It was originally titled: GO BLOG YOURSELF, THEN GO BLOG SOME MORE, THEN GO BLOG UNTIL YOUR HAIR FALLS OUT AND YOUR LIPS ARE BLEEDING AND YOU CAN'T FEEL YOUR LOWER EXTREMITIES.
In the short time I have been blogging, I have learned a lot. Many things I wish I had known when I first started, but there's no HOW TO guide to blogging. Well, actually, there probably is, but far be it for me to actually do research. I prefer the school of complete obliviousness mixed in with paranoid tendencies. Doesn't make any sense, does it? Exactly.
Anyschiznit, I'm going to be starting yet ANOTHER series, yet to be named (feel free to make a suggestion), where I will be sharing my tips to blog success, and hopefully you'll share some of your success stories with me and all of my followers. Boring topic? Uh ... absolutely. But I pride myself on being ridiculous AND educational.
First topic: HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWING
With the exception of a few bloggers (and I have a difficult time believing them) most of us yearn to increase our following. It is our meth. It is our crack. It is our bucket of fries. Each time we see a new face pop up on the followers widget, it is another hit of our drug of choice. We may all have different reasons for wanting it, but the desire is the same. To have a bunch of followers. In order to do this, we need to do a little blog fishing. What's blog fishing, you ask? Well, let me show you. C'mon. It'll be fun.
The basic concept of blog fishing is you can not sit back and wait for followers to find you. You can not write your heart out and hope that someone will stumble upon your musings. You must go out and find them or as I call it fish for them. They are out there, millions of them, and they want to follow you --- they just don't know it yet. But they're about to ...
There are a variety of different ways to fish.
You can join a support or blog-specific group, such as The Secret is in the Sauce also known as SITS. These types of groups expose you to thousands of different blogs and give you the opportunity to advertise your own blog on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis.
You can peruse the blog roll of your followers. Find a blog name that intrigues you, and failing that, find a title of a blog post that intrigues you...
Hint-hint spend the extra time on the title of your posts. I find the more ridiculous the title, the better. For instance, I could have named this post Blogging 101; but then again sometimes you do attract a few crazies
... and go check out the blog.
Check out the other bloggers who are commenting in the same blogs you are. Chances are, if you are following the same blogs, you'll have the same bloggy niche and make that instant blog connection. Back in two and two.
I'm back. When bloggers give out awards, don't think to yourself, oh geesh, another blog post about awards! Take the time to go check them out. I do this all the time and am actually excited when I see a big list of blogs I've never seen before. Most bloggers do take the time to pick out really good blogs to put up for awards. I am rarely disappointed.
Okay, now that we have found a whole basket of blogs to follow, what's next? How do we transform these new bloggers into followers? Well, there are several different approaches.
You can read the blog, leave a comment, and hope for the best. Most bloggers will come back and give you a courtesy visit, but there is no guarantee that they will follow.
You can read the blog, leave a comment, and ask them out right to follow you, stating that it will be a reciprocated relationship, i.e. you come to my blog and follow me, then I'll come back here and follow you. I personally have no problem whatsoever with this approach. It is direct, it is honest, and for the busy blogger, it saves a lot of headache and hassle down the road. Some bloggers may be offended, and send snarky comments to you, so if you are not thick-skinned or actually give a sh*t, this might not be the best route for you. I recently received an email from a blogger who was offended and this, in part, was my (very well written) response
The reason I state up front that this is a reciprocal relationship, is that I really do my best to read all of my followers blogs, and because I have loyalty to my followers blogs, I just don't have the extra time to read outside blogs. I wish I did, but it is what it is.
Finally, I am a huge believer in saying exactly what I want up front. That may not be proper 'blogger etiquette' but if you have ever read my blog, I'm not a 'proper' kind of gal, and that's okay ... I'm sure it may be more blogger-friendly to spend hours reading endless blogs, leaving in-depth detailed comments, and pussy-footing around the whole follower situation, but it would also make for fewer people being aware of my blog.
Am I proud of the number of followers I have? Absolutely. Do I love getting comments and feedback? You bet I do. Am I afraid to shamelessly promote my blog because I think it is a great blog and I want as many people as possible to know about it? Not for a second. But the goal is not numbers, the goal is to have as many people as possible hear what I have to say.
So while I appreciate and understand what you are saying, it is not in me to sit back and wait for people to stumble upon me. It is in me to go get them.
So take that! Why I never ...
Another strategy, and my current one, is if I find a blog that is either a) harmless or b) highly entertaining, I leave a comment, often I note in the comment that I am a new follower and automatically follow. I refuse to believe there is a blogger out there who doesn't know exactly how many followers they have. I know right now that I have 243. When I check it in the morning, I'm going to know immediately if I have a new follower. Most bloggers will follow you back. But some don't. And I've accepted that. Gone are the days when I am scanning for who is and isn't following me, and un-following people - I simply just don't have the time for that anymore. It isn't hurting me to be one of their followers and so what if they don't follow back? There will be 20 more that do.
And that about wraps that up. Next time we will be discussing how to increase your comment volume.
What can you add to this blogging tutorial on increasing followers? Now, let's see ...
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