Apr 6, 2012

A to Z - Frequent Followers

Before I started this blog,  I had another one that I would dabble in every once in a while, posting random thoughts and whatever I felt like.  I think I had that blog for three years and ended up with maybe 14 followers. 

At the time of writing this post, I have been blogging for about 7 months and have over 200 followers. 

What's the difference?  Well,  few things.  One, I really wanted to build a community to be a part of.  I live in a place where there are a few writers, but not lots of connections, and for a while I felt like an octopus in a sea of mermaids.  The internet has absolutely changed that for me, and made me feel as at home on the internet as I do in my physical home. 

This has been accomplished through a beautiful thing called followers.  Remember when you were little and you would hear the best way to have a friend is to be a friend?  Well, that's still true.  If you want to have a presence, you have to be genuine.  A few months ago, this idea was really hit on my the Ninja Captain himself, Alex Cavanaugh.

Also, you have to put yourself out there a bit.  If you are participating in this blogfest, you are well under way, but it needs to continue.  Participate in fests, comment on the blogs you follow, let people get to know you. 

Most important, if you want to keep followers, you have to interact with followers.  It really doesn't take much time at all before you see people around and feel like you know them, engage in conversations (art applicable or not) and comment on their blogs. 

And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS respond to those who comment.  I prefer through email (make sure your setting aren't set to no reply in your blogger profile) but lots comment through additional comments.  The format doesn't matter, just make sure you reply.

What are ways you have found to increase followers?  Have you formed relationships with people you don't know but know?  What has been the best part of your interactions with followers so far?

36 comments :

Kyra Lennon said...

I have been lazy with my comments lately, which I know is bad, but I do make sure to visit everyone who visits me and comment on their blogs.

I need to get back to replying to comments properly, and that will definitely resume after the Easter weekend! :D

Susan Roebuck said...

I know just what you mean, Tasha. I too live in a place where there are no writers. It's just me and my computer!! Alex has worked so hard for his followers and I'll never achieve what he's done. I wonder when he sleeps?

Jenn said...

Over the years--I've met a lot of really cool bloggers. I originally started on Myspace then moved on to blogger--but had a hard time gaining a following, and it felt lonely out there in the real internet.

Then facebook happened. At first, I went to find followers on Networked Blogs--but I realized that followers does not equal Readers and ultimately, very few comments came in.

Then I had to get creative!! I created my own blogging group on Facebook called "The Writers' Post" which anyone can join. It started out with a handful of members and about a year later we are up over 100. We share links to our blog posts, we offer a weekly blog hop, and we support each other in our writing endeavors. We participate as often or as little as we want to.

I have come to love that group--simply because I've met some really talented writers. And yes--that meant my posts were getting read and I was getting comments.

The best part is that I've made some terrific friends along the way!

Wonderful post!!

Cheers, Jenn
http://www.wine-n-chat.com

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It's true one can't expect comments unless you put yourself out to comment on other people.

Yvonne.

Cindy said...

having giveaways gets the followers up there, but not the readers! Giveways bring those who are looking for a freebie only
BUT what you've stated gets true followers! not just numbers

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Tasha!
When I started my blog two and a half years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly didn't expect to find such a supportive community and so many friends. I try to connect with new followers while still maintaining relationships with older followers. (And for me, that's starting to be a bit of a challenge, but I'm trying!)

Bish Denham said...

I have definitely formed relationships with many fellow bloggers and have learned a great deal from them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've blogged for seven years now and seen a lot of followers come and go. And while I should probably have a lot more followers after all of these years, at least what I have now is manageable.

Annalisa Crawford said...

You're so right - a little bit of effort is hugely rewarded. I'm proud of my 130 (as of today) followers!

Danielle B. said...

I was thinking about this other day. "Why do people follow me if they never comment or leave me feedback." I don't care about the number of people that follow me, I care about the relations that I form with the people that do. I'm not saying everyone has to comment all the time but one every once in a while makes a difference. Or the ones that I comment to all the time and never comment to me back. That bothers me. But the blogging world has blessed me with some great blogging friendships and I'm grateful for that!

Joshua said...

I make sure that I comment back to everyone. Sometimes, it's via email, too. And the blogs that I frequent and stay with are the ones where that blogger comments back and reciprocates. It's a big case of you get what you give.

Angeline Trevena said...

Totally true. When I started blogging I thought people would just come. Surprise, surprise they didn't! I blogged for over a year with 1 follower until I discovered blogfests and the importance of visiting other blogs.

Angela Cothran said...

The writing community is more supportive than most other bloggers. We are honestly interested in what others have to say. I love it :)

a.eye said...

Wow! That's a lot of followers in a short amount of time! Good advice! I have been getting better at commenting on comments to interact with readers.

McKenzie McCann said...

I wish I was able to have more interaction with my followers as well as the people I follow. The blogging community is full of amazing writers.

Shannon... said...

I tend to review sites that I follow from my phone...which does not make it particularly easy to comment. So I have not been very good about commenting, though I often have thoughts - I just tend to say them out loud to myself. I wish the Android Google Reader did this better! I am learning from this Challenge though how important commenting is. What to do?!?!
Good luck with the Challenge.
Shannon

Donna K. Weaver said...

Email definitely makes it easier to connect with more people. And I agree that people make it easier for me to respond back to particular comments when they enable their email. If you're worried about your personal email getting clogged down, I suggest opening a special account just for your blog.

Charlie Warren said...

Great post that is full of sound and practical advice. I have a few people that I owe comments to and I might just go take care of that now...

Charlie
http://semiretiredgamer.blogspot.com

Heather M. Gardner said...

Followers are great but I mostly still blog for me. It helps me clear my head and vent in a place that doesn't annoy my family.
:)

HMG

Kelley said...

This is SO true Tasha. Having bloggy friends is the same as having 'physical' friends. We all want to build that relationship and interact. Offer each other something and get something back in return.

You do an awesome job with this blog! :) No wonder you have 250 followers ;)

Konstanz Silverbow said...

I have always been really bad about commenting on other blogs. I am trying to fix this and so far (this month) it is working.

Hopefully I will be able to keep up the habit once April is over.

Love your blog and I hope to become great friends! :)

Konstanz Silverbow
nothoughts2small.blogspot.com
A to Z Co-host
www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Clarissa Draper said...

Because I also live in a place where there are few writers, I love the online community. Only five of my family and friends -- outside my immediate family-- know I write so I need the support where I can get it.

What are ways you have found to increase followers? I love visiting blogs, sometimes I just read them but mostly I love visiting and reading and commenting. Sometimes I like commenting on other blogs more than writing my own blog posts.

Have you formed relationships with people you don't know but know? Oh yes! SO many wonderful writers! I would say I'm close (in an internet relationship way) with around 20 or 30 bloggers. I really feel like I know them. Some of them better than my family and when things are going wrong in their lives, it bothers me.

What has been the best part of your interactions with followers so far? The support and connections.

Wonderful post.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I try to always visit anyone who visits me. I have found some blogs I try to never miss.

Von L Cid said...

Thanks for this post. I just started blogging in February. The whole thing has been intimidating. But above all, it's been fun.

I love learning from those that have travelled the path.

Catherine Noble said...

I have 29 followers on Google Friend Connect now, and I'm delighted with it! :) Since the A-Z blogging challenge started, I've been getting 15-20 comments a day and I find myself spending AGES browsing through the commenter's blogs! I find new writers via Twitter too. I have to drag myself away from this comment cycle though, as it eats into my fiction writing time. Someone give me more hours in the day please! :)

ali cross said...

Yep! You have to be a friend to get a friend, right? I have made REAL friendships just through comments left on a blog. It's an amazing thing. :)

Cassie Mae said...

The best thing I get out of comments on my blog and on others is I end up chatting with lots of people off their blogs too. Like, I'll eventually say, dude, just shoot over to FB and we'll chat.

I've also made SO MANY friends I never thought I would just by reading people's blogs and responding to the comments made on mine. I love doing this, but this may just be my love for being social.

Lyla said...

I've found that participating in blog fests are a good way to increase followers. So is actively commenting on people's blogs (which I've admittedly neglected to do after starting to use an app on my phone that allows me to read blogs on the go BUT doesn't let me comment :/). But most of the lasting relationships I've formed with people I "know" have been from Twitter.

This is a very good and insightful post, Tasha! I've left you a blog award over here:
http://lylawrites.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-awards-galore-sequel.html

Janyce said...

I'm glad you chose Followers as a subject for "F" day. My blog is so new I don't even know what it's about. :) You have some really helpful tips here and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

This is so true. And the writing community is so friendly, it's really fun to stay in touch. :)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I don't know how any of you guys do it! I'm thinking y'all have herds of elves at your kitchen table, blogging for you.

I'm right, right?

:)

Kelly Stilwell said...

I have to tell you, that is a lot of great information! I'm sort of a newbie at this (not writing, but blogging) and some days you feel like, "Why am I doing this?" Yes, I've made some great friends I hope to meet one day. And it does get easier!
Great blog. And I love owls, too. Have had 4 great horned right across from my home at one time!

Kelly Stilwell
www.kellystilwell.com

Jessica Salyer said...

All great points. I try to comment on everyone who comments on my blog and then return the favor by visiting their blog. Some days are harder than other, when you don't have much time, but it's worth it. I have met a lot of great friends and learned tons of valuable information.

Andrew Leon said...

Unfortunately, I barely have time to keep up with the blogs I currently follow... it makes it difficult to cultivate more.

Sarah Pearson said...

I've made some real friends through blogging which is great. I'm starting to struggle a bit keeping up with all my friends but I'm determined to do it. Of course it doesn't help that I keep finding awesome new friends to follow :-)

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I like this post. It is how I feel, too. I also glance at, and sometimes read, other comments. I've clicked over to that person's blog, too, because of their comment. I want to get to know them and see what their blog is like.

Play off the Page