Written on January 30th, 2008 at 12:01 am by Darren Rowse

From 0 to 2000+ Subscribers in 90 Days

Blog Promotion 133 comments

This guest post is one that I’m excited to publish - it’s by Tina Su from ThinkSimpleNow.com - a great blog that I’ve been a big fan of. In it Tina will share some of how she’s grow her blog from 0 to 2000 subscribers in just 90 days.

How I Got 2000 Subscribers in 3 Months

Hi, my name is Tina. I started a little blog called Think Simple Now on September 27th, 2007 with zero experience in blogging, internet marketing or writing. By the time Christmas came, 3 months later, I had 2135 subscribers.

Thinksimplenow

I’m new to blogging, in fact, I read very few blogs. I also do not follow any blogs on blogging, with the exception of a couple of articles read from doshdosh and problogger very early on.

I often get asked how I did it, and I decided to compile this article as a record of my experience with hope that others might benefit from what I’ve learned. I want to show you that it is possible to achieve your blogging goals starting from scratch, using my case as a live example. I’ve learned that there are no real secrets to blogging success, all it really takes is a deep desire to do so, along with an urge to action.

I have three important reasons why my blog has been successful:

  1. Concrete Goals & Focus - You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want.
  2. Content Creation - Where I spend most of my time. Content and understanding your audience is king.
  3. Getting the Word Out - Actionable tasks I did to market my blog. All are easily reproducible by anyone. But only focus on this after area 2 have been in place. Without content, all your marketing efforts will be ineffective.

Each step builds on the last, so it’s important to follow them in order. Let’s break each step down into details.

1. Concrete Goal & Focus

Why Goals?
It is important to understand why you are starting a blog. What is your motivation?
I had 3 motivations (in order):

  • To share my knowledge and experience through my own personal growth on topics surrounding personal empowerment, mental well-being and finding happiness. These are the topics I spend my free times thinking, reading and talking about.
  • My dream is to work in the self-improvement field. I have many product ideas around ways to improve lives. I wanted to create my own audience, before working on these ideas.
  • Achieve my financial goals such that I can leave my job and commit to my self-improvement ventures full-time.

What?
Defining my target niche and the topics I wanted to cover was tricky, but ultimately vital to the success of any business or project. I originally wanted to start a blog around things I’m interested in: self-improvement, photography, technology and entrepreneurialism. I realized that a messy combination of topics might confuse people. Ultimately, if I wanted more subscribers other than my family and friends, the site cannot be focused around me, but rather focused around what my audience needs and wants. My target niche is health/wellness or personal growth. My topic areas are: creativity, clarity and happiness.

Goals
We cannot get what we want if we do not know what we want. Sure, you can say, I want to be rich or happy. But what does that mean? It is important to set clearly defined goals before you start any new venture. Your goals need to be measurable and dated. I find it helps to regularly come back to evaluate my goals. I do this monthly in a traffic journal recording my progress: unique, page views, subscribers and revenue.

For example, my goal when I started was:

By December 31, 2007, I would have 1000 uniques, 2500 page-views monthly, and 100 RSS subscribers.

This goal was revised on October 22 after reaching the original goal:

By December 31, 2007, I would have 5000 uniques, 20,000 page-views monthly, 400 RSS subscribers, $100 in ad revenue.

The new goal was reached on November 29th. At this point, RSS subscribers had reached over 1500.

Summary & Action Items:
To summarize, the following are the major points for the area of ‘Concrete Goal & Focus’. If might be helpful for you to answer these questions (on paper or type in a doc).

  • Why - What is your motivation? Why are you starting this blog? What are you doing that’s unique from existing blogs?
  • What - Who is in my audience? What topic areas will I cover? Describe my blog using 3 words.
  • Goals - Set a specific and measurable goal with a date. Come back to evaluate this goal and your progress periodically.

2. Content Creation

We all know that content is the most important piece, but how do you generate content such that people will want to read, reference and subscribe to it?

First, recall the last time you subscribed to a blog. What was it about the content that made you want to subscribe? The reasons will likely fall into one or more of the following:

  • Highly value-packed content.
  • It provides practical solutions to a perceived need you have.
  • You enjoyed it. It was highly entertaining.
  • You personally connect with the content and style of writing.
  • You felt inspired and motivated.

Now, put yourself in the position of a reader to your site. You know who they are from exercises above. Ask yourself, which of the above situations can your content satisfy? Keep these points in mind when writing. Always write with the intention to generate value and produce work that will benefit others. If you don’t, it will show in your writing.

I obsess over my content, not only because I feel responsible for my readers and want to give them the best quality that I can produce, but it is the only way a new reader coming to your site will want to stay and come back.

Try different styles and test which your reader responds to the most.

The following are tips related to content creation that’s worked well for my blog:

  • Intention - Set the intention to generate the best and most valuable content possible. Hold nothing back when you’re writing. Your honesty and genuine intentions will shine through in your writing. I like to write as if I’m talking to my best friend, giving them the best I have.
  • Use Personal Examples - People love stories. This allows them to relate with you on a personal level and connect with you as friends.
  • Pictures - Use appropriate and vivid images to go with your article. Whenever possible, always use images, but don’t over-do it. I would use no more than 3 images per article in a typical case.
  • Length - I prefer to post less often and write longer articles that covers depth. I post twice weekly and at length 750-1500 words. The length is out of necessity to cover topics thoroughly. I do try to keep things concise. Make sure all content are relevant. Do not be verbose for the sake of length, it will show if your writing and will turn people away. If you were a reader, would you be able to focus your attention long enough to read the whole article?
  • Lists - Use numbered lists and bullet points whenever it makes sense. Bold key words. These make reading easy and effective for scanning.
  • Short Paragraphs - Be as concise as possible. During editing, see if you get the same point across using less words.

Summary & Action Items:

  • Intentions - Have your reader’s best interest in mind.
  • Needs - What needs are you fulfilling with your articles? Is it a need that people actually have or one that you think others need?
  • Observe & Model - What kinds of articles do you enjoy reading from other blogs? Pick out common characteristics and model after them.

3. Getting the Word Out

Once I was armed with my goal of reaching 100 subscribers and had my content in place, I started to promote my blog. You may have the most valuable site in the world, but no one will benefit if they don’t know it exists.

Offline & Email
I pretty much lived and breathed my one simple goal of reaching 100 subscribers. Everywhere I went, I told people about my goal and my blog, and people were willing to help. This include every physical person I met and anyone who emailed me: co-workers, girlfriends of co-workers, friends of family, person sitting next to me on a plane, new friends I met on facebook, photography clients … everyone.

I added a note about subscribing to my email signature, so it appeared at the foot of every email I sent out. I emailed all of my friends when I launched, asking them to support me by subscribing.

Connecting with People
Connecting with readers and potential readers is an essential part of my blogging success. Not only does it help my blog grow, but I absolutely love it. I have made many good friends this way. When people like you and feel that your content is valuable, they will tell their friends about it. I quickly discovered that many of my readers were emailing links to others, and referring many new subscribers.

I’ve given extra effort to reach out and connect with others. It was a process which I took personally. I made sure every comment was responded to and no emails were left ignored. I no longer respond to every comment due to time limitations, but I still respond to every email. If a comment was especially good, I would email the person to thank them and include a copy of my response to their comments, especially if it contained questions.

I used to email every person who commented with a thank you note and would ask them to consider subscribing. Then I discovered the Comment Relish plug-in that did this automatically.

I also connected with people through facebook, by visiting groups in my niche and befriending individuals. I’ve made some great friendships this way, and was even inspired with new article ideas.

Leaving Your Mark: Comments & Directories
Comment in other people’s blogs, especially ones with related topics. Make sure to leave thoughtful and relevant comments, otherwise, it will be viewed as spam. I found a list of personal development blogs, and made a point to visit every one and leave a comment when appropriate. Again, make sure you are not spamming. Bloggers are often curious of who the commentators are and will visit your site. On popular blogs, you may need to leave comments regularly to be noticed. If your content is good, bloggers will link to you when appropriate, others may even add you to their blogroll.

I’ve submitted articles to article banks, blog carnivals, and rss feed directories. I stopped article bank submissions when I learned about the google penalties for duplicate content. In an effort to save time, I outsourced these three tasks due to their repetitive nature.

Networking with Bloggers
Reach out and meet other bloggers. You never know who you’re going to meet or how you will be able to help each other. I feel that you cannot do it alone, you need a community of friends. “We are stronger together than we are apart“. I recommend keeping a contact list of friends, so it’ll be easy to get in touch with one email. This is also valuable when you need last minute help with social media.

This model helped me tremendously: To get what you want, help others get what they want, first.: In a email reply from Maki, he ended his email with, “Let me know if you need anything,” which left an impression on me. From that point on, I told people about Maki’s site whenever I had the chance.

Since then, I started using it in my emails as well. But it is important to be genuine. Always lend a hand to help other bloggers (within reason) and do not expect anything in return. If they end up helping you, great, if not, I don’t recommend harassing them.

Don’t be shy, people are incredibly kind creatures by nature. Drop them an email to introduce yourself, either make a genuine comment about their site, or ask a simple question. Do not start email conversations with asking to be linked, asking to review your blog, asking too many questions. Avoid philosophical questions, keep emails short, be friendly and honest. Try practicing on me: Feel free to drop me a line to introduce yourself at tina[at]thinksimplenow.com

Linking
I linked to other blogs whenever possible in my articles. It doesn’t cost you anything, and helps someone else out. If you feel uncomfortable with this, ask yourself, would you like to be linked by other blogs? If the answer is yes, then remember my motto: “To get what you want, help others get what they want, first.

Through my linking to other blogs, not only have other bloggers noticed me but I have made many new friends. As a result, I’ve also been linked by larger sites like lifehacker, dumblittleman and lifehack.

Social Media & Networks
In the first few weeks, I was getting like 15 hits a day, mostly from my mom and boyfriend. One day, I was blessed with 150 hits coming from StumbleUpon based on a user submit. I was fascinated and was determined to become a power user. You can check out my profile here. I did well on StumbleUpon using the same motto: “To get what you want, help others get what they want, first.” If you want user reviews, give lots of user reviews to others. If you want others to stumble your pages, stumble other people’s pages. Again, do so without expecting anything in return. And, when you do receive something, treat it like a gift and thank the giver.

Just as I was starting to feel de-motivated, my big break came on November 17th when one of my stories made it on the front page of Digg and subsequently on the front page of Del.icio.us. Digg now had my attention. Using the same motto as all my efforts above, I befriended Digg users and became a loyal contributor of the community. I like to Digg top upcoming stories (close to becoming popular), newly submitted stories and ones submitted or favored by friends. If you want to get a Digg user’s attention, start Digging their submissions regularly.

I like to keep a consistent profile across all social media sites I participate in. Use the same avatar image and use the same username. Your image and username is your face to the network, people will recognize you if they find you in other networks such as Mixx, Propeller or Twitter. But if you use different images, it’ll be difficult to keep track for your online friends. Also, I don’t recommend changing your avatar often. Some users on StumbleUpon will regularly update their image, this is really confusing and forces me to remember them by username only.

Summary & Action Items

  • Tell everybody and ask for help: in person and over email
  • Connect with readers via email
  • Install Comment Relish
  • Comment on other blogs
  • Link to other blogs whenever you can
  • Make 5 new blogger or social media friends weekly
  • Join StumbleUpon and Digg

Parting Words

I often hear people say things like “I just can’t get people to subscribe. What can I do? My advice is to stop repeating this sentence and start focusing on what it is that you want, instead of what you lack.

Develop the mentality of abundance instead of competition. Focus on your readers, obsess over their experience, have a clear goal and go after it with your whole being, without a minute spent on reasons why you will fail. I have seen over and over again that:

When desire is mixed with faith backed by massive action, the probable becomes possible, every time. No exceptions.

I wish you continued success with your blogging and other life ventures. Keep your head up high.

About the Author of This Post:

Help and support Tina by subscribing to her blog at ThinkSimpleNow.com to get motivational and empowering articles like this one delivered twice a week. She’ll love you for it. :) Read more about Tina here.

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133 Responses to “From 0 to 2000+ Subscribers in 90 Days”

  • Congrats, Tina!! To come so far in 120 days is truly amazing. Keep up the hard work. Thank you so much for sharing in such great detail how you accomplished this wonderful task. :)

    Shana

  • I’ve had some negative experience with Comment Relish… my users revolted and since then I dont’t use it anmyore.

  • Indeed most points that Tina mentions are not unheard of, but what makes it special is we now have a live case study of how things work and a lot of stuff that I’ve read on problogger as well as many other blogs being used effectively ..

    and since greg mentioned Comment Relish I thought I’d add in that personally I have liked ti when I see a note of thanks from a blogger for commenting.. haven’t tried it on my blog coz my host doesn’t support it..

    @darren - it would be nice if we can get bloggers who do exceptionally well like Tina on a more consistent/regular (i mean fixed. like once every fortnight or month) basis.. I think it would be a nice addition here if it were possible..

  • Darren… I’ll have to disagree with you today. This post is pure bulls… This lady got a lot of subscribers just because she got a new, good idea and that’s it. There’s no need for all that cheap thing about content, focus, etc. If it were for most of the blogs out there should have 2000 subscribers in 3 months! I should have 3000 subscribers at this point if it were for all that!

    I have content, I focus and I do all that simple sh… this lady wrote about, but I do not have a great, new idea that can please the rest of thew world. Simple. Let’s stop the fancy words please.

    Inhale….
    Exhale…

    Ah! I feel better now! This is much better than going to the psychologist! Sorry for the outrage!

  • Good article and good blog. I came across Tina’s site a while back and what she said about her attitude is true.

  • I really agree and respect how Tina can reach her goal..
    My target is to improve my writing especially in grammar .. Honestly my English s**k….
    It is important before I really serious to find some great niche..

  • I’ve been looking for something like comment relish for a couple weeks. Thanks for mentioning it. I’ve installed it and can’t wait to see how my readers like it.

  • 3 months = 90 days? ;p

  • A few of the links are broken.

    I haven’t checked them all but the links to ‘article banks, blog carnivals, and rss feed directories’ don’t work for me.

  • Great article! I’ve been a fan of Think Simple Now for a bit and I think she nails it when she talks about the importance of content as well as helping others.

  • I think another summary would be to be generous with your content and offer value. All the promotion in the world wont work if you’re not providing useful information of benefit to readers.

  • The part about keeping a consistent avatar across social networking sites is very useful to me. I’m just getting started, both with blogging and with social networking, and that’s not something I would have thought of right up front.

  • Nice post, I feel motivated :D

    @Darren: The link that says “one of my stories” is also broken. Feels like an extra quote (”) mark typo.

  • I know Feb this year has 29 days but 3 months = 120 days is a lot of stretch. LOL

  • overall I think this is definitely a very helpful and motivational post for sure. One of the big things I think Tina left out however is how helpful having the right theme can be for gaining readership as well.

    While the numbers on my blog http://www.blogaboutbeer.com aren’t anywhere near Tina’s yet, I did a complete overhaul of my theme this past weekend — making the site much more streamlined and “clean” looking — and I’ve already seen an increase in page hits, new RSS subscribers, and adsense clicks.

    Playing around with the look & feel of your blog until you come up with something that works very well for you, your readers & your content is something that I’ve found equally as import to everything Tina mentioned.

  • Excellent article. Probably one of the best how-to pieces for bloggers that I have read. Not only have I bookmarked it, but I am going to print it out and keep it with my notebooks.
    Thanks!

  • Good tips, and especially interesting to see how well Tina’s done in so short a time. I launched a new blog on Jan 1st and am seeing some slow growth, but still struggling to get things off the ground — I suspect, from reading Tina’s advice, I may need to be a little more pro-active.

    Thanks, Tina!

    Ali

  • Great content + great attitude + infectious spirit = success!

  • I might ad that Tina is an awesome networker. She does anything you ask as far as promoting something you need and in turn you can’t help returning the favor because she is so willing to do what it takes to make others successful. She is an asset to the blogosphere.

  • Great article Tina and well done on reaching then surpassing your initial goals. It’s interesting to read an article like this that takes you through the process from start to finish and beyond. :)

  • TIna gives me the impression that she is very kind-hearted writer.

  • The more I read about quick successes with blogs, the more that the social network seems to play a role. It takes a giantic effort to spent as much time as tiny obviously did to grow her blog so quickly. This always seems to be minimized to a couple of examples of hitting digg or stumble upon. Its much more likely that hours upon hours of every day was spent linking, commenting, reviewing and using the social networks to expand things. Its not as simple or easy as often written. I would have liked to see more stats or numbers on how much time was spent, how many reviews, comments and things tiny did to develop her readership.

  • The only thing I haven,t really have been doing is leaving articles at a blog carnival or anything close to that but If any blogger want to network please leave me a comment at my blog it is coming up fast and I want some blogger friends with big dreams

  • I have liked ti when I see a note of thanks from a blogger for commenting.. haven’t tried it on my blog coz my host doesn’t support it..

  • Wow. I really need to sit down and write those out. The more I took blogging seriously, the more I actually fell into those steps, but didn’t realize it. Thank you so much for that post.

  • 1. 120 days is *not* 3 months!
    2. The link to your StumbleUpon profile is broken
    3. Your increased subscriber numbers has as much to do with using photos of relatively attractive young women as it does to the actual content of your blog.

  • Excellent article and your approach is basically a business plan for new bloggers. I’ve been blogging on and off for a few months with varied results, but will now use some of your tips to set goals and content.

    One thing to add which I believe is important is ones blog layout. Simple and well laid out blogs (with minimal advertising) like yours are important to attract readers. I am still trying to figure out the optimal layout given my limited web skills.

    Balancing content, revenue and the reader experience is the triple constraint I am constantly battling. Looks like you have it solved.

    Cheers,
    Andy
    http://www.financeviewpoint.com

  • Great achievement and a great blog post, keep up the good work

  • Tina,

    Thank you so much for your inspiring article! I’m sure you will have more and more subscribers in the coming days. And you deserve every bit of it!

    Have a wonderful day! :)

    Manu.

  • Thats’s a great article, thanks.

  • Thank you Tina! A very detailed (and inspirational!) recount of your rise to fame. Your approach has certainly worked, and I can’t wait to try it out on my blog. This goes without saying, but I get the feeling that you worked relentlessly to get your blog to where it is today. I guess that’s just another lesson in knowing what you want and pursuing it with force.

    My most memorable take-away is: “To get what you want, help others get what they want, first.”

    Thank you for being so clear and eloquent!
    - Greg

  • Straight to the point and really a great inspiration. I’m new to word press but not to blogging. However, it is only recently that I have worked on expanding my readership and monetization.

    There are a lot of things that can distract me from content and good use of my time–glitches on the new template are one. Taking time to interact with others takes my time too–time that I hope pays off with loyalty, referrals, and stable readership.

    One of the things I find useful are the plug-ins. I use link love and comment relish to connect with other bloggers and those posting for the first time.

    Look forward to more of your posts!

  • Tina, excellent article. Thanks for sharing this valuable info. Been a fan of your site from the beginning. Wishing you continued success!

  • This article is the reason Tina has done so well: clear, focused, well organized, highly readable, and top notch content that you can use. Thanks again, Tina.

  • this article was ridiculously helpful! thanks for the great ideas. i’ll definitely be checking out thinksimplenow.com

  • Great to see that someone using real tools, an actual real person, is doing it! Thanks for the post!

    Maria :-)

  • congrats tina. the hard work has really paid off ;)

  • Hi Tina - great article. I like the way you added to that Napolean Hill quote at the end and sort of modernised it.

    I didn’t have a clue about blogging and read several blogs on blogging and still do. What made you decide not to? How did you manage to learn about blogging so quickly?

  • Tina,

    Great mix of mental success along with the action steps needed to bring that success into reality.

    By providing value via your writing yet also focusing on bringing value to your networking channels, it became a self-replicating circle of success. Great job! :)

  • Great article Tina. Your blog is great and so are you, so you deserve all this success!

    -Andrew Galasetti

  • Great information Tina - thank you for sharing your experience and insights.

  • Thanks so much guys! I appreciate your encouraging words.
    I’ve been wanting to write this article for several weeks now and have been ‘writing in my mind’ for this article. Finally, I got an outlet and was able to put everything down on paper. Thanks Darren for giving me a space of self expression.

    Yes, you guys are right:
    + 90 Days instead of 120 days.
    + StumbleUpon profile: artsytina
    (It’s 6am in Melbourne, someone may fix it in a few hours.)

    @Catherine Lawson - I love that quote too, and this one is a variation of the Napolean Hill quote. I read ZenHabits.net on September 25th and was blown away by the positive impact it had on me. I was inspired and knew that I can provide something that might help people, and complement ZenHabit’s material instead of being a competition of it. This was simply how I got started. I think I learned about blogging quickly from the sheer desire to do so without stopping once to ponder why I might fail.
    With practice, we can all get better at this. I too am still working on it. :)

  • Great article,

    I usually write down concrete actions i wanna take daily; such as
    - write 5 insightful comments to blogs
    - write 1 email directly to a blogger
    - 10 minutes: keep contact with readers or customers

    Then in the end of the day i mark those items off after i did it. By focusing on small, well-defined tasks, i’m much more motivated to do them on a daily basis. i put a little tool online which you can use for that.

  • Tina’s blog is great. I read it on a regular basis, even though it probably couldn’t be more of a polar opposite to my own blog, http://www.brianzafron.com. Nevertheless, she is really an inspiration and I look forward to her upcoming posts. Man, I sound like such a sap. Is that a tear? No… couldn’t be…. Men don’t cry.

  • TINA!

    I’m so proud of you lol! It’s incredible that you’re a guest poster for ProBlogger

    *everyone - I am an avid reader of Tina’s blog. From the instant I stumbled upon it, I’ve felt it was a goldmine*

    This is an excellent piece - and yes, you answered my question as promised!

    keep up the great work!

    :-)

  • I really liked this article Tina, very inspiring!

  • This article is an inspiration!! I want to make a blog. Where do I begin?! I can’t wait to make the transition out of the day gig and into the blog gig.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    http://www.myspace.com/guitarmikenull

  • One of the best articles I’ve seen on the topic. Who cares about the technicalities of 120 days V 3 months…

    Hey Giullermo - you said -This lady got a lot of subscribers just because she got a new, good idea and that’s it- That’s the whole point!… make it A good idea, not a data dump of everything we know.

    Power to you Tina.

  • Some great advice here. You are right about keeping a consistent image (avatar and username) across platforms. Content is king.

  • It is a real story, i witnessed from the beginning. I was one of the lucky bloggers who got in touch with Tina at the very beginning.

    Tina, i am proud of what you achieved in such a short period of time. I feel very lucky to exchange e-mails with you daily.

    Wish you all the best!

    Cheers,
    Mert

  • apologies for the broken links - think I’ve fixed them all. And yes, 90 days…. late night posting strikes again.

  • There are definitely some great nuggets here. I’m not sure about the Comment Relish approach. LIke some of the other users, I’ve had some questionable experiences with the plug-in. I am of the opinion, if you don’t have time to respond in person don’t respond at all. I know that is probably not politically correct in the world of blog marketing, but I prefer to build quality relationships with readers one at a time. When the site becomes too large to do that, I’ll find another medium to express my appreciation for their visits - maybe a newcomer message on the site, a weekly email thanking all new subscribers, etc.

  • That was a great article, Tina (and Darren)! It’s all so easy and so relevant, provided you have good content! Though some people will become better readers with time.

    I’m wondering if I should create a blog to go with my site, as it seems easier (these days) to promote a blog with more content rather than a website that is just a useful tool…

  • Hmm, i do agree with some of the commentators here who DISAGREE with Tina for a less helpful Problogger post. And it actually contradicts the very THINK SIMPLE concept for not being CONCISE! Sorry Tina :(

    Rather, as a reader who has linked to Tina for some time, i’d just share you the ONE REASON why i visited her blog in the first place:

    HER NATURAL SMILE (pic) in ZEN HABIT

    You look CHEERFUL and has the PASSION in you Tina, and i’ll continue to visit your blog!

    Simple as that ^^

    P/S: Congrats on your subscriber milestone!!!

  • Does she have a credit anywhere to the theme her blog is based on? Or am I missing it…

  • Thanks for a great article Tina. Keep up the good work, and good luck.

    very inspiring!

  • Hi Tina - it is a brilliant idea to modernise some of those old quotes. And I agree - Zen habits is v inspirational.

    I have now also had the opportunity to check your blog and it has excellent and inspiring posts, so I have subscribed.

    So, you are also in Australia. Heaps of top bloggers seem to come from there.

  • When desire is mixed with faith backed by massive action, the probable becomes possible, every time.

    This is my new mantra. Thanks for this awesome post, Tina.

  • Congrats on your success, Tina! I’m a fan of yours, as we obviously have very similar philosophies about simplicity. I’m so happy to see your excellent work paying off!

  • First of all may I say congrats on your success Tina, growing your blog from 0 to 2000+ subs in 90 days is an awsome achivement. But I do think that this may be down to the fact that your blog deals with a very niche subject.

    As for the advice you give out i think that it will be of use for me and my blog http://www.cerebralblackhole.com One of the problems i seem to be having is finding appropriat blogs and sites to get incoming links from. As we beal with political and cultural critique we would like to link with similar sites that are much bigger than use, but i just cant seem to find them.

    Anyway thanks for the excellent advice, and please check out my blog, leave some comments or drop me an email and spread the message that Cerebral Blackhole is the place for all political and cultural critique.

  • I like this way of thinking, leaving comments on blogs really does get results!

  • Wow, you guys are so awesome. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    @Catherine Lawson - I’m actually Canadian living in the US, not Australian. :)

    @Dave Conrey - It’s my new mantra too. That sentence just came to me as I wrote this post and it felt appropriate, so I put it down. Adding it to my quote book now.

    @nefesco - You are right, it does conflict with the ThinkSimple concept for being short. But I felt the length was necessary to cover depth. Or perhaps, I need to work on simplifying some more (I think so). Thanks for reading!

  • I was surfing around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for an article just like this one and thank you so much, for writing it! Looking forward to more invaluable advice from you. Blessu!

  • That’s a great article Tina! Very inspiring. I’ve been following your blog since the early days and you’ve just gone from strength to strength.

    Cheers,
    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

  • Nice post…I would like to add, the other day I had some good affiliate revenue and thought what the heck and I submitted to the Yahoo Directory for $299; everyone frowns on doing it…but it added 2 FULL PR ratings to my blog…pretty awesome I think!

  • Hi Tina,
    I started my blog 3 months back too. But I am no where close to the energy you seem to have put in your blog. I relate with each point you have put there regarding the goals, content and marketting.. I like the goal you have put which is very measurable and clear.
    I am strugglinng with generating content. I had setup a personal goal of 5 articles per week but I am generally short of time and ideas. I don t know if its the topic or if its just me.

    How many hours on an average do you devote per day to your blog ?

    Vineet

    nice post again.

  • I’m not sure that the world needs another self-help blog, but whatever pays the bills…

  • Tina,
    You are a great blogger.

    I Wish you success!!!

  • Great post, Tina. Learn a lot from you.

    Keep it up!

    Blessings

    Gamy

  • Hi Vineet,

    Each article takes around 8 hours to produce (including formatting in word press, finding images, etc). I do two articles weekly.

    In a week, I also spend about 1-4 hours on marketing and networking. This has been reduced compared to when I started.

    Another 2-3 hours weekly answering comments, replying to emails, and selling ads/evaluating ad networks.

    Hope that helps!
    Tina

  • This article on its own shows your prowess and commitment in blogging. Not to mention the effort you really put in to reach your goal.

    I wish you all the best and this has given me a clearer mind. :)

  • Wow. This was an incredible how-to article that just blew me away. Tina’s writing style is indeed so clear, yet conversational. I felt like I was having a cup of tea with a friend. Congrats on your successes!

  • Great article Tina!

    I knew your blog was destined for great things the first time I came across it. It is rare to come across articles that are so well written, genuine, and inspirational all at the same time. It has been a pleasure to get to know you the past few months.

  • Good tips. No one is visiting my blog… really! Please drop by when you have a chance.

  • I found myself coming back to this article for the third time today…. Has that quality that’s unfadeable …. Could read over and over again and get more out of it each time….

  • I really enjoyed the encouragement to reach out to other bloggers and how to effectively comment and grow relationships. I have heard about meeting other bloggers and becoming friends, but I always wondered how it was done.

    @ Seb - That is great idea to make small goals for the day. I get so distracted with random stuff on the net and waste a lot of time. I will definitely start making daily goals to connect with other bloggers and market my blog. Thanks for the great idea! I love checklists!

  • Some very good tips, but I think some of your ideas are not really required for all blogs. I run a celebrity gossip blog http://www.celebridiot.com and my readers aren’t looking for 750 word articles about the meaning of life. Many are looking for some celebrity making an a$$ out of them self , some hot picture, or a funny video from American Idol.

    In my case my target audience wants up to date content that is easy to get to, easy to read, and visual.

    The Comment Relish plugin is cool and I thank you for that!

  • I learned a lot about this blog. I’m not even sure if my blog is actually a blog. Thanks for taking the time to post this information.

  • Really good article..but as Greg said, Comment Relish can hurt the commenters…its just like and unwanted junk mail..better keep track of the comments and take around 30 to 40 minutes perday to reply to the commenters..if the comments is really good, mail them..otherwise..just reply by quoting them..

  • I LOVE the motto “To get what you want, help others get what they want, first”. I guess it has worked for me too - my blog is generated by a computer program & provides a “summary” of items from other blogs. So it’s almost like a big list of adverts for people in the area.

  • Hi Tina,

    First of all, congratulation for your awesome achievement.

    Thank you for sharing all your great tips. There are few things that I can put into action immediately.

    Thank you.

  • The probable become possible?
    Is this backwards?

  • Hey Tina,

    you’re right on track girl, you got what it takes to become a top blogger. And that ultimately helps you achieve any goals you want, since you then got the ‘mass-following’ to help you out.

    If you ever need money-making, product-launching or marketing advice, do let me know.

    What amazes me is that you’ve actually done what others already know but never take action on. Simply using Digg, StumbleUpon, connecting with your readers and blog commenting works great.

    It’s all a matter of persistency. If you know what you’re aiming it, it’s much easier to be persistent in your actions. By having something like a daily blog promotion routine you can get very far on it’s own.

    -Dave

    P.S. - If you ever need anything… ;)

  • Very informative. Nicely set out and understandable. Keep up the work

  • Tina:

    What a marvelous surprise to see you posting a guest spot here at Problogger! Your metoric rise to the top is nothing short of a miracle - congratulations!

    I sense that you’re one ambitious young lady with a heart of gold because like some of the commentators above, you have established yourself as somoene who is willing to “help others get what they want before you get what you want.” You’ve repeatedly reached out to me while you were growing, stumbling and mentioning some of my articles.

    You deserve everything you have coming your way and much, much more! I am grateful to see people like you succeed so well.

    One thing I’m wondering is who do you use for web hosting? Obviously it has to be one that survives front pages Digg hits.

    thanks for sharing and for making yourself so freely available to share. It is greatly appreciated.

    Come to think of it…I think you qualify for my newly established interview series where I look for interesting, authentic people to interview. Would you like to be considered as a candidate?

    If so, check out: http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com/stephen-hopson-interviews/

    Best wishes for continued success, as always! If interested in the intervew, please contact me directly for I have not selected the “Notify me of future comments via email” option.

  • Thanks for the inpiration and the great tips. I want to start a blog and have been researching for around 2 months. This will give me the confindence to just start…how did you put it……”without a minute spent on reasons why you will fail” that’s why I haven’t moved forward. But now maybe, uh… no maybe, I will move forward.

    Thanks!! I’ll be reading your site soon!

  • Great post, loved reading every part of it. Very well written Tina.

    Thank you Darren.

  • I’m so impressed by the self-marketing action taken, Tina, to promote your blog. Though I try to comment on other blogs in the same subject area of my own — and enjoy doing so — I always feel strange directly promoting myself. This carries over into other areas of my life, of course. The Well-Fed Writer tells me I need to embrace cold-calling, but I’m terrified at the idea, even if it will help build up clients for the freelance proofreading I do. Similarly, I’m at a loss when brainstorming on how to market myself as a classical wedding singer (NOT of the Adam Sandler variety!).

    But you mention the goals behind blogging and the needs of your audience, and I think it’s important to remember that if you’re balking at self-promotion. You’re providing a service to others. Why wouldn’t they want to know about you!?

    Thanks for the awesome post!

  • let me know if you need anything ;)

  • This is one of the most outstanding articles I’ve read. So good that I’ve now subscribed to ProBlogger. We’re fairly new in the social media area, and have already begun to discover the advantages of the things Tina writes so well about; this just puts it all in one succinct place.

    Thanks to both Tina and Darren! We will continue to watch and learn.

  • That was inspiring. :)

  • Great Post!!

    You right away made me your fan, Tina!!!

    Thank you very much for sharing your success!!

  • This is a great article! It’s amazing how much of this one might know already, but never put it to use due to it being over-worked and not taking the time to really think through what you want your blog to be like. I’m in that predicament right now with my blog. Of course I’m still learning the software and could probably use a little re-org on my blogs/category structure as well. I’m ever increasingly motivated by these types of posts. This year is the year for change, it will happen, I will make it happen!

  • I have liked the article very much and I see to reach 2000 subscribers a big challenge. I am also a subscriber of Tina blog. I am touching similar topics but in spanish, that should mean something if you speak english you can reach more subscribers? or is it because in Spain blogs are at the beginning? I would like that someone or even Tina, have a look at my blog to see how am I doing.

    My objective is to reach 100 subscribers in a year.

    Thanks a lot. Keep blogging!

  • Tina,

    This article is hugely important to any blogger with drive.

    I’ve always known the Success can be boiled down to six words: Clear Goals, Hard Work, Focus, Research.

    Your article nails this. Thank you.

    I had a goal of 1000 subscribers in 6 months in a very niche topic: real estate blogging. We reached that and now are aiming for 4000 by 2 years (June 08).

  • Tina,

    Thanks for a great how-to piece! I am definitely trying to increase subscribers to my relatively new site and I appreciate your positive approach. You’re right on the mark when it comes to giving to others first. That’s a badge of true honor!

    Count me in as a new subscriber.

    Judy

  • I think the case study is valuable too, and disagree w/ those who think it contradicts simplicity. Considering it’s a summary of THREE MONTHS of INTENSE WORK, it’s perfectly concise. Great job, Tina!

    I did want to share w/ everyone what I’ve learned from my extensive article marketing research (not my own– just what I’ve read/heard). Tina mentions that’s she’s abandoned this method of promotion due to Google’s penalty for duplicate content. Every credible source I’ve encountered who actually uses articles, says this penalty does not apply to submitted articles. Jim Edwards even gave a screen shot of one of his articles taking several spots on page one of Google search from several different article directories and websites that were using the article.

    If you’re worried about the duplicate content affecting your blog’s page rank, you can play it safe by avoiding the submission of your exact blog posts. For example, you can create and article that is a summary of several blog posts. If readers want more details, they will click the link to your blog. Remember, send them to the relevant post, and not your homepage.

    Sorry for the long comment– hope it’s useful!

  • I can’t believe all of you people fawning over this. What a useless load of bollocks. (both her blog and her tips)

    But then again most of the posts of Darren’s blog devolve into a fellatio-fest in the comments section. I wonder why that is? All this positivity gets downright annoying!

  • Great article! Especially appreciated the level of detail and the the insights about focusing your content, rather than spreading it across a wide variety of topics.

    Thanks, Tina!

  • @stephanerd - You are so right, if you are providing valuable feedback for others, why wouldn’t they want to know about it? I understand where you are coming from, promoting yourself can be scary and awkward.

    The best way to overcome a fear is by doing that which we fear.
    Again, focus on what it is you want and not what you lack. Focus on the end result, have a clear vision on what it is that you want. So, maybe, something like, “I will have a minimum of 4 freelance writing gigs weekly. My customers will be trilled with my writing and will want to continue to hire me.” Focus on the end result, not how you’re going to achieve it. Once you are infused with passion for watching to achieve this end result, you’ll feel intrinsically motivated to self-promote if it is necessary for you to reach your vision. :)

    I wish you success!
    I have several articles covering the topics of fear and how to overcome them on my blog. Check them out if you need.

    @Stephen Hopson - For hosting I use MediaTemple. I have the cheapest plan with them and each time I was dugg, I had zero problems with server load issues. The hosting service scales dynamically based on your load and can easily handle sudden spikes without extra fees. I love it. If you ever decide to sign up, I would appreciate if you can use me as a referal. My referal site ID is thinksimplenow.com… I think I get a month free if you do. :)

    @Wayne - Well said Wayne. I know you can do it!
    Nothing said here is new. Just do it and do it without hestitating. Go all out!

    @Oscar - Nice to see you here. Thanks for your support. :)
    Yes, 2000 is a challenge, which is why when I started my goal was smaller. You want to set a goal that is challenging yet achievable. My first goal was 100 subscribers. My next goal was 400, because I found 500 to be a little bit more scary. :)

    I feel that there must be room for growth for the spanish speaking market. I’m not familiar with the best way to reach this market. But there must be ways. Are there social networks for the spanish speaking community?

    I took a look at your blog. It looks fine, clean and straight forward. My only advices are:
    1. Move the google search box down, or move to a separate page called Search. This is taking up too much valuable realestate right now.

    2. Make your “RSS Icon and Subscribr Me” links and images bigger. Maybe have it where the Search box is today. If you want more subscribers, make it super easy for people to subscribe.

    3. I would also create a page explaining what RSS and subscribing means in Spanish. Have a small link from your subscribing link that says “What’s this?” which links to the “What is RSS? What does Subscribing mean?” page.

  • @Shawn (the 2nd Shawn to leave a comment not the first) - happy to take some criticism on the content on this blog - but it comes across better if:

    1. you say something constructive - ie make a suggestion of how it could be better rather than saying something generic

    2. you do so with a real name/link so that we can have a conversation

    The other thing I’d encourage you to do is realize that when you leave a comment that you also leave your ip address which can reveal what other comments you’re left on a blog - and in doing so reveal who you really are. There’s no need to leave more than one comment on a post under different names - just say what you need to say, say something that is constructive, don’t be afraid to say something negative as long as you do it with a little respect and we’ll all learn something from it.

  • a fantastic pretty girl with fantastic happy blog. that’s amazing!

  • Well said Darren.

  • Fantastic! Fantastic! I love to here these online marketing stories. You should be very proud of yourself. Its refreshing to see these strategies.

    Megan Vaillancourt
    http://www.PassportMentors.com

  • Hi,

    This is the best post that I have ever read which shows how to be a successful blogger. Thank you so much for this. You taught me a good lesson.

  • Fantastic post Tina! I found it via my facebook profile as Problogger is listed in my blogfriends app. I have visited your blog and have favorited it too.

    I think I need to get over the idea that my friends and family wouldn’t want to read my blog! I haven’t promoted it to them as I have in the social network arenas so maybe it’s about time I did to increase the readership. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

    Most everything else you have written about I have already done and have seen an increase in readership since I made my options of subscribing via RSS or email more prominent!

    I have had a break over the last month having the kids at home and now that school has begun, I am keen to get back into my routine of blogging and networking. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Bless

  • Getting 2000 subscribers is a great achievement. Well Done! Whilst I think it is essential to have defined goals, any blog needs to be focussed with great, well written content. These skills can take time to develop!

  • Tina,

    Congrats,

    I am VERY proud of you. I hope to follow in your footsteps and will be watching you closely.

    Thanks for sharing..

  • BRAVO!!!

    That is what I am talking about. You Better Work Girlfriend.

    Brilliant. Inspiring.

    I have one question - Can I post this article on my site? (with the footnotes, of course) I would love to share it.

  • To be honest I think there is little bit more to this story then we are being told. If you think about it for a second. We have girl who claims to have no experience starts a blog and goes from zero to whatever number she has now. Just like that….. I do not buy it. The blog is well done, but she was well advised and knew what she was doing before she even did her first post. That said it does not distract from the meaning full content she has on the website. A lot of things she writes about really do make a better world.

  • As someone who has been close friends with Tina for a very long time, even before she got into the world of blogging, there is one very key ingredient to success many of you might overlook. Tina started her studying her material many many years before the blog. In a sense, she is an expert in her field. This shows through in her content- the content is 100% real, and if you meet Tina in person you will see this.

    She had a great idea with (and this is important) a big market, and has executed it well. Her article makes it very clear- there are a lot of powerful tips and tools out there to promote your content, but underneath it all is- well- great content.

    Idea + REAL Content + Big Market + Execution + Perseverance = Success.

  • @Tina. Thanks a lot for your comments. I am very proud you look into my blog and make three advices. I would make the changes as soon as possible, I am not a programmer and changing things are quite challenging for me, but I am a tought guy I will survive.

    I will visit your blog often. Thanks a lot!! People will know about you in spain.

  • She’s good. Plain and simple.

    Peace.

  • Thanks Tina, a fascinating story, and it introduced me to your excellent blog…

  • Amazing post Tina..For a change I see a post from an expert who’s explained the basics as well…Iam currently in a very similar situation to what you felt when u started out…this post gives me a lot to think about…thanks:)

  • Great Post Tina… I’m relatively new at blogging and I think this will definately help me out. I’ve got tons of content, but very few subscribers.

    Have a great day!

    -B-

  • Thanks, Tina! I just downloaded the Comment Relish plugin and have set my goals for increased subscribers, uniques and page views. For those of you interested in subscribing, check out my travel blog: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/about-beth/blog

    (Hey, I gotta start somewhere - eh?)

  • As a follow up - I just added a fantastic plugin to my Wordpress site. This plugin allows me to place Adsense code anywhere within my posts and to change the code based on what ad size I want to run and the content I want in the ad.

    http://www.acmetech.com/blog/2005/07/26/adsense-deluxe-wordpress-plugin/

  • hi tina,
    thanks for the reply.
    I like the frequency of your post. Posting everyday feels scary to me.

    Its a lot of hard work. I hope it is paying off.

    Vineet

  • Ths great advice and I would like to congratulate you on your achievement. Yopur advice is sound but what works for some may not work for others.

    Thanks

    Regards

    Richard

  • This is great advice and I would like to congratulate you on your achievement. Yopur advice is sound but what works for some may not work for others.

    Thanks

    Regards

    Richard

  • Hi! I loved the article. I got some great advice. Apparently, Comment Relish is a Wordpress plug in. Do you know of anything similar for Blogger other than gmail? Thanks.

  • This is a very informative and upbeat article. I really like when writers blog based on their own lessons learned. readers see credibility in that and also learn their own ways.

  • Very good article Tina, awesome! Your blog is great as well. Keep up the good work!

  • I liked this post. In fact its the first time in a long time that I opened notepad and actually took notes.

    As some of the gentler “snowflakes” pointed out there isn’t a whole lot of brand spanking new info but that isn’t the point. She starts off telling everyone she isn’t a blogging Guru people. What she did do was focus on her goals, apply persistent, consistent actions to their achievement, and then move the markers.

    Someone pointed to the massive effort and time spent linking and commenting, and “Stumbling” and Digg-ing as if it were cheating…Ummm…I feel for you if you don’t have what it takes, but that IS what it takes to get the results that Tina saw. You gotta roll up the sleeves and do the work.

    I think everyone can use a voice to refocus them from time to time and this post, this voice worked for me.

    Thanks to ProBlogger and thank you Tina!

  • I think it is important to work as you outlined above in any business. Regardless of blog or fish store, you should always have specific features - benefits, goals and be willing to do things for people so they become your friends (or customer)

  • Congratulations on the great work getting all those subscribers, the blog is great and I’m sure it will be added to my RSS reader.

  • I’m concerned about networking with other fitness bloggers. Their sites, which mostly seem to be hard-sell and full of hype, disturb me and are the opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish. Yet I’m afraid of alienating these popular fitness writers.

    I can’t decide what to do about this, yet.

  • Congratulations Tina. This post gives me a lot of inspiration. I’m just starting out, just like you did 4 months ago and this gives me hope that it can be done and hopefully in the coming months I can achieve something.

    Many thanks

  • Best article I’ve read on blogging advice, to date. Great tips Tina. I love your attitude of giving in order to receive. It is truly one of the greatest things you can learn. In that spirit, if anyone would like me to review or stumble their blog, come visit my blog and drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help you out. =)

    http://jonathanmead.com - Authenticity, Clarity, Balance

  • Very good information Tina. Nice blog as well. Keep up the good work. I will be returning. :-)

  • Tops! I learned some new stuff I will try out next week to get my subscribers up, thanks Tina.

  • Great info and story. I’m about 100 days into my blog and get about 100 -150 visitors a day to my blog who spend an average of 2 minutes reading my content. 68% are new visitors and about 40% go and read older content. I don’t know if this is good or not.
    Certainly I can use a lot of help. I appreciate your efforts.

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