I wrote this back in December 2011 as a guest blog for Elizabeth Poole's Blog, but I don't know that she ever posted it. EP is one of my favorite people, so go check her out anyway. She has a new four month old baby that is just adorable.
Since my life is about to hit hyper drive until the end of August, I'm going to share it with you.
NOTE: I've since learned it was scheduled but eaten by blogger while Elizabeth was in the hospital having her baby. It's now up HERE.
How do I get more followers?
Here's my first piece of advice--
Stop stressing about the number of followers you have. Yeah, I know. Considering I just had a 500+ giveaway makes me sound like a hypocrite. Watching the numbers go up is a form of validation.
And we all need that, but I'll let you in on a little secret--I was looking for an excuse to give away some books. And hitting a milestone seemed like a good excuse.
And the slightly crazy side of me really needed the likes to match up with the follows. 500 and 100 look so much nicer together than 500 and 63. You know what I mean?
However, you'll drive yourself crazy if the numbers is the only thing you concentrate on with your blog.
There are lots of posts out there that talk about ways to pull in followers, but I'm just going to talk about the three things that have helped me get followers.
1. Know your purpose as a blogger. This will help you know your audience. For example, my blog is about my writing journey. I talk about what I'm learning about the writing craft and industry, share story bits, review books, and interview other writers. My purpose is to learn and grow in the area of writing. My audience is me, and people like me.
2. Find similar blogs that you will enjoy reading and follow them. Once you follow make thoughtful comments. Participate in the discussions on those blogs. People will notice you and visit your blog to learn more about you.
And yes, I'm getting a D- in this area right now, but I hope to do better soon. Don't give up on me yet.
3. Participate in blogging events that are relevant to your blog content. For me, this means writing blogfests. Over the summer I didn't participate and my numbers stayed the same. Now that I'm getting involved in the social aspect of blogging, my numbers have started going up again. And you know what? I've met some new people that I have a lot in common with.
Just make sure you don't get so involved that you stop writing. You know that WIP or project that you started a while back?
That's it really. There are a few cautions that will help you along this path.
1. Be patient. Followers will come--and go. It doesn't mean you aren't a great blogger. Life is just that way.
2. Be as positive as possible. Don't bash people in the industry or other bloggers. Remember that what you post is out there for all the world to see.
3. Don't kill yourself trying to do it all. For most of us, blogging is not a paying job. You can't comment on every blog. You can't read every blog. I schedule time to write my blogs (usually a weeks worth at a time) and to scan the blogs in my google reader. Although I can't comment on each blog I follow every day, I do scan them. (Think 200+ blogs a day and you'll see why scanning is the only option.) When a post really speaks to me, I make a point to click over and comment. I wish I could comment more, but I've learned it isn't possible.
Remember, as wonderful as blogging is, the one thing that will improve your writing the most is living life.