How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Friday, October 8, 2010

How to Get More Followers

With only 43 followers, I'm hardly one to give advice on the matter. But I would like to share what I've learned. I guess first and foremost, is have great content. But that's not what this is about today.


ragazza_brunaFOLLOW 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.

analog_clock_jonathan_di_01IT 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
Again, this IS time consuming! But it's also fun and educational.

box_with_folders_nicu_bu_01GET 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...

10 comments:

  1. Blogging and increasing your followership takes time and committment. Not to mention posts people want to read. I added my follower widget to my blog back in Feb (after someone pointed out they couldn't follow me due to my blog design) and have gainned over 300 followers since then. :)

    Now other bloggers talk about my blog, and I get several new followers a week. Part of it is because I spend a lot of time visiting (and commenting on) other blogs. When you do that, people start to recognize the name and check you out. ;)

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  2. I started my blog last year, but didn't do much with it. Then around July of this year, I decided I'd post more. No followers. I stopped.

    Then Elana Johnson started posting all her blog tips and I thought "hey, I can do this." I started doing the same things you wrote about -- visiting others' blogs and commenting and following.

    That's how I found the Crusaders.

    I signed up for The Great Blogging Experiment and started posting. I commented on almost everyone's post. I followed the ones I liked. I got maybe 80 followers in a weekend. Then I had a contest for reaching 100 followers. Four days later, I'm at 154 followers.

    But it's taken a lot of work. I try to visit all the blogs I'm following every day and comment; especially if that person comments on my posts. I also email people after they comment on my posts.

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  3. I'm only just starting out - or at least it feels that way! But I do try to take time to visit other people's blogs as often as I can, and I'm commenting more and more, but definitely not up to Quinn and Stina's standards yet! :)

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  4. We just started, too, but it is nice to think that someone's reading our posts and either learning something or at least enjoying themselves! Good luck with your blogging and your writing!

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  5. I've never really bothered about how many followers I had, but you're right; once that number starts going up, it's addictive!

    Of course, the thing I do "wrong" in my blogging is not having a consistent theme, which is probably holding me back from getting more people who are interested in one particular kind of blog. But hey, it's fun for me so I'll take what followers I can get! :)

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  6. Christie - thanks for mentioning my humble blog! Right back atcha. I've got you in my reader and on my blogroll

    Su - I don't think it's 100% necessary to have a "theme." I write about writing, but other things too. I want my blog to reflect my personality, which isn't only about writing. I think the MOST important thing is to write blog posts that come from your passion - whatever that is. Christie is right to look at blogs on other interests she has - why not post on some of those things from time to time too? Whenever I follow a blog, it's not just instruction I'm looking for - I'm also looking to get to know someone better.

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  7. Wow Quinn that's very impressive stats! I like Christie's idea of following other non-writing topics too, so now i'm off to find some fellow scrapbookers :)

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  8. Hey guys! I can't believe I got 7 comments on a blog post that doesn't involve a contest. THANKS!

    Catherine, I scrapbook too! ;)

    Thank you all for all your wisdom and input!

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  9. Christie,
    I'm interested in the whole blog hop concept. What is that all about? I tried to do the whole linky thing with your blog hop, but I couldn't figure it out. Sad:(

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  10. Jessica, The first step is to "click here to enter." That will take you to a linkytools page where you can enter the url for the site you want to link to. Then you can choose a caption and lastly an image. The second step is to click on "Get the Code Here." You have to copy and paste it into your blog post in the HTML tab. Post it and see if it works. If not, I'd have to fly to Florida to help you.

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