How do I get more followers on my blog?

Why are some blogs more successful than others? Where do they get all their followers, page views and visitors? Why do some wonderful writers have so few followers, while others with less well written blogs have  so many?

Most new bloggers will google this endlessly, (probably second only to “how can I make money from my blog?). The number one answer they will read is “write good content”.

Well listen up new bloggers. That’s not strictly true. photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemole/85515856/">Annie Mole</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
Content is not what makes a successful blog, although it will make you more successful than others. No, in my opinion what makes a successful blog is the many different things a blogger does before pressing publish, and the efforts they make afterwards “off blog” to promote their post.

What do I mean?

Well firstly imagine you have written a post. Does it have a catchy title, feature photos, and begin with a good opening line or paragraph? Successful bloggers often know what will hook you. Their aim is to ensure, once they attract you to their blog  that you will read it.

Having written a post, next on the list is to ensure as many as possible read it.  A post that is correctly tagged will receive more traffic. Do you know the tags which are the most popular on wordpress?  They are the ones in bigger writing under the “explore tags” category. Tags such as News, Photography, Life and Music. Hover over them and you can read how many new posts have been published using that tag.

Having tagged a post and published many of us think “job done” and therein lies the difference between a blogger with a few followers and one with many.

Having written a post many of us do not actively market it. We don’t get our posts “out there”. Most successful bloggers, having posted, get very very busy “off blog”. They schedule tweets throughout the day. They share on facebook, google+, facebook groups and forums and other ways I, who am not hugely successful, have yet to learn. This sharing can be easily achieved using blog settings on wordpress, it’s just a matter of activating it. However sharing alone is not good enough, it is important to also spend time on social media, engaging with readers and publicising your blog.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchista/2849502168/">Yann Ropars</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

For some bloggers, cleverly using key search words (such as my wonderful title for this post, if I do say so myself), can mean they draw traffic from search engines to their blog, for others they attract fellow bloggers by commenting on their blogs and following them. A word of warning here for those who may be new to wordpress. There is such a thing as a “serial liker”. A blogger who “likes” every post in the hope the blogger will visit them. Initially I was upset when I discovered such a thing existed. I felt used. Over time I have learned not to take it so personally, they are just marketing their blog. Although a word of warning, many bloggers strongly disapprove of this method of attracting readers.

Another way of getting to know more bloggers and thereby develop a bigger readership, is to comment on other blogs. Not just a “good post”, or “great writing” type of comment, but a thoughtful comment about the post. It is in this way that I have “met” most of my followers, many who I now consider “friends” albeit ones I will never meet. For myself reading other blogs is my preferred method of “getting myself out there”. I love reading blogs.

Finally if you wish to become a successful blogger you must blog regularly. If you begin your post with the line “Sorry I’ve not been blogging recently”, I and many others will not read on. You do not need to post every day, or three times a day but you do need to post with some regularity. If you are looking to increase views the more often you post the more views you will receive.

I am now blogging just over a year. I have seen many blogs come and go, so I no longer consider myself a new blogger, however I am definitely not overly experienced. I share these points with you as I think it would have been helpful to have known them earlier. One of the most successful bloggers I know swears by the 33% rule. 33% gathering followers, 33% writing, and 33% socialising and interacting. He has thousands of followers and is blogging just over a year.

So, knowing what I know, am I a successful blogger? No. But that is largely down to choice. I now know what I should do to be more successful, it is just that I choose not to do it for various reasons. What you do yourself is up to you, but remember, you went to the trouble of writing that post, if you want readers, go find them, if what you wrote is interesting followers will come.

photo credit: Yann Ropars via photopin cc
photo credit: Annie Mole via photopin cc
photo credit: Sally Lee by the Sea via photopin cc

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203 thoughts on “How do I get more followers on my blog?

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been blogging for two years now and am still learning. Like you, there are parts that I will choose not to do for various reasons. 🙂

    1. Yes. I know what I should do but there are many days when I do not publisise my post properly. Also some of my posts are more personal so I don’t put them on facebook.
      I’m near my two year anniversary now too. It’s flown by.

    1. Thank you for the reblog Chris. It’s strange to see my post on your site as I always read what you reblog. The credit for the 33% is all OMs. I agree with it wholeheartedly. I can’t say I always do it though!

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Very useful for all bloggers new and more established. Like driving it is easy to get into bad habits and also to forget the important steps needed to drive your blog forward… Like most things in life, Giving, rather than taking is very helpful. Share others on Social media through the links on their page, comment, reblog and build a community. Read the post and do a check list of the things you might not be focused on. For me it is tagging – Must do better.

    1. I think your point about sharing via their links on social media is an excellent point and something I often overlook even when I have really enjoyed a post. Thank you

  3. I followed a link from Chris the Story Reading Ape to get here. I’ve never looked under the “explore tags” category. I’ll have to do that. Thanks for the tip. Congratulations on your big following.

    1. You have a whole new world ahead of you. You will now be able to connect with bloggers writing the same content as you or what you are interested in. Enjoy.

  4. Thanks for this interesting post. I always feel that a blog is missing something when no comments are allowed on it. To me a site lacking the facility to make comments is a dead thing and is less likely to attract followers than one which allows and actively promotes debate. Let me let you into a secret – you have more followers than me. Regards, Kevin

    1. I would burst if I couldn’t comment on a post I wished to. As for my followers I’d pay no heed, lots of them probably never read what I write. Far better to count your comments and those who return regularly. I’ll keep your secret though. 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Jennifer B. Graham and commented:
    There’s so much to learn about blogging and marketing. It’s quite overwhelming really. It took me a year to really begin to understand the workings of blogging and social networking. The penny is just beginning to drop for me! Thanks for this helpful post.

  6. Such great advice here. I’ve never actively sought new followers. Over time, I’ve built up a steady base of followers. I have my usual blogs that I follow, and am constantly finding new ones. My biggest mistake has been blogging sporadically. I’ve never gone months without blogging, but I don’t make an effort to blog on a regular basis. After reading your post, I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to be consistent. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  7. This is a timely blog for me. I write a review blog mostly, so I am not able to be as regular of a blogger as I’d like to be. The intro, “Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while”, I must admit I am guilty of these exact words. I need to stop that. 🙂 I found your blog through another blogger and I am following. I love finding new blogs too. Thanks again!

    1. Welcome aboard Rebecca. I’m glad you got something out of the post. As some have said it’s bad habits we get into without realising it. I’m guilty of that too btw. 🙂

  8. I have no doubts as to the truth of what you are saying. One of my favourite poets has very low numbers. People are missing out on what he has to say! Like myself, he does not utilise social media. I’ve know several people that were once on FB but had a number of issues with it.
    I’ve seen terrible blogs and posts with high numbers, and all of them on some form of social media.
    No, numbers are not a sufficient reason for me to go onto a social media platform. C’est la vie!

  9. good work…. Just kidding, this actually helped me immensely. I used to think it was just about writing good content. I’m definitely going to give your recommendations a try.

    1. Tagging I think, is just habbit, and it is so useful to do. It only takes a few minutes but I do believe it makes a difference.
      The 33% rule is courtesy of Harsh Reality’s blog. I think it’s spot on if you want to make a go of your blog.

    1. I love comments although I have found as I get more comments that I can fall behind, hence replying to you two days after you comment. Forgive me!
      I have found some of my greatest online buddies via comments. I think blogging would be a lot more dull without them.
      Good luck with the 33%

    1. Glad to see you call by. I devoured posts like this when I began two years ago, and to be honest I sometimes forget to heed my own advice!
      Best of luck in your blogging adventure. I still love my blog after two years.

  10. Starting a new blog can be extremely frustrating. I started because I love writing and I want to help people. After a while, you wonder why more people are not reading your blog. I am going to try these methods of publicizing that you discussed. I appreciate you taking the time to write this blog. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask for help.

    1. Yes it does take time to build a following. I think the tags work well and go to the topics and enter the title which has most in common with what your blog is about, or your last post, and read others and comment. These are your future readers and possibly online companions.
      I’m no expert but if you ever want to ask me something do, if I know the answer or can be any help I will.

  11. This is very helpful thank you. Thus far, I’ve spent too much time simply crafting my posts (about being a scandalous lesbian young widow). I’ve had positive feedback about my writing and content but I’ve totally neglected the other 66%. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Great post. I’ve been doing some research on ways to increase my blog “attendance.” In my early days, I fell habit to doing some of the “no’s” on your list but soon realized that I wanted to gain real followers and not just make my number go up. Your post is one of the most helpful I’ve read in some time. Time to kick my butt into gear with the 33% Rule. Thanks again!

    1. Delighted it was helpful. Blogging can be so rewarding, but for myself after 2 years I know my limits. I enjoy how I promote and interact, but I’ll never be a ‘power blogger’.I’m too lazy.
      I do however have very loyal readers who ‘know’ me quite well and vice verse. That has been the most rewarding part of my blogging experience.
      Best of luck with your blogging and blog

  13. I think you got it right!… of course you did… yopu have highlighted the main points concerning blogging and marketing—- I am not so against liking many posts and following many bloggers… I might like 3 or 4 posts and read 1 at times… I won´t say liking too much means being a serial killer blog then! 😀

  14. My main goal by the end of the year is to have 500 followers. I am trying to find ways to promote the number of followers. Due to being out of school, trying to increase traffic to my blog.

    1. Good luck with that. If you don’t mind I’d like to suggest that you put a ‘follow my blog’ at the very top of your page, ahead of the archives. I just clicked over and didn’t see anywhere to follow you or if you’re on facebook or twitter.

        1. Go to your settings and then widgets and you’ll find it. Or ask google or WordPress it’s well worth the effort. You want to make it easy for readers.

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