FOLLOW OTHERS. Ever since Rachael Harrie's Crusade, I've been wondering how to get more followers. I'm sure we've all heard to read other blogs and make lots of comments. It's often the old "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" policy, aka "paying it forward." I started my blog in February (for all intents and purposes) and have been looking for other writerly blogs to follow ever since. Two of the first blogs I followed belong to some great gals in my critique group, Julie Hedlund's Write Up My Life, and Alison Stevens' Wistful Wanderings. Every time I found a blog I liked and wanted to read more of, I saved it in a folder in my favorites, titled BLOGS. Last month, I thought, "Wow, my list is really growing." Since Rachael's Crusade, and since I started using twitter (which happened somewhat simultaneously), my following has been growing. Thanks for being my fellow leprechauns! We are searching for that pot of gold together, i.e. publication.
IT TAKES TIME. If you actually have a goal of growing your followers, (which many of us may not care, but some of us like to know we're reaching someone and actually being heard) know this: it takes time. A lot of time. It takes time for the word to spread. Eventually over time, you'll reach 100, 1000, or more followers. But it can also take a lot of time up front, especially if that's your goal. Apparently, it's mine, since I'm doing all this stuff. Anyway, plan to spend a whole day, or even a whole week, actively searching for others to follow.
SEARCH THROUGH THE LISTS. Search people's blog followings. If you like one person's blog, chances are you will like a few of the one's that they follow, too. You can click on names in others' comment sections and often find a blog that way. If you've been tagged for, or read about, an award, you can search through that list of bloggers for a few gems. If you've seen the blog hop that I joined, you can search through those as well. You can find blogs by doing Google searches on specific subject material. Again:
- blog followings
- names in comments
- blog award folks
- blog hops
- Google searches
- favorite authors
- people on twitter
GET ORGANIZED. After a while, I got tired of trying to remember which blogs I had visited and tired of clicking in my favorites and going down the list. I said, "I'm going to put my most favorite bloggers on my blog and just go to those few each week. My goal was to read five blogs a day and comment on three. Very doable, right? Now that I have even more blogs to read, that doesn't seem like nearly enough! How about 30 minutes, an hour? Well, in the midst of trying to organize my favorites, I keep finding lists to go through and even more blogs to follow. Last week, I discovered a blog post that I can't seem to find now. But in it, I learned (finally) what an RSS feed is. I discovered Google Reader! A reader is a place you can go to subscribe to blogs. You can read them all in one place and not have to search and click on each blog separately. The reader will even tell you when you have read each post. It suggested to not let the entries get above 200. Otherwise, it becomes overwhelming. You can also mark them all as read and start fresh if that happens. If you click on the post title, it will open the blog in a new window and you can make a comment. If you have Google Reader (AND the Google Chrome browser), and you want to follow Wordpress blogs, make sure you download the RSS extension so the feed link will work properly. Now I just need to decide which blogs truly are my favorite. There are so many to choose from.
CONSIDER FOLLOWING MORE THAN ONE "GROUP." So everyone reading this is obviously interested in writing. But what else? Cooking? Chess? Dogs? Whatever your passions are, you can sometimes find a way to make it connect to writing. If you follow a few of those passions (and bloggers of such), then maybe some of them will follow you back. For me, (I'll eventually get organized) the blogs I follow will be categorized as: writers, teachers, parents, lds, and misc.
VISIT THE LOST ART OF BLOGGING. Here are ten more ways to gain followers. This is THE BEST blog for bloggers on how to blog well, etc. It has a wealth of information! An absolute must! He (they?) suggest to also write a post on what RSS is and how to follow/subscribe to someone. That's what I needed. Lots of readers don't know about the "Readers." So guess what? That's an upcoming blog post for me...