This series, which I’ve nicknamed ‘Dear New Blogger’, gives hints and tips for new or less experienced bloggers and writers. This post talks about gaining social media followers: how to do it, why you’d want to do it, and a plan for moving forward.
Why do I need followers?
Well, really, you don’t-but I’ll hazard a guess that if you are blogging, it’s because you want someone to read it, right? Having a high number of followers doesn’t mean you have a high number of page views, necessarily, and having a low number of followers definitely doesn’t mean no one is reading your blog (I will cover stats in a future post) but generally, the higher the number of followers, the more people like the content you’re producing, and we all like to be liked, right?
How can people follow me?
Cheeky plug time-I’m giving my own links in the examples here, so if you aren’t already, go follow me! There are a few different ways people who like your blog can follow you:
Via your blogging platform (if you are on WordPress or Blogger-if you are self hosted you won’t have this option) A reader can only follow you via your blogging platform if they are on the same one, so someone who uses Blogger can’t follow me on WordPress. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME VIA WORDPRESS BY CLICKING THE BLUE ‘FOLLOW’ BUTTON TO THE LEFT OF THIS POST.
Via E-mail-anyone who doesn’t blog themselves and so doesn’t have a blogging platform and may not use Bloglovin can follow you by e-mail. This means when you post something new, they’ll receive an e-mail notifying them and giving them the link. I have less than 50 followers who do this but that’s 40 odd people who otherwise wouldn’t read my posts, so it’s pretty cool.
Via Twitter-anyone using Twitter can follow you, which means they’ll see links to your posts (if you tweet them!) and anything else you choose to post. I tweet my posts, random photographs I’ve taken, and tit bits about my life. I basically live on there and I really enjoy chatting to people. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER HERE.
Via Instagram-you can post blog related photos on there with a little teaser to encourage followers to come and read your post. I do this and also post and general life photos on my Instagram-so it’s a good way to get to know what makes me tick as a person, not just a blogger. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM HERE
Via Facebook-Bloggers can create a Facebook page for their blog, that their readers can ‘like’. It’s a good way for bloggers to engage with their readers and as most people these days use Facebook, it’s a popular one. YOU CAN LIKE MY FACBOOK PAGE HERE
How do I get people to follow me?
Well, there is no easy answer to that. You can’t MAKE people follow you, but you can encourage them. Ways I use are:
Twitter-Use your twitter feed to post your Facebook Page and Instagram links sometimes, asking people to check you out or to follow you. Sometimes people will go and do so but they may not have bothered to actually search for your page, so you’ve made it easy for them.
Facebook-If you’re happy for your friends and family to know you blog, then link to your posts on your personal page, ask them to follow you, invite them to like your Facebook page, etc etc. I have a lot of support from friends and family through doing this.
There are also many Facebook groups that allow you to do ‘like for like’ ‘follow for follow’ posts, or to join a thread whereby you go and like or follow so many people above you and the people below you do the same. Groups like UK Bloggers do this very well.
Instagram-Using relevant hashtags on Instagram will help to encourage other bloggers to find you. Think #lbloggers, #bbloggers or #fbloggers for Lifestyle, Beauty or Fashion. There’s also #psbloggers (Plus Size Bloggers) or just #bloggers. I’ve gained quite a few followers from using hashtags properly on Instagram.
Networking-I’ve gained lots of my followers through networking with other bloggers, either by talking to them on Twitter or Facebook, or meeting them at events. I never ASK people to follow me but at events I give out my business cards, and they can follow me later if they choose to. Commenting on other bloggers posts is another good way to network, although there are mixed views on whether or not you should leave your link. I personally do, but only if I’m leaving a proper, useful comment. No ‘nice post, here’s my link’ from me.
Posting great content-Perhaps the most important way to gain followers, if you produce (and promote) great content, people are bound to want to follow you. My post on writing content people want to read should help with that.
Hopefully this has helped those of you who aren’t yet bloggers, or who are new bloggers.