Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Discussion 18: How To Gain Followers

I have that "Ask Me A Question" survey down at the bottom and believe it or not, I definitely look through the discussion post ideas to talk about here. One of them I got in was if I had any advice for new bloggers on how to grow their blogs. I'm assuming this means by numbers so I'm going to talk about gaining followers and there will also be some answers to other questions about how much time and content should be on a successful blog.

I also want to say right here that I am in no way absolutely correct and that these are just some the tricks I learned along the way to getting to where I am. I feel my blog is very successful (in fact, I never dreamed it would get to where it is today) in the year I've been running it and am so proud to have amazing followers! I just wanted to put here that this isn't a be-all, end-all thing and I know it.

In an ideal world, a blog's success wouldn't be measured by how many followers it has but by what content it puts out. In my opinion it takes one to get the other. So here's my advice in list form about how to gain followers.

1) Good, constant content- Now what this means is defined differently by every person. I don't think there is a set limit of posts a week someone should make and I certainly won't judge a blog by it. For me, I prefer to blog at least once everyday. New, fresh content helps generate conversation and you always want someone talking on your blog. The best way to get them talking is by giving them something to talk about. A blog that only does one answer memes just isn't that exciting. I'm not saying I don't love and/or participate in Teaser Tuesday but a reader wants more than just that to go on. That's why I do opinion based stuff (like say, Saturday Discussion) and pepper in plenty of reviews. I'm a slow reader so there aren't as many as I'd like but I feel I have enough interesting content going out.

So how much should you do? That's entirely up to you! For me when I'm looking to follow a blog, I like to see around four updates a week just so I know the blogger does try to get posts in and won't go AWOL on me.

2) Giveaways! I know this one sounds really cheap but the easiest way to gain follows is to give them incentive to follow you. I'm not necessarily saying that you need to make them follow your blog with the giveaway but offer an extra point or two if the do! If your followers know you've always got something going on, they are more likely to want to follow you.

A shot of truth here, I won't follow someone based on a giveaway alone. I will if I scroll through their content and we jive. But if they are giving away say a $20.00 gift card to but all they read are instructional books about how to pick your nose, I'm just not going to follow them.

A good way to get involved with giveaways is to join in a giveaway hop. I Am A Reader Not A Writer does loads of uber successful giveaway hops that will get you lots of traffic in a short time period.

3) Regular old blog hops- Crazy For Books hosts a Friday Hop that I always joined in when my blog was a fledging (I still would but I don't have as much time to hop anymore thanks to a full time job and trying to write a novel). I remember stumbling across it and thinking "man, I wish I knew about this earlier". People drop by to say hi, some will follow and you merely go visit them. It's a win/win all around and I'm still friendly with many of the blogs I would hop with.

4) Commenting- Now this one sounds too good to be true and it actually might be but I like to believe in it. Whenever I go to someone else's blog to comment, I always take the time to write something insightful. If I'm reading reviews, I'll always mention something from the review in my comment to let the writer know I read the piece they worked so hard on. A "great review" is always welcome but a personalized comment for me is priceless. On my blog, if I notice someone commenting quite a bit, I will always hop over to their blog and return the favor, usually with a follow as well. I want to treat you the way you treat me and vice versa.

Another thing I try to do is pick 5-10 (sometimes more) posts from my blog feed when I wake up in the morning and comment on them. I follow a lot of people so it's hard to talk to everyone but I try to space it out to hit as many blogs as possible. For me, it works better to write posts at night so that I can leave my morning to reading and commenting.

5) Creativity- Coin yourself on it. Make your blog theme something creative. Come up with a new meme or idea for a weekly post on your own. People remember and appreciate these things!

So those are the tricks and tips I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there are plenty more and I covered them pretty broadly but you get the point. My last bit of advice is to blog as much as you want for as long as it makes you happy. This shouldn't feel like work to you and if it starts to, take a few days off. I've found that sometimes that's really the best thing for you.

So experienced blogger, any other tidbits of advice?

Newer bloggers, was this helpful? Have any other questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will answer the best I can.


  1. Thanks for all the great info. I totally agree that blog hops & memes generate traffic. Plus, w/the memes I have found so many wonderful blogs/bloggers that I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. I have also realized that if you give comments, you are way more likely to receive them.
    Congrats on your success!

  2. This is really good advice, thank you. I'm working on the content part. And the commenting! But sometimes you have your Reader with so many post and you really do want to comment on some of the post...I guess it takes some getting used to.

  3. This is such a great post Amber. :) Your tips are pretty much spot on, and it's evident that you put a lot of time into writing this. And judging by how much your blog has grown, you obviously have expended a lot of effort. Your content is fresh and interesting, and your blog is so admirably creative. :D
    I wish you every bit of success with writing that novel. :)

  4. Though I'm hardly an expert, I like to think that Guest Posting can help you expand your blog. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but doing it may help you encourage people to visit your blog if your guest post is good. And if you interact and comment with others who comment, you can show them you are online and willing to talk, even though your own blog has become a bit of a barren wasteland.

  5. Thanks for the info that's definitely going to help me. I just opened up my blog yesterday and it's nice to get some advice. I just got a blog hop post and that's helping a bit. I also like commenting on other's posts so that may help too :) Who doesn't like to voice their opinions! ;)

    Giselle at Xpresso Reads

  6. Some great advice there. I'd add only this: success and followers don't happen overnight. Don't get impatient, just keep going. Like you said, consistent content. And consistent blogging!
    Mary @ BookSwarm

  7. Thanks for the advice! I know as a new blogger that if you don't have very many followers, you kind of feel like a failure. But it's nice to know that everyone starts out that way and you just got to keep at it! I haven't tried a blog hop so I'm definitely going to have to try that out! I also agree that commenting helps get you noticed. Do you think having a twitter account helps?

  8. Amazing post! thanks you so much for sharing your experience with us! specially for newbie bloggers like me! =D

    Very useful!! thank you my dear! =D

  9. @I'm A Bookie Monster, I'm actually a little late in the game for this one. I just got a Twitter account a couple of months back but the way I see it, it can't really hurt. It allows you to start talking to people quickly and I know I've followed quite a few people just off conversations.

  10. @Alex, you are absolutely right. Guest posting is a great way to bring some traffic back to your blog. It's really great to guest post on someone else's blog when they are holding events I think because people are looking for the new content each day. Great point!

  11. Thanks for the advice :) I really admire your blog, and I've wanted to ask you forever if you had any advice but I'm shy haha.

    I also love that you host fun events like the YA Bachelor and Book Tunes :)

  12. Thanks for the great advice. I always work hard on the last one - comments.

  13. Some really great advice for new bloggers. I just stumbled onto your blog today, and know that I will be following you now!

    YA Geek Reads


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