The mystery of followers

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Peeps and Meeps, let’s chat, shall we?

Most of you know that I started this blog as a personal journal. I’ve had blogs in the past but never any that had followers. My first follower came about three months after I started my blog. I took a Blogging U course (remember those?!) and suddenly I had people following me!

When that started, I was like WOW! I followed every single person back. It didn’t take too long before I realized that I couldn’t follow everyone back. When I set up my account to have all new posts emailed to me (about 6 months in), I knew that I really couldn’t follow everyone who followed me. Now I have over 950 followers (omg I love you guys SO much!) and it’s a struggle sometimes with my heart on who to follow and who not to.

This idea has kind of been bouncing around in my brain for a while now. Last year, someone followed my blog, and then followed me on Twitter. I followed him back on Twitter, and then he made a passive aggressive comment on one of my tweets, something like “oh nice new post! I have one up too, but you’d know that if you followed me.”

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So my darling followers, tell me, do you struggle with this too?

I was in “my reader” because I had to remove someone that I follow (yes it would have been easier to just go to their blog and unfollow but then I would have gotten sucked into reading it and I was being firm!) and I noticed how few blogs I actually follow. I set a limit of 100 for myself when I started to get posts emailed to me. And if you think about it, if every single person I follow posted just once a day, then I’d have 100 emails to go through. That’s a lot. I will never remove someone who follows me but sometimes I do have to clean out who I follow. If I follow you and you’ve been inactive for a few months, I’m probably going to unfollow you. That sounds so harsh, omg! I’m so sorry!

When I started planning out this post like a month ago, I was sitting at around 45ish I think. Now, I’m up to 70. When I follow someone, I want to be able to read their blog and comment and interact with them. I love the connection that comes within the blogging community. I find it weird if someone follows me and never interacts. Don’t you? I can’t always comment on every post, but I make the effort to try to comment on everyone’s blog at least once a week or so.

Sometimes I start out really liking a blog and then it evolves I’m no longer interested. I know the content on this blog changes all the time so I expect people to do the same. Sometimes, I’ll follow someone during one of my challenges (like A to Z for example) and after the challenge is done, their regular content isn’t something that strikes up an interest in me. Sometimes, I’ll follow someone and not realize that they post like 15 times a day and almost every single post is a reblog from someone else. I’m sorry but I just can’t deal.

If I’ve been following someone for a while and then I find myself no longer connecting to their blog, I still find it a struggle to unfollow them. This one time, everytime an email from this one blog would arrive, I would go “uuuggghhhh I am not going to read this, I can’t!” and immediately delete it without even looking at it. It still took me 2 months to unfollow them and even after that I felt incredibly guilty. I literally needed my two closest friends at the time (one blogger and one non-blogger) to tell me it was ok.

But I love finding new blogs to read! So this is a massive struggle within myself, and I’m not even sure if this post is even making sense – and guess what! I’m not going to edit it haha cos I never do.

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When I get a new follower, I always check out their page. Lately, if I’m even just the smallest bit interested in their blog I’ll follow back. The “About Me” page usually settles it for me. Then I have a month trial period. It’s a good way to judge if I’ll like their content. I also have a few blogs that I follow on Twitter and not on WordPress. If I find myself reading their posts from Twitter a lot, I’ll go and follow them after. Or sometimes I forget to do that and then it’s been like forever and I just suddenly realize that I don’t actually follow them and then I feel bad because I haven’t taken the time to actually follow them yet. Geez, the emotions I go through!

Do you have a system on who you follow? Are you drawn to certain types of blogs more than others? Do you feel guilty when you feel the need to stop reading someone’s blog? Do you set a limit on how many blogs you follow? Let me know so I don’t think I’m all alone in my neurosis.

28 thoughts on “The mystery of followers

  1. You read what you can, when you can!

    That guy on twitter needs to stop whining. If a social media user has that much time to complain, they are doing something wrong.

    I view my reader as an online newspaper. I read what catches my eye! No obligations. 🤔🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s weird how you wrote about this because it’s been something I’ve been thinking about. I went through a purge on my blog’s Instagram and unfollowed a bunch of accounts that I followed that I never interacted with/they never interacted with me/I just wasn’t interested in their content anymore. And I just went through a purge on the blogs I follow on here. I’m down to under 100 from close to 250. In the “manage” section, you can see when people last posted, and anyone whose name I didn’t recognize or hadn’t posted in a long time, I unfollowed. I’d much rather have a small following/follow a small amount of people and interact with them than follow a bunch of random blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly what’s I do – with the “manage” section. And you’re right, it’s so much better to have a small bunch you interact with. I also find it a little hard to get into new blogs because it takes some time to get emotionally invested in another blog and want to read it all the time. But I bet that purge felt pretty good! It’s stressful having blogs that I don’t interact with on the level I want to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to go on following sprees and now I see those people pop up in my reader and I’m like, I have no clue who you are. It felt pretty good to narrow down my following blogs to the people I interact with the most and I don’t have to spend as much time scrolling through my reader.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This has been a concern of mine ever since I started my first blog back in the day on a different platform. The community wasn’t nearly as welcoming as I feel it’s been since I started my current blog on WordPress. Which only means that I struggle with it even more than I did on the old blog. Because you’re right, no one has time to follow back every single follower you have. I’ll be honest, even the ones that I follow now, I’m only religiously opening certain bloggers posts without fail and making a concerted effort to thoroughly read and, if the mood strikes, leave a comment. Others, I just skim in my reader (I don’t use WordPress for that, I use Feedly instead) and if the title and/or opening paragraph grab my attention, I’ll go all in. I’m also sorry to say that there are a fair few bloggers that I followed once upon a time whose posts I still get, but I rarely, if ever open. I feel like having these follower/followee relationships are a lot like friendships. With some people you’re just going to connect more easily than you will with others. Some of those friendships will grow and can turn into lifelong meaningful relationships (even if you never actually meet that person). Others, like in real life, can fizzle out after a time. For some friendships, they only exist for a season, to see you through a particular time in life, and then they kind of die out. Not through anyone’s fault, it’s just the nature of relationships. I guess I just try not to get too bogged down in which of these relationships truly need to be cultivated, do the best I can with the time that I have, and hope that I don’t accidentally say anything that’s just wildly offensive to someone. It could happen 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The time struggle is real! Lol and you’re right about it being like friendships in real life. Sometimes people/bloggers are there just for a short time. And I’m sure you don’t say anything that would be taken as wildly offensive very often haha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I usually follow people that write for the reasons I do which is reflection and learning, or are funny in a quirky way where you can tell their personality (and not just being snarky or sassy to get followers) but genuine if not flawed real humans. Apart from that, I have three basics, which are parents, dogs and art lolol! I don’t follow anything strictly negative. Nothing that I don’t respect. Nothing ‘anonymous’ in the “arent i a mystery?” sense. And no poetry specific sites where someone is not talking about their life with up front CLEAR words on at *least* a few posts here and there. If i cant get a feel for who someone is, what’s the point!? So as you can see, I have no opinion on this matter 😂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha! I love it! I tend to follow people who write about their personal life, where I can get to know them more through their writing. I tend not to follow poetry blogs as well. There is one strictly poetry blog I follow but I don’t engage in it. His poems hit me right in the heart during an emotional time and I just read his little poems and be like “yes, I feel that” and move on haha. No likes or comments. Just appreciate and move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s hard for me to find blogs I vibe with. You and An Historian are two of my favorites so I probably won’t ever unfollow y’all. But as for who I follow back, I’m particular about who I do. And if I do, I don’t always turn the email notifications on – that helps me a lot.

    My issue is on Twitter & Instagram. I like to keep up with certain celebrities. And I also follow certain boutiques and stores that are local! So it adds up to a lot of people that I follow. I think I’m going to get An Historian to help me on that again.

    A follow for follow thought process is the worst! If I go on your blog/instagram/twitter and I find things that I vibe with, then yeah, I’m gonna follow you back! But follow for follow is like the worse. We can’t follow everyone. We can’t reply to everyone (not that I would know how that is. I don’t get many comments on anything). But that doesn’t mean we don’t love our followers.

    And it’s worse when some people guilt you for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I follow 1112 blogs currently, which seems like a lot except maybe 20-30 of them post each day, and you have to remember I’ve had this blog for 5.5 years so I’m following a bunch of people who stopped blogging a long time ago. Some time last year I did a purge. If the person hadn’t blogged in 3 months or more, and I didn’t have some sort of bond with them, I unfollowed. As for blogs I follow, I like finding blogs that are just a few days old because their initial posts are always very focussed on them and what they like, so that gives me an idea of who they are and if I’ll like their future posts. And by giving them a follower early on, maybe that gives them the confidence to keep going and think that people do care about their writing. That being said, a lot of new bloggers never post again after 1-2 posts so…

    On Twitter, I try to follow as few accounts as possible. I don’t want to be overwhelmed. Currently I’m following 171 which is fine. I won’t follow/follow back other bloggers on Twitter unless we’ve made some sort of meaningful connection on WP and I like their tweets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! You’re so nice in your approach to new bloggers. Most of the time when I see only a post or two I think “meh, I’ll come back later when they are more established” lol maybe I’ll try it your way for a little and see how it works out!

      And wow! I feel special since you follow me on Twitter! Hahah!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah my thinking is, they’ll never be established if they don’t have people supporting them, so might as well take a gamble.

        Lol you interact with me and other bloggers on Twitter which is great! Some just let their blog automatically share posts on Twitter and never actually do anything else on there.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand how frustrating this can be for you sometimes! It’s never ok for anyone to be passive aggressive, especially for something as petty as not interacting with one stinking post they make.

    I honestly haven’t been super active on my blog lately because college can get me down in the dumps sometimes, and it can be really difficult to find the will power to write a post after writing a bunch of school papers, yuk hahaha. But I’m trying to be more active now on my blog because ~new year, new me~ baby. I forget how funny people are on here. That’s one thing I look for when I follow a blog. I like them to have an interesting and funny style of writing. Or, if they are just plain interesting, I’ll follow them.

    This was a very enlightening post. It makes me think about how crazy people can get about followers and numbers of likes something gets. I wish people didn’t base their worth on these minuscule things. I used to be so focused on getting more followers on my blog, but I think I have 70 right now, and I’m perfectly content with that. As long as my mom reads my posts and thinks they’re funny, it doesn’t matter to me if I get a trillion likes and comments 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww! High education sucks the happy right out of life doesn’t it? I couldn’t even imagine trying to keep up my blog while I was in university. I might have had time because I never did my readings though… hehe!

      I’m glad you have a good outlook on followers and stats and stuff. When I first started i was so seduced by the stats. Thankfully I’m ok with ignoring them for the most part. I write for myself and not so much for the following. That’s super sweet that you just want your mom to read your posts! That would be my worst nightmare lol

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The “follow for follow” thing is annoying. I don’t expect anyone to follow me because I followed them or vice versa. I understand that people can interact with you as their follower but not enjoy the content you put out (and I’m relatively new to this whole blog community thing). So strange that Twitter guy would take the time to see what platforms you follow him on. Sometimes I get upset at my lack of following/ engagement, but I would never resort to those shenanigans (I’m also somewhat new, but patient). I can respect your goal of keeping followers limited. I had a hard time keeping on top of my inbox before I started following people on WordPress. I sometimes really struggle with it, as it’s definitely not my preferred method of communication. I really enjoy the community that is WordPress though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a transition for sure from non-blogger to blogger. Some people don’t want to run a blog that interacts with others, and some really enjoy that interaction. I love interacting with people on my blog. Especially if they have something to say about my posts, even if it’s not something positive – just as long as it’s done respectfully. We are never all going to agree on everything but we can always have a discussion about it. But you’re right, the “follow for follow” mentality is really off base. I think maybe this guy was new to blogging as well and expected that? I hope you find your blogging/not blogging balance. It took me a long time to really work it out! I really love the small community that I’ve developed here. It’s lovely! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. I’m glad I stumbled upon the WordPress community and I think I’m starting to go in the right direction. I was very confused how to work some of this stuff at first, but I am pretty persistent (when I want to be- haha). I genuinely enjoy viewing life from different perspectives and WordPress has many.

        Liked by 1 person

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