People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other People

So far on your blog, you might have done everything right, everything that you were advised to do.

Connect with Your Audience

But why is that you are still not getting results with your blog? Crazy fans are not following you, readers are not hanging on to every word and your comments section looks barren?

There might still be one thing missing from your blog, one thing that people come to your blog for – YOU.

There is Too Much Info on the Net, so Why You?

Internet is littered with blogs churning out pieces of information at rapid speed. These blogs might have some readership, but they never reach that cult status they so wish for, unless they are considered a resource guide for all bloggers.

What is it then the other successful blogs are doing? What do all these blogs have in common?

A strong voice.

When you go to their blog, you can see their personality oozing off the screen.

When you are reading their posts, you know only they could have said that. They sound so real that you feel as if you just had a conversation with them.

You come to know little tidbits about their lives, their quirks, their pet peeves. You have a sense of their views. You know their language – it evolves and yet its still very much them.

Their passion, their personality and their language: all translate as an authentic voice on the page. You cannot have enough of that. Not only you love it, you have to share it with others too.

In spite of all the talk about writing in your niche and staying on your topic, they sometimes go off course. And people still hang around – they still pay attention. Only because they are not only coming to the blogger for information – they can get it from anywhere – what they wanna know is what the blogger has to say about that.

Develop a Sense of Connection with Your Readers

The easiest way to develop a sense of connection is to weave the post around a personal story and take that lead to write something that will help your readers. You don’t have to do this in every single post as every post might not require that, but do it frequently.

When you start off with little stories about events that happened in your life and then draw on them to write your post, they come alive. People know exactly where you are coming from, in fact they feel as if they were there with you all along.

They are eager to let you know that they have understood; they are happy to offer their responses to any questions you might have posed. They would be dying to tell you about their experiences as you have shared yours.

Remember not everything is about you though. Share what you have got, but always take interest in your readers. Listen to what they are saying to you. Are you enriching their lives with your stories, are they reporting any results, lack of? Are they wanting more, less? Always listen to them and you will stay on track.

Make Your Posts Stick

Initially every ’7 tips to do this’, ’9 ways to do that post’ will catch your eye and you will open up the email with much anticipation and excitement.

You probably leave a comment as well.

Pretty soon, the rush will begin to die as you catch yourself thinking – oh, no, not another list post. Lists of information get old pretty quickly – unless they have your unique perspective to make it really interesting.

If not done properly, reader will quickly realize that something is missing – a spark – a sense of connection.

That connection comes from you – the author – taking the time to make the post a bit personal, inject your personality in the post, make it your own.

When your visitors read that post, they know only you could have written that post because you are a passionate believer of what you are saying. They really get a gist of you from your posts – its as if you and them are friends.

Start with a story or an anecdote, lead into your body of the post and prove your case. Go narrow, go deep.

Posts with bunch of tips get bookmarked; stories are remembered, responded to and retold.

Make one point per post – make your post memorable

You only follow a blogger when you like them as it is impossible to do it otherwise.

Here is a Little Test

Whenever you come across a great guest post on a blog, do you feel like looking for its author’s name?

Who is this person who has written this gem of a piece? What else have they written, what more can I know about them? Do you want to know these things?

If the post causes that reaction in you, it means that the author has their done their job well. It’s time for you to do the same.

Go on leave your mark on the blogosphere, we are waiting. :)

What attracts you to a particular blog? Why do you sign up for updates? Amongst so many blogging blogs, writing blogs and personal development blogs, what makes one stand out for you? Is having a sense of connection with the author important to you as a reader and vice versa? Share your views in the comments below.

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64 Responses to People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other People
  1. Great point here, Marya! With lots of bloggers focusing on SEO and link building and other techniques to increase their traffic and get a better rank that they completely forget that they also need to connect with their readers. We should always be reminded that we need to balance this with giving readers something that they can keep coming back for in our blogs.
    Adeline recently posted..Travel to Japan for Free with MUJI to GO Travel Promo

    • marya

      Thanks Adeline. I personally only follow blogs where I get a sense of the blogger (All other things such as content and subject matter being equal). If they are too aloof and disconnected, I feel I can find better avenues. Would you follow a blog whos blogger writes in a very guarded manner and never put themselves out there? I am really curious to know.

      • It depends, Marya, to be honest. That’s because I base it on my own personal experience of blogging.

        When I started out two months ago, I admit I was rather guarded and aloof in how I write my first few blog posts. Thanks to the encouragement and support of more established bloggers that have visited my blog and left really encouraging comments, I slowly became more confident of how I blog. Because of that, I slowly started connecting with my readers more and become less aloof.

        Following these “aloof and disconnected” bloggers is my way of helping these bloggers get out of their respective shells, especially if this is the only thing lacking in their blogs.
        Adeline recently posted..An Un-Snobbish Wine Tasting Event at Enderun Colleges

  2. So true, I never thought this way. But it takes quite a while before you develop a ‘strong voice’ and a ‘connection with the readers’, right?
    NextGen Writer recently posted..Bad Side of Good Google – How Search Engines Are Becoming The Death Of Quality Writing?

    • marya

      It does take a while Ali. :) I have had a look at your blog, it looks fantastic. Can I make a tiny suggestion though? I couldn’t help but notice that you have written your about me page in a third person. I am wondering why you did that. 99% of people would agree and recommend to write in first person, everybody knows you are the one writing it so it doesn’t make sense to refer to yourself in third person. Byline is fine for that. Your thoughts?

      • Thanks a ton for your suggestion, it makes a lot of sense. But I can’t help laughing :) Initially, it was written in first person and I edited it just a couple of days back, only because a friend suggested me to do it, “it looks professional”. I have been writing as a freelancer for more than two years now but just started writing for myself, so I might sound as a broken record.
        I will change it to first person again :)
        Many thanks
        NextGen Writer recently posted..7 Ridiculous Places to Find High-Paying Freelance Writing Jobs

        • marya

          Ali, I have read your about me page, it is great. :) Good to have such a talented writer on board, maybe I can look you up for some advice one day.

          As for ignoring the advice from a friend, all I can say is, always go with your gut feeling. That way if it doesn’t work out, you can always blame it on something beyond your control eheheh. Talk soon

  3. M,

    You are 100% right. Doing everything possible to catch someone’s eye without giving that eye something to absorb is fruitless. Still finding an audience for a unique perspective is tough because you (well actually, me) are searching for a unique audience. So it becomes the ever popular balance between flirting with the search engines, providing eye candy and actually saying something. If it were easy, anyone can do it, right? You keep posting, I’ll keep reading.
    Barry R. Silver recently posted..Emmy Awards. Somebody Got Robbed.

    • marya

      Hi Barry. Good to see you, I have been missing in action for a while so happy to participate in discussion now. :)
      I agree it is extremely hard. I wrote my post on the presumption that ones’s design is professional, content is fantastic and you are doing your best to optimize for search engines. This is tough enough to accomplish and youa re constantly second guessing. However, I personally go for blogs that have a very strong, opinionated, distinct voice. I love to read them because it literally feels like they are writing specifically for me, they acknowledge me as a valued reader – not everyone does that. That for me is a sense of connection worth its weight in gold. Thanks for your comment, its always a pleasure to hear from you. :)

  4. Marya, Thank you for your invaluable tips! I have started one blog but seem to be stuck! You have encouraged me to keep on and hopefully one day I will be good at it just a tiny bit like you!

    Your advice make remarkable sense!
    Cheers,
    Nancy

    • marya

      Hi Nancy, thanks so muc for your lovely comment, I am so glad I was able to help out. Check my earlier posts for more practical tips on blogging. Let me know if there is anything else you need. And welcome! Cheers :)

  5. Marya, another good post. Love it. Its all about personal branding for me. If you get good recognition among bloggers you would automatically become famous. Most of the time its bloggers who are know for their blog as they are the one who really make a difference. I’ve learned a lot from Darren who has been such a big help. I’ve been able to make money today only because of his help. I love your writing style so much. Can I learn to write like you somewhere online for free.
    Eddie Gear recently posted..Versatile Blogger Award, I Got One, Here’s One For You

    • marya

      Aww shucks Eddie, you always say the nicest things, mate. :) I am glad that you agree, just think of any blogs you follow religiously and ultimately there is a blogger behind it who is not afraid to tell it like it is. I love problogger, although now they have become more of a ‘resource’ blog, I really like that Darren still does his own posts that are short and sweet and I always gobble them up. I am going to meet him in person at problogger training event, YAY, (plus Chris Garret and Sonia Simone), three weeks from now. Finally, something came out of living in Melbourne.
      Hey, off topic, I am thinking of doing some blog (for business) training in January, can you recommend any of his products or someone else? It would be good to know before hand. Thank you.

      • From what I’ve learned about blogging. The only true difference in blogging for business is the policies that a company has to follow. Other than that, blogging principles remain true. You can check out a book on business blogging by Darren, which is a good read for new bloggers.
        Eddie Gear recently posted..How To Segment A List To Maximize Sales

        • marya

          Thanks for the suggestion Eddie. There are so many selling their expertise, people like Chris Gerrett, Jon Morrow of copyblogger who incidentally learnt from Chris, Darren who of course partnered with Chris on his book, and is having him as a speaker at his problogger training event. Then we have Corbett Barr .. decisions, decisions …

  6. Yes I do follow some of the big bloggers like Darren Rowse. I read all of his blogs.

    • marya

      I love Darren. I am so lucky, I am going to meet him at his problogger training event in Oct. YAY

  7. So true…but I never realized that before or I must say, I never thought about it in depth. I always try to avoid writing informatory posts, because their is indefinite bunch of information on the web. That’s why I mostly focus on what I call ‘the human side’ of any subject. Now I got the concept right. It’s rather your voice. It’s rather what you feel about the subject that matters and that is what people want to read about and that’s why we cherish to read the views of our favorite celebrities too. Good post and rather quite helpful one!!!
    Rashmi recently posted..Show these ‘Netiquettes’ @ your workplace

    • marya

      Hey Rashmi. I am glad you concur. Yes, it is all about the person behind the blog, their views, their opinions, their personality. If they have the x factor, then they can make it big. Who do you think is the most standout blogger for you in this aspect?

      • Now you’ve asked me a tricky question…because somehow I ve not been able to follow a particular blog at all times, due to the fluctuations that come over in the quality and many times quantity of posts. Like I started following Dendrochronology because I liked the way things were presented there, the general feelings we cm across everyday. Similarly I have followed different blogs at all times depending upon what they post. Perhaps it’s your blog that I have been following ever since I subscribed to it and I find the topics as well as content helpful and interesting (although, the frequency of posting is low, but that’s always OK-you feel good when something comes up)

        Now I am quite sure, you can get content for one more post on the basis of this reply and your observation about the same :)
        Rashmi recently posted..Show these ‘Netiquettes’ @ your workplace

        • marya

          I follow many blogs religiously but that doesn’t mean that I read each and every post of theirs. Soon, I am going to start a series of must read / unmissable blogs in the niche of blogging, writing, personal development (work, productivity etc) and a few on marketing/SEO. Keep an eye out for that. Cheers

  8. Hi Marya,

    that’s so true. I definitely connect more with bloggers that share more about their personal lives and experiences. I personally sometimes find it hard to strike a balance, deciding when sharing something is too much, and when it’s not enough.

    Sometimes it’s hard revealing something about yourself to the whole world and worrying about how people will judge you. But I guess that’s what attracts people to your blog.

    However it’s great when you find people that think like you do, which you would have never known if you didn’t share your experience in the first place.
    Maia recently posted..Why I believe in God

  9. Great tips for building an authority site – projecting your image properly is probably the difference between a one time visitor and a repeat visitor.. and the difference between them signing up for your list or leaving forever!
    Johnny Optimo recently posted..Setting Up a WordPress Website

    • marya

      You have nailed it with your comment about building an authority blog, it is worth tweeting. :) Who do you think are great examples of this phenomenon?

  10. Hi,

    I’m glad to have found your blog. I love the topic! I was doing research on how to write a topic on my own story and it helps me rendering it right. Thanks and keep on the good work!

    Marie-Eve

    • marya

      Thanks very much Marie -Eve. Good to have you on board. :) What sort of topics are your most interested in reading about when it comes to blogging and personal development?

      • I love personal stories, about how people overcome challenge, bring what they want in their lives and change their worlds, and the world, for the better. I also love usually any authentic, inspiring or well written topics. Thanks for asking :)

  11. that’s so right Marya
    i always believed that personalizing your blog more (displaying your pic , making the about section more prominent….etc) is a great thing

    • marya

      Hi Farouk, thanks for the affirmation. I believe you cannot be successful without putting yourself out there and what better way to do a bit of that through your blog. It only adds authenticity to it and people always appreciate that.
      Many thanks for visiting my blog, I am familiar with your work, (very impressive about me page too). Fingers crossed, you coming over brings some luck to my site. :) Cheers

  12. Hi Marya – you are correct – in certain cases. There are a few blogs that people follow and they can’t tell you WHO the writer(s) is (are) behind them. I myself strive to write articles for people looking for specific topics. I am not really trying to build any sort of personal following. Do you think I should?

    • marya

      Hi Dave, sorry for the late response, I overlooked your comment somehow.

      I had a quick look at your blog but wasn’t able to find your ‘about me’ page. I would have liked to see more information about you straightaway. And I don’t think its about building personal following as you put it. I mean be more of a real person rather than a faceless information providing machine. If one has a strong voice, strong opinions and inject their personality in their posts, that’s always a good thing. That helps them stand apart from the crowd. That’s why there is real engagement on such menioned bloggers’ sites, whereas comments are dwindling on ‘resource’ blogs that use 90% of guest bloggers to generate content.

      Many thanks for your comment.

      • Marya! Perhaps you were looking at a feed or alternate cersion of my blog. “ABOUT” is right under my name in the header. Yes, it may be a liitle small, but hundreds of folks have found it: the font appears bolder and / or brighter on certain browsers and screen definitions! Thanks for dropping by! And keep those great posts coming!

        Blog On!
        Dave Lucas recently posted..Save your blog with Blog Backup Techniques

  13. Awesome post Marya! It’s like you said exactly what i’ve been thinking as of late.

    I guess that’s why I follow you hmmm?!? ;)

    I am incredibly tired of shallow personality free articles clogging up my rss reader. Generic list posts are driving me up the wall and I now specifically avoid them out of spite.

    You’re right about looking for the author’s name on good articles – once I find a good writer I tend to look for their website, twitter or whatever else to follow the person, not the blog.

    Cheers!
    Andrew Groat recently posted..UPDATE: Brand-spanking new site design!

    • marya

      Awesome comment Andrew. :)

      As for looking up guest poster’s name is concerned, we might be among the minority though. Most people don’t, but I think that’s their loss. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

  14. Marya
    Your title says is all…

    “People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other People”
    And so you see me here.

    I had no idea what you blogged about, but I knew that it would be worth reading.
    Eh, I was right.

    Love the line…
    “…reader will quickly realize that something is missing – a spark – a sense of connection.”

    A sense of connection – brilliant.

    Great to have connected with you Marya.

    Keith
    Keith Davis recently posted..All your life…

    • marya

      Keith, I can usually tell if I am going to like somebody within 5 seconds of meeting them, or within 30 seconds of spending time on their blog. This time it didn’t even take that long. :)

      It’s a pleasure to meet you, and I am going to follow your blog – or you. It does take two to connect, doesn’t it?

      Have a good day! :)

  15. So true! I’m following a lot of blog posts but I love to know more about the writers. I like to get connected for they are great in giving insightful ideas in almost anything. They are quite inspiring and I find motivation in their place.
    JohnC recently posted..Collision with deer damages pickup truck

    • marya

      Thanks John, its good to know that readers really do want to connect with the writers. Cheers

  16. This is a great post because its message is so true!

    I only realized after experimenting with Youtube that people value the PERSON more than anything else.

    Sure, they can like what you’re saying or have an interest in the topics that you are discussing — but make no mistake, their loyalty is to the person creating/presenting the content.

    Once you realize this, you can craft the content around your voice, and give your audience exactly what they’re looking for.
    Steve recently posted..This Blog Uses CommentLuv Premium For DoFollow Back Links

    • marya

      Hi Steve, excellent insights. And I especially agree what you said about youtube. This is precisely why all of a sudden there are tons of posts everywhere, recommending that you do videos for exposure and credibility. Vide establishes a sense of connection like no other medium can. It can do wonders for a brand. Glad to have you over and hope you stick around. :)
      Marya

  17. Hi Marya,
    I was sent to your site by a friend of mine – I love the idea of “Zen Habits Meets Problogger” – I’m far more interested in the person than the blog and often don’t follow big bloggers because of a lack of personal interaction.
    I’m an Aussie too and will hopefully see you at Problogger!
    Cheers
    Liz N
    Liz@LastChanceTraining recently posted..Mamamia – here we go again!

    • marya

      Hi Liz. Thanks for droppin by, and also for retweeting with a yes. :) I am glad you agree – all the successful bloggers (unless they have now taken the editorial role) get big because of this one quality I think.

      Would love to say hi on Oct 21st. So excited – and nervous too. See you soon.

  18. Hi,
    It’s so true with the stories being key to bringing people in. I sent back a well written post to a guest writer and asked him to include a story or two in it. When I got it back it was great. I thought of a blogger immediately who only tells stories. It’s Caroline at A Wish Come Clear. Check her out. She’s absolutely amazing. Tell her I sent you over if you do.

    • marya

      Hi Tess,

      Thanks for your story, I really liked how you gave this blogger a second chance, you are indeed a very kind soul.

      I think I am aware of this blog, but I will check it out again. Many thanks for dropping by. I always appreciate your support. :)

  19. Hi Marya,

    I am new here and I am glad I have found another personal development blogger to connect with.

    Hmm… I think this thing about being personal in our writing speaks very much to me. I am new to this blogging world and I am eager to share the things I have learnt and produced in the personal development world. So I have actually being one of those who had tried to produced many 7-ways to… type of post to educate my readers. You have brought some balance into my picture now. That personal touch and sharing is important.

    When I think back a bit now, I can see that I have lived a very unique life. I have experiences that nobody has experienced before. These are definitely worth sharing right? I am so happy. I am still learning. Could you give a grade on my site and see if I am on the right track as what you have proposed?
    Jimmy recently posted..10 Enemies of Good Time Management

    • marya

      Hi Jimmy. Good to know you found this post useful. :) I agree with you that each of us is unqiue and that is what makes us interesting. Weave your experiences in your posts by all means – if they help your readers connect with you, you will gain more respect.

      I have had a very quick look at your blog – it looks good. Your side bar looks a bit busy to me but that’s a matter of personal choice. I like to keep it clean to highlight the most important stuff and to have the emphasis on the content.

      Also, would you be open to adding some more information on your ‘about me’ page? I went through it but couldn’t tell who exactly is writing the blog and for me that is really important – to know them a little bit. That just makes it more personal and I start feeling like I know them.

      I will explore your blog in detail, it looks very interesting. To connecting! :) And welcome! :)
      Marya

      • Hi Marya,

        Thanks for your feedback on my site. I really appreciate it. Yap, if I really want to connect with my audience, than I have to be more personal, starting with my “about page”. I wrote that with a partner, so that’s why it sounds so third party like.

        As for the side bar, I know it looks cluttered but I always like to give my audience a good look at what my blog has to offer.
        Jimmy recently posted..How to Find the Purpose and Meaning of Life? – Method 1

        • marya

          Hi Jimmy, remember to make your blog an extension of yourself. Design is very much a personal choice and yours is valid as much. Thanks for your kind words. :)

  20. Dear Marya

    Thanks for the reminder that it is YOU (your strong voice) that has impact.

    I have been paring down my posts (aside from the review you read which I do periodically) to try and focus on one topic. I learn more readily this way and know others must as well.

    The posts that incorporate stories almost always do well in regard to comments/popularity on my site. They tend to be the easiest for me to write as well!

    I would like to think I am making a mark. People surprise me by telling me/emailing me or sending a DM via twitter about how much they enjoy my posts and read them regularly. Now to convert them to commenters!

    Other traits that draw me into a particular writer/blogger are their authenticity and does it teach me something. . In addition to the above traits
    Rajka@Expatdoctormom recently posted..The United States lacks postpartum support for its mothers

    • marya

      Hi Rajka, good to have you over. :)

      I guess, all of this lies in our mindset. Why did we write a post exactly? Do we aim for a shift in readers’ perspective – do we aim to (like you said) leave a mark?

      I think people like us, we write because we are passionate about writing and the subject itself. And readers like that – at least those ones that I really want to camp at my site. Our posts are not about get-rich-quick schemes, they are extension of who we are. I love to have readers who are kindred spirits really – people with the same mindset. By the same logic, I follow bloggers who I like as a person because then I can relate to their values and teaching.

      Many thanks for your thoughtful comments and welcome! :)
      Marya

  21. My concern is that I am too “alootf” sounding on my blog. If anyoen would be willing to have a look I would be really appreciative. http://anneangeloanimalcare.blogspot.com/#uds-search-results

    I have few followers as it’s a new blog and also people are not showing up as following me who are following me, for some reason.

    • marya

      Hi Anne, I had a brief look at your site and your blog – both look fine. I don’t think you are being aloof as you say. If you are interested in driving more traffic to your blog, you need do other other things right before you start worrying about creating a connection. You might benefit from looking into writing for the web. Look into creating headlines that work, scannable posts using short paragrpahs, bullets, lists, bold and lots of white space. have a look at my 18 steps to blogging success post (link in the sidebar under most poupular). This might help with some things. Thanks for your comment, let me know if you need help with anything else. :) Marya

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  25. You’ve really hit the nail on the head for helping me realise why I love some blogs better than others. They need a healthy balance between having enough personality to be interesting, but not getting overly personal and caught up in too many meandering details.

    In my own writing I always aim to help, inspire or motivate mothers with plenty of practical, actionable advice intertwined with my own experiences. I write – then go back and edit out any unnecessary words or sentences. I never want to bore anyone and I like to get to the point quickly. Hopefully I’m succeeding at this!
    Kelly Pietrangeli recently posted..5 Ways to Get Your Fitness Mojo Back

  26. Hello Marya. Something about your title caught my attention. People following other people reminded me of a young father pushing his crying baby around in a shopping cart. He began to sing, very softly, in Italian, and I stopped to listen to his soothing voice and to watch the baby stop crying and smile up at his father. We sense something in certain people that make us stop and pay attention. That’s what I thought when I read your blog, and what I will take with me when I try to write one of my own. Thank you.

  27. Ugh, its so hard to get readers!!!! I think if my voice was any stronger, I’d be yelling my personality at someone lol
    Eden Strong recently posted..He Loves Me, I Love Him…… Not

  28. good post.
    for me though, I am totally open about myself.
    I have been told I’m a decent writer.
    I have fifty-some followers but very little in the way of comments
    I keep wondering if people are just too busy to spend two minutes to open their mouths. Pushing the like button is just easier I guess.
    Frustrating.

  29. People folow people, its like law of attraction, or attraction marketineg
    leospittles recently posted..Key Word Research

  30. Hey.. Nice tips.. I am newbie to all blogging world and it been 5 days I have started writing blog.. And I am getting 20 views max a day.. I am surely going give try to some of your tips.. Thanks