Have you ever just sat down next to a complete stranger and started telling them your life story, without so much as a by your leave; just rambled on incessantly with no pause to gauge their reaction? If you did you’d probably find that they’d shuffle along and, eventually, off their seat and then walk away as fast as their feet will carry them while turning around every few seconds just to make sure you’re not following them. So, my question to you is, if you wouldn’t behave like that in real life, why would you do it in the blogging world?
If you want people to follow your blog, you have to engage with them in exactly the same way as you would if you met them in a coffee shop:
- Introduce yourself.
Of course, your blog can be anonymous but use your home page to tell people a little something about you and your life.
- Ask them something about themselves.
In the blogging world we do this by visiting other sites and reading what their owners have to say.
- Start a conversation.
You can write what you like in your blog (that’s the beauty of it) but write as you. Imagine that you’re telling a friend something; you wouldn’t suddenly adopt a Severus Snape voice would you? Or start using the kind of words that they’ll need to go and look up in a dictionary?
- Listen to their response
Often other people will be writing about your chosen subject so go and read what they have to say about it. Blogging is not a competition, you’re not visiting other sites to size up the opposition but to find people that you have something in common with.
- Show interest in what’s being said
If you like what you read, leave a comment; in my experience 95% of other bloggers will reply to you and that’s the way that conversations and then relationships begin :O)
Moving on to content. No-one can (or should for that matter) tell you what to write; only you know why you started your blog and what you hope to get out of it. Saying that, if you want people to follow you, what you say has to be interesting. You may have had the best time at Aunt Millie’s birthday party but people here don’t know Aunt Millie and the story of Uncle John and the camel is really only funny if you were there….
You need to get people’s attention.
Imagine being in a conversation with someone whose facial expression never changed, who never used hand gestures and spoke in monotone; how long do you think you’d be able to keep your concentration (or even your eyes open!)? Blogging is no different:
If you write 1,000 words as one paragraph that’s the equivalent of having no facial expression.
1,000 words with no imagery (pictures, memes, gifs etc) you’re sitting on your hands.
1,000 words with every sentence starting with ‘I’ or ‘my’ and you’re sounding like the scientist guy on friends who kept on about his allergies (remember that episode?)
Continuing with our coffee shop analogy, how would you feel if you said something to someone or even paid them a compliment and they just ignored you? Would you fancy engaging in conversation with them again? Would you even stop long enough to finish your coffee? Nope, probably not.
It’s the same in the blogging world; if someone likes something you’ve written, visit their site and read what they have to say. You won’t always like everything that they write but 9 times out of 10 you’ll find something to like or even comment on. If someone comments on your site, that means they’ve taken time out of their day to appreciate you so, at the very least, say thank you.
My last point is about celebrities. If you saw Brad Pitt [insert name of celebrity who most often appears in your erotic fantasies here] in a coffee shop, what would you do? Would you go rushing over, fling your arms around him, beg him to be your best friend and then follow him around all day? Well, yes, possibly but that would only result in a restraining order and some slightly embarrassing explanations. Whilst liking and commenting on every single post that a ‘celebrity’ blogger (5000+ followers) writes won’t result in a restraining order (probably), it also won’t guarantee that they’ll follow your blog.
Be yourself, have fun and make new friends because the WP family is amazing and worth every single minute that you spend getting to know them :O)
I’m going to qualify all of this by saying that I am not an expert blogger so you can take everything here with a pinch of salt but someone asked me for advice about growing a blog so I thought I’d share what I’d picked up along the way.
Have a great day everyone :O)