So, as a blog designer, I complete approximately 3 custom blog design packages per week.  I have done hundreds of projects, and I also have my own blog (which, you would know, because you’re reading it!).  I understand that if you have made the initial investment in a blog design template, you want to see some return on that investment, whether you are blogging for fun, to promote a cause, or to build your personal or professional brand.

Here’s something to consider.  There are literally thousands of blog designs out there.  Blogging is huge, it’s a way to express yourself, it’s easy and it’s lots of fun.  If you have purchased a custom blog design, (and it was designed by Little Blue Deer), it looks awesome!  The blog design template has been crafted uniquely to you, so that your brand and personality shine through.  But here’s the thing, and it’s the same mistake that lots of people make with SEO (search engine optimization).  It’s less about what you do ON the page than OFF the page.  “So why did I spend so much time on my custom blog design?”  you may ask yourself.  Well because you want it to be awesome and stand out from the pack!  But even if it is totally awesome (and if you hired the best blog designer, it will be), you still need people to find it.  So I am going to share some tips I have learned both as a blog designer and also a blogger myself, they are simple and also free.

First rule of blogging:  Blogging is reciprocal.  What does that mean?  It means that blogging is community-based and about relationships.  So you can’t just sit there and wait for people to come to you.  You MUST go out and visit and comment on other blogs.  As a general rule, bloggers will come back to your blog and leave a comment as well.  Now, there is a caveat here.  You can’t always go to a huge, world-famous blogger who just got a contract with H&M from her Instagram posts, and expect them to comment back, okay?  I get it, those gals are doing a business and they are, well, busy to say the least.  But you also have to remember they all started somewhere, with a basic blog design and no followers, so take heart!  When I started my blog in 2009, I slowly gathered a blogroll of blog designs and bloggers that I liked.  I tried to visit their blogs a few times a week, and leave a comment on a post.  I probably went to 30 blogs per day.  And it was a heartfelt comment too, not just “Hi!  Love your blog designs!  Follow me back!”  That’s just tacky (and if there’s one thing the Deer hates, it’s tackiness).  I would actually read the post and make a comment that showed that I had taken the time to read it.  Now, 9 times out of 10, those bloggers would come back to Little Blue Deer and comment on my blog.  This way, we built a reciprocal relationship.

A lot of times too, these ladies actually became real friends.  I have met a few in real life, and a few that I haven’t I still keep in touch with even though I have gotten so busy that I don’t really have time to practice what I preach here!  But my point is, you must go out and see what is going on in the blogging world and say hello to let readers know that you are there.  You can’t just expect them to find you.  And since blog designs have so many categories: lifestyle, fashion, interior design, kids, recipes, it’s really easy to find your niche where you fit in.  I personally devoted about an hour a day when starting out to visiting other bloggers.  So, that is my first piece of advice for new bloggers who have just started with a custom blog design:  go say hello!  Let the world know you are out there!

Think about it.  You have spent some time and energy on your custom blog design.  You have your blog design template working just like you want it to, and you’re posting all about everything that you love.  Instead of keeping all of your awesomeness to yourself, get out there and spread the love!