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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blogging Tips & Tricks#5: 10 steps to increase followers

Welcome back to Blogging Tips & Tricks 
This is week #5 and I am throwing in a curve ball and skipping down to

"How to increase followers"

To read the other tips and tricks you can find them all HERE

 Make sure you come back for these upcoming topics!!
{If you have any suggestions or topics you would like to see covered please 
I would love to cover as much as I can!}
Here is what is still coming up....
  • How to manipulate your photos to make them individual and branded
  • How to spot and manipulate your HTML
  • How to make an amazing Individual HEADER
  • How to make your own GRAB BUTTON and add box
  • Blogging Tips
  • Blogging Etiquette
  • Utilizing social networking
  • Commenting
  • Secrets I have learned in blogging

Now, I have been getting some questions regarding how to get more followers and see it all over the blogging community forums. Now, I only know what I DO, there are many ways of increasing followers I am sure, this is just what I have tried to do and it has been somewhat successful in "my terms" ( I started in December and have 540 as I write this, to me, that is successful and I have nothing at all to base that on, ha ha)

So here is my list of tips in regards to gaining more followers.

1) Define what you will call SUCCESS
The first step in getting to your goals is knowing what your goals are! What do you want for your blog? What will you use to measure success? Followers on GFC, Twitter, Facebook, etc? Is it 50, 500, 5000? What do you want your blog to do for you? For other people? Is it all personal, is it a review or coupon blog, is it crafty? Although I do not believe you have to pick ONE niche and that your WHOLE blog has to be only one thing, I do know when people stop over they will label it for you if it's not clear.  
"If you aim at NOTHING, you will hit it every time!"

2) Blog Design Matters
I am no pro designer, but I do know what I LOVE to look at it and try to replicate that in someway. (I am currently in the process of redesign as well and am having a hard time for this VERY reason). The more visually pleasing the more people will want to return. Keep it as simple and clean as possible and as EASY to NAVIGATE as possible. If people can't find your follow button they might give up before they can track it down!

You have heard it so many times before but it does matter, A LOT! Get yourself a STICKY BLOG that has a lot of good and interesting things that people want to continue to click through. Now, if your blog is strictly personal, then we have to go back to what you will define as success. Unless you are involved in a political scandal or walk on the moon, no one but your personal family and friends are going to click through your 500 million photos of your baby...(and BELIEVE ME, I have that MANY).  What people will click through are funny anecdotes, personal stories, real helpful content, etc. What are the posts you click on the MOST? Whatever you find interesting and helpful, replicate in your OWN way. No copy cats, that is a no-no!

4) Have POSTS that are JUST FOR OTHERS
Let's face it, we are all self serving. I get soooo annoyed when people don't read anything I write and skip straight to the comments to demand I follow them or disregard any instruction in the post and get to what they came for...but I will admit, I have done this myself. 
The more you cater to this the more people will come to your blog. Give them a chance to promote themselves, do guest posts, linkys, features, etc.
And speaking of commenting that leads me to the next one...

Comment WELL! What I mean by that is this, people are behind these blogs. We are not computers hacking out meaningless drivel. We all take TIME and put EFFORT into what we are producing for our readers. Take the time to comment on at least ONE thing in their post that relates to them. This makes a connection to the person, and although our self serving tendency is to leave "cute, stop by my blog"...the thinking self server will know that leaving a more personal comment will actually either result in a follow or more comments...a much GREATER LONG TERM result.

Comment on those who comment on your blog, comment on link party links you are participating in, comment on blogs you google, comment on the people you follow. Just get your booty busy commenting. Put it out there as a true pat on the back for their work. We ALL appreciate that, and you will get that in return!

If you craft, get that craft up every where you can, do lists, recipes, whatever, just link link link! This gets you more exposure wherever you go. {A tip for linking up: think of creative never before seen items & take amazing, enticing pictures} You are basically marketing yourself so be as creative and visual as you can at all times. If you get featured this is automatic exposure to your blog and what you have to offer.

Find where you can be featured for a guest blog, and offer them something very worth while. Offer your best ideas to a bigger blog than your own, this is going to be a great way to share your niche and get people to click over to your blog and check out your great content.

Find your favorite blog and pay for a spot on their blog or for a feature! This is another way to get people to your blog because those readers at that blog already trust that blogger and they will assume your blog is worth checking into! Don't have the funds for that? Find a blog similar to yours in content and size and ask them to trade ad spots with you! Free for you both and you get exposed to another group of new readers.

If you love your blog and what you are producing, others will too. People want to join the fun party, not the drag, so love what you are doing and be proud. Spread your great ideas and projects around in any way you can Facebook, Twitter, Blogging communities, wherever! Ignore haters and follow your instincts, don't compare yourself to anyone else, just do your dang thing and love being you!!

I hope you guys find this helpful,
let me know what you have done to increase your following, questions, or tips!

Shared at Serenity Now

72 Thank you for your thoughts:

love, kate said...

i am actually new to your blog & i love this post! i am always trying to find something interesting to talk about but sometimes i feel like i am talking to myself! I can't wait to see what you have to say on the other topics! Thanks so much for doing this!

J A C Q U E L I N E said...

Great list! I have not tried advertising or sponsoring. Thanks for that Idea. I never really thought about a free swap.

Amanda said...

Thank you for these wonderful tips. Comment quality is so important, kindness brings kindness after all!

radn said...

This was definately very helpful. I love point number 9 a lot.

Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs said...

cute,stop by my blog...

HAHA just kidding, I just had to. ;)

This was very informative. And I agree that you ARE successful in that your blog is only a few months old and you already have over 500 followers. To me that is amazing!
Im almost to 400 followers and Im excited for that, but my blog is just over a year old! It has taken me a long time. I didnt figure any of this stuff out until just a few months ago.. and that is when I finally started getting followers!
So I think this is a great list, and very helpful and informative! (Wish I would have seen this a year ago!) :)
Back then, I wasnt exactly sure what I was doing, I was new to the blogging world. I was awed and inspired by big time bloggers like LMM (which is actually how I found YOU). But I didnt know about linky parties, I didnt know about advertising, I wasnt even sure how I wanted my blog to go.. It took me time to figure out my blogging "image"... and my own brand. I just kept thinking I have to have it down perfect before I really "launch" myself into the blogging world. Then I realized I dont really need to have it ALL perfect and COMPLETELY together to still get the word out on my blog. I could do it now and just continue to work on it as I go. See what works and what doesnt! lol
Now that I have done that, and have really grown as a blogger and person, my blog itself has grown too. Its awesome, and so fun.
And in that way I feel successful, because of how far Ive come, and how much I have learned.
But do I wish I had figured it out sooner? Of course! haha I am still happy where I am though, and know that I can and will continue to learn more, and I still look forward to growing.

Anyways.. now that I have written so much, I just have to add Im glad I found your blog, I think these tips are wonderful, Im going to check out the rest! And Im really curious to know the "Secrets I have learned in blogging" You mentioned working on. :)


Ada said...

What a great list. It so nice to have these tips all gathered into one neat little list. Thanks so much for sharing!

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

Wonderful advice and I think you are so right about commenting, but making them personal and relating to their blog post! I also think that blog design matters, as you say, and just getting out there!

Liesl :)

Kristi said...

Thanks Ashley! Such a helpful list! I know I have to define more "what" my blog is for. I'm curious what people would label it ...that comment got me! To me it's a place to share writing with others, stories about marriage, kids, and just being a woman living out this journey! ;)

I have to work on the other points...except for commenting. I feel that's a strength of mine (geesh! Glad I have one!) I comment a lot and it's always personal, pertaining to the post. I do it because I know how encouraging I find comments,and I genuinely LOVE words, photos and connecting with others. Maybe someday the Comment Karma will bring the followers. :)

I'm interested in guest blogs..will have to look into that. Not sure how to get started.

Anyway, sorry I turned this into ME...see, self-serving! But, in my defense, I think you know I love you! lol Your blog was one of the first I followed and I love your upbeat, positive energy...and your BEAUTIFUL header.
Thanks again!
Be blessed~

Dorian said...

Hi Ashley, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to stop by my lil' blog and commenting on my tee, And thank you for following! BTW...great post!

Sarah @ Sarahndipities said...

These are really great tips!! Thanks so much for sharing! There are definitely things here that I need to incorporate on my blog!! Thanks for the inspiration! You rock!!

Holly said...

Great points, good tips. These are effective tools. Blogging is a little bit of a mystery to me still. #5 is my favorite and I would only add (trying) to be responsive to your readers as well - interaction...although as your blog grows it get s harder...I bet you have seen that already.

Awesome tips!

Natalia Lynn said...

Love it! You got a lot of great info. I love your blog design, so I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

GREAT TIPS! I'm so bad at commenting back on other people's blogs, but I'm sure that really helps in getting more followers. I have to say my favorite tip of yours is #5. It's nice to get the short & sweet "I love it!" comments, but it's SO much nicer to get a comment that lets you know that they really did read what you wrote.

Oh, and #2. Blogs that are difficult to navigate drive me craaaazy. There are a few blogs that I read daily, that have awesome content, but it's nearly impossible to search for something on there.

my3littlebirds said...

Thanks for another helpful post Ashley! I think that content is numero uno. But a close second is to BE NICE. Appreciate your readers! You do a great job of this I think. Another tip I'd have is to host linkups. I'm new to blogging and am still finding my niche but it has been so much fun. : )

katlupe said...

What a great post! I was asking myself how to get more followers today. So you have answered some of my questions already.

Nikki said...

This is such a good post!! I am so impressed with your blog knowledge!! I love the idea about swapping an ad with another blogger. Such a great idea. OMG #5, I HATE it when people are like "like your blog, check mine out" Do people not know that's annoying?

Lori said...

I'm stopping by from Red's BF Community. Great post, very helpful!

Cyn said...

Thanks so much for an awesome post -- I am always up for some helpful inspiration and yours rocked! This (the blog-o-sphere) is such a learning experience but oh-so-much fun too!

Jean @ Typical Suburban Family said...

Great list! I actually have an opportunity right now available to guest post on my blog and would love to feature this list. Would you be interested? Would you be able to send me the html to post? You could tweak as you wish, but there is more information available about my guest posting opportunity here:

jacin {lovely little details} said...

as always, great post!!

Amy said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm trying to get more serious about my blog and actually putting time and effort into it. You are definitely right about loving your blog... If you don't care about it, how can you expect others to as well?
Thanks :)

Manni said...

Ashley that was amazing!! I'm new to blogging myself but the amount of info you just mentioned in one post was far more superior than google. I definitely learned some key points and plan on using them.
Thanks so much :)

Jayna Rae said...

Great tips. You are SUCCESSFUL. I started a little before you and I do not even have 50 followers. I love you and your blog. I definitely agree about commenting. I try to always comment. I think it is left over from teaching. I hated when I would ask a question and the class would stare at me. I feel like that is what a person does when (s)he reads something they love, and then they don't let the author know. Of course, this is merely a personal opinion, but it is something that motivates me. Also, I love when people leave me a comment. Sometimes my comments are the only interaction I have with people in a day.

Jennifer said...

Again thank you very much for this!! I did some searching on the web before I asked you for help and your post is THE best!! I've read all the comments so far and it's comforting to know there are others out there who feel and think the same thing I do! One thing I keep telling myself(hope this helps someone else) is to blog like I have the big auidence I want!
Again thanks girlie!

Jamee @ A New Kind of Normal said...

These are great tips! I have been blogging for close to 4 years but have just really gotten serious the past year or so so I am finally getting to where I feel like I have some kind of grip on what I am doing! Thanks for sharing this list! Visiting from the SITS community!

Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

Oh my goodness, reading your list is making me feel guilty! I'm so bad about leaving comments on linking parties- especially if there's no content before the linky, do I just add my "thanks for hosting" comment to all the others? I should be more creative. :-)

And I better pay attention to your list, as I just celebrated 2 years blogging and only have 300+ followers (though I do have more subscribers...)- you're definitely doing something right!

Kimberly Gauthier said...

This is a fantastic list. These are all things that we've all heard before, one at at time, here and there. It's nice to have it so nicely laid out in one list with your great explanations.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

I think my recent success is because I've slowly incorporated each of your suggestions into my blogginf and I'm having a ball. I really love tracking my progress with Google Analytics. I wish there was a class on that program, because I'd love to learn more.

Looking forward to more gems by you!

K's Book Reviews said...

Thank you for your help & ideas. I am a new blogger(about a month) & still need all the help I can get.
I am a new follower & love your blog so much!

Holiday Snob said...

Thanks for the tips! I think your definition of success works pretty well :) I love your style! I just signed us up as your newest follower


Becky said...

This was really helpful; thank you for doing it! I am doing much of what you said but it's always nice to have reinforcement that I'm on the right track :)

Marianne said...

I love your blogging tips. I have been blogging for so long and at times I do get very discouraged. I am finally up at 40 followers and I am quite happy about that, but sometimes I feel like I am working so hard without seeing where I am going. I still haven't really worked out where my nieche is either, but I guess that will come eventually.

Heidi said...

I am loving your blogging tips! Keep 'em coming :)

Ashley said...

@love, kate
Hey Kate,
Thanks! I love learning about blogging and seeing how we can all do things better! I think just being ourselves is the best way to go, just like real life! Thanks for stopping by!!

Ashley said...

test responder

Ashley said...


Hey Ashley,,blah blah blah

Michelle @ Loving Every Second said...

Love these tips! I seriously can't believe how much your blog has grown since I started following you. Good for you! You obviously know what you're doing :)

MommyMeagan said...

Thanks for the GREAT tips. I recently stepped up my photo quality and man did it make a difference. I'm excited about *hopefully* hitting my first target of 100 followers. Whoop whoop! It's awesome 'bigger' bloggers like you who help get us little guys off the ground and running. THANK you!!!

Chacoy said...

I think I am stuck in the 'how do I define my blog.' I haven't a clue, it's a bit of everything. I am trying different things to see if that helps.
I love commenting, when I first started out I was scared but know now how much we rely on them to know how we are doing as writers, bloggers, teachers etc.
I would love it if you could do more on videos/vlogs & editing them. I have been asked to do more of this(not like I have done a lot) but have done some research and can't seem to find what I am looking for to do these better & more efficietly. I need something where I can plug in my blog, sponsors etc. That would be great!
Thanks for all you do!

Madison said...

I simply love these tips! I totally agree with Blog design matters, when I go to a blog that is taking way to long to upload it really annoys me, some times I just click the x or back arrow. The easier the blog is to navigate the more I am prone to go back and visit frequently. Thank you for a very informative and useful post.:)

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

Thank you for sharing all the tips with us! Always nice to learn more on blogging, especially when you just started. Visiting from Amanda's party.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

These are great tips. I have to agree with #1 whole heartedly. I've been blogging consistently (5+ days a week) for two years now. My blog is almost to 1000 Followers, and to ME...that is wildly successful.

When I started blogging, blogs with 500 Followers were considered to be a huge deal---that's how much blogging has exploded over the last year and a half or so. I was over the moon when I made it to 300. My blog really has no niche, so that people would come and read what I have to say astounds me. So, to me, I am successful...I've learned not to compare myself with others. There will always be a bigger, better blogger than you out there. All you can do is your best. ;)

Thanks for linking this up. :)

Richard said...

Great blog and great post! I blog about divorce law and criminal law. I will take your advice about doing better about commenting and responding to comments. Thanks!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Wanted to let you know I featured this post this afternoon! :) Think it will be very helpful for other bloggers. I have a "Featured On" button if you'd like to grab it for your site. :)

Lisa @ Just the 6 of us said...

Just found your blog and really appreicate these tips! And I'm following your advice and commenting, I'm usually terrible about that. :) Cute baby by the way!

Spruce Kids said...

A friend forwarded this to me, and i'm very grateful. I've been trying to think of how to increase my followers while juggling so many things - wife, home, motherhood, #2 to come, and new business. I started the blog for my new venture almost the same time you did - last November. To see you've already hit 500+ readers says something. Congrats on your accomplishment. I'm going to take your suggestions seriously and thank you for your insightful thoughts. Congrats on your son and hope to stay in touch via our little world of blogging. Best, Rebecca @ Spruce Kids

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Came here from Serenity Now and found your list SO helpful. I'll be back!

Sara said...

This is GREAT and so helpful for me...I am hoping to incorporate some of these tips into my blogging. Thanks for the post!!

Trisha said...

I just found your blog, and THANK you so much for this post! I am now following you and look forward to more great information from you.

Tynk said...

Newest follower here! GREAT tips for sure. I think it's so important to comment on others blogs as well. I make it part of my morning "ritual".. lol cofffee and commenting! I can get lost for hours looking at everyones projects.
Thanks again, Sherri

BellaVida said...

Hi, I just found your blog via blog frog.

I enjoyed reading these tips and will be checking out the other tips shortly.

You can find me at
Bella Vida by Letty

Mel said...

Im new to blogging and found this really helpful! There is sooo much more to it than what you think, I figured Ill just write some posts and all will rite!! I find that Im struggling with making my page look good, I have an Idea in my head of what I want it to be...just need to stick with it and it will fall into place. Thank you for this post :)


until next time, I'll be at
Decorating my World

Studio H said...

Fantastic article! I definitely think commenting is the best thing you can do! I love it when people comment on my blog and will do my best to check them out once they comment! I've definitely been thinking about advertising but haven't been completely sure about it. Thanks for this article, its great!

The Scott's Crib said...

Found you via the Savvy Blogger blog frog community. I left a mouthful of a comment over there for you but I love commenting so much I thought I would say my peace here. It is so important to receive feedback from your readers and I view this as better than even having the followers. So glad to have found your Im off to read those other tips!

Michele Perry said...

What great suggestions! Honestly, I am not sure even how to count who follows what... I have never been that detailed oriented, more like hmmm numerically challenged. But you have given some wonderful ideas to chew on. Especially for one who doesn't "fit" in any normal category- in cyberspace or in life! Thank you- looking forward to reading more.

MoreThanDecor said...

I am new to blogging actually just started yesterday and can you all the help you can give me...I would really appreciate any and all advice...

Staci said...

Great list! Exactly what I was looking for. I am actually doing a bit of redesign as I type (this was me taking a break) and am working on several of your other tips. So glad Bloggers such as yourself care to reach out to "newbies". Thank you! :)

Carly said...

Thank you for posting a list on this topic that is fuller and more wholesome than some others I've read which basically just scream nonsense about Search Engine Optimization and Meta tags.
And yes, like Staci above me, thank you SO much for helping out the newbies :)
Thank you again! Your site is a wealth of info.
<3 Carly

Honeybee said...

Great tips. It seems works on you. You have a great number of followers. I am going to follow your tips. Thanks.
ps - Diet Pills and the Dangerous Side Effect

Mom4Real said...

Thank you so much for the words of wisdom! I am a little frustrated with myself, because I was asked to do a giveaway to increase traffic, and I am not feeling it. It has taken away my passion for my blog a little, but this blog has inspired to me to get back on track! I am going to follow you, and look forward to future postings!

Jessica K

Christy @ One Fun Mom said...

ummm, yeah. I think that's a definition of success - 540 since December!? Wonderful!

I never thought of advertising on another blog. Simple and effective, I'm sure. I guess I didn't think that was an option for me. But I think I'll give it a shot!


Essential Mama Baby said...

Wow, what a nice post and what a hit! This is going to be the 61 comment!. You were talking about a blog success, this post alone is a success.
Even though I'm a new blogger, I completely agree with you about good content, that is what make us go back to a blog to read more!
Most of us follow and read a lot of blogs but some of them are must read. As soon we see that they have a new post we want to read it right away because we know it is going to be about something informative and useful.
Thanks for the tips!

Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM said...

I LOVE #10! There are times I visit a blog and it has great content but the feeling is so drab, probably because they don't love blogging. I love to read blogs where a passionate person is behind it.
I understand some people (er, me) lack passion but there can still be a sense of pride and accomplishment in the blogging. And I am working on it. I am finally finding my rhythm and having fun!

Awesome post!


Kelly @ Run With Glitter said...

This is great! Love it and its so good to hear the reinforcements! I shared it on my facebook page today too :)

Amanda said...

Hi Ashley!
I just found your blog through Boerman Ramblings! You have great tips! I can't wait to try them out to promote my blog!

Amanda @

Jamie said...

Ah! You're my hero! My Blogging hero and you don't even know it. Starting a blog is hard work. I know I'm doing it. It's hard to imagine that people would actually be interested in my crazy thoughts. Your tips are so helpful and your blog is awesome. Thanks a bunch for this post.
Jamie awesomely-awkward.som

Judy Haughton-James said...

I found this to be very informative and interesting. I am a Jamaican and rather new to Blogging. I actually started my Blog in March of this year so I have so much to learn! I used mainly Ping sites in the beginning, but I have started using Traffic Exchanges, Entrecard and now Blog Frog!

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

This is a great post, great advice Thanks for sharing all your insights!

Kesia Marie said...

I am SO glad I found your blog and found this post. I've been blogging for a while but as of late, some huge life changes happened for me, and one of the ways I did some "emotional organizing" was a huge change for my blog. I have decided to stop blogging so personally and focus on my art and other interesting things, dropping the whole journally-vibe my blog once had. In focusing on my art, I want to get it out there too... I guess what I'm getting at is I'm so happy I found your blog and this post, because it's really giving me some things to think about and some steps to take. Thanks! :) Can't wait to follow on with your future posts! :)XOXOX

Tori said...

I've been looking for a post like this for a while!
Thanks for remembering the little people :)!

itsawant said...

These are amazing tips! As a recent blogger ( only a little over a month) I find this a very helpful post. Your ideas are simple but can create huge results! I agree with everything you said and am very excited to put these into motion! You really know how to mix blogging and business! Thanks again :)

vanna said...

Thank you for the wonderful tips and I'll keep everything in mind as I revamp my page.

ALPRISH said...

your advice awesome !

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