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.
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?