Okay, I know 100 followers really isn't an astounding number, but I did get most of those in about two months (that's my guesstimate anyway). Plus, I wanted to start a series of 'how-to' posts, sharing what I've learned so far about writing (not just writing, but building a platform, etc). I figured blogging was a good place to start.
While I enjoy blogging, it's certainly not something I do for the fun of it. It takes time away from my writing, but it's more than worth it to keep my fans informed (yes, I do have a few of them), connect with other writers, and build a platform.
I try to write stuff that will be of interest to both readers and writers and I steer clear of really controversial issues. I don't write about personal, non-writing stuff, unless I think others will really find it interesting.
When I first started blogging, I made a link to my blog in my signature on the forums I frequent (absolute write and Kindle boards, are the two I post the most on). I figured I'd slowly start getting people to follow. Over 6 months I got about 20. Most of those were other writers I knew (at least knew online), which was great because, they were more likely to leave comments.
But when I got ready to send out my query letter, I realized some prospective agents would google me and find the site; they might not be so impressed with 20 followers.
So, I started looking at who was following the bloggers that I followed. Sure enough a lot of them were YA and MG writers with some interesting posts. What I found was, if you follow a blog, that person is likely to follow you back.
After that, I simply checked once a week or so for new writer's blogs. I tried to leave comments and I followed many that were about kidlit or that I really liked, and about 1/2 followed me back.
One thing I found was that a lot of bloggers don't have a links to their own blog in their profile--big mistake. If you'd like to get more followers, you need to make it easy for people to find your blog.
Don't just follow every blog you find. You'll clutter your dashboard and few will follow you back. Look for blogs in the same genre or from writers you find interesting (I follow a lot of fantasy and monster blogs). Oh and most important, when someone follows you, check out their blog and consider returning the favor.
For me, I'm thrilled with 100 followers, it's enough that I don't have to worry about scaring away any agents that wander by. But I know there are a lot more experienced bloggers out there, please share you advice and comments on blogging. Do giveaways work? How about joining blog contest or blogfests?