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“Low on the Flow”=Low on Cash Flow.
I remember the days when I first started blogging and in my life, there was pretty much always “too much month at the end of the money.” Back then, Franticmommy was more-or-less a hobby blog and, even though I longed to see my bright shiny blog in the ad area of BlogHer or SITS, coughing up the $50+ for an ad just wasn’t an option.
Sure, you can intro your blog with a guns-a-blazin-up-in-your-face ad campaign smeared across the Blogosphere, but for most of us that major outlay of cash is not possible. If you are just starting out and have champagne dreams on a beer budget there are ways to get traction without breaking the bank.
But First, the One Thing You DO Need to Pay For
If you are wanting to be a serious blogger, you need to buy your own domain name and pay for the hosting. WordPress.org is a must for any blogger looking to create an income through their blog. I use BlueHost for my hosting and am incredibly satisfied with their service and product. If you think you are “just fine” with the free blogging platforms, think again. Bloggers have been known to get shut down and lose everything because they violated the terms of their free sites about no monetization.
Ways to Grow Your Blog for Free (or Nearly Free)
Put In the Time: Growing your blog is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to commit to the time to visit other blogs, comment and read. Visit more blogs and comment and read. REPEAT.
Be Visible on Social Media: Social media is amazing and powerful, but it also takes time and effort. If you were to show up on social media and share only your own blog post links, it would be the equivalent of waving your arms wildly and shouting “ME! Look at ME! Me me me and only ME!!!!!” Social media is about being just that, SOCIAL. Your tweets and updates should be a mix of shares from other sites, relevant articles, free tips, quotes and of course, your own stuff. Follow the 80/20 rule (80% sharing, 20% selling) will help you to avoid being dismissed as just more noise on the Internet and work to create the tribe you desire.
Use Free Plugins:
HelloBar: Engage Your Website Visitors Get People to Your Most Important Content. Hello Bar is a free optimization tool that allows you to show the right message at the top of your site.
SHAREAHOLIC: A popular sharing WordPress plugin that allows users to select from over 50 platforms like Twitter, Facebook Like, and Google+ (and tons more) to make their information shareable.
WP-Leads:WP-Leads places an extra checkbox underneath the Post Comment button on your blog to allow the commenter to subscribe to the blog right on the spot.
What Would Seth Godin Do: Displays a custom welcome message to new visitors and another to return visitors.