To Follow or Not To Follow…

Hello lovely readers :)

Photo Credit: WordPress

I have been struggling with an issue lately…An issue of following back.  So much of blogging is based around stats and readership, and because of this, I have noticed a lot of posts complaining about people who don’t follow back, or people who just follow everyone trying to get attention for their own site etc. Since I don’t automatically follow people back when they follow my blog, I just wanted to take a moment to explain why today!

First off, I want to start by saying I feel so honored to have so many people from so many different countries interested in reading my random thoughts about life! When I started this blog, I definitely didn’t expect to find such a community of readers and commenters here, and it’s been a wonderful and eye opening experience to get to know some of you.

Every one has so much to offer and so much to say!  Unfortunately, I only have so much time during the day to read those thoughts, and even less to comment with a well thought out response.  Because of this, you may never have noticed my presence on your site, unless I’ve stopped by with a “like” or a comment- but that doesn’t mean I’m not reading and enjoying.  It does mean, however, that I have to be a bit more choosy than I would normally be when it comes to which sites I follow back.

Chances are, if you’ve left a comment, or pressed the “follow” button, I’ve at least stopped by your site in return, just to check it out.  I figure those of you who have enjoyed my posts might just have a few I like as well :)  However, I have to be honest, that isn’t always true.  The beauty of the internet is that just about anyone can post just about anything – and there’s going to be someone out there who’s interested. It’s just not always me!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you’ve found inspiration in something I’ve written, and as a writer yourself, I’m sure that you understand the joy you feel when your stats take a jump or when you’ve gotten some new followers.  I think, however, your happiness would be diminished a few notches if you felt that these followers were merely “re-followers,” or writers attempting to boost the stats of their own site by networking – and weren’t actually interested in the posts you put so much of yourself into.

Update (10/26):  After spending more time in the blogging world, I’ve found myself with a few more things to add.  Although I respect everyone’s right to express themselves in whichever way they feel most comfortable – and although I have a tendency to swear more than a sailor when speaking, at times – I’ve found I struggle when reading blogs that use excessive swearing.  For me, one of the beautiful things about writing is that it gives us the time to really think about what we want to say, and indeed, edit our words more carefully than during a spoken conversation.  My own personal view is that this should leave swear words for moments of emphasis and absolute necessity, instead of being used as every day verbiage.

In addition, proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar are things I find essential. Obviously no one is perfect – I misuse and OVERuse the comma quite consistently, and there are words I always forget how to spell – so I’m certainly not going to be too picky on this point, except to say that an honest effort can get you quite far. Understandably, many people in the blogging world are also writing in a second language, so that’s definitely something I take into consideration as well.

To be fair to you, then, and to better manage my time, I will not be following people just to follow them.  However, I may follow you for a time to get a feel for your posts. I hope this does not seem rude!

So thank you again for reading…I love you guys, you’re awesome!  And whether I follow you back or not…happy writing!

How do you deal with the “follow back” policy?

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36 thoughts on “To Follow or Not To Follow…

  1. I usually read the “About” when I am thinking of following someone, and if that appeals, 9 times out of 10 I will follow. I have made a few mistakes and then unfollowed, but not too many. I do not automatically follow if I am followed – I have certain criteria that need to be met — I do follow a number of blogs that are very unlike me, but I find that they open up new worlds to me.

  2. I agree. There are a lot of great writers out there but those writers do not always write about a subject I am interested in and since I have little free time I have to be selective. I am not offended if someone does not follow me back because I am most interested in readers who are interested in my writings and will actually read my posts.

    • Exactly – there is so much out there and just not enough time to read it all. It’s good to know that other people have a similar view on the topic :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. I agree with what you are saying and both comments above. My blog site is only new so I haven’t built it up that hugely yet, but I do mostly check the posts of people who are following my site. I am very busy so I can imagine for people who have a lot of followers, it would be quite a feat to read every post, let alone comment! I think the thing to do is have an allocated time once a week to comment on posts and look at other blogs and then always do post each week – which I haven’t got to doing yet!

    • I love the idea of having a specific day to take care of responding to comments etc! It always feels like so much pressure to get back to people as soon as possible, but I don’t always feel witty on demand :) Thanks for the comment!

  4. I agree with you absolutely! My followers grew quite rapidly in the first few months, and it got to a point where if I followed back every blog, and tried to read every post, I would never get anything done during the day. That said I do try and at least visit their blogs, and sometimes I do follow back. It’s a very hard balance to strike, so I do know where you’re coming from! :)

    • Haha I know the feeling. At the beginning I was trying to keep up with everyone, and quickly discovered that just wouldn’t be possible! But yes, I agree, I generally try to pop over and check out the sites and at least read the About page :)

      • I often find you can learn a lot from people’s about pages! Though…it makes me wonder what people learn about me, bahahaha. My about page was never meant to be permanent, it was meant to be a short term thing but it’s proven popular so I’ve left it as is for now :P

      • Haha yeah, I noticed myself saying “the about page is really important!” before remembering…oh yeah, mine doesn’t say a whole lot! It’s hard to come up with a description of a blog in a nutshell, especially when they’re a collection of random thoughts :P

  5. I normally follow those who follow me, but for the past couple of months I have been unfollowing the overtly political, the overtly religious, and those who don’t blog enough to make it worth my time to stop by.

  6. I agree with your sentiments. I only follow the blogs that interest me, though I am very grateful to the other people who follow me. I usually go through the reader every day and read my favorites. I just love the fact that there is so much going on out there Yay! It is time consuming and I try to limit myself to 2 hours a day because I have so many other things I love to do beside blogging. :)

  7. Very well said. I only follow those that interests me (even if they don’t follow me back, I will not take it against them). And I will not follow someone just for the sake of following (if they follow me). I read their About Me first then, from there I will decide if I’d like to be updated with your posts. :)

  8. That sounds like a rational approach to me, Andrea. Perhaps that is partly because it is also the one I’m using! And even then I’m getting further and further behind on my blogs and posts reading list. It is humbling and frustrating because I truly want to be as supportive as I can to as many bloggers as I can. It sounds as though you are the same way and are struggling to keep up too.
    Russ

    • I feel the same way, Russ!

      Blogging has been such a great community, and I love being able to add to the support and encouragement, but it’s definitely hard to find a balance at times.

  9. Ohhh I 100% agree. I hate the whole follow back culture, and you’ve hit the nail right on the head with this post. I dislike it even more when people then unfollow you because you didn’t follow them back; sour grapes! At least try to disguise it. :P Luckily it doesn’t happen very often on WordPress. Don’t get me started on Twitter though… lol.

    Great post! :)

    • Oh yes! I have discovered several people have un-followed me because I didn’t follow them back. I understand when you’re writing something personal, it feels personal if someone doesn’t like it, but at the same time, it’s important to keep that perspective.
      Thanks for the comment!! :)

  10. I can completely understand and appreciate this policy. I have a lot of blogs I am “following” because having access to them on my reader list means I can go back and visit them on the occasions I have the juxtaposition of time & interest to do so. I love that you have clearly stated your position. Well done.

  11. I LOVE this! This is something I struggle with to, but ultimately I know I’m not doing myself or anyone else favors if I “follow” out of obligation…and for people who would be happy with that, they are probably people I don’t need to follow anyhow. One of my criteria before following is that I have to check out a person’s page and unless I KNOW their content is always the same theme, a theme I know I’ll always be interested in (like horror movies, for example), I have to find at least three or four of their posts interesting. Also, I wanna say thanks for still reading. WHile my punctuation and spelling is usually pretty good with the exception of a typo here and there, I do swear a lot. LOL

      • Lol, gotta love the timing! :P But really, wordpress, when are we gonna have the option to edit comments?? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pressed the reply button one second before noticing a typo and silently screamed “Noooooooo!!!”

      • YES! LOL.

        You can edit comments on your own blog, even other people’s comments, which I find a little odd, but you can’t edit anything you post to someone else’s. I guess the only thing that’s good about it is that if there’s a heated discussion in the comments, someone can’t go and change what they said after the fact.

    • I’m the same way, when I first started blogging I wasn’t as picky about who I followed and ended up not reading half of the blogs because they weren’t consistently a topic I was interested in. I guess that’s why they say one of the keys to successful blogging is to have a theme! I think I’m a bit more all over the map than I probably should be when it comes to my own posts.

      Haha, and I can definitely look past the swearing and the occasional typos/punctuation errors for such an entertaining blog! I always enjoy your posts :)

      • Thank you! My blog pretty much is all over the place…guess that’s why I have the categories. I think some people probably end up there and take one look at the home page and are like, oh un-uh! Haha!

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