previously my blog was taking forever to load and I was losing a lot of serious potential readers. So I bit the bullet and purchased Standard Theme. I’d like to say off the start that I am not an affiliate of Standard Theme. I’m recommending it because switching to Standard has been one of my finest blogging decisions. Sadly their affiliate program is no longer active. Among the many great features of Standard, the two I’d like to highlight is a) the overall look. It is simple, clean and effective. And b) it is fast. Standard boasts to be among the fastest themes available.
A second thing I’ve decided to do is to limit the amount of pictures I upload to this site. The more pictures you upload the slower you site gets. You’ll still notice pictures on every post I write, but that’s because I have begun utilizing an old Tumblr blog I once had. I upload pictures there and then just copy the link to my site. It helps to keep the load time on this site down.
2. Update the blog more frequently with higher quality content.
You may have noticed through the many articles I’ve written on C.S. Lewis lately, or on my recent popular series on Gay Christianity, that I’ve stepped up my blogging game. That’s the content. Higher quality. But there’s another feature to Standard that helps me keep this blog constant with fresh content. Standard comes with many different post formats. Check out how nice and clean these different formats are that Standard offers: Link, Quote, Status, Video, Picture. I use every one of them to keep this blog moving with fresh content daily.
3. Write more guest posts.
I’ve already written one guest post this month over at Commonplace Holiness. I hope to write more but I admit the challenge to write posts for other sites while keeping this site current while working on completing my premium ebook, The Justification of Tom Wright, is quite the challenge. Don’t forget, I have a full-time day job. Still, I see the value of writing for other sites.
4. Actively seek interviews with experts.
Well, this one will be more of a challenge. I’ve interviewed other professionals before (notably Ken Stewart, author of Ten Myths About Calvinism), so I’m not a complete novice here. But the art of unlocking the right questions to ask and knowing how many questions to ask, that is the challenge. And then, of course, there is the challenge of actively seeking interviews and being accepted. I’m currently seeking to interview one well-respected author about a book that is soon coming out. Crossing my fingers.
5. Promote the blog more consistently – switching from Facebook to Twitter as my primary alternative social media venue.
I’ve been somewhat stop and go about promoting my content. I’ve decided to give it my all. There were two gold mines I’ve been sitting on that have recently shown to have tremendous potential. I’ve promoted my Gay Christianity series on LinkedIn resulting in an influx of traffic to this site with the effect of producing – and I love this – tons of lively conversations that are still taking place on LinkedIn around my articles. The second gold mine I’ve been sitting on is Twitter. Clearly I’ve underestimated the power of a tweet and a retweet. I’ve seen a spike in my traffic since pouring more energy into these two avenues.
6. Give a free e-book to email subscribers.
I began doing this a few months ago. The ebook I give away is a very short and thought-provoking introduction to a theologically postconservative orientation. It’s a nice ebook to give away because it gives people who subscribe via email an opportunity to know where I’m coming from. It’s also nice because it fits the audience of this blog. This week alone I’ve seen many people subscribe via email.
7. A Twitter-geared giveaway of physical books.
I’m going to be doing a Twitter-geared giveaway of physical books in March. The goal here is to simply ‘get noticed.’ Obviously I believe in the content of this blog, but I am not widely known and need some help from you to shout out to your friends about what I do here. Thus, the giveaway.
HOW IT IS GOING SO FAR
I began to implement my strategy immediately at the start of the new year. If things stay on track then by the end of January I will have seen a 45.2% growth rate over the previous month. Not a bad start. Here’s hoping that 2013 will be my inflection year.