It’s been a little while since I wrote about blogging on here. Many people have asked me about my blogging organisation and spreadsheets and if you’re interested about that, please let me know in comments and I will gladly do something about this later on, even if it should probably take me about 5 hours to write it down somehow? (okay. like every other blogging post I do #oops)
ANYWAY, today I thought I’d tackle a kind of popular topic around the blogosphere and actually talk about numbers. As you know, I might not be a fan of numbers, because all of our lives revolve around numbers, while these definitely aren’t everything. Yet, we can’t deny the rush we feel about new blog followers, new comments in our notifications tab and so on.
So today I am sharing how I do it all. I’m definitely not the biggest book blogger out there and I will be sharing half advice you already know, but mixed up with my own experience and how it worked out quite well for me, too. I hope this will or might help you and that you will enjoy it!
How to gain blog followers, interaction and be part of the blogging community
My number one tip to grow a following on a blog is, consistency. It’s definitely an advice you’ve heard a lot and there’s a reason for that: it actually works. Consistency means you have to write and publish blog posts on a regular basis. It’s simple, really: if people see you putting new things out there regularly, they will maybe read one blog post, then another, slowly grow accustomed to seeing you and enjoying your content and boom, subscribing, really.
Consistency does not mean you have to post every day. It just means that, if you’re posting on your blog on a regular basis, whether it’s twice a week, once a week, two times a month, you’re out there.
Consistency does not mean you can’t and should NOT take breaks. Your mental health, your personal life and everything else always comes first.
Pay attention to looks – because looks really does matter
Have you ever stumbled upon a blog with a really colorful design – I mean, so bright you can’t even see what’s happening? Did you ever try to read a blog with the font so tiny you can’t really focus on it?
If you want people to read your content, you have to make your blog, as a whole, look attractive and welcoming. That starts with a good, not too-cluttered design, with colors or / and a writing that isn’t too bright. That continues with blog posts you can actually find – either they’re directly on the homepage or you have a direct access to all of them in a menu. With categories you can find, eventually a search bar, too. Be Monica Geller, have an organized blog, or at least design.
Have an easy follow button to find. If you’re on the free WordPress.com platform, it’s there automatically at the bottom, but if you’re self-hosted, on any other platform, make some icons to follow your blog easily, at the top of your blog or on the left / right side column. To get you on bloglovin, goodreads, social media. Make it easy. Let’s face it, people are laaaaaaazy okay.
Make yourself known in the blogging community
This advice really is… well, I could talk about that one for days, really. How the heck do you make yourself known?
Participate in what the community offers.
This means, join bookish memes (Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting On Wednesday, etc.). It’s an easy way to link back to your blog, to find new people to chat with as well. It’s easy, it’s fun and it has helped me loads when I started blogging a couple years ago. Check out this Memes Master List for ideas, as well as Dani’s Book Bloggers Meme Directory.
This also means, join bookish challenges: the ones that come to mind at the moment is the Discussion Challenge, that is an amazing way to challenge yourself to post something fun regularly, as well as to find other bloggers to chat with on great topics.
Do bookish tags. Tag other people, too. These are fun posts to write and allows us to get to know you and your bookish taste better. People love being tagged, too. Shout out loud and make friends this way. People are nice, I swear it works most of the time. (also if you’re looking for book tags, feel free to browse my blog and tag yourself in everythinggggg).
Don’t just participate by writing your blog post and that’s it. Engage with people. Comment on other blogger’s posts.
Write engaging blog posts
Yes, but Marie, what the hell is an engaging blog post? Spoiler alert: I have no idea. I just know that, some people write in a way that makes me want to engage with them, to start a conversation, to leave a comment, to interact, to follow them to see more of them on my timeline.
Obviously, these posts have to be cool to read. Meaning that, since I’m lazy and read a lot, I like having images, paragraphs, separators, funny GIFs, bold text and so on. Things that make reading a long blog post, somehow, feel like a walk in the park. (More about writing an engaging blog post here. #shamelessselfpromo)
Yet, if that’s obvious advice and something anyone can do, the best way you can to be engaging is to be yourself, too. Finding your blogging voice and how you want to write your blog posts, seriously, by inserting jokes, with loads of GIFs, screaming in ALL CAPS EVERY NOW AND THEN or expressing yourself with lists… it all takes time. Try it out to see what works out best, both for your following, interaction and most importantly, WHAT YOU ENJOY TO DO. (Oh, and be yourself. I know Cait‘s incredible and has a fabulous blogging voice. She’s herself, you’re not her. Do your thing)
Seriously. It sounds dumb but, if you’re having a fun time writing a blog post, it shows. Also, SHOW people you care. Ask them questions by the end of the blog post, recommendations. Invite them to comment.
I know that not everyone is into blog-hopping and that’s perfectly okay. I’m also trying to be as honest as I can here and say it again, and again, and again: I am certain that I would not have what I have right now, if I didn’t blog-hop, at all. What do I have, you ask? Interactions, meaning people actually want to talk to me and that will never, ever cease to amaze me??
I wrote an extensive blog post on how to blog-hop, so I’m not going to spend too much time on that, but honestly… it sounds like a chore, at times. Maybe it is. But who said you have to spend a DAY reading blogs, or check out ten thousands? You can find one new blog every day, or every week. You can spend half-an-hour blog-hopping every now and then. Find your rhythm. To be honest, my number one tip in all this post is here: find people. Otherwise they won’t find you.
Answer to your own comments
When I spend time reading a blog post and never, never get acknowledged back, I feel sad. I am not saying you can’t take your time to answer your comments, or that you have to answer to every single one, especially if it’s jut someone saying “great blog post”, or something random like that. I’m saying that I genuinely enjoy seeing people spending time to write a comment, no matter how small or big, so I want to tell them thank you. I want to ask them more about their thoughts and start up a conversation. I want to maybe check out their blog and share some of the love back, too.
I don’t know if that works out well in order to gain followers and interaction, but I know people sometimes answer back. I know some people are happy I answered to them, because if it were me, I would be, too. And if you’re not blogging for that, for the conversations, I’m going to be honest and ask you, why?
Join social media
I have a love-hate relationship with social media, yet sometimes it works out well. People share blog posts there and you can share other blog posts, too. It’s easy (well… if you’re not like me) to interact with people there, make some new friends. You might even get traffic on your blog thanks to all of these blog-posts sharing. Also let’s be 300% honest here: social media’s taking over everything sooooo…. good to be in the loop there.
I realize that was not proper advice, so let me get started again. Twitter is GREAT if you’re a book blogger, because you’ll learn SO much, find out amazing bloggers to interact with. You can share your blog posts and share others, you can gain traffic, new followers and interaction, too. When it’s not too overwhelming, it’s fun. Remember to take breaks.
I didn’t talk about a bunch of stuff in that blog post. I could have mentioned SEO and how you can be found by search engines, for instance. I didn’t talk about Pinterest and other social media you could use to gain traffic and maybe followers. This post is long enough and I only focused on what I am actually using that worked out fairly well for me.
If you’re taking one thing out of this blog post, let it be this: blog to join a community. To have bookish conversations, to spread the love, give love to the world and it gives back. Also I’m just saying this because it’s the BEST thing about book blogging, so…
Best advice to take out of this though is, don’t be too impatient because it takes time. It’s so easy to get bummed out when a relatively new book blogger gets about 1K followers in that time it took you to get to 250 followers or something. Everyone has its own growth, rhythm and everyone has a different life behind the screen, too.
Also, if blog followers, interaction and everything else IS cool and bring on fun opportunities, (makes us feel very, very great, too, not denying it) please remember that it’s not ALL about numbers. Personally, I measure success on the great interactions I have with people and the friends I’ve made. And NOT the number of friends, either, but how incredible they are and let me tell you, you’re a bunch of awesome people.
Remember that numbers, followers, interaction and blogging does not come at the price of your sanity and mental health. It’s a hobby. Growing is great, having fun is always the best.
What do you think of my tips to gain followers and interactions? Which of these do you use? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? I’d love to know!
Would you like any kind of other “how to” blog posts like these from me? About blogging organizations and spreadsheets? About comments, about freaking out, aboutttttttt I don’t know? Let me know everything in comments, I would love to know your thoughts.