I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the past three years.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if you want a lot of followers and want to attract advertisers you need to make your blog niche. The more niche the better.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t give a shit about my traffic (most people are lying if they say they don’t care), but I don’t give a crap enough to completely change my blog in hopes of wooing advertisers. Hey, it would be nice to get paid for this thing, but in the long run, I obviously like having my content all over the place. I have the freedom to write whatever I want.
I also love the amazing individuals who have hung in there with me and don’t feel like alienating them with what feels like forced material. Niche is good, but forced niche is bad.
In other words, this blog will probably never be big. It has grown, but with my scope being very wide, I doubt I will ever be able to demand big bucks for advertising.
Advertiser: So what is your blog about?
Me: Me. Oh, and Jeff Goldblum’s boner. Sometimes Prince’s pubic hair. A lot of photos of Rick Moranis. Sometimes I gripe about my period. That fits your demographic, right?
Advertiser: (dial tone)
If I wanted to gain more followers, there are three surefire ways I could to do it.
Here are some tips I’ve learned throughout the years:
1.) Grow a dick (since there are so few male bloggers out there that talk about their personal life, the ones that do achieve a lot of success)
2.) Have a child (mom blogs are all the craze)
3.) Take lots of photos of what you’re wearing (fashion bloggers are the online equivalent of the highschool prom queen who always gets what she wants)
I’m not kidding. I know this sounds snarky, but if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that being a dude who can write eloquently, being a good-looking mom with a good-looking website and good-looking kid and posting an exorbitant amount of photos of yourself dressed nicely will put you ahead in the blogosphere.
Single Dad Laughing is an excellent example of a male blogger who speaks truthfully and personally and has legions of female (and some male) fans that would take a bullet for him. Yesterday I was reading that he has garnered over 110,000 subscribers in 20 months. Holy shit, right? He had a few very heartfelt posts that went viral and BAM!- he’s a blogging superstar now! SDL is a good writer, but he’s not mind-blowingly amazing. My theory is that his success is because he’s a devoted single dad who loves his kid, loves his life and loves helping others. He’s a rarity in this world and people respond well to it (when I say people I mean women).
As for Mom blogs, considering the majority of bloggers are women between the ages of 21-35, it seems obvious that blogs about new mommies and their beautiful lives would be a popular attraction. Also, a lot of young moms are a.) Scared shitless and want to read about other moms so they know they’re not alone/going crazy and b.) May have time on their hands to read blogs if they’re working/caregiving from home. Throw in cute pictures of babies and a new found sense of design aesthetic (you spent a lot of time designing your kid’s room, so a beautiful blog should be easy to design) and you got yourself a guaranteed avenue for gaining followers. Check out this Copyblogger article on Five Reasons Why Mom Blogs are the Blogs to Watch.
Ok, fashion bloggers. The bane of my existence. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fashion blogs I love. I’m friends with some fashion bloggers. Some fashion blogs are more than just narcissistic photos of oneself. Then some of them aren’t and it seems like those are the ones that are wildly popular. I’m not sure why other than that when someone dangles a shiny carrot in front of the majority of human beings, everyone goes “ooooh”. This is going to sound totally bitchy and I’ve never admitted this publicly before, but shit, when you spend a lot of time writing and no one reads it, then this little hot teeny-bopper posts one picture of herself with zero original content and everyone goes ga-ga over it and then the teeny-bopper gets offered loads of money from various companies it seems kind of not fair, right? But I guess life is not fair. What I’m trying to say is, there is a good chance people will care more about what you wear over what you think. It just boils down to if that is the demographic you’re looking to attract.
So that’s what I’ve learned about blogging. If you want to gain followers the fast and easy way, this is what you should do.
If you want to blog about your pet hamster, Pinochle, and your tendency to fart a lot and your undying love for Jonathan Brandis, you should do that too. Having an original voice gains you followers as well. Just not always the fast way.
hey, i think your new blog title is a good way to get followers, too. it’s a fact, people like bad words, seriously! do i wanna read “East Austin” or “God damn, East Austin?” I don’t even say that word, (which i timidly refer to as “GD” when forced to say it aloud,) but you bet your betty i’m gonna be reading a blog that has it in the title. i’m thinking of changing my band’s name from “Calliope Musicals” to “Calliope Musicals, Bitch” so that people like us because of our dirty-word, edgy name (oh yeah, and our content, too) 🙂
carrie! that is an excellent point. i wish i thought of that to add in here. you are right. most people like swear words. i know i do!
i them even more when you call em “swear words,” tehe
Love everything about this post. Your writing is so natural and relatable.
Please follow my blog libraryfans.blogspot.com
I feel you on this. My blog will probably not get very big, but I’m okay with that because I like the freedom to write whatever the hell I want.
I do like some fashion blogs, and I have been know to post “style” posts, but the ones that seem to be the most famous are also the most irritating and narcissistic. Not sure who’s buying into that, but a lot are I guess.
That said, I think you’ve achieved success with this blog. You have a decent following and you’ve already received a blog of note. How cool is that? 🙂
Thanks, Alexandra. I appreciate that. This blogging journey has been a fun one. I don’t think I ever told you this, but my name would have been Alexandra if it wasn’t Lauren.
Ha, I didn’t know that! You are an honorary Alexandra in my book 🙂
My dad wanted to name me Zoe, but my mom didn’t like it. I think I would be a good Zoe.
You are so spot on with this. Especially with the mom blogs and fashion blogs. It bothers me too, although I’m not sure why…I’ll never have a wildly successful blog. But still…the fashion blogs really get to me for some reason. I catch myself thinking, “Wow, I wish I had money to spend on ridiculously expensive clothes so I can take a million pictures and pretend I’m a model and have everyone tell me how cute I am!” Then I snap back to reality and realize I’d never do that shit.
Yeah, I have to watch my self sometimes when I’m thinking negative thoughts about fashion blogs. I like to be a positive person, but fashion blogs challenge my patience.
Can you read my blog and tell me what you think? I totally love your blog. I want feed back, ive been working on mind for about a week or so and want it tobe big as yours
The problem with mom bloggers is that the majority of their readers are OTHER MOM BLOGGERS. The blogging community is very supportive, but I hit a fork in the road when I realized that I wanted readers, not just other bloggers reading my blog because we happen to run in the same twitter circles. I’m a mom who blogs, but like you, I don’t want my blog to necessarily be my main source of income — I want to write all over the place. I’m blown away by the mom blogs that started out blogging and writing about their lives and now all they do is giveaways and reviews. Others post some of the crappiest (and unauthentic) content, and get 50 comments of “Oh, that was so lovely!”
I don’t post anything too controversial or timely or anything that really causes a stir. But I hope that my readers enjoy reading what I have to say, whether it’s about how I rescued my daughter’s My Little Pony from some local punks or how I taught my kids to say “It’s Suge Knight’s birthday!” And if it opens doors for me to write elsewhere? Bonus.
I’m not a mommy blogger, but I’d definitely want to read these stories: “how I rescued my daughter’s My Little Pony from some local punks or how I taught my kids to say “It’s Suge Knight’s birthday!”
I second that!
Well if you insist. 😉
This is why I love you. The next time someone tells me I can’t possibly write about my baggage, adoration for Austin, raising four kids, and that I am addicted to sno cones all on one blog….I’m sending them to you. You make me want to write! .<3
Awww thanks, Amanda!
If I was hot and pouty and understood fashion, I could ditch my blog posts completely and replace them with hot pictures of moi.
I would also save hours and hours of my time thinking of ideas, writing, editing and trying (too hard) to be funny.
But what’s life without a challenge, right? Are least we’re trying. And that’s something.
But my blog is about my personal life. I am really as superficial as the drivel that populates my posts.
I think with most guys you have to read between the lines and then reverse engineer whatever you thought they were saying… except for Suldog.
I’ve been reading your stuff for a while, and, well, it’s good. It’s real and straightforward; great commentary. Having a niche is very very important in business, no argument there. Keeping people is the second part of the equation, and you are doing that well. 🙂
My blog is about how I’m dealing with the aftermath of a bad breakup. No one reads it.
And I’m okay with that.
I don’t get fashion blogs though. Maybe because I never wear anything fancier than jeans and a tshirt.
Awww! I’m sorry, Stephanie. Blogging is a great way to deal with something like that. Believe me, I have my fair share of break up stories on here (some were not so nice years ago).
For reason this is the first comment I think I’ve ever made on your blog, which was definitely one of the first I added to my google reader blogroll when I discovered how to use it about three years ago.
I don’t have much to say, except that yours really is one of my favorites!
Yes! I’ve been blogging a really long time, so I’ve seen the medium change a lot over the years… and as of late, I’ve been trying to get more into making a regular habit of it and grow a following again and whatnot, and so I’ve been reading all of these blogging how-tos and like you said… it’s all “Pick a niche and stick to it! You won’t get any followers or advertisers otherwise!” and I at times I find it disheartening because I remember a time when it wasn’t like that…
I’ve chosen to stay nicheless despite the fact that it might take longer to develop a following because it’s what works for me. I’m not obsessively into one particular niche, I’m into lots of different things but not enough to sustain individual blogs on topics. I like keeping things centralized in my world… and if the rest of the world don’t like it… well, tough cookies.
Amen, Nikkiana! I think we have the same ideology.
About the fashion bloggers- so true.
cute dress! where did you get it?
[…] had this great entry last week called How To Gain Blog Followers The Fast Way which I found myself nodding along to so vigorously that I think it stopped being a nod and started […]
Haha, I agree with everything. Hey but we can’t all be fashionable Mum’s with dicks, right? Niche’s may be popular, but there’s so many of them. There’s only one Hipstercrite-esque blog I’ve come across, and that’s this one. Quality, not quantity. It applies to blogs, also. You may not have the hundreds of thousands of hits, but you can keep a loyal following of a handful. That’s more rewarding.
Ha! Very true. This explains my lack of followers. ;P
So glad to see someone else react over this “niche” hysteria. I agree with everything. I really have a problem too with fashion blogs, I mean how interesting can it be to look at 10 photos of clothes and shoes??! Or these mommy bloggers who now only do reviews and giveaways, boring boring boring. If I want to find products I go to a webshop, not to a blog. Oh yeah. Grow a dick, huh? But I think most male blogs are uninteresting. Most of them blog about the newest iPhone apps (and similar). I can find those on App store..
No more niche!
I totally agree. 100%. This chick at my work gave me a huge lecture after I told her that I’m not trying to make money with my blog. She said that I’m falling into an old way of female thinking and that women need to believe they can make just as much money as men and bla bla bla. And I was like, “Nah.”
The very reason I started my blog was creative freedom. And it’s awesome.
I love-love-love this. It makes me upset when I see other bloggers, especially big bloggers, that write whatever they want – or even worse, just post photos and write nothing whatsoever – and have tons of followers. Worse? When they have 50-70 comments on each of their posts and can’t find the time to respond back. I feel like it’s really awful! Especially for the people who are taking time to comment and read these blogs! I know, we’re all crunched for time in our daily lives… but really?
I know. It stings a bit when you see stuff like that. Who knows? Maybe they don’t have the time? Then they should get an intern/assistant to respond for them! 🙂
Hello, i come her to support and smile for you 🙂 please support and smile back to me 🙂 thanks..
Hmmm, if I took a bunch of snaps of myself in fitness attire especially post-workout, it would be what is commonly referred to is a “hot mess” or “NAGL”.. and why embarrass myself like that?
I am not ready for kids, either!
Thank you so much for sharing these great blogging tips. I am a writer and found this information to be very helpful. If you are interested in reading a fiction series, my blog can be found at jrleyvas.net.
Great tips and your last paragraph had me giggling outloud 😛
See also for people who take bad photos of lame food and have 2000 followers in a month. Pasta with red sauce taken with a cell (not smart) phone? 156 likes. Gives an image of who is really out there in the amateur blogosphere.
You’re hilarious. The thing about fashion bloggers being the online equivalent of the prom queen is so spot on…like seriously. I’ve been thinking that for a while.
This is so true and so hilarious!
I still haven’t made me any outfit pictures, and I have like .. 5 followers ., Maybe i should start taking pictures of my self.. Whatever, I like writing excatly what i’m thinking, the followers must come when they will …..
Well, take a look at my blog if you want to!
I love this post, Lauren. It’s true that we always care about blog traffic, but sometimes it’s better to be able to not care and just write what you feel. I love my blog and I wouldn’t change it just to get followers. Well done, Lauren!
You are absolutely right
in starting a new blog I quickly found out that those who have made it in the blogging world are in the above categories mentioned. I am a happy medium, I blog about my journey in TTC as well as fashion, life, and everything in between. Hope that gets me followers! Check out my page =)
Ha! Your post made me laugh out loud. I love how authentic your voice is. As a new mom blogger (hee hee) I’m hoping and trying to make a little side income and I’m glad to hear that mom blogs are the next big thing! I doubt I’ll post many pictures of what I’m wearing though. Unless baby-food stains and sweats are stylish these days ;p.
I hardly comment, however I read a few of the comments on this page How To Gain Blog Followers The Fast Way.
I actually do have some questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be only me or do a few of the remarks look like they are left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on other online sites, I would like to follow you. Could you list of the complete urls of your social community pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
Your blog has given me some great help/tip so thank you:)
This is a great post x
Genius post. Genius blog. I am a new follower and fan! Would love if you followed me back: http://www.dramatiquedesigns.wordpress.com
This is awesome. It is all in the delivery of information. People can say things over and over, but what makes it interesting is someone who is going to say the same thing differently.
I’m going to be a blog hoe and ask people to follow me if I follow them. Just started in the game, and would lurve to connect to like minded people. Btw, It’s on Natural health!
Wow this is a nice blog with very nice people. I have recently started blogging and l must confess l hate the really successful ones. I work hard and go out of my way for only a few followers and some dont even come back. Makes me wish l was also male so that l could start talking about love ande feelings. Look at Dr Phil he is making it because of all those feeling talks.
I love how unfiltered your blog is, definitely 15489202x better than those phony blogs out there ahhaha, but thanks for the post, I’m definitely a new reader! Check out my blog: butimbrenda.com