For the past year, however, my followers have hovered at right about 110-115 people. I couldn't figure out why the growth stopped. I was still writing. In fact, I am writing more than I was before. Something had to have changed. Then I figured it out. I had stopped reading new blogs.
Since I was only reading the same writers week after week, I was not exposing myself (hee hee) to new audiences. I started visiting the sites on the blogrolls of some of my favorite bloggers to find some new content. I picked up about 40 new blogs to read and made sure to always leave comments.
I soon started seeing the numbers rise again. I was thrilled to see this, plus I had discovered even more great material out there that I love to read.
One night, I mentioned my new followers to Red (my blogging girlfriend - for my newer readers) and she mentioned that she had never followed me…WHAT?!?
I was following her and had been for the last year. Why was she not following me and boosting my numbers? Apparently, Red reads her favorite blogs by bookmarking them and checking on them periodically. I just assumed everyone used Google Reader like me.
It's a ONE STOP BLOG SHOP!
Say that three times fast.
Now, with the news that Google Reader will no longer be around after July 1st, I am learning that there are a lot of people who weren't using it.
Red had no interest in starting to use Google Reader, but she did want to start following me. Being the math geeks that we are, we tried to decide at what point she should jump in. I had 112 followers at the time and she needed a nice, mathematically sound number that meant something.
I told you we were math geeks.
She decided she wanted to be follower #144.
144 = 12 x 12 or 12 dozen or a dozen dozen
Also, called a GROSS
I vowed to keep an eye on my followers, so she could jump in at the appropriate time. Soon after, I started visiting the other blogs and my numbers started to move, but slowly. Every time I got a few more followers, I let her know. Soon, the numbers really took off and we thought we might miss it.
A is for ___________
B is for ___________…and so on.
Part of this challenge is visiting the other bloggers (there are over 1,200) who are doing the challenge as well. Since there are so many, I have started early and I leave comments on every one introducing myself and telling them how this is my first year. Due to these visits, many of them are coming back to visit me and are following as well.
My numbers started climbing again. I told Red one night that she needed to be paying attention, because I was up to 139. The very next night, I checked in and I had jumped up 4 followers. I was sitting at 143. I sent her a panicked text.
After a few nerve-wracking minutes,
She's the blinking Darth Vader. →
Since then, I've picked up a few more, so we got her in there just in time. I expect once April gets here and the challenge actually starts, the numbers will jump very quickly. If we had missed the 144, I don't know what number we would have settled on. I told you we were math geeks.
Plus, after all this trouble, we now know that Google Reader is going away. As far as I know, Google Reader is connected to Google Friend Connect, so I don't even know if any of our efforts will have mattered in a few months.