Ask the blogger: how did you get so many followers?

I went out on a limb and contacted some of my greatest blogging idols to see if a few of them might like to lend us some of their wisdom in response to the one question we’re all thinking about: how the hell did you get so many followers?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d get many replies. Surely these bloggers (with their thousands of followers) are far too busy to answer the many questions, emails and comments they must get every day? Turns out I completely underestimated how LEGEN – wait for it… no really you have to wait for it… sorry just a little longer – DARY these bloggers really are. Because who would answer an email from a random quote-seeking newbie like me?

Legends. That’s who.

So instead of digesting, paraphrasing and regurgitating some of their responses to make the perfect introduction, I thought I’d move aside and let the bloggers do the talking themselves:


Little Fears

“We grow mostly on WordPress by talking, not just about ourselves, but going out and talking on other people’s blogs. Just saying ‘Great Post’ and liking alone will get you nowhere, but reading what others say and leaving genuine comments accounts for 90% of my subscribers and regular commenters. Most of the people I recognize [on the Cool Kids of WordPress list] are prolific commenters, as am I.”

~ Peter Edwards, creator of Little Fears


 Booknvolume

“I honestly have to say that I believe building a following takes time and effort. Being responsive to comments and interacting with visitors is one way; visiting other bloggers and commenting on their work is another. Offering something positive seems to be another key, as well as providing posts that are quick and relatively simple to enjoy. At the end of the day, I guess I’d have to say this: Followers follow flirtatiously until friendships form. Then Followers are no longer followers, but Friends.”

~ Cynthia Morgan, creator of Booknvolume


Terrible Minds

“I didn’t build it so much as I earned it, and I did it by writing posts not meant to try to sell anything or be focused on clicks, but posts that I thought were interesting or funny or useful to me first — meaning, I focused on making authentic, earnest work appear there.”

~ Chuck Wendig, creator of Terrible Minds


Richard Ankers

“I’m quiet and I like it quiet. The fact so many people follow me is a constant source of amazement. I’ve never gone looking for followers and never will. If people enjoy my writing and choose to read it, then I’m honoured, because trying to tempt people with sweet words always turns sour in the end. Just be yourself. Write what you want how you want, and let your passion for words shine through.”

~ Richard M. Ankers


Hey Look a Writer Fellow

“I started Heylookawriterfellow because I had a book coming out. That means I needed a “social media presence.” So I became a blogger — and just kind of assumed the followers would arrive once I started posting. It didn’t work out that way, of course. I spent my first year of blogging pretty much talking to myself.

This wasn’t a bad thing, though. I needed that online solitude to find my voice and discover what my blog was supposed to be about. I also needed to figure out how to make the blog fun, because nobody wants to read posts by somebody who’s boring.

To put it another way, I didn’t spend much time thinking about ways to get more followers. I did, however, spend a lot of time writing and rewriting (and rewriting) my blog posts so, when potential followers did show up, they’d want to stick around.”

~ Mike Allegra, creator of Hey Look a writer Fellow 


HarsH ReaLiTy

“I’ve built blogs with thousands of subscribers just by going out and meeting people. Conversing like you and I. You can do anything and reach anyone with a blog! All it takes is the will and want.”

~ Opinionated Man, creator of HarsH ReaLiTy


Writer Site

“I have never had a follower goal because I’ve never had intentions of monetizing my blog. I began writersite.org to change my mindset into that of a writer from that of a wannabe-writer. Very quickly I discovered that I love blogging because I love the community. Other bloggers and blog readers have become my friends. I haven’t checked my stats in years, and I really don’t care about them. As long as I have plenty of friends through blogging, that is what counts for me.”

~ Luanne Castle, creator of Writer Site


A Writer’s Path

“To build a following on my blog, I did two things: put out content that people wanted to read and did it consistently, usually daily. I wish it was sexier than that. I wish it was easier than that. At least in my experience, it wasn’t. But at least it was simple. Now that, I could do. I could do simple.”

~ Ryan Lanz, creator of A Writer’s Path


Ben’s Bitter Blog

“When I first started blogging, I was basically talking to myself. It wasn’t until I found the reader that I realized there were other bloggers on WordPress. I started following them, reading posts of theirs and commenting and liking them. I wrote at least three or four times a week and they knew they could come back time and time again. Then, I got Freshly Pressed and found a whole host of new followers. I started developing friends from it and a community for me was born. It’s been 5 years and a lot of work, but blogging is the best, though everything else makes me bitter.”

~ Bitter Ben, creator of Ben’s Bitter Blog


Daily Echo

“My best advice would be to read widely and, when you leave a ‘like’ or a comment, make sure you mean it. Write from the heart, be yourself as you write, remembering that you, not your books, are what people will be reading every time you post. Allow a visit to your blog be a bag of mixed candy… reliable quality, but a surprise every time. And leave your ego at home… you may have thousands of followers, but there are over 300 million blogs out there. Be grateful someone found you. :)”

~ Sue Vincent, creator of Daily Echo


Brevity

“There is no shortcut or trick. You simply have to provide content that others find useful and provide it consistently. In our case, that content is information on writing contests and opportunities, and discussion of the joys, disappointments, and frustrations of the writing life. The life of a writer can be lonely, so people appreciate a place to gather, like a virtual water cooler.”

~ Dinty W. Moore, Editor at Brevity


Lipstick and Laundry

“Since I blog about imperfection and authenticity, I wanted to build an audience the same way — no gimmicks or fancy tricks. I wanted my readers to be people I could connect with and build relationships. In a nutshell, the process boiled down to three things: 1) I visited other bloggers and writers and read what they had to say. I commented on the posts that resonated with me and built some true friendships in doing so. 2) I try to provide good content –write my story, but chose subjects that are relevant and helpful to others, too. Grammar, length, voice – all important! 3) Frequent checks – am I being real? Is this helpful? Is it positive? Is it hurtful? Does it sound too promotional?”

~ Michelle Terry, creator of Lipstick and Laundry 


Whatever

“I built a following by having the blog for nineteen years and updating regularly, by being readable, and by catching the blog wave early. That’s all there is to it!”

~ John Scalzi, creator of Whatever


Katzenworld

“The way we increase our followers is not just by posting fun and engaging content, but to invite people from our audience to make guest posts and contributions to our Blog. Doing so helps to amplify the reach of the Blogs of the contributor but also to amplify your own reach if the contributor shares their guest post to their own social channels.

This is a win-win situation for both Blogs as while some readers may overlap, you are introducing the blogs to each other’s followers. And furthermore, Katzenworld was always meant to be a community where cat lovers can share experiences and stories, so the more cat lovers that unite, the better!”

~ Marc-André Runcie-Unger, founder & blogger at Katzenworld


Hugh’s Views & News

“I have built up my readership in a number of ways, but the most important ones are by reading other blogs and leaving comments (even if it is only one a day) and to always ensure I respond to comments and any questions quickly. Treat visitors to your blog as you would guests in your home. After all, there are millions of other blogs to choose from out there.”

~ Hugh W. Roberts, creator of Hugh’s Views & News


Heartstring Eulogies

“In terms of growth, I didn’t really go searching for people. I just read blogs and post at least once a day, including holidays and weekends. Most of my posts, as you know are poems and prose, so it’s easy for me to write them up in advance and then schedule them. When it comes to reading blogs, I just find tags that include the type of posts I enjoy reading, such as “Poetry” or “Fiction” and I’ll read throughout every day.”

~ Sarah Doughty, creator of Heartstring Eulogies


Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

“Basically just blog regularly and in different quantities. Small posts for those who have seconds to spare, longer posts for those who have a few minutes, and of course I have sample chapters for those who want to spend more time.”

~ Kent Wayne, creator of Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha


Myths of the Mirror

“My blog takes a huge amount of time… and I’m constantly struggling for balance. I have no idea how people with tens of thousands of followers keep up with everyone. I’ve never actually “tried” to grow my blog. I just have fun, visit, and I always reciprocate. It is a nice community. Happy Blogging!”

~ D. Wallace Peach, creator of Myths of the Mirror


animals-32878_1280.png

P.s If anyone wants to join me, I’m going to have a go at Peter Edward’s free skillshare course in gaining 1,000 WordPress subscribers a month!

 

Advertisements

391 thoughts

  1. It’s really awesome to hear the perspective of so many writers. Very good advice. I’ve been trying to engage with others in the blogging community. I think posting my blog articles to facebook would be a good way to gain followers, however I am too nervous to reveal my blog to the people who I actually know… It’s one thing to be judged by strangers, but it’s worse, in my opinion, to face the judgement of people I know. I guess basically I’m just insecure and worry what people will think, when I really shouldn’t worry so much. Anyone else have that problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a very new blogger and I have been overwhelmed with all of the information online about “how to blog”…….definitely a huge learning curve for me and also fun. I wanted to comment on this post “Ask the Blogger: how did you get so many followers?” I don’t see how or where I can do that on this post. I then saw your comment and I could really relate with how I also am reluctant to post my blog on facebook to people I actually know. I am trying to stop worrying about what others think, and turning off the critical voice in my head. This post may not have any more room for comments? I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for listening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was replying to youonlylivonce19, and it looks like my comment is on this page. I am definitely a newbie. I also wanted to let The Cat’s Write know that the blog “Ask the blogger: how did you get so many followers?” has been very helpful. I ended up reading many of the Legend’s blogs. Many gems, such as “am I being real” “is it helpful” am I writing about “relevant subjects”. Thank you for being generous with your information!

        Like

  2. This was funny – the quote about spending the first year talking to yourself is gold. Yep, that’s me. Talking to myself. My blog is less than a month old; I made it for a specific reason (job-related), but I find myself helplessly interested in the follower phenomenon. It’s so weird! Thanks for liking one of my stories today – browsed your site and it’s pretty funny, what with all the cats. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know I love that line! hahaha. When I started blogging I was doing the same thing – just so embarrassing!!
      Oh so I just noticed that the address attached to your WP name when you comment isn’t the address of your blog. It clicks through to kjhuntercom.wordpress.com (which doesn’t exist), your real address is kjhunterwrites.com. You should be able to change that in your settings and I would definitely recommend you update it as it stops you from getting followers through the comments you leave. If you have any problems figuring out how to change it, let me know!
      🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks for letting me know! That’s weird because the kjhunterwrites.com is listed as the primary domain. I don’t see anything that would cause it to go to the other one. I’ll look into it!

        Like

  3. I got here through a link you posted in your recent post about how YOU gained your 6k followers. Thanks for the list. I will definitely check out some of the blogs that you listed on here. Don’t tell them, but I think you’ve done a better job at explaining than some of them did. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for this great post. New to blogging, I must have a million questions. I keep the chat peeps at WordPress busy! This is a great reference, with many different ideas. As always in life, there are different paths one can take Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 4 people

          1. Thanks for that encouraging blog! Myself, I am new at this game and a kind of digital dinosaur, so I’m still at the stage of talking to myself, too scared to be bold about it. What really hooked me into looking further into your posts was the hilarious cat videos I saw today. So true!

            Like

  4. This is a great post! Trying to grow a blog can be rather discouraging. Nice to hear words like this from successful bloogers. And with 6,000 plus followers, seems like you’re doing just fine! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The beauty of this just reminds me once more that the fear we have of other people and what we think they will think is always just in our minds. We see others and we think they will think differently than us, either because they are already further along on their journey or they have attained what we have not for ourselves, but the fact is, we are all just little bunnies, working through our issues.

    Thank you, Milly, for going past your own doubts that strangers will not help out strangers and reaching out to all these great bloggers anyways, because now we have a wonderful compilation of just how close-knit of a community people with similar interests can be!

    Cheers,

    Linda

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh my goodness … such wise words from these fellow bloggers! I wonder how long you have been blogging for? I’ve only been at it for three weeks now and I must confess this writing lark is quite addictive!

    Like

  7. Thanks so much for this post. It’s inspiring to see that gaining followers and friends comes from a love of writing, a sense of community and hard work. And I was awed and humbled when I saw that one of your legends follows my blog and regularly likes my posts. What a great start to my writing weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this post, and I’m not going to lie, I might have been spurred to leave a thoughtful comment because so much of the advice here is centered around leaving thoughtful comments. My blog has been successful in the past but I haven’t posted in several months, partly because I was busy, partly because my heart wasn’t in it anymore. The reason my heart wasn’t in it is because in the end I wasn’t posting about what I really wanted to post about – I felt fake, and I might have been in it for the wrong reasons.

    I’ve spent the past several weeks thinking of ways to revive my blog, to be more genuine, to post things that matter to me and others, and to use it to make real connections rather than accumulate fake stats. And to have fun, duh! Your work curating the helpful (and generally positive and uplifting) thoughts of other bloggers has helped so much. Thank you!

    (The only thing that might be missing is more cat gifs :))

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting read, I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be messing around with my own little blog thing, but it makes sense that if networking in real life is how people build, then doing the same through the internet would work effectively as well. Thanks for the insight!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Great post – so useful! I’ve only recently started interacting with other blogs/bloggers and it’s definitely made blogging a more rewarding experience and feels less like writing into the void.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interacting with other blogs/bloggers makes such a huge difference!! I know exactly what you mean by ‘void’. I had this blog years ago and I don’t know if anyone even read it. I got good views, but no comments. I just felt so detached from my readers. I love my WordPress blog and the community interaction ☺☺

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A great read here. I have been fortunate enough to have 2 of these bloggers somehow find me. They are prolific commentators and through the blogging interaction that comes through blogging friendships have developed. The blogging world is amazing! 🙂

    Like

  12. I know I’m a little late.to the party – but I just stumbled across this post and it’s exactly what I needed to read right now! I’m just starting out on this blogging adventure and reading all the insight from the pros is definitely helpful. It really help to put things in perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you, Milly, for this post full of gems! It was affirming and eye-opening! It was quite funny to hear several of the Legends say that they were Talking to Themselves in the early days; I guess we all have to start somewhere!

    Like

  14. Wow! I’ve been wondering the same question myself and I’m so happy that these bigger bloggers are willing to reach out and share their secrets to the road to success! I appreciate the various answers. I’m currently brainstorming some strategies! I love your blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, kindly for following my site. I’m glad you have because I enjoyed reading this piece.
    I sincerely love reading fellow bloggers poems, short stories, and advice. I especially forming what I consider a community and friendship will several people here. I love engaging with people that are going through trials & tribulations in their mental health issues.
    Again, community.
    Excellent post! Thank you again! 🙂

    Like

  16. As someone who’s just starting out on the whole blogging scene (I’ve tried it before, but I was never as motivated to actually make it successful as I am now), I found this so helpful. Thank you so much, Milly. I particularly liked the one (I’m afraid I can’t recall who just now) who said it was more about being authentic. And my other take-home has been to connect with people in any and every manner possible. Which, I’ll admit, is not the easiest thing to do.
    Thanks again for a great post! Xxx.

    Like

  17. Thanks for following my blog Millie! You’re my first (and hopefully, not only) follower so I will have to send you virtual hugs! xoxoxox You’re free to avoid them, no hard feelings. 😀 Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really like this post. Definitely something to keep in mind, and very helpful for someone like me who’s just starting their own blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love how varied this advice is! Personally, I just try and be friendly, make people want to come back and visit me again! I don’t have an awful lot of followers, but I’m okay with that. I can’t control whether or not they click a button, but I can control my words and my presentation. Thanks for a very cool post, Milly!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Awesome thanks for the link! Your blog looks amazing!! And the address is really cool too 🙂 Your name/profile on WordPress still seems to go to your old link (When I hover over Joe Hart, it comes up as josephhartblog.wordpress.com and it doesn’t work when you click it), though I can’t remember how you change it? It could be possible that your ‘Primary Domain’ under Configure – Domains, is still set to your old one. That’s the only thing I can think of 🙂

          Like

  19. I liked Little Fear’s response. Sometimes it’s just as simple as putting a quick comment on a post. HeyLookAWriterFellow also makes a valid point that as a writer with a book coming out, now more than ever, you need to have a strong social media presence in order to sell. Especially if you are self-publishing!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Excellent information here. I joined this community on WordPress to connect with other writers and you gotta start somewhere! Leaving a sincere comment is of course a great place to start. Every successful blogger had 0 followers at one point in time!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love this. I started my blog as a way of documenting what I’ve learned as a screenwriter in a state that is gaining traction in the film industry, and as a way of giving those who can’t afford college or find internships a way of having an “in” into the industry…I think because it’s so personal, and in no way something I’m doing to gain popularity, it’s easier to deal with low readership. But if I help even one person, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit the nail on the head: ‘But if I help even one person…’ that’s exactly it 🙂 For me, I was initially blogging because I wanted to connect with other indie authors and learn from their self-publishing experience, but now, I get a huge kick out of making people laugh when I create my cat gif posts. Even if I only make one person laugh, I feel like that’s enough for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m impressed you got so many successful bloggers to respond to your query. And somehow, despite the millions of other bloggers that are out there, it’s not surprising I’ve interacted with a few of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Seems like blogging is the modern day equivalent of when I was a young Mum in the 1970’s when you chatted to your neighbour over the back fence as you hung out the washing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose if you think about it, they all started off with 0 followers, then moved onto 1 and etc… we were all the same once!! Happy to hear it was useful to you 🙂 It was useful to me too! I felt like every response was a nugget of gold

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m in good company then. Most of what these bloggers say, I’ve done. I have chosen to use reblogging of the work of others for my own benefit–and attract readers who come for these posts. Got my ego caught in that process, too!!! I try to make myself as real as possible….and authentic in my responses. Not quite as concerned with stats now…just keeping going! 🙂 Thank you for posting the experiences of these people!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hey thanks for rhe follow 🙂 This was wicked helpful and actually just what I needed to hear! The common thread of “talking to myself” was interesting to see across many bloggers..I find myself there as well! XD

    I look forward to reading more of your material, the titles seem very helpful.
    Much love,
    CG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Wicked helpful’ is like the best praise I could ever get, thanks!!! Yeah, I was talking to myself at the beginning too (around Nov 2015). When I realised what I was doing wrong, I deleted all my dodgy posts from that month and restarted again in December 15′ (which is why you’ll see that’s as far back as my archives go). My ‘new’ first post was one of those ‘list blogs’ where I tagged a whole lot of bloggers – and everything just flowed from there! It was so lovely to finally get some responses, I was like, ‘oh so there ARE people out there’ 🙂

      Like

  26. Thank you for sharing! I’ve been intimidated by the current demand for writers to have a “social media presence”. I really just want to shack up with my laptop and write! But the responses you shared make it seem so much more doable. Kudos for having the courage to reach out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean about just wanting to dig a hole and write! Social media can get pretty full on (if you want results) though it can be fun too. I have my instagram and twitter widgets on my page so it’s easy for people to find me, if you haven’t done so yet you totally should! I just found you on twitter. Do you have Instagram?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Milly! I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I kept thinking I’d have enough energy to write and then reply. Hah! 🙂 Thanks for finding me on Twitter! I’ll figure out how to follow you back and look into those widgets. I do have Instagram, but it didn’t have anything interesting on it until Halloween. 🙂 Instagram’s not my thing, but you can find me as RosemerrySong. I will work on getting Pinterest linked here as well. I love using it for visual inspiration!

        Like

  27. Thank you for the follow! This was a great read, seeing all the different perspectives on followers in general, and how to get your words out there, or hang back and just let people find you. Plenty to contemplate!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I’m a little behind on reading the blogs I follow, but in this case that’s quite fortunate. I have just started binge listening to the Become a Pro Blogger podcast (not because I was necessarily looking to grow a large blog, but because I am consuming so much podcast content lately that my feeds are often empty and the ProBlogging one looked interesting). Your post is quite relevant to my current interest in the blogging world beyond my tiny little patch. I’m content with my minute piece of real estate for now, but I can see the attraction of large blogging empires. Good luck with reaching those magic numbers. I think your blog is really interesting and you’re certainly doing the interaction thing well. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Marie! I’m a little behind too actually, I’m only just getting around to replying to everyone, which is just terrible! hahaha. No matter how hard I try a few comments seem to slip through. I think I need to up my game after reading everything those bloggers above had to say! Oh and I’m glad this post helped out a little 🙂

      I was just reading your recent blog post about meeting a publisher face to face! It was so nice reading about someone else’s (much more positive) experience 🙂 If I ever worked up the courage to try again, I’d like to do the writing critique part – as what I was hoping to get from my pitch was some indication from the publisher that my writing was on the right track, or still in serious need of improvement! Short of what I put on this blog, no one but my immediate family and close friends have read my work (and they are totally biased lol)!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I couldn’t disagree with what they have answered.Those were the truth.However,if you write to express not just to impress-getting more attention-,everything will fall into places.Having fewer followers,likes,or feedbacks doesn’t make us a lesser person or writer.So,when it comes to writing,one should be true to himself/herself.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s actually because of you that I realised my twitter handle share button was wrong – so THANK YOU. I can’t believe I didn’t notice that everyone has been sharing to my old handle, I was a bit sad wondering why twitter had gone so silent these past three months!! Lol 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  30. This is a fantastic post and reinforces my own beliefs about building a platform. Write quality content from your own voice, post regularly, reach out to others and get to know them and your readership will build. Slow and steady growth is still growth and in the world of millions of choices, it is a miracle anyone has found me. I’m also thrilled to see that I have gotten to know two of the superstars on your list – D. Wallace Peach and Hugh. They are fabulous and have been so generous with me. I can’t wait to explore the other people you have interviewed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! Oh and funnily enough D. Wallace Peach was one of the first bloggers I think I remember finding here on WP!

      Slow and steady is the way to go – steady being the magic word! No matter how bogged down I get with stuff, I always try and blog at least once a month. I wish I could post more often than that, but slow seems to be my game too! Actually, I don’t think I could come up with enough interesting content to blog as regularly as some people hahaha I don’t know how they do it sometimes

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Reblogged this on Booknvolume and commented:
    I recently received a random email from someone I didn’t know, however I chose to read it and am so glad I did. Low and Behold, I’ve met a new blogger who had this simple, yet befuddling, question to ask and in the process of answering, have made a new friend 🙂 Thanks Milly!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank You Ever So Much Milly for sharing such a wealth of good vibes and pure passion for writing here 🙂 I am honoured you chose to ask me at all, because I hardly consider myself legendary 🙂 Im even more delighted to be among such truly marvelous fellow writers. Thank YOU 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha thanks Richard! I’m normally modest, but hell I ain’t one to turn down legendary! So I’ll take it. Thanks so much for taking part, wouldn’t have happened without bloggers like you taking the time out of your day to lend a few words!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. This is a timely post for me! My blog initially had a fractured personality. I think about all manner of things all the time, so I thought “variety show” would work. I probably didn’t give it a fair chance, but I landed on poetry for the most part. That may seem like I think of it as a compromise, but I didn’t know I LOVED poetry until October ’16.

    As for the other content here, it affirms what I had begun to suspect as a new blogger. There have been a few poor choices, but just being me, being scatter-brained with my topics, and being diligent is working. Also posting everything to Twitter helps spread the word.

    Thank you for this uplifting post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand what you mean about the ‘fractured personality’ – keeping to one genre/idea/topic instead of writing on various topics usually results in your blog attracting more subscribers and repeat visitors. Luckily all I want to do is write about the #WritersLife. Awesome that you uncovered your love of poetry! And because of that your blog is a total winner already.

      I’ve been neglecting twitter – might need to jump back on the bandwagon – so thanks or the reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I am so thankful that I blog because I enjoy blogging. I do on occasion notice the number of followers other bloggers have, but also notice how long many of them have been blogging. They are consistent, timely, and actually connect with their readers.

    As an avid blog-hopper, I notice many of these same bloggers responding not only to my blog, but to other blogs as well. I am not talking about just hitting the “like” button, but actually responding. They are also interested in a variety of blogs, as I am, not just the ones considered to be in their same genre.

    Whenever I think: How come I don’t have thousands of followers, I stop and take a long breathe. Would I have the time or the interest in responding to the 50-100 regular contributors to my blog every day? As one of your readers mentioned, this would take a lot of time, and a sincere interest in each and every reader. By the way, they can tell your intention by your response, or so I suspect.

    My advice: Build slowly. Blog-hop regularly. Diversify your blog reading interest. If you don’t have one, put up an About Page. This always seems to spark interest in you, because readers want to know you. Write regularly, at least two or more times a month. Make sure your blurb on the Reader is eye-catching, and titled like a book or movie jacket. Hold interest. Be consistent, and by all means yourself.

    Highest and Best!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lots of wise words here Jen! I really liked what you had to say. I’ve found recently that I can’t keep up with all the blogs I follow and I’m probably neglecting some of the bloggers who I first followed and connected with back when I created my blog in 2015. Although, I do try and spend a lot of time replying to everyone, catching up on some of my favourite blogs and discovering new blogs. Just not enough time in the day!!

      Like

  35. Excellent advice. The basic message is – don’t blog to get followers or make money (ugh). Blog to share your writing (but not too much of it) and to learn from others’ writing (I’ve learned tons). In the end, you end “the blog you make is equal to the blogs…you take” (with thanks to the Beatles…)

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I greatly appreciate this article! As a new blogger myself I’m sure I will be putting as much of this information into practice as I can. I don’t think you could have presented it in a more straightforward way, which helped to make the advice more even more compelling. Many thanks for collecting all this knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. This was such a cool post and I loved the way you formatted it, just throwing the quotes directly in there. I also thought it was pretty awesome of the trends and similarities that kept popping up.

    Keep writing awesome posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. To be honest I have no idea how many followers I might have – I’m such a techie dummy I’m not sure where to look for the figures. I write books most of the time but love my weekly blog about me and hosting another writer once a week. It’s so much fun and so many people to meet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. As important as followers are, meaning they help to build community as well as motivation so that we may keep on blogging/writing, I strongly believe that blogging as a platform should be done so for the very reason it exists: A space for writing. And as a space for writing, the passion to write – regardless of a follower count should be prioritized.

    Those who comment should do so with real interest – genuine in what they think of someone else’s work. Otherwise, why bother? One thing that all these bloggers in the article have in common is there attitude towards communicating with others. Neither see themselves in competition with one another, nor popularity. And if bloggers want – and let’s be real we all want a lot of followers – then we should communicate, follow other blogs, and say what we feel of other people’s work. Doing so with honesty, meaning to follow and comment on blogs of your interest.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Thanks Milly. I’ve wondered how some bloggers attract some many followers as well. Sometimes I think I know the right thing to do, but am afraid I’ll be successful and get overwhelmed (just being honest). That doesn’t change the fact that I do want to interact with people and know that I’m contributing something to their lives. Anyway, here are my takeaways from the responses you’ve shared. (1) post often and regularly (2) be genuine (3) be brief but relevant (4) reach out — leave thoughtful comments on other bloggers’ posts (5) proofread (6) be brave. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the encouragement. Since reading your post I’ve written a 7 post series on writing. I’ll publish the first one later this week and set up the rest to go live at weekly intervals. This week I hope to write another series on a different subject and set them up to weekly on a different day of the week. I’ll also try to set aside time to comment on other blogs every Monday when WordPress sends me the weekly digest of blogs I follow. Hopefully, I can keep up that pattern so people can start to trust that I’ll be there for them. Wish me luck!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds like you have a relly good plan 🙂 I usually have to set aside about 1-2 hours a week to reply comments, but sometimes I find it hard to stick to that and I get so behind! (Like, I’ve only just replied to your comment now, shame on me lol).

          Anyway, good luck and let me know how it’s been going!!

          Liked by 1 person

  41. I’m not sure what “a lot of followers” even means. I’ve got “a lot of followers” by whatever my standards — and I’m not even sure what I mean by that. I get a lot of followers who don’t seem to have any reason to be following me. Maybe they recommend me on the reader or something? My real followers, the people with whom I interact on a day-to-day basis, are friends. We keep in touch. We know each others world, kids, physical problem and so on. But the other 15,000? No idea who they are or what, if anything, they want. I have never heard from about 13,000 of them ever … and generally only hear from maybe fewer than a dozen?

    I have NO idea what that says about my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so interesting, 15,000 followers!? Wow. I wonder where they all come from? I don’t think I get many ‘random’ followers – most of mine are people I’ve connected with in some way on WordPress – even if only briefly. The way I’m going now it would take me 5-6 more years to get anywhere near as many followers as you!

      Like

  42. As far as I am aware, the “Followers” stat is very misleading. WordPress happily announces your new Followers, but it never advises of “Unfollows”. Does this matter? Probably not, but I know that while I have around 1400 Followers, I only in fact have about 50 regular visitors.

    All the advice offered in Comments is wonderful to maintain an active blog with regular visitors, but I would suggest that the Comments is a bloggers best guide to the “health” of their blog. Interactions with readers is surely everybody’s goal? “Likes” gives a vague guideline, but hitting the “Like” button simply means that somebody was there… and no more. “Visitors” is very misleading because it will include people who accidentally found your blog!

    The are unscrupulous ways of drawing attention to ones blog, such as using controversial/attention getting words…. but this will only retain a rather undesirable clientele.

    Despite all this………. Blogging can be so much fun and very rewarding. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ll agree with that. WordPress stats have always been misleading. More so for flash fiction writers like myself, and haiku, poetry and artists in general. Short posts readable in the reader without opening means stats show barely a fraction of the views you get. There was one morning where I had managed to receive 200’ish likes but only had 100’ish views.

      WordPress can be a useful guide for where and how people are finding your blog, but anything numbers wise should be taken with a pinch of blogging salt heh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never really thought about that, how short posts don’t really reflect your true stats. I usually write long posts, yet the other day I had more likes than views on a particular posts! It was so confusing. I guess people were just liking… than moving on… lol

        Like

  43. This is an excellent post. Thank you Milly, and thank you to all of the bloggers that took the time out of their busy days to share their wisdom. My head was sore from banging it against the wall thinking of ways to grow my readership. Now the pain is fading! Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Hi Milly,
    What a great capture of some fantastic bloggers – I learned so much from many of those you quoted above. To be mentioned in the same post?? *Swoons
    Best wishes as you spread your wings – thank you so much for reaching out ❤️
    Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michelle! Thank you so so much for helping out and providing us with your own golden nuggets of wisdom – we really appreciate it! I was genuinly nervous contacting you all, so it was awesome that you were all so lovely 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Thank you very much for that! I will set aside some time to make a cup of tea and visit several of the blogs mentioned. I thought it interesting that several said they grew their blogs by visiting others.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Thanks so much for this post, Milly. I love Hugh’s Views and News’ comment, ‘Treat visitors to your blog as you would guests in your home.’ I’d never thought of my readers in this way but it is obvious that’s what we need to do. I also need to rethink my approach to blogging and to my responses to comments from fellow bloggers. I have struggled to find the time to comment on the blogs I follow and although I respond to comments on my blog, finding the time for that is also difficult. I am too focused on writing and not on my community. As an introvert who was, on a daily basis, required to deal with large groups of people, I now relish my time alone, writing and reading and reflecting. I note there are some bloggers who don’t worry about stats or followers and others who do but despite enjoying my solitude, I fall between the two. I blog because I want to write, which means I want readers (not thousands, a few more than I have would be great), but after two years it is finally apparent that reciprocity is what it’s all about. My problem is, how can I achieve a balance between writing posts, reading commenting on posts and my life outside of blogging? You and this blog have given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂 It is SO HARD to find the time to reciprocate, comment and interact with other bloggers! As I have a full time (day) job and also study part time, I usually don’t have much time to write, let alone blog. So what I do is I only usually blog about 2-3 times a month because I spend most of my ‘blogging time’ replying to comments on my blog, leaving comments on other people’s websites, and reading and discovering other blogs. It’s worked well for me so far!
      I would say I only spend about 10% of my time on WordPress actually writing blog posts – the rest is all interaction! But everyone’s different and for me, I would much rather spend hours exploring other blogs and reading new articles, than writing them myself! (Although I’m not ashamed to admit that I die of laughter every time I write a new ‘cat-gif’ post of mine.)
      Good luck with your blog 🙂

      Like

  47. A great idea for a post! Was interesting to read. I agree with a lot of them. Just be yourself and the interaction with other bloggers is important. I love the quote about the follower becoming a friend. That has been my favorite thing about blogging, making friends from around the world!

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Thanks for compiling this! Most of this matches what I’ve seen from other “big” bloggers. Going out and commenting on other blogs seems to be the #1 advice, particularly for the niche of book blogs. Most people who follow book blogs are actually other book bloggers, not random people off the street, and they’re only going to know you exist if you go out and talk to them.

    I also like the idea of writing quality content. I think that’s generally but not always necessary. Some people (no offense and not naming names) seems to get “popular” without that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed the advice the bloggers gave on providing ‘quality’ content for your followers (instead of just spewing out 5 posts a day to try and attract an audience!) Funnily enough I’ve found that my most popular posts are ‘The Nine stages of…’ posts that include cat gifs. I supposed I underestimated how funny cats can be in relation to the #writinglife haha

      Like

  49. Great post! It is very insightful to read the comments of these bloggers who worked hard to built their audience. Like everything else in life it takes dedication to reach our goals and blogging is no different. It’s always nice though to read about successful stories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. This is really cool, and informative. Thank you for sharing! It’s reassuring to hear that it took a lot of them a good while to build their followings. Sometimes it can be so discouraging not to see any growth from day to day (or month to month).

    Liked by 3 people

  51. Great post! And what a coincidence–I follow most of these bloggers 😀 I enjoy each of their blogs for different reasons, and the list goes to show that there are a variety of blogs people follow for a variety of reasons. Now I’m off to read more blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  52. A very interesting read, especially the point about varying length of posts to appeal to people wanting to read more/less. I am always on a mission to get more followers, not in an arrogant way but because the OCD part of me likes round numbers! I am currently on (I think) 182 & that number bugs me! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to lie, I sometimes think the exact same way!! I’m at about 4,477 followers, and I can’t wait to hit 4,500 (it will just look better), or better yet, a nice round 5,000! hahaha

      I hope you got to that nice round number and beyond!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the important thing is that blogging should be fun! That’s the only reason I keep going, I LOVE creating my cat themed posts, I literaly snort and laugh my way through them. It’s so unattractive laughing at your own posts, but I can’t help myself

      Liked by 1 person

  53. That theme of “being social” seems to run through the whole list, Milly. And in second place… quality content. I’m so grateful to be included, and I actually learned something too, or at least had some thoughts validated. Thanks so much (and I actually found a few news blogs to check out). Happy Blogging!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for contributing!! You were on the top of my list being one of the first blogs I remember coming across back in the day (OK, just two years ago hahah). It’s funny how the first bloggers you interact with seem to stick in your mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  54. One other thing I’d add to this list is: DON’T TAKE LONG BREAKS! I’m talking, like abandoning the blog for months or even years. If you really care about building a following, you have to keep the momentum going — even though your very natural, human impulse may be to feel burned out and feel like you need a long “vacation.” Not only do people start to drift away, but you also lose touch with it yourself.

    And it’s so hard to come back. I had a few blogs where I was building a decent following and I dropped it to work on other things, and when you try to come back and wipe away the dust and the cobwebs, it’s never quite the same. And I’ve seen it so many times with other bloggers. They’ll drop off the map for a long time, and then they’ll come back with one if those “I know I haven’t posted in a while” posts, and then MAYBE one or two follow up posts, and then more often than not, they’ll just disappear again. They just can’t get that old momentum going.

    So, I say if you’re really trying to make a serious effort to have a successful blog, you gotta keep at it, keep at it, keep at it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m trying really really hard not to take long breaks (I’ve heard it can be a killer for blogs). What I do is I blog about 3-5 times a month, I really can’t do much more than that, but I’ve heard blogging consistency is key, even if you don’t blog often. I did skip one month back in 2016 because I was overseas travelling for about 4 weeks – I could have scheduled posts ahead I suppose, or even blogged about my trip – but it just never even occured to me hahaha

      Oh and yeah I’ve seen qutie a few of those ‘I haven’t posted in a while’ posts! I hope I never have to do one of those, but I suppose you never know what life might throw at you!

      Liked by 1 person

  55. Totally agree on the commenting and interacting points. That’s the only real effective way I’ve ever seen it done. You have to reach out to people, you have to go to them, you have to take a genuine interest in them and what they’re doing, rather than trying to reel people in like a fish, or pressuring them to reciprocate, or beating them over the head with links. That never comes off well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Especially that part about taking a genuine interest in them! Other people can definitely tell when you reall don’t give a f— about them (by the way, how do you do italics in comments?? I’m mystified lol)

      Like

      1. You surround the parts you want in italics with i’s and those triangle brackets, like so (pretend the “[ ]” are really “”. If i use the right characters it will just put the text in italics instead of showing the characters): [i]this text would be in italics if i used [/i]

        this text is in italics because I used the right characters

        Like

  56. Thank you for including us. 🙂

    One of the things I like the most about WordPress is the community feeling and this is a perfect example how we are a network of bloggers.

    We all might have different backgrounds and topics but we all were inspired to blog in one way or another. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  57. This is super helpful! I’m really surprised you think of yourself as a newbie to the blogging world- to me you have a huge following! I’m excited to see my blog grow, and hopefully I can develop a taste and style that’s just my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Thank you for sharing these fascinating answers.

    It seems to me the respondents largely fall into one of two categories: write great posts and hope the right audience finds them, or write great posts and go out and interact with potential audience members to help them discover you.

    If I had to guess, I’d say many people try the first without the right audience finding them, and lots of the people who have found success this way started early, before there were so many millions of blogs to choose from.

    Of course, this makes me wonder which is more valuable – a small audience that comments a lot and has a great sense of community, or a large audience where nearly everyone reads, appreciates, and leaves. The answer probably depends on your objectives for your blog. /endmusings

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think this is the same for me, though I know some bloggers whose sites are more informational consider it more of a success if their writing reaches more eyes, which is another valid point of view.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it depends on what kind of blog one has, whether it’s for personal musings only or showcasing one’s creative writing. If the former, then no, not everything has to be inspired – but with the latter, I’d hope there’d be quality work instead of “blah” posts! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  59. The hardest part of keeping a blog going for me seems to be getting past the “does anyone care or am I just talking to myself” problem. It’s good to read that others have gone through this and kept on trucking along. Thanks for putting yourself out there to all these bloggers and asking the question everyone has been wondering.

    Liked by 3 people

  60. I really love the fact you asked the question so many of us our thinking- thank you for doing that!! And the fact that you got so many responses is also amazing- a fabulous pos overall. I love discovering new blogs and properly engaging with them, it is what makes this forum such a pleasure to be a part of!

    Liked by 2 people

  61. This is amazing- really appreciate you reaching out and going out of your way to publish such a helpful piece. I notice that the majority of the bloggers here have advised to post regularly, which is a given for those who want their material to get noticed. I always knew this but didn’t take it into deep consideration until seeing so many writers here suggesting so.

    What usually happens is I’ll write a piece, only to keep it in my drafts and not publish it until much later. I’ll procrastinate on finalizing and publishing those pieces (perfectionism makes this task feel a lot more overwhelming, and bigger than it has to be), which leads to me posting irregularly.

    And definitely agree with Roberts on actually communicating with other writers and leaving comments. It creates an awesome flow of discussion that’ll make other people want to join (the more the merrier!)

    Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! It was a very fun/scary experience asking all these seasoned bloggers if they wanted to essential help me out hahaha. Oh and that’s really funny that you write a piece and keep it in drafts for a while – I do that too! I have about 10 pieces just sitting there waiting to be finished and published. Ever since I accidentally published a post (so embarrassing) I’ve turned into a perfectionist too – trying to make up for my past mistake hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Irregularity is ok! As long you as keep the consistency. It doesn’t have to be a post at the exact same time all the time. Just letting the world know you are alive is a start and that comes whenever you feel like pressing publish. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for this- As long as I’m getting my material out there I suppose it’s alright! For me, it’s just difficult to publish every single day. I feel rushed, as if I have to come up with ideas constantly. When I try to get into the routine of publishing daily, my posts end up being off topic and come off as incomprehensible. The reason I love writing is because it offers me an escape route, I can do and create whatever I want. So the idea of being obligated to post constantly does feel overwhelming at times.

        Even so, I know people say the most efficient way for others to notice your ideas is to get everything out there, and have it available. I definitely see where those people are coming from. But still 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you and I also dropped by your site! The great thing about commenting is we can meet and connect with other writers. And I’m glad I was able to connect with your ideas, your posts are also quite wonderful~

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Don’t humble yourself- You seem to be an excellent blogger with an impressive readership, and you have people who are willing to listen to what you have to say (now including me!) which in itself is a great feat.

            After all, even getting one person to listen is enough to start up a meaningful conversation 🙂 For example, the one I’m having with you right now! Thanks to you, I was able to get some peace of mind in regards to my inconsistent blogging habits. And even check out your site, where again, I was introduced new thoughts and feelings!

            Keep it up!! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  62. Wow! I’m going to say it…Great Post! I really enjoyed hearing all the different experiences. And one has been blogging for 19 years! That’s a looong time. I needed to hear this, because I’ve really struggled with knowing what to write. I don’t have very many followers after 2 1/2 years of blogging, but I’m beginning to see it more as a way for me to just communicate rather than earn readership. And as someone else said…there are so many blogs out there…just be thankful that someone found yours. And I am!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Deborah! I know I couldn’t believe it when John Scalzi told me he’d been blogging for 19 years!! That’s an amazing amount of time to still be blogging – no wonder he’s got to where he is today. I’ve been blogging for just over 2 1/2 years as well. I think I started back in Dec 2015 (will be 3 years soon omg). Back then I was writing a novel and needed to connect with indie authors who had gone before me – so primary reason for me was ‘to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new [indie] civilizations, to boldly go where no [Milly] has gone before.’

        Liked by 1 person

  63. Wow, thanks for asking the question and to the lovely bloggers for providing honest answers. This is really helpful! I do feel a sense of community here among other bloggers. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started my blog in January. But it’s been fun, and it’s nice to hear from others on how they developed and grew their followers! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful! I’ve never had more fun compiling a post in my life! I loved (and not gonna lie, would get very excited) whenever an email would chime in with a new response. I’m so indebted to them. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  64. Brilliant, brilliant! Thanks for having the gutsamundos to reach out!
    I follow AND regularly chat with a few of the super bloggers in this post and I’m really happy to say that the genuinely sound and heartfelt advice of commenting meaningfully is something I love and have been doing instinctively since day one when only Mohamad all Kharbi was kind enough to follow me! I’ve done it ever since and I love doing it and have met wonderful bloggers by doing so aaaaand learnt a lot .
    I enjoyed every word of this. Lots of love and luck to you 🌺🌺🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Interesting. I guess there is so many ways to grow a blog. In my humble opinion, I believe that the best way is to have fun and to do it because you have an aching need to write and share your genuine emotions with others (you never know, they may be helpful for some) Thank you for providing a marvelous read. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  66. Just Loved this Milly! I follow a few of these bloggers already (Yay for Ben’s Bitter Blog! He became an early fascination for me because he’s so much more than the “Oscar The Grouch of the Internet!”) and now I will follow all of the rest of the gems you’ve displayed here. But make no mistake, your blog is also a REAL treasure! Thank you.
    Stephanie

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Hey now here is the perfect example of a blog that people will read – and comment on! 🙂 Because we all think it, and we all research it, and you took it the next step further. That’s great thanks for the hard work and I’m sure terrifying leap!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha thank you! Maybe one day 🙂 And yes – it was pretty terrifying asking all these bloggers to answer this specific question! (Especially when it seems to be a very vain, attention-seeking thing to be thinking about – even though everyone kinda is!) Thanks again 🙂

      Like

  68. Thank you for putting this together. I have heard the advice before, but the way you amassed and assembled it makes it more relevant. Hearing the advice from successful people in their own words was great.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I forgot to mention that I would love to have thousands of followers. I know with continued hard work, It will happen some day.
      In the meantime, if all of those reading and few thousand of their closest friends visited my blog, that would be awesome.

      Liked by 2 people

  69. This is amazing. I love all the different responses, especially the sentiment of “I didn’t build it so much as I earned it.” Blogging is like writing itself: it takes hard work and perseverance, but it does pay off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! (Although all the credit really goes to the bloggers themselves lol…) I loved what Chuck Wendig had to say! Seems like they’ve all really put their heart and souls into their blogs – I hope to be like them one day!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s