I recently opted to "kill" my followers widget on my blogs.
When I compared my "followers" to my actual visitors, I was a bit concerned. After a little research, I discovered what I really need are proven readers and subscribers - not just some pretty faces that breathe quantity over quality.
So here's what I did:
1. Analyzed my Google Analytics over time. Watch your metrics to find out who's frequenting your site and what they are looking to find there. For instance, my blog is faith-based (godsygirl.com) and I found that I get a lot of hits as a reject of folks looking for resources for pastor's wives. So, I created one and the numbers are hopping with a very low bounce rate. Check it out at http://godsygirlpastorswives.blogspot.com/
2. I now exert most of my energy reading and enjoying my visitors' blogs. And my comments are not always featuring a self promotional link back to my site. I just become part of their community and folks return the favor without shameless self-promotion. Also, I will usually link back to domains that feature a link to me. I can usually tell who's promoting me from my Google Analytics.
3. I just keep writing. The more you write, the better the odds of being found in the search engines. Your target audience is out there, so continue generating content they can use. Also, Blogger (and others) allow me to blog from my cell phone. What a good thing! I blog from everywhere now!
4. A lot of folks click on those links in Twitter and Fscebook. Go ahead and create a snazzy teaser and watch them come.
What do you think of my strategy of trashing my "followers" box? Am I nuts?
(p.s. I'm working from an iPad and couldn't hyperlink. Sorry.)