How to Get People to Follow Your Blog! (A Less Embarrassing Version of Part One)

A little more than a year ago, I published a post about how to get followers on your blog, and, like everything I posted before 2020, I cringe whenever I remember it.

Even though I agree to some extent with everything I said, I definitely could’ve phrased some things better and formatted the post nicely. So today I’m revisiting the post and giving my fresh perspective on the things I wrote and some extra advice.

I feel like I’m more equipped to do so now that I’ve been blogging for a year and a half, but I’d like to give the common disclaimer that I don’t have all the secrets and this is just what works for me! There are so many paths to blogging success, whatever that means for you (you may not care even the slightest bit about followers or statistics, which is totally valid). I also feel like a big part of the journey is figuring out what works for you the hard way, so this post may not help at all. But hopefully it does a bit, or you at least have fun reading it!

Interact

In the original post, I said reply to comments and blog hop, but in this post, I’m condensing these two into one section called “interact”!

I think it’s important to interact because it shows that you care about your audience and other bloggers. People are more eager to interact with you if you interact with them too. Like I said in my introduction to book blogs post, interaction is an integral part of the book blogging community. And personally, I’m more eager to comment on someone’s post if I know that I have a chance of getting a reply back.

People also feel more obligated to check out your posts if you show theirs support. If you want to up your stats by commenting on a lot of bloggers’ posts, especially bloggers who comment back, that’s totally valid! I just suggest actually reading the post and not commenting something like “Great post! Check out my blog.”

I think blog hopping is especially important if you’re new to blogging and don’t have an audience yet. The blogosphere is pretty small, and one of the most sure ways to get people to find you is to comment on their posts.

If you’ve already built a readership and don’t rely too much on blog hopping to keep people coming back to your posts, then I don’t think it’s a must. I haven’t blog hopped and have been the absolute worst at replying to comments for the past few months, but somehow my stats haven’t taken a blow. Everyone in this community is so understanding. 🥺

Blog Aesthetic/Formatting

Your aesthetic is the first thing people see when they visit your blog, and they’ll probably click away if it’s unattractive. It doesn’t have to be the most beautiful thing ever (though, as with most things in life, the prettier the better), just presentable and easy to navigate!

As someone who’s not the best at design and probably never will be (not everyone has the time, skills, or resources to have aesthetics like Kat’s or Shealea’s), what has worked for me is being consistent! I don’t have the prettiest site theme or graphics, but I think I make it work by incorporating green into the majority of my blog and using the same graphics and fonts. Using nice and easy to read fonts is so important. What we consider a good-looking font could differ, but some of my favorites on WordPress are Karla, Montserrat, and Quattrocento Sans. My least favorites are Fondamento, Source Code, and Anonymous Pro (sorry if you use them).

I also want to highlight the importance of formatting! Everyone formats differently, but as with aesthetic, neatness and consistency are important. Also, I strongly recommend making use of headings, different text sizes, and the bold/italicize/etc. features! They really spice up a blog post and prevent one big wall of text, or walls of text broken up by a few headings, from becoming boring. I’ve personally stopped using gifs, but they’re great ways of breaking up text and making a post more entertaining!

Post consistently

This is kind of a given, but no one wants to follow a blog that’s been inactive for say, six months, because what’s the point? The more you post, the more your stats are likely to spike, but my advice is to just do what’s best for you. I’m a quality over quantity person and I’m sure a lot of people are.

I used to post three times a week, and while I was able to do this through a lot of procrastination, I was also able to do so because the quality of my posts wasn’t as good before. My average number of time spent on a post used to be between two to three hours, but now it’s easily four to seven because I’m more aware of what works and what doesn’t. I barely post once a week now, and my stats are still better than they were when I posted three times a week. Like I said, quality over quantity.

You don’t have to stick to a strict posting schedule or post every week. Yes, posting more means more chances of getting followers, but book blogging is probably just a hobby for you, and you should one hundred percent prioritize more important things without feeling guilty.

Blogging voice

And now, we come to what, in my opinion, is the number one most important thing to refine as a blogger. Your blogging voice is how you write and get your ideas across with words, gifs, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard the advice “be yourself” a hundred times before, but this really applies to blogging voices!

I used to think that being myself wasn’t enough because my voice was too boring compared to everyone else’s. But you don’t have to be the wittiest person alive, crack approximately three jokes per paragraph, or copy someone’s writing style, no matter how much you love it. Just be completely authentic, and trust me, people will notice and respond positively.

I also editing my posts extensively, which I attribute to my blogging voice vastly improving. Usually, especially if the words just aren’t coming to me, I write a very badly-written first draft of a post. The paragraphs are incoherent, but what matters is that the idea is there.

I only convey the idea well when I edit. Sometimes the way to do so doesn’t come to me immediately, in which case I cry take a break or skip to another part of the post. I always come up with something eventually, and when I’m done the post is a few hundred words shorter.

If I were to come up with an analogy of the process, I’d say that the first draft is a bunch of clay to be molded. It may vaguely look like what I want the pot to be, but for the most part it’s just an ugly blob. Only when I edit do I actually mold it into what I had in mind. I don’t know how I came up with this analogy—I don’t even do pottery.

I don’t even know if what I said above makes sense (it’s a very instinctual process for me), but basically: cut out as many words as possible—I do this a lot while editing. I don’t mean that all of your posts should be less than 1,000 words because mine definitely aren’t, but try your best not to repeat statements or go on unnecessary tangents. Erase sentences that you like but are ultimately irrelevant to what you’re trying to say, and come up with ways to say what you want to say using fewer words.

Types of Posts

In the original post, I suggested writing discussions, whether they contain advice, dissect a controversial topic, or whatever. Doing this helped me grow my audience because discussions, especially ones about spicy topics, usually bring in a lot of views, comments, etc., and the posts that bloggers link back to in their monthly wrap-ups are usually discussions.

That being said, I don’t think writing discussions is a must to gain followers. Some gain a lot of traction and others do just as well as your other posts. It all depends on the topic and how you dissect it. I might publish a post on how I write discussions in the future!

Just write the posts you want to. If you only want to post reviews, go for it. Only want to post reviews and wrap-ups? Go for it. Reviews are known for being unpopular, but I’ve seen some bloggers publish reviews so often that they don’t do poorly compared to their other posts because their audience expects them, or they review hyped books/new releases.

Part of the blogging journey is figuring out what posts you like to write. I used to post reviews, book tags, and Top Ten Tuesdays regularly, but now I barely do them because I’ve realized that I don’t really like writing them. No matter what you post, just make sure to refine your blogging voice because it’s what matters, not the post type.

There are other things I could’ve covered, because who knows how some people grow and others don’t, but for now, I think this is all the advice I have to give about gaining followers. Again, these are just based on my own experiences!

Do you agree with any of my advice? How have you refined your blogging voice? How do you get people to follow your blog? (Or do you not care at all about followers and statistics?)

26 thoughts on “How to Get People to Follow Your Blog! (A Less Embarrassing Version of Part One)

  1. As a new teen blogger, I found this post really helpful. I’m having trouble gaining followers, and I think I found out why. Hopefully, I was right. I think my blogging voice is…not good. I mean, I may come off as rude or something so I’m worried about that. And I really need to change my theme. It doesn’t look ugly, just…bad. Anyways, thank you so much for this!

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  2. Hey! Great Post you should check out my blog 😉
    But seriously, I love tips posts. I am really guilty of doing quantity over quality sometimes but I have definitely got better over lockdown and am putting a lot more love into my posts and I have definitely seen a spike in my stats

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  3. i adore this post, caitlin ❤️❤️
    as someone who’s still a new blogger (at least i think i am??), getting a better following is something that really brings me down. my blog isn’t *ugly* but idk if its pretty either lol and idk I might be biased or not entirely honest about whether my content is good or not. 😭
    anyways! I love all that u mentioned and im about to go do a self-check. thank uu!! ❤️

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  4. Amazing post! I agree with all your points. actually reading post and writing meaningful post than generalized comment helps a lot and writing what we want is best way. I have written reviews most and in fact I’m better at it than discussion or any other posts and it haven’t affected much to blog stats or follower numbers.

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  5. Wheee your posts are always a treat to read, I just love your posts anyhoo I think all your points for how to grow your blog are important. Specifically the voice one; I already had a writing voice from the sheer volume of writing I did back in the day (I don’t write as much as I used to atm :() and so at first my voice was a bit erm clunky? Like it was still my voice but I went on a lot of tangents, interjected a lot of snarky remarks which is fine…cause it’s definitely me. However I’m not a witty line every two paragraphs gal, I’m more of a witty line once or twice in the post gal but they’re good lines. At least to me *chuckles* <— that is also part of my voice, it was a pretty natural integration of the asterisk actions/sounds. In the 3 years of blogging though, I've definitely learned that it's ok to be ruthless with the editing, a well structured post doesn't always need an extra two paragraphs worth of off tangent topics or that extra sentence or two of sass.

    As for how people follow my blog…I think at the very start it was largely due to being on Discord, now I would attribute the growth to me being engaged in the book blogging community? As well as people possibly discovering me through my posts or when I've commented on other blogs. Twitter as well could be another way, I'm not sure in my head my blog is still smol and people don't know who I am xD I largely don't care about stats, like follower count doesn't really bother me but my monthly stats can be a source of stress/pressure of feeling like I'm not enough…even though I know my stats are still gonna be high compared to other peoples.

    Visuals of blogs is a big thing for me, it's fine if it's simple but my eyes burn at bright colours, clashing colours or lots of patterns. Coupled with me having taken a graphic design course and I did art too, like there are many times where I find blogs and I just…sob softly to myself. So much potential and they went with that hehe.

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  6. great insightful post! before setting up the blog I kind of already made my mind up to not expect lots of followers lol but this is very helpful towards thinking about what sort of content I want to make

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  7. This is such great advice!
    This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, as I’ve just started a new blog after switching from my old blog of six years, so I’ve been mostly starting again getting followers. I’ve definitely always found blog hopping and commenting meaningfully to be the best thing for building relationships with others bloggers, and that generally translates into followers.
    Posting consistently is definitely something I need to work on this time around though, as I’ve never been very good at that!

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  8. I started my blog this year and found this really useful! Thank you so much for all the advice. I’ve been trying to learn more about blogging and I’m currently working on blogger voice and generally writing better posts.

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  9. Some good stuff here. I think my discussion posts and taking part in some tags and memes where there are link parties included really help with getting more followers. Also, to be honest, I think your platform does make a difference. When I was on Blogspot I got all of 12 followers, and 5 comments since 2013! When I moved over to WP things changed dramatically and I’ve got over 800 followers and get comments ALL the time.

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  10. Love this post! I agree that voice is a super important part and I’m more likely to follow and interact with people who have a more distinct voice! altho ive been blogging for years and tbh still am figuring out my voice (as in when I’m writing a post in the afternoon I sound more put together and when I’m replying to comments at 2 am I’m just a mess of lowercases and text language probably scaring away any adults who read my blog lmaoo). also agree with the quality over quantity! I literally used to post every single day back in 2018 lmaooo idk how (actually I did its because all my posts were garbage but I was too jaded to realize that) and I post way less now but I’m way happier with my quality of posts, and I think that’s reflected in my stats. also I love your blog aesthetic ❤

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  11. I have been blogging for a while now but I still love to read blogging advice posts. Those are just so fun and I still learn something or other about it.
    I totally agree with the formatting. The quality of a post can be so good but that might be ruined if it’s hard to read. Put dividers in there and make text bold (I wish I could change the size of the font as easily as well 🙄) and it will be so much easier to read. (I gotta check out the fonts you mentioned, I think I still work with Merryweather or something.) I wanna add that the content should also be easy to access when you come to the blog for the first time. I don’t like it if I first have to look for the newest posts, I think they should be on the first page you open. 🤔
    I guess social media is also a thing that gets you more followers but you should definitely not burn yourself out over it.

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  12. Another amazing, helpful post, Caitlin!! 💕 The readability of posts has become more important to me as time goes on. I don’t need a super fancy layout, but I prefer posts that make use of heading, paragraphs, dividers, and the bold feature, as it makes the post so much easier to read!

    I also used to post three times a week and decreasing it to two posts a week was one of the best decisions I made! It’s a seemingly small change, but gives me so much more time to blog hop, answer comments, and work on my posts without feeling like I have to write yet another post!

    I’d also love to see that guide to writing discussions, as I always love reading yours 🥰

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  13. I definitely agree with you! I love receiving comments and interacting with others, but I mostly blog for me and my own joy and to have a place where I can say the things I have to say and sometimes I scream into the void and other times I seem to scream at people 😀 I guess both is okay? I’ve changed my blog a lot over the time I’ve been blogging because I’m never entirely satisfied and thus still finding a consistent theme and voice and I hope that one day I’ll be happy haha
    This was defintiely a very helpful post, especially for blogging newbies! 🙂

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  14. Omg queen for putting together this post!! Such helpful tips Caitlin and though I’ve been doing some of them. I definitely agree with having a voice, I’m not sure if I even have one, but one’s personality needs to shine through otherwise the post isn’t all that interesting welp.

    I also 1000% am with you on font choices!! Especially the generic ones (when it comes to design)(your text on screen is a different story). But I find a lot of people using the same fonts that aren’t the most readable and it makes it difficult to follow sometimes.

    Love all of these tips Caitlin xoxox

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  15. The blogging queen is back at it again ahh. I love this post so much, this is such great advice ❤ Blog hopping has helped me a lot in growing when I first started and, even if I don't have as much time or energy now than I used to before, I still enjoy doing it and seeing what everyone's up to. I think what matters the most is to be genuine when you do it, because it shows 🙂
    And yes! to the posts quality and readability, that's so important! I have been doing my best to pay attention to the layout of my posts and how they look to any reader, hopefully so they're appealing to read 🙂
    Loved this!

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  16. Posting consistently is the hardest one for me! Since my hiatus, I’ve just been all over the place. Sometimes I post twice a week, sometimes I post once. I’m working on that one lol Great tips here!

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  17. I love this post so much, Caitlin, and I agree with everything you said. I think interacting with people is important, but I also think it’s totally okay if you can’t interact at all for a while AND I know some bloggers don’t tend to interact at all. Or they interact on twitter, but not really on their or on others’ blogs. Yet, they do well, which is great! I think it’s important to find *the right way* to interact, something that feels natural to you and that works well for you.

    I agree with everything else too – how a blog looks IS important. While I do follow a few blogs whose design I don’t love, they still post well-formatted, easy-to-read posts, and the bloggers have a great voice. I sometimes still struggle with accepting my voice, because I’ve always felt like it was boring compared to other bloggers who have really lovely, flowery language or who are extremely funny. (So I relate to you in that A LOT.)

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  18. I think “types of posts” is where I focus a lot of my attention when in reality I should be focusing more on interacting! That tends to take the “backburner” but it’s super important. Thanks for sharing these lovely tips, Caitlin!

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  19. I 100% agree with everything you said in this post! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been searching for new blogs, only to discover that their theme is blinding or their font size is unreadable. Alternatively I sometimes end up on blogs that haven’t been active in a few weeks. None of those things make me want to engage, let alone follow!

    But I definitely agree that the most common way that I find new blogs is through comments! Whether it’s a comment on my own blog or someone else’s, whenever I’m in the blog hopping mood, one of the first places I check is the comments sections of various posts. And then of course, I go and comment, which is how other people discover *my* blog! So commenting benefits all parties!

    I also love how you mentioned that the editing process leads to you to condense your posts a bit. Meanwhile, any time I look over my posts, I just tend to add more and more to them. But like you said about finding your voice, I think I’m known for being wordy and chatty. So for me it makes sense to just keep on talking in my posts and in my comments!

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m a fan of blogs that post lots of discussions, but I think that’s a personal thing. I’ve seen many blogs that post only reviews, and while I’m not interested in following such blogs, they definitely have an audience and can gather quite the following. At the end of the day when blogging, you need to put what makes you happy first, and hope that people see your excitement and your enjoyment and decide to follow because of how passionate you are!

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  20. Oh wow–thank you for this. I think this will be super useful. I might have to put more love into my posts….I mean I take my time on them but not four hours!!! Also I’m not sure if my blog looks great? I mean I thought it did, it seems great to me, but it’s not as refined as other blogs….it’s nice and colorful though, I think. I guess I’ll have to spend more time on posts. I’ve sort of just gotten back into blogging after a little bit and am posting just about every day because I have so much to say! Maybe I’ll slow it down so that the posts sound better and stuff. Also, I’ve tried blog hopping but I feel like it’s not working very well. Not many people are following my blog still. 😭

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