The number one question of almost all bloggers (and a big one I get asked a lot lately) is, how do I get more followers? Nobody really knows how many blogs are in the world, but I’ve read “current” numbers starting at 50,000,000 and even as high as 150,000,000. Whatever the number, that’s a lot of zeros to compete with.
Picture a bookshelf, twenty miles wide and twelve feet tall, crammed with people’s personal journals and memoirs. You just added yours to the very middle of it, and now you’re standing on the sidelines with 150,000,000 other people, watching lookie-loos choosing one here, choosing one there, just hoping that they’ll stop and choose yours.
Kind of interesting to think of it that way, isn’t it? Here’s the thing. You can stand out from the crowd. It is possible.
When I started Single Dad Laughing, I looked up lots of websites which all claimed to know the tricks of building a blog quickly. Aside from the fact that many of them contradicted each other, I tried to implement as many of their common suggestions as possible here at SDL. Some of them were effective, some weren’t. They did, however, seem to all pitch the same three common rules to blogging (if your goal is to attract a following).
Rule #1: Stay on topic. Pick a topic that you love, and stick to it. If you wander off that topic, people will stop following.
Rule #2: Optimize your blog. Learn how to use keywords to get more traffic from search engines.
Rule #3: Keep your posts short. There are very few people that will read anything longer than a few paragraphs.
And… I officially declare those three rules to be 100% horse manure, not to mention BORING.
I present to you Single Dad Laughing’s revised list:
Rule #1. Write about whatever the heck you want to write about. You can keep some general topics, but if you haven’t noticed, SDL is all over the place and most survive the experience intact.
Rule #2. What is optimization? Why worry about search? Somebody clicking in because a friend told them to come visit is 10,000 times more powerful than somebody clicking in from a search engine. Focus on what will make that happen, instead.
Rule #3. Keep it short? Are you serious? Yes, most of the time, but use however many words you need to use if you’re putting an important message out there. The bullying post was somewhere in the area of 4,000 words. That’s around 19 pages double-spaced, and in its first three days it had more than a quarter million views. Had I tried to sum it up in 500 words it would have died out the gates because the message would have been left behind.
Rule #4. In addition to the message, pictures of really cute children in cowboy hats seem to work well, too. Attempts at whistling are a big plus.
What it really all boils down to is that message. What is it? If you believe in your message, you’ll attract the people that believe in it with you. Do you speak what you really want to share or do you only say the things that you think people will want to hear?
If you want more followers, believe in something and then write about it. It doesn’t matter what that something is, just be bold no matter what consequences come your way. I’m guessing you’re a very intelligent person with a lot of profound things to say. Don’t be a freakin’ chicken. Get out there and share them. You’ll be a rock star in no time.
And don’t forget. You will always do better and grow faster when you cheer for those around you to have success. The moment you get bitter that somebody else is getting more or faster attention, the quicker your followers ditch you and head to the next blog.
Tell me, what are you each passionate about? I’m honestly curious.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS, don’t forget massive amounts of shameless self-promoting! PLEASE share this post on Facebook and twitter. PLEASE follow us. PLEASE give us your first-born child.
Haha, but seriously. Do follow us, and do share this on Facebook and twitter. We have a ton of fun around here.