Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Get Blog Followers, Part II


I once posted an article where I shared ways of getting blog followers: I recommended commenting on other blogs, using forums, guest posting, and participating in blogfests. Since then, I’ve learned a few other techniques I’d like to share.

Search Terms

As soon as you set up your blog, you’ll start getting hits from Google. At first, it’ll be for the most random things. I once got a hit from a search on “Randy Jackson,” and I don’t recall ever using the word “randy” or “Jackson” on my blog, ever. 

Eventually, though, you’ll start getting legitimate hits. That’s when you should start thinking about what terms people search for and add those terms to your content.

For example, I’ve had tons of hits from the phrase “how to get blog followers.” I also get hits from things like “vestal virgins,” “nanowrimo,” "beta," "foreshadow" and authors names. Using words that attracts online searches is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin

You can set your blog posts to automatically appear on your Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts. Your followers can see the posts and click on them if they're interested. (For the first six months of blogging, all my followers came from Facebook.) Here's what you do:

Twitter: Set up an account at Feedburner.com. This site is great and provides you with all kinds of helps and goodies. Click on Publicize > Socialize > Add a Twitter account.
Facebook: Go to Networkedblogs.com, set up an account, and click Add Your Blog. Click on Syndication and it will link them up.
Linkedin: In the top menu bar, click on More > Get More Applications and you’ll see a Blog Link button. I have mine attached to my Twitter Feed.

Triberr

Triberr is a site where a group of people help each other get traffic by reposting their articles on Twitter, Stumble Upon, and Google Plus. You can’t be a freeloader, though; you have to repost other people’s content too.

You have to either be admitted to a tribe or find a tribe you like and ask to join. I’m a member of a historical fiction tribe of 24 people. All together, we have a reach of 19,815 Twitter followers. That’s a lot of followers. It’s also a great way to make friends.

Photos

I get more hits from images than anything else. It’s actually frustrating because the people using my photos aren’t always interested in my content, so the hits from photos mess up my stats. I got so sick of my posts on Phantom of the Opera and Tron always getting on my Popular Posts list that I finally deleted the pictures.

The more pictures you use, the more traffic you’ll get, and even if such traffic is often useless, at least it's traffic.

Titles

Titles are like the cover of a book. It’s the first thing people see, and it’s what they use to judge the content of your article. Sometimes it’s the only thing people see, like on twitter, Facebook, Tribber, or links on bloggers’ sidebars. Titles give you more search hits than the content itself. 

I don’t know the secret to a perfect title, but I do know it needs to be descriptive but short and to the point while at the same time being intriguing. It’s a tall order. Good luck with that.

Links on Other Blogs

When people post links to your blog, it’s flattering, generous, and very helpful. It’s also a gift – in other words, it’s not something you can control. All you can do is be friendly with other bloggers, thank them if you notice they’re generating traffic for you, and post links to other blogs to gain appreciation or to return the favor. Making friends will always help you.


Do you have any helpful advice to share?

79 comments:

  1. Great advice here. I do many of these things but some of them I haven't tried. My goal is to have 200 followers by the end of my first year (August 1st) and I'm right on track. Thanks for the help.

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  2. This is very helpful! I just got back into blogging and can use this information! Thanks! :)

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  3. Ha! This gaining followers thing has been absurd for me. I've always gotten a boost from blogfests, but I suspect lots of those people don't actually keep reading my blog. The keywords that bring people to my blog are mostly from werewolf enthusiasts, crazed Till Lindemann fans, and people who want to redecorate trailers. The posts I spend the most time on get the least hits (for the most part), and silly things like a picture of a Saturnalia orgy skyrocket to fame.

    I think the problem is that my blog attracts people like me, who are all over the place with their absurd interests.

    Ironically, I heard some bitter advice from a professional freelance writer recently: "If you just want lots of hits, write about celebrities and post pictures of them." So I've spent all of April writing about my favorite celebrities and received a bunch of silence and lower than average hits.

    I think I picked the wrong celebrities to write about in English.

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  4. Excellent post - I've only just realized how important titles are for search engines. You're right - it's hard to get the perfect balance of short and snazzy.

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  5. When I set up my blog a couple of years ago, I gained followers by commenting on and following other blogs. BUT, I made sure I made relevant comments and DIDN'T advertise my own blog. I dislike people who don't comment on the text of my post but just say 'Come and visit my blog' - that makes no sense to me.

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  6. Excellent post. I wish I was organised to follow all of your tips. I always enjoy looking at my statistics just to see what people have been searching for.

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  7. I had a blog before that I had followers with from blog hopping but I'm trashing that blog and moving everything to my new one and I am still working on the imports and things like that.

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  8. This was great advice! I am new to the blogging world and it has all been Greek to me! I appreciate the advice and will be utilizing some of these tips soon! Thank you!

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  9. I'm new to blogging and when you get a new follower it's a boost. It spurs you on knowing that someone is interested in what you've got to say. I don't just follow blogs for the sake of it, I actually enjoy reading the ones that I follow, else what't the point right? Really good advice. Now follow me please. Haha just kidding.

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  10. I hope to get followers, but most of the posts are for my own enjoyment. If I do get followers, I want them to be actually reading and caring about the things I post about. Thanks for these great tips!

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    Replies
    1. Your first line says it all! Write for your own enjoyment first. If you have fun writing, others will have fun reading.

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  11. Cool Blog Taralyn - found you from a search of "how to get blog followers", but now I'm interested in actually reading your historical fiction - thanks for this advice!

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  12. Awesome. Have been doing some of these already but wasn't really sure where to start- will definitely try out the rest of your tips. Your point about the importance of the title is so useful! Thanks.

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  13. Ok so the picture here is so dang cute, little duckies. Thanks for the tips too...right now my blog is like an online diary with a phantom readership that I refer to as "the montanans" don't ask....but really who knows. Some day I may be big there, like the Sky I guess. Thanks again.

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  14. Excellent article. I dont tend to worry to much about getting followers. My blog is usually about me ranting on and moaning about whatever has ticked me off so if people read it great, if not ive got something of my chest...

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  15. Thank you for this post! I was finding it hard to get my blog out to my twitter / Facebook automatically and you provided me the perfect way to do it!
    Because of what you said about the titles, I have re-organized my titles so they are a little more user friendly!

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  16. Thank you for sharing such great information! Hopefully, I can make it work. Here's my first attempt at following some advice... I have a blog for women who are interested in getting health and fitness tips and reading about other womens personal goals. it's to motivate and show other women there are many others just like them going through the same struggle. please follow me at amandachubbfitforlife.blogspot.com

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  18. thanks for the post let's see if it works :-)

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  19. Your post was most helpful. I had no clue how to link my blog to twitter and Facebook. I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks!

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