Don’t Follow Me Hoping to Get a Follow Back

I’m telling you now: it’s probably not going to happen.

As I write this, I am following 771 blogs. Some of those blogs post more than once a day. Many of those blogs have also been inactive lately. But I still follow well over 700 blogs.

I like learning things, so I follow a wide variety of blogs. Many of them I have found on my own, but many found me first and followed. So I looked at their blogs, likely found something interesting, so followed back.

But my Reader is overflowing. Many days I just skip over more posts than I care to count because I don’t have time (I have 2 toddlers who laugh when I say “naptime” and my older one sometimes runs when I say “bedtime”).

I’d like to say this post is about how I’m busy, so I won’t be reading as much or following as many blogs.

But it isn’t.

And maybe I’ll sound disgruntled.

But I’m not.

Many bloggers follow me and never seem to return (you know the feeling. It probably happens all the time to you, too). Sometimes it’s because they stop blogging. Many times I get the feeling they’re a large blog just trying to grow their following, in which case I only follow if genuinely interested.

But sometimes it just feels like someone trying to simply build their following. Which I get. But, please, if you expect me to read and follow, then for goodness sakes do the same! (Though if you follow by email and only read me in your email, I’d love to know as I doubt those reads are counted as a view, so my stats would not be accurate, but are all I have to see how many people read my blog.)

I will continue to follow blogs I am genuinely interested in. But I will not follow blogs who follow me and then never seem to read me again. Unless I find it interesting. I simply won’t follow just because you follow me.

Fair warning: if you follow me in the hopes I will follow back, odds are good I won’t. I enjoy engagement. I enjoy knowing people respond to what I write. I am going to be more selective about who I follow because I genuinely want to engage with them and if I get the feeling you’re going to follow and then vanish, I’m not going to follow back unless I truly love your content. I really don’t want more than 700 blogs filling my Reader and email any time soon.

I’d rather have 10 faithful followers with whom I can engage than 1000 followers who barely give my posts a passing notice.

Fair warning.

Thank you.

27 Comments

  • OneLife

    So very true. Though I do not have a fan base as big as yours, nor do I write as often as you do, but it feels really satisfying when someone reads your thoughts and leaves a word of appreciation or feedback. Fair enough and completely justified. Cheers !

  • bitsanddragons

    Wow. I think you’re a victim of the Blog Bubble. Sometimes I wonder if internet, as we know it, is going to be there in the future. Do you remember altavista? ask.com? livejournal? The BBS? the forums? OK, you may still use forums. But facebook? Snapchat? When we have ubiquitous internet, my guess is that we will not follow anymore blogs, we will follow logs. Machine logs. What your fridge thinks of what you eat. What your switch says about your sleeping habits. Or your car. Those little things.

    Anyway, since you previously complained about a similar issue (stats?) I try to visit you and leave a comment if the post (that I receive via email) is moving me. Even so, my reading list + my job + my family = not as much time as I would like to dedicate to the *current* internet landscape. So thank you for saying what a lot of us are thinking.

    • kat

      The Internet is a mysterious and strange place. Well, really it’s probably the users who are strange and mysterious. Or so it seems to me. I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to technology and just can’t keep up. Though I’d be very interested to know what my fridge thinks of my eating habits.

      In all seriousness, as I was researching blogging and monetization, I read a lot about the follow-unfollow game on social media and it just made me sick to my stomach. It’s all just a game, but that doesn’t mean I have to choose to play. It just makes me sad when someone will comment about the number of followers I have when I know my viewership and readership are nowhere close to that number. It’s all very misleading. I’m not asking for readers and views, but instead hope that people think more carefully about who they follow. I can imagine someone new who suddenly finds 10 new followers, but 0 people actually reading them.

      I really do appreciate your readership. Life is understandably busy and I sincerely appreciate that you take the time to read and comment when you can. I also really look forward to your Water Wedding installments!

  • brookejcutler

    I agree, Kat! It drives me absolutely nuts when people follow just to get new followers and then you never see them again. I have a new rule that I’ll only follow back if I connect with the writer and there content, if I genuinely feel they might be the kind of person who is genuine and in it for the same reasons that I am, and not just to make me another notch upon their bed post, so to speak. For what it’s worth, I try to read your posts as much as I can! ☺️

    • kat

      I perfectly agree with your rule! It makes me sad that people to about blogging and social media like it’s a game. It’s not; it’s real people trying to share and they deserve some respect and attention.

      Haha, I know I post a lot, so I’m grateful that you read as often as you do! Thank you!

  • lyfeunpacked

    Yes! Interacting and connecting are what make blogging that much more enjoyable and meaningful. LOL to your child running from sleep. We are going through the same thing. #parentinglife

    • kat

      Yes, that’s so true! What’s the point of having thousands of followers if no one reads? Kids definitely need a repeated memo that sleep is important! Haha, one day they’ll have kids and wish they had slept more.

  • ourlittleredhouseblog

    Oh my gosh, I know exactly what you are writing about. I thought 200 followers was a lot to follow but you have 700 and two little humans to chase after. It is so hard to keep up with everyone. I also am happy with 10 followers that are close and we comment every now and then. I love having blogging friends. There is no way I can keep up with the big bloggers with 1,000’s of followers. I didn’t get into blogging for that. I just love reading what’s going on out there in the world and how others live, so I am always happy when someone stops by my site for a visit. I have my favorites and it always makes me a little sad when they fall off the blogging sites…I miss their posts. Guess I am just a sensitive artist. Anyway, good for you, stick with what your heart tells you to do. Thanks for sharing your honesty with us, that is also another thing I look for in others sites, just people being happy doing what they love.

    • kat

      Blogging friends are what makes blogging so much fun. There’s always someone with a new take on life or wonderful ideas for things to do (I get many crafty ideas from your blog!). And then to connect and find kindred souls and have those blogs you just have to read and the blogging friends who love what you write, well, it’s kind of magical. I absolutely agree that it’s important to look for those who just love what they do. Playing the numbers game is a sad way of going about things and likely not an effective way of fostering a loyal readership. But taking the time to make friends will make blogging so much more enjoyable. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  • Courtney McGuire

    I love this, so honest and refreshing ❤️ 100% after! I jumped on this website to blog/share life a week ago? And tonight is the first night I’ve actually had a moment to read and explore other’s pages. I have a 2.5 yr old, 1yr old, 36 weeks pregnant, & work full time corporate so getting this moment a week in is an accomplishment. I’m so glad this post was the first I’ve read! Thank you for being sincere!

    • kat

      My goodness, you sound busy! Blogging can be so rewarding, but the numbers game just sucks the fun right out. I’m so honored that my post was the first you read, so a huge thank you! All the very best of luck as you follow your blogging journey and grow your family!

      P.S. I haven’t had much time to comment lately, but I just wanted you to know I love your posts! Your photos documenting what you’re grateful for are wonderful!

  • Kelsi Clements

    As a new blogger, this is everything I’ve been thinking! On here and Instagram..and then there’s the dreaded follow/unfollow trick just to boost followers. My numbers change so drastically every day, it’s a little insane. I guess most follows are not genuine.

    Anyway, thanks for putting this out there. Knowing it’s not just me or my posts make things a little better.

    • kat

      Yeah, the games people play just to boost their numbers is crazy. I often wonder if the thousands of followers are true followers who actually care what people share. Just keep doing what you’re doing as I love your blog and the genuine people who are truly interested will find you and engage with you. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  • Alex

    I’m not following many blogs, and I’m not yet being followed by many… And I STILL struggle to read many of them.. But then with small children I struggle to go to the toilet on my own. So it’s no surprise really that time feels limited 😉

    • kat

      Haha, it really is hard to do anything when there are small children underfoot. I’ve noticed some bloggers have just stopped reading me as soon as I got a little too busy to read them consistently. Which seems a little crazy considering we all have lives to live. And those lost minutes that must have gone the way of socks in the washing machine.

  • jennifermzeiger

    700! Sheesh! I think my brain would explode. Periodically I’ll go through my reader and see who I’ve read recently, who’s been inactive for a long time and so on. I try to clean it up so I don’t become overwhelmed. Otherwise, as you say, I find the interaction with others suffers.

    • kat

      I really should do the same. There are many that have apparently vanished and some I don’t even enjoy anymore. But the ones that vanish, well, I always hope they return. But, you’re right, it does get overwhelming sometimes.

  • Jenni

    Couldn’t agree more!!!! I’ve gotten a few follows from people trying to sell things, or they write about things I have no interest in. I don’t want to be rude, but at the same time, I don’t like wasting time. Time is scarce with toddlers. Love the honesty!

    • kat

      Thanks! Time really does vanish in a flash with young kids. I have many of those followers, too, but I feel better knowing it’s just a business strategy for them and they don’t actually care about my blog because I never see them again.

  • lousymomma

    Hi lily, I’m a new blogger, well I have wrote before but never shared anything, but now here I am, I stumbled upon your page, and I have to say I love your writing skills, how your just flow, you have totally inspired me, so thank you!

    • kat

      Welcome to the blogging world! That’s great that you’re taking the leap into blogging and I wish you many successes. It’s not always easy, but the community here is fantastic and supportive. Thank you so much for reading!

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