10 Things Bloggers Do to Get More Followers

How to get blog followers
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If I was to start a travel blog again, there are so many things I would do differently. Hours of work wasted, yet many more put to good use. I’m here to share my travel blogging experience from the past three years and give you a step-by-step guide on how to get blog followers. This will include how to gain more followers on social media, how to increase blog traffic and the processes and plugins that I use to save time while gaining more followers.

Naturally, bloggers will be reading this and thinking, she’s missed out the truth, the real things bloggers do to get more followers; avoid sleep, skip meals, live in their PJs, rarely brush their hair, ignore loved ones and pets, live off coffee, surgically attach self to mobile phones, stress out. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our call out in Make Traffic Happen!

This post assumes…

  • You have a blog name
  • You have set up a website with a self-hosting company
  • You have created social media accounts in your blog name (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr)

What you will learn 

A. How to grow your blog through networking with other bloggers
B. How to increase blog followers through social media 
C. How to gain blog followers through Search Engine Optimisation (today) 

How to Get Blog Followers

1. Network Your Fingers Off

When you first start a job, what do you do? You find ‘friends’ -­ like-minded colleagues whom you learn from.

Blogging is no different, networking is key.

For example, in the beginning, a mistake I made was writing friendly posts for family members. It wasn’t until I spoke to other bloggers that I realised I had to break out of this routine.

To be successful, you have to treat your blog like a business from the beginning. Aim to network with bloggers at all stages – those who are just starting out, the more experienced, and the kings/queens of the blogging world.

2. Find Blogging Buddies While Growing

You can build relationships on any social media platform, but most notably Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

My best advice for Twitter is to join Twitter Chats.

These weekly travel chats are run by hosts who pose several questions with a related hashtag for interested Tweeters to reply to. I’d suggest using Tweetdeck to help manage the chats.

Comment on other people’s / blogger’s tweets and follow them if you so wish. Many will follow back. This is one strategy I used to meet other bloggers while increasing my Twitter following.

Read more: Get more followers on Twitter for free (and fast!) by using these easy tips to how I reached 10K followers on Twitter – Twitter for Bloggers.

For Facebook, ask to join Facebook groups. These pages are a community of bloggers where members can either ask for advice or join social media shares.

I can’t stress enough how useful Facebook groups are. Each has its own rules, and instructions on how to join. Some of the successes I’ve had through networking in Facebook groups are

  • Resolving technical website issues
  • Pitching companies which fellow Facebook group members have shared
  • Being asked to admin Facebook groups – I’m now on the other side! 

I really believe that the growth of Two Scots Abroad is down to my contribution to these groups.

Think outside of your niche too; is there a blogging group for your nearest city or country? For travel bloggers, can you answer questions on local tourist boards or national flight company Facebook pages? Etc.

To recap: networking through Twitter, joining Facebook groups, and Instagram pods, will not only help bloggers gain more social media followers but also create the opportunity to build relationships with fellow bloggers

3. Social Media Behaviour

While participating in Twitter Chats and Facebook groups, be professional. Don’t be afraid to offer support to other bloggers who seek help.

Offer your advice, not your agenda! Be aware, keyboard warriors exist within these blogging communities too.

There are non-blogging Facebook groups which are also great. Just use the search function to see what is available in your niche.

Just be wary that you can be thrown out if you self promote without being asked.

They often provide opportunities for you to share your blog posts, though – a nifty trick to get more blog followers and network with followers of your niche!

4. Bloggers Social Media Sharing

Networking can certainly help with increasing your blog and social media following but must be done in tandem with other techniques such as social media sharing. Initially, I was only sharing my own blog stuff on social media. I felt like I was shouting out into the abyss and nobody was listening to me.

The solution? Sharing other blogger’s work. How? By joining social sharing groups.

Again, on Facebook, there are groups where bloggers can post a link to a social share such as Pinterest and then comment/like / share (each group differs) on the specified amount of other posts in the thread (for example, the ten links above your post). Conduct is also vital here: don’t post unless you can reciprocate on the specified number of posts.

Otherwise, you’ll risk irritating the voluntary admins, other bloggers will think you are freeloading, and you could get thrown out of the group altogether. Always remember that admins of these groups are volunteering their time. Avoid backchat if you are called out for not reciprocating. If you want your content shared and the support of the group, you need to do your bit too.

Travel Bloggers Sharing Facebook Groups

*Make sure that your travel blog website is visible on your Facebook page. If you’re not a travel blogger, there are plenty of alternative for other niches. Just search on Facebook for your niche.

5. Scheduling Social Media

So what do I do with all of these social shares?! There are social media scheduling sites which help you plan ahead and save time. I use Buffer (the free version which limits activity) and Hootsuite (no limit) to help manage Twitter shares. Other bloggers pay for CoSchedule, Tailwind, or use Buffer Pro.

Be wary of mass sharing to all platforms, each platform requires a different tone. I loosely use the site IFTTT which lets you set up ‘recipes’ which connect one platform to another – so when a blog post goes live, it automatically appears on Twitter etc. I’m not keen on using mass sharing for Facebook but I do use the ‘Facebook schedule’ for posts.

Engaging is essential.

You won’t see much success in increasing traffic to your blog by ‘dumping’ information on social media, in fact, you might even be ‘filtered’ by Twitter for not interacting enough (see Twitter post for my horrible experience of this).

To recap: use these social media scheduling tools to help plan and manage your shares (and time) but don’t forget to engage with your audience.

6. Pictures – Quality Over Quantity

I quickly realised that there is very little point in publishing poor quality photos on any social media platform, especially Instagram. I saw a significant increase in Instagram engagement when I began editing photos (using Lightroom) and only sharing my best images.

I plan my grid on Planoly. The app lets me upload images and move them around until I get the perfect composition.

If I have an image that is ‘off’ my normal tone (or the majority tone of the images I’ve been posting) I post in threes. For example, if I have a sunset image, I try to organise my grid so there are three sunset pictures side by side with the past showing a hint of the future image colour.

The key to IG is like, comment, comment, comment, like, like, and hashtag strategically! Get the picture? Instagram is hard work! See above and below for more details on my Instagram strategy.

The same goes for Pinterest. Post vertical pins. Use Canva or Adobe Spark for creating pins. They are both free and accessed online.

Keep up to date with the best sizes for photos on each platform, for example

  • Pins with the highest engagement tend to be vertical 2:3 ratio
  • Facebook image size has changed to 1200 x 630. Four individual square images also work for me
  • Instagram is still square at 1080 x 1080 square
  • Twitter prefers horizontal photos. Four individual square images also work for me
  • Learn your website theme’s photo specifications. I use Lightroom: 800-1100 Long Edge, 72 resolution, 60+ quality
  • Reduce the size of your website images (using Ewww plugin, Short Pixel, Lightroom, etc), large images can slow your website loading speed so followers might not stick around to read your entertaining articles
  • Take horizontal photos for your blog and vertical for Pinterest

7. Post Frequently on Social Media

Yes, quality over quantity for images is important, but posting frequently on all social media platforms is too.

For Pinterest, I pin new pins to group boards (see Pinterest post for more on these!) and take part in a Pinterest share whenever I post a new article.

I used to post twice on Facebook but have now reduced to once a day at 19:07 UTC. I reply to any comments in the evening. Engagement is best when Craig and I are both in the picture, pictures do better than links, questions and poll type statements are golden.

For Twitter, I used to schedule other people’s tweets every two hours (from a Twitter share). I also used to use a plugin which shared old posts from my site every two hours but removed this as I thought it may be the cause of me being ‘filtered’.

I scheduled tweets advertising new posts and post when on a campaign. I don’t spend much time on Twitter, it’s not my bag but it might be yours.

Twitter chats are a great way to network, as mentioned above.

Get More Instagram Followers

I no longer post on Instagram grid/feed (only Instagram Stories) as it is not part of my monetisation strategy, however, it isn’t a decision every blogger can make so here is what I used to do. Even established IGers will tell you that Instagram is a hard game.

  • Post 2-3 times per week on Instagram when analytics tell you is best
  • You need a business account for this, it’s free
  • Use a high-quality image which fits with your niche
  • Add location in location settings
  • Add a title which sums up the image/story – not necessary, just popular
  • A description of the photo
  • A question surrounding the topic or something topical to encourage engagement
  • Specific hashtags: pre-researched location hashtags, hashtags from accounts which re-share images

What popular IGers are not telling you:

  • They are or were part of IG pods for comments and reciprocation
  • They have used the follow/unfollow strategy to increase followers
  • They have used giveaways to increase followers and improve engagement

Quick note – follow/unfollow strategy is an active strategy. This is one of many tricks used by bloggers to get more followers, and that is cool with me. Please don’t waste your energy being upset that other bloggers have unfollowed you, concentrate on lovers of your niche, not the bloggers!

The most important thing about Instagram is that you have to create a community. Find an interesting theme or niche that no one is doing and do it well. Find cheerleaders, make friends and engage.

Here are examples of very successful accounts who do something a little different:

8. Back Up Your Website

Moving away from social media, I am now going to talk you through some website tips which not only get more traffic to your blog (for free!) but also prevent any future meltdowns!  I have had two website tragedies in the past year, but like a girl scout, I was prepared.

I use WordPress which I am happy with, but do keep in mind that WordPress updates and this can sometimes cause havoc to your website. Plugins that once worked may not be compatible, other plugins may crash your site. This is when you will praise the online gods that you backed up.

Ask your service provider how to backup or add a backup plugin, such as UpDraft. Back up your images!

9. SEO Like a Boss

SEO will change your blogging life. I tripled my page views in under six months, went part-time at my teaching job, quit altogether and now I teach bloggers how to rank on Google through SEO.


Google Analytics


SEO is probably one aspect of travel blogging that bloggers mistakenly think they can work out later. To get blog traffic, you want to learn how to SEO from the word go. Each article should be the answer to questions that people type into the Google search bar! I learnt the hard way – learn from my mistakes! Plan your articles – what are the keywords (and ‘longtail phrases’) that you are trying to rank #1 in Google for (how do I know which ones I’ll rank for? I’ll help you below!) Make sure you use your main (realistic) keywords in your

  1. Headline
  2. Permalinks (the weblink for your article)
  3. First 100 words
  4. A variation in a subheading (H2)
  5. Image alt tag (found when you upload to media)
  6. Meta description
  7. Variations of the keywords throughout
  8. Additional keywords throughout (see KeySearch section for more info)
  9. Guest post using a variation of the keyword as anchor text and link back to your article <– more on this below

You should scatter your ‘longtail keywords’ (longer phrases which are more specific) throughout your post. I did initially tell you that I’d be investing in Longtail Pro, however, the changes in Google Keywords Planner (now showing large numbers as opposed to specific) has made it redundant so I purchased KeySearch instead.

KeySearch helps you find the best keywords to use for each post, I am loving it! It’s only $17 per month or $169 for the year and well worth the investment because it tells you how many people actually search for the intended keywords (volume) and also how competitive it is. We have a 20% off coupon, just quote MTH20 at checkout. Honestly, the majority of bloggers and niche site owners in our Facebook group use Keysearch.

SEO KeySearch

Read our Keysearch guide: Plus a review of 2 free tools 

Final words on SEO

Don’t worry if you are screaming what the flippin’ heck is she talking about? In the beginning, I did not know my plugins from my permalinks but my good friend, YouTube, had a video for everything – don’t be afraid to YouTube ‘how to’ if unsure.

SEO is one of the main things bloggers do to get more followers to their site. In the future, this traffic will make you money through your affiliate sales. This is the stage I am currently at. Join our support group to meet link-minded bloggers like yourself and keep in touch via our newsletter. We send information, updates and a monthly newsletter to our subscribers. Sign up here.

10. Guest post your SEO through the roof

Initially, I thought guest posts meant asking your friends to write for you. I didn’t realise that the friend should have their own blog! Backlinks and exposure are some of the aims of guest posting.

Reach out to other bloggers with a specific story that you can fill a gap in their niche with, but also meet your own needs – you want to expose that keyword we mentioned above and get your article hyperlinked back – this is called backlinking and can help with your Google ranking.

It’s OK to be nervous the first time you contact another blogger! Be prepared for a knockback but move on and don’t fret.

Alternatively, look out for call outs in Facebook groups for collaborative posts (‘best vegan restaurants in XYZ’… etc). Guest posting is a great way to get to know other bloggers and also get backlinks to your own blog (ask politely for a link to an article on a keyword instead of your homepage). It also gives your name some exposure and the chance to sell your charming writing skills!

 Final words

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and blogging is very much about developing skills as it is about sharing your life with your audience. Try to enjoy the experience, take pleasure in writing, read other (your niche and technical) blogs, and if you are stuck just ask the blogging communities that you’ve joined for help. Don’t sweat the small things! The next CMS update will break something else anyway.

Did you find this post helpful?
Any questions or further tips please comment below!


112 thoughts on “10 Things Bloggers Do to Get More Followers

  1. Alan Moore says:

    Really interesting article, thank you. I think the time element on FB, Insta and Pinterest is always underestimated but can really be worth the time invested.
    oh and yes, Quality over Quantity. I’ve seen plenty of great blogs ruined by awful photos.

    • Gemma says:

      It’s also something businesses don’t understand when we ask for advertisement payment – it takes a lot of investment (time, research, skills) to build our social media channels and maintain them! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Nicola says:

    Great article. I’ve just started moving my blog from friends and family directed to a larger audience and your tips are excellent. One aspect I also need to work on is what the end goal is. Although I am diving into social media and trying to figure out the SEO stuff, I think what I currently most need to focus on is developing strong content that can speak to a wider audience. I’ll definitely be trying some of your tips though especially on joining FB groups.

    • Laura says:

      Nicola, that’s definitely the key to attracting more traffic. Sounds like you’re well on your way to accomplishing that.

  3. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Loving 1 and 2 and 10 Gemma. I have written 477 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone. Toss in hundreds others and I have well over 1000 and adding guesties daily. SEO benefits through the roof as you note but the bonds you build through guest posting are the sweetest fruit of your service. Loving the tips and congrats to you and Laura for launching this awesome blog!


  4. Tooba Fiaz says:

    Hey since i am totally new to blogging i came across this blog and i totally love it. I will be truly needing advices from blogging experts and i presume that would be no one other than you.
    Please do read and comment (criticise) my blog since i am totally new to this thing

  5. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much, this is the first sight have found that didn’t try to offer me fifty courses before providing me actual helpful information. I will be following for sure as I think I can learn a lot and oh boy do I need help, lol. Thank you again.

  6. Kristel says:

    Making sure posting a high-quality content is important, but I also make sure to include hashtags on my post. I use Hashatory, a hashtag suggesting tool which helps you generate the right hashtags to help you reach out to people.

  7. Daphne says:

    Hi. i just started my own blog and I’m quite shy about it. I am not a social media person, I hardly browse thru my FB, IG or Twitter and I have the most followers in LinkedIn which is only around 600. I feel like I am doomed already. How do I start?

    • Laura says:

      Daphne, I think we all feel that way when we just get started. It takes a while to warm up to being a more public figure on the Internet. You’re not doomed. You just have to focus on creating a strong community and an awesome blog, and don’t worry about the other stuff. It will come in time.

  8. Sharon Lopez says:

    I was looking for a code for a floating facebook page like button when I came across your article. Very helpful. I am yet to learn how to use Instagram but I am still concentrating on growing my Pinterest.

  9. Jessica Winder says:

    Thanks for this article. It will be a significant help for bloggers to get more followers by understanding what has more chance of working to build their followers and their blog. Thanks again.

  10. John Henderson says:

    I’ve been blogging for about six years and this article was so way over my head I’d need a rocket launch to understand it. I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. You have to be more basic in how to do these things for media morons like me.

  11. Cheapflightsfreak says:

    Thank you so much, this is the first sight have found that didn’t try to offer me fifty courses before providing me actual helpful information. I will be following for sure as I think I can learn a lot and oh boy do I need help, lol.

  12. Social Growr says:

    Great information and easiest ways provided! This information will be very useful as well as helpful for all the bloggers and website owners to get more followers for marketing. 🙂

  13. Tanya Cen says:

    I sometimes don’t get the idea of how Instagram addresses the feed in chronological order by recent posts. That kinda want me to unfollow the unnecessary people I followed. Anyway, Tons of Information I learned today! Few bloggers will only share this one. Thanks for sharing Gemma!

  14. Leanne Tait says:

    Wow. So much info in one place. Old brain, I guess. I have bookmarked this page so I can come back to it over and over. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I appreciate people like you who believe in abundance (sharing) over scarcity (hoarding). I will be working to incorporate many of your tips to growing my blog in the coming days, weeks, and months.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Leanne. We believe in that too! If we all help each other, we’ll all be more successful. Do come back often, as we regularly add new content.

  15. John says:

    Is it ok to guest post the same topic on multiple blogs (rewriting with unique content of course)? It can be limited finding an angle, especially for the travel niche if trying to rank for a particular destination guide.

  16. Barakha Rao says:

    Social media is growing increasingly popular, and Google using this as a ranking sign. It’s right the Facebook seems to be dull day by day. Mark’s doing it difficult for Facebook marketers. Since I don’t get as much traffic from Facebook as I do on Twitter, I chose to put more into using Twitter. I told and show “the power of hashtags” as well. Traffic immediately boosted upward after that…

    Nowadays Twitter has big roles to the blogging community especially in business areas, its an excellent plan for the promotion of the business. I have lately started to increase followers for my business and hope these suggestions will better me to get a huge result from Twitter marketing. Most people tweet when they get free time. Alternately, if they schedule their tweets using tools, they could surely get more clicks.

    Thanks for sharing. I just learned something new here…

  17. Dipak jadhav says:

    Wow. So much info in one place. Old brain, I guess. I have bookmarked this page so I can come back to it over and over. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I appreciate people like you who believe in abundance (sharing) over scarcity (hoarding). I will be working to incorporate many of your tips to growing my blog in the coming days, weeks, and months.
    Nowadays Twitter has big roles to the blogging community especially in business areas, its an excellent plan for the promotion of the business. I have lately started to increase followers for my business and hope these suggestions will better me to get a huge result from Twitter marketing.

  18. Jason says:

    Thank you very much for a great article! To MY mind many ” IG celebs” use bots such as ingramer.com or bigbangram.com or others. They get their followers and likes, I think, in short period of time and then deny the fact they have used bots. IMHO. What do you think? Do you agree or pertially agree?

    • Gemma says:

      I don’t personally know anyone that has used bots that admits it but in all honesty, most of the people in my circle are writers. Insta is more of a package than their main money maker. Definitely, f/u is the only way to get followers and engagement. I don’t understand why other bloggers get annoyed at business IGs for doing it though.

  19. Sayeed says:

    Very Interesting article. But I dont understand why do people get followers from sites like adinflu etc in short time. Is it worth just to gain large followers since the followers would not be a niche. Whats the use of large followers with no engagements.

    • Laura says:

      You’re absolutely right, Sayeed. Having a large following without engagement is pretty useless. It takes time and effort to establish a real following.

  20. Linda Kanyarusoke says:

    This was sooooo helpful. I launched my blog 2 months ago and I have been so overwhelmed. I have so much to learn but I’m so grateful for how well you laid everything out here. I bookmarked this page for use during this crazy journey.

  21. Mike says:

    Any thoughts on use of structured data? I’ve been wondering if it is worth learning more about or not. My early reading leads me to believe its more of a user experience bonus rather than an seo bonus. However, increased CTR should help with SEO.

    • Laura says:

      I think you’re right there, Mike. It’s good for useability, for sure. But I do think it will have an affect on SEO at least in small part, and it’s possible that Google will start using it more effectively in the future, so it’s good to have it set up.

  22. selena says:

    your post is very interesting to read.it’s very informative and helpful.Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job ,Keep it up.

  23. Kali says:

    Thank you for this article. I not only found the article super helpful, the comments were great as well. I am just starting the possibility of full-time blogging and I will say, some articles and blogs I have read about starting up have terrified me and make the end goal way too far fetched or unrealistic. I am happy to say this article and the comments filled me with inspiration that I can do this.

    • Laura says:

      Glad to hear it, Kali. You can definitely do it if you want it bad enough. It just takes hard work and dedication, plus know how.

  24. Jasen Hudson says:

    Instagram has become one of the top most used social media platforms. This social media platform helps you to grow your business, but firstly you should know how effectively it works.

  25. Harsh says:

    Hi every one, m here 1st time, Such a amazing post. Its very simple if you provide quality to google, google will help you in terms of ranking and followers. And in this article, i think each and every steps you covered which help any blogger to get organic followers & to my experience this site help’s me a lot to increase my followers.

  26. jasmine torres says:

    wow, this is very interesting to read, I might need to come back when there are more updates, thank you for sharing this post.

  27. Valerie says:

    I am just starting my lifestyle blog and am SO GLAD I ran across this post! The irony is that I googled “How to get more followers on your blog” and this was the first article to pop up (HELLO SEO!). My question is, I really love Square Space to host my site but I’ve heard I need to use WordPress. Before I put too much effort into design- what is your advice?

    • Laura says:

      It’s okay to use Squarespace if that’s where you’re comfortable working. Many bloggers just feel that WordPress offers the most flexibility and options, which you’ll want to have when your blog starts growing.

  28. Jim says:

    A very informative and well laid out article, thank you for taking the time to write it. As with many others here, I am just starting out and have found your information invaluable for folks like me who may not be very savvy in how to drive followers and engagements to their blog. Thanks again and I look forward to following the adventures of twoscotsabroad

  29. Giulia says:

    Excellent article! Thank you for sharing your mistakes and allowing us to learn from you. I’m trying to choose a strategy to develop my super basic blog from a chronicle/diary travel blog into something that really helps and solves people’s problems. I just joined your Facebook group and I look forward to putting your advice into practice 🙂

  30. ania says:

    I probably learn more from this blog post then from other SEO courses, you write very clearly without waffle. great article – thank you

  31. Akashna Sharma says:

    Thanks Laura for writing such a useful article with great details . Reading this is definitely an addition to my knowledge about the blogging world.

  32. Garrett says:

    Guest posting is pretty huge I’ve realized. I’ve also realized that making connections is pretty big as well. Twitter is great for this exact purpose. Once you start building those connections/friendships, it starts to resonate with other people you gain a valuable friendship. This, in turn, means you’ve got a better chance at earning backlinks from these people as well, and we all know how important backlinks are these days right? Great post you wrote here, I’ll be saving this one to my home screen to read again sometime. Thanks!

  33. Alan says:

    A lot of copy and pasted information passed off as their own, exactly what I would expect from the sort of person who thinks they are kylie jenner…. 10k followers such influence

    • Gemma says:

      Hi Alan, it sounds like you are just the person for tip #2. Your Kylie Jenner reference is over our head. Wrong age bracket pal. Come back to us if you have anything positive to contribute.

  34. Xavier Server says:

    Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us, so I came to give it a look. I’m enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and amazing design and style.

    • Gemma says:

      I think many of the groups have closed to new members. Thanks for alerting us. Feel free to join our Facebook group Make Traffic Happen and ask for open groups.

  35. Eric says:

    Your quality over quantity tip is a great one. That can be applied to almost everything you do when starting a blog. You don’t even have to post every single day, but if you can get a great article out once every two weeks, or even once a month, this is a great way to grow!

  36. Naveed says:

    Great article. I’ve just started moving my blog from friends and family-directed to a larger audience and your tips are excellent. One aspect I also need to work on is what the end goal is. Although I am diving into social media and trying to figure out the SEO stuff. Thanks for sharing

  37. Priya sharma says:

    I just started my blog and i was finding the tricks for increasing followers. Then after reading this blog, i got many best tricks for increasing blog followers. I would apply it on my blog. Keep posting.

  38. R.G. Ramsey says:

    Great helpful article on networking with other bloggers Gemma.

    It is fun, and enjoyable to meet other bloggers, and learn and grow together. My main blog gets a lot of traffic from Facebook. Having a Facebook business page is a great way to meet, and share ideas with like minded people.
    R.G. Ramsey

    • Laura says:

      This is the main reason we run a Facebook group, so we can meet and share ideas with like minded people. Thanks for sharing R.G.

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