How much is a follower worth?

I believe we can safely assume that social media has a lot of potential when it comes to selling stuff. We can also assume that all these people following you on Twitter or on your blog, all those Facebook likes, all of them are worth something. The environment has changed, but it’s still about people getting exposed to a message.

But it’s damn near impossible to say how much a follower is worth. Because there are a lot of factors to consider, such as:

1. What are you selling and what are your means of monetizing your blog.

2. What’s your niche. This one’s very tricky. You see, the idea is that if you establish yourself as an authority in your field, then you’ll have more influence over your followers. That means they’ll be more willing to give you money. If your blog is all over the place, your audience is going to be mixed. People are going to follow your blog for every single one of the types of posts you write. And not all of them will read what you write — in fact, you should get used to the idea that you’ll never get all your followers to read a particular post, no matter how brilliant it is.

3. Your influence. This is the thing that really puts a price tag on a following. It depends on your niche, on how long have you been writing, on experience, and interaction. A lot of things to consider. Take Neil Gaiman for instance (I know, I know, I use the man as an example in a lot of posts.) He’s got one of the most successful personal blogs on the planet. Oh, and he’s got 1.7 million Twitter followers.

There are other artists who have ten times as many followers, but Neil takes a lot of time building personal relationships. I’ve talked about this in a previous post of mine about social media. Anyway, the idea is that you can’t put a price tag on those relationships. And it’s not quite like building a friendship, though it’s a similar process. People connect to your writing, they enjoy what you have to offer them in terms of information, entertainment, etc. and so they’re willing to buy anything you sell them.

I know for sure some of my followers have brought all my books, all my short stories, simply because they want to support me as a blogger. So right now, they’d be worth something like… $2.99, $2.99, $.99, yeah you get the idea.

So I can’t tell you that any of your followers is worth $1 or 10 or 100. But what I do want to tell you is this: if you’re in this for money, try to build personal relationships. Respond to comments, add a contact page, reply to e-mails, do anything you can, so people will see there’s a real person behind the blog. Or if you’re hot, put some pictures of you. That’s sure to help.

A lot of people worry about the numbers. They want tens, thousands, billions of followers. They want traffic, likes, shares, comments, but never think that it’s not all about numbers. It’s not just about quantity, but also quality. Taking care of a small following will ensure that you’ll do the same when that number increases. Of course, as the number increases, you’ll see your conversion rates drop.

It happens.

Don’t panic. Relax, take a deep breath, and write another blog.

I have close to 19,000 followers. I don’t get that many hits a day. I don’t even get half that much. Conversion rates drop over time. People get bored, get angry, stop reading every post. But the thing is that as the number increases, so does your “loyal” following: people who read and comment on each and every one of your posts.

So, how much is a follower worth?

A follower is worth as much as you want him to be worth as long as you take care of him. It’s never good to put price tags on everything. Enjoy the ride, have fun, and you’ll soon realize that some followers are worth more than all the money in the world.


Tomorrow:  writing a great post. We’ll share tips and tricks, we’ll talk about the importance of a catchy title, about photos, and a nice layout.

But right now, I want to know one thing: What’s your relationship with your followers?

104 thoughts on “How much is a follower worth?

  1. A followers value is what the leader teaches or shares that encourages them to lead. At least that is my perception. You have priceless followers because you share wisdom that allows them to learn and lead. Nice post and thank you for sharing and being a great leader of great followers. You are change positive in action! keep up the beautiful work.


  2. true, if i could get more than one comment a post, i would be ecstatic! most of my followers are from facebook and twitter, the problem there is they dont actually 'follow' because the links are available.. i have more views per day than followers!


  3. Very interesting post! It goes to the heart of why we interact via social media. Is it a race to see who wins as in traditional competitive venues or is it to seek a broader understanding of our global world? Do we want to cultivate friendships or a delivery channel to sell product. How do we asses present and future value? I enjoy following your blog – it gives me a greater insight. We are in an amazing transition…


  4. Hi Christine, I enjoyed this post. Just now, as a small business person, I am struggling with Google's change from free product listings to paid/algorithm based product listings. The free listings, if I did a good job, were what allowed me to compete against much bigger stores and get found in searches. Now, with Google's new change to pay-per-click, I can't get my product out there, even if I spend every dime I make in sales every month to buy Google clicks. I think now, more than ever, personal relationships are what will make or break anyone. Google will deny any mention of their squashing the small internet retailer, saying that everyone has an equal chance, but this just isn't true. Facebook, Blogging, personal phone calls, emails-the personal touch- those are what will generate the word of mouth that seems to be all that is left for the small internet retailer. Thank you Google.


  5. I have 90 followers after three years of blogging. I don't sell anything but my ideas and a few poems. I don't know who my followers are, so I have no relationship with them. I don't know why they are followers, except that at first they said they liked my blog and what I had to say. I have no idea where this will go from here, and at 83 why should I care?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is no formula for calculating the value of a follower. It depends on the network (facebook-likes are more valuable than the average twitter-followers), your niche, but it also depends on a lot of other things:

    – How precise are you 'niched'?

    – What's your relationship to the follower?

    – What's your position in the relationship?

    That's all I can think of for now. It is very important that you try to forge a different way of usage for every medium you use. The tactics used on Twitter, will not necessarily work on Pinterest. e.g.

    Thanks for sharing this post, I'm sure it will help out a lot of people.


  7. Yeah, see I wondered. I only have 260 facebook followers (on my blog personal friends like 660) and 250 twitter. I could do all the marketing things to get more followers on twitter but it seems like most won't actually read what I type. I prefer to have followers that actually pay attention to what I write.




  8. At first I was all about the numbers, especially on twitter. But the more experienced I became and the more I read up on social media, the more I realized it must be about personal relationships. If it was only about numbers, I probably would have lost interest long ago. But now through blogging I've met some great and very interesting people who've helped me a lot.

    Numbers are nice, but real success comes from careful relationship building, both in future numbers and more importantly a loyal following. Couldn't agree with you more. :D


  9. I have zero relationship with my followers…and this post really pointed out a few personal reasons on why that is so. Thank you. I wouldn't even have realized it if it wasn't for you. :)


  10. Hmmm . . . "Or if you’re hot, put some pictures of you." . . . that presumes a universal measure of hotness. Also, it's a somewhat callous view of followers (shallow individuals easily swayed by looks).

    Is that who we really want? I suppose that's the case for some (talentless hacks?). I think most artists would like to be recognized for their craft, not their looks. Besides, you can use a friend's photo, or even something from your youth (cough, cough) and mislead the followers.

    Or, you could be hot, and not very likable. Some of us are both not very likable and not hot.

    But to answer your question . . . not sure I have a relationship with my followers. Few comment, and even when they do, it's difficult to build much on a foundation of "Nice photo" and "Thank you", or "Interesting story" and "Thank you". Worse yet, some "like" posts and never interact . . . one wonders if they have even read the posts, or just want to get their avatar out there.

    I'm excluding, of course, the forty+ wonderful bloggers who "liked" this post and did not bother to comment. They were just too busy to write something.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent post! Building trust with your readers or followers take time. I probably read blogs more than I write and this is why I know how it feels to connect with your readers. Create that rapport. I've seen blogs with thousands of followers but whenever I scroll down in the comments section, I don't see any replies to the readers feedback, so I would skip that blog or not bother to leave a comment. It's not all about the numbers, I learned that sooner that I thought I would. And like you mentioned, with time, you'll soon find out your loyal followers that would stand by you. I'd be lying if I said I knew what to expect when I started blogging, because I really didn't. But I'm glad that I did in the end because now I actually have bloggers who I consider my good friends. I think your blog is full of honesty, and I'm sure your readers see that through your words.
    I'm not a book person and I've yet to buy my first book hahha. I've been eyeing Jazz unless you have other ones you can recommend for a book beginner like me. Thank you for this wonderful post. Really appreciate it. :)


  12. Hi! I just started my blog a few weeks ago – I'm not really in it to create a following but it looks like one is slowly starting, which is pretty neat. Thanks for emphasizing the need to build relationships – I've been purposeful in responding to people who leave comments. I figure if they have taken the time to post a comment, it's important for me to acknowledge their comment and make them feel as though they are part of the blog as well.


  13. it's been nice to watch your blog develop, savvy, open, topics, etc. I am interested in this democratic / monetizing interplay. I appreciate blogging for its development of value outside of monetization – an open commerce of abilities and ideas, but I know that it would make a big difference in my life if there were any sort of monetary support for my work…I toggle…I appreciate your thoughts


  14. Hi Cristian

    I have just started blogging 3 weeks ago and have about 15 or so people following me. But I'm trying not to count numbers myself because I'm trying to want God to be in charge of this thing I'm doing; not me. I'm a full-bore Christian and I all I want to want is to try to have more of Him – and not Them.


  15. I like this post a lot. Be faithful with little. I am new to blogging. I am not in it for the millions of followers, nor for the hundreds, but for the one. Thank you for this post.


  16. Hi

    I've recently just started my own blog and I tend to be in the mixed bag category – although I do tend to focus on the writing side as well. But it being a mixed bag a bad thing?

    I totally agree with the personal relationships deal, the person I think of is Geroge Takai if you are looking for another example. The question is though, how do you get "followers" (which makes it sound like a cult) to begin with?


  17. Well if you had 19 000 comments your computer would fizz, bank and melt clear away.. but that sure is a lot of followers. i have a few hundred delightful people who drop in to the Farmy blog because they like my cow. I don't feel bad. I can be a bit of a cow too sometimes.. c


  18. Hi Cristian, I am worth $999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999



    999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 … and then some : )


  19. Like most writers, I like to know I have readers! I like to think I've connected with people, made them happy or shared some ideas or knowledge with them. When they comment positively on my posts, it's a tremendous reward that reinforces my motivation to write.


  20. Interesting perspective. Is it the followers we should place the value on, or is it the writing itself? Does one beget the other…no matter which comes first? I am far from being in it for the $$$ but don't deny the occasional buck that comes along is greatly appreciated.

    World turns, words churn, followers come and go. And still I shall put my thoughts to paper.


  21. Oh, Gah! Ask me this question and I am bound to write a blog post in this box. I love reading these type of posts written by you.

    I guess my aim is to share my views and connect, I love to write and want to connect with those who like to tinker with words. I love Ideas, And I am slowly learning how to use this site to connect with others who share my love of poetry, free verse, opinions. ect.. via comments. Yet it's a slow going thing.

    And I think my posts don't really leave much room for feedback especially poetry based ones. . . Or those most will plead the fifth. "?" Or my way of using words double hinged and my tendency to lead toward theory and the philosophic . (You have "learned me much") though… I can't wait til tomorrow. If you were to say what I could do better what would you say. You can comment here, I'm not really embarrassed by it. I have so much to learn. I get too impassioned i think…


    • At first I tried Anonymity, then I realized through a post of yours it worked against it, and also myself and what my blog is about. Essentially Truth. So add to my above statement. I really don't have a set relationship i think as of yet. I don't have much feedback on that to truly give you the right response. Only what I am aiming toward with my relationships, helping moms. Maybe too many things?


  22. In the beginning, it was all about numbers/readers to get my blog going, then developed into followers, as well as ongoing comments and development of personal relationships – if and when the money comes from these efforts remains to be seen. No matter though, as blogging in itself is valuable and priceless to me. Thanks for the great post.


  23. I want to let you know how important you are to me. :) I enjoy reading your blog. I will soon loose my internet service. I will have VERY limited access to the internet. Your blog is one of the VERY few that I will continue to follow. I am a new follwer. I am glad to be one of your blog followers. :)


    • Silent followers? Interesting question. Well, the thing is that followers/readers/etc. first resonate with the post itself. They enjoy the writing, the message, the tone, etc. That, in its way, builds personal relationships. Especially if the posts don't read like wikipedia entries. Like I said in this post, it's a strange sort of relationship. A sort of one sided friendship, in which the reader feels he knows the blogger on an almost personal level.

      Then again, it depends on the subject matter of your blog.


  24. Interesting concept and post. I'm pretty much a pauper in the follower stakes but I simply don't have time to blog often and also to comment on countless blogs to drive traffic to my site. It will have to be for my (and my Mum's!!) entertainment only :)


  25. The only answer I can think of right now is: with patience. Oh, and by writing great posts. And by being genuine. And answering to people who comment. And a bunch of other stuff. Quality, quantity, timing, all of them play an important role.


  26. I am really enjoying this series on blogging. It's wonderful for someone relatively new to blogging to have a great bank of information on how to build a good blog. Thanks so much for the wonderful tips! We all appreciate it very much.


  27. I like this post, really. :)

    My views, comments, and followers are (sadly in my part) none to very little. But that's expected since I'm new, and I'm actually happy that anyone decided to follow (or even like my posts) at all. I'm happy to see in 1 day that I have at least 1 view.

    O wow, God, that sounds really sad bordering on pathetic out loud… O well. :P

    And, well, to answer that question, I have NO IDEA what my relationships are with my followers. Granted I'm not a master at relationships, but I'll try harder now. :)

    (btw, I'm not giving myself much credit am I :P)


  28. You're so right about quality over quantity of followers, likes, etc. It's easy to get obsessed with the stats, and lose sight of the significance of the people (yes, people, not just "followers") who appear regularly on the list of likes. Good reminder to keep the proper perspective!


  29. I value my followers' input. I want to interact with them in the comments section. Two way communication is important. I've noticed very busy blogs have comments sections that don't really get much response from the blogger. To me, that seems like a bit of a disconnect. The blogger is no longer part of his/her own community. I want to avoid that.


  30. I have a “stat” goal for myself. When I started blogging I tried for 5 hits a day. Then bumped it up to 25, 50, 75. Now my goal is 100 hits a day. I don’t always reach it, but I try very hard. If I don’t reach my goal I don’t beat myself up. It just means I can try harder tomorrow. It keeps me posting almost daily and always pushing myself to do better.

    I’ve met many people through comments on my blog and theirs that I now consider friends. It’s the best part of blogging if you ask me.


  31. I keep my followers small because I weed out spammers. It means way more to me and I try to engage them when I can. Mostly they just post information and not much personal stuff. This can make it difficult to engage on the social networks. But hey, a re-tweet and a like is just as good as a "hey, how are you today?"


  32. One of my favorite things about blogging are fellow bloggers and having dialogue with them, either through my blog or their's. Comments are short and I'll never get to fully know them, but it's been fun getting to know them as much as I'm able. ;0)


  33. I have recently discovered Neil Gaiman by a referral to his graduation keynote address and believe his take on choosing the path always toward the mountain was sublime advice. I can hear that same wisdom in your posts as well…thank you for your writings!


  34. Hi Christian, thanks for writing this post. It reminds what the important thing about blogging is – to share an opinion, to discuss and spark ideas. Its very easy to lose sight of that when you look at your stats and numbers, yet find that you often don't get many comments. I find that a lot of it is about how I interact with my followers – I find it hard to make the time to comment on other people's blogs, which directly impacts whether I get comments, I think! It definitely makes me realise that I need to be more active on that front. I don't like leaving comments if I don't have the time to write a good comment.

    Its interesting to me about the niche thing. I find that if I don't write about things that I'm interested in and passionate about, I lose interest in blogging. Which means that even if I have a niche of 'deaf writer' I'm not going to strictly write about those things all the time. Life would be a bit boring! I see it as both a tool (as a writer/journalist), but also as a space where I can reach other people and influence their ideas and awareness about things. It is also a space where I write things out to help me think. So for me, it depends ultimately on what someone wants from it. I love comments, likes and kudos (who doesn't?) but mostly it helps me improve as a writer and explore things – the other stuff is a wonderful side effect.


    • I started blogging mainly to get out there as a writer, and because I like a challenge. One of the great side benefits is meeting other like-minded (or not!) people. There are some great bloggers around, and I am always learning from them.


  35. Cristian, Interesting to read your thoughts and your reader’s comments. I think it’s been a few months now that I’ve been blogging at WordPress, but I started blogging about three years ago at another site and then was pulled to another site. Now I cross post to all three. I’ve always considered the first blog site my “home.” It’s where I have followers that I interact with that I've become familiar with. My reasons for beginning to blog were that I simply was tired of writing to myself and wanted to see if other readers would relate or find something that spoke to them in my writings. I’m a quiet blogger. I don’t expect many followers or readers, but for the few that do respond, like, or follow, I am thankful, especially if I’ve inspired them in some way or made them feel something. I love writing, reading, expressing, searching—so I do it because I love it and I feel that something’s missing if I don’t. I do force myself to take breaks, but that doesn’t usually last very long.

    It’s such a fascinating process.

    Glad to have found your blog. I’ve enjoyed everything that I’ve read. I hope to download your compilation of essays soon.



  36. I have a hard time not being upset/offended if I lose a follower. What did I do wrong? Why don't they like me? Instead of concentrating on who does like me and follow me I worry about the one person who doesn't….I hate that about myself.


  37. I get so excited when anyone follows or likes my blog. But, I keep reminding myself that the most important aspect of the blog is what it means to me and what was my original intent. I love the blogging community – it's like a giant world-wide coffee shop, where you can just stop to talk to anyone you want, anytime.


  38. I found this post very interesting in regards to building relationships. I have eventually checked out everyone who follows me and I have decided to follow a few because I liked what I saw when I read through their blogs, including yours! Others haven't interested me I feel somewhat flattered whenever someone starts following me and I do check out the "numbers" but I like the challenge of writing and trying to make small meaningful connections with or for someone. I can also almost always pinpoint which of my "loyal" followers is going to like a post since my subject matter bounces around frequently.

    As for the complaints about "liking" posts and not leaving comments … I do that occasionally. I don't always have things to say that haven't been said by other bloggers. But the posts with neither like nor comment always leave me wondering if I could have expressed myself better. The best feeling in the world is one of my friends calls me after reading something to tell me how much it affected him/her. That is what every writer loves to hear – not what a great post, but that post made me think or helped me understand or something else that is personal and relevant to that person. Those comments are worth everything and rather priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was interested in your reply to this blog, and went online to have a look at yours. Liked your content and your photos, and decided to follow your blog. Hope it will be a good relationship.


  39. And at 83 it's pretty amazing for you to have any followers if you do nothing to establish a relationship. My husband has a business blog that he does nothing with at this point. He paid someone $80 a month to manage it, for a while and I think he has had fewer followers than that in 3 years!!!


  40. Well, that answers my recent anxiety about the low follower numbers and views per day on my blog. The part I enjoy most about blogging at the moment is investing in quality comments and deep reading. This means I take longer than most people to do the rounds, and that slows the whole process down. But to me, it has to be an enjoyable exchange, else I won't bother… Appreciate the reassurance. I'm now going to have to become a follower ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Another very interesting post Christian. I find myself more and more absorbed with writes like your own as I move forward in the early moments of a new year. I have found myself reading successful writers like yourself more and more the past year and for obvious good reason. With the ever-changing dynamics of the online experience for bloggers, writers and the reading audience there is much to learn and apply from the words of those who have found success out of their efforts. The last thing we as writers want to do is attempt to reinvent the wheel.

    Relationships are indeed an important part of the blogging experience. If our readers were satisfied with reading alone perhaps more people would be flocking to the local book stores rather than engaging online and making that eventual decision to buy online as well. I am painstaking when it comes to commenting on posts that are well written, posts which I take away a great sense of better understanding, compassion or inspiration.

    An interactive relationship manifests in varied fashion and can be literally viral in terms of who/what people connect to/with online. When that interactive connection ensues chances are the individual will feel compelled or motivated to share that reading experience with others.

    I very recently took a serious look again at how my writing blog presents to my reading audience. Something was not jelling with readers. My stats were to a degree becoming static. I did a complete makeover in the appearance of my blog looking for a more professional look and one that would also better serve the reader in terms of functionality and readability amoung other things. I began to re-blog other writers' posts on my own blog, sharing ultimately what I viewed as invaluable demonstrative written expression and high quality narrative that compelled me to share those blogs. As much as I pour my own heart and soul into my writing I am endeavoring to contribute much more in terms of valued response to other writers/bloggers for their concerted efforts.

    Suddenly I find my new followers increasing in record numbers, dramatically so in the new year alone. That change of focus is obviously important to our readers and the personal gratification is tremendous for writer and reader alike. It has become increasingly clear that readers value the interactive "relationship" with the writer and when it works both ways its a win-win situation. The internet is such a powerful medium and we cannot fail to recognize the impact of relationships. I have found the same true in my professional life over the course of my career in terms of service to clients. It is that connection that keeps people coming back for more…and how wonderful is that?!

    Thank you for all that you share Christian.


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