Does my headline contain a typo?
Did I erroneously add an extra zero? Did I erroneously add two extra zeros?
This post is a case study. It details how my guest author not only got 3,000 new blog followers, but got them in a relatively short period of time.
Are you excited? curious? skeptical? I was definitely excited when my guest author Eric Schlehlein agreed to write an article explaining how he was able to get more than 3,000 new Email subscribers and in less than 18 months.
Eric, take it away!
How to Get 3,000 Blog Followers
SETTING THE HOOK
GOING FROM BLOG OBSCURITY TO 3,000 FOLLOWERS IN 18 MONTHS
I’m not a blogging expert. I’m also not an expert in anything to do with social media, the internet, or networking in general. I’m a terrible salesman and self-promoter. Speaking or writing of myself leaves me squirming in awkwardness… and even now, as I sit and type, I’m already writhing in my chair and in my mind. I do not like writing about me.
I’ve been asked to write this piece about how I gained so many followers in such a short time. I’m certainly honored and willing to do so, but I’m equally as surprised and bewildered that what I’ve obtained in a following is so difficult for others to achieve. My areas of expertise involve things like Albuterol treatments, recognizing pitted edema, 12-lead EKGs, and avoiding power struggles. I know more about the pizza business than I know about Twitter and Instagram. Some would consider me socially awkward. I consider myself social media-awkward.
My blog at www.ericschlehlein.com has 3,047 followers. Why? Simple! I pay attention to others.
Let it be known that I had zero interest in blogging when I started my blog. Even now, as my WordPress phone app chimes to let me know that I’ve gained my 3,048th follower, I have no real interest in blogging itself. See, I wrote a novel… a four-year process that has taken my sanity and hair, my dignity and soul, my time and my self-esteem. I’m in the query process right now, 46 letters written and 19 rejections, and every day I’m certain of two things: I’m gonna get published and I’m never gonna get published.
My blog is nothing more than the nest that I was supposed to build as a platform to sell my book once it is published. I blog because the publishing industry says I have to blog. My blog is a means to an end. That’s all.
But I don’t do anything half-assed. When I go in, I go all in. If the publishing industry wants to see that people are paying attention to me, then I’ll get people to pay attention to me. How?
Good material… and a lot of it. I wrote something and posted it every day for months before I took a break. Your site, no matter how new, must have content. Thirty days equals thirty posts, so it doesn’t take that long to generate history.
Now, promote your blog externally. There are lots of widgets and site tools there for you to promote your material off-site. Some cost money, others don’t. I don’t spend any money to do this. When I post to WordPress, my social networking sites automatically post links to my blog. Also, “Like,” “Share,” and “Comment” buttons are huge. Use them.
Now, the most important step for me in gaining over 3,000 followers: Love your audience.
On days that I don’t post on my blog, I SPEND AT LEAST ONE HOUR BROWSING, LIKING, AND COMMENTING ON THE BLOGS OF OTHERS. AT LEAST ONE HOUR!
You must read the posts of others, in any categories and tags you choose, and click the like button as you finish reading and then comment on their blog. Follow their blog. Say nice things. Don’t criticize unless you are asked to do so. When someone comments on your piece, say “thank you.” Become so involved in others’ blogs that people accuse you of being a “serial liker.” Honestly, if that’s the worst they say about you, you’re doing alright.
Let me reiterate: AT LEAST ONE HOUR PER DAY BROWSING THE BLOGS OF OTHERS!
I know that’s a lot of time. If you need to break it into 12 five-minute sessions then do it. Look, you’re on your smart phone all day, anyway. Spend less time on Facebook and more time on WordPress. The postings are a lot more healthy and interesting because you can search the site by content!
Bloggers are attention seekers. We all want people to read what we have to say. The blogging world, like the world of forums, is filled with people who know each other only through the written word. There are hundreds of people who I’ve interacted with through my blog that I’ve never met and will never meet who will, hopefully, one day claim to know me because we’ve socialized so often online. When my novel is published they’ll be able to say, “I knew Eric before he even finished polishing his novel.”
In a huge sense, they’re right… and who would I be to deny them? I embrace these people as much more than prospective buyers of my book. They’re colleagues, critics, cynics, supporters, advocates, boosters, patrons, cohorts, champions, friends.
What does one hour of daily maintenance get me? 18,281 site hits in just under 18 months. That’s an average of 34.1 hits per day. My “About Eric” page has acquired 448 likes and 200 comments. Since January, www.ericschlehlein.com has had 8,317 views, 1,606 likes, and 416 comments. Oh, and I’m on a roll today… I just acquired my 3,051st follower.
Eric Schlehlein is an author and freelance writer, passionate about most things Americana. His first novel, Black Iron Mercy, is complete and ready for publishing. The first query letters, luring agents to represent the manuscript, were sent out on June 22, 2015.
Eric has dedicated more than half of his life to serving others, first as a caregiver and group home manager for the developmentally disabled, the emotionally disturbed, and the mentally ill, and has now served his community via the local fire department for more than a decade. He’s also been known to deliver a hot, fresh pizza at a quick pace and fair profit.
I would like to comment on Eric’s article. As impressed as I am, and I am extremely impressed, I disagree with Eric on one point.
In Paragraph 2, Eric expresses he is “surprised” and “bewildered” at what he has achieved, a large following in a relatively short time. In an Email to me he called his methods “unorthodox”.
This is where I disagree. I maintain that Eric’s methods are common sense. Logical, common sense.
I can sum up Eric’s wonderful guest post in exactly one word, and I have before in my post the Secrets of Successful Bloggers. There is only one “secret” and that is networking. Eric’s success stems from networking one hour a day every day.
While reading his post, I had a question.
I asked him, “Do you network one hour a day when you don’t blog or one hour a day whether or not you blog?”
Eric responded, “I usually don’t network on days I blog. Lately, however, I blog less and less. I get more hits on days I don’t blog than on days I do. That’s not to say I avoid blogging in order to gain hits, though. You have to remember that I really didn’t want to blog in the first place As a freelance writer, I spend enough time in front of a keyboard.”
Eric, thank you so very much for sharing your methods with us today. I am thrilled you came and shared this with us, and I’m confident my followers are too.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers can benefit from Eric’s experience and get more followers for their blogs.
Eric spoke, and I reacted. It is now your turn to react. What do you think of his networking methods? Do you think his “one hour networking” technique is a method you might try to implement? I look forward to your views.
Related Posts and Pages:
How to Network Even If You’re Not An Extrovert
Promoting Your Blog Posts (The end of the article)
3 Guaranteed Ways to Get You More Online Attention