Menu

The Art of Following a Blog

There’s nothing passive about being a good listener.

Image by Taryn (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, your blog: pitch a tent anywhere on the web, and the expectation is that people will quickly line up to give you a (virtual) high five in the form of a “follow.” I see it often enough in our own Community Pool posts here at The Daily Post: “Follow me and I’ll follow you back!”

It’s pretty clear what the followed blogger’s supposed to do: keep posting stuff that others enjoy reading. Be a gracious host. Ensure posts are readable. But what about the follower? Is there a job description for what happens after you click on a blog’s “Follow” button (or Follow Blog Widget)? Here’s some food for thought.

Don’t expect instant reciprocity

You shouldn’t take the plunge if you don’t want to read new content from the person whose blog you just followed.

When you follow a blog you’re making a light, but real, commitment: each new post from that site will show up in your Reader (and/or your email, depending on your delivery settings). You shouldn’t take the plunge if you don’t want to read new content from the person whose blog you just followed.

Interaction and reciprocal generosity are among the cornerstones of the blogging community, and form the basis of any meaningful online conversation. But you should never expect immediate reciprocity in the form of a follow-back. Demanding it, however politely or indirectly, cheapens the gesture of following someone’s blog in the first place.

Slow-cooked admiration is the best kind

There’s something intoxicating about discovering a great voice you hadn’t read before. I stumble on new, fantastic blogs every day, and when I do I follow them. I then immediately want to read, like, and comment on every single post.

Note: If you wish to resist instant gratification, you can opt to receive new posts on a daily or weekly basis, instead of instantly. Just tweak your email delivery settings (which can be done for individual blogs as well as in bulk).

I stop myself from actually binge-reading (most of the times, anyway): I prefer to think of following a blog as a longterm relationship, one in which I gradually discover more and more of the blogger’s voice, skill, and temperament. It takes a long time to build a blog (though taking our Blogging 201 course, starting next week, might help). Following it should equally be considered a process that unfolds over generous stretches of time.

Don’t be a (total) stranger

It’s nice to  show a sign of life to the bloggers you follow every once in a while: a comment here, a well-phrased reblog there, a sprinkling of likes.

These are not huge gestures and don’t take a lot of time, but they can mean a lot to those who receive them. It’s these kinds of gestures that make followers feel like engaged partners in a conversation rather than disembodied Gravatar images hovering in your blog’s attic. It’s also the best, friendliest, and most organic way of drawing another blogger’s attention to you and your own work.

The idea behind following a blog is to give you an easy way to focus your attention on something you find valuable.

It’s fine to pick favorites

I follow more than 800 blogs. While I’m happy to have discovered each and every one of them, I most definitely have my favorites — the ones I return to time and again, the ones I always hope to see a new post from in my Reader. Blogs are like people, in that sense: having strong preferences doesn’t take away from my appreciation of everyone else, but rather grounds the value of my affection in the first place. If you like all blogs equally, you don’t really love any of them.

What does that mean in practical terms? No need to feel bad if you find yourself engaging with some followed blogs more than others.

There’s an Unfollow button, too

Given the number of blogs I just confessed to follow it might sound hard to believe, but I unfollow blogs all the time. There’s nothing personal or vindictive about it: sometimes, my reading relationship with a blog has simply run its course. You can unfollow blogs for any number of reasons — they publish too little or too much for your taste, repeat the same idea frequently, or have taken a turn in their editorial style that doesn’t mesh with your current preferences.

It’s ok. The idea behind following a blog is to give you an easy way to focus your attention on something you find valuable. There’s already so much distraction in our lives; why dilute our attention with things we’re no longer passionate about? Unfollow! You might still rediscover an old blog you used to follow later on — and fall in love all over again.

What does following a blog mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Show Comments

153 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

  1. Ahhh comments are fixed, ill post here now 🙂

    *****************

    See I don’t think that people are making a light, but real commitment once they follow a blog, in my experience the bulk of follows that you get are random and out of the blue, they are not preceded by a comment of any kind, you know the sort of thing whereby a person comments on one or two of your posts and then you see a followed icon. No they are just there bam, X has followed you which is great I guess but then you will never every hear from that person again, not a like, not a comment, Nada, Ничего, Niente, Niets, Nothing.

    Sometimes I am surprised and there is interaction (and I love that if it is meaningful) but I would say 85% of the time it’s a one off thing and I think that the reasoning behind it is that if they follow enough people then people will reciprocate as that seems to be the etiquette. These people have no interest in your blog or what you have to say, they are interested in harvesting enough followers as possible for their affiliated scheme, or product, or something similar. It is annoying and I wish there were a way to remove such followers from following.

    Recently though I’ve noticed a few do post a comment, well a non comment really, they will say “great post” or “interesting” they normally find their way to my trash but I played along recently and replied with a “?” nothing more, nothing less and I got nothing back, not a “sorry what do you mean” or anything which proves to me that this person has zero interest in my blog (unless anyone can enlighten me that my thinking is flawed).

    I never follow because someone says follow me and ill follow you, the blog has to engage me and interest me, as I assume mine has to do the same with the people who are interested in it. Unless it is an obvious “ghost follower” as I call them I will add them to my external reader, monitor the posts for a while then follow if I find I am drawn in, doesn’t have to be every posts a winner but there have to be a click, a connection.

    Liked by 18 people

    1. I too wish there was an option to remove followers. I know it exists on other social media platforms, like twitter, etc. I just don’t like that I’m associated at all with some of the people that have followed my blog.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. It its one of the only downsides to WordPress I find, and if you start to “collect” many then it becomes more difficult to remember what is good and what is bad.

        Like

    2. Oh yes – What you said is almost exactly what I would have written.

      Reciprocation is a good thing, but not when the other party has nothing to say. I don’t care to add followers at the cost of conversation.

      I have to like the blog and the contents to “follow”. Otherwise why bother?

      I have followers who have never once visited my blog and read a post. What value should I place on them?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, Its ok to not follow a blog in return, someone may like yur stuff but their stuff isn’t really your thing, most people get that. The ones that follow then disappear I don’t get, the ones that are trying to sell me something or promote something have no value to me. There needs to be interaction if someone follows you and like and/or comments then that gives a basis for conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agreed. I did have a young mother or two following my blog. They commented on a couple of posts and we had a brief chat. However, their blog was all about bringing up young kids. As a middle-aged man who is, thankfully, well past all that, I found nothing of interest on their blogs. So I could not reciprocate.

        I really don’t get the silent ones. Everyday, WP stats tell me that less than 1% of visitors bothers to comment or even like any of my posts.

        What I can get from that is:

        I write real rubbish. Or they don’t understand any of it. Or they are hoodwinked into visiting because of the tags. Or they don’t know about commenting. Are they bots, trawling the web?

        Are they disappointed or disengaged? I don’t know.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. This comments pretty much sums up exactly my feelings on it too. and if you ask the question direct, well its too direct, or gets ignored.

        Like

      4. I think the ratio you describe isn’t actually that surprising — the vast majority of people on the web consume “silently,” i.e. without engaging with the content they’re reading. In any case, it most certainly isn’t a symptom of “real rubbish” — far from it.

        Like

      5. Ben, if your comment about my writing not being “real rubbish” is after visiting my blog, thank you very much. I really appreciate that. If it is a generic comment, I do agree with you. There is a lot if good stuff out there.

        One person I chatted with only visits blogs that have TLDs, . He used that as an indicator of quality. I disagree. There are many, many bloggers out there who have not upgraded to custom domains, yet are fantastic to read.

        Like

  2. I attempted to be the first commenter, and the slider wouldn’t show up the comment box. Something was goofy.

    The need to write this article, timely and appropriate, shows up the onesidedness of blogging. Writers create, bloggers add content, and everyone struggles to get response.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate this post and hope I’m a gracious blogger. However I don’t think because I’ve followed someone they should have to follow me back. I follow mostly photography but a lot of non photographers follow me. But I’m not interested in a lot of their topics because I mostly follow photographers. And I’m sure I follow people who don’t follow me back. That’s perfectly fine by me. I don’t block to keep track or do tit for tat. I blog for the sheer love.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. This is an excellent read. I follow blogs that “speak” to me. Even if it’s not a topic I’m familiar with, if the blog is well written and has a good vibe then I’m in. I visit the blog of each follower I get, but I don’t automatically follow back. Likewise, I don’t expect every blogger I follow to reciprocate. I like to request and give feedback, especially on the community pool, but I think it’s a turn-off when people ask for a follow in return for a follow. A request for feedback is great, though! Karen 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’ve developed a reflex that any time someone leaves a really great, insightful comment, I decide to follow them. It’s not a payback or an obligation, just an appreciation that we might be of like mind in terms of taking blogging and writing seriously. I’m not stingy with my follows but I will ditch people if their blog goes south. None of this applies to a blog that is white on a black background or where I have to wear special glasses to discern the message. Those I just click X s soon as possible.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mmm… A bit of a sidebar, but I have to say that I quite like the “Spun” theme. I use it for my main blog. This is mainly black on a white background. Perhaps you will be kind and have a look if you have some time and let me know whether it causes vision issues.

      My main reason for liking that particular theme is that it allows you to focus on the content. I am not a photographer and I am not a web-developer. I feature mainly argumentative and informative pieces in my main blog. It is not that I am lazy or inconsiderate, I just like minimalistic themes and this gives me time to focus on what I think is actually important – the post itself.

      Like

  6. Thanks so much for posting this post: it answers several questions that I have had since becoming more active as a blogger (thanks to Blogging 101). My biggest concern as a follower is that sometimes I’ll rethink a comment I made–and it’s too late. This makes me a bit gun shy and more prone to “liking.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have two reasons for following someone’s blog. The first is: I read a couple of their posts and enjoyed it. The second is: it seems like a nice blog, but I don’t have the time to read it now, I’ll follow so I can read latter. And yes, all the blogs I follow are subject to a review, and if they begin to annoy me, unfollow.

    I used to visit the blogs of everyone that followed mine, I used to always give them a chance to impress me, but I have become tired of trying to give a chance to someone who most likely never read a single one of my posts.

    To me the worst was a blogger I followed that was selling reblogs and recommendations on his blog. He had been freshly pressed, so his audience was huge, and if you paid him, he would expose you to his 80K+ followers. As soon as I realized that my “follow” had become a product for him to sell, I unfollowed him immediately.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. This doesn’t sound like a particularly ethical use of one’s blog, but I of course can’t say anything specific without our Terms of Service team looking at the site in question first. If you or anyone else ever encounter such behavior, feel free to report it at abuse-report@wordpress.com.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. This same person (I think, I suppose there might be more “industrious” people out there) also followed my blog.

      Although I can’t say that I was impressed (he had very, very little in the way of informative or amusing content) I can’t say that I find it personally offensive – just like I don’t find someone trying to sell me time-share personally offensive (I just delete the e-mail / tell them I don’t have time on the phone / don’t go to their meeting).

      I also wondered whether this is allowed in terms of the WordPress terms of service though, as it does not seem particularly ethical. Then again, WordPress promotes its own affiliate program. Advertising is an unfortunate reality of the blogging world, it seems.

      I would not offer reblogs or recommendations for payment, partly because I believe that it does do harm to your image. I would not pay him for a reblog or recommendation either, because I don’t believe being featured on his site would suit the image I am trying to build. (And no, my business is not online marketing!)

      But perhaps we are just all a tiny little bit over-sensitive with this issue. Perhaps it is not a bad idea to consider that people have different motivations for their blogs – some for advertising revenue, others because they want to be gurus and yet others for countless other reasons.

      I don’t have that many followers yet, but most of them are the result of lengthy (but cordial!) debates about issues they posted about on their sites. We may not interact on a daily basis, but I try to get to those people’s blogs at least once a week.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. 800 blogs!! Holy cow. That’s like having 800 shoes… Which is to say, I can’t imagine that much variety of anything. I’m a serial follower (as with my shoes… it’s boots season now and so I mostly wear boots, boots, boots.) With the 20 or so blogs I follow I try to read whenever they post, if they make me feel or think something, I comment. In fact, pretty much if I read it, I leave my mark (a like or a comment) and for the most part, if I find myself over time not liking it enough to “like” or not having anything to comment on, I tend to move on.
    To sandals. Or clogs.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You can never have too many shoes, I say… 🙂 But I agree. It is possible to follow too many. We only have so many hours in the day, after all. But a good circle of interactive and interesting bloggers is wonderful! I believe I have that. 🙂 Oh, and also lots of shoes. And heels. And boots…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really think some of the best blogs only post a few posts a month or maybe once or twice a week. Those , for me anyway, are much easier to manage. I almost always unfollow bloggers who post daily. I call that “literary diarrhea”.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Featured E-Magazine does make a very good point.

        However, many bloggers just starting out are encouraged to post a lot in order to build their audience.

        I think that posting once to twice a week would probably be my personal ideal posting schedule. And while I have had a few sparks of ideas I feel really passionate about, I have refrained from posting because I don’t want to spam people following.

        I do think that there is a way to get around that somewhat – and perhaps you will let me know how you feel about that if you have the time.

        I keep separate blogs for separate issues:
        My main blog focusses on working moms and women in general (finances, employment / unemployment, feminism, politics, etc.).
        My second blog focusses purely on parenting.
        My third blog focusses on environmental concerns and then I have my business blog which is an electronic platform for my business. As such the posts deal with process improvement and governance issues.

        I do on occasion, reblog a post from one blog onto another blog with more visibility.

        This does have the drawback of splitting your audience (and your following) if you are going to use your blog for advertising, but I personally think that it is more polite and follower-friendly.

        Any thoughts?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is excellent and comprehensive advice for establishing worthwhile relationships.

    I am “suspect” when I receive notification someone is following me, and he/she hasn’t left an introductory comment either about themselves or about the post that inspired them to follow me. Sure enough, most of those followers never turn into interactive relationships because that’s all they did was click the follow button.

    Therefore, even though you recommend slow preliminary interaction, I suggest you always leave a comment when you click to follow someone which will separate you from the “follow imposters”.

    I, too, will unfollow for all the reasons you cited. I am curious – if a follower has been actively and regularly commenting and then a month or two go by and you don’t hear from them, do you advise a query? Sometimes WordPress Reader inadvertently drops a Follow, and that person might not have realized it. Or they might have decided your posts have become irrelevant or you post too much or too little. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know in order to improve your blogging appeal?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a personal call, clearly. I wouldn’t contact someone to ask if they still followed me unless it’s a person I actually knew quite well and/or was friends with outside of blogging, just because I wouldn’t like to put a reader in such an awkward position. But again, this will vary quite a bit depending on the situation and personalities involved.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I understand the frustration of receiving a “follow” by someone who doesn’t leave any comment. It makes you wonder if they read your posts or not. I try to comment on blogs that I follow, but sometimes I refrain for lack of time or for fear that I don’t have much to say about the post. And I often follow blogs that seem nice just so I can receive the updates and then begin to read their posts. I don’t know how many people do what I do, but not everyone who follows your blog out of the blue it’s doing it just to get some attention, they might have an actual interest on your blog and are saving it for later.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Agreed.

        For some people following is just a convenient way to bookmark. There is nothing wrong or sinister about that.

        Although I always try to leave a comment, I can’t always structure a response in such a way that it won’t seem like a non-response. This is especially the case with highly personal blogs, which are really not my forte. Sometimes reading a good post is like intimacy – dissecting it simply ruins the experience.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. @Sammy D. Please don’t judge those of us who follow and don’t immediately comment too harshly: if I’m on a mobile device reading WordPress, everything becomes more difficult for me, and I find commenting on a mobile device somewhat unreliable (I’m clumsy with touchscreens, in part). It might need to read someone’s posts for a week or so before I work up the courage to post, but the silent observer may still be a thoughtful observer? When I tried to click on someone’s Gravatar, I’ve also accidentally unfollowed people on my phone several times. usually, I correct that right away, but I’m sure it is annoying.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have definitely gained a new perspective and appreciation for those who click follow and don’t comment. You and others have given reasons I hadn’t considered. And I do appreciate all followers!

        Thank you for responding! I can’t do anything on my mobile! Way too small to type correctly 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a new blogger. Honestly speaking when I got a follower (first follower) I felt so much excited! It is some kind of inspiration for a new blogger I think. At the same time I want to say that, if my followers don’t read my blogs than it doesn’t make any sense to me. I also follow some blogs and always try to read their new post. Sometimes I failed due to my own business. I can’t express my opinions nicely. This is a limitation of me. So, I left comments rarely. But, I think this is also very important to leave comments on the blog I follow. When anyone follows a blog he/she should be honest, try to leave comments, ask questions than it will be meaningful!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I didn’t want to say that, a follower have to leave comment if he/she has nothing to say. Someone is following my blog, but I am not seeing any kind of sign of his/her in my blog than how can I understand he/she is reading my blogs? You disagree with me and I know that from your reply. If you didn’t reply me, how could I know that? Thanks for your opinion!

        Like

  11. I definitely have favorite bloggers that I get excited about when they pop up in my feed. I try to comment on their post, whatever the topic, so they know someone appreciates the effort they’ve put in. I also hope it encourages them to keep writing so I can read more great, funny, inspiring, thought-provoking (pick your adjective) posts. I know the few comments I receive are a light that encourages me to keep writing. This post addressed an issue I’ve wondered about. I appreciate the honesty and directness in your advice. Thanks!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. A great post that gets me thinking on a topic on my mind recently. My time constraints have meant I have been unable to read much recently at all. I find that when I do I want to catch up on what you call favorite blogs, but if you follow a few the reader stream is a mess trying to find what you want to find unless you write down the names if your memory is rubbish like me and type in their urls individually on another browser, which is all a bit fiddly.

    It is a shame you can’t set up the reader to have your favorite posts streamed separately…or is there a way you do it that makes it easier that I have not discovered yet?
    Wow 800 is a lot lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Justine – I’ve wished for the same thing. A way to select a stream of favorite bloggers separate from the total number of bloggers I follow in my Reader. You’ll probably be told to have your favorites come to you via email. That doesn’t work well for me.

      Of course YOU would be at the top of my favorite blogs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so frustrating!

        No i didn’t do it because when I read the description, it said the list is accessible to everybody. I don’t want to offend bloggers I follow if they figure out they aren’t on my “super favorite” list!!

        So I decided to wait and think about it.
        And now YOU say it diesn’t even work!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad I could help! I’d be also happy to hear if/how using it has improved your reading experience — it’s a fairly new feature and we’d love to have more feedback from our users.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Now one question, it cropped up in my mind and others. This listing is not private which could cause offence to current bloggers etc that might follow one. Is there no way that lists could be made private?

        Like

      3. They’re currently public-only, though the idea of private lists is an interesting one. There is a level of inherent privacy to lists, though, in the sense that until you share them with others the URL isn’t visible anywhere. Not the same as actually private, of course, but in practical terms it might resolve some of the potential issues I can think of (though not all, of course).

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My quick-and-dirty method of checking up on blogs that have gotten lost in my Reader stream is to go to “Blogs That I Follow” in the Reader and click on “edit.” Then the list of followed blogs pops up for me. Wow, I just did that: I am following 75 blogs. Who knew?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A big thumbs up for writing this! I second everything you said.

    To me reading a new blog is like meeting a new person – a couple of interactions, and I usually know whether the idea of meeting them again excites me enough to exchange phone numbers.

    I have to be interested in what they have to say or I won’t follow. Sometimes I’m a lurker, because I’m in awe of the writing style or feel that I may not be adding enough value; but when I do comment it’s usually something meaningful.

    And if the conversation gets too boring or the frequency too much, I bow out, silently. No hard feelings!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This was a great read. Thanks a lot!

    I ‘like’ a certain number of posts before I follow them. That’s the best policy for me. However, sometimes I will follow them without ‘liking’ their posts if a majority of the blog is pretty cool and it’s on a level i can handle, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I follow blogs I find interesting but sometimes the posts I wait for or the ones I read regularly fail to appear in my blogs I follow category and so I end up missing the posts 😞

    Like

  16. Everything you said is true. I’m actually making more of an effort to really connect with the bloggers I follow. I want to feel like I ‘know’ them, but it can be overwhelming at times. I’ve started by really exploring the blogs of the people that comment or like my posts frequently. It’s been working too. Now, if I don’t get an email alert for a new post, or have any comments from them for a week or two, I find myself thinking, “What happened to so and so? I wonder what they’re up to.” And off I go to check in on them. So it’s like they’re becoming real people to me, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s also served to enhance my own blogging experience and sense of community.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Like I said in my post I’m confused Following blogs in the hope of the owners might follow you back is like cheating. To me, I will only follow someone out of genuine interest or otherwise not. What is the used of following hundreds of blogs when you don’t have the time nor the interest to read them all. I find it quite unfair for the people concerned.
    Likewise when it comes to commenting and liking. I would only post a comment if I have something relevant to say or otherwise I shut up. I would only hit the like button if I am truly impressed. Maybe people would think that I am not generous enough with compliments (my children have the same objection) and that is probably true but when i give them, i truly meant it.

    Like

    1. I have to say that I normally try to find something to comment on, just to show a little bit of appreciation for someone’s effort. If I leave a very long comment, it is because someone made me think and got me all passionate and riled up about a particular topic.

      However, I think that it is important to distinguish between solicited and unsolicited traffic. If you post asking for advice in a particular forum (often Community Pool) then it seems to me that it is not unreasonable to expect a return visit. I am not saying follow or like (I am also very stingy with those), but at least make the effort to read one of their posts and leave a comment.

      Like

      1. everyone is entitled to their own opinion. and standpoint might differ according to what people believe in, their personal experiences, their expectation and desires. nobody is right and wrong of course, it just a matter of perception. about asking questions: well, one could do nothing but hope/expect. the rest is up to others if they want to do some effort or not. no expectation equals none or less chance of being disappointed, solicited or not.

        Like

  18. When you said”don’t be a stranger” and show some life it made me really want to comment on every piece of work I have read and flood everyones work with positivity and let them know that I absolutely loved their work as well as yours… i should probably start doing that!!

    nice blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. i am forever grateful to those faithful followers who comment even when i am silent with my replies and in my comments on their blogs. my internet connection is very slow, and it sometimes takes hours to upload photos. for over a year, some of my most devoted followers continue to leave thoughtful comments. i didn’t start the blog in hopes of gaining lots of followers, but wow, my cup runneth over, and i now have an amazing extended family, all thanks to wordpress!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes..Comments to me are more golden than followers, even though I’m grateful for all interactions on my blog. I just love that people take the time to speak about something. Every writer wants to provoke either an agreement or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My question is when someone ‘likes’ my post, am I supposed to thank them for liking it? I try to thank all that follow, but not sure about the like part. I try to go to everyone’s blog to see what they write about, and if it is interesting, I’ll follow them. Finding time to read all I want to though is hard, plus writing my own! Thanks for this post…it has been very informative and also reading everyone’s comments!

    Like

    1. If you feel inclined, go for it, but I doubt most people expect to be thanked for a like; this runs the risk of starting an endless chain (or spiral?) of gratitude, which, while nice as an idea, wouldn’t be practical for most of us.

      Like

  22. For me, followers are the coupe de grace.. Unlike some bloggers, I have no desire to be famous, read, etc yet here I am with almost 700 followers(ok, of those 700, 1/3 are trash sites, 1/3 are not participating followers but the remaining 1/3 are wonderful bloggers who visit regularly. I am so appreciative of anyone that takes the time to visit what photo I have posted as I write very little so it’s more like a stop by the Postcard stand.
    Great topic and one that gives me more to think about.
    800 blogs you follow? Oi vey!

    Like

    1. Oy vey indeed! It does mean my level of engagement with the vast majority remains minimal, but I’m still happy to have easy access to blogs I’ve enjoyed over time.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks, Ben. This great article was well timed.

    I started blogging this year on another platform and moved here in September. I hadn’t focused on getting followers and was happy to share my thoughts with real friends and FB friends (you know what I mean).

    When exposed to WP resources, I took the opportunity to improve my blogging experience and signed up for blogging101. It was a great experience; learned a lot from the structured WP content as well as from the community of bloggers. Through the interaction with fellow bloggers, I followed the ones I liked and we regularly visited and commented on each other’s posts. The list of followers increased though and vice versa. The course’s tasks plus keeping up with work and life in general, made it difficult to read even those blogs.

    But all of a sudden I got lots of new followers; I had absolutely no time to check their blogs to date. But I also noticed that they didn’t read nor comment. I was asking myself who are they and why they follow me. Well, I reckon they want me to follow them.

    I appreciated your post exactly because it summarizes what I believe to be the right behavior. I treat my blog, its followers, and the ones I follow, in the same way I treat myself and my friends. It is based on genuine, mutual, personal and reciprocal interest and not on obligation and unilateral interests.

    After getting some advise form MIchelleW, I created my own rules.
    And I don’t follow blogs just because they follow me to get me following them.

    I don’t expect reciprocity if I follow a blog either. My blog is my living room and I want to be at ease here with those that enjoy what I do.

    Sometimes I follow blogs from pros, who write really well, and I want to learn from them. I expect them to feel no obligations towards me, and hope they don’t think I’m after their click.

    Sorry, this was almost a post. ;-). Thanks again, Ben.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. > this was almost a post

      And a terrific one, too! Thanks for sharing your views so thoughtfully (and welcome to WordPress.com!).

      Like

      1. Thank you, Ben. I’m loving WordPress; you guys are doing a fantastic job, teaching us to rise the bar, and making blogging a worthier experience to readers and writers. Chapeau!

        Like