I met today’s special guest when I participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge in April 2010. Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out had a great idea and ran with it. I’m still learning from his blog and his many followers. Please welcome Arlee, and pay close attention. He’s giving you another great opportunity to build your blog following while making lots of new blogger friends around the world.
Building an Audience for Your Blog by Arlee Bird, Guest Blogger
Would you like to have more followers on your blog but haven’t figured out how to get them? Some of you may be perfectly content to have your handful of faithful followers and that’s fine if it’s okay with you. Personally, I want to have thousands of followers for my blog. I know they all won’t be reading what I post, but I think the odds increase exponentially as numbers of potential readers increase. If you are an author looking for an audience or anyone else promoting something, expanding your potential customer base is imperative to increasing your sales growth potential.
When I first started blogging in September of 2009 I had no idea what it was all about. I was determined to get followers so I set out on a quest to do so. Here’s the approach I would recommend to anyone looking for more followers:
• Get advice from serious experienced bloggers. Find blogs that seem like they have a good following and that offer blogging advice. You learn by watching and listening to others. Ask questions in their comment sections, follow those blogs, and ask them to follow your blog—some of them will.
• Make sure you have a “Follow” button to click and make it visible. I’ve placed mine near the top of my sidebar. When the button is highly visible interested parties will be more apt to click it.
• Find bloggers with similar interests to your own. Fill out your blogger profile with your interests (don’t forget to put commas between each of them). When you click on each of your interests you will come up with a list of other bloggers who have indicated the same interests. Comment on their blog posts, follow them, and ask them to follow your blog. You will become a part of a blog community.
• Stay active in your blog communities. Regularly leave comments on other blogs. Acknowledge those who comment on your posts. Maintain relationships.
• Be consistent in posting quality content. Give people a reason to come to see what you have to offer. I set up a themed blogging schedule so readers would know what to expect on which day.
• Participate in blogfests and other events. It will provide you with blog content and it will put you in contact with other participants. When I have participated in events, I have always added new followers.
My biggest coup in gaining followers came in 2010 when I organized the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. This was a month long blog challenge that received a lot of attention. The challenge required discipline as participants posted six days a week for the entire month of April using a letter of the alphabet for each day’s inspiration. The most active participants in this challenge gained from forty to one hundred followers during that month and built many lasting online relationships in the process.
In April of 2011 the A to Z Blog Challenge will be repeated. After last year’s success of an event that was organized in four days by me alone, this year the challenge should be huge as I am joined by some powerhouse bloggers: Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jen Daiker, and Talli Roland. The four of us will be administering the challenge as we participate with our own daily blog posts and provide encouragement to all of the participants.
If you are serious about getting more followers added to your sidebar, this is an event you should consider. Think of it as an advertising blitz if you’re promoting a book or some other aspect of what you have to offer. Or approach it as just plain fun. You will be out there for twenty-six days networking with others in your online communities. Friendships will be established and new blogs will be discovered. And you will become better in what you do. This challenge can help you improve your writing, planning, and self-discipline.
If you are interested in getting more information, you can go to Tossing It Out or click on one of the above links for the co-administrators blogs to see what they have to say. When you’ve decided to join us then add your name to the Linky list that appears on each of our blogs. We hope you’ll join us in the exciting Blogging From A to Z April Challenge of 2011.
Arlee, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your plans for the 2011 challenge. I’m guessing it will be bigger and better than 2010. I can’t wait.
You bloggers who haven’t yet tried a blog challenge should consider signing up. I had great fun last year, and made a lot of wonderful friends along the way.
Come on, sign up. You know you want to.