Commenting | The blogging community thrives off the give and take attitude. My rule of thumb when leaving a comment is to make sure it's at least two sentences, and I try to say something more than "I like * insert product name* too!" However, I am not saying that length is what matters. Simply put, two sentences usually helps me to say more than just a basic comment. Providing my own suggestions or answering the question at the end of a post is also a great way to interact with the blogger and to show that you are genuinely interested. It is appropriate to leave your link at the end of a comment, but it is extremely inappropriate to say something along the lines of "If you're interested in following each other, let me know!"
Disqus | Disqus has been the best way for me to connect with my readers. I am much more inclined to follow a blog when they have Disqus as I really love to receive responses when I comment. I appreciate every single person who leaves a genuine comment on my blog, and I love replying to them. When readers reply back to my responses, I feel a real connection, almost like I made a new friend!
Twitter | I had no interest in joining Twitter until a couple months ago as I thought it was a social media site that people used to tweet celebrities. However, after having it for about two months now, I can say that it is one of the first things I check in the morning. I plan on having a blogging tips post all about Twitter so I won't elaborate much at the moment, but I do want to say that Twitter is the best networking site for growing a blog. There are great bloggers chats (#bbloggers is one of the largest for beauty bloggers) that will help to get your blog out there.
Guest Posting | I have yet to try this out, but I'm sure it is a great way to introduce yourself to a whole new set of readers. Try contacting bloggers whose blogs you really love reading, and asking if you could guest post on each other's blogs.
Following Blogs | One of my biggest pet peeves is when bloggers chose to follow a ridiculous number of blogs that they don't even read just for the mere sake of gaining a few extra followers. I'd much rather have a smaller group of devoted followers than thousands of followers who I never get the chance to hear from. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of this year to follow at least one new blog I like per week. Follow the blogs you enjoy reading. It doesn't get much simpler than that!
What are your tips for gaining a genuine following?