Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grow your followers: It's social

A reader recently asked,
I have just recently started my blog.... How do you expand your followers?
What a great question! I am so grateful to my readers.

"Following" refers to any of several ways readers can opt to be notified of new blog content, from subscribe-by-mail to Blogger's own "Following" to an RSS reader. Each has its own ins and outs.

But the answer to this question isn't technical. It's social.

You get followers by writing good content and by cultivating connections that relate to the topic of your blog.

I don't mean that the purpose of your blog is to meet people, although you might. I mean that your future readers are already reading and writing things online, and you can find them there.

Think of non-obnoxious ways you can promote your blog. Maybe put it in the sig line of your email account. Make sure there's a link to it from any profiles and on pages you have on YouTube or Google+. Things like that.

Most significantly, you can cultivate reciprocal relationships with other people blogging about similar things. Things you care about too. Things you should know.

Suppose your blog is about baked goods. Well, read what other people say about pastry, cookies, pies, and bread.

Get to know this guy
If you find something genuinely interesting, say a post about artisanal cupcakes, leave a comment for the author. Ask a question. Follow the blog.

You can showcase the post or the blog in a post on your blog: Hey everybody, check out this great thing that so-and-so wrote!

Curated content is part of blogging. Keep a list of links to good content in your sidebar.

If you do that regularly at least some people will return the compliment and perhaps follow you. Their readers will check you out.

I've made some wonderful connections that way.

But don't stop blogging! Once you get regular readers, they'll expect to hear from you.

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