If you’re like me, you might be a little wary of automated solutions that allow you to grow your Twitter list exponentially, but also have the potential of getting your account shut down. So instead, I thought I would share with you my simple strategy for slowly and steadily growing your Twitter followers.

This isn’t about getting a huge number of just any Twitter followers, but a smaller concentration of Twitter followers that will be interested in your content.

Tweet Links with Author’s Twitter Handle

If you read and tweet blog posts a lot, chances are you are using the Tweet button on the post or an app like Buffer to schedule your tweets. But one thing you might be missing out on with either approach is adding the blog post author’s Twitter handle to your tweet. Let’s say you were tweeting a post off of Mashable, for example. It’s not likely that @Mashable will notice your tweet considering they have dozens of posts daily that are getting tweeted around 1,000+ tweets each.

The people who might notice your tweets, however, are the authors of those posts. Simply click on the name of the author to get to their author page.

There, you will find a link to their Twitter profile.

When you tweet the post, be sure to include the author’s Twitter handle in the tweet and also follow the author.

Does this work all of the time? Of course not. But if you’re already tweeting a blog post, you might as well take the extra moment or two to find the author’s Twitter handle and include them in on the tweet. As a bonus, if you do establish a good relationship with a regular author on a major blog, you could ask them to introduce you to their editor to get a great guest posting gig for yourself!

Follow People Who Tweet Your Posts

Do you notice the same person regularly tweeting your posts? Simply follow them and thank them for tweeting you! This personal interaction may get them to follow you back if they are not following you already.

Follow People You Converse With

Do you get the occasional Twitter question from someone who isn’t following you? If they’re talking about your niche or industry, be sure to answer and follow them. They’ll likely take notice and follow you back since you’ll be fresh on their mind!

Monitor Keyword Discussions

Not sure where to find new followers? Try this approach. Search for a particular keyword on Twitter to see who is talking about it.

You can save your searches on Twitter itself or, better yet, save this search in a Twitter management tool like HootSuite so you can continuously monitor it.

Whenever someone asks a good question, answer it and follow the person. Since you’re helping them out, they’ll likely view you as an authority and follow you back for more information!

Include Hashtags

Last, but not least, make sure you get the most exposure for your tweets by simply adding a keyword hashtag to them. You know things like #seo, #socialmedia, and #blogging are popular. But if you’re not sure about others, use Tospy Analytics to search hashtag ideas to see which ones get the most usage.

Beneath the graph, you can see the types of tweets that are shared with that hashtag and the number of influential users that use it.

By doing this, the people who follow that hashtag will see your tweet as well as the people who create Paper.li papers and other content based around the hashtag.

How Do You Grow a Steady Following on Twitter?

These are just a few ways to build a slow and steady following on Twitter that shouldn’t backfire and get your account penalized. What other methods do you use to build followers?