It’s been over 3 years since I started blogging. The world of blogging has changed and grown so much over that time. I’ve spoken before about the things that you need to successful in the blogging world, the things that can’t be bought or read in a book. Many of the guides also delved into the world of social media, and how you need it to grow your blog. It would seem that you can’t have one without the other.
Vanessa from 26 Years and Counting wrote this post about one of the methods that is most commonly used to grow social media following…like for a like. There are so many people out there on social media and who blog, that it’s really absurd to think that we *have* to like everyone.
Reading that post, gave me a lot of food for thought. I admin a group whose sole purpose is like for like. However I don’t police this group, it is up to the members to hold up their end of the bargain, and interact with the pages and businesses that interest them. We’re all adults and I can’t force people to like something.
I have discovered new blogs and businesses that I really like and even better I have discovered the wonderful people who are behind those blogs and businesses. So I was kind of torn on the whole like for like issue. I can see the issue with like for like. I can see how people get upset when they have made the effort, but other people haven’t held up their end of the bargain. However the post and the later thoughts threw me on to a completely different train of thought.
A quick Google will give you hundreds of thousands of articles about how to grow your following, how to find the next customer and how to bring in the readers. The thing that I think that people lose sight in all of that though, is that they already have a following.
I worry that while we are off chasing that next follower that we forget the people who have supported us from the beginning. The people who were cheering us along when we weren’t sure if we could keep writing. The people who let us know that they are thinking about us, that they enjoy what we write.
The next time you ask how to grow your following, how to get more eyes on your words, I ask you to thank the people that have been there all along. I ask you to remember the ‘little’ people who have supported you and continue to support you. After all, it’s much better to have a community who loves to hear from you, who feel appreciated than a mass of faces who don’t know how hard you worked to get here.
Are you always seeking that elusive ‘more’ following? When was the last time you thanked the people who support you in your life?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT!
Guess what … I actually just yesterday scheduled a post on my Cheer Chick Charlie Facebook page (to come out today at 2.00pm) welcoming all my new followers. Plus I did a big thank you post over there thanking all of our customers for the last week for giving me a record week of online sales.
I agree – it’s super important.
Gratitude is everything.
PS I don’t like the like for a like thing. It feels un-genuine. Like high school and friendship groups. I’d prefer to attract a handful of the right people rather than a shitload of the wrong ones.
I used to thank my Facebook likers everytime I got a few new ones, but now they’re only coming in in dribs and drabs, that I don’t feel the need. I have thanked my readers a few times in various blog posts, but all the time I thank my husband, sister, family etc who stand behind me 100 % with my blog. Couldn’t do it without them.
On twitter I do like for like, cos I think why not? And if they like what I’m spruiking, then there’s a good chance I’ll like what they’re spruiking. There are of course about 600 rally drivers I follow (who don’t like me back) because come Jan, I want to see their Dakar photos (and Mongol Rally photos midyear). I love that about this time, my twitter feed gets a sprinkling of Dutch posts…it’s hilarious….I know the cars & trucks are being loaded for the ship to South America….hee hee!
I used to get upset early on in my blogging career when I’d make such an effort to like other blogs and comment whether it through FB like posts or blog linkys, and I noticed not many of the others really did. They simply just posted their blog and off they went.
Luckily I’m over that now.
You are exactly right. We can’t like everything. How boring would that be?
Now if I’m reading a post, it has to resonate with me to comment and if it doesn’t I don’t. Even if it’s my favourite blogger. And I’ve realised that is okay.
Great thought provoking post. x
A great read.
I have finally ignored the whole likes thing once and for all. I don’t think about it now and simply blog for me – the freedom! It seems to be working as I grow at a fairly steady pace and I am having fun and I guess those two things combined are what we blog for to begin with. It’s great to have people join you on your blogging journey.
I try to show gratitude to my readers as often as I can, I might not always show it but I definitely feel it. I tried the like for likes thing once but I found that I felt forced to like things I didn’t resonate with and I didn’t really want likes from people who weren’t going to engage with me. I decided that a slow organic but true growth was for me.
Very good point!
Going back to the blogs of people who have commented on my site is something I don’t do often enough. I think this entire concept is so easily forgotten – by bloggers but also by businesses. I’ve read so many times that it’s easier to keep a client than to get a new one – yet look at companies (telcos are a great example) who offer their new customers the world and ignore their current ones.
Thanks for the mention – and to think I didn’t know if that post was too controversial to hit publish on! So glad I did now 🙂
I thanked everyone in my 50th post recently. I don’t have that many readers, but I really value the ones that I do have. I constantly thank my husband and my mum for being fabulous. I am big on making people know that I appreciate their efforts.
Um, maybe this was churlish of me – I was really tired after a day in a car travelling 400 unexpected kilometres with a sick toddler – but after I said I would participate in a like for like, for the first time, and methodically going in and liking the fb pages of over 30 blogs, I got only 1 single like back after about 8 hours and I was really annoyed with those blogs and I went back and methodically unliked their pages, because to me that is so unfair. Like I said, I was probably more sensitive due to exhaustion, but really, I won’t be bothering with a like for like again, and I don’t actually want “likers” who have no genuine interest in my content.
It is basic good business to look after the clients you already have. It is very hard to get new clients, so it just makes sense to ask them what they want and look after their needs.
Yes. This exactly. I love this so much.
I don’t like ‘like for a like’ and don’t do it anymore. I’m confident with people not liking me, and my time is precious. I will like those I like, I don’t expect more from others.
And quite honestly, I’ve stopped trying to actively grow my blog. If it happens, great, if not I’m ok with that. My stats have been the same for the last 18 months and it used to bother me, but now it doesn’t so much. I just makes me appreciate those that are still around.
It’s one of the reasons I love IBOT. Some bloggers have been there since the day it started, and I feel like we’ve all grown together. And yes I love all the new faces who have joined in as well, but that’s because of the community. Likes are not anywhere near as important as the community you build.
Very interesting Tegan. I only started my blog in March and I did a day course to kick things off. The teacher basically said to focus on the readers you have. If you impact one person, that’s something. My following is small, and I try really hard not to be concerned about that, because I know a lot of them are really legitimate readers and actually get something out of what I write. That’s the point for me I think.
This post is Gold Tegan. I agree in looking after your first followers and readers and I abandoned the whole facebook like for a like ages ago. I want genuine followers who like what I write and I then know how to write to make my posts more useful and ones that they will actually read.
I know I am always grateful for all the people who have been there reading my tripe from the start, you being one of them!!
I don’t even look at my stats any more. I link on Tuesdays, try to read and comment one as many other blogs who link up as I can, and then hope that they might read me, too. Blogging has taken a massive back seat for me in the last 6 months. But I can’t seem to just let it go, either. I think it is all about interaction, and that takes so much time. Great post x Aroha (for #teamIBOT)
I know I don’t get to read and comment on as many blogs as I would like, and it makes me feel bad. But I do try to interview and promote others on my blog, and love that people join in.
I’ve come up with a new way to do this with even more blogs, and will be putting all the details out there in the next couple of weeks.
A lot of the time I read on my phone, and can’t comment, then don’t manage to get back to comment. An excuse I know, but it’s all I can fit in at the moment.
Stats are practically non-existent on my blog, and it’s never been about the numbers anyway. The community is what keeps me going. This is a really though provoking post, Tegan x
I love my loyal community Tegan. They keep coming back and I find particularly that there are about 200 women that I truly enjoy their comments, wonder if they haven’t popped up on Facebook lately if they are ok, and feel like they help me get through some hard days. The actual number chasing and blogging part of that is wearing me down a little though.
Great post Tegan and great that the comments resonate too – I think most people are on the same page with this.
I like the ‘like for a like’ idea in the sense that it gives people the opportunity to see your content, but when it comes to the ‘like for a like’ deal, I guess you an expect to lose followers afterwards too because it isn’t what everyone wants to follow. I think if you like it initially and then choose to unfollow that you have still done your part but to like for the sake of liking and gaining numbers I think gives you a false sense of community. You know I don’t blog, but I would much rather you have people genuinely following you rather than hiding your content from their site because they feel obliged to ‘like’ you. As you said at the end, it is the little people who matter. I have learned so much from your blog, about you and about mental illness and each post stays in my email until I have read it. I don’t always have words to reply though 🙂
Well said Tegan. It is something I try to remind myself of when I start chasing numbers!
Honestly, I don’t give a rats how many people I have following me on FB. Anything better than zero is awesome, and I know they are all there because they like my blog and want to connect with me.
Oh, and I did the “like for a like” thing once through a blogging group and had the same experience as Dani. Everyone was happy to take my likes and not reciprocate. Fuck that. Rude.
Such a wonderful post, Tegan! This really resonated with me <3 My blog is only small, but I have never been in it for the 'fame' side of things…My only aim has been to try to reach out to others in need, and if I manage to help just one reader out there, than that is a success to me 🙂 I have spent so many years feeling so alone and isolated due to my mental illness, hence why it is so important for me to connect with any others who may benefit from my experiences and reassurance…I'm sure as a mental health blogger yourself you know what I am saying here 🙂 A handful of genuine readers mean so much more to me than any who choose to like my page only so that I can reciprocate and increase their own followers….It is natural for us to all have different likes and dislikes, and to resonate with some blogs more than others…These days I only try to keep up with the ones I truly value reading ~ yours being one of these 🙂 x x
I do the like for like thing as I like finding new blogs to follow (particularly new Aussie blogs) and I do get a little annoyed when people don’t reciprocate, but I’m lucky enough that the audience I have is very engaged, I’ve never had trouble with Facebook reach despite everyone else complaining about it because my audience seem to genuinely like my content. So I’m happy with that! Some of my followers have been reading my writing since I was at OHbaby! in NZ 10 years ago and I really appreciate that.
Yes Yes Yes Megan.
Love this point you have made and totally agree with it.
I’d rather have fewer likes than have ungenuine likes. I don’t believe in likes for likes, or for paying for random number of likers to be added to your Facebook page either.
I prefer to focus on engagement. If my followers are interested and like what I’m doing then my numbers slowly increase on their own (and it is slowly, but i’d rather that) x