The other day on Goodreads, someone posted a question seeking suggestions on how to start a blog:

Hi my name is Mandy and I’m looking to start a blog. I was just looking for some suggestions on which platform people like best, different ideas to help increase a following. Things like that. In particular I want to know from the perspective of a blogger, which platform is easiest to work with. And from the perspective of a reader, what makes you want to follow someone’s blog. I have been reviewing fora while, and I want to take it to the next level. I want it to look professional. I will probably post mostly reviews and some giveaways. So please, any helpful suggestions are very appreciated.

There are lots of platforms on the market from WordPress to Blogger and as I haven’t used them all before, I didn’t think I was the best person to give advice. However, there are some basic questions anyone looking to start a blog (or any business for that matter) needs to ask him/herself. After posting my reply to the question, I thought that that was very useful info and there’s a possibility that someone who follows my blog may find it useful. So I decided to republish my reply here. Here you go:

Hi there,

You have asked the holy grail of questions “how to increase the number of blog followers?”

 

If you read articles by the experts they’ll tell you that, you need to define your ideal follower. Who is this person? What does this person do? etc etc But most importantly, why should this person follow you? What problem will you be solving if following you is the best way to resolve that problem?

 

There are lots of bloggers out there already. What is your unique selling point? What is it you have to offer that other bloggers don’t?

 

As your post is on Goodreads, I can make the assumption that you want to be a book blogger. As the person above already mentioned, you are very likely going to get a lot of authors as website visitors for the simply reason that authors can never get enough book reviewers.

 

If you reach out and connect with other bloggers and maybe join link parties and/or blogging communities, you are very likely going to get a lot of other bloggers as website visitors. New bloggers are in the same position as you and understand that the more visitors who visit their website, that stay on their website will help to reduce their bounce rate and consequently contribute to the increase in their Domain Authority.

 

Both bloggers and authors are likely to leave comments on your blogs. This is actually in their own best interest, especially for blogs that have the commentluv plugin activated.

 

Hosting giveaways is good but other than just posting the giveaway on your blog, what is your strategy for promoting the giveaway? What will you do to let people know about the giveaway? Why would anyone be interested in taking part in your giveaway? I mean, if you go on Amazon, there are lots of free books to download? So what is special about your giveaway? What will you offer people that they are unlikely to get anywhere else?

 

When you are able to answer these questions, you are very well on your way to increasing the number of followers you have. The more people that visit your website, the greater the probability that some of them will subscribe to your mailing list.

 

Also, make sure you have an exit intent pop up to remind visitors to subscribe. I personally hate pop-ups that pop up immediately you visit the site. Another thing you can do is to have Facebook pixels embedded in your website. This way, if you ever consider taking out Facebook ads, Facebook will automatically show your ad to previous website visitors to remind them of your blog.

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There you have it, a few very important questions to ask yourself before you start a blog. You can see the full thread on Goodreads by clicking here.

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