Monday, February 18, 2013

How To: Gain Followers


Now that you've started your blog and have written your first posts, you'll want to get your blog out there and gain followers. Here are a few tips that has worked for me in gaining more followers:

Social Networking

Starting a Facebook page for your blog is a great way to gain followers. The best way to do that is to share your page on your personal Facebook wall. Invite your friends to 'like' your page and share it as well. Tweet about your Facebook page. But don't just make the page and then forget about it. Utilize the space to update your readers on what post just went up or interact with your readers by asking questions {ie: 'whats your fave fall color?' or 'PicMonkey or Pixlr if you don't have Photoshop?'}. Keeping them engaged will more than likely lead them to follow your blog as well.
Twitter is also a great place to gain followers. There are billions of Twitter users out there and they're all potential readers. Start following fellow bloggers, reply to their general questions or comment on one of their Tweets. Don't stop at just engaging with your current readers; engage with your potential readers as well. The more your name pops up, the more curious they will get and will come visit your blog.
Instagram was the best way for me to gain followers. I would hashtag all of my handmade items or photos relating to my blog, which brought people to my photos, which brought them to my profile and in my profile is my blog URL... and the great thing about that is that the people who have clicked on your photo, may have liked it, and visited your blog is someone who may share the same interests as you. If they like you, and they follow you, they probably will tell someone else about you. I also started following a bunch of bloggers on Instagram and they followed back and ended up following my blog. 

Reach out

You've probably been following some blogs even before your started a blog yourself so why not reach out to them? See if they'll swap buttons with you or send them an email asking about blog hops and weekly link ups. Most bloggers will be very helpful in sharing info and can give you some good resources on where to put your name out there. You can also ask them for some Twitter & Facebook shout outs which is a great place to get your name out there. Don't be afraid to ask for help! I've gained some amazing bloggy friends just by doing that; and they're all contributors on the blog! If you couldn't tell, Heidi is my bbffl {best bloggy friend for life} and is my good friend in real life as well! All from asking for help! And in turn, she has brought me some great followers and new friends. 

Blog Hops/Link Ups

Know all those cool blog friends you've just made? Well, I'm sure at least one of them hosts or co-hosts a blog hop. A blog hop is a place to link up your blog URL for other bloggers to see you and visit you. There are several out there {a list is coming soon!} that happen weekly and are a great resource to gain a lot of followers very quickly. Aside from blog hops there are link ups, which is like a blog hop, but is more specific in that you link up a particular post URL rather than your blog's URL. If you have a cooking blog you might want to find link ups or linky parties where you link up that blueberry muffin recipe or tips in the kitchen post. Link ups are a lot of fun because you can gain a very specific following and know that most of your new followers are actually reading your posts! {Yes, it's true; there are some people who follow you for the sake of following you and don't actually keep up with your posts. Sad.} Plus you get to meet even more bloggers and can reach out even more! One way I found blog hops was through a blog I had visited. Some bloggers have a section on their blog that list their weekly link ups {whether its their own that they host or link ups they participate in weekly} and I just so happened upon this one blog that did and started linking up to three different blog hops. I gained a huge amount of followers that week.

Commenting

Leaving comments on other blogs is important for many reasons, especially when participating in blog hops and link ups. When you participate in blog hops it is suggested that you not just link up your blog, but visit the other blogs on the hop as well. That's what the whole thing is about! Visiting blogs and making new friends! So when you go visit that new blog, leave a comment or two. Read through some of their posts and leave a comment on one of them. Be sure to be genuine; comment on their content, possibly say something in relation to it pertaining to you, let them know where you found them from {which blog hop, link up, or just by clicking through ads on someone's blog}, sign your name, and then leave your blog URL. Please, please do not leave a very general, monotone comment like "Hi, following you please follow back" and then leave your blog URL. That is seriously the most annoying thing ever and will actually not get you more followers. I get comments like that all of the time and it really is such a waste of my time to even read them there is no way I am going to go visit their blog, let alone follow them. If they don't have anything interesting to say in a comment to me, then they don't have anything interesting to say on their blog in my opinion. So don't be that person! You will get more followers if you leave a personal comment on a post and leave your blog's URL. You can read all about Heidi's do's and don'ts on commenting here.

Button/Ads Swaps

Offering button/ad swaps is perfect free advertising. If you offer up swaps, you can swap your button {your ad} with other bloggers for your blog to be displayed. Ad a section on your blog either in your sidebar or under your header that takes them to a page with info on swapping buttons. Last week I showed your how to make a blog button with grab box so put that in your sidebar! When I started blogging seriously and didn't really know what I was doing, I visited lost of blogs, grabbed their buttons and put them in my sidebar. Come to find out, other bloggers were wanting my button as well. I had Wordpress at the time so I couldn't offer a grab box button in my sidebar {Blogger does} so I would send them the code and they would put my button in their sidebar. I noticed a lot more visits to my blog and a few more followers as well. Buttons/ads are advertisement and when swapping it is a no brainer 'investment' in that it is totally free. And free is always good when you're starting out. To this day I still will visit a blog, go to their sidebar, look at their sponsors {the buttons/ads}, and click through. I'll get to that blog, look at their sponsors, and click through. Most of those sponsors were ad swaps and I've found some great blogs to follow that way. You never know; your ad might get noticed and someone will come and visit and follow you too!

Most of all, though {in addition to these tips}, you should always be genuine and be you or people will see right through you and be disinterested in following. Many times have I stumbled across a blog that seemed fake, forced, or I've seen somewhere else, which results in me leaving immediately and not clicking 'follow' or adding them to my reader. Be yourself and people will find you interesting enough to add them to their daily reads.

If you have a blog you would like to share, please let us know in the comments below! We would love to come check you out!




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21 comments:

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    Many, Many Thanks once again!
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  3. Hi there! I'm new to blogging so I'm still trying to figure out a lot of stuff. I'm so thankful I found one of your posts on Pinterest. I could really use these tips. Can you please check out my blog? I would love it if you could give me some suggestions. Thanks! http://chengand3kids.blogspot.com/

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  14. Thank you for this post, it's really helpful.
    As a new blogger I had no idea what a blog hop was.. I'll also be joining instagram.
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