WordPress has an interesting widget that displays the number of your followers, but what does WordPress really mean by the term follower?
To ordinary folk followers are measured in a visible number of how many people have ‘friended’ you in Facebook, clicked on the ‘like’ button on your Facebook page, signed up to be able to read your tweets or connected successfully in LinkedIn. These statistics are separate to each social media platform and do not cross the social divide.
Not so with WordPress. This is an interesting phenomenon, which stems from the fact that blogs are the brain or communal hub of social networking (thanks WordPress, I’ve been banging on about that for years).
Via the magic of RSS (really simple syndication, or the ability to publish in different media simultaneously) your posts can be made visible in a myriad of platforms. Therefore it is necessary to include all the followers in these other platforms into the equation.
So your followers are the ones who will receive your blog via social media (the Publicize settings), plus the subscribers that have signed up to receive the posts whenever they are published, but it doesn’t include those who have commented.
Interestingly, there is another widget that I like to use to measure popularity and engagement. It is a relatively new one, called My Community. It shows a ‘sample of users from your blog’, which includes likers, followers and commenters.
On the right is my ‘My Community’ widget in my nature blog that shows who appreciates what I have written over the past month.
It’s quite gratifying to see who has visited in a more visible form than purely the numbers in the usual statistics provided by WordPress, which I have proven does not show the whole picture anyway!
About the author:
Alice Elliott is a digital marketer and blogger, who runs the Fairy Blog Mother, an educational website resource that trains, explains and creates awareness about blogs. Find out what she can offer you regarding blogs and digital marketing at http://fairyblogmother.co.uk