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. Hi TRIC!! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been so bogged down by life! Lol. Great advice for the newbies. It’s hard to juggle all of this, and at some point, you get too many followers to be able to remain close with all of them. That sort of sucks too.

    1. Ah but then there are the ones you never forget and you always read regardless of how busy their life gets! 🙂 Saw you posted yesterday but it’ll be later before I get to add my sarky comment as per usual.
      I remember one of the first times your blog took off was after probably your first ever serious post. Lots shared it on facebook, not to mention you getting Freshly Pressed. Now I remember, I don’t like you after all, am still not over it!

  2. Great points, so much time and effort goes into the background of promoting your blog, I know the days that I’m quiet on social media my traffic is less and it’s hard to pick it back up, but you can let the hobby become work 🙂 unless work is what you want, then you have to work hard 🙂

    1. You said it in a nutshell. Well put.
      I don’t have the time or the drive to push as much as I should, but I think that is my way of not over working what is essentially a hobby.

  3. I used to be OBSESSED with trying to find ways to market my blog or create some sort of business with it. I attended many travel blogging conferences, all of which highly stressed `What makes you different, what is your niche, why should people care,` etc, etc). Thankfully I have finally realized that I just need to remember why I write my blog in the first place: because I love writing and traveling and sharing my stories with others. It really isn`t about how many likes people have, I find it is more about the discussions with dear readers who take the time to read my posts and comment their thoughts. That means much more to me than someone who has liked my page or post but never even took the time to read.

    1. I’d say most people are highly driven initially until it all becomes like work. You seem to have managed to continue and I always enjoy seeing your posts appear in my email.
      If we don’t like or cease to like what we do as bloggers we will never keep going.
      I agree with you too it is not the “likes” but the followers and the interaction I love. especially someone who I know has been with my blog for a long time.

      1. I agree! Especially to the point of the people following along for a long time. I`m glad when likes come along, but doing the math on my stats . . . I can clearly see that 30 or more people have liked my post, but maybe only 10 have actually viewed it and read it. That`s why it`s the comments I have waiting for me that get me so excited and I can`t wait to read them!!! 🙂

        1. I’ll have to comment more so. I do read most of your posts but tend not to comment.
          When I saw you commenting here I was delighted as we go back quite some time.
          Stats would drive you crazy I really try not to bother with them but it’s hard to stay away.

        2. I agree. Some like the post, but didn’t even click on the post to read it. I won’t do that. If I comment or like a post I took the time to authentically read it.

          I write more to vent or say out loud something I have no one really to say it, too. People interested I hope will comment. I love the comments!

  4. Yes Indeed, Tric, blogging could turn into a full time occupation, by the time you get around to everything..i love reading blogs also, and could spend all evening doing this.

    1. Sure Joan, but then you’d have no time for all your photography. Mind you it would be a nice job reading, commenting and blogging.

      1. I’d appreciate that, Tric! And if I win the lottery this week I’ll share it with you. 😉 This was an informative post.

  5. Great post Tric. It is very difficult to start up as new blogger. There are so much to learn, so thank you for your very good advices. We can all learn new tricks.
    It is also important to find our own way to be a blogger and find out, how much time we have to use in here.

    1. Thank you Irene. You are so right each person who blogs does so for there own reasons. We all need to remember that when blogging ceases to be a novelty.

  6. Okay now that you have all the followers, how to you get rid of them? Not that I don’t want my blog to be followed, I do but I don’t want to keep the followers that I know are only following me to sell their business or spam up my comments section. I know that I personally can unfollow a blog but can the blogger remove you too? I think I like being in the newbie section with just a few followers. Although, my blog is old enough now to age out of being new.

    1. Yes we all have some questionable followers but I don’t mind as they are just a number. They never interact and I am cute enough now not to follow them back.
      There was a great joy alright in being a new blogger and being able to interact with everyone you enjoy and read. I still spend an awful lot of time reading and commenting, but thankfully it is still something I enjoy doing.

  7. Good info Tric. I’ve been doing this for 4 1/2 years. Though I have more followers, I don’t necessarily have more readers. Any time someone would follow me I would return the favor by going to their blog, reading, and following. I used to read EVERY single blog I followed. Religiously. I spend hours a day reading and commenting, still. I have begun to be more careful when I follow. I want it to be about blogs I care about and am interested in. Blogs I can support. So many blogs are “how I make money blogging” blogs and I never see hide nor hair of them. Which is okay. I don’t mind if that’s what they want to do. But I can’t follow all of those blogs to get advertisements (etc) endlessly. Part of me wishes I could dedicate even more hours to reading and commenting, because I am passionate about the written word, and those who are as passionate. Other times I wish I could reduce my time I spend on computers.

    I have no great blog skills or advise. I do it because I enjoy it. I could do it full time if I didn’t already have to work full time. 😉 It’s a wonderful way to connect world wide. And I love the discovery and sharing, and in my own experience, the positive world I knew was out there.

    1. I am with you there, bottom line I love blogging. The interacting, the reading and the writing. Four and a half years is such a long time in the world of blogs as I see so many bow out or ditch their blog and start anew.
      I think some need a fresh start, and others feel under too much pressure to keep up with followers etc.
      I hate spending so much time on the computer but there’s no other way really. 🙂

      1. I have seen many come and go as well. And I wonder about the people behind them, hoping all is well.

        I am amazed at how much time I put in to it. I am glad that I can walk away when I need to, but I don’t need to yet. 😉

  8. Great post Tric. I really enjoyed reading it. 🙂
    I am extremely behind in my commenting on your blog (and others) but do try to pop in when I can 🙂

  9. I should have read this when I was starting over a year ago. 🙂
    There is always that uniqueness of a blog that attracts followers. Yeah, tens of thousands of followers is great to have. However, can you interact with a fraction of them if ever they commented to your posts? I often feel some guilt if someone commented on my post and I did not reply to it. It’s like the spurn lover thing. 🙂
    I like to read anything under the sun and I am a believer of free expression with responsibility. That’s blogging for me, discovering other ideas, learning tips (like yours) and adapting to changes.
    I apologize for the long comment. I feel wordy today. 🙂
    Blessings,
    belsbror

    1. Love your wordy comment! I too hate it if I am late replying to comments, but sometimes like just gets too busy.
      Blogging is a great hobby and I’m delighted I found it.
      I do like niche blogs as well as varied ones.

      1. This is the perfect example of guilt on my part. Sorry for the late reply. 🙂
        You’re quite correct about blogging being a great hobby. Personally, I learned so much about writing by reading blogs.
        Good luck. 🙂

  10. great advice, tric. i really wish i could have found a post like this when i began. in another month, it will be 2 years for me. everything i did and do and will probably continue to do was by trial and error. i write to share stories and ideas and to express myself. every time someone comments or responds is like a bonus for me. i love reading the blogs, and getting feedback comments from people, love the interaction, and like you, i feel i’ve become friends with some of them. i enjoy their posts and care about what happens to them. i love blogging too, and devote time to the many sides of it each day, though my biggest challenge is self promotion. i’m just always so happy when someone reads it. ) best, beth

    1. I think you have done really well with your blog. When I see all the interaction and the “likes” I think you must have worked hard to get your blog out there. You are also a very warm and interactive blogger and I for one like reading your posts and enjoy your visits to here.
      You were there for me during some very dark days and I’ll always be grateful for that.

      1. thanks tric, and happy i could help you get through them a bit more easily ) i do love the interaction and connections made, it’s my favorite part of blogging –

  11. Ehh, Sounds like too much work. Guess I am being lazy. i don’t mind reading other blogs, its what I mostly do throughout the day, I just disguise it as I am working. For the most part I rarely leave a comment on blogs that I read, once I read a blog that I thoroughly enjoyed and decided to ask a question about it. That question is still awaiting moderation is comment purgatory, so I rarely comment on blogs, I just hit the like button if I liked it or exit out if I didn’t. Social media, ugh no way…

    1. I won’t tell your boss what you’re up to Mocha! Blogs like yours are one of the blogs I get frustrated that others don’t know about. I love how you write, and the way your topics are so varied. I love that you are unpredictable in your writing. I hope in time you get the readership you deserve.

  12. Definitely agree that it’s not as simple as good content. Write a good post and don’t publicize it or get the timing wrong, nobody reads! Same post publicised at the right time – loads of responses. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

    1. Yes, agreed, and isn’t it just us being such fickle humans that no matter how proud we are of our post, if it falls flat we allow it reflect on us personally, when in fact it was probably just timing.

  13. If I were a different sort person, I might get a kind of constricted feeling in my chest, sweaty palms, accelerated heart rate, in general sympathetic nervous system activation. But…chillax, as the teenagers around here used to say. Sometimes I think the desire to be noticed in the blogging world is eerily similar to “who’s the most popular kid in high school” and THAT’S no fun if you’re an insecure teenager on the outside looking in!!
    So, I tell myself on days when I think I’ve written a stellar post—and get no comments—just let it flow and enjoy the writing.
    Enjoyed the read!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, and thanks for the comment. As I have become more experienced as a blogger I have found it is not always about what you write.
      Now I just have to go and market myself on social media more, but not sure I could be bothered.

      1. Blogging could easily be a full-time job LOL by the time you think, research if necessary, write the post, think of OTHER posts to write, read new blogs and keep up with the old ones, then keep up on every way to get that blog out there and noticed…

  14. Great post, Tric, thanks for sharing! It’s funny, I get so behind on reading blogs, as I know all of us do, but I have gotten so many new followers in the last year and I’ve lost some, too, because I haven’t followed them back. Some new followers are sincere, while others just want you to follow them back…that’s just the way it is. I’m sorry I haven’t visited you in awhile, but I love your blog and with life stuff, I haven’t been reading as much on anyone’s…oh, and I don’t tweet and I’m taking a break from fb, too. I have a poetry page which I post on, but after awhile, real life needs more of my attention. It’s so fun and addicting, but a break once in awhile is healthy to do, too. I honestly don’t know how people can blog, facebook, tweet and who knows what else? There’s just not enough time in the day, if you add family, work, dog and house cleaning! 🙂 Anyway, happy blogging and I can’t believe it’s already been a year for you! Time sure flies! Take care and have a lovely weekend!

    1. Great to see you visit. I hope all yours are doing well. Blogging for me is a great interest and an outlet for my writing, but if life gets busy it has to take a back seat.

  15. I’ve been posting since September, I have reblogged other’s posts. I’ve commented actively on other blogs and I have been developing a blogroll but all I have is seven followers. I have linked my blog to Twitter, Pinterest, Viemo, Stumpleupon, google+ but not much luck. I found your post informative. I will try it your way and let you know my success.

    1. I’ve seen you commenting here and on Duncans madhatter site. Your bright gravatar also makes you memorable and distinct. I do think if you tagged your posts you would reach more people with no effort needed. If your not sure how just use the contact me on my blog and I’ll go through it with you.

  16. I found that I was building a steady consistent following and momentum but I dropped the ball for a few months when I went back to work. Getting the readership back was really hard! It’s like if you blink, it all disappears. I don’t blog for money and I see my blog as a body of work so I don’t tinker trying to maximise readership, I just find it interesting to watch stats of when readership is high and when it isn’t….it’s like it has a life of its own out there on the interwebs!

    1. Yes I post and the views soar for a while but without new content and sharing I imagine I’d disappear completely.
      Your blog is so unique with that beautiful picture of Wade on it I would think that in a very short time you’d to back to where you were. Also followers such as I are just glad when we see a new post from someone who hasn’t posted in a while.

  17. Was referred here by a fellow blogger who recommend I read this post to increase viewership. Like you Tric, my blog has been up for just over a year. I think my biggest issue is not posting consistently enough, which you outlined. Gotta keep at it I guess. Thanks a ton for the helpful post!

    1. Definitely consistency helps, and then when you do post try to ensure as many as possible see it, by your tagging, and social media connections.
      Commenting I think is a really great way of connecting. I have a fellow blogger friend who always comments on my blog when he posts so I know to go read his new post. Best wishes and regardless of readers I hope you enjoy your blogging.

  18. Hi there – very nice post. I like the point about “off blogging” – that’s an interesting term and in my experience will make all the difference in reading hits.

    Another idea – and how I found your blog with JBBC – is through building relationships. Find people who you connect with, and they’ll likely become champions of your writing, as you will be for them. If the connection is genuine, the readers will feel it.

    Great post, I’m sure it will help many new bloggers. ~Catherine

    1. Thank you. I hope it does. I do agree the connections we make blogging are something I never thought of prior to beginning. Now I love commenting and reading others comments. Some bloggers have actually become my “friends” and I’d miss them if they stopped.
      I have only recently found JBBC, a great blog. Thanks for checking me out and reading.

  19. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, because i want enjoyment, for the reason that this
    this site conations in fact pleasant funny information too.

    1. Thanks so much for the reblog OM. My stats are booming (it’s all relative). I really appreciate it. Can’t say much more than that, but honestly I really am chuffed. I think because we began our blogs, almost at the same time, and traveled very different roads, I’ve always felt an affinity with you as a blogger. Sláinte.

  20. Thanks for the tips, it’s refreshing to hear someone talk honestly about how we, as bloggers, have to really SELL ourselves if we want to really get noticed. I guess this is true of any kind of artist, and that’s what I like to think we are: artists. Albeit of a very new and underappreciated medium.

    1. Yes I agree. Blogging is a mixture of work and pleasure. We have a choice how much of either we wish it to be. For myself I do ‘work’ at it as in I try to read fellow bloggers posts and comment back on all comments, but largely it is pleasure as I love to write. Nice to see you visit. Thank you.

  21. Love how you summed it all up. I feel there is a bit of a “discussion” about how often you should post. I feel you should write when you feel like it and not stick to a “once a day” or a similar thing. Of course all in reasonable numbers so you don’t “over-post”. Thanks for summarizing the important facts! A lot to learn for me again 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading. I too agree you can post as much as you like or feel like, but the return is different. If you post daily you will have more engagement than weekly or monthly. It is definitely a choice. Not everyone blogs to be a big blog.

  22. Good post. Great writing. Ha ha.
    Actually, very helpful advice. The social piece is really important. I reserve one day a week to blogs (reading/writing/commenting). It’s a nice way to manage my time.

    1. I like the idea of you being organised and setting aside one day. I am all over the place and sometimes fall well behind. Lesson to be learned for me to. Thank you. 🙂

  23. This was time well spent! You just showed up on my Reader. I liked what I read, so I follow you now.

    Me? I’m one of those ones with a terrific blog nobody follows. Not true. Over two years, I’ve managed to pick up 260 followers! But they all just scratch their heads and think: ‘How do you answer a know it all guy with a pet stuffed frog?’

    It’s the selfish and the liars that run this world, not the informative and considerate. I do like to answer other people’s blogs I find interesting… Just don’t look at me :O(

    1. Happy to see you here. I don’t think all blogs are for everyone. We have our favourites, but interestingly enough I do follow a few blogs that I have very little in common with, because I enjoy the interaction between the blogger and myself.
      I’m nearly two years blogging now too. I can’t believe it.

  24. I’ve never gotten the hang of the SEO stuff. I do find commenting is the number one best way to attract readers. This means not only commenting on their blogs, but replying to comments on mine. I’ve been slacking a little of late and it shows.
    Then, definitely, it’s the catchy first sentence or two. It takes practice though!
    Great post, Tric. 🙂

    1. Linda you are a pro. I love tuning into your blog as it is an allsorts of everything. I never know what i’ll find there. Like yourself I’m after falling way behind. It was young Daniels anniversary, then Christmas, and then his birthday so I found it hard to settle and enjoy reading and writing.
      Am back with a bang now and I feel many bloggers know and understand that life happens.

  25. I was on a mission to get more viewers and it didn’t work. When I let go of that mission and concentrated on writing I picked up some. It’s still not as many as I would like, but the ones I have seem to be interested in my topics.

    1. I was just commenting earlier that personally I have a number of bloggers I follow because I enjoy them as online contacts, buddies in a way. We engage in comments and have done so for a good while. I would not necessarily have a lot in common with them from a blog point of view.
      I think if you can enjoy the writing and feel your blog is your own personal space that is good enough. Readers and followers are the icing on the cake.

  26. This is helpful advice. Blogging is something that requires a lot of different things coming together. At first I just wrote blog posts and didn’t realize how important it is to interact with other bloggers. It’s so much fun having a huge community to learn from, and with blogging, there’s always something new to discover.

    1. Agreed. Blogging in itself is great but the interaction with other bloggers is what can make all the difference. Despite there being so many bloggers out there I have found the wordpress community to be hugely supportive, once you know how to access it. Thanks again for the visit and taking the time to comment.

      1. You’re welcome. 🙂 I agree that the blogging community is extremely supportive. I see many bloggers every day guest blogging and giving each other help and praise, and advice when needed.

  27. Great post.
    oh, you just told not just leave like that 😀 You got my attention from the first para itself, you got me hooked, then I read the rest, I can see what you said in the post really works. They are great tips indeed. Thank you for sharing your secrets!! 😀

    1. Haha. I’m glad you liked it. I remember reading tips like this and OMs posts on the 33% and learning so much from them. I never wanted to be a big blogger but i did want to be more effective in my own little way.

  28. Excellent advice. I am a relatively new blogger. I do my best to find like minded folk and be interested in what they have to say. I post on someone else’s blog when I feel a connection. Sometimes it works, and sometimes that other person just wants to market themselves without giving anything in return. I’d rather offer myself in return in a mutual interest.

    1. Yes I think as we blog more we learn to spot the blogs who are marketing or are working in one direction. I think we have a lot to learn from Opinionated Mans blog in the way he works at replying to all comments and reblogs and in general looks after his readers.
      In a way it’s like life. You treat people well, enjoy their company and they will do likewise.

      1. Very true indeed. I agree wholeheartedly. I call those other blogs ‘broadcast’ sites. They are there simply to broadcast a message, often for money but also for ego, and not to engage with others.

  29. Thank you. I really appreciate your efforts to help bloggers. I really would like my blog to be successful one day. I’m trying to learn and people like you that offer good, sound, and easy to access information help me tremendously. Thank you once again.

    1. And thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I think knowledge is a good thing and once we understand better how blogging works we can decide how we want it to work for us. Best of luck in your endeavors.

    1. That’s great to hear. I am in no way an expert but I have learned from others and remember what it was like to wonder. I hope you continue to enjoy your blogging experience.

  30. Thank you for this advice. I have so enjoyed scrolling through your blogs. My heart broke when I read about Daniel because we had a Jessica in our lives. One of my closest friend’s daughter. Jessica fought for three years, received 2 bone marrow transplants from her sister and then also went on to her next adventure. I am also married to an Irishman who moved to South Africa and we often visit Ireland. Your country is so beautiful. Thank you again for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for reading. Daniels story has been a massive part of my life and blog over the past two years. I am so sorry to hear about Jessica. It’s so difficult being a friend to someone who is going through so much, and then to see them lose their child. Even as people who share their grief I don’t think we can truly appreciate what it must be like. How is your friend doing now? Was it long ago?
      You married an Irishman, they’re not a bad breed really. I’m happy with my fella anyway! Lovely to see you over here. Thanks for reading.

      1. Jessica died on the 5th July 2008, five and a half years ago. There are still moments of intense grief but they are living their lives – they have two other daughters as well.
        I married the most amazing Irishman. He has an amazing sense of humor, is kind and caring and the “craik” is always good!

  31. Great advice on spending more work than just writing a post and hoping for the best. Where was your post last year, when I got started?! I’ve just recently jumped on Twitter and have tweeted about my posts. It hasn’t made a dramatic change in more people checking out my blog, but it has lead to some people popping over.

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