How to Get New Blog Followers: Experts Reveal Their Secrets

By: | October 10, 2015 | Tags: , , ,

Expert Interview: How to Get Blog FollowersDo you want new blog followers?

Most bloggers wish to increase subscribers.

Clearly, there is interest in the topic. My posts about how to get and find 3,000 blog followers* are among my best performing posts.

If you want blog followers, why not learn from the best in the business?

The influencers in blogging have tens of thousands of followers.  What criteria do they use to decide who to follow themselves?

I invited 15 of them here to explain what criteria they use to follow other blogs.

If they follow blogs with certain criteria, and you put those qualities into your posts, you will increase your following.

If the best in the business say these characteristics are good enough for them, then they should be strong enough characteristics for you to turn your visitors into permanent subscribers.

Welcome to My Expert Roundup Interview

I asked the experts, “What criteria do you use when you decide to follow blogs?”

Nwangene Theodore

1. Basically, what I usually look at before following a blog is its engagement. I always love it when a blogger engages very well with his readers either through the comment section of his blog or via the social media. This shows that he really listens and cares for his readers. If I arrive at a blog and discover that the owner hardly responds to comments, it turns me away immediately. I will use Neil Patel of Quick Sprout as example. He gets a lot of comments on every blog post he publishes, and he always tries as much as possible to respond to some of them especially the first ones. Theodore Nwangene, TopBloggingCoach

 

2. Because I’m an active content curator, I’m selective about which blogs I will subscribe to and stay subscribed to. My Feedly RSS feed has about 25 topics and around 450 – 500 blogs that I scan weekly depending on what I’m researching, writing, or curating.

Here is the process I follow:

  1. Content: usually I read five or six posts to get the flavor of a writer, their unique POV (Point of View), and quality of writing.
  2. Alexa: I always check Alexa ranking because it’s an indicator of popularity by traffic.
  3. Social proof: I sometimes check a few social signals such as number of Twitter followers, list suggestions (40 top content marketers to follow, etc.), Buzzsumo, and occasionally Klout score.
I find there is quite a bit of “wear out” in who I follow. My guess is over the course of a year, I replace more than 50% of the blogs I’m following with new blogs. I don’t read every blog every day, but I will probably scan most of my list every two weeks.
I reserve my Email subscriptions to my “must follows” – about 20-25 or so that I read every day. Lately my favorites are Josh Bernoff, HubSpot, Neil Patel, Buffer, Contently, Maria Pope Popova (BrainPickings), Seth Godin (still). Jeff Domansky, ThePRCoach

 

 

3. There are so many blogs in my niche that I focus on the other CommentLuv, #smbiz (small business), social media, and marketing blogs. Gail Gardner, GrowMap

 

4. Mari SmithMari Smith Unique, original, quality content. How-to focused. Up-and-coming niche experts. No fluff. Light on ads. Includes publication date!  Love sites with surveys, studies. Even if top quality, has to have publication date to ensure information/data is current! Mari Smith, MariSmith.com

 

 

Nathan5. I follow blogs that offer deep, data-driven, how-to, and actionable advice. I like to find blogs that offer awesome headlines and follow through with long-form content that explores every detail with educational and immediate takeaways.

I like to think that the CoSchedule blog follows suit with these qualifications! Nathan Ellering, CoSchedule

 

6. I mainly check out new people who have followed, liked and/or commented on my blog; and on the blogs that I already follow; they are more likely to be other authors and readers.

 If I find their blogs interesting and/or informative, I’ll follow them for a few weeks to see if their posts are consistently good and reblog them when/where appropriate.
Don’t forget that mine is not a personal blog, or trying to sell anything I do – it’s about creating a multi-author platform with a wide reach, plus, being a resource centre for authors.
I think this is why it has been so successful even though I don’t set out to gather followers for the sake of having them; I’m selective. Chris, The Story Reading Ape, Chris the Story Reading Ape’s Blog
 

 

7. Decision “process” is simple – have a point of view, and don’t just publish for the sake of publishing to try to get shares, traffic, etc. It’s a key reason I follow very few marketing and social media blogs, most are simply repeating what each other says.

Danny BrownBe consistent, and be affirmative. Danny Brown, DannyBrown.me

 

8. I decide which blogs to follow for the kind of value that they put out daily. The kind of value that is easily implemented by people, especially us bloggers. Joan Harrington, successwithjoan.com

 

9. When I visited a blog I don’t know (which is mostly because I’ve followed a link on one of my preferred blogs), I first read the post I’ve landed on and evaluate it. Then, if it was interesting and informative, I’ll look around and read some more.

If I find that the blogger publishes high-quality material, I’ll consider subscribing.
However, if there are usability problems, I won’t subscribe. For example, I recently found an interesting blog, but it used a light-gray font that was difficult to read. I also don’t sign up for blogs that don’t have comments or use Disqus for comments.
Mary JakschOn the other hand, now and then I find content that’s so good that I’ll subscribe to a blog, even though it doesn’t have comments. Like Gregory Ciotty’s stuff on Helpscout . Mary Jaksch, WritetoDone.com

 

10. That’s an interesting question. Clearly we can’t read everything which is a shame because there are so many brilliant writers out there. So it’s all about content. Blogs that offer some actionable tips and techniques without being too sales oriented or some new way of seeing the world will catch my attention. And those that support and encourage spiritual and emotional growth will always head up my list too. Elle Sommer, LivePurposefullyNow

 

 

Eugene Mota11. High quality content and a genuine desire to help the audience reach their goals. Eugene Mota, EugeneMota.com

 

12. I mostly follow blogs that consistently produce content that would add value when shared with my Twitter followers. KP Kelly facebook.com/KPKellyPage

 

 

Brian Honigman13. I follow blogs that have a unique perspective on the industry, focused on taking action as opposed to just stating theory. Brian Honigman, brianhonigman.com

 

 

Wealth Create Online14. How I Decide Which Blogs to Subscribe To: 

With so many bloggers vying for my attention, it is sometimes difficult to figure out which blogs I should follow. However, I follow these simple guidelines when I decide to follow a blog.

1. I only follow blogs that I have received great value from – I must have consumed their content and found valuable content. I like to look at the blogger’s  ‘AboutMe’ page to determine whether the blogger is credible in terms of having experience or expertise in the chosen niche.
2. I follow blogs that write about topics that may interest me. If the topic isn’t of interest to me, even though they may have great opt in incentives, I stay away.
3. I follow a few blogs written by Influencers so I can learn – only 2 or 3 influencers per niche
4. I don’t follow blogs based on posts about “bloggers you should be following”.
5. I may follow blogs that appear on a Blogger’s blogroll if they appear useful after visiting their link.
6. I tend to take social proof into consideration – the more engagement the blog receives, the more likely I am to follow them.
7. I don’t believe in follow for follow. If your blog doesn’t interest me, I won’t automatically follow you simply because you follow me. Iseland Gurl,  WealthCreateOnline

 

Daniela Uslan15. In answer to how I choose which blogs to follow, I follow blogs that have great content, great design, and that answer my burning questions and desires in the moment. So for example, if my goal is to learn how to get through my emails quickly, I will read blog posts on that topic. Then, if I really love a post from one of the blogs, I will go back and read more in the future. Daniela Uslan, danielauslan.com

 

In closing, if the bloggers these respondents follow incorporate these elements into their blogs, so can you. These influencers, the best in the blogging business, would know what makes a blog strong.  We are fortunate they participated in this interview so that they could tell us what those factors are.

Readers, please share this post, so other bloggers know which criteria to put into their blogs.  They can’t make an informed choice unless they know the information.

What do you think? Did you see any commonalities among the answers? I felt strong content was mentioned often. Actionable tips seemed repeated as well. Did you see any other commonalities worthy of mentioning? Were there any surprises? Which criteria do you agree with? Do some of these already characterize your blogs? Which will you implement? I look forward to your views.

Related Posts and Pages*:
 

 

 

  1. Charles Rogers

    Good morning Janice,
    I learn something new every morning when I wake up to the morning edition of Mostly Blogging.. Thank you for mentoring all of us.
    Charles

  2. Wallace Cass

    Good stuff here and I am trying to incorporate as much of it as I can. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Thanks so much for the nice words Wallace. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview.
      Janice

  3. Cathy Chester

    Another useful post that I love. I try to do most of this advice so I’ll plugging away at what I believe is right! Thanks so much.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Cathy,
      Great to see you here and on Facebook over the weekend. Thanks for writing.
      janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi,
      While you were writing this on Saturday, I was writing about TECH in my blog post for Sunday. I wrote about 31 apps and sites to help bloggers. Where do you promote your tech articles? I’d love some promotional ideas.
      Janice

  4. Pingback: How to Get New Blog Followers: Experts Reveal Their Secrets
    • Janice Wald

      Hi Andrew,
      Thank you for writing and sending the link. I believe that was the post where you and I met. I was relieved I made the cut, LOL. Great to hear from you.
      Janice

  5. SusanF - ofeverymoment.com

    I think this post has just provided the key to successful blogging: figuring out why people follow a blog seems like an important step towards creating a blog that people will follow. 🙂 Thanks for this – and all the helpful tips you provide.
    Janice, I nominated you for a blog award today – no need to participate unless you want to – I just wanted to let you know how much I think you deserve the award! Details are on my blog. Have a great weekend.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Susan,
      1. I wanted to make sure you knew that the mycurrentnewsblog link doesn’t work if you still have it on your site. Clearly, I’m now at mostlyblogging.com
      2. I wanted to make sure you knew how much I appreciated the nomination. I wrote you on your blog and thanked you publicly in Sunday’s Inspire Me Monday linky party. Thanks again. Your nomination made me feel so honored.
      Janice

  6. John Doe

    I Think this is the best expert blog you have had. The influencers by majority seem to agree that content is the most important asset to a good blog. It was very refreshing to read that no one said that they will follow her blog just because someone is following their blog.

  7. Carol Cassara

    Interesting. I wouldn’t think of engagement or Alexa because those things don’t matter to me. The blogs I like to read are on topics of interest to ME, and my interests aren’t always those of my peers or others. I have read some really obscure blogs and loved them.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carol,
      I agree that some of their responses were unexpected. The Alexa ranking, like you noted, and the Disquis comment also were unexpected I thought.
      Thanks for writing me. I appreciate your comments. Great to hear from you.
      Janice

  8. 1010ParkPlace

    You’ve made me reevaluate my use of Disqus. I plan to do more research. Thanks so much, Brenda

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Brenda,
      I am so glad my interview was helpful. Thank you so much for letting me know.
      Janice

  9. Abeeha Mahmood

    Wow, again, thank you so much Janice for these amazing tips! I do follow some (at least I try) 😀

    • Janice Wald

      Your blog has taken off! From what I can tell, you do just fine. I’m so glad to see your blog increasing in popularity. I’m so happy for you. Thank you for reading my interview and writing me today.
      Janice

  10. Pingback: 30 Tools You Need to Create a Successful Blog
  11. Pingback: Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #54
  12. Stacey Gannett

    So many wonderful tips, it is wonderful the extent that bloggers always give back. Thank you for sharing!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Stacey,
      I agree that bloggers have good hearts. Thank you for reading my interview and writing me.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi again Stacey,
      I wanted to you to know that I visited your site. Due to the linky party, I couldn’t figure out where to put comments, so I am writing you here. While I was there, I linked up! I would love to go to your linky party each week. Please add my Email janicegreenfield123@gmail.com so you can notify me weekly. Thanks,
      Janice

  13. Tanya

    These are very helpful tips to increasing followers. I’ve been working on my newsletters and trying to draw people in. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinned to our linkup board and shared on Facebook.

  14. Merry Bevill

    Nice article with lots of good advice. But I feel like it puts me in a Catch-22 situation. The experts tell me I can’t grow my followers without good traffic and lots of followers on social media, without lots of comments on my posts, without a great Alexa rating. But the main way of getting those is to grow my blog followers. As a blogger, I try to do all of those things, all of the time. One seems to chase the other. So I concentrate on content, I respond to all comments, I post on social media. Thanks for all of the tips.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Merry,
      Thank you for writing me yesterday. If those things are working for you, and your blog is growing, I say more power to you. My tips, and those of the people I share, are for bloggers who feel their blog growth is stagnating.
      Janice

  15. Kathleen

    Janice what a great idea for a roundup. It is so interesting listening to what others say and what they value. Thanks for bringing this learning tool to the party.
    Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party # 28
    Liked on SU

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you for the kind words about my interview. Can we stumble each other’s articles at SU? Please look me up. I tried to look you up there but couldn’t find you.
      Janice

  16. Anonymous

    Wow! How interesting! You got some great interviews and great comments. It’s giving me a lot to think about. Found you on #SITS

  17. Lizzie

    This is the hardest thing about blogging, that feeling that my mom is the only person reading. I pinned it. #sitsblogging

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lizzie,
      Guess what? You inspired a blog post with this comment! I will be writing a post about to avoid looking like a spammer. I will link back to your site.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Sarah Eliza!
      Glad you enjoyed my interview!
      Nice to meet you.
      Janice

  18. Elle

    Thanks for including me in your list Janice – it was fascinating reading the different perspectives. What a great idea for a round up post. Really enlightening.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Elle,
      Thanks for the promotion on many social media sites. I appreciate the support and your participation. I hope you had a nice trip.
      Janice

  19. Sahana

    Great advice and tips.Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty. We would love to see you again next week.

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