How to Keep Your Blog's Followers

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Keep Your Blog's Followers

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Anyonita Nibbles Blogging Crash Course: How to Keep Your Blog's Followers
It's time for the second installment of the Blogging Crash Course, helping you develop and grow your blog into the powerhouse you know it can be! :) This week, I thought it would be important to address one of the probing questions all bloggers ask themselves eventually: how do I keep my followers?!

I feel it's fair to warn you: I'm not a professional blogging consultant. I've just become committed to growing my blog and helping others do the same. So what qualifies me to share blogging strategies with you? Personal experience!

Until January 2013, Anyonita Nibbles was just a hobby. I had 14 followers, 13 of whom were friends I had known for years. I had no email sign ups and my Facebook likes were in the double digits. Barely. I was doing a bit better on Twitter in terms of followers, but nothing to brag about.

In January, I got serious with my blogging. I wanted one of those enviable blogs with loads of followers and loads of PR opportunities. I wanted a blog that generated conversation. I wanted recipes that people wanted to pin and make and I wanted to gain some type of income from my efforts. So, I got serious and strategized and saw pretty quick results.

By March 2013, my Goggle Friend Connect count more than tripled. My email signups had increased by 800% and overall traffic to Anyonita Nibbles increased by 400%. My Facebook likes grew and I became active and engaged on Twitter. I optimized my Pinterest and I attended and started hosting link parties. All of which resulted in the type of growth I wanted. Most importantly, I did all of that while maintaining my followers and gaining new ones.

How to Keep Your Blog's Followers  

1. Respect their contact details
One of the best ways to lose followers is to compromise their email and subject them to spam. If you have a sign up form on your blog or record the email addresses of your link party participants, it is up to you to keep that information safe and protected.

Just this week alone, I received mass emails from three separate blogs, all addressed to a long list of other bloggers. I had access to the emails of people I'd never come into contact with and they had mine. Our privacy and our contact details were compromised and violated. As a result, I've removed myself from these lists. I'm not insinuating that any of these blogger spams other bloggers, but they're not doing anything to prevent it happening. As a result, I'm not exactly rushing out to maintain communication with them or to read their blogs.

How do you get around this? We all want to communicate with our followers, that's the reason we keep their details in the first place, but there's no excuse for not keeping those details securely. There are loads of  free email marketing websites and programs available. These programs will keep track of all your email signups and let you send mass emails without anyone else seeing who else is receiving the email. I personally use Mad Mimi, but there are dozens of others to choose from.

Of course, if you'd rather not use an email marketing program, that's fine as well. Just ensure that you blindcopy (BCC) your emails to protect your followers and respect their information. When you blindcopy, your recipients will only see your email address, instilling confidence in your ability to respect their privacy. Plus, it also looks a bit more professional.

2. Blogging isn't a one way street
You've got all these lovely followers, but have you visited their blogs too? Do you know what kinds of things they write about? Knowing what your bloggers blog about can help you when coming up with your own posts and in providing your readers with content that interests them. Also, your followers are more likely to stick around when they feel like you're engaging with them. Think about it, if you're trying to have a conversation with someone but they're not saying anything, how long would you stick around?

Don't be tempted to get hung up on gaining new followers without learning more about them. Of course, you won't become best bloggy friends with everyone, but you won't develop relationships with anyone if you don't try at all.

3. Embrace variety
Not all of your bloggers want to read the same things. I've found the best way to ensure that I'm catering to as many of my readers as possible is to offer them a bit more variety in my posts. I've chosen to do this by inviting guest posters to my blog and giving them the opportunity to post what they'd like.

This is beneficial in a number of ways:
  1. I'm not having to research a variety of subjects or techniques that I'm unfamiliar with just to create a post 
  2. The guest posters will most likely choose a recipe (in my case) that is different from anything I've posted recently, which instantly garners attention from my active and engaged followers. 
  3. A drastic change in posting style like what you get when you have guest posters, often helps to eke out some stagnant followers who only dabble by occasionally.  
  4. Lastly, guest posting can tap your blog into a new set of  SEO keywords. If your SEO is good, this type of post can generate an entirely new traffic.

4. Give them a reason to come back
In my first Blogging Crash Course post, I mentioned that 70% of blog readers are other bloggers. Chances are, your readers will spend a good majority of their time drumming up their own blogs and won't have ages to spend reading the blogs they follow. Personally, I follow numerous blogs but don't have any that I check every day. There's just not enough hours in the day, so I rely heavily on the blogs I follow to entice me. Since I check my social media religiously, I'm always on the look out for their updates and when something looks interesting, I go check it out.

I know for a fact that many of my own followers have the same mentality when it comes to reading, so I cross-post every new blog post I write on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, to start with. Eachweek, all of the posts are recapped and sent directly to my email list via Mad Mimi. Maybe the sound of one of my recipes or the look of one of the photos catches their attention and encourages them to stop back by. It doesn't matter what it is as long as they return and as long as I do everything in my power to encourage their return.

5. Don't slack off now
In blogging, consistency is key. Not just consistency in the quality of the posts you write, but consistency in your frequency of posting. Followers will stick around when you're engaging with them on a continual basis and are providing regular content. I'll use the analogy of friendship again, how difficult would it be to maintain a friendship when you only spoke to your "friend" every two weeks or once a month? If you've already gained followers, don't slack off now! Keep up the momentum and keep posting. They'll stick around!

6. Acknowledge and be confident in your abilities
 Blogging is hard work. It takes a lot of consistent hammering before the nail goes through. If you've already got some followers (even if it's only a handful) celebrate that fact and congratulate yourself! This is proof that you can do it. Take confidence in that and keep working at it. Do the things that you'd want the blogs you read to do and don't forget to be aware of your own capabilities.
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  1. Great post-- I'm trying to build mine up more, and this is very helpful!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I'm glad it was helpful for you!

  2. Great tips girl! Thanks for sharing! This is something I am working on right now and really appreciated the advice!

    Rebecca @

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! :) I'm glad you found this helpful!

  3. Thank you for sharing some great advice! For me it was participating in blog hops and commenting on tons of blogs that seemed to get me followers. I agree about the consistency. I have been blogging at least 3 times a week every week for a few months and I seem to be getting a faithful core group that keeps coming back.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Oh yes, link parties are an excellent way of getting new followers! :)

  4. You have a lot of good tips here. I'm always careful when I send out e-mails to bcc everyone in if it's a group correspondence. I'm visiting today from Thursday's Favorite Things, and I'm your latest follower.

  5. Anyonita,

    Thank you again for all of this invaluable information. It is all so helpful! I am not sure if you link to these link parties - On the Menu Monday ( Foodie Fridays (Rattlebridge Farm - They are both US based and have many followers. If you do not link now, you might like to try them to gain more followers. I believe you have a unique blog and those macaroons look fantastic!!!!

    Good Luck!

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you very much for the tip; I actually already link up to both of those :) You've got good taste in link parties ;D Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for the info! Great post!

  7. Thank you Anyonita for your input!
    As a blogger my self and as a follower on other blogs, I can say that from my experience the best way not to lose followers is to comment back.
    Bloggers who rarely comment back (sometimes they never do) on their follower's blogs lose these followers.

    1. I agree, Winnie! :) Unfortunately, a lot of time, people think they're comments aren't responded to because they're no-reply bloggers!

  8. Excellent advice Anyonita thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday. I really appreciate it when a blogger gives some background or personal update at the beginning of their party or post this makes it much easier not to leave a generic comment when you thank them for the party.

    1. You're welcome, Diane! & Yes, that is very helpful isn't it? It can be hard not to leave generic comments, but so worth it when you don't! :)

  9. Great tips! I pinned it to my Blog Pinterest board ~ from Pin It Tuesday.
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

  10. I'm new to the blogging world, so any advice is very helpful! I especially like the tip about embracing variety. I've been going back and forth about how to stay true to the heart of my blog while also having the freedom to blog about other things I have experience with. I'm working on finding a good balance. :)


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