Following on from my little story on Human’s of Dublin earlier this week about the struggles of starting a blog (or anything really), I’ve had quite a few people get in touch with me looking for advice on building a following online.
This is a new kind of blog post for me but it’s actually something I get asked all the time in interviews, by friends, by followers: How did I grow my following?
Whether for a blog or a new business, there’s no doubt that social media plays a very important role in letting people know about it and getting them interested in what you have to offer. Having spent the last 2 years doing just that, I thought I would share some of my top tips that you may find useful:
- Quality and Quantity
Create quality content, and plenty of it. To grow your following you need to be posting regularly, and just because your posting regularly doesn’t mean the quality of what you post can suffer – it can’t. There are ways to make creating quality photos consistently easier:
– Invest in a good camera (I use the Olympus Pen E-PL7 – with the standard pancake and 45” lense)
– Work with a photographer (or find someone who you can work with – you take their photos, they take yours)
– Download some good photo editing apps (My two faves are VSCO cam and Snapseed)
- Have a plan
This is obvious, but really really important, especially at the start. It’s hard to get into the routine of posting often. The more you do it, the more familiar you will become with it, and the easier planning will get.When I began my blog I had a note in my phone with each day of the week and my plan for it, whether it was social media posts or just random ideas for posts. I still plan for everything, I use lists after lists but also I love my Instagram planning app. It’s called UNUM, is free to download and makes planning what you’re going to post in advance a lot easier.
- Stay true to yourself/ your brand
Whether its a personal blog or a company you are starting, you need to be clear of what you/ your brand is about and share messages that ring true to it. Try and stay focused and on-topic so not to confuse your readers. It can be tricky with social media to resist the urge to share anything and everything, but trust me, staying true to your ‘brand’ is the best way to gain a following.
- Tag brands you feature
Whether it’s food, fashion, sports, travel, whatever it is. If you are featuring brands, companies, places on your Instagram, be sure to tag them. Brands often re-post photos, they (usually) give photo credit, and their audience is a great way to get access to a huge number of people (potential followers for you). Brands that do this include: River Island, Boohoo, Primark, Michael Kors, and many more.
This is another thing I found really worked for me at the start – getting mentioned in articles and/or lists with some information on what you do is another way to reach a huge audience who may be interested in your blog/ company. If you are asked to be featured in anything, always ask to include your website and/or social media handle – it’s a great way for people to continue reading more after the article, if they want to.
You can see some press articles I’ve done in the past here.
- Gain Trust and Offer Something Valuable
Last but not least, the most important piece of advice I can give for the best way to build a following is to offer your readers something valuable, gain their trust and give them your honest advice on whatever it is your talking about.
With all of that being said, there are more important things than how many followers you have. Enjoying what you do, and having real, engaged followers (no matter how many) always proves more valuable in the long term.
I just wanted to give some tips, based on my experience. I hope some of them are helpful for those of you who are looking to start something, and interesting for those of you who are just looking. Instagram, blogs, social media in general always looks so spontaneous and easy. But most of the time, if it’s a business, there has been thought put behind everything, and a lot of time.There are plenty more topics similar to this one I could cover if you found this one interesting, let me know what you think 🙂
Before I go, a few words on this look. A pre-mature Spring/Summer look, but what can I say? They’re my colours! I worked with Farfetch for a Dolce & Gabbana collaboration they are doing and they gifted me these lovely peach lace espadrilles (they’re out of stock in the peach now, but here they are in black). These white jeans from Topshop are my absolute favourite, the fit is just amazing, I’d say I’ve worn them 100 times. Time to invest in some new ones! I’m also wearing my new Henry Watch in white and rosegold and an off the shoulder blouse I picked up in River Island last year (I’ve linked a similar one below).
Anyway I hope you all have some fun plans for the weekend, it’s my sisters 21st so I’m heading home for her party. Follow along on Snapchat (lou1409) as always to see what we get up to 🙂
I’ll be back next week with more,
Photos by Johnny McMillan