How To Generate a Good Following

August 7th, 2009   •   3 comments   

Having great photographs always help (courtesy of the highly talented Nay aka tranquil niche – a friend from Graduate House)

Why do we return time after time to a favourite blog, Youtube channel, web forum, or Flickr group? What makes it seemingly easy for an individual to attract hordes of Twitter followers while you have problems breaking past the 500 barrier?

The answer lies in what I call the degree of interestingness of these user generated content creators. In other words, the quality of their writing, photography, videography, music making capabilities and how these can help to sustain an audience.

Of course, being able to build relationships are also important, but you can’t just befriend your way to blog superstardom if your blog posts, facebook updates and tweet feeds are complete bores.
I remembered a dinner conversation I had with mr brown many years ago (before me and my colleagues at NHB started on how its possible to have a life and yet be active in blogging. His reply was that you will only have things to blog about if you lead a whole and fruitful life. Staying in front of the computer all day may make Jack and Jill dull boys and girls, if they don’t lead fascinating and fulfilling lives.

If you want to attract a community of followers, you need to have one or more of the following qualities showcased on your digital real estate:

1) Originality and uniqueness (the more extreme and oddball, the better)
2) Knowledge, wisdom and inspiration
3) Fun and Humour (the more outrageous the better)
4) Sensuality (not just girls in bikini, but mouth-watering food, gorgeous scenery etc)
5) Entertainment (notice how talented kids always get huge viewerships on Youtube!)
6) Aesthetics (which is why photographs never fail to draw more viewers)

The only way to develop these qualities is to get out there and to live life more fully and abundantly.

Read great books and share their collective insights. Learn how to cook new and exciting dishes. Visit exotic new destinations, and participate in strange activities at far away places. Develop a passion for photography, or enrol in dance classes. Join a pet cause and be active in it, fighting for something which you believe in. Pick up that old violin, guitar or saxophone (or maybe not that common) and polish your skills. Run, swim, cycle, play football or do any one of the sports which you love so much.

A point of clarification though. It doesn’t mean that one can only be interesting if one’s a movie star, spy or CEO. You can create little pockets of interest in a niche area of your passion. I have seen many fabulous blogs and forums on gardening, knitting or simply book reviews.

Once you have lived life in all its abundance, you can then share highlights of it on your blog, facebook account, Twitter updates, Youtube channel or Flickr page. With the ammunition provided by Life 1.0, you will become a more interesting person to follow on whatever digital platform you choose to produce content on. Using your content as a base (or a topic of conversation), you can then go ahead to cultivate the many relationships with friends and followers on multiple channels.

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  1. Tim Richards
    posted on Aug 08, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    Nicely put, Walter. I’ve beeen thinking of this in relation to travel lately – how it’s easy to spend too much time on the computer blogging and tweeting while travelling, and thus ceasing to truly experience your new environment.

    BTW, have been taking your advice on using more photos on my travel blog, Aerohaveno – check out this week’s posting on quirky signs at

    Tim Richards

    posted on Aug 08, 2009 at 4:42 AM

    Yup, quality of content is key to sustaining a followership!

  3. posted on Aug 09, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    How true, Walter, “you will only have things to blog about if you lead a whole and fruitful life”

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