Remember, these are just my personal excperiences and opinions. I am in no way an expert on this topic. I would love to hear about other blogger’s experiences so please leave a comment!
Are follower numbers important?
This really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking to chat with publishers and receive review books then yes, followers are important. Molli from Once Upon a Prologue told me she actually had a review request denied by Harper because she didn’t meet their minimum follower number. So in that sense, you should probably have at least 350 followers before you request from Harper. If you’re not concerned with talking to publishers and what not, and you’re really just looking to meet new people and chat about books, then no I honestly don’t think follower numbers are important. I don’t judge a blog based on their follower number, and I don’t deem a blog “unworthy” of my time because they have less followers than I do. Who cares? I like your content, not your stats!
How do you have so many followers?!
Someone asked me this question after my ARCs post and I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now. How do I have so many followers?! Because I am awesome! No just kidding… I have no idea really. Ok I have some idea… NETWORKING!
- Comments: Visiting other blogs and leaving MEANINGFUL AND PERSONAL comments will go far when it comes to getting visitors to your blog! If you comment on a review I wrote and say, “Great review!” and then leave a link, I’m not going to bother, what was so great about my review?! Did you read it?! Meaningful comments go a long way people! Even a sentence on a WoW post that says, “Hey I love this cover, this sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for sharing!” will get you a visit from me!
- Twitter: If you’re a blogger and you’re not on Twitter I don’t know what’s wrong with you. GET ON TWITTER STAT! I say this because Twitter is a GREAT way to get people to visit your blog!! You know those 5 or 6 Tweets I send out every day promoting whatever post I have up? They work. People come. “If you Tweet it, they will come” (HAR HAR!)
- Blog Hops: If you don’t know what a blog hop is, it’s basically just a meme where you go around and visit other people’s blogs. Think, Follow Friday, TGIF, WoW etc. Typically, you find a lot of new blogs this way, you leave a comment on their post and tell them how awesome they are, and then you follow and pray that they come back and follow! This can be a great way to socialize and meet other bloggers.
- Giveaways: This is an incredibly controversial topic, and a lot of people consider it “buying” followers, but I’m on the fence. Yes, I require a follow for the giveaways that I fund. Sorry, but I’m paying for this item and I don’t really want random people winning it. Sure, you can always unfollow me when you win, but hopefully you won’t! If I’m hosting a giveaway where someone else provides the prize (a publisher, author, other blogger) than I won’t require people to follow me, but I will have following me as an extra entry. Like I said, it’s up to you! A lot of bloggers require a follow as a main entry, but that’s completely your choice! Just remember that the people who follow you strictly for giveaways might not come back to read the rest of your content.
As I said before, the best way to get followers is to network. Be social, don’t just expect everyone to flock to your blog the day you start it. Put yourself out there. You have to reciprocate, so if you’re not visiting other bloggers they’re not going to visit you. I’ve had a couple people tell me that they never visit other blogs but they have no idea why no one comes to theirs. There you go, that right there is why.
What draws you to your favorite blogs?
Since I’ve been on the blogosphere for awhile now, I’ve racked up a LARGE list of blogs I follow in my reader. Seriously, it’s over like 500 I think. Within those 500, I have about 100 that are in my “Favorite Bloggers” folder. These are the blogs that I drop everything for, daily, and I check out their posts because they have good things to say.
- Be Honest: I think a lot of people are afraid to write negative reviews because they don’t want to piss off publishers or authors, and who cares? If your only goal in blogging is to lie about what you thought and get more free books than I don’t want to follow you. You’re a disgrace. If your goal is to tell people your honest thoughts about a book than YES, I want to hear about the books you didn’t like!! If you write a ton of reviews that are all telling me to read this book and that book because they were so amazing, and I read all of them and they suck I’m not going to trust your opinion. BE HONEST.
- Be Interesting: Don’t fill your whole blog with memes. That’s not interesting. I want to know you as a person, and I can’t do that unless you write honest reviews and other fun posts!
- Your Layout/Design: Ok, I’m being honest here. I will never ever ever try to tell someone that their layout is good or bad. If they like it, then that’s all that matters. However, I have particular pet peeves when it comes to layouts that will keep me from visiting regularly and even following: 1. Your blog takes too long to load 2. I can’t read your font 3. Your sidebar images are spilling onto the main page 4. You have horrible grammar/spelling; please proofread your reviews before posting them!
Quality vs. Quantity.
I think the important thing to remember is that just because you have a million followers does not mean that everyone is visiting. The follower number is there, but the quality of followers isn’t. If your followers aren’t coming back to your blog, then what’s the point? I think it’s important not to get caught up in the numbers and focus more on your content and networking. If you write good posts and you involve yourself in the community then there’s no reason for people NOT to come back!
Remember guys, GFC is leaving non-blogger blogs which means those people will have a harder time tracking follower numbers! That being said, I think this will be good for a lot of people, because we tend to get obsessed about the numbers sometimes and that just makes blogging less fun.
What do you guys think about follower numbers? Do you find it important? How has your experience been with gaining followers? Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?