Blogging

how to earn more followers RIGHT NOW // 10 realistic ways to grow your blog audience

The number one question I receive regarding blogging is ‘how do I get more followers?’

It’s not surprising, either. It seems everyone’s looking for the secret behind gaining followers. There are more articles about it than you can count, and even more bloggers searching for them every day. The problem is, the posts we find aren’t all that reliable. Like, do we have the time and money for starting a social media account, advertising, and hosting time-consuming giveaways?? haha NO.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve struggled with gaining followers too. It’s a process; building an audience requires patience and dedication. But. That doesn’t mean you can’t encourage your follower count to get a bit higher. There are a few ways to realistically draw new people to your content — and you can start doing them right now.

Get some paper and a pen, and let’s get started growing, shall we?

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10 – read successful blogs

First, we need to do a little research. Go find 3 blogs in your niche or genre that you admire with at least 500 more followers than you. Ask some friends, search the internet, browse through blog buttons… there are lots of resources to find a blog up your ally.

Take a look at the three blogs you’ve picked. A reeeeally good look. What makes them so attractive? Make sure to look deeper than just the design. Are they all using a similar platform (WordPress, Blogger, or Bloglovin’ are a few)? How does their writing style stand out? What kind of things do they post about? Take a look around for a few minutes, then ask yourself this question: how can I mirror these in my blog? Write that down.

^^ That right there is your launchpad. You know why? This is the finish line, the point-B. This is what you will be working toward today, tomorrow, and until you surpass that finish line.* But, right now, you’re at point A. Your job is to figure out how those blogs made it to where they are now and find ways to replicate their successes.

That might seem like a big job, but I got you, fam. We’re gonna work through this, step by step.

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9 – talk to experienced bloggers

You just wrote down three blogs that you admire, right? I’m going to trust that you have and give you a bold task. Now, don’t freak out, but…

I dare you to email those three bloggers. Right now.

“WOAH ABBY BUT THEY HAVE LIKE A BAJILLION FOLLOWERS THEY’RE PROBABLY BUSY TALKING TO EVERYONE ELSE IM NOT DOING THAT!!”

Okay, okay, calm down! I can’t tell you a blogger isn’t busy, but I promise it’s not because they have six hours of fan mail to answer. It is intimidating to reach out to somebody with such a big audience when you feel as though you have a tiny one. It’s like going to meet a superstar. You feel so… normal and uncool and disappointed. Are you just not good enough to stand in the presence of this God-sent from Heaven? just forget it you’re not worthy dont even try.

wu

You gotta remember, everybody starts out small. These big-time bloggers? Once upon a time, they didn’t have ANYBODY reading their stuff. We all started out the same, whether we have huge audiences now or not.

Why am I asking you to email them? So it puts you on their radar and they’ll visit your blog?? Not really although i mean that would be nice. It’s so you can have an actual conversation with people you admire most. Think about it for a sec. Bloggers put out what they want the world to see. Everyone on planet earth can read what we’re writing — everyone on earth can read the comments we use! But one-on-one conversation opens up doors that just don’t exist otherwise. You can be much more personal in a private setting.

I did everything on this list, and the email was NO EXCEPTION. I contacted (1. a blogger I’ve known for a year and have talked to quite a lot, (2. a blogger i’ve never talked to but read forever, and (3. a blogger I just started reading. And I actually got some really nice responses back!

Don’t be afraid to approach someone, even if all you can manage to say is incomprehensive blabber (trust me, all three were just me hardcore fangirling like the professional little nindroid I am 😛). You’re making connections. You’re standing out. And you’re being a friend. As our next section is about…

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8 – make internet friends

You might be reading this and thinking you’ve already sent some emails and, therefore, already made friends. But I’m going to be a realist today and let you know: three people, no matter how many followers they have, don’t help you much. It’s only a start. There are an insane amount of bloggers out there and if you aren’t willing to make connections? You’re basically a lost cause and you’re never going to succeed in any online endevors. *shrugs helplessly*

The internet is all about community, but especially the blogosphere. Nobody just blogs and receives thousands of followers on their greatness alone; you have to put yourself out there. Read! Comment! Participate! And, most of all, be a friend.

No matter how much campaigning you try, friends are gonna take you so much further than you could on your own. Your most loyal readers are going to be and come from the people you’re most loyal to. So start reading other people’s posts. Strike up a conversation. You can email them, follow them on a different platform, stalk them… it doesn’t matter.

Be a friend, yall. It pays off in the end. also you’re my friend so don’t even worry about that 😊

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7 – set up a nice site

Fact: humans like pretty things.

You may have heard that it said that a person takes 4 seconds to decide if they want to stay on a website or not. I can 100000% guarantee that is true, not only because it’s been proven by schools around the country but because I’ve done it before. A lot. #sorrynotsorry.

Here’s the cold, hard truth. If I see a click on a website and it looks like the blogger doesn’t care enough about their work to make their blog presentable, why should I stay for the content? I’ve already concluded that the blogger doesn’t care. And if the blogger doesn’t care, I don’t either. In fact, I’m already gone.

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But just because you need a nice site doesn’t mean you have to hire someone to make it nice. WordPress especially has great DIY tools for creating beautiful websites. A quick Pinterest search can give you plenty of examples and ideas, and a YouTube tutorial can save you tons of money on making your site pretty and user-friendly!

some simple ways to make your blog more user-friendly:

  • clean up your sidebar
  • create a simple way to navigate the site
  • post top-notch-quality pictures
  • use a simple color palette with 3-5 colors

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6 – set up a survey

Making friends and reaching out to new readers might be something you’re really good at! But we also have to keep in mind who we’re trying to reach, and that can be really hard to figure out… that is, if you don’t have the right resources. Thankfully, we live in 2018 and have this nifty little app called ‘Google Forms.’

Surveys are my absolute favorite way to connect with other bloggers. Not only do you get to have a bunch of pie charts and analytics to look over later, but you get a bird’s eye view on who your audience is and what they want. That way, you can campaign more efficiently and start producing the right content! We’ll talk more about how to use those survey results in a little bit, but for now, know that knowing who your audience is can get you more followers.

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5 – button swap

Another great way to meet new bloggers and accumulate new followers is to start a button swap on your blog. A button swap is a page where you start displaying buttons other bloggers make.

As an example, let’s say you want to swap buttons with me (which you can if you ask, wink wink). You would comment on my button swap page and ask if I would like to swap. I would see your comment, check out your blog, and (possibly 😏 ) follow it. Then, I’d take your button, display it on my page, and comment back. Finally, you display mine on your blog. So, now, both blogs have a new button, and idk you might have a new superfan. aka me. aka i love your blogs guys pls trade with me

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Button swaps are SUPER easy to do. Not to mention, it’s a blast to create a button that matches your theme (which you can do using Canva.com). You can start a page and begin to swap in not even five minutes, so if you’re new to the blogosphere and need a boost? This is the way to go, man!

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4 – collaborate

Like button swaps, this one requires talking to people. Ahh, now you see why we were talking about friends so much earlier in the post! Collabs are absolutely without a doubt the FUNNEST way to get new followers. friends + writing + a lot more interaction = THE DEFINITION OF BLOGGING GOALS.*

There’s no way to express how important this is: blogging is all about community. A part of interacting is collaborating with other bloggers to create content for two audiences to enjoy together. And when an audience finds you’re posting in association with their favorite blogger? hello new readers woo.

At this point, you’ll want to think about your audience. Yes, this is one place the survey comes in. When you’re thinking about collaborating, be conscious about who you choose to contact. What bloggers are your readers familiar with? Which bloggers can your audience relate to? Obviously, you’re not going to want to collaborate with carbon copies of yourself, but you still want to stick to someone associated with your niche.

Study your readers, study yourself, study other bloggers. It might all sound like a giant social experiment at this point, but being street smart will give you so many advantages. And after you find the perfect collaborator, you can go crazy and have the BEST TIME EVER!


*email me with collab ideas??? i can’t do too many but i would really love to do them more often in the new year! whenwordsflyblog@gmail.com ☀

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3 – tell friends & family

What are friends and family for besides not-so-gently forcing them to follow you on all social media platforms??

In all seriousness, there have been a few surprises in my blogging career where people I knew in real life? They actually are huge fans of my writing. Like??? I have fans who don’t live a thousand miles away??? thank you specifically to gracie and annie who have been the best cheerleaders ever ily! Those followers are absolutely legitimate, plus they’re more likely to share your work with their friends.

Something I’ve found useful in letting friends and family know about my work is social media. I finally signed up for an Instagram account this week (SHAMELESS SELF PROMO, FOLLOW ME HERE FOR BOOKISH AESTHETICS) and my friends are seeing for the first time that my blog isn’t just Ninjago fangirling… well, most of the time, anyway. It’s a serious thing I love. Sort of serious, at least.

Not really. Uh, let’s keep going then.

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2 – improve your commenting skills

I’m sure just about everyone has heard of this tactic before. Commenting on others’ blogs is one type of connecting with other bloggers. But an extra upside to commenting is that other people see your comment and can find your blog from there. I know this because I’m one of those weirdos that stalks comments wondering what I’m going to say, then immediately says the worst thing I could have possibly thought of. Whoops.

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While everyone tells you to comment to get more followers, you might not get the response you’re promised. But maybe it’s not about how little or much you’re commenting, but HOW you’re commenting.

There’s a truth you have to know right now to keep blogging, and it’s that people like to talk about themselves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it’s human nature. Sometimes in interacting with people, we put the focus on ourselves — ESPECIALLY in a setting like blogging where you’re writing about your own experiences 24/7. And other people might just get bored. *waves sheepishly*

What would happen if you kept the spotlight focused on your readers instead of you? You’d probably get a lot more interaction, right? And interaction → relationships, and… you see where this is going… eventually, more followers! Not to mention, it’s just plain courteous. Comment, me amigos!

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1 – focus on your posts’ quality

This is a really long, really in-depth post. There’s a reason for that.

A few months ago, I was in an endless cycle of gaining and losing followers. I wondered for so. long. why I wasn’t getting a steady increase like I used to. I reread old posts, studied other blogs, and did all the research.

I did all that… but there was actually a simple solution. My posts had been just-okay for too long. To bring the wind to my sail again, I had to up my game. So I began to take each post and put in all the effort I could.

And then a little more next week.

And even more the week after.

If we aren’t trying to improve, are we going to influence new people to read our stuff? No!! Not if they’re going to get the same old thing every time. It’s like visiting a theme park — what’s even the point if they don’t try to make their entertainment better. Sure, there will be some missteps, some failures, and some true flops. Ultimately, though improvement is all you can do with your content to rope in curious readers and make them fans.

Getting more followers is simple. I said simple, not easy. It’s not a piece of cake to spend a whole week on a single post, or a few months to make friends with a shy blogger. If you start today, though, you’re already on your way to a few new faces in your follower count.

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Your question has been answered, lovely! There are ten realistic ways to grow your audience that you can begin right now (like, right now right now)! Thank you to everyone who’s been so supportive and suggested this post! I honestly didn’t think I was the person to ask, but you were so adamant about the topic that I HAD TO. I hope you’ve gotten some great ideas!

Chat with me, friends! What do you do to grow your follower count? What’s your next big follower milestone? I’m trying to reach 250 within the next month so yaayy… *wipes sweat* What’s your favorite tactic to use to grab some new readers? And don’t forget to follow my insta — because who doesn’t love bookish pictures?? 📚abby

64 thoughts on “how to earn more followers RIGHT NOW // 10 realistic ways to grow your blog audience”

  1. I totally get why people would ask you for advice on growing your follower count! You’ve done an incredible job of making your blog professional, fun, and appealing. Also, I can totally see the increase in quality in your recent posts – I can tell you’ve been working hard to make them amazing. 😀
    Your tips were super helpful – I wish I’d had this post when I first started blogging! I definitely tried to comment on as many blogs as I could, but I was THAT annoying person who was constantly asking people to follow my blog. facepalm Commenting on blogs is still my #1 way to grow my follower count, but hopefully I’m not quite as annoying as I used to be. :[]
    To answer your question… my next big follower milestone would be 500 followers – I think I might make it in another three-ish months. AHH YAY I HOPE YOU REACH 250 SOON! cheers

    -Clara ❤
    P.S: Do you still want to do the collab next month? I totally get it if you don’t (I sort of forgot about it whoops), but if you do then I’d love to chat about it! 😀

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    1. CLARA. you are TOO sweet my dear!! gah i’m smilinggg ☺️
      thank you! oof yeah, i understand, none of us had amazing beginnings 😂 WOAH DO YOU REALIZE THAT’S HALFWAY TO 1000?! like omg, that’s really really cool. we shall celebrate when the time comes 🎉🎉🎉
      yes!! of course, that would be great. i’ll message you real quick right after this 🙂

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  2. Great post with some very good advice ☺️ I’ve been a bit lapse on commenting recently, instead focusing on getting a post out each day, and creating graphics for my Instagram & Facebook. On top of that I also have a few submissions I’m working on… so super busy!

    I’m glad I signed up to receive your newsletters, because this post reminded me to get online and get involved in my reader some more! Even if it’s just an hour a day, it makes a huge difference.

    How many blog followers are you at now? I’m gonna go follow your instagram in a sec, so follow me back 😉

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    1. thank you, gary! i totally understand my friend. nano’s got me skipping commenting, too. busy as always ☀️
      aw, that means a lot! yeah, the reader does kind of slip out from under you sometimes. to keep checking sometimes i turn on notifications so i can be reminded as to when i should be checking for new posts 👍
      i think i have … 220 followers..? probably 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are some really, really good tips Abby! I have to try all of them! 😁
    I 100% get by what you mean for the post’s quality. I feel like I have to cram in a post at the last second because of how much school I have! And the quality isn’t what I’d hoped it’d be, but it’s still pretty good. It’s just really hard to set aside time to write posts, you know? But anyways, I’m definitely working on making my posts the best they can be!

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    1. awee!! thank you!! oh absolutely. especially as young bloggers time just? gets away from us? i have to discipline myself now to stop watching youtube and being the LAZY OAF i am and taking real time to blog. best of luck to you mary! you can do ittt 💪💪💪

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I know, I feel like: I must read. But then I’m like: What? Noooo, you must BLOGGG! And then I get pretty torn between what to do 😆
        Thank you so much Abby! 😊 I’ll be trying my hardest!

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  4. I love this post so much! Thank you for sharing your secrets, lol! 🙂 I admire your blog so much — your color scheme is stunning, your posts are informative, and your voice is so genuine. I’m sure you have lots of good things coming your way! ❤

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  5. Ahhh, this post is so good! I’m not really that serious about blogging (I just do it because I enjoy it) but yes, these are great! Especially pretty sites. Some sites, oh goodness, just send me away at first glance. O.o My problem with followers is that I basically have no way for people to follow me unless it be Bloglovin’. One of these days I should set up MailChimp or something but I haven’t gotten there yet. AND YES, INTERNET FRIENDS. Internet friendships make up like, more than half of all my friendships and they’re great. (Until you start missing them before you even meet them…) Anyway. Terrific post!

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    1. thank you, ariaaa! I KNOW RIGHT. too many times i’ve visited a not-too-pretty site and just had to cLICK AWAY because i just. cannot. oof, bloglovin’ 😬 mailchimp is SUPER easy to do after you get a feel for it, i 100% recommend (especially with your platform, i know that following can be a hassle!) FRIENNS. and then meeting them irl aahhh!!!! 😍 thanks again dear ✨

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  6. FIRST…maybe…idk…..I’m..here 😅😂

    Well when I bring myself to do a blog someday now I know what to do 😁

    Oh..gotta ask….ya like Marvel?

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      1. Yaassss Tom and Chris are 😍😍😍 but ..loki tho..💙💚 turns out he’s getting his own show on Disney plus 😁

        Have you seen the tradgedy of Infinity War yet?

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  7. Great post! 😀 Awesome tips. There’s just one I don’t quite understand… how do you manage “A quick Pinterest search”? 😉 XD 😀

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  8. These are EXCELLENT ideas, Abby! Thank you! The problem with my blog is that I have to keep it private until I get the ok from my parents to make it public, but I do have 30 folowers- aka 30 kind people who requested permission to my blog ❤ and until I can make it public I don’t really need to “worry” about growing my audience. BUT WHEN I DO I will definitely go over these steps again and see what I can do/change!

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  9. LOVE this post, Abby!!! I definitely want to implement some of these tips (just gotta find the time lololol :D). Thanks so much for sharing!
    P.S. I can totally see that your hard work is paying off – I’m loving all your recent content!!

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  10. I need to hear all of these things on a CONSTANT basis because 1) they’re really good ideas and 2) hearing it from other bloggers makes me less scared to try it myself. I’m pretty sure I have some sort of online social anxiety or whatever because talking to people on the Internet is so haaaard for me, but I’m trying to work my way out of it and make friends. Thank you for the reminder to keep trying!! 😀

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  11. Great post, Abby! At least it inspired me to comment on here XD
    I totally agree with just about everything you’ve said – and also agree that some of them are a little scary hehe. But from a year of experience, I’ve learned that the blogosphere isn’t that bad. Well anyway, keep up the good work 😉

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    1. pft, that was totally not what i was implying… 😉😂
      yeah!! i’ve been here about two years now and i love it. just this morning i was freaking out with getting out posts, replying to emails & comments, all that stuff, and being totally stressed out and scared but also loving every second of it 😊 blogging’s awesome! thank you, germaine! ☀

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  12. Brilliant post. Covered almost everything right from improving your blogs to engaging with different bloggers both of which result in increasing your followers. I particularly liked the idea of selecting the best blogs in your category and just noting the overall skeleton of the blog. As I am relatively new to blogging, post like these are immensely helpful. Keep up the good work

    Like

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