It seems like almost everyone has a blog these days. So how do you actually get people to follow your blog?
I’ve recently started my own blog and have been learning hands on through how to build followers. It often feels like a big eco system between my blog itself and the many social media platforms on which it also sits!
1. Choose the right social media channels
Choose your social media channels based on the type of blog you have. Do you use a lot of photography? Pinterest and Instagram will work particularly well. Is your blog about topical events? Twitter will be great for you.
2. Use Publicize on Word Press or its equivalent
Wordpress is one of the most common platforms for bloggers. When writing a post you can choose when it goes out. In this same box is a publicize area. You can then link this to all of your social media platforms. When your blog is posted to your site it will then automatically post to all of your feeds.
3. Leverage friends and colleagues
If appropriate it is very simple to ask all of your Facebook friends to follow your blog on Facebook. Linkedin allows for you to post your blog in your feed and you can then use this to seek followers. On Instagram you can follow your friends from your blog account and look to trigger them following you.
If you have friends or colleagues who are particularly active on social media send them an email and explain what you are doing with a link to your site. Tell them you would be thrilled if they could mention your blog – IF they feel it is appropriate content for their target audience.
4. Send emails and make offers
Whenever I mention a company or a person in my blog I send them an email with a link to my blog. As I am getting started I only do this after I have posted. I let them know that they are in my blog and I would really appreciate it if they could post a link to it on one of their social media platforms. I find this works approx. 20% of the time.
5. Only go for genuine followers
Instagram in particular offers hashtags like #follow, #followme etc. Randomly following other people’s social media feeds no matter what the topic will get you some followers in the short term if you do it enough. However, they won’t stick with you and you are better to focus on genuine followers and build a relationship with them.
6. Put in the hours
Building followers and then the relationship with them takes time. For example, on Instagram I spend 10 minutes every day going through my feed and liking and commenting on pics. I then spend another 10 minutes searching through my favourite hashtags and like, follow or comment on pics in that area. Every day. This is in addition to my daily post and hashtags. It results in about 3-4 new followers a day but this happens every day – as long as you put in the time.
7. Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags
Hashtags are critical on Instagram and Twitter – especially when you are new. This is how followers will find you. It is critical that you know the most popular hashtags associated with the area in which you blog. You’ll need to know the most critical 1-2 for Twitter. On Instagram depending on your scheduling company you can put up to 100 hashtags on a post. Time-consuming but it does pay off.
Check out the most popular sites/bloggers in your industry. They often have a hashtag that you can use for potential reposting to their site. Once you use their hashtag in your post they can find your post and potentially re-tweet/re-share on Instagram with their audience. Everyone needs good content!
Approach websites in the industries relevant to your blog. Actively send them links to your blog and key posts and ask if they would either like to put your post on their site or if you could write something for their site. No money changes hands – they key thing here is that you get access to sites with much higher traffic levels than your own – and the chance for new followers.
9. Don’t compromise on content quality
Don’t post just to post. The easiest way to lose followers is to post something that lacks relevance. When this pops up in a feed it is very easy to unfollow someone. Post less often if needed.
10. Don’t over post
After low relevance, the next thing that is most likely to cause you to lose followers is to post too much. No one wants their feed cluttered up with endless posts by the same person. The right number of posts per day depends on your industry and target audience but once a day seems to be a good place to start.
So there you have it, my top ten points on building an audience for your new blog.
Amanda O’Brien is a marketing professional and the owner of the blog The Boutique Adventurer, a travel and lifestyle blog pitched at those who like a little bit of luxury. Follow her on Instagram @theboutiqueadventurer and twitter @travelandwine37.