Jan 22, 2010

Five truths about followers and comments

I have been doing this thing for about 4 months, and have learned a lot about how to get more followers and how to get more comments.  Neither of which I feel like I have an exhaustive amount of experience with, but because I can make observations and love to take things I've observed and write them down... this is what I have learned about these two things.

My confession:  The only thing that motivated me at the beginning is to see how long it would take to get to 100 followers.  It's true.  It was like a sim game or something.  I did various different things, tried different combos of things all to see that number increase.  I hope you still like me after I've confessed this.

Sadly, by the time I finally hit 100 followers, last week, I just don't care as much.  Don't get me wrong!! I love getting new followers and hearing from those who find the time to read and comment, I just discovered the secret of blogging, which is more in the unique relationships that are formed and not as much in the sheer number of followers.  That said... it's still satisfying to see that number hovering near 125... which is amazing to me.  At the beginning of January I swear I was still in the 80s.


So here you go: Five truths about followers and comments.

1. The number of followers you get is directly related to three things.
  • How many blogs you visit, comment on and follow on a day to day basis.
  • How well you write/ what you write about. FYI Funny people get more followers
  • How many followers you already have (the more you have, the more you get, people will automatically follow you if they see that a lot of people follow you, this has to do with the herd mentality,  the illogical but helpful fear of missing out or maybe a "tipping point" law of followers - you hit a point and it becomes effortless to get more followers)

2. The number of comments you get is directly related to three things:
  • The number of followers you have divided by 10 - this is the average number of comments you will get on any random post.
  • How often you respond to comments. If you never respond, you will get fewer... no one likes to be ignored. If you respond all the time, people will start to view you as a friend, and will therefore comment more.
  • What the post is about. High response posts seem to be controversial, or randomly humorous posts and of course giveaways. Low response posts are Reviews (if there is no giveaway), and Memes that don't require or garner a response. Like a random picture of a dog sleeping. If it's not really cute, no one has anything to say.
 3. You can get followers from places like SITS or by participating in blog hops. 
However, I have discovered that if you want those followers to become more than occasional lurkers or people who visit, follow and never find you again, you have to go visit them and comment. 
Commenting seems to get a response.  Most of my bloggy friends are people who started that way, below the label that says "These people gave me blog love", someone who commented, so I followed them.
I would guess that they came back because I returned the favor and visited them.  Back and forth and back and forth etc. Finally I got to move them up to the Bloggy Friends list because they are constant commentators.

4. There are things that will keep people from following you and commenting on your blog. 
  • Some people will be sensitive to a R rated blog, so foul language might turn someone off. Or offensive stories, themes etc.  You might not care, but it's something to consider. 
  • WORD VERIFICATION people.  Just turn it off.  I'm serious. Ready? Click Customize, Click Settings, Click Comments.  Scroll down to the 10th question and say NO to the question "Require word verification?".  If you are worried about spam, do NOT allow anonymous comments, that will nip it in the bud right there.
  • MUSIC that plays automatically. I have a bloggy friend or two that still have this.  Please make it go away.  I try to comment as fast as I can so it doesn't load... so my comments are lame, JS
  • If I am following someone and make a comment and they respond in a snarky way, I actually UN follow them, it's just not worth it. I mean, I can be misunderstood at my own house, why do I need it in the blogosphere?
5. Please don't forget the golden rule: treat others how you wish to be treated.
What ever you want to call it, Karma, reaping what you sow, or whatevs.
If you want to have followers: BE a FOLLOWER.
If you want to have faithful commentators:  BE a faithful commentator.
If you want to have bloggy friends: BE a bloggy friend.
If you want to have readers: BE a reader.

Just me, AJ

27 comments:

  1. Amen!

    It "took" me 2 1/2 years to get 100 followers, so I hate people who get a blog and three months later have 500 followers. UGH.

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  2. I am still going to be writing my blog with 150 followers as I was doing with 2. I didn't start blogging because I wanted to be the Master Blogger, I started because I enjoy writing. That will not change! I love having followers but I also love knowing that my blog is MY blog and reflects me.

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  3. Ohmygosh! So perfect and I agree 100%!!!!!


    Word verification is the bane of blogging!!!

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  4. This is a great post! All new bloggers should read it. I've never thought about the followers divided by 10 thing....,

    I can add one thing, too. If you don't post too much you will get more comments. When I only post every other day the comments really build up. That's not why I don't post every day. (I do it because of time constraints and real life.) But if you are someone who posts 2 or 3 times a day, don't expect 100 comments on each post.

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  5. Very true. I only have 23 followers on one blog and 6 on the other and I love the fact that anyone at all wants to read what I have to say - of course, I would love to have 100+ readers too! ;)

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  6. All of the things are true on this. Absolutely. The only thing I am terrible about is commenting back during the work day - it's so hard to get everything done at work and not lose my job - I want to sit and respond to every person! I feel guilty sometimes but at the end, also remember - do what you can. you find the balance and the love for your bloggy friends when you can.
    Kiran

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  7. i'm definitely with you on #5 the golden rule of blogging! we always need to remember to treat others how we want to be treated... although sometimes i have to remember some people mistake my sarcasm! :o

    have a great weekend, aj!!

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  8. I like the word "bloggy"...not sure why but it makes me happy! had fun seeing you tonight!

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  9. Found your blog off BoobNazi's. I'm a very occasional lurker around the blogosphere.
    I have to admit - this kindof blew my mind. I rarely think of blogging as anything more than showing pictures of my kid to my fam and friends.
    I don't even know the definition of several blogging terms you used here.

    So... thankyou for broadening my horizons. I'll click the follow button cuz it makes you happy. And I need some karma my way :)

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  10. Well thought out. I never thought about the comments divided by 10 thing either. Last month it felt like i hovered around 161 followers like FOREVER! Now I am 175. Pretty soon if I play my cards right i will have 200 followers! Unfathomable to me. But really All I care about it making connections with people in the blogosphere. Followers are nice cause them you like know ppl are reading you.

    I would also add Twitter. If you broadcast your well written blog posts on twitter, you will get more hits to your blog. And Fridays are kinda lame to get comments on. i mean end of the week, nobody really comments. Mon Tues and WED are the best days i think.
    Any-hoo I usually publish Mon-Fri leave weekends out.

    Are you on twitter?
    I think u should be. Think about it.

    Have a great weekend!

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  11. You know, I have to say I think I get the most comments on Fridays. But maybe it's because I name drop all over the place on friday? Hmm.

    And for the record, I kept coming back because I like what you have to say... not because you comment on my blog. Well, maybe that's how it started but now I just love you for you.

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  12. Very good advice, indeed. When I began my blog over a year ago I was unaware of these "rules". It wasn't until I began replying to comments (via email, rather than in my comments section) that my circle of followers began to grow.

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  13. Cool post. I don't know if I've ever commented before or am just a lurker :) I know that I'm always thrilled when I get a new follower - it's as exciting as making a new friend. I blog because I don't know anyone in real life that is too much like me but I can find so many kindred spirits online!

    I also like your point about herd mentality. I am one of that herd ;-) I love to find new blogs to read and when I'm checking out blogs on my reader and I keep seeing that they share a blog follower or a recommended blog, I definitely check it out. I figure that if I like their blogs, I'll probably like the blogs they like!

    I also agree with the music - and as someone who shouldn't be checking blogs at work but sometimes does, music is a surefire way to never get read again!

    Stacy

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  14. I was referred on to you by Masala Chica. You make some really good points here! I'm about to go check out the rest of your blog!

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  15. Good advice! I got rid of the word verification!

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  16. Great post, thanks for the tips! :)

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  17. Great insight! I've never really did the math, but the divided by 10 thing...sounds right. (not to mention, I'm in awe that you actually thought about it in that depth! ) seriously, those are some great points, and equally great advice! Thanks!

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  18. These are great tips! I hate blogs with music. I always hit mute on my computer before I read blogs. Just in case... :) And that word verification!! Argh! Hate it! Sometimes the word verification is longer than my comment!

    The problem with getting more and more followers is that it becomes so hard to keep up. You want to respond to everyone and comment and sometimes it's just so hard!

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  19. Word verification. Ughhhh. Can't stand it!

    This is a wonderful post! I have about 200 in my RSS and still only bet 15-50 comments per post. lol.

    Great tips. I visit everyone who leaves a comment, is on the blog frog and in my GFC. And I still use my own blogroll. I don't email everyone that comments me though. I think visiting their blog is more of a statement.

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  20. i really like this post--you have no idea. I talk to the husband all the time about my bipolar feelings towards followers/commenting. great tips!

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  21. Thanks so much for these tips. I have been trying all sorts of things to gain followers as well. Stopping by from follow me friday, by the way. Also the foolish thing you did in the other post...we have all made those errors. So glad that you learned from it and the lady accepted your apology.
    http://tallysplace.blogspot.com/2010/01/giveaway-finally.html

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  22. Great insights! Thanks for sharing. I've just started a new blog and this will give me something to think about.

    I do word verification now on my blog because there was a time when someone left a comment on my friends blog and when you clicked on the persons name to see who it was, a file automatically started loading. It ended up crashing her computer. The guy also ended up leaving comments on all the blogs listed on her side bar. Very random probably, but it was a little scary!

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  23. Great post with great recommendations. I'm passing it on.

    Interesting one about the Word Verification it had never occurred to me but it makes sense.

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  24. This is a really great post. I couldn't agree with you more on ALL of it. Especially music and word verifications, two total pet peeves of mine. Thanks for the info here, glad I found it!

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