Starting from the bottom is never easy. In the world of blogging, everyone starts with 0 followers. Yep, imagine that. Even the biggest of big blogs (The Daybook anyone?) started with exactly 0 followers. At one point, her (Sydney) GFC follower number was 25, was 100, was 500, was 1,000. The point is, all bloggers start from the same point and have to grow the same way. To date, 15,073 individual people have clicked “Follow this site” on Sydney’s site. It may seem like it, but it’s not as if her follows count as 10 people or anything. One follower is one follower.
Blog growth is very much like a snowball effect. People want to be a part of something cool, hip and popular. If you visit a blog with 10,000 plus followers, you are much more likely to follow it than a log with 75 followers. It’s human nature. We want to be part of the “in” crowd. This reason can make growth simple and oh-so-difficult. Snowballs gather more and more steam the larger they get, but some never really get going. You’ve got to give your blog (snowball) a boost and give it everything you’ve got.
I chose the number 200 because it is around that point where you can say, “hey, people actually read my blog”. Suddenly 200 becomes 300 and 300 becomes 500 and you’re off and running. Getting to the 200 is the hardest part. Well, getting to the 25 is hardest, but I’m looking a little further than that. So it’s time to find out some tips on how to get your first 200 blog followers.
Good quality comments are your best friend when trying to grow your blog. “Great post, check out my blog at www.blognamehere.com” is NOT a good comment. As a matter of fact, that is one of the worst types of comments you can ever make. What this tells the blogger is, “hey I really don’t give a crap about what your post says, but I really want to leave my link here in hopes that some of your readers will click it”. Nothing makes you look like more of a jerk than doing this. Most readers know to see this as tacky and will not likely click your link anyway. Good comments, however, can bring you traffic. Add something to the discussion. Compliment the blogger who wrote the post. Share your side (if it’s not starting a fight) of the story.
These are great tools to get more people on your blog. Link-Ups are themed posts that have a place at the bottom where you are able to leave a link to your own blog post about the subject. Find some of the bigger link-ups and participate in them every week. Just make sure to follow the rules of the link-up. Again, you’re not trying to make enemies here! A couple of larger scale link-ups that have brought great traffic to my wife’s blog are What I Wore Wednesday from The Pleated Poppy and Friday’s Letters from The Sweet Season Blog. Those are just a couple. Look around the blog-o-sphere and you’ll find a link up for anything you can imagine!
Find a blogger that is of similar size and reach out to them. Ask them to swap blog buttons with you for a month. It’s a great and free way for both of you to get more people reading your blog.
Note: make sure you are clear as to how long the swap will take place. Try to keep things on a monthly basis. If your blog “blows up” and you’re getting advertisers coming, you might not want to have free buttons on your site anymore. Trust me, it’ll make for a lot less awkwardness if you put a time frame on the swap.
People are more inclined to follow a blog that is updated more often than once a week or every 10 days. So at the beginning, while you might not think anyone will read, you have to keep writing and publishing good posts. The more great content you have for people to read, the easier it will be to pick up some followers. So stick with it!
There ya go! Starting out can be tough, but with these tips and a “never give up” attitude, you’ll have gobs of followers in no time!