Ask Mac: How do you get people to follow your blog?

My friend Allie just started her blog, SCENTsational Love Affair, and asked me how I go about getting readers.  I’m still just playing around with things here  (My average is only 65 views a day), but I have learned a few things over the past year that have turned the.happy.homester from a spillover of my Facebook into a growing place where I know my thoughts will be read by strangers!  Success!  So Allie, I don’t know a lot, but here’s what I’ve figured out so far:

  1. Connect with the Bloggosphere!  Ask your friends about the blogs they follow.  Search through some of the DIYs I’ve linked to.  Pinterest it, StumbleUpon it, find them on Facebook.  I follow over a hundred blogs.  Services like Google Reader, and, my new favorite, Bloglovin, make it easy to organize and keep up with the bloggers you love!  Leave comments, and not just generic self serving ones with a link to your URL.  Gift the bloggers that inspire you with uplifting and insightful comments, and they’re quite likely to respond in kind!  Use your blog to promote the efforts of others, and more often than not, the favor will be returned.
  2. Don’t just tell the story.  SHOW the story.  The more I started following blogs, the more I started to understand what sort of posts I’m likely to stop and read, and which ones I’d usually just skip over.  The fact is, I almost NEVER read a blog post that doesn’t feature at least one nice picture.  The higher the quality the better.  Even though my camera is just an iPhone, when I’m reading blogs, I find that a single blurry Instagram is more attractive than plain text!  I also noticed that even though I’m not very interested in fashion, I find myself drawn to fashion blogs because I feel like I know the writers a bit better through their self portraits!  This is an area I need to grow in, but there’s something powerful about posting images of yourself on your blog!  When I see a smiling face, I connect with the blogger in a whole new way!
  3. Blogging is a REAL Job!  The blogs I really admire, the ones where I NEVER miss a post, the ones that average hundreds of thousands of views every day, are powered by bloggers that put in the late nights and the long hours creating something they can be proud of and that will be valuable to their readers.  A good blog is run on a plan, updated on schedule, and executed with professionalism.  As of this posting the.happy.homester is not that kind of blog.  Those kind of bloggers treat their work less like a Facebook timeline and more like journalism.  Somebody once said that to run a good blog, you’ve got to have your kids in halloween costumes in July and in their winter coats by September.  Get the picture?  Most of these sorts of blogs were built over YEARS, not months or weeks, so it’s important to have realistic expectations and define success on your OWN terms.  When it comes to the world of blogging, it’s important to remind yourself: you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing… ever!

So, Allie, I hope this all helps!  Here’s a few more resources:

This girl runs an amazing blog and offers an e-course on blogging.

This woman’s blog is fairly new, but the DIYs she offers are so practical I was hooked within a week,  It’s been fascinating to watch her grow her space, and she has some very interesting things to say about how she’s doing it in her FAQs!

Also, as redundant as it sounds, there are entire blogs dedicated to blogging.  I’m just starting to scratch the surface over at ProBlogger.net.

Happy blogging!

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