I am joining Elana Johnson and Jennifer Daiker at Unedited this week for a series on blogging. Please visit their sites as well for some expert advice. As for me, I’ll just offer my humble beginnings and advice.
I began blogging last November and started by following a few science fiction sites and authors. It was slow going at first as I figured out my topics and posting schedule. By the end of March, I’d amassed a whole thirty followers. Yes, rather pathetic!
The turning point was the A-Z Challenge, hosted by Lee at Tossing it Out - blog a letter of the alphabet every day in April with Sundays off for good behavior. Not only did I find my blogging rhythm, I gained sixty new followers that month. Lee followed up the challenge with a music blogfest in May, and I hosted The Movie Dirty Dozen in June. During this time, I continued to find new blogs, and my following grew to 200 by July.
It took a great deal more than just the blogfests to gain followers, though. Gaining and maintaining quality followers is a multi-faceted endeavor. Here are some of the actions that increased my followers and my recommendation for those who want to increase blog followers:
Be willing to follow others, and not just for the sake of enticing them to follow you. Follow because you are genuinely interested in their blogs.
Create posts of interest, especially those that foster a discussion. Define your topics and create a posting schedule. How often should you post? Between three times a week and daily is ideal.
Comment on other blogs – often! Most bloggers appreciate even a short comment as long as it’s relevant to the post. Some of us even like snarking.
Praise and reward other bloggers. Reference someone’s great post, announce another’s achievement, or pass along an award. Invite others to provide a guest post for your blog.
Place your favorite blogs in your blogroll.
Actively seek out new bloggers. Investigate blogs suggested by others and explore blogrolls.
Be true to yourself. Be genuine in your posts and comments and focus on your strengths.
If you adopt these suggestions and become involved in the blogging community, an amazing thing happens – others will reciprocate. They will place your blog in their blogrolls. They mention you in their posts. They invite you to provide guest posts for their blog. And they spread the word that you are an awesome blogger to follow!
We tend to measure success in terms of numbers, but it’s quality, not quantity, that really matters. My followers are an awesome bunch of people and I am grateful for their patronage. (I’m also humbled so many find me interesting.) In return, I promise to fulfill my end of the bargain so they keep coming back! Otherwise, it'd be really dull around here...