Monday, January 3, 2011

100 followers - How I Did It

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?


  1. Congrats on your FIRST 100 followers. I have been doing this since February, but am still "stuck" around 93. I know what you mean about blogging and social media taking up so much time. I'm hoping as things continue to work themselves into place that I will eventually begin to take on followers in bunches. On the other hand, my novel is a crossover. Getting people to buy into both vampires and Christianity in the same book makes it harder. We'll see what happens.
    Continued success to you,


  2. ok, you followed me and yes, I will follow you back. Even thought I am not a fiction writer, I am a writer and as with most writers, I like to read about writing!
    Thank you for the follow!

  3. I got the majority of my 40 followers through AW writers and their connections. And yes, you followed me first, and I checked your profile and started following you!

  4. I'm posting tomorrow about what I've learned in the last few months about blogging. I doubled my followers and found you using the advice you give above. Hopefully I'll sooon have 100 followers like you.

  5. congrats on 100! that is a big thing for a blogger, so i totally know how exciting it can be! :) I am so excited that I am getting close! hopefully by the end of the month i too can say 100!

    thanks for the tips!

  6. Hey, I was number 100, wasn't I? Glad to put you over the top.

    I was in fact, returning the favor of you following my little blog. That said, I wouldn't have followed if you didn't have interesting content, too.

    Congrats on 100! And keep up the interesting posts!

  7. Congratulations with your 100+ followers! Here's to many many more!!

    I like your blog cos it's got monsters and zombies and scary things on it!! Yay!

    I'm grateful that you've followed my blog cos mine is really as trivial and silly and so on the edge of maybe writer-ly things and really is more about my cat, so thank you!! :-)

    Take care

  8. Congrats on 100. I totally recommend the blogfests. Not only are they fun, but you're sure to get followers that way. I had 36 followers on Friday, and I currently have 54, thanks mostly to the three blogfests I did over the weekend.

  9. Hmm, I have 7. Better get cracking!
    Congrats on your three digit number!!
    The Epic Journey of a Wannabe Writer

  10. Thanks for following me, now I am following you. I hit 100 recently and it was pretty awesome. Love blogging almost as much a writing! Addicted, really. See ya around the interwebs. Lemon-out. (random 30 rock reference)

  11. Congrats on your 100+ followers, and thanks for visiting and joining my blog! Yes, that's pretty much how I did it, except I didn't always leave my link. If someone wants, they can click on your name in the comments and find out where you "live."

    I also did the Be Jolly By Golly blogfest, and even tho it wasn't my intention to join it in order to gain followers, I gained about 25 followers. Anyway, nice to "meet" you! :)