3 Ways to Build a Loyal Fan Base for Your Blog
Cailin Riley is a lifestyle blogger of sorts and a crazy plant lady on the side. Besides writing about adventuring, books, and yoga fails at stumblyblog.com, she spends her time hiking, reading way too many paranormal romances, and taking care of her little devil cat, Mooney.
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Search for how to increase page views on Pinterest and you'll instantly be flooded with thousands of pins on the topic. However, you might be a bit more hard pressed to find posts about how to keep the same people coming back to your blog. While more page views are great and a solid metric to track, it's also important to have a strong group of readers who frequently read your blog and engage with you. It's not really enough anymore to have a person visit your blog once, shrug, and then never return. True blog growth comes from loyal followers who look forward to new content and actively seek it out. And it's more fun that way too!
Here are three ways to actively shift your blog's focus from gaining one-time page views to gaining loyal fans.
When you say to someone on the street, you usually expect some sort of a response in return. It would be pretty awkward and rude if they completely ignored you right? I view it the same way when someone comments on your blog. Somebody is taking a moment of their day to read your blog and actually respond to it. When you don't respond to comments, the person might be ignored and undervalued. They might wonder if you even read the comments you receive. Taking time each day to check your comments and respond to them is a great way to show your readers you care about their thoughts. And when your readers feel valued, they're more likely to return to your site.
Prove your preference for quality followers over quantity.
What you do and say on social says a lot about you. I know that seems obvious but think about it in terms of promoting your blog and how you want the world to view you. Social posts asking for followers or desperately promising to follow back for follows make me cringe because they tell me two things. First, it makes it seem as though that person is more into numbers than actual people. Second, it doesn't help anybody other than themselves. They might not mean it, but those posts reflect a focus on quantity over quality. You can prove your preference and desire for loyal followers by doing several things, including commenting on others' posts, offering help, and sharing content. Sharing achievements that have to do with numbers aren't bad per se but they should come from a place of gratitude. Lastly, don't play the follow/unfollow game. It's not cool.
Stay true to you!
Sometimes in the blogging world, we try so hard to follow the tide and stay engaged that we lose track of what we really care about. For example, another blogger pointed out in a recent post how every blogger seems to call each other 'lovely' and she thought it was the weirdest thing. I totally agree; I don't usually call people 'lovely' so why would I randomly start now? We can all stay relevant without losing touch of who we are as bloggers. Focus on creating quality content that you enjoy. Some weeks that might mean a post that might not apply to very many people but mean the world to you. And that's okay! Obviously, we all want people to read our blogs, but I think it's important to remember that most of us started our blogs for ourselves in part. Some people start blogs to help themselves heal or to make sense of the world. Others start one not knowing what for and then eventually they find their reason. I started Stumbly for a class project in college and along the way, realized I kept it going because I love talking with people and sharing our ideas. Staying true to you might mean waving at the popular post topic bus as it rolls by. It might mean taking a break from blogging or from social media. The goal is to attract followers and readers who identify with you and want to hear your real story. Not a fake story, not the one you think they want to hear, but the real one.
I hope you find these tips helpful for growing your blog's fan base. Just remember that growing your blog isn't an exact science. It takes a long time to grow your blog and earning a solid fan base takes time too. I'm still trying new things and working on it myself and I've been blogging for three years! Don't be discouraged if things take longer than you expect; when you gain loyal followers, the effort is all worth it.
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