Building an Online Following: 1 person at a time

By Tiffany • Updated on 07/15/2013


This contributor post was written by Tiffany Han.

I’m sure that many of you who have your own businesses are curious about how to build an online following. When seeing the news of Paper & Stitch’s 5-year anniversary (Congrats B!)

Where do you want to be when your 5-year anniversary comes around?

There’s a lot of talk about how to build an online following these days.

Engagement, social media promotion, commenting on blogs. It all works. As does reaching out and making friends on the internet. (I think that working from the goal of making friends and connections is always the best way to grow!)

But, one simple truth about engagement is often overlooked: it happens one person at a time.

One single person at a time.

Bird by bird. Bite by bite. One by one.

As you wonder how you could one day be where P&S is in terms of reach and engagement, remember this: where you are is wonderful. We ALL started somewhere. We all started with 1. And then got up to 2. And then grew from there.

Do you have a list with 40 people on it? Those 40 people want to hear from you! They want to know what you’re up to! They likely want to trade you some money for some of your awesome at some point. {Make it easy for them.}

And then think about how you can get 1 more follower. Is there something insanely useful you can offer the world? Is there a special offer you can put out there?

Can you reach out to someone on twitter and let her know that she’s made your day with something she’s written? (Hint: everyone loves hearing this. Everyone.)

What kinds of genuine connections can you foster today? What if you had a goal of reaching out to 5 new people everyday? That would be 150 potential new contacts each month. Or 1,800 in a year. Or 9,000 over the course of 5 years.

Are you up for the challenge?

Tiffany Han, CPCC is a coach for highly-creative people who want to wake up happy. If you’re feeling the growing pains of running your creative business and are ready to STOP spinning your wheels and actually get stuff done, her blog is sure to light your fire.

23 comments | Click here to reply

So true. I was discouraged sitting at 8 blog followers for almost the whole year. Signed on to wordpress yesterday and I had 11. 11 is barely anything, but it’s something. It’s 11 people that I can change their day by writing something meaningful! Thanks for the advice!

Molly Sloan

Absolutely right on. Many of us started blogging for the personal connections, anyway.


This is such a good reminder. I used to have a blog with a lot of followers. It was a lot of work and then I had two kids and then a third kid . . . life happened. I’m starting over. I’m excited and trying to keep perspective. Great post on building it back up. Thank you.


Great advice! I think that with a 5-year goal in mind, you’ll have a much easier time getting there because you can set really big goals and have something to look forward to! I need to work on forming genuine friendships on Twitter. I just started my online lifestyle magazine and it’s been a bit rocky in the beginning. Thank you for this; it’s the boost I needed.


It’s nice to put things into perspective like this. All things in due time!


this is something i’ve been sad about lately as a new blogger, I don’t know who’s reading it, or what I’m even doing! i’ll keep it up! thanks for the encouragement!

becca waterloo

Thanks for this post! As someone who is relatively new to blogging (or at least with a burgeoning blogging venture), this kind of encouragement is great.

Alex from

Alexandra Pettinato

Love this post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts–so encouraging!


I completely agree! I cherish my readers! I’m a new blogger and this article is super encouraging! Maybe I will set me goal to get 4 followers each 2 weeks.

Ursula Rosien

I love this! Each person does matter when it comes to building an online following. It’s important to focus on each person individually. Very well written!

Angel Y.

I love how you put this. It made me feel a bit relaxed and feel more love towards blogging. These days I sometimes feel pressured to blog – but somehow it slowly reduces as I find time to still connect with others by visiting their blog instead and making connection and yet still I have a steady slow growth of follower.

I am making a five year where am I going to be soon.

Thank you for a great tip!


loved this! it’s so true but I rarely think of one person at a time….and I should, each one is so important :).


Fantastic post and so inspirational! Such great advice…thank you for sharing, exactly at a time that I needed this encouragement 🙂


Very good advice. It does take time but gathers momentum once you put yourself out there!

Paper Acrobat

I just followed you all on Twitter & Bloglovin, so I’m ahead of target..! 😉

Gude at Hodge Podge

Growing an audience is definitely a struggle for me, so I loved what you wrote – truly encouraging.

And reaching out to 5 new people a day is something that is totally doable!


This is great! Thank you for the little bit of inspiration 🙂

Jennifer :: Creative Scatter

I always love getting to know new people through reading amazing blogs! It’s so awesome to connect with other people who are passionate about the things you love. 🙂


This is helpful advice! I can be a little impatient at times so it’s helpful to have a reminder that these things happen one person at a time!



I love this! It’s so true!


This is good! Sometimes I just have to remember that reaching out to just one more person can make a difference. Thanks for reminding us.


As a new blogger, it’s easy to get discouraged, so thank you for this post.

It’s absolutely true that making friends online is a great way to build followers (and it also makes blogging so much fun)! 😉

Gude at Hodge Podge

It’s so true, I think a personal connection is so important to gathering a following. The majority of those who are signed up for my newsletter are people I have either met in person or have made a connection with online, usually through blogging. It can seem slow at first, but my newsletter has steadily growing since I implemented it at the beginning of the year.

Bev @ Linkouture
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