How I Got 200 Subscribers in My First Month of Blogging

Maybe you’ve seen me around. Maybe you haven’t. In any case, I have been blogging for just around one month. During this time I’ve connected with many and enjoyed the journey.

A lot of people think there’s a secret to growing your blog fast. There are a lot of factors that come into play if you want to get more traffic, subscribers and even fans. Let’s have a peek at those, shall we?

Mentor

The first thing I always do when I want to learn something new is to find someone who’s already doing what I want to do. My mentor at the moment is Chris Garrett who has been immensely helpful in answering my questions.

If you want to progress faster than anyone else; get a mentor, because you will be able to ask questions and get a qualified answer. It also gives you more confidence because you can use proven effective strategies without worrying if they work.

I see a lot of bloggers running around asking the question “does this work?” instead of taking action. That is precious time wasted on asking instead of acting. We all do this. We want certainty, but certainty is usually pretty uncertain. The sooner you get started, the more you’ll learn and if you have a mentor that’s a plus.

Finding Your Voice

One of the reasons blogging takes so long is because it takes time to find your voice. Until you’ve discovered who you truly are, most people won’t listen to you because you sound just like everyone else.

This is completely okay. All you have to do is keep writing and keep putting any inspiration you get to use. If you keep at it long enough and have an open-mind, you will find your voice and you will start attracting the right people.

I am not saying that I have completely found my voice. I see it more as a journey. We are all on the same path. Some of us are further along than others. The important factor is to be consistent and keep writing. You will run into frustrations for the rest of your life, so keep your eyes on the long-term.

I was lucky, because I have been writing on and off since I was a kid. My voice is good, but not quite there yet. My strategy for improving my own voice is to listen to any inspiration I get and keep writing the best I can while being myself.

Passion

If you’re familiar with my writing, you know that I talk about passion a lot. It’s essential if you want success with fulfillment. You can chase money if you wish, but there’s a big chance that after a while you’ll feel empty inside.

Money is just a symbol for value. It is meant to be used. To be exchanged. I used to have this goal of having millions in the bank. I believed that when I was rich I would be happy and whatever I wanted.

In the last few years this has changed and I have started to do what I want anyway. I’m following my passion and feeling amazingly awesome every single day (except when I have to wake up after 1 hour of sleep to catch a plane).

You might not know what your passion is. That’s okay too. If you really want to find it, you will. Passionate bloggers and entrepreneurs in general are more prone to be consistent, disciplined and determined, because they love what they do.

Prioritization

Last, but definitely not least comes prioritization. This is where everything technical, strategic and tactical falls. I am in the less is more camp. I focus on content creation, guest posting, commenting and connecting via email and twitter.

I prioritize the list something like this:

1. Content creation
2. Guest posting
3. Connecting
4. Commenting

One question I get asked a lot is “how do you have time for it all” and the answer is I prioritize. We all have the same amount of time. You might have to work during the day, but you can still spend many hours working on your blog in the evening.

If you’re not doing that, then you’re probably not passionate about what you’re doing. If you are passionate and just afraid, get over it and start. It’s completely worth it, even with the fear.

To Summarize

Seeing your subscriber count go up is all well and good, but it should not be your ultimate goal. It is just an indicator that you’re doing something right. The more important aspect is how involved your readers are and how much they are connecting with you and most important of all; how happy YOU are.

If I only had to choose one way to market my blog it would without a doubt be guest posting. If you’re a perfectionist and afraid of screwing up, don’t be. You will never learn if you don’t start taking action. You should be looking to fail as much as possible, because you’ll gain experience and wisdom (think Yoda).

If you are interested in writing for Kikolani, please read about the Guest Post Opportunities available, and send your information / post ideas via the contact form, or email me at webmaster at kikolani dot com.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the advice, Henri. I started blogging a few months ago and have had trouble getting a reasonable amount of subscribers. I’ll give some of these techniques a shot.

  2. says

    Wow, Henri! 200 subscribers in your first month on the scene is HUGE progress. That’s amazing, really. But you certainly did this the right way by starting your guest posts early on. The best way to get more subscribers is to get in front of more eyeballs, and guest posting is the #1 way to do that.

    One of the things that has kept my “tribe” relatively small is that my priority list is completely different from yours:

    1. Connecting with others in a meaningful way (often one on one).
    2. Content for my tribe (thoughts I want to share with my readers).
    3. Commenting to support and encourage other bloggers.
    4. Guest posting to promote my own blog… and not often.

    When I go strictly by the numbers, sometimes I feel disappointed with my progress. But when I look at the intangibles you mentioned, how involved and connected my readers are, and how happy I am with that community, then I feel I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. My readers are my second family, and having a smaller tribe allows me to be there for each one when they need me in any way.

    Maybe I’ll get with the program, follow your example, and do some more guest posting this year. :)
    .-= New from Lisis Faith, Patience, and Your Moment in the Sun =-.

    • says

      Heya Lisis! I think my prioritization list can be a bit deceiving because it’s not like I devalue connecting with people, although now that I’m on a restricted amount of internet access I certainly cannot hang a lot on twitter and so on.

      But I definitely like your approach with 1-on-1 connecting. I’ve found that to be the most fun, because you can connect more deeply with people that way, instead of twittering away ;)

      Hey, if you only need a small tribe then there’s no need to expand, but guest posting can be fun too! :)
      .-= New from Henri Junttila Guest Post Roundup #3: Inspiration, Poker and Blogging =-.

      • says

        I know it, Henri! You know me… always seeking that balance between helping as many people as possible, while keeping the community small and manageable. Just looking for that sweet spot. ;)

    • says

      Ah yes, Sir Gordie. I hope all is well. Some of these days I’m going to have to guest post on Lifestyle Design For You as well! :)

      I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results if you keep guest posting and putting your face in front of people!

  3. says

    Hey, Nice points covered in this post.
    The point on getting a mentor is something that I would have wanted you to cover a bit more in detail. More often it happens that newbies keep looking for mentors and the established boys do not have time to mentor them and it is difficult to identify the genuine ones out of the remaining. Though I agree to the fact that a mentor is extremely important, the aspect on how to get one or, how to approach one is not touched in any post.
    .-= New from R Kumar@earn money online blogging Online Profits opens its door again =-.

    • says

      That’s a good point. I would say that most people can’t get a mentor off the bat, so their best bet is to join a program just like your last blog post: online profits. There are many different courses out there that are excellent and grea starting points.

  4. says

    It is good to hear some of your inside tips – it is a seriously impressive start you have made Henri. I am starting to do some more guest posts and getting out there more, which I know will help get my blog known.
    .-= New from Jen Cherish the small stuff =-.

  5. says

    I started blogging a few months ago, but no subscribers. I love my niche, I just don’t care much for the requirements of blogging. I am impressed with your current success – perhaps I should follow your lead and get my rump in gear.

    I have often heard of a mentor being a vital key to success; many successful bloggers have utilized one and in turn became one.

    • says

      If you don’t have subscribers you should definitely get your face out there more in terms of guest posting and commenting. You can then add twittering and other ways of getting to know the people in your community and niche.

      • says

        I’ve been tending my personal blog for almost a year now, but I’ve never really taken the issue of collecting subscribers very seriously. In fact, when I edited my theme, I deleted the links that asks readers to subscribe. I probably have not realized the value of subscribers yet or it’s probably because I have kept my blog at a really personal level…not minding at all whether I earn from it or not, getting contented just to see a few readers coming in and being ecstatic at seeing a few who leave comments. Essentially, inspite of the number of months under my belt, I’m still a newbie at blogging and though I’m eager to learn, I’m taking the learning at a leisurely pace. Any faster and I feel I’d lose the fun I get from blogging.

  6. says

    I’m stuck with a wordpress.com hosted blog which doesn’t let me see if anyone has become a subscriber. Does anyone know how I (easily) can track feed susbscribers on wordpress.com

    • says

      I use wordpress as well. There are plenty of tutorials showing you how to set up a feed for subscribers (I think wordpress has one automatically, but I use feedburner.com).

  7. says

    I agree with you about how important it is to make the time to work on your sites. Even knowing how essential this is, it is still something I struggle with. It is so easy for me to to get sidetracked online, especially after a long day, when I really want to do is watch Hulu…

    • says

      Something I’ve found to work is write down what I am going to do the day before, so I am focused and organized and know exactly which tasks are worth doing. Keep this list short to maybe 2-3 items so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

      • says

        I agree with you Henri and do the same, I also have short and long lists, one I have to finish the next day and the long one for future things that need to get done eventually, staying organized is really key….though many times I wish I could clone myself :-(

  8. says

    Great post, and I agree with all your points, espeically the time factor, as it takes a lot of work and time to succeed in blogging.

    I also think that the discussion in comments is a great representation of the success of a blog, and it is essential for bloggers to reply to their commenters, and not just the first 3, as some A-listers seem to do.

    • says

      Replying to comments can be tough. I can see A-listers abandoning it when they start getting hundreds of comments because it becomes one of those 80/20 tasks that isn’t worth it.

      If that happens to me I might do it also and focus that hour or two on twitter instead of answering comments, but I definitely am going to keep answering mine as long as possible.

  9. says

    Hi I’m very new to blogging only six months so, I really have to step up my game to try to bring traffic to my blog. I enjoyed reading your article and picked up some pointers. Thank you very much.

  10. says

    I think the point about finding a mentor is very important. Find someone in your field and model how they behave and listen to what they have to say. the Engage Today event was full of brilliant mentors like His holines the Dalai lama and Sir Richard Branson and the ‘Three foot giant’ wheelchair bound Sean Stephenson (what an inspiration for anyone who is procrastinating!)
    .-= New from Joy @ engage today 2009 Self Help Guru, Sean Stephenson =-.

  11. says

    Agreed, very good points. My early blogs weren’t that appealing to those outside my circle but I’ve tried to follow similar guidelines as the ones you’ve stated in order to garner a broader appeal.

    Till then,

    Jean

  12. says

    I think many bloggers suffer the same dillusion and that is subscriber equal success. This isn’t the case, I have recently seen a review on a top blog (around 80000 RSS) only send 25 visitors!!! A post directing people to a page that is read by so many but delivering so little. I think the real measure of blogging success in social terms is the trust factor, how many of your readers will act on what you say.
    .-= New from search engine optimisation Building Links To Links?!? – Link Boosting! =-.

  13. says

    I try to get 1 subscriber a day, I take it slow but the reason why I only go after one is that I want to make a bonding relationship.

    It would be nice to have thousands of subscribers but if only a few of them come to the site, comment and interact I don’t see the true value ya know?

    Instead, strive for subscribers that WANT to be apart of your blog.

    Congrats on the 200 mark in such little time, quite the accomplishment :)
    .-= New from Murlu 3 Easy Ways To Making More Sales (And How To Do Each) =-.