A few years ago now, I started taking note of my blog stats. I like numbers and watching them grow. It keeps me motivated and helps me to know that I’m clearly doing something right and on the right track. I think that’s the case for a lot of people and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. The increasing numbers are a JOY to watch and still give me a buzz today. That’s why I wanted to share how to increase your blog following with you today.
I’ve been blogging since 2013 (ah the good ol’ days) and back in 2018 was when I started to really keep track of the NUMBERS. In the middle of 2018, I hit 5,000 blog followers, which was 5 years into my blogging journey. So that averages out at around 1,000 followers a year. A pretty decent amount and pretty steady growth.
Then at the beginning of 2020…
I hit 10,000 blog followers.
That’s another 5,000 followers in 1.5 years. Say whaaaaat. I know, I don’t really believe it either but here we are.
I gained the same amount of blog followers in 1.5 years than I did in 5 years. But HOW? No, it wasn’t luck. No, it wasn’t chance. It was hard bloody work and making those effective changes to my blog and my approach which brought about this mega growth. So today I’m going to share 6 of the basic ways of how to increase your blog following which ACTUALLY WORKED for me.
To be totally honest, it’s not what I expected to happen. I never anticipated this growth. But something obviously clicked and here we are. I even wrote a whole eBook dedicated to growing your blog following, which contains a lot of extra, handy information and resources if you REALLY wanna get stuck in!
Before we get into the advice, here’s a quick image that I took a few years ago (mind the quality, I had a REALLY shite camera!) which shows how I used to keep track of my stats and how many followers I had at that time (2018):
Right, now that’s all out of the way, want to know how to increase your blog following? Well here’s the exact changes I made to sent my blog followers sky-rocketing:
I think one of the main differences is that my consistency improved tenfold. I have a blog schedule, a spreadsheet to keep track of all my blog posts and social media promotional posts and I STICK TO IT. Without fail. It was only when I started doing this and stopped posting sporadically that I noticed a real increase.
How to help with consistency? Schedule posts in advance. Bank a bunch of posts which are ready to go for say, the following month. This way you don’t have to worry about churning out a post the morning it’s due up and it takes a LOT of the pressure off. I will advocate for scheduling in advance until I’m blue in the face.
Scheduling tweet regularly and every day
Regardless of how tedious I find it, scheduling tweets and promoting my posts on the reg has helped massively. Did you know the average life span of a tweet in around 18 minutes? Say you promote your blog post ONCE on Twitter, that gives you readers 18 minutes peak time to see it. After that, they’re less and less likely to do so.
So not only with scheduling tweets help with blog VIEWS, it’ll also help getting your blog out there and for more people (people = potential followers) to see it. Don’t be afraid of “over-sharing” on Twitter either – if the average life span is 18 minutes, trust me, you’re not over-sharing.
How do I schedule my tweets? I use the free version of Buffer to schedule tweets for that day. When I have a NEW post up, almost all of my promotional tweets are promoting that post. If I don’t, then I promote a variety of my old posts. Plus my eBooks, my advertising packages and any affiliate programmes (such as Pinterest With Ell – highly recommended!)
Let’s just get this out of the way… I hate taking blog photos. I hate it. BUT, what I’ve learnt is that humans are visual creatures. We need something to draw us in. The easiest thing for that? Photos. Now, I definitely DID improve my photography. It’s nowhere near the standard of others but compared to what it used to be, well, call me Picasso.
But when I can’t take photos or I’m writing a blog post like this one where I wouldn’t know WHAT photos to take – I use stock photos. Which are totally okay to use as a blogger and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Basically what I’m saying, is just take a minute to actually CARE about how your content looks.
What to do if you hate taking blog photos? Finding a “style” that works for you is helpful because it cuts down the thinking time when it comes to arranging the photo. Accumulate some props which are easily accessible and you know look nice in photos. And don’t compare yourself to others! And use stock photos, which we’ve covered.
Find what does well
Another great tool for how to increase your blog following is finding what does well for you and your audience. For example, blogging advice style posts – like this one! – always go down really well. So I started using that information to my advantage.
How do I do this? Hop onto your stats (e.g the WordPress stats page on the app – if you use WordPress – I’m afraid I don’t know how Blogger works with this) and check out your “monthly” views. It’ll tell you which were your most viewed post/s on any given month. If you start to notice a pattern (e.g a book review is always the highest viewed post) then take note.
Get involved – be social
You have to be active in the blogging community. New followers and like-minded followers are everywhere but you’re more likely to find them if you’re actually social. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. If you don’t put yourself out there, be heard, talk to people, make friends and offer opinions – how is anyone going to find you? How to increase your blog following goes further than just your blog.
How do I do this? There’s plenty of ways to do this which will benefit different people. A few are; joining a comment pod, taking part in Twitter chats, taking part in comment threads, joining blogging Facebook groups, just simply talking to people on Twitter.
When you read a blog post, you just know if the blogger behind it doesn’t give a shit about what they’re writing. Honestly, you can tell. Passion shines through. Not just in blogs, in anything. If you’re writing about something you love, are enthusiastic and passionate then I believe you’ll attract those like-minded people (as well as putting the hard-work in!)
Please don’t just write about something because everyone else is. Because it’s “cool”, when you really don’t care. Because if you don’t care, your readers won’t either. So even if that means writing LESS posts, then so be it. As long as you implement all the above and are PASSIONATE about what you’re writing, it’s all good.