One Lucky Blogger: How To Get 500+ Followers on Your Blog (Part One)

500-Blog-folllows

I have been diligently blogging for eight months, although my blog has been around for three years. On May 5, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the 500th follower to my blog! When I started blogging about my one-subject wonder—the Four Generations, I never imagined my blog, renamed and retooled in September 2014, would have this large of a following.

Firstly, I want to heartily THANK all my readers and followers of this blog. I am one lucky blogger! I also want to acknowledge that 500 followers is not a huge number, but it is an encouragement to someone like me, “A Serious Leisure Blogger.” Read about this here.

Secondly, I would like to share some simple blogging tips that you may find useful, based on some of my experiences as well as information I have read on blogging. I am not THEE expert on blogging, but I can share what has worked for me.Blogging-is-Serious-Leisure

Tip 1: Find your passion. Why did you decide to start your blog? Are you an author using your blog to promote yourself and your books? Are you a burgeoning writer using your blog posts to hone your writing skills? Perhaps you are a photographer, world traveler, or fitness expert. These reasons are just drops in the bucket for writing a blog. Blogging about YOUR passion will engage other readers and create loyal followers.

Use your blog to share subjects about which you have expertise or strong interests. There is nothing worse than getting bored with your own blog and stop posting altogether. This happened to me, and if I hadn’t stumbled upon Blogging University 101 last September, I would not be here today.  If you are in this rut, it may be a good time to take a good look at your blog and re-tool it. Last September, when I changed the focus and the blog title, the blog came to life!

Tip 2: Blog consistently. There are several schools of thought on this. After some trial and error, I believe posting at least 4-5 days a week is a good formula. We readers are fickle, and research shows that readers won’t return to a blog if there are no new posts to read. To help you stay on schedule, see the next two tips.

Tip 3: Create an editorial calendar and stick to it as much as possible. You do not have to post or share this calendar, but keep it for yourself. There are many ways to creating a schedule,  from keeping calendars on Evernote, to simply writing in a spiral notebook. I use a spiral-bound calendar and write my post ideas on the dates. Low-tech and simple. I also have a WORD document with ideas listed. I often write the content in WORD first, then copy it over into the post. You will see that I have an even balance between posting photos and writing content.

Here is an example of my editorial calendar:
Sunday—Sunday Stills Photography challenge and Weekend Coffee Share
Monday—Post
Tuesday and Saturday—no posts. I have found that these days tend to be slow for readership.
Wednesday—a post for BeWow Wednesday (Ronovan Writes), which include posts on leisure and outdoor activities. I may start the Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Silver Threading
Thursday—One Word Photo Challenge hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells.
Friday—Weekly Photo Challenge hosted by WordPress

I take part in other challenges and I often come up with other posts that seem relevant for the week. See Tip 4.

Tip 4: Take part in blogging events and challenges. If you are a WordPress blogger, you know there are many options. Events like Writing 101 and 201, Blogging University 101 and 201, are designed to help hone the skills of bloggers at all levels. Participation is free, but there is a time commitment. If photography is your game, WordPress offers events such as Photography 101 and the themed Weekly Photo Challenge. Frankly, the weekly photo challenge has driven more traffic to my blog than I expected. I make sure to use a compelling image. (More on that in Part Two, still to come).

The Daily Prompt is also a great tool to help kick start your post ideas. There are many bloggers who host their own photography challenges. Outside of WordPress are more opportunities for getting your blog read. Facebook hosts the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I have recently seen April’s “A to Z Challenge.”

Not only do these events and challenges provide ideas for posts, most have link-ups or ping-backs which are shared with other bloggers who may not be following yours. The 101 courses also have a community pool of bloggers who are taking part in the same challenge and I have discovered many new blogs this way.

Tip 5: Read, follow, and engage with your fellow bloggers. Blogging is hard work and 500 readers do not follow overnight. Ask any of the “power bloggers” out there. Remember that bloggers are part of a wonderful community that encourages and supports one another. Friendships are built every day in the blogosphere. After writing that great blog post, don’t you want readers to “like” and comment on your post? Of course you do. Now you have to do the same for other blogs you follow.

I personally follow over 400 bloggers. Many are not consistently active, but there are quite a few that are. I use the WordPress Reader e-mail notification tool so that I don’t miss my favorite bloggers’ posts. Some bloggers simply use the Reader to read blogs they follow. When I open the e-mail notification that takes me to their blog, I usually “like” or leave a comment. In doing so, those same bloggers see that I stopped by and will likely visit my blog and do the same.

Whatever your blog reading strategy is, make sure you are consistently using it. This is where it can be time-consuming. But truthfully, I would rather spend my time reading interesting and well-written blog content than troll Facebook and all its silliness.

In my next installment, I will offer tips on images, social media use and link-up parties.

I would love to hear what has worked for you. Stay tuned and thank you for stopping by!

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53 thoughts on “One Lucky Blogger: How To Get 500+ Followers on Your Blog (Part One)

  1. Congrats on reaching 500! Thanks for the useful info. As a newbie, i am beginning to see patterns so it was interesting to read that Tuesdays and Saturdays are slower days. I had been wondering about this. Have a great day. Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cheryl, I have had help along the way, too! I’m glad that is not my imagination. When I retired last December I blogged every day for four months straight. That’s when I saw the pattern for those days. Glad you thought my info was helpful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More great info, Terri! You have given me several things to add to my to do/make this happen list – thanks! Congratulations on your “500” milestone!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful tips and congrats on 500!!! Thank you for mentioning the OWPC.

    Tuesdays and Saturdays, hmm, I’ll have to keep that in mind. I really need to start to pay better attention to my stats… (interesting enough, when choosing the date for the OWPC, I chose Tuesday because most the challenges at that time, aside from Cee’s started other days of the week other than Tue)

    Keep up the awesome blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on your growing readership! These are great tips. I am working on growing my readership – blogs like yours are an inspiration! Keep it up! #blogboosterparty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not sure if my first comment registered or not. I often have a problem with WP.com commenting. I think in my first comment I was appreciating you enjoying your blogging. That is always good to see. Your subject of Outdoor Leisure is refreshing.
    I had to remove your post in the second Linky. This Linky is for a direct Pinterest pin URL. Not a link to your blog post. To get that URL just click on your pin on your Pinterest Board and copy and paste the URL into Linky and then people can go to your pin.

    Thanks Terri,
    Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party#5

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m doing a “Blog Everyday in May” challenge and have actually seen my readership go down. Totally not what I expected, or what other bloggers seem to have happen when they do something similar. It’s not just fluff either – it’s a mix of serious and funny, but all good content. I’m considering dropping the challenge, or modifying it to something like “Blog Every Weekday in May.”

    It is really great that you have reached that 500 milestone. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats Terri.
    It’s very useful to share these tips. I concur to them. I’m just thinking that the busier days depend on your followers and the challenges you participate. My Tuesdays are great and I attribute it to the iphoneography challenge I join every Monday.
    Saturday and Sunday are unstable and I gave up understanding it.
    Sometimes I have stats’ spikes and other times nothing happens.
    I observed though that there two important things to notice.
    1. The time you post is important depending on who is your most loyal audience. If you post in a different time zone than theirs, they’ll miss your post as it will go down the reader.
    2. If you post more than once a day, over the weekend, the results are incredible. I did it a few times when submitting more than one photo the Friday challenge, and was amazed with the response. But I don’t like to post more than once a day.

    You said something interesting about photo101. I had the same experience. I gained more followers after the course than ever before. Photos are a magnet. People like them more than words.
    My best tags are photo related.

    Thanks for a great post.
    L

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was a really helpful summary of your blogging experiences, Terri! Your posts are always–and I do mean always–well-planned, polished, and worth a read. It has been fun getting to know you. Oh, and congratulations on your 500th follower!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are great blogging tips Terri. Thank you for posting them. Blogging 101 and Photography 101 is where I got to know you and a number of other bloggers, and I notice that the weekly photo challenge works well for me too.
    Congratulations on reaching 500 followers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on the milestone, Terri, and thank you for the tips you have given on blogging.

    It’s wonderful of you to share what you have learnt to everyone else. I know that many new bloggers will find the information very useful and you will have given many inspiration to carry on.

    Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Terri, great post. I believe you are squarely on point. I might add that quality content is a critical component to having your community follow and return. Congratulations on reaching the 500 milestone. Based on the quality of this post and others, you are well on your way…..Dave

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hey Terri, this post was in the Top 6 most clicked on Fridays Blog Booster Party#5. You will get special mention on Friday. Well done.
    Kathleen

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. Well done! and thanks for sharing. I blog about once a week – as you say it definitely takes a lot of time to post regularily. So I concentrate on “quality, not quantity”: it’s important to stick to related topics, in my case expat live and travel. I’ll check out the photo challenge, I might find one on traveling. 😉
    My best day is Sunday, I avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays as well 😉 However, it’s important to try different days and strategies once in a while. Readership might change habits and we should adjust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ina, Your blog is great and very interesting to a lot of readers! I think Sunday is a good posting day too. You should try the weekly photo challenge. It comes up every Friday morning. A blogger called Tiny Expats does some photo challenges, I believe!

      Like

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  18. Wow Terri – just came to have a read from Bloggers Pit Stop and noticed how old this post was – you must be up to a couple of thousand followers now. You must be doing something right!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Terri, congratulations on 500 followers. That is a great achievement and not easy to do. I certainly know how encouraging it is to find readers. I know I need to ramp up my efforts towards attracting an audience or maybe just give it up all together. i love the writing and the community, but dislike the marketing and self- promotion. You seem to have found a nice balance!

    Like

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