Earlier this week, we’ve discussed techniques for managing blog content and design. Now that you’ve mastered these essential topics, it’s time to focus on developing your followers. Here are my stand-by techniques for promoting your Tumblr or your Blogger (or both!) after you’ve created a well-designed blog with quality content.
The “Ask” Box
On Tumblr, the Ask box is your best tool if you want to get followers. You can use it to create relationships, ask bloggers to check out your blog and drive traffic to your blog. One word of caution—do not be insincere when you ask people to check out your blog. One of the most disappointing messages a blogger can receive is “Hey, I love your blog, do you mind checking mine out?” because it’s clear that the compliment is hollow. Bloggers understand that you want to gain followers, so be direct and ask them to check out your blog—they will understand what you are trying to do and they will look at your blog. Bloggers have feelings too!
However, I find that simply complimenting a blogger is the best way to promote. Bloggers can respond privately or they can post their answers, and more often than not, if the message is a compliment they will want to post it. It will look like this on their follower’s dashboards:
If you send a message to a blog with a lot of followers, your link will show up on their dashboards and there is a good chance they will click on your link. And it shows that you are likeable, which always helps.
The Dashboard is your homepage on Tumblr. All the posts, both yours and those from people you follow, are arranged in reverse chronological order. When you logon you arrive to the dashboard and you scroll through hundreds of photos, liking and reblogging the ones that stand out to you. You want to keep your Dashboard constantly full and updated so that every time you refresh the page, you get about 50 new posts to scroll through. This means you have to follow at least 100 blogs (even with 100 blogs your dashboard moves slowly). Most people follow somewhere around 200-500 blogs.
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of blog posts, so the only way to be recognizable is to personalize your blog—bloggers who upload photos of themselves, write little snippets of what they’re doing or what they’re feeling tend to have more followers than bloggers who remain completely anonymous. Try to be more personal on your Tumblr so that your followers can put a person to a blog.
People use tags to discover content on Tumblr associated with specific keywords. Whenever I post something on my interior design blog, I now tag it “interior”, “interiors” and “interior design” because it’s possible that someone will search for these terms and I want them to find my blog. Tag your posts with words that correspond either with the post itself or with your blog.
Gaining followers on Blogger is by far much more difficult than on Tumblr because Tumblr’s dashboard brings the blogs to you whereas you have to actively look for blogs on Blogger. This makes the comment feature much more necessary—it’s the only way to get a link to your blog out there. So comment on other blogs as much as you can and be genuine.
Another way to bring traffic to your site is to email bloggers directly. If you are looking for a guest post exchange, email bloggers who have about the same amount of followers because they will most likely respond to you. Another idea is to email a blogger about something you did that relates to them. For example, I saw a blog post with a shirt I really liked so I decided to make a similar shirt for myself. I emailed the author and gave her the link of my post that explained what I did. She ended up putting that link on her blog and I gained a lot of followers through that.
It requires more effort to get your blog known on Blogger. There are fewer tools available to you, which forces you to be more proactive in promoting your blog by leaving comments and directly reaching out to bloggers. However, you reap rewards for your efforts on Blogger more than on Tumblr. I had a blog on Blogger and although it did not reach as much success as my Tumblrs, local designers sent me free clothes to promote for them on my blog and was also able to do a few giveaways. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t gain a lot of followers overnight–it takes time, but you will definitely see your hard work pay off.
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