Listen to “MIH058:How To Grow Your Blog on a Bootstrap Budget” on Spreaker.

Are you looking for ways to grow your blog without breaking the bank? Maybe you have just begun blogging and need to find ways to grow it while using your budget for other business needs.

No worries- there is good news! If you want to grow your blog, it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can get away with barely spending a penny on marketing and advertising.

Since I first began blogging (in what seems like the dinosaur ages of blogging and web tech- back in the mid-2000’s), I have found loads of shortcuts to saving money on blog advertising.

In fact, I bootstrapped my way from humble blog startups with barely any pageviews to thousands of visitors monthly. (As a mompreneur on a budget, these pageviews meant more potential customers to buy my services and products- which is exactly what I was counting on!)

Back in 2006, I didn’t have access to any of the following social media resources I’m about to share with you. There are just so many more ways to spread the word of your blog nowadays, thanks to social media.

Here are just a few ways I have been landing visitors on my blog without spending a penny.

Five key ways to grow your blog on a budget

Write what your readers want to read

This is the easiest way I’ve gained readership: write what my readers love reading about.

No doubt, this may seem like common sense- and really, it is. If your readers want to know about a topic, they will likely search for it on Google. If your blog happens to be in the search engine results (especially if you have a high ranking for the keyword), your reader will have found an answer to their question. If you are answering their question, you win!

The key to blog growth is to continue attracting readers with great content that answers their most pertinent questions and solves their problems.

For this, you really have to get to know your audience. Once you’ve laid down the groundwork for your blog’s purpose and your niche market, you’ll begin to write content specifically for them.

And guess what? Writing content is free. (It just takes some time on your part). But, it doesn’t cost you a cent.

how to grow your blog on a budget

Join Facebook groups

Not on Facebook yet? Do you have an aversion to Facebook and all the chaos that can seem to transpire as a result of being tied down to too many groups or being bombarded with notifications?

If you’re not that into Facebook then you should start to think of it a bit differently. Even if you’re not using it for personal uploads of family pics and keeping up with your high school classmates, you should still at least have a business presence there.

Here’s why: Facebook groups provide awesome engagement.

If you really want your readers to find you and dig into deep discussions about your main topic, then starting a Facebook group can be quite helpful.

On the other hand, starting groups takes a lot of work, so you may just want to join a group that someone else started. This way, you can chime in discussions, lend a listening ear, and be of help to others who have questions about your area of expertise.

One way I’ve grown my blog is to contribute to user discussions in groups. If someone has a question about setting up their WordPress blog, I usually chip in and give my two cents worth. I also invite them to download free resources on my blog in order to help them meet their goals. This is the way social media becomes an excellent referral tool for your business.

Pin your posts for maximum viral effect

Every blog post you create needs an opportunity to go viral. It’s no guarantee that it will, but at the very least, it should be positioned for sharing success. One of the best ways to do this currently is through a wonderful little tool called Pinterest.

The reason I love Pinterest is that it truly is a straightforward sharing system. I write my post once and I pin it once to my main board. Afterward, I set up my post to be pinned to different, relevant boards.

By joining Pinterest groups and pinning to those boards as well, I’ve opened up my opportunities for virality in a massive way.

After pinning to each board just once, I can then just sit back and wait on my pins to be engaged. This means, other pinners stop and see my post image, like what they see, and repin it to their boards.

And, of course, once pinners are truly hooked on my image title and graphics, they typically click over to my blog from Pinterest, and land right in my corner of the world. Many times they join my mailing list from here and become part of my tribe.

It’s a quick and inexpensive way to grow traffic.

If you want to put a little money into this you can purchase Tailwind to make your pinning life easier, but it’s definitely not necessary. I love Tailwind and without it my pinning would be a much, much slower process, but I have gone years without it and my Pinterest account and blog traffic have still grown regardless.

Start guest blogging

By far, contributing to other bloggers in your niche is a profound way to grow your blog on a shoestring budget.

I love this method because it means you can have a zero-following, a baby platform, and come away with a boatload, or just a few more followers you didn’t have before. And you do this all by posting to someone else’s blog and gaining readership through their platform.

When I first began my homeschool blog this was one of the major ways I was able to grow my blog. I guest-posted on several other more prolific homeschool blogs and boosted my following by sharing my posts with readers at these other home education blogs. This, in turn, gave my blog a much larger platform, boosted my SEO ranking, and referred traffic back to my site. A win-win, and completely free!

Invite guest bloggers

One way to get more readers to your blog while adding more content at the same time is to invite guest bloggers. You might be surprised at how many writers out there are itching to provide content for your blog for free in exchange for the writing experience and credit back to their site.

How does inviting guest bloggers help you?

By encouraging your guest writers to share your blog with their audiences and promote it to their social media and fan base you can expand your own audience. Remember, it’s not just an opportunity for your writer to expand their audience, but a chance for you to expand yours as well.

This is free advertising for both of you and is essentially a win-win.

The conclusion:

You don’t need to have a large advertising budget to expand your blog following. You can grow your blog without huge startup expenses and you can do it minimally.

All you need is time, commitment, and a desire to help others with your content.

I hope these five action-packed ideas will get you moving toward starting to grow your blog on a bootstrap budget. Let me know how these tips have helped you.

Listen in to the podcast episode featuring this article, and leave a comment. Until next time! 🙂