Deep down, we’re all like-and-follow whores
A friend asked me about getting more likes and followers, and I drafted this in response. It’s a little summary of things I’ve picked up since I started blogging.
I figured it would be worth sharing with you all, too. Maybe there’ll be something in this list that you never knew.
- Find the thing you enjoy writing/posting the most, and stick with it. Whatever you want your site to be, there will be an audience for it somewhere. If you enjoy writing it, it’ll be an enjoyable read. The thing that comes easiest to you is most likely your strength.
- Honesty is key. People respond to the humanity of others. People love to read about people.
- Titles should be succinct, searchable, intriguing.
- Tag your posts with every possible search term. It’s OK to go ballistic on this, especially if you choose to hide the tags so they don’t clutter your site.
- Brief content is more quickly read and processed, and gets more likes. You can spam the hell out of people with one-liners, and they don’t seem to mind.
- When you create a website, you are fostering a little culture of your own. Whatever your content, likeminded people will follow your site. Whether or not you write weightier content or fluffy content is up to you; go with your gut. You’ll make weightier or fluffier friends, so choose wisely what you want your friends to weigh.
- Post consistently. This is major. Consistent readers want consistent writers, and you want consistent readers. It doesn’t matter if it’s every day, every week, or every month, so long as you deliver on the same day each time.
- Write consistently. Choose a theme for your site and stick to it. Your readers get more comfortable once they know what to expect. If you have a variety of interests, consider organizing them into a consistent pattern. For example, you could do a real life post on Monday, a song post on Wednesday, and a quote on Friday. If your interests are too disparate, consider maintaining different sites for each.
- It takes time to build an audience. Don’t give up, don’t slack off. Schedule posts ahead of time if you need a break.
- The more links there are to your content, the more searchable your work will be online. This means the more time you spend being active online (commenting, tweeting, FB group posting, etc) the more people will find you.
- Comment on other pages. If you consistently give feedback, you’ll make friends, and they’ll come back to your blog and comment back. This is especially rewarding, but you will find yourself investing a lot of time in reading others’ posts. It’s a question of what kind of an effort and reward you’re looking for. You get back whatever you put in.
- Take advantage of writing contests, prompts, word-of-the-day, etc. Readers who are curious about responses to the prompt will be driven to your site.
- Search for websites related to your favorite topics and make comments on their pages too. Don’t pander for likes, but an informed, thoughtful, or witty comment followed by your URL might get some attention.
- Follow the trends. If you truly want your site to be big, then take a look at which of your posts got the biggest responses, and lean your content that way. Be very careful with this tip: if you follow the trends too closely, you could end up a successful blogger, spend all your time blogging about blogging, and lose your soul.
- You don’t want to be popular anyway
- The popular kids are the ones who don’t care about being popular, right? It’s a catch-22. If you don’t want to be popular, and don’t try to be popular, then people will be drawn to your confidence. You’ll post what you want, and your work will have integrity for it, and people will be drawn to that, too.
- Have FUN! There’s no point if you don’t have fun. Odds are you won’t be famous. But you will learn lots, and you’ll make friends, and you’ll have a creative outlet to be proud of. If you’re good, might get your site to pay for itself. If you’re downright amazing, you might get your site to pay for your sandwiches.