A-Z Day 6: Of Followers and Friends

When I first started blogging a year ago, I had no inkling of followers or following. I just wanted to share my writing journey with other like-minded people—and generally blabber to anyone who cared to read what I had to say.

So what’s the big deal about followers? Why do most (if not all) bloggers want a lot of followers?

Some say that the more followers you have, the more potential you have for earning income. Advertisers take special interest in blogs or websites that have many readers/viewers. A whole lot of visitors to your blog means a whole lot of customers for your advertisers.

Some say that they like having followers because it boosts their self-esteem (apparently it’s some kind of popularity contest) and makes them feel good about themselves knowing their work is being read by many people.

Some say blogging is a platform–something to add to the author bio paragraph of your query letter–and having more followers increases your chances of getting an agent interested in representing you. Why? Because if you’ve got a gazillion followers, there are a gazillion potential buyers for the book you want to publish.

Some say they are just plain competitive. They would do anything to see their numbers go up for the sheer joy of surpassing a competitor’s record. It doesn’t matter if their competitors don’t know they’re competing.

All of these reasons are acceptable and sensible. Who wouldn’t want to boost their self-esteem, or feel joy at beating a blogging record (even if it’s all in your head)? And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to add something to your author platform, or make money while doing something you love doing.

For me, however, the greatest joy in gaining followers is making connections.

And the truth is, I enjoy gaining followers, but I LOVE making friends.

I love interacting with other writers who get what I’m about—writers who share the same passion for writing, who understand my joy at every writing milestone (finishing a manuscript), my every difficulty (rewriting, editing, getting an agent), and who understand why my heart breaks a little whenever I receive another rejection.

And I love connecting with new people. I love reading comments left on my blog and finding out that other people can relate to what I’ve written, or that they find my post helpful. And whenever someone new leaves a comment on my blog, I click on their message and am happy to discover another new blog, and another new friend.

These blog friends are loyal readers who drop by time and again to share their thoughts, contribute ideas, lend me support, and cheer me on. In turn, I do the same for them. I visit their blogs, read their posts and leave comments, participate in their blog contests, and re-tweet their posts. Lately I’ve been a bit lagging in showing my support for these online friends, what with the 9-6 job, and the A-Z blogfest, but I still visit their blogs, even if I don’t leave a comment.

Whatever our reasons are, all of us would certainly like to gain more readers.

No, it’s not because we bloggers are vain (well, maybe occasionally), but  it’s because we are just very generous people who love to share our knowledge with the world. And we like to talk. A lot.

I found several proven ways to gain more followers/friends

1. Put effort into your blog posts. Content is king. People will keep on coming back to your blog if your posts are helpful, useful, inspirational, thought-provoking or entertaining.

I know I love reading blogs that give me something to think about, and blogs that inspire me to keep on writing or make me feel strongly about something. I also keep coming back to blogs that always have useful writing tips and advice at the ready.

There is definitely joy in helping others. I put a lot of effort into organizing materials for my blog posts, because I love helping people. If someone got published because of a helpful article I wrote, I’d feel as if I got published myself!

2. Leaving meaningful comments on other similar or related blogs.

Scour the web for blogs that have a similar theme or topic to yours. If your theme is writing, for instance, you’ll find thousands of writing-related blogs out there. Read their posts, and leave meaningful comments.

I say meaningful, because this is an important part of connecting with someone. Don’t just leave a comment like “Hi! Please visit my blog,” or “Hi! I followed you so now you have to follow me.” This is an ineffective way of getting someone to follow you. It might also make you appear desperate, and might even annoy some peers.

Saying “hi! Nice post” is quite okay, but actually commenting on something they wrote, or on a particular line in the blog post will not only leave a lasting impression in the blogger’s mind, it will also encourage them to check out your profile and visit your blog.

3. Update your profile and about me page.

And speaking of profiles, people love to know the person behind the words. They check out your profiles or read your “about me” page because they like to know that there’s a real person behind those helpful or entertaining posts. They like to know what you’re about, what journey you’re trying to share, and if you’re the kind of  person they would like to follow.

Whenever someone new leaves a comment on my blog, I check their website out and read through their profile. Finding out that I share an interest or favorite show or hobby with the person makes me feel like we can develop a potentially good online friendship. He or she will be talking about things I like to read about, and things I can relate with—so I’ll definitely follow.

4. Reply to comments left on your blog.

Reply to comments people leave on your blog. I haven’t been able to do this lately due to the crazy nature of the A-Z blogfest, but what I usually do is reply to the comments left on my blog—and I also visit the commenter’s own blog and either leave my reply there, or comment on her most recent post. This is a great way of developing a blog friendship, and of ensuring that you keep in touch with your readers.

5. Link to other blogs.

If you find a particular post helpful, useful, inspiring or entertaining, link to it. Share it on your Facebook page, tweet about it, post links to it on your own blog’s sidebar, talk about it in your own post. It’s a great way of sharing helpful information, and a wonderful way of making blog friends. Bloggers are a generally generous and helpful breed of people. If you do them a favor—they’ll be sure to do the same for you.

5. Participate in blog contests.

The A-Z blog challenge is a great example of what blogfests or blog contests can do for you in terms of gaining followers. It’s only Day 5, and I’ve already gained at least 50 new awesome friends.

Aside from joining blogfests like the A-Z challenge, try to participate in other blog contests. At the very least, you’ll meet new online friends, and at most you might actually win some cool giftcard or shiny new book.

When your blog friends announce that they’re having a contest, sign up for it, and show your support by tweeting about the contest they’re having, or by linking their post to your blog.

6. Have your own blog contest.

Give away a favorite book or writing tool, or some useful gift card. Some awesome bloggers even create their own giftbasket to give away. Help fellow bloggers promote their work by giving away copies of their newly published books.

On that note, I’d like to announce that I am extending the Monster Moon Surprise Giveaway Contest. (Talk about smooth segways!)

I was supposed to pick the winners last Monday, but I thought it would be more fun if I invited my new blog friends to join. Besides, I think Kathryn, Lynn and Maria would really appreciate it if I helped promote their book series more.

Anyway, if you’d like to win a copy of the first book in the awesome spook-tacular Monster Moon Series, click on the link below and follow the instructions in that post.


If you’d like to know about the book you could win, you can read the book review I wrote on it:

Book Review: Curse at Zala Manor, Book One of the Monster Moon Series

And if you’d like to know more about the lovely authors known as BBH McChiller, you can read the author interview here.

Get to know BBH McChiller, Authors of the Monster Moon Series.

That’s all for now. I hope you all are enjoying the A-Z blogfest so far and making lots of new friends!

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41 Responses to “A-Z Day 6: Of Followers and Friends”

  1. Great post! I love meeting new people and participating in the blogging community.

  2. I love making new friends as well. There are so many amazing bloggers! :)

    I definitely agree about profiles. If I find a new blog I’ll often head for the About page to learn more about the person.

    Great post.

  3. M.J. Fifield says:

    I loved the pictures you used in this post. Those tee shirts really made me laugh.

    I feel the same way. I’ve really enjoyed being able to find and talk to like minded people– particularly the writers. It’s great to have people who understand about rejections and word counts and things like that.

  4. Bish Denham says:

    I so agree with you. I started out just wanting to preserve stories of my life, didn’t know a thing about following. And now I feel I can honest say I’ve made some friends, so unexpected and wonderful. And that is far more important to me.

  5. Linda Hofke says:

    I’ve just starting blogging in December but follow most of these “rules” to gain followers. All except number 3. I have virtually nothing about myself listed. I guess I need to do that.

    Thanks for another informative post.

    • nutschell says:

      Thanks Linda!
      I’m pretty shy about myself, and didn’t have much about myself in the beginning. Then I noticed while visiting other blogs that I like to check out their profile pages. I figured other people probably do that as well, so I should update my about me page.

  6. Karen Strong says:

    Yeah, I was totally clueless about the follower thing my first year too. But I do love meeting other writers, which is why I do it — this is how I met you! :)

    These are good tips about getting new followers. I’m in the camp where I believe getting followers “organically” through relationships and meaningful comments is the best way to go.

  7. Joy says:

    Since I’ve discovered your blog I keep coming back because you have well thought out articles that are chock-full of information. I have several to catch up on, but all in good time.

    I’m yet to visit a couple of people because their icon does not link to their profile. Most often a little detective work yields results but in a few instances I can’t track the person down.

    I’ve met a lot of new people be participating in three events now, which in turn has opened me up to a lot more information on writing.

    • nutschell says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I feel the same way about your blog and I am so glad that I “met” you through blogging. 😛 It’s true what you said about other people not having links to their profile. Whenever I have time, I do as you do and track them down. :)

  8. Kari Marie says:

    When I first started blogging it was because I wanted a platform, then I became addicted to having followers because it made me feel good. Now, I’m totally into the connections and could care less about the rest of it (Ok, I still want followers, I’m just not counting anymore). Like you, I’d rather make meaningful connections and nurture those relationships. I know sometimes I’m hit or miss on content, but I like to think I’m getting better.

  9. Great tips! Love the outhouse cartoon!

  10. Lizzy Ford says:

    First, thanks for visiting my blog earlier! Second, great tips! I’m new to blogging, and I definitely learned something from your posting today! On the topic of followers … I find myself trying to all the posts from the folks on Twitter I’m following – kind of comical, I guess. Does anyone else try to read everything?! I’ve seen such good info – – -I guess I don’t want to miss anything! Haha! Lizzy Ford

    • nutschell says:

      I don’t like missing out on stuff too and sometimes it can get taxing to read every single blog I follow. It’s a good thing I’m a fast reader else I’d never get anything done. 😛

  11. John Teal says:

    An interesting and thought provoking post. I agree with many of the reasons you share for “wanting” followers. When I first started blogging I had a desire to see that people were actually reading, hence having followers equated to success. Of late I realise I just love that writing has made me feel better about me, it seems strange perhaps, but I have explored thoughts I didn’t realise I had. My posts may not share my inner thoughts completely but they have been exposed them to me.


  12. Talli Roland says:

    These are great tips. I love blogging for all the friends I’ve been able to make. It’s fantastic!

    • nutschell says:

      Hi Talli!
      Thanks! It truly is. I’ve met so many wonderful writers through blogging and have discovered so many wonderful new perspectives to mull on.

  13. Hilary says:

    Hi Nuschell .. thanks for coming by my blog .. appreciate the connection and yes – followers, but more importantly following friends are wonderful. It’s a wonderful medium .. one I had no idea about .. but so glad I’m around the blogosphere now.

    Cheers – enjoy your week and the A – Z world .. Hilary

  14. mish says:

    Hey Nutschell

    For me , making that human connection and establishing meaningful relationships through mutual support , is what blogging is all about . I strongly believe that every single blogger who I make contact with , contributes something , directly or indirectly , towards my writing journey . And that’s the first explanation I have as part of a sticky post which can be found on the home page of my blog .
    And thanks for sharing these wonderful tips .


  15. Siv Maria says:

    Hi, I found you through A-Z. I love your post today. I just started blogging a month ago so this is a whole new world for me and I am loving it. I find the connection to like minded people and potential friends the biggest gratification of having followers. I have many “muses” that have found me in this short time. I think because I do take the time to do the things you wrote about. To me, it is just human courtesy to take the time to read and comment on the blogs you choose to follow, otherwise why bother? Anyways, I am “Nuts” over your blog and look forward to snooping around :)

    • nutschell says:

      Hi Siv!
      Thanks for dropping by, and for you kind compliments. I love making connections–it makes the task of writing seem less lonely somehow. 😛 Please feel free to snoop around. I know I’ll be stalking your blog as well. :)

  16. Jayne says:

    I think the reason you like followers and the reason I like them is exactly the same. :)

    The support is fantastic, and I just love knowing people this way. I used to be a prolific penpal back in the day, so for me this is an extension of that – the modern version, maybe!

    • nutschell says:

      Hi Jayne!
      Yes, the support is just exhilirating. It’s a great way of staving off that gloomy inner critic, and of pushing us onwards to achieving our writing dreams.

  17. Lynn Kelley says:

    Great job on this post, Nutschell. I’m behind in keeping up with the few blogs that I’m trying to follow. My daughter got married on Friday, so life’s been a whirlwind this past week. Imagine what a surprise to see you mentioned our Monster Moon series again and added the links for the interview and book review! Thanks so much.
    I have to say that your blog is one of my favorites, and I especially like the way you add all the amusing and interesting pictures throughout your posts. I’m also amazed that you’re posting such well developed and thought out posts for the A-Z fest. I honestly don’t know how you find the time to do so much. And I’m so happy for you getting so many new followers. Woo hoo!

    • nutschell says:

      Hey Lynn! I’ve missed your comments and I was wondering what you were up to. Congratulations! How wonderful that your daughter just got married.
      Aww..thanks for your kind compliments. I try to write posts which I think other writers will find helpful, simply because I myself, love finding posts I can learn from. I’m happy about getting new followers, but I’m even happier about finding new online friends. I’ve also discovered quite a few awesome blogs and have started corresponding more with fellow bloggers. I’m loving it!

  18. Sue says:

    The A-Z challenge is overwhelming, but then I find a blog like yours and carry on reading, and find I’m reading your previous posts. And I just don’t have time! I wanted to make lots of comments way up there in, hmm, was it J, and here I am down in F. Love the pics you’ve found to illustrate the followers thing. I’m in two minds about followers, I don’t wan’t people to click ‘follow’ if they think it’ll make me feel good about having another picture there, or if they feel sorry for me not having many followers. But if they’re interested, and want to interact, encourage, or suggest things, that’s fantastic, it’s not the quantity, but the quality.
    I cringe when people ask me to reciprocate. It’s like it’s a game to see who gets more quicker, and I’m not in to that. I also don’t want people to feel they have to follow me out of courtesy, maybe what I’m writing about doesn’t interest them, that’s fine. Sue@JumpingAground (Alliteration & drabbles)
    Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

  19. Maria Toth says:

    I was enjoying reading this post, giggled at the outhouse cartoon, then all of a sudden there was Monster Moon! That’s so cool that you extended your contest, so your new followers will have a chance to enter.

    My blog is about a month old and I’m having a ball writing posts and meeting new followers! Since I’m a newspaper girl at heart, it feels like I’ve got my own little cyber gazette. I’m also having a blast reading other blogs and meeting new people.

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