Let’s Talk: The ‘F’ Word

the-f-word

No. I’m not talking about thatΒ ‘F’ word – although, if you met me in real life you’d probably be appalled by how often it comes out of my mouth. We’re talking about thatΒ otherΒ ‘F’ word.

Followers.

At the end of the day, it’s important not to stress over your stats.Β It can definitely take a lot of fun out of blogging. That said, it’s always nice seeing a notification of a new follower. It really helps you feel validated and aren’t just yelling aimlessly into the void. It’s so great knowing that people out there are interested in you and what you have to say.

I’m not rolling in followers or any kind of expert, but I have way more than I EVER expected. I thought I’d give some tips how to help gain some if you’re a new-ish blogger or feeling like no one is noticing you.

what-not-to-do

Follow 4 Follow comments

I understand when you’re new that this might seem like the most logical and easiest way to buildΒ some followers up, but you’ll find most people find it really annoying. It makes it seem like you’re not interested in the person behind the blog and just want more numbers on your own blog. It’s probably the easiest way to NOT gain followers.

Shameless Link Dropping

Don’t just leave a link to your post and add nothing else. Again, this just looks like you care about your own following count.

Doing these things kinda makes you look like this:

Image result for come back here and love me

You can’t just magically expect to gain followers. It takes a lot of work trying to build up a network and keep it. You can’t just take. You need to give.

What to Do.png

Participate in Weekly Memes

These are one of, if not the best thing a new blogger or someone who’s looking to gain followers can do. There’s so many to choose from too! Here are some of the more popular ones I’ve seen:

  • Top Ten TuesdayΒ – A theme is given every week and you list 10 (or more or less) books that suit it.
  • Top 5 WednesdayΒ – Similar to TTT, but 5 books and on Wednesday.
  • Waiting on WednesdayΒ – Showcase a book that you’re waiting on.
  • WWW Wednesday – Let people know what you’re currently reading, what you finished reading and what you’ll read next.
  • Diversity ThursdayΒ – Highlight diverse books on your TBR.
  • Book Travelling Thursday – A theme is given and you find the appropiate book and your favourite cover for it.
  • Hype or Like Friday – Each month a hyped up book is chosen to be read and there’s weekly discussion questions.
  • Stacking the Shelves – Show off all the new books you’ve bought!
  • Sunday Post – A way to catch people up on you and your blog

As I said above there are a ton of memes so here are some directories that list a bunch:

Go through the Link Ups and Blog Hop!

Most Weekly Memes will have a “sign up” part were you can leave a link to your own post. I highly encourage you to go through all the other links. When I first started blogging this was ALL I did. It helps you find some great blogs and someone could find yours.Β 

Share your Posts

A bit contradict-y to my “What Not to Do” but if someone asks you to leave a link to your own post DO IT! Just makes sure to actually leave a comment with some substance. Read the persons blog and don’t just drop your link and leave.

Dat Promo

A lot of Goodreads groups allow you to promo your blog. Just make to sure read all the rules because each group has different ones. Of course, make sure to be respectful.

Here’s a couple that allow you to post about your blog:

Unfortunately most GR groups are based around YA Books so if you don’t blog about YA this might not be the best option for you!

Go on Twitter and use the hashtags #bookbloggers and #bookworms to advertise your blog. DON’T SPAM though! That is so important. NO ONE likes spam. Also, use this hashtag to help you blog hop and find other bloggers.

Tags

This is more of a WordPress only thing, but make sure to include tags in your post because this is what people who aren’t following your blog could be using to try and find new blogs. Use tags like books, book reviews, book blogger, young adult ect.

If you want to find blogs by using tags then go to yourΒ Reader. Look for this, hit ‘Add’ and input some tags you want to look at.

tags.png

INTERACT!!!!

Honestly it all comes down to interaction. Take the time to read people’s posts and leave a thoughtful comment. It’ll help get your name out there and build up your reputation. Honestly, the only way your blog will really be known is if you interact with other bloggers. Commenting on people’s posts can be super scary, I am TERRIFIED of interacting with people even online so I get your hesitation. However, everyone I’ve met has been super wonderful. Even when I was starting out and had really cringey posts, people didn’t care. Just be considerate and genuine and you’ll be fine!

Thank you to Ashley @ Inside My Minds for inspiring me to come up with this post.Β 

sep

What’s your experience with gaining followers? Do you have any tips on what or what not to do?

Like always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

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54 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: The ‘F’ Word

  1. Shy book bloggers for the win! It took me, like, a year and a half of blogging quietly to myself/my immediate friends before I braved up and reached out to the community. A post like this would’ve greatly helped me, both when I was first starting the blog (to help me brave up) and when I started making connections with all those scary (not actually scary) bloggers out there. I bet it’ll help a bunch of new bloggers who’re in the same position I was.

    That makes it sound like this post doesn’t help me, which is 100% not true. How did I not know that that’s how tags are used in WordPress? I assumed they were just for organizing your own posts within your blog; I didn’t realize they were searchable throughout WordPress. I’ve been doing tags wrong for YEARS. Excuse me while I quietly melt in horror. Looks like I have some tweaking to do!

    Man, the promo thing is so damn hard. I rarely self-promote, because doing so makes me cringe so hard I contract into a ball of cringe. I should probably start paying more attention to how (and how often) my favorite bloggers do the self-promotion thing, and try to emulate them. I don’t want to have tons of followers, but I know there are a lot of great people out there with whom I’d have awesome conversations and blog-friendships, and I want to find them! Or lure them in, whatever.

    Thanks for the great advice! =)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, I totally get you on the shy thing. I’ve been on and off social media most of my life (throwback to the Livejournal days!) and it’s always been SO hard for me trying to strike up conversations. I’m actually surprised how comfortable I was when I started blogging and I think a lot had to do with how fortunate enough I was to be able to stumble into such a great corner.

      Aw, haha, no! I’m sure you’re fine! And I totally get the self-promo thing too. It definitely makes me feel like I’m being really braggy and egotistical, but I’m also trying to learn to be proud of the content I create! I haven’t been following your blog long, but from what I’ve seen so far it’s all kinds of incredible so!!

      Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw yeah, good ol’ LJ.

        I’m glad to hear your experience with blogging has been great from the start! There really are a lot of great people here. =)

        It’s such a relief to hear you don’t find the self-promotion stuff easy. That’s a great point, the importance of being proud of your work, and viewing self-promo as a natural outgrowth of that pride. That’s easier to swallow than the whole “What if everyone thinks I’m an attention-hog who’s fishing for a billion followers?” anxiety that always catches me up.

        Oh man, I’m blushing such a blush right now. Thank you! I aspire to your blog’s level of awesomeness. =)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As always an amazing post that will help alot of people. My blog really started to take off within the last few months, as a new blogger you can get disheartened when you don’t have many followers, I mean for me when I started my Anxiety was also telling me not to bother trying because nobody would like what I say anyway. That damn anxiety voice in my head trying to ruin it for me, I stayed though and it worked.
    A main tip for me is just for people to be themselves, be honest in what they post and the followers will come. We share a passion and when you can see someone being themselves, enjoying what they are writing about it truly shows πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you Hannah β™₯ And yes, I totally get you. My anxiety definitely caused me to struggle (and it still does) with blogging. I feel like it’s also helped a lot too because there’s no way I would have ever dreamed of contacting a Big Name publishing house haha. I’m so, so glad you decided to stay β™₯ And yess, a wonderful and super important tip!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great advice Lauren! I have like 20 followers so I can definitely use some tips hah πŸ™‚
    But honestly I don’t mind about the actual number of followers that much, because I have been interacting with so many amazing bloggers and that’s what I try to focus on! Even without a ton of followers there are still great conversations to be had with fellow bloggers. The interaction is definitely the best part about blogging, even though it also still intimidates me… But everybody is always so nice and welcoming so there should be no reason for it to be intimidating!
    Also, I usually try to focus more on the monthly page views, because I think if those are good it means people are still visiting your blog, even if they don’t follow.
    I have been using tags, but I had no idea they were also used for finding blogs! Will definitely start paying better attention to them from now on πŸ™‚ Also, I didn’t know about the Goodreads groups, so I’ll have to check them out!
    I think joining readathons may also be a good way to get to know and interact with other bloggers. It’s always nice to join these kinds of challenges and talk about your progress together. I also like the Commentluv plugin for WordPress. It gives people a chance to comment with a link to their latest blog post and I kind of think of it as a win-win situation. It feels less like self-promotion and for the blogger it’s super easy to visit your latest post and comment back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hahahaha, I did think of the other F word first! I’m more of a “crap” kind of girl :p
    I hate F4F comments. It makes me want to jump into the screen, find the person and yell at them as if I were their mother!!!! xD It’s useless, you can’t build an audience or a relationship based on such a silly comment. Why should I follow someone who probably did not even read my post but is looking for numbers? Sometimes I also get irritated when I comment on a blog’s every post and only get likes in return, when I just want to react and have a chat. I admit when I’m too busy I do just like once in a while, but if someone makes the effort of leaving me a comment, I REPLY!!! Even a bit late.
    Weirdly, I was never shy when commenting, even at the beginning. Perhaps I was too excited for that, haha! But I totally get how it can be scary. I was scared to sign up on NetGalley, but that’s another story xD
    I love your ideas, and you are totally right. Interaction is the key! You need to WANT to share with others or it’ll never work.
    Fabulous post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. YASSS! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» to all of this my friend! This is such a helpful post to new bloggers, I hope people come across it. There’s nothing that I find more annoying than people commenting just to ask for a follow. And personally, I don’t like getting links to blog posts. I’d rather engage in a conversation with you and get to know you and then follow you because I want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a wonderful post, Lauren, thank you for writing it! I do agree that followers and stats aren’t the MOST important thing about blogging, but it does make me feel something whenever I get followers, just like, exactly yeah, I’m not shouting into the the void haha. I agree with all of your wonderful advice, and interacting is THE BEST thing. I think it’s wonderful to engage in a conversation, and it’s much more worth it than just dropping a link like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Lauren! I think it is important not to focus on the number of followers. I always like to interact with fellow bloggers, but I am always thankful for the followers I have. I also think the weekly memes help me also gain more followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Agree so, so much with everything you said! And that gif made me laugh harder than it should have. It’s perfect πŸ˜‚
    I’m pretty sure you covered everything that helps gain followers the good way, without it being counterproductive. As you said spamming is never a good idea. πŸ˜‚ The only other thing I can think of to get your name out there is to write guest posts on other blogs. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lauren, you’re such a sweetheart and so so SO knowledgeable on all things bloggy! Tell me what your secrets aaaaaaare, I must know!

    Seriously though, these are all such awesome and helpful tips! I still have trouble with some of them–finding the time to blog hop AND post AND read books AND work full time AND do other things so I don’t go crazy (seriously, New Girl on Netflix has been helping keep me sane lately) is SO HAAAAAARD! But I keep trying, cause that’s all I can do! (and it’s fun, too–there’s that!)

    Thank you for this post, sweets! ❀ I super appreciate it, and I'm sure others do too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such good advice. It’s so easy to get caught up in stats and followers, especially when you first start out. I remember checking how many pageviews and how many Twitter followers I had pretty much every hour!

    Interacting and engaging with other bloggers is definitely the best way to help your blog grow but it’s also just really nice to speak to other bloggers and support each other too!

    Dani x | flourishingfreelancer.com

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such an great and useful post, Lauren. I follow tons of people on WordPress, mostly because I like having a variety of blog content on my WordPress reader when I browse through it, which is not very often, tbh. Most of my blog hopping happens when I visit people’s blogs who have commented on mine. This is just a habit of mine and I know not everyone does it, which is totally fine.

    Some people try to read and comment on every blog post that the people they follow write up, and I’m like WHAT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOURSELF? haha. Idk, sometime I see people say, omg I have 200+ blog posts to catch up on. And I’m like Um, no you don’t! lol You don’t owe anyone that much of your time. You should do it when you feel like it or actually have the time. And if you somehow can get through all the posts in your Follow list, then that’s fantastic! Keep it up! But I don’t think anyone should feel obligated to read every single post other people write.

    Again, great post. I hope new bloggers find it and make use of it. I wish I had done more memes when I started off, I may have gotten more followers. But they’re just not my style. I’m doing OK somehow.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is an awesome post and really good advice! The first couple of months can be difficult because it does feel like you are shouting out into the void, so it can be hard to not get disheartened. I think though, that blogging and interacting with other bloggers without focusing on getting followed is the best way to be πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is great advice, Lauren! I remember when I first started blogging I struggled so much with interacting with other bloggers. Like you, I was terrified of the aspect and then sometimes I just couldn’t figure out what to say. But then I started finding friends on here and people I had things in common with because truthfully everyone is so nice. After I started interacting a lot that’s when I noticed stats and such going up on my own blog so it really does help your blog to interact with others. Plus, even though it can be scary it’s also so much fun. I think the best part of it all is making friends. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. LOVE this post Lauren! So many great tips for new bloggers looking to connect with more fellow bloggers. I Wish I had come across a post like this one when I first started, would’ve saved me a ton of time lol nonetheless I am thankful for the journey. If it weren’t for blogging, I don’t think I would’ve ever bothered with Twitter TBH. Turns out it’s yet another platform that connects to my blog & I’ve found so many new bloggers there as well. We’re a part of such a welcoming community, its honestly the highlight of 2016 for me. I think when you stop worrying about your following (as hard as it may be) & have fun with it, readers will follow the good vibes πŸ’• Thank you for sharing, I know I’ll make use of the directories you’ve listed πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a great post Lauren, and so relevant as well. I think this would have been a huge help when I was first starting out blogging. I’ve never actually seen F4F comments on WordPress but I see them a lot on Instagram and it kind of annoys me a little. If someone follows me, and if I follow someone back, I want it to be for the content not just for the number you know?
    I don’t mind if people link me to their posts or blog as long as they comment on mine as they do it, like you said near the end of your post it’s nice if they make an effort to read your post and write something in return, even if it’s just ‘nice review’. I found the weekly features so helpful when I was first starting out, even now a large amount of the people I follow come from TTT posts or sometimes WoW ones, and the same with tags as well. I use other people’s nominations to blog hop and find other people who have the same interests as me.
    I think above all though interacting and commenting are the most important things, it’s why everyone joined WordPress in the first place in a way isn’t it? πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  16. These are all AMAZING tips, Lauren! Great post! Also, there’s a Goodreads group called “For Love of a Book” that will allow you to promote your blog, no matter the genre. They cover all genres in that group, so if your blog isn’t only YA, you could go there to promote 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post Lauren! I always learn something new with your posts, I love it. I didn’t know about the tag thing! I always tag my posts because I like the organization and I know it helps people find content easily on my blog, but I had no clue it extended to WordPress’ search. That’s awesome!
    I’m the worst at interacting, but I’m looking to improve. I just need to get organized and go to the blogs I truly love, instead of trying to force myself to comment posts I don’t even identify with, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is great πŸ’ž Totally agree with all the things NOT to do, like you said, followers don’t just come out of nowhere. You have to really work hard to gain new followers πŸ˜ŠπŸ’ž Also think it’s great advice for new bloggers to start out with some weekly feature posts like Top Ten Tuesdays and Top 5 Wednesdays – it’s an easy way to become part of the community 😊 I really loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post, Lauren! I couldn’t agree with you more. Commenting and actually taking the time to leave decent comments is what builds relationships. I blog to talk to people not to talk to myself. πŸ™‚ I don’t get these follow for follow people. If they’re not genuinely interested in following me, then they should go find someone else. It really annoys me. Like it would kill them to follow me, read some posts, and see if we have the same books in common? It’s so rude. And the link droppers are just as annoying. They’ll write some incoherent nonsense, nothing at all, or something like nice post and here’s my link. I think to myself okay, I’m now supposed to read and comment on their post? Seriously? Wouldn’t posting my own link be just as appropriate? You’ve pinged on all the things I don’t like with blogger interaction. Those two are my biggest pet peeves because I only read posts from people who interact with me, and I only follow blogs that interest me. I could keep going… Great advice! I agree with all of your suggestions. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ooo what a great post! πŸ˜€ I used to get so worked up over follower counts but not anymore πŸ˜› I agree though, follow for follow is the worst thing to gain followers. There was one a blogger who commented on some of my posts asking for follow while in fact she hasn’t even followed me. It’s just rude and annoying and I most definitely won’t even visit her blog. I will, on the other hand, check out people’s blogs if they leave a thoughtful and ‘real’ comment. And yes to link dropping. Some people drop a general comment like ‘great post’ and suddenly leave their links it’s just??? Link ups are the best! I discovered most of my favorite bloggers through linkups ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Fantastic post! I tend to be very active on social media and I love interacting with my followers there. But I am really bad about participating in memes and promoting my blog more through linkups and groups. I am definitely saving this post to look at for tips later on!

    Like

    1. Thank you! Social media is so helpful. And I totally get you on the self promotion thing. It can be a bit hard sometimes. I find it’s best to participate in the memes only when a topic interests you because otherwise it does get a bit much. I used to do TTT every week, but now I’ll only do it sporadically when a theme really captures my attention.

      Like

  22. This post is so great! I wish I’d had something like this back when I first started blogging. I never did do the whole “follow for follow” thing… I always thought it was tacky and actually delete those comments on Instagram (whoops!). However, I do almost always link to my blog in my comments because I really, really appreciate when others do it on my blog! I hate having to hunt around for where to find a blog to visit back! I definitely think memes are an incredible way to meet new people and find new readers! Thanks for sharing πŸ˜€

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Arghhh I completely agree about the F4F and link dropping comments. I hate getting those on instagram, they’re SO annoying! Also, I hate it when people follow you, wait until you follow them back and then they UNfollow you. So rude! I now only follow people back if I genuinely like their content.

    I definitely agree that interacting is the way to go to gain more followers! And the memes work, but there is definitely a delicate line between meme content blogs and quality content blogs etc.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thanks for the advice! I do have problems with being interactive because sometimes I’m just not in the mood to socialize, which is a big downside for me. Doing weekly memes really helps a lot, not just in getting views and followers but it also reminds me to set aside at least one day to interact with other bloggers (and sometimes I fail even that, haha).

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Do people really worry that much about the numbers? I’m freaked out by the idea of having an unmanageable number of followers bc I wouldn’t be able to read their blogs! I do have some followers that I don’t follow back (I hope they don’t think I’m being rude, but I don’t have much in common with a fashion or travel blogger, you know?), and I tend to only follow book blogs bc that’s my passion!
    I’ve only lately had time to do reviews, but school ends in two weeks (it’s hard to believe I’m graduating) and I’ll have more time. But until then I haven’t been able to be too active. I like Twitter bc I find new bloggers. I wish there was an easier way to follow blogs outside of WordPress though…there’s a lot of cool bloggers that use blogspot addresses and I can’t always read them. ☹️
    But thank you for saying what I was thinking: blogging is about fun! It’s nice to be successful, but I like the personal connection I make with all of you…especially you, Lauren! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Those shameless link drops are soooo annoying (as are follow for follow comments but I don’t get those as often haha). It’s almost worse when someone tries to make it seem like they read your post, but then all they comment is “great post” and then add a link to their own post. Like, come on hahaha
    I’m pretty sure the #1 way I started really getting views and followers was from doing memes. It’s kind of ironic because when I first started blogging, I didn’t want to do them at all because so many people preached about how you’d only get followers if all your posts were really original. Glad I decided not to listen to them πŸ˜› Those have actually become some of my favorite posts to participate in because they make it so easy to start conversations with other bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

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