Since I started blogging, I have been asked countless times how to get more followers. How, how, HOW DO I GET MORE FOLLOWERS, POPPY?
So, I thought I would write a little post with some useful tips I’ve picked up along the way – most of which may sound like common sense to many of you and possibly these are things you’ve been doing for a long while already… But for those of you who are just starting out in the blogosphere, I hope you find this useful and please shout with any questions. If I know the answer, I’ll shout right back.
1. Followers are real people. Real people with real brains and real personalities. So don’t forget that your content needs to be engaging and fresh so that your real-people-followers will read it and then want to share it. So before you start to worry about how you are going to promote your blog, make sure your content is top notch.. and this may take some work, but that’s fine! You’re not here for a quick shortcut fix, now are you?
2. Create your brand. If you hadn’t realised it already, You Are A Brand. Yip. You you you important little you. The language you choose, the font you use, your tone of voice and your style of photography all represent you and your brand across all the corners of the sparkly tinternet. It means your followers can recognise you and your style instantly.. and consistency is key… no Jeckyll and Hydey stuff pleasey – you’ll lose your readers at ‘hello’.
Branding is something which confuses a lot of people, but don’t tangle yourself up in a knot, just remember that it is all about how you want people to feel about you and your blog.. And if you feel like you need a bit of help in this department, get in touch with these chaps. They’re good and love working with the little people. Like you and me.
3. Be social: Facebook. Set up a Facebook page for your blog and post your blog updates there. Don’t forget to make it nice and easy for your readers to link to it and ‘like’ it directly from your blog too. Gathering ‘likes’ is a great way to promote your blog as when someone likes your Facebook page it will usually show up in all of their Facebook friends’ news feeds… and if it sparks their interest they’ll nip over to your blog and maybe even become a loyal and regular reader. Hurruh! Here’s how to install the Facebook ‘like button’ for WordPress and Blogger.
4. Be social: Twitter. This is an incredible tool for reaching out and interacting with others. There is an etiquette with Twitter, as no one likes spam or a constant stream of links – that is one sure way to lose followers. The trick with Twitter is being consistent, interacting, being personal and supporting other people you like – retweet (RT) posts you agree with and enjoy. It will be appreciated and often reciprocated, leading to more interaction and more followers. Ding! Again, make a link to your Twitter account super easy to find from your blog. No one wants to have to hunt for anything. (We’re busy people, you know).
5. Be social: Pinterest. This is one of my favourite things in the world. A online pinboard on which you can pin everything you like, for everyone to see and share? And it’s free? Really? It is almost too good to be true. And again, you can link straight back to your Pinterest page from your blog – here’s how to install the ‘follow button’ for your pleasure. Every new pin can be posted in real time back to your Twitter and Facebook pages too… it’s powerful. Kaboom.
6. Comment on other blogs. And I don’t mean ‘Me-me-me-and-here’s-a-link-to-my-blog’ comments, I mean thoughtful, authentic and considered real comments. It will be appreciated. I always visit the blog of a reader who’s left me a lovely comment and usually reciprocate in kind… the blogging world is a great community, so jump right in and get involved!
7. Invite your readers to share your posts. Share, share, share. It’s all about sharing your content and reaching out to potential new lovely followers. Your job is to make this as easy peasy for them as possible and one way of doing this is by including a simple set of social media share buttons at the end of each of your posts. If you want more buttons than are offered by your blogging platform, then have a look at ‘add this‘ or ‘share this‘ for some more snazzy options.
8. Write a guest post. First you need to think about the kind of people that would want to read your blog and then hunt high and low for other blogs who attract a similar kind of Demographic. (Fancy word). Once you’ve found some, contact their owners and offer to write a guest post, or even better, feature on their blogs. Try to find blogs with a higher readership than yours and you should find you’re able to tempt some of their readers over to your own blog with your excellent writing skills.
9. Analyse and learn. Let’s talk about Google Analytics. (DON’T PANIC.) They are very easy to set up and once you have them in place, you will be doing crazy happy 80’s dancing, like they do in Footloose. You will be able to see who is looking at your blog, what country they’re from, how long they stayed on your blog, what they searched for in order to arrive at your blog and which posts are your most popular. This information is like gold dust to folk like you and me and it means we can learn and adapt accordingly. Google Analytics will become your best friend and you will love it forever and ever. When it comes to tools which help you learn about your readership and grow your blog to be the best blog it can be, Google Analytics is the mothership.
10. Take great photographs. “A picture tells a thousand words…” It’s TRUE. If your picture is a bit weak and ‘meh,’ you risk losing your reader before they’ve even read one word. Don’t forget that it’s your picture which will accompany your post’s link wherever you place it, so try to make sure your photos are strong, dynamic and that you love every pic you post. Don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy camera – there are plenty of very cheap and clever photo apps around to make even the simplest of mobile phone snaps look like you’re David Bailey. I usually use Istagram, but Afterglow and VSCO are also favourites among many bloggers… so get snapping.
I really hope this has been helpful – there are many other clever little tricks of the trade which will get your blog flying, but I think 10 tips is enough for now… (especially as you should really keep blog posts quite short as most people don’t want to wade through realms of information.. In fact, um, are you still here..?
p.s. Come and connect with me on Snapchat and also make sure your blog is live and kicking on BlogLovin’ – it’s a great way to pick up new readers and find other bloggers to inspire you… I’m there, are you?