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How to Get Twitter Followers Free, Fast & with SOME Dignity

or… How Bloggers Can Get More Twitter Followers without Feeling Like a Needy, Pathetic Loser

Ever notice someone with 100,000 Twitter followers and wondered how they did it? Maybe even suffered a twinge of jealousy, or felt like a social marketing failure? Maybe performed elaborate bird sacrifices to the Twitter Gods in your backyard?

twitter followers

Hey Amy! This girl tweets nothing but Bieber hashtags & heart icons and she has 140,000 followers! You SUCK!

Maybe that last one was just me.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: Five weeks ago I had 700 Twitter followers. Now, I have close to 6000, and they’re all damn fine people. (well, some of them are apparently Live Sex Chat bots, but that happens.)

I’ve been asked how I did it, and every once in a while I like to post something useful, so here it goes.

How to Gain Twitter Followers Free, Fast & with SOME Dignity

There are many ways to get more Twitter followers, but for me, most made me feel like I needed to take a shower after I tried them.

  1. You can buy twitter followers from services (where you largely buy “eggs” – accounts with no profiles, newbies and bots which I discovered and wrote about here.)
  2. You can become a mad retweeter and shouter-outer of love to curry favor – whether you mean it or not.
  3. You can become a slave to Favstar.fm and feverishly star people you hope will retweet/star you, which can start to feel like a part time job. (FYI: Neal Mayhem, a British humor writer had a great rant about Favstar here.)
All these things can raise your Twitter followers to the 100,000s over time and I do not begrudge anyone any tactic they want to try.  Some of my best “Twitter friends” are very active with Favstar. It’s just that these sometimes expensive, sometimes time consuming tactics made ME ask myself this question:

Why the Hell Do I Want Twitter Followers?

What did Twitter followers really do for me? Did I want Twitter followers so I could say: “Hey, stewardess, give me TWO bags of nuts because I have thousands of Twitter followers?”

Like any blogger, I wanted  more Twitter followers because I wanted more readers. We all know writing in a vacuum gets tiresome, what with all the dust and that creepy Dyson dude always peeking in and trying to improve you. I tried a LOT of tactics, including all of the above at one point or another.  But I realized that even when I made Favstar friends who retweeted my tweets, got me more Twitter followers and made me feel a bit more successful, it didn’t bring me readers and blog post commenters. It only brought me more people who hoped I’d retweet THEM if they retweeted me. A Twitter circle jerk, if you will.

And Then There was Light

Twitter FollowersOne day I noticed a little string of tweets by @TravLeBlanc (bless his odd little heart) describing how HE had gotten more Twitter followers using Tweepi.com. I know I’m late to the party on this, so I apologize if you reached this point and went, “Tweepi? DUH,” but it was news to me. Like *cue angels singing* new.

Here’s what makes the Tweepi method so useful: You can get QUALITY followers. Or, at least, you can get followers with similar interests who are more likely to end up reading your blog or using your service. Best part, the basic Tweepi service is free, though there are some very useful tools if you upgrade. The best part of the upgrade, for example, is a column that keeps track of your activity, so you don’t unwittingly follow and unfollow the same person over and over again, which would make you an asshole.

Gaining Quality Twitter Followers Using Tweepi

  1. Go to  Tweepi.com and sign up for the service.
  2. You’ll see one of the options is Follow New Tweeps – click that
  3. You’ll see you get a choice: you can follow people that other people follow, follow people’s followers, follow people’s lists…
  4. Pick one of those options and use the Tweepi interface to follow a bunch o’ people that you think would make good followers. (NOTE: Twitter only lets you follow 1000 people a day, and I wouldn’t suggest knocking on that ceiling every day, lest you look spammy and anger the Twitter gods.)
  5. The next day or two later, click on the “flush the unfollowers” button and UNFOLLOW the people that didn’t follow you back. They may be perfectly fine people, but you don’t have time to get to know EVERYONE and if you are eventually following 50,000 people and only 2000 are following you, people might not follow you back based on a cursory glance at your pathetic number ratio.
  6. Repeat.

This process makes SENSE to me. You follow the followers of people you think are like you (have similar writing styles, for example.) For instance, Clive Barker might choose to follow Stephen King’s followers. Chances are a lot of King’s followers would like Barker, since they both write horror. All Clive is doing is letting King’s people KNOW HE EXISTS.

People can’t follow you, enjoy your writing or share ideas, if they don’t know you exist. To me, using Tweepi is just letting people know I’m out there. They can choose to follow me or not. They can choose to follow me and then dump me if they don’t like what I tweet. And once you get a few thousand followers under your belt, and work a little at being a charming/funny/useful tweeter, things start to happen organically as people share your tweets.

So, what has gaining 5000+ Twitter followers in five weeks done for me?

  • Well, for one, I’ve gotten a lot more Twitter followers. This means when I announce a new blog post, a lot more people find out about it.
  • Consequently, I’ve doubled my blog’s overall monthly hits.
  • I have many new readers and several that even comment! Wheeee!!!  *ahem* I mean, that’s cool. Whatever.
  • I have found OTHER wonderful new people and bloggers that I would not have  known existed had I not followed them first.

I could get into all sorts of details about my exact methods, if it is worth it,  etc. etc. but there are SO many little nuances and I didn’t want to turn this into a thesis.

If you have questions or you want to know more about what I do specifically, let me know and maybe I’ll do a Part Two or something.

And if you’re new, hellooo! Glad I found you and thanks for following me back!

Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.

Latest posts by Amy Vansant (see all)

41 Responses

  1. Abby

    It’s interesting, but it just seems weird to me that people freak out over stars and trophies and all of those seemingly insignificant things. But I get it. If I got money for page views or hits, I would probably invest a lot more energy into getting more followers and blog readers.

    The truth is, I would LOVE more Twitter followers. I think I’m semi-funny and would LOVE more readers to me blog. I just worry that extra time spent on Twitter is rather pointless and would result in generic followers who only want me to retweet them or something. However, I trust you, so I’ll look into this one ;)
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  2. Shannon

    Great post! I discovered your blog via twitter and am now a regular reader, so clearly this method works to drive people with similar interests to your blog. Thanks for sharing!
    Shannon recently posted..whole foods salad bar
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  3. Beduwen

    Ooh, I seem to be jumping on this train waaaay after it’s left the station….. thanks for the post, on behalf of all the clueless.
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  4. Irene

    I am a Twitter neophyte all the way, just really starting it. So, this is helpful because I am floundering with a small audience and would love to grow traffic to my blog. Thanks for the advice and I aspire to be as pithy and smart in my tweets as you are!!!
    Irene recently posted..Hobo With an Attitude

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    • Amy Vansant

      I think the fact that I “bought” 200-300 followers in the beginning (as mentioned in that other article linked above) might have helped me look a little better to potential REAL followers at first, though it did make me feel dirty…
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Affordable Snoring Mouthpiece

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  5. Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point

    I concur with Carrie. Having other people do the work for me is awesome. It’s like having someone cook you a nice meal and do all the dishes. Which I guess happens every time you eat at a restaurant. So apparently that means your blog is like eating at a restaurant. A really nice restaurant where there’s lots of wine.
    Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point recently posted..It’s Worse Than We Thought!
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  6. Karen

    Hey, Amy!
    We’ve nominated your blog for the “Seven Things About Me Award”–just because we think you’re awesome. To accept the award, you should do three things:
    1. Link back to the nominator (that would be us).
    2. Post seven things about yourself–this can be as wacky or original as you like.
    3. Nominate seven blogs you like, and let them know you’ve done so.
    There’s a badge involved, which you can lift from our site.
    Of course, you can also choose to simply bask in our admiration, and that’s totally cool. Either way, we think you’re something special!
    Karen and Wendy

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  7. Tracy

    Thanks for writing this, I was so intrigued by this when you mentioned it on Studio 30+.

    This sounds like a much better way to find like-minded people/possible readers than what I’d been doing.

    For example, did you know that most people who self-identify on Twitter as “childfree” are also “furries” and/or pagans? …not that there’s anything wrong with that…
    Tracy recently posted..Destroy My Sweater
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  8. Jessica Holt

    I totally didn’t know about tweepi (apparently I’m dingy too). I found you from someone else’s blog who put you as one of the blogs they follow, although I don’t remember whose blog that was anymore… anyhoo I followed you on twitter now too, only because I liked the story of when your husband got chiggers on his butt though.
    Jessica Holt recently posted..9/11/11 a look back at our wedding
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  9. Larissa Milne

    So I’m still not sure if Twitter is a great big black hole or what, because to date our activity has not been driving traffic to our blog. But I like your combination of rationale and cynicism, so I’m going to investigate. (I may have to read the post 3 or 4 more times to completely understand how tweepi works, but I’ll get there eventually!)

    Meanwhile, I have am now following you on Twitter and have discovered your blog. . . so there is that :)
    Larissa Milne recently posted..Larissa’s skirmish with a German toilet

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  10. Neal Mayhem

    I finally checked out this article after months of seeing people randomly coming to my site from clicking the link.

    Thanks for the plug, and you make some valid points. Although more recently, I’ve found it’s less important to have numbers of followers, regardless of how many it is. If you’re not engaging with them, they won’t click sod all anyway.

    I’ve enjoyed my whole Twitter experience far more since actually taking the time to get to know them a little better, and have coincidentally found clicks though to my site from Twitter have increased massively.

    Dump the one-way jokesters. They’re not adding anything to your twitterverse. Unless you give them a lame trophy, and then they might check out your site. Once.
    Neal Mayhem recently posted..“The Matrix” – Explained By Someone’s Mum
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    • Amy Vansant

      I came to the same conclusion myself. I still do Tweepi (though less so) because I’ve discovered a lot of really cool people “by accident” through it. (and had a lot of people discover I exist that way as well.) But I’ve dumped all the Favstar freaks (for example) even though I knew they’d dump me if I did. I follow the followers of people I enjoy, greatly increasing the chance that I’ll like them.

      Empty followers definitely do nothing for you!
      Amy Vansant recently posted..How Famous People Ruin Vacations

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  11. Martina

    Finally a properly written “Twitter for Dummies”, thanks a lot! I will test it in both English and Slovak speaking environment and will see. It seems that Twitter is half dead in Slovakia, but nevermind, still worth trying.
    Martina recently posted..The Countdown
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  12. Heather (

    I love finding new folks on Twitter. When I do get a follow, I always check them out and see if they are interesting, and if so, I follow back. Meeting cool people is fun! Lo and behold, upon checking you out, I found a terrifically written blog and a very funny lady who, like me, is child-free and dog-obsessed. Now I get to spend time going back and reading everything. Huzzah! So, thanks for that.
    Heather ( recently posted..Torrin’s Tips for Getting Thick or Shorter Hair All the Way Up

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  14. Amanda Matheny

    Thanks so much for this post! I’d never heard of Tweepi either, and this sounds like a cool way to get followers that are interested in my new website and help it grow. Thanks!

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