Growing your blog takes time, lots of time and hard work. If it were easy, then everyone would do it. Writing great content, connecting with your audience are the biggest keys to developing a great blog. However, for every blog that wants to succeed many will tell you finding the right social media niches are also one of the keys to success.
I may not have one of the biggest blogs out there, in fact it's not even close. But in a few short years, I have taken a blog that received 1-5 page views a month to one that receives thousands.
In two years I grew from about 35 twitter followers to over 6,500. I went from 10 Facebook followers to over 1,100.
Last year I ventured into Pinterest and last June I finally took the plunge to Instagram. I have in a few short months gone from zero to 1,200 Pinterest followers. Instagram 0 to a little over 1,400.
I don't show you these stats to brag, in fact there is no bragging at all. Instead it is to show you, that if you want to grow your blog and your following you can! In short, if I can do it, you can too! All it takes is a lot of hard work (a lot) and time and the will to succeed.
The truth is, I gained this skill from another blogger (Carla) who told how she did it. I would love to give a shot out to her blog, but she is currently taking some time away from blogging.
Although, I have to be honest I started doing it exactly as she mentioned but I have altered how I do it a bit to fit my needs and schedule. So I am going to share with you my version of obtaining legit good followers in social media and keeping them.
It's first important to figure out which one (social media source) is bringing you the most traffic to your blog. Check your analytics and view it over several months, or even over the past year.
Which one is bringing you the most traffic? That is the one you're going to want to start growing first!
It's also good to know which ones are bringing you the least amount of traffic. Sure you still want to keep them all, but this will help you to know if your spending your efforts on a possible lost cause.
For instance when I first started I thought Facebook was the easiest thing to use, I used it all the time and even found it to be the one that I was able to grow the fastest originally.
But when I asked myself the question which brings me the most traffic?
I realized all that effort on Facebook and I was getting a few likes but virtually no actual traffic to my blog. At that time I pulled my numbers. Twitter was where I was getting the most traffic and the sad thing was, I wasn't even using it much.
Others differ, so many bloggers tell me they have the largest amount of traffic from Pinterest and maybe some still do have Facebook as their largest source. They thing is every blog is different, people follow in various ways for different reasons. But the key is to first find out which source is bringing you the most traffic. Then start building that one! The other key is to work one social media niche at a time. (avoid the burnout!)
After you know which one to put your focus on. It's time to start building your follower base. There are various ways to do this. But I am going to be completely honest with you. If you are going to build it correctly it's going to take time and work! All good things do!!!
So what is the best way to find followers?
Well that is up to you, but this is how I have done it and it works for me!
Now I know as you start reading this, your going to think. It's too much work, or too time consuming. But keep in mind as you read this you'll only be focusing on ONE social media channel at a time.
Okay, so you've got your largest source of social media bringing your blog page views. In my case that is Twitter, so I am going to use Twitter as my example for the rest of this post to reduce confusion.
MY 5 A DAY APPROACH
Decide how much time you have each day or each week. I determined I had enough time to go with 5 a day. Granted I didn't do this every single day, but on days I had time or had time on a break at work this is what I would do. I would shoot for at least 5 new people to follow.
But not just any 5 people. I did a quick little bit of research on them first, because I wanted to spend my time doing this wisely.
A LITTLE RESEARCH
BRINGS A BETTER INVESTMENT
FOR YOUR TIME
FOR YOUR TIME
2 I looked at how many people they follow, if it looked like they follow people back then I moved on. If they had thousands of followers, but only followed a couple of people then I decided do I want to just follow this person to follow them because they might be cool, sometimes I did. (Because lets face it their are some awesome people to follow out there that you can gain a lot from, but they are probably never going to follow you.)
But if I am just working on finding new people to follow me back, I would skip a non-follower person and move to the next person.
3 I looked at how often they tweet. If they haven't been on twitter for weeks to months, more than likely there account is inactive. So I would skip them and move on. However, if they tweeted in the last hour or few days, they are likely a current twitter user who might follow me back.
4 Then I look at what the last few things they tweeted were. If they were totally negative, swearing, stuff I could careless about. (I also skip all accounts with any nude pictures:) I skipped them and moved to the next person. However, if they tweeted interesting things, seemed upbeat like someone I would want to listen to. I moved to the next step.
5 I follow them!
Then I repeat this, until I find at least 5 new people to follow!
It sounds like it may be time consuming, but only takes a minute or less per person you look at.
If I stuck to 5 then I didn't get bored or find myself on twitter for hours:) That is the main key, using your time wisely!
What happens then? Well their are no guarantee's, but many of them will follow back.
You can only follow so many people at a time, before twitter will hold your account. I have never had this happen to me, but I have heard you can't follow to many people if they aren't following you back. Which is why I prefer to do my research first, and probably why I have never had this happen to me. It's also the reason I stick to 5 on days I do this.
You're not going to gain 1000's of new followers over night. But if you do this consistently at least a few times a week, you will gradually build a legit following base. It took me a couple of years to get to 4,000.
I did this and worked hard on this until I hit around 4,000 followers, and then I started to notice a trend. Many people were just following me because others were. When I hit 5,000 it snuck up on me and was pretty cool, because I realized I no longer had to sit and spend the long process of gaining new followers. They were coming to me on their own and I thought that was the most awesome thing ever!!! I still follow people back, because it's all about sharing the love!
I personally recommend building one social media following base at a time. Because it takes time! Also it allows you to put your focus into one thing, instead of spreading yourself too thin. Set yourself a goal amount and work towards it. Once you hit it, then move onto the area that brings you the 2nd most page views an so on.
I explained this using Twitter. But I did the exact same thing with Pinterest my goal was 1,000 when I hit it and currently I am working on my Instagram account.
Facebook is a little different, because you have to follow using your personal Facebook account, and they don't know your page. I have had many people comment on my page, "A Like From ____ (their page)" If they do this, I make sure to send a page like back as well.
I don't get much traffic from Facebook anymore, so I just let that one grow slowly. But if Facebook is your main traffic source, you may want to keep the above in mind when you go around liking other pages.
Hosting giveaways are an okay way to build your follower list. However, a large percentage of giveaway followers only participate in giveaways. They are not your best chance of turning into long term followers who come to read your posts daily. However, this is still a good way to obtain a few.
REASONS I WONT FOLLOW PEOPLE BACK
or WHY TO UN-FOLLOW
* This is a personal preference but if someone under 18 follows me, unless I know them personally in life I do not follow them back. I am an adult, and don't feel comfortable about following children.
* Sometimes I may follow someone then all of a sudden I notice nude pics or just nasty postings. If this happens, I unfollow. I personally don't feel the need to junk my life up with that kind of stuff.
* I have noticed other people doing what I do. I am all about helping them out with a follow back as long as they fit my preferences. However, when I follow someone back and immediately notice they unfollow me, as soon as they got their follow. This ticks me off, so much!!!!
I don't believe this should be done just to gain followers if you aren't willing to continue to follow. So if someone does this to me, I unfollow them back and I won't follow them again.
ALSO I want to mention, if you are going to do the method I showed you above, DO NOT just follow people to get a follow and then unfollow them. It's rude and yes they do notice the people who do that, and they don't care much for you after.
* Abuse or bullying. We are online and we blog and share our lives. With that we understand not everyone is going to agree. I little negativity is expected and normal. Some disagreement or debate is actually welcomed and acceptable. But although I haven't had this happen, I have heard of some getting bullied or lots of verbal abuse. In this case ignore them, un-follow and block them, report them if it seems appropriate. Life is too short to allow rude people to affect you!
ONE THING TO NOTE
Some people buy their followers, and I completely disagree with this. Why would you want a bunch of followers from a bunch of fake accounts that are never going to really drive traffic to your site, just to make your numbers look better? Don't expect a return in investment when it comes to your blog. Which is generally the point of followers. Plus, Twitter bans this and if they find out your participating you may have your account inactivated.
I hope this helps some of you! When I first started doing this I wrote down all my numbers, and it really does give you a good feeling of accomplishment as you watch it slowly grow.
If you do it correctly, you'll find not only did you accumulate lots of new social media followers. But if they are people who are interested in what your doing, they will interact with you, and visit your blog, and re-share your posts. Keep in mind a lot of social media followers visit blogs and read posts, but they are usually using mobile devices and you might not see a large amount of comments from these page views, but you will see your page views in your analytics go up!
DON'T FORGET TO INTERACT
You've put the work into obtaining these new followers, but if you aren't interacting with them on a steady basis, how can you expect them to interact with you?
I've seen people with 10,000 followers, but they never get a single like. But then I've seen people with 100 followers who can get 20 likes. The difference is interaction!
True it's impossible, I'll never be able to interact with all the followers I have each day, but I can interact with a few each day.
I also have a 2-5 minute rule a day for each or my social media platforms. I try to spend a few minutes each day as I have time just interacting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, leaving a short comment on the posts they share that grab my interest.
A break at work, or during a commercial if I am watching T.V. or if I am a passenger in a car... If I don't take time to interact with them, how can I ever expect them to continue to interact with me?
In other words, if you're going to put the time into building your social media, make sure you keep that time as well spent!
Want to grow your social media influence?
Go ahead and give it a try right now!
Do you find followers via a different method? If so, please share I would love to hear!
Want other tips on growing your blog? Visit my Grow Your Blog Page.