Maintaining a blog, a following on social and sanity is kind of a lot of work. Sometimes you want to grow so fast, that you lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish. Let me tell you, it doesn’t happen over night or even a year.

I’ve recently gotten a lot of questions about starting blogs, growing your following and maintaining engagement. Today I’m laying a few tips out on the line as well as some things I’ve learned in my almost two years of blogging. REMINDER: this is what I like to do in order to grow + things I’ve noticed through my accounts. People may choose to go different routes, which is great! Do you.

The Brunette Blend - Growing Your Online Following

Your content is the bread + butter

The photos you present on your Instagram account should be strategic. YOUR AESTHETIC is your branding. The goal is to have your photos recognized without seeing your handle. I’m not going to lie this is HARD. I’ve changed mine like three times and found one that I actually like and KNOW how to execute. Editing photos is work and can go from fab to drab real quick.

You also want to present quality photos with a purpose. Why are you showing off this particular photo? Does it have a purpose or is it just meeting your posting quota? Sometimes it’s better to skip a day and create great content for the next day instead of sharing a picture of exploded mozzarella sticks on a paper plate.

Pay attention to the following you have

We get it. We want people to follow us and interact with what we’re putting out there. Don’t shut out the people that are helping you get there. Show them some love back. Like a pic, leave a comment, do a giveaway. Recently one of my favorite bands, The Maine, shares an article that hits it on the head. Check it out– How We Turned 1,000 Fans to 100,000 By Actually Giving a S***.

Your follower count will fluctuate (but don’t take it personally)

You’ll gain a few followers then lose 4 the next day. It can be disheartening but I promise it’s really nothing you’re doing (unless you’re posting exploded mozzarella stick photos). I’m sure we’re familiar with the follow/unfollow method. It’s BS if you ask me.

Someone will follow you just so you follow them back to unfollow you the next day to grow their page. Annoying. I stay away from this method because I want to follow people that pump out great + interesting stuff and unfollowing people is last thing I want to do at the end of the day.

Utilize loop giveaways sparingly (and strategically)

If you want to get meaningless followers that don’t care about your stuff, will unfollow you after the giveaway and/or won’t contribute later on, THIS IS FOR YOU. (That was sarcastic). Now I’m not completely knocking loop giveaways. If you and a few blogger friends want to team up and giveaway something, awesome. Do you, but don’t have a million people team up.

Before I started my blog, I saw a blogger share an awesome giveaway of a Kate Spade bag (you know I’m a sucker), probably some rain boots with flowers coming out of them and a gift card to an overpriced department store. You guys, I’m not lying when I say this thing was HORRIBLE. I got through like 15 people (there was still MORE) and called it quits. The prize wasn’t worth me sacrificing an hour to follow god knows how many bloggers. You have to pay to enter these giveaways and I personally think your money is better well spent going toward a prize you can offer to your follower and have them tag a friend for extra entries.

Stay true to who you are

Don’t sell out. Don’t post things because you think that’s what people will double tap. Trust me when I say people can tell when you’re doing things just to do them. It’s bare, there’s no personality and you’re disconnected.

The sparknotes:

-Focus on pushing out quality content that ladders up to your brand/blog

-Embrace + pay attention to your current following. They’re your team, treat them well!

-Your follower count will fluctuate, but don’t fret. You’re getting rid of people who were just looking for a follow or sometimes Instagram deleted fake accounts. BOOM YOUVE GOT THE REAL CROWD NOW!

-Large loop giveaways aren’t always the answer for long term, loyal followed.

-Stay true to who you are. Share things that mean something to you, your followers and future followers. Let your personality shine. Be weird.

Chat soon,