Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to help you on your way.

What is the best way to gather more followers? – Alexander

I haven’t gotten one of these questions in awhile, so I thought it might be time to tackle this again, since I might be having to build my audience again (thank you GFC and my transition to WordPress).

Build a Following & Get New Followers

Get Social!

Start by getting on social networks and forums. Check out twitter and Facebook and Book Bloggers on Ning. Post in forums and always leave your link. But don’t be in your face about it. Just post it at the end of your signature. Here is an example:

Parajunkee @ parajunkee.com

Get on Twitter and follow other bloggers and readers and authors. Retweet interesting things and reply to certain tweets that the people you follow send out. A lot of the times just saying hi will get them to follow you back.

Jump on Facebook and create a fan page. It’s very simple there is just a button at the top of other people’s Like pages that says Create A Page. Follow the directions and soon you’ll have your own LIKE. Don’t forget in INFO to put your URL! Then staying LOGGED IN as your Fan page (there is away to Use Facebook as YOUR BLOG – check the top right hand column) go and like other people’s blogs. If you see questions on them or places to comment — say something pertinent. Get involved. Comment, follow and like. You need to get yourself out there if you want people to find you.

Goodreads is also a great forum for finding friends and followers. Jump on there and see who shares your tastes in books. Befriend them and start commenting and saying hi.

Most of the time getting that first onslaught of followers is by extending that olive branch yourself. You introduce yourself and follow them and they’ll follow back. Befriend on Goodreads, follow on Twitter, Like on Facebook. Comment, say Hi, send out invites.

Memes & Hops

Memes and Hops are good ways to have scheduled social blog follows. There are several out there, some are oriented for just book bloggers and others are for just blogs in general. The good thing about Memes and Hops is that they give you specific directions and rules on how to participate and a set day to visit blogs. Also, most blogs since they are participating are open to following back. For memes the host usually provides a link-up widget where you give your link for the general public to follow. I also suggest visiting the other blogs that are participating in the memes and saying hi. Try to make your comments engaging though, just saying “Check out my post — LINK” might be thought to be spam. Make sure your comments are pertinent to the post of the blogger.

On this blog Feature & Follow is hosted and I’ve heard a Feature blogger can go up 200 followers in one day. Well, I haven’t just heard, I’ve witnessed it. Of course the blogger had only about 20 followers to begin with and it was one of our greatest #FF turnouts. These types of shameless follower gaining is good when others are in line with you. Everyone is looking for more followers — they just have to be receptive when you are looking also. Memes and Hops are your ticket to receptive potential followers.

Giveaways & Giveaway Hops

Said to be the biggest FOLLOWER gainers, giveaways and giveaway hops can jump your follower count by the hundreds depending on the prize that is up for grabs. Some think it is cheesy to require a follow for a giveaway, but others think that it is just a common courtesy to ask for a follow.

Bloggers with low followers make the decision to join a giveaway hop because what is the point of having a giveaway when no one knows about it? Join a hop and everyone involved in the hop will no about your giveaway. Put a great prize up for grabs and your giveaway will sure to get a lot of attention and then of course — gain followers.

During a twitter conversation last night a few bloggers mentioned that their Hops were some of the most view pages on their blogs, check them out and see if this is something you would like to participate in:

For Adult Only Book Bloggers Check out Red Hot Book’s Giveaway Hop
For Romance we have two: Grace’s Romance Giveaway Hop & Reading Romance’s Giveaway Hope
For a YA Giveaway Hop

Networking

Networking is not just a business term. Have you noticed a reoccurring theme in gaining followers?? Follow them first. Say hi. Get yourself noticed by visiting other’s blogs and social sites. Networking stems to every part of the online world and the basic of that is by visiting other blogs and commenting. Be sure to leave your link in the comments, but do not spam. By not spamming, I mean, make sure your comment is thoughtful and shows through as you. Read their post and mention something specific in the post. Just like if you were looking for a boyfriend — you wouldn’t just walk up to a cute guy and drop your dress would you? No! Well, I hope not. You would make conversation, say something meaningful and hopefully they’ll follow you back to the bar and buy you a drink before the dress drops. Same thing goes with a follow.

Pump Up Your Posts

Make sure that you are posting well thought out and original content. The main thing about a follower is that they are a READER of your blog. In order to become a fan of your blog and diligently follow you, you have to provide them with content that they will want to read. Make sure what you are publishing is something that they want to read.

Tell everyone about your Giveaways & Hops

Get social here. If you have a Hop or Giveaway let us know about it with the linky tool

XO – Happy Thursday, Talk Less, Read More.

I can’t get to all the questions, but please ask your BB101 Questions here…bring it on.