This post was inspired by Jennifer of Holds Upon Happiness, and her Thoughts Upon One Year of Blogging. Jennifer said,
I haven’t acquired hundreds and thousands of followers. It is much harder than I thought to get people to read my ramblings. I knew I wouldn’t instantly have a huge number of followers but I did think by now I would have more than I do. I must admit, I get a little envious when I see other blogs the same age as mine that have many, many more followers. That can make me doubt what I am doing. I am being honest about that feeling because it is easy to feel like you are the only one whose blog is growing at a snail’s pace.
I can definitely sympathize, as I felt the same way during my first year of blogging. I found that I had to work quite hard to attract followers; it didn’t just magically happen as I had vaguely expected. It became a challenge to up my numbers, not because I was looking for advertising revenue or more points with publishers, but just because I didn’t want to feel I was speaking into a void.
I still don’t have thousands or even many hundreds of followers, but I’m happy with the quantity and most of all the quality of interactions that I’ve built up. I’m so grateful to have met so many interesting, creative, funny, thoughtful reader-friends through blogging, and that’s what keeps me going. If your audience seems smaller than you would like, I encourage you to keep looking for your people — they are out there, and you can find them.
Here’s what I would suggest if you’re looking for more activity on your blog:
- Visit and comment on other blogs. People are more likely to be interested in and follow you if you display an interest in them. When I felt sad about my blog following, I made a conscious effort to do more commenting and it made a noticeable difference.
- Participate in some memes. I’m not a huge fan of memes in general, but there are a couple I enjoy, such as Top Ten Tuesday and It’s Monday! What are you reading? Post your link, and also hop around and visit some other blogs from the linkup. You’re sure to find somebody with whom you share some common interests.
- Participate in some events and challenges. The Book Blog Discussion Challenge has been especially great for generating more discussion (obs) and visiting among the participating bloggers. My discussion posts are usually the most viewed and commented-on of each month. There are also lots of events centered around various books, authors, and genres, and they can be a way to connect with like-minded readers.
- Create your own event or challenge. I’ve done Witch Week, Elizabeth Goudge Reading Day, and the Reading New England challenge, and they have all been great fun for me and I hope for the participants as well. I’ve definitely made new connections from each one.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out. I was super shy about this at first, but if you ask politely (for someone to write a guest post for your event, for example), people are mostly extremely kind and accommodating. And be sure to give back as well — sharing posts you like, linking to interesting discussions, and expressing gratitude for small favors are other ways to build positive relationships and foster community.
With all of these, I think it’s important not to do anything SOLELY to attract followers. Comment on posts when you have something of substance to say, create an event that you would enjoy even if nobody else came. Real interest and meaningful content shine through.
Have you ever made an effort to attract followers? What has worked for you?