What’s the best way to get blog followers? The million-dollar question…
I’ve been lurking in a lot of Facebook groups for new bloggers recently, and seeing the questions that people ask once they start blogging. Once people have gone through the first stages of choosing a blog platform, naming their blog, choosing a look and a theme for the blog and writing a few posts the next question is always
“How do I get people to come and read this? Where do blog viewers come from?”
Then, sure as eggs are eggs, you get a succession of experts telling you how to use their particular platform to help you get blog followers. Before you know it, you will be invited to join in with webinars and five-day challenges, with titles like:
- How to use Pinterest to grow your blog
- How to get your first 10,000 Instagram followers
- How to build an email list and monetise it
- How to profit from affiliate marketing
Each one promises the final solution to all of your problems.
Which one to choose?
It’s no wonder that some bloggers get really confused. Which one of these courses will be the one that makes the big difference? Which is better to find blog followers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest? Maybe it’s best to experiment with them all and see…
And then they rush about trying to do a little bit of all of it and writing new blog posts at the same time, then they figure that blogging is all just too complicated, and many of them quit before they have even got started.
So, which one of these methods is the best? Which course would I pick if I was starting a new blog from scratch? The answer is, it would very much depend on what the blog was about and what my long-term aims for it were.
Getting the basics set up
Before you can make a start with social media marketing, email marketing, or any other kind of marketing or growth strategy, you need to be very clear on a few things, namely
- What is your blog specifically about – what is its theme or niche?
- Who exactly are you blogging to – who is your target market?
- What do you plan on selling in order to monetise your blog?
Knowing your target market and the end product that you will be selling is crucial for picking the social media platforms where you are likely to do best. Some market segments lend themselves to Facebook, others work much better on Instagram or Pinterest and still more on YouTube, or potentially Tiktok or Instagram reels. For some markets, you should definitely be on LinkedIn, and there are one or two segments where you will still find a lot of Twitter users too – that platform is certainly still in use, although maybe not as popular for marketing as the other ones nowadays.
So, before you start your social media marketing, be clear on who you are marketing to, and try to figure out where they are likely to be hanging out. The more you can figure out what your blog is about, who it is for, what their problems are and what you are going to provide for them, the easier this will be.
Get Blog Followers with SEO
The next big thing you need to get sorted, is making sure that your website is very clearly targeted towards the people and the theme that you have chosen.
New bloggers tend to get very excited about playing around on social media channels – it’s the fun, fluffy and creative side of blogging, and with all these experts offering untold riches for “becoming an influencer”, it’s easy to see how you would want to dabble in Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.
But the ugly sister, the essential part of blogging that so often gets overlooked, is good old-fashioned Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. If you are a start-up blogger, then learning the basics of SEO is one of the first, the easiest and the best ways to help your blog grow.
SEO has a reputation for being difficult to understand and boring, but it really doesn’t have to be. It’s just a case of setting your blog out in a way that a search engine can understand what the blog about, so it will then show your blog posts to people who are really interested in the subject you are writing about and potentially interested in buying what you are selling.
This is where having a well-defined theme or blog topic comes in, and it also helps to understand a bit about the folks you want to sell to and what problems you will solve for them. People quite often use Google to ask questions –
- “How do I get red wine out of a shirt?”
- “How do I register as self-employed”
- “Where can I get Disney-themed nail art?
If you can write a blog post that answers these questions that people commonly ask, and if Google understands that this is a specialist subject of yours, then your blog post will come up in people’s searches when they ask that question.
When SEO works well, it is much better than social media – a blog post that ranks well for SEO may bring you viewers for years after it was first written, whereas a social media post will last for hours, or days at most. Once you have your SEO sorted out and you are clear on your target market and where they hang out, then the social media path becomes much clearer too. You can pick the platform where your prospects are most likely to be, and you will already understand what they want to know about. You will be able to answer their questions on social media too, and provide them with solutions, either by using affiliate recommended products or products and services of your own.
So in response to the original question – blog followers can come from lots of places. Social media is a great tool to get followers, but it will work better if it is backed up with a blog and website that is optimised for SEO