Monday, September 6, 2010

Blogging Trifecta Explosion!

Okay, so today is Day One of The Awesome Blogging Trifecta. Strap in. Jen, Alex, and I are attacking FOLLOWERS. Be sure to check out their posts/opinions too.

So. Most of us have that little widget with the tiny heads. We judge our worth, the worth of our blogs, on how many little heads we can get in the sidebar. We can't pinpoint why, but we're desperate for more tiny heads.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why? Are we all really just junior high kids with bigger bodies and more money?

Quick answer: YES.

Okay, so with that out of the way, let's examine how the popular kids do it.

1. "To have friends, you must first be a friend." This philosophy (which I'm sure your mother said to you as often as mine did to me) applies to blogging. If you want more followers, follow more blogs. 9 times out of 10, you'll get a follow-back.

2. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Yeah, we're taking a big of wisdom from Disney today. If you leave sincere comments, you'll most likely get the attention of the blog author. They're most likely go to your blog. They'll most likely follow you.

3. "The pen is mightier than the sword." Dude, if you want more people to follow you, give them what they want. Politicians tell the voters what they want to hear. Popular kids flatter the right people. So it is with bloggers. Give people good content, and they'll be yours forever. (And, uh, for the official record, the same is true in writing. Give readers a gripping story, and they'll read your books forever--and tell their friends.)

4. "If you build it, they will come." Let's face it. Blogging is WORK. If you think followers are just going to fall into your lap, you're wrong. If you think you're going to get a buttload of comments overnight, you're wrong.

It. Takes. Work.

*cue personal story*

It's February 1, 2010. I'm at Olive Garden, ordering desserts for myself and six or seven of my writing buddies. My treat. Why? Because I've just hit 500 followers on my blog.

Look over to the widget. Now back to me. To the widget. Back to me. I have over 1400 now. Just a short seven months later. That's a whole lotta followers in seven months. I felt like it took me half my life and liver to get 500. Why?

Because I worked my freaking tail off. And I didn't stop. All through the winter and spring, I worked. I left comment after comment. I followed blog after blog. I built it. They came. I'm still building it, day by day, post by post, email by email. I don't anticipate stopping.

Building a better blog is work.

*end personal story*

So there you have it. Each day this week, I'm going to leave you with my dirtiest, darkest secret for how I've built my blog into an online platform. I'd tell you not to tell anyone, but hey, I'm posting it on my blog! Tweet away!

Getting-More-Followers-Tip: POACH. That's right. Poach from other people. I have a lot of followers. Theoretically, they're all writers/readers/lovers of books in some way. You should be poaching from me. Click on my widget and let it open up. Then click on each little tiny head and see what links come up. If they have a blog, go to it. Follow it. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Who do I poach from? (I have no shame, keep this in mind.) Nathan Bransford. Rachelle Gardner. Pretty much anyone who seems to have a lot of followers (Shannon Messenger, Lisa/Laura Roecker, QueryTracker, The Blood Red Pencil) or who has the same base of followers I want (Candace Ganger, Alex Cavanaugh, VR Barkowski, Talli Roland, just to name a few).

So there. Don't judge me too harshly.

And do you have anything to add? How have you gotten more followers?

**Of Special Note: You must only do what you can do. No more, no less. If you don't have time to open a billion blogs and follow them, don't. And don't waste a single second of your life feeling bad about it. You can only do what you can do. That's it. I'm merely sharing what I did, and what's worked for me. If you have the time and inclination, you might try it.


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