Wondering how to get more blog followers? If I was to start a blog again, there are so many things I would do differently. Hours of work wasted, yet many more put to good use. In this guide, I will share my blogging experience from the past four years and give you a step-by-step guide on how to get blog followers.
This will include to how to increase blog traffic, how to gain more followers on social media and the processes and plugins that I use to save time while gaining more followers. Read all twelve tips before implementing as they come as a package.
Naturally, bloggers will be reading this and thinking, she’s missed out the truth, the real things bloggers do to get more followers are avoid sleep, skip meals, live in their PJs, rarely brush their hair, ignore loved ones, live off coffee, surgically attach self to their phone and stress out.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to our list of blogging truths in our free Facebook group. Not a member, come join us at Make Traffic Happen!
Unfortunately there is some truth to this list, blogging takes a lot of commitment so you need to chose a blogging niche that gets you out of bed every morning. A niche that is profitable is also recommended.
If you’re just starting out on your blogging or niche site journey, consider signing up for our free 4-part search engine optimisation course, the most sustainable type of traffic bloggers enjoy.
How to Get Blog Followers
1. Network Your Fingers Off
When you first start a job, what do you do?
You find colleagues who are like-minded, fun and the type of people you can learn from.
Blogging is no different! Networking is key and while we don’t have an office water cooler to hang around we do have a virtual one and it lives in free Facebook groups!
The aim is to meet and mingle with bloggers of all stages. Grow with those who are just starting out and learn from the more experienced.
Did you know that Laura and I actually met in a travel blogging Facebook group when we were first starting out?
We then met in person a year later and started Make Traffic Happen the year after that!
You never know where online friendships will take you.
Not only will you support each other’s work through sharing content, building natural backlinks and spilling the blogging tea, you’ll also take trips together, support each other through life milestones like marriages and breakups and, as with every workplace, some bloggers hook up.
Honestly, give it a year and come back and tell me how many of the above occurs during your blogging journey!
Use your preferred social media channel to connect with fellow bloggers of all stages too.
Show interest in their content, share their work on your own channels and start to build meaningful relationships that you can consolidate at virtual and in-person events such as conferences.
While it’s easy to get caught up in blogging drama on social media, and believe me I’ve been there, try to remember that you are always representing your brand regardless of typing as your blog social media handle or personal page.
Stand your ground but be sensible. Pause before you publish.
If you are on LinkedIn, this a great stomping ground for networking with content creators as it’s easy to make a connection and the focus of this platform is business.
This is where your potential clients are socialising too so don’t be afraid to make connections with businesses as well as bloggers.
Learn more about LinkedIn here.
2. Create a User Friendly Website
Before you start networking in Facebook groups you will need a branded website with some content as group admins tend to ask for your website URL to prove you have a blog before they admit you to their group.
Think of your website as a storefront to your business.
When a new reader and potential customer lands on your homepage, your storefront, is it obvious what your brand is about?
Are your key themes present in your navigation bar (nav bar) and can users find your top content easily from it?
You should strategically place the content that you want seen on the homepage in an organised manner with titles and introductory paragraphs which include keywords, see the section on SEO for more on this.
For example, if you were creating a blog about having a husky as a pet you would probably have content on the following topics displayed on your homepage:
- Huskies at different stages (pre-purchase, puppies, mature, etc)
- Husky product guides
- Husky training posts
- Husky health
This strategically organised content would then link to posts and pages already on your site through internal links.
Ensure that the most important content which defines your brand (cornerstone content) is added to your homepage to let the link juice flow from the top posts to the other posts it links to. This is important for search engine optimisation (SEO) which we will discuss soon.
It is well worth spending a couple of hours drawing out your dream homepage before you start to build it.
You will need a premium theme that allows you to create a static homepage to do this. We recommend Flatsome as it has an easy page builder which allows you to drop and drag boxes for text, images, buttons, etc. Make Traffic Happen is built using the Flatsome theme.
Take a look at our homepage and navigation bar to see a static design in action.
At under $100 it is well worth investing in a premium theme so you can create a professional looking website.
Remember to include an ‘about us’ page and social media channel icons so readers can get to know you better and connect with you on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
3. Build a Brand
One step that bloggers tend to do retrospectively is build a brand so learn from our mistakes and start with one!
Here’s a few things to consider before you spend lots of time and energy on creating content:
- Choose a non competitive niche that is profitable
- Create a brand name that is unique yet internationally understood
- Go for a brand colour palette that works on websites and social media
- Design a logo that is clear, incorporates your key themes and looks good in a social media profile square
- Come up with a fitting catchy slogan
- Nail 3-5 key areas you are going to discuss everywhere – in content, social media, photography, newsletters, bios, interviews, etc
Now splash your branding everywhere! On your website, social media channel pages, social media highlights, social media callouts, mailing list newsletters, email signature, business cards, elevator pitches.
Branding isn’t just about having your logo recognised. When users see your key themes you want them to automatically think about your brand.
For example, although my Edinburgh destination niche site is still in its infancy, strangers are telling potential customers that my site has the content they are looking for. This is a massive milestone!
4. Learn Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is one of the most important things you can learn as a blogger because it helps get your content seen by the right audience.
That means income! If you can target the right audience through keywords you can monetise that content and the good news is, the right audience doesn’t have to be huge!
Sure, a large North American audience is ideal for ad revenue but a small targeted audience works best for affiliate marketing.
Nailing both income streams is preferred because when you are self-employed it is sensible to have multiple income streams.
OK, you’ve sold SEO to me Gemma, tell me more.
Put simply, SEO means speaking Google’s language. It’s not magic! It’s strategy, procedure and technique and it’s honestly easier than you think.
Most bloggers are scared of SEO because it sounds technical and complicated so we created a step-by-step strategy called SEO The Easy Way which has helped thousands of bloggers.
Thanks to Paula Pins the Planet for the kudos!
Our SEO strategy includes:
- How to create content ideas
- Finding killer keywords that rank on page one of Google
- How to ‘be the answer’ to the in/direct questions asked on Google
- How to speak Google’s language through on-page SEO
- How to build an authorative brand with off-page SEO
- Tackling technical SEO, the easy way
Find out more, choose your style of learning below.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a course yet, sign up for our 4-part SEO course, it’s free!
5. Understand Affiliate Marketing
I’ve already touched upon affiliate marketing as means of making money but it’s actually a great way to find more blog followers too.
Once you understand how the buying cycle works and how to use affiliate marketing for market research you will be able to find more of your clan and capture them in your mailing list so they stick around to read more of your content!
The way users interact with your website is very important. You want them to read more than one article.
Read our guide to getting started with Google Analytics and Search Console for more about data and metrics.
6. Create Click-Worthy Content
An obvious way to get more blog followers to to create content that readers can’t not click on!
There are different types of content that fall under this bracket. Here are some ideas:
- Plan and publish viral content, study what works on social media and align it with your brand
- Find keywords your can rank for and claim that organic traffic from Google
- Write for Pinterest, check out its trends and create that content
- Create free products that act as lead magnets and get the right readers into your newsletter mailing list sequel where you point to posts on your website and products you want to sell
You may also like our guide to blog post ideas.
On your website posts, create clear Calls to Action (CTAs) such as ‘click here’, ‘read next’, ‘don’t miss this’ to encourage the reader to stay on your site and read other content. The above sentence is a CTA.
Create cluster content which can all be linked. Bring it together in your cornerstone content and promote it on your homepage as we discussed in tip number two. This is an important yet easy part of our SEO strategy.
It’s better to write lots about one topic than thinly about many as Google likes authority and it’s better for branding too.
→ Read next | What is cornerstone content and how to create it
This is an example of a Call To Action!
Other ways to attract more followers and readers is by creating compelling headlines. Read Laura’s guide on the topic here.
7. Guest Posts and Interviews
Another way to get more blog followers is to guest post.
Guest posting is when you create content for other websites and this gives you the opportunity to tap into a new audience. Ideally the host site is an authority and trusted source associated with your niche.
Wow them with your writing and remember to get your key themes across in the post. Avoid writing content you already have on your site as Google may see this as duplication and/or you may sacrifice your own Google ranking for the guest post position.
Write broader or nicher. Read more about guest posting here.
When guest posting, provide a snappy bio which includes what your brand is about. Can you make keywords associated with your niche work into this short paragraph? Include your brand profile image.
Similar to guest posting, interviews are an easy way to get exposure and gain more followers.
As bloggers, we tend to be put off by the word exposure as it is often sold as a form payment from clients who should be paying more than in kind but in this case, if the site is an authority and the interview is easy, there’s no harm in taking up that real estate exposure space.
→ You may also like
Popular ways bloggers build backlinks to their sites
8. Build a Community on Social Media
So how do I get more followers on Instagram? Ask yourself, why do you want more followers?
Followers don’t equate to engagement and anyone that has been actively trying to grow their following will know this.
But I watched Emily in Paris. At the party, only the huge accounts got the massive gift bag?
Right! And what was the ridiculous expectation from the brand… There’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Try paying your mortgage with gifted watches and diet smoothies.
At some point during your blogging journey you’ll realise your worth and start charging. Just ensure you can provide Return On Investment (ROI). Start by using the business options (Instagram’s business profile, TikTok Pro, Facebook and Twitter analytics) to track your post and audience analytics.
Instead of obsessing over the follower count, slide into a social media niche that is unique and create content that no one else is posting.
Here are examples of successful accounts that do something a little different:
- All That Is She (creative)
- Mrs Hinch’s Home (cleaning/anxiety)
- Stephanie Yeboah (self love)
- Kamelia Britton (formerly The Hackerette, don’t be afraid to rebrand!)
- The Bird Papaya (body reality)
- Sophia Roe (food/NYC)
While they have different styles they have one thing in common, they are intense storytellers so you fall deep into the rabbit hole of their content.
If there’s a new feature on a social media channel, be the first to use it! These new features will always be prioritised. Be known for it, build your authority using it but don’t just rely on that one feature because social media is fickle.
For longer term success, spend time working out where your audience is, what they do on the platform, how they engage, what questions they have and how you can help them.
Use channel analytics to work out when your audience is online to ensure you are posting at the right time and are available to engage with your community.
Attract the right followers and create a community that trusts you and wants to buy from you. That way you can monetise through affiliate marketing (swipe up on Insta) and campaigns.
Remember your key branding themes (tip 3), incorporate this into your channels and content.
I know it’s hard not to be envious when you see the same accounts pop up in your Instagram Discover feed but here’s some facts popular IG accounts aren’t telling you:
- They are or were part of IG pods for comments and reciprocation
- They have used giveaways to increase followers and improve engagement
- They have used the follow/unfollow strategy to increase followers
Although follow/unfollow is becoming an outdated strategy it is still active.
This is one of the 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.
9. Join Existing Social Media Communities
Research Facebook groups in your niche where you target audience hangs out. Is it a destination group or local themed group?
Observe their questions and behaviour, Facebook groups are the perfect place for content market research.
Answer questions and be memorable but don’t step on the admin’s toes.
Many bloggers create Facebook groups to create a community that they can build their authority, share their content and often monetise.
This is called a funnel.
It’s not good blogging etiquette to try and use someone else’s funnel for your own personal gain and often results in removal and whispers in private messages between blogging friends. Remember tip number one…
Instead, create your own community so you can be the star of the show or at least part of the performance.
For Twitter, check out Twitter chats in your niche. Read our Twitter tips for more on chats.
10. Schedule Social Media Content
While the number one way to increase followers to social media is to engage using outstanding content, there are a number of free and paid for tools that allow you to schedule that content to social media channels.
Facebook and Pinterest have their own scheduling tools built into their systems. For Twitter and LinkedIn you can schedule using the free tools Hootsuite and Buffer.
Observe what each channel wants. Consider the following before scheduling or posting:
- Image size – Vertical, horizontal or square?
- Location tags – Use them if they are available
- Hashtags – Are they used to attract new followers?
- Native functions – Video, GIFs, polls, stickers, etc, channels want you to explore the options they provide to keep users engaged on their channels
Remember, you are only borrowing real estate when you post on social media. These channels want businesses to pay them through ads so don’t be surprised when algorithms change or functions disappear and posting becomes more difficult.
Social media is only part of your blogging toolkit which should also include organic traffic (SEO), Pinterest traffic, a mailing list and maybe video if you are pursuing YouTube too.
11. Pinterest Pins and Traffic
Pinterest is a dream for those in the craft, cooking and DIY niches! Pinterest is where your people are at.
Pinterest users are called pinners and they are looking for pins to solve problems they have in their daily lives.
They are planners and look to future events and also react to seasonal changes which means Pinterest traffic isn’t always evergreen but it return the following year with new pin promotion.
We’ve written extensively about getting started on Pinterest and how to drive traffic using the platform here.
12. Analyse Data Then Strategise
One of the easiest parts of blogging is pumping out content on our blogs and social media channels.
Even if no one is seeing it, if we’re typing we can pretend we’re still blogging, right?
Yeah, that will cause blogger burn out real fast.
Like the creation of any start up business, starting a new brand should be part of bigger 3-5 year business plan.
To see success, you need to look at data and then make decisions on how to best move forward.
This data will will drive decisions on what to invest in whether that be skills development through courses, tools that save time or support through consultation or virtual assistance (VA) work.
Analytics worth getting to know include:
- Google Analytics and Search Console – SEO The Easy Way Course includes a free bonus deep dive video into these tools and a free tracking spreadsheet
- Social media analytics – Each channel has a free dashboard
- Tailwind – Popular Pinterest schedule tool with analytics
- Affiliate dashboards – Depending on the affiliate, they may have tracking statistics that you can learn from
Blogging is definitely a marathon and not a sprint but the good news is you can have a support team throughout the race! Join our free Facebook group to meet likeminded bloggers and niche site owners, ask questions and offer support. If there’s anything we can help you with don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’re serious about SEO, it’s our thing, sign up for our free 4-part SEO course. You won’t regret it!
Talk to us, we’re social! Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to join our free Facebook group.