A friend has asked if I can give her brother some advice on how to get more ‘followers’ for his new blog (weird word that, isn’t it, ‘followers’? It’s kind of biblical. I keep thinking of disciples or a strange cult).
Of course, my answer would depend, to some extent, on what kind of blog he’s got. Is it a ‘business blog’ or a ‘what-I-had-for-breakfast’ kind of blog or is it like mine, for people with a passion for something?
Although I don’t profess to be an expert in these things (and there’s loads of advice and info on the web), here are my 10 tips for getting more followers. You can probably think of some more (see what I’m doing there? That’s point 6. Sneaky, eh?)
1. Blog regularly, at least once a week. People will lose interest otherwise (not least you, the blogger!).
2. Choose a ‘clear’ title for each post. One that’s likely to be picked up by search engines. Eg: ‘Writing For Woman’s Weekly’ rather than ‘You Might Find This Interesting..’ (that’s a terrible example but you know what I mean).
3. Tell friends and family about your blog (er, maybe just once!) but don’t expect them to follow it avidly. Unless the subject matter’s of real interest to them, they won’t be your main followers. (None of my real ‘nearest and dearest’ read this blog. Which is great because it means I can talk about them!)
4. Follow other people’s (similar) blogs and comment on their posts. You’ll build up a ‘network’ of fellow bloggers and they may link to your blog.
5. Always ask yourself what the reader is getting or gaining from each post you write. There must be something ‘in it’ for them, or why should they read it?
6. Encourage readers to leave comments by asking questions in your posts, or choosing topics that will stimulate debate; invite ‘guest bloggers’ to leave a post from time to time too.
7. Run competitions or give the occasional freebie (make it for subscribers only if you want to encourage people to sign up to the blog).
8. Reply to any comments that are left. Interact with your readers. (*blushes* I know I don’t always do that one. But I do read them all, of course).
9. Flag up your new posts on Facebook or Twitter. (Bearing in mind 5)
10. Put your blog address everywhere you can. Make it part of your email signature, put it on business cards if that’s appropriate or any advertising you do; if you write any articles or get any publicity, make sure your blog gets a mention.
Freebie! (Point 7):
And finally, my writing buddy Sally is giving away a freebie – but be quick, it’s only available TODAY, Saturday 22nd June (it has been offered as a freebie for longer of course but I’ve only just had chance to post this today!)
Her non-fiction Kindle e-book ‘A Writer on Writing – Advice to Make You a Success’ (and who doesn’t want a bit of that?) is free on Amazon as I write this. If you’re quick, you can download it.
All she asks – and it’s a modest request – is that you leave a review on Amazon when you’ve read it.