WordPress.com: Who Follows Who?

Every blogger wants to attract followers to their blog. Attracting followers requires identifying your target audience, and creating quality content that engages them and encourages them to return to read more. WordPress.com bloggers have always had a strong sense of community and not to be outdone by those other sites that have click and follow buttons WordPress.com Staff have been introducing incremental changes to the former “subscribe” function. The first change occurred when the “subscribe” link on the Admin bar visible to all logged in WordPress.com users changed to “follow”. 

At WordPress.com followers are the number of readers following your blog posts and blog posts comments. Note that your followers do not need to be registered with WordPress.com, and there are several different ways that readers can become followers. Your followers receive an update, either on their Read Blogs page or via email (or both, depending on their settings) of each new post you publish.

Your followers can go to http://subscribe.wordpress.com/ to set up their delivery preferences. On this page > http://wordpress.com they can click the “Following” tab and scroll down in the left hand column and click “Manage Delivery Settings”.

WordPress com Staff have made it easy for members to “like” what they are reading, wherever they are reading it (Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results, Posts, Pages, Media). You can enable the WordPress.com like button on your blog. Followers can click the “like” button when viewing your posts in the Readomatic reader on the home page of WordPress.com without visiting your blog. Or an email subscriber can click the “like” button in the email they receive of your new posts without visiting your blog.  Likes can be enabled on all posts or enabled per post. (You can enable sharing buttons and rating buttons for your followers use as well. )

Follower stats show you all the users that have active email subscriptions to your blog using the built-in email notification system on WordPress.com. They don’t include users that subscribed using a third-party subscription service or using RSS.

WordPress.com stats are page view stats. Unless the person actually clicks into your post there is no stat created. To locate your followers go to your site stats page and click “Totals, Followers & Shares” Click the Blog link under the number and the Site Stats » My Followers page will open. Click the Email Followers link.

In addition to knowing your audience, there are four other key factors in obtaining followers:

  1. Create interesting content that people want to read.
  2. Set achievable goals. Aim to add 3, 4 or 5 new followers each day, week or month and keep them engaged by publishing interesting posts.
  3. Use multimedia images, videos, audio to tell the story.
  4. Use social media to engage readers.

Creating loyalty that converts casual readers into followers requires personal connection and ongoing communication.  Speak directly to your readers so they know you are happy to have them on board and value their participation in your blog centered community.  If you want your followers to spread the word about your blog then why not ask them to?

53 thoughts on “WordPress.com: Who Follows Who?

  1. I finally started a blog that addresses technology’s abilities to enhance the creation and appreciation of art, focusing on HD audio (DSD in particular) and 5.1 Surround Sound. It also identifies the dying art of listening and encourages others to revitalize their inner and outer ears.

    Finding the simplicity of the blog presentation offered in WordPress was the first big incentive for my blog beginnings. Another encouragement has been discovering your pages with much needed and much appreciated information.

    Mahalo Nui Loa!
    - David

  2. As I have said before, I started blogging to promote my classes and had no idea about the wonderful community side of WordPress. It is a big world and there must be other amigurumists out there. Thanks to WordPress I am meeting and swapping ideas and patterns with fellow amigurumists! Such happiness! May I ask a question ? I know people can “like” my blog without actually reading it but if they hit the “like” button, does that count in my stats? Thanks for the wonderful assistance you give.

  3. When I started my blog here, there was so much information to absorb that it was overwhelming. I ended up Googling a lot just figure out how to use my own blog :) And now, I find your site months later by reading someone else’s blog link removed by timethief and everything is stated in such an easy-to-understand and readable fashion. Anyway, I think I am saying thank you for such an excellent resource. Cheers.

    • Learning to blog involves a very steep learning curve and that’s true even if one is an accomplished writer as writing for the web and for print media are quite different. I’m happy to hear you found my blog from reading another, despite the fact I can’t find a link on that blog to my site. And I appreciate your compliment very much. Y’ll come back now y’hear.

  4. Odd as it sounds, how do I remove a follower? I have a situation that I want to have someone ‘unfollow’ as their follow is a spam that misleads readers…

    Thanks

  5. Pingback: Unfollowing and Unsubscribing from WordPress.com Blogs | one cool site

  6. Hi, Thank you for the post on ‘following’ info.

    I wonder if you can help me. I’m trying to see who as subscribed by email subscription on my blog but there seems to be no way to see this.

    I can see who has ‘followed’ my blog when they are also ‘wordpress bloggers’ but not when they have simply clicked on the follow blog via email widgit.

    Thank you for your help.
    regards.

  7. Pingback: WordPress Followers, Likes and Stats | one cool site

  8. I really enjoy reading new blogs on the Forums on Wed or Thurs every week. It seems like I comment too much, but I only comment on the Forums one day a week, so I figure that should be ok, and not over-doing it on the forums. Plus, I comment on the blogs on the forums too, so guess that helps new bloggers a little, maybe?

  9. I am new to blogging, but here is what I do:
    On Wed or Thurs of every week, I have been visiting new blogs on the Showcase Forums and posting comments on the new blogs I really enjoyed reading. I try to read the blogs I follow from the iPhone, but there are so many I can’t keep up. So, I just really follow and comment on about 10 blogs, where I comment on and really read every post. That’s just my process. Wed & Thurs are my read and comment days, usually late at night. Seems to work for me.

    I don’t know I am new at this, so maybe that’s not the best way. :)

  10. I can’t be the only blogger who’d like to return the compliment when someone follows my blog. But how do people find time to read all the blogs they’re subscribed to? Help!

    • I don’t operate on the return the compliment notion. I follow blogs when I like the content. I schedule blogs on a reading rotation that has nothing to do with when they publish. My reading rotation schedule is not working well for me and I’m not suggesting that you use it. I’m currently mulling over what to do about the blogs I’m following as nothing I have tried has worked well for me. :(

  11. Thanks for the great advice! I came here through Susielindau and really appreciate the guidance on what sort of goals to aim for (so I actually get some other work done!) What a learning curve :)

  12. Some of your advice is good. Some I’m a bit dubious about. For instance, You mentioned–

    “WordPress com Staff have made it easy for members to “like” what they are reading, wherever they are reading it (Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results, Posts, Pages, Media).”

    They have made it far too easy. Trolls go down the list clicking every like button, without even reading it. It’s very annoying thinking someone has left a comment only to discover I’m being spammed.

    Also, you mentioned setting goals for getting a certain number of followers in a certain time span. I just want to relax and enjoy having my free online magazine. I want to focus on having quality content. Also, I absolutely hate the sparklines. I’ve resorted to placing tape over them. I’m thinking about making the site private, if that’s what it takes to get them off my screen. I know that it takes time to develop a readership, and the stress of having those things staring me in the face takes lots of the enjoyment away from the day-to-day journey.

    [link to blog which is already linked to username removed by timethief]

    Here’s the link to an essay I wrote that talks addresses the issue of information overload. http://wordexpressweekly.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/our-massive-attention-deficit-disorder/

    I hope you visit. I’m not spamming you. The links are part of the point that I’m trying to make.

    • I answer many questions on the WordPress.com support forums and the quote you posted does not contain an opinion. It’s a statement of fact. What you report in your comment is also factual ie. there are “like” button spammers anmd we cannot remove their spammy “likes”.

      The focus of this post is increasing followers and making sure my readers know all about the follower related features and how to use them. Aside from knowing who your target audience is and engaging them where they gather, I posted four other key factors in obtaining followers based on over 7 years of blogging experience. If you don’t find value in my advice then please don’t follow it. Thanks so much for the essay link I’ll put it on my reading list.

      • Sounds like I offended you. That wasn’t the tone I was aiming at. I agree that what we are discussing are facts, but they aren’t things that WordPress can’t change at some point in time, which I hope they do.

        “If you don’t find value in my advice then please don’t follow it.” I didn’t know you only wanted completely positive comments. I’m perfectly capable of buzzing off, if that’s what you’d like. If you do make it over to my site, hit me with your best shot. I’m sure I’ll learn something from it.

        • I wasn’t offened and I’m sorry if you thought I was. I already visited your site twice but as I’m multitasking, I’m choosing to read your essay this evening when I can devote undivided attention to it.

      • I thought you must be affiliated somehow with WordPress, due to all the work you do around here. I’m quite surprised that you aren’t. I think you are a volunteer, a workhorse, and a hero!

  13. Huh. I don’t think I’d ever checked my “shares” before– had never noticed that little tab on the stats page. As usual, I’ve learned something new here. I also have a big smile on my face from seeing all the rubber duckies!! : )

    • Hi Mark,
      I’m glad you liked the rubber duckies. As I posted them I had many rubber ducky thoughts about WordPress.com and “getting ducks in a row” but I’m not comedic by nature. My sense of humor is drier than Melba toast and I rarely laugh at the same things others find hilarious.

  14. Hey I did! I hope you got a few views today… I didn’t realize a person could like from the reader. I always give all of them a click anyway. Thanks for the update!

    • Hi Susie,
      I think many will be surprised to find out followers can “like” post from the Reader. Your writing style is so engaging and I really appreciate your promotion of my blogs. It’s been a heavy work week for me and I haven’t had time to look at my stats yet.

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