Gemma is a tea-drinking, chocolate biscuit obsessed accountant, blogger and mum of two. Grab a cuppa and have a read of the business, career and blogging tips she shares for people building a flexible income around their family on her blog, The Work Life Blend.
Have you always fancied starting a blog but you’re worried about people you know reading it? You want a bit of anonymity while you’re learning the ropes. To build your confidence before launching to those closest to you.
I get it and I’m with you! Of course, there are cons to keeping your blog quiet but it IS possible.
When I first decided to start a blog, I didn’t want people to read it. My husband thought I was crazy. “Surely the whole point of writing a blog is that you want someone to read it?!” And he’s absolutely right, so let me clarify…
When I say I didn’t want people to read it I mean people I knew. People I saw in my day to day life – my friends and family (apart from my mum and husband that is – for a long time they made up half my page views!) I once posted a link to my blog directly to a Facebook page without realising it wasn’t a closed group and nearly had a meltdown!
So what did I do? Did I own it? Did I use my error as an opportunity to launch to the world? Nope. I quickly deleted the post and ate chocolate until my feelings of cringey embarrassment went away.
Is it just me or does anyone else have a blog they’re keeping ‘secret’?
Why keep your blog secret?
So why start a blog and keep it quiet? Why so embarrassed? If this is you and you’re anything like me, you’re not actually embarrassed by your blog and the content you’re producing. In fact, far from it. I’m hugely proud of setting up a blog and all the things that go with it. But I wanted to give blogging a go and have a little bit of success before I started to tell everyone I knew. I needed to build my confidence first and create enough content so that my friends would understand what it was all about.
My top 5 methods to build an audience for your ‘secret’ blog
I’m not saying you should keep your blog a secret at all. You should be super proud of all that you’ve achieved but if you’re not ready to share it with your friends, that’s ok too. Here are 5 ways you can build an audience for your ‘secret’ blog without having to ask friends and family to read and share:
Pinterest is a brilliant way to drive traffic to your blog. Start by creating a business account linked to your blog and claiming your website. With a separate business account, any friends that follow your personal Pinterest profile will be none the wiser.
Create stunning Pins (Canva is a great tool for this) for each post and link back to your blog. Then when someone clicks on your Pin they will be directed to your website.
To get your Pins in front of a wider audience, apply to join relevant Group Boards. PinGroupie is awesome for finding group boards. You can also look at which Group Boards other bloggers in your niche contribute to.
#2. Facebook groups
There are hundreds of fantastic Facebook Groups out there that are closed to the public. These groups not only offer advice and support but also a place to promote your latest post or your social media accounts.
Some of the most common and useful post types for promoting your blog are:
- Share threads – leave a link to your latest blog post for people to visit and comment on.
- Follow threads – leave a link to a specific social media platform to gain more followers.
- Crowdsourcing or roundup requests – you can submit a post to be included in another blogger’s round up blog post.
Whenever you post or comment in these groups, it won’t be seen by your Facebook friends because it’s a closed group.
Find relevant groups by searching Facebook for ‘blog’ or ‘blogging’ as a starter for 10. [Don’t forget that Tots100 has a Facebook page, The Flea Network Community, for asking questions, finding opportunities etc. Ed]
#3. Link ups or Linky
Participating in a link up on another blogger’s site is a great way to boost your traffic. A host blogger will set up a linky on their blog using a link up tool. Then when the linky goes live you can add a link to one of your blog posts.
This is another brilliant way of sharing your posts with new readers.
#4. Guest posting
Writing for another website exposes you and your blog to a whole new audience. Not only that but you’re boosting your domain authority and in turn, improving your SEO (see below!)
The easiest ways to find guest blogging opportunities is to type ‘your niche’ + “write for us” into Google. So for example, if you were looking for parenting blogs to write for you would Google: “Parenting + write for us” or “Parenting + guest post”.
Always try to guest post on a site that has an audience you would love to attract and who would be interested in your posts. It’s also a good idea to write for a website with a higher domain authority than your blog (use Moz to check).
#5. Search engine optimisation (a.k.a. SEO)
If you’re searching for a specific topic or need a particular question answered, I bet you Google it. You’re then presented with a list of the websites that best match what you searched for. You want to be on that list when someone searches for a topic that is on your blog – this is the holy grail!
The way that you do that is through something called search engine optimisation or SEO. SEO tends to take a few months to kick in but it’s definitely worth building the foundation early on.
The big blog launch
For all you blogging introverts out there I want to give you hope. It is entirely possible to cut your teeth in blogging without your nearest and dearest finding out (although make sure you tell your other half or they might get suspicious!) If you need it, give yourself a chance to build your blog and with it your confidence. There are loads of ways you can build an audience without asking friends to read it.
I haven’t had a big ta-dah moment with my friends just yet but I have gradually been sharing my blog with a few of them and the feedback has been amazing! I’m so glad that I did. They have been so supportive. I’ve received such lovely comments and that’s really spurred me on.
My best advice to you is to go for it. Your friends and family are your biggest cheerleaders so let them do it! You need them to help you with ideas, to sense check your posts, to give you valuable feedback, to become your biggest fans and to share your content. They will be there to spur you on when the going gets tough.
So take out your phone and send your friends and family a text with a link to your fantastic new blog 🙂