500 Followers & Counting: 3 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging Effectively

This past weekend, The Lonely Tribalist reached 500 followers. Compared to some much more successful bloggers, it ain’t much, but by golly, are we floored by your support! And, as always, we look forward to getting to know and interact with you all more and more! 

oprah happy blessed clapping hands | the lonely tribalist

To commemorate reaching 500 followers, here are 500 pieces of advice I’ve come to value in the blogopshere. I’m just kidding, I only have the attention span for 3, so listen up:

1) Publish Regularly and Often

Most audiences like establishing routine and a familiar rapport. They like knowing that they can expect their favorite blogger to post fabulous lifestyle tips every Monday and Wednesday and host a blog party every Friday, for example. Let the Schedule option in your post draft be your intimate friend. Don’t have time on Monday – or even Sunday evening – to write up your Motivational Monday post? No problem: You know you have time Saturday afternoon. Write it up and schedule that puppy for Monday!

Listen to statistics: the more content you create, the more likely people are to stumble across your blog! So even if you can’t post at least once every day, develop a habit of posting at least once a week and maybe work up to more later. Also, more important than anything else you will read on this list, listen to yourself. What are you inclined to do? Is once a week most comfortable to you or is three times a week a good balance? Don’t be afraid to experiment with your boundaries to find a posting schedule that works best for you!

2) Spread Them Wild Oats

While writing awesome posts and designing your blog’s layout are necessary, none of it matters if no one knows how to find you. The Internet isn’t just a Field of Dreams – “If you build it, [they] will come” doesn’t apply here and you can’t rely on just sheer luck. It’s just as important to visit at least – at least – a few blogs a day, even if that’s just 5. Make the time to look over a blog post or two and “like” and leave comments. They don’t have to be in-depth reflection papers. Show some encouragement and support. You don’t even have to explicitly plug your own blog, if you feel embarrassed about tooting your own horn – I know I do. Most bloggers will check out your blog in return anyway if you leave a nice comment, which easily leads to fresh eyes and new followers!

Trust me: there’s is a direct correlation between how much I interact with other bloggers and how high my view count rises. Here is a sample from my stats:

Wordpress engagement stats view count | the lonely tribalist

The most noticeable dip happened over February 14th, which was a Sunday. I don’t post on Sundays and my activity on WordPress was very low. Conversely, a few days later, I was very active – more active than usual, even – and our blog reached our highest viewcount for a day. The engagement even flowed into the next day, where I had to work most of my waking hours and couldn’t visit as many blogs as I would have wanted. So even if you can’t devote an hour or two each day to visiting blogs, it even helps to engage in the blogging community every other day or at least a couple times a week. You’ll see the difference almost immediately.

How do you find blogs to follow? These are two of the best ways I’ve found:

A) WordPress Reader: Enter in a tag in your WordPress Reader of a topic you’d enjoy. I personally frequent the “sarcasm,” “awkward,” “polyamory,” and “feminism” tags, among a dozen others that I check less frequently, but keep for in my reader for variety. Go down the reader and visit damn near every blog – unless you’re certain you don’t want to be associated with that blog. (But hey, you never know who may enjoy your content, so visit as many blogs as you can.) 

B) Blogs other bloggers follow: Find a blog’s blogroll, usually along a sidebar or on its own page. Peruse and/or participate in blog Meet and Greets, where people post their links to share with a community. Pour through blog awards/nomination posts for blogs people have specifically felt were worth featuring.

Does this mean you have to throw away your life and abandon all real connections in the world to devote all your time to perusing blogs? Of course not. But even 10 minutes a day can go a long, long way.

3) Tag, You’re It – Tag Effectively

Tags seem easy to dismiss as trivial or just too darn complicated because of that “SEO” crap. However, they are crucial for not only organizing your site, but also in making your blog posts more visible. And you don’t have to know squat diddly about SEO techniques. When you type a topic into the WordPress Reader, the posts that pop up are the ones that have that tag or category that you searched for. And something that I learned only a few weeks ago is that your post will only show up in the Reader if you have no more than 15 tags on your post – categories also count as “tags.” (This is to weed out posts that spammily use irrelevant tags and clog up the Reader with irrelevant posts.) I hadn’t realized how much of an asset proper tagging was. I used to add really stupid tags just for the hell of it. (And, if I have room, I still do today.)

stupid wordpress tags | the lonely tribalist
*sigh* I regret nothing.

Go Get ‘Em!

A big goal of The Lonely Tribalist is to not only entertain, but to bring like minds and hearts together. The blogosphere is filled with worthy writers and artists and people who just have strong feelings, goddammit! And there’s no reason anyone who feels like putting in a bit of effort can’t enjoy some appreciation for their work. I’m no powerblogger or super successful blogger extraordinaire nor can I directly help you become one, but I hope you found these 3 tips useful for your own blogging endeavors. And remember, deep growth takes time. No one gets a million or even a thousand followers over night. Invest your time and energy efficiently and watch your blog gradually bloom.

And once again, thank you to subscribers old and new. You’re a huge part of what makes growing and maintaining this site worth it. Without all of you, Moose and I would just be a couple of yahoos spouting nonsense. You fellow lonely tribalists help validate it all. Thank you once, twice, a googol times!

conan obrien happy excited gif | the lonely tribalist

What trends have you noticed? Do you have any blogging tips you’ve found invaluable? Link to your own blog and leave a tip or two of your own in the comments!

Cheers,
Michelle (& Moose)

[Header image source: Pixabay]

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43 Replies to “500 Followers & Counting: 3 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging Effectively”

  1. That’s a great and useful article.
    “Engaging people” is really the key point which I understood recently. I would need to do that not only to get followers but also to read lot of good contents 🙂
    Thanks for spending your time on this !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your advice and congratulations on reaching 500 + 200 more followers! When I hit 100 followers, I’ll likely fall over and I can’t imagine what will happen if/when I hit 500 (head may spin around like Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll get there before you know it 😀 Thank YOU for your generous words! And it’s still in the 500s – the stat under the Follow widget also counts Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr followers, so it’s skewed. Again, thank you – and best of luck with your own endeavors!

      Like

  3. Congrats on 500 (now it’s 700??)! Did you say it ain’t much? I now want to go bury my head in the sand in now!

    Great tips here! I realised some of them only after signing up for a Blogging101 course. It’s not just content, it’s about community! Thanks again for this brilliant post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And not nearly 700 yet – that stat is misleading as it includes my “followers” on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, as well. So it’s still in the 500s. Thank you again for your generous words 😀

      Like

  4. Congrats on 500!! And thanks for sharing this info, I too had no idea about the 15 tags thing. I’m new to all the jargon that gets flung around blogging, and this was easy to understand and follow so cheers for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a very helpful read! In the few months I have been blogging, I’ve been good about posting about twice a week, but with two jobs, finding time for networking and searching out new blogs has been a challenge. I think I will take your advice, and just focus on seeking out a few new blogs a week to read and follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for a very helpful post! When I started several years ago, I, too, had the “if you build it, they will come” attitude and it was only after I started following AOpinionated Man that I learned there is more to a successful blog and just the writing. I’ve learned a lot, but your suggestions about “tagging” are something I need to work on. I never think a whole lot about tagging and have only a few categories. I also didn’t think about how the reader made its suggestions. So thanks! Also, thank you for the award nomination! Due to injury/illness I have gotten behind on many things and am still slightly under the weather, so it’s all a juggling act right now, and I may not be able to do that in time, but I certainly appreciate it! Brought a big smile to my face!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. About tags… having 15 tags works against you in search engines and you have to take into account that people could be searching for and find your blog via search engines. Maybe you don’t need to understand all the SEO crap, but you need to understand some of it in order to tag posts effectively to get the most “bang for your buck” so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true – if you want to work under WordPress’ guidelines, just posting irrelevant tags, but keeping them under 15 still wouldn’t be helpful. Tagging can be a good intro to SEO for people, like me, who have seen it as intimidating before. And then there’s the matter of blogging for just the WordPress community vs the rest of the Internet – a lot to be considered. Thank you for that insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations! It’s nice to mark milestones. My tip is actually the opposite of what I often see offered as blogging advice. I say to go ahead and write on a variety of topics that interest you, if that is what you would like to do. I was worried for a while when I started Top of JC’s Mind because everything seemed to be advising toward having a narrow focus. I do love and follow photo blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, poetry blogs, etc. but I have also found lots of other blogs that write on lots of different topics, too. Case in point, here! Do what is right for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great point! Thank you for bringing that tip up. It’s definitely not “one size fits all.” Some people could benefit from narrowing the focus of their blog. Some people could thrive even more through exploring broader topics. So glad to hear that you’ve embraced writing on a variety of topics and thank you for your support 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Those are some great tips! I too have noticed that when we engage with other bloggers more, the stats have a much better result too. Taking part in linky parties is something I enjoy and it also helps to get in additional views 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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