Followers- Scmollowers

We all love to get new followers on our blogs. Isn’t it great to see that notification that so-and-so is now following your blog? Remember the first one? What a good feeling. Not only did someone actually read your stuff, they clicked ‘Like’, then followed to read more. It seemed to add value to the blogging experience like nothing else, and made starting out all the more worthwhile.

Then they came back! They carried on reading, continued to leave comments, and even engaged with other followers. In many cases, they followed others who followed you, and you followed some (or all) of them back. Before you knew it, there was a community. A definite group of regulars, valued and treasured, giving extra purpose to your daily blogging, and soon feeling like good friends too.

As time went on, you might have started to notice that many of those followers never once left a comment. If you took the time to visit their own blogs, you might have been confused to find that their posts were always about blogging. Driving traffic on blogs, maximising your audience, monetizing your blog posts, and optimising your ‘opportunity’. The numbers of blog followers continued to mount, and pretty soon you were thrilled to discover that you had 100 followers. WordPress sent you a congratulatory notification, and it felt really good. Remember that?

If you were lucky, that figure rose to 1,000, then 2,000, and in my case 3,413, as of this morning. But then I started to feel ungrateful. The comments were from the same people all the time. Those good, solid bloggers. The people who worried if you went missing, the people who emailed you privately to discuss things not suitable for blog comments. The people who had stuck with you for six years, and survived your blogging insecurities, as well as the ups and downs of your posts. What had happened to the other 3,000 ‘followers’?

Some had stopped blogging. A few had sadly died, and many had grown tired of your similar output, and moved on to something more exciting to read. One or two had violently disagreed with an expressed opinion, and others just seemed to be on ‘Pause’, popping up out of the blue, after very long absences.
New followers replaced some of those lost. They engaged, commented, and became familiar; blogging friends from afar, with their own stories to tell, or interests to share. But most were still trying to sell something, offer a paid service, merely promote a book, or asking you to ‘follow back’, to build their own stats.

Since last Saturday, I have been notified of no less than twelve new followers. I should be over the moon that twelve strangers want to follow my blog. I should be grateful that they took the time to read a post, liked what they saw, and clicked to follow my humble blog. Of course, I went onto their sites to add my thanks, read some of their posts, and to see if I might want to follow back. But I wearily discovered that ten of those bloggers were not real bloggers at all. Six of the sites were just offering to ‘drive traffic’ onto my blog. One was selling a range of cosmetic products for women, and another just re-printing texts from The Bible, to warn me of the impending apocalypse. Another listed a baffling array of drugs and elixirs that would make me live longer, and the last one was offering to find me a bride in China. None of the ten had read a single post, obviously, or they would have known how unsuitable their blogs were to me.

These people are just spammers, ones who have managed to slip though the net by creating what looks like a blog, and following others to promote themselves. Without wishing to appear ungrateful, I do have a message for anyone like that.

Please don’t follow my blog.

109 thoughts on “Followers- Scmollowers

  1. Hey! Honestly I just typed followers in the search bar and didn’t really expect anything and this post came up. I didn’t personally encounter any spammer yet. But they seem to be awful..
    Anyway hope you’re doing fine. Have a nice day! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh no! I hope you are feeling better about this or you realize how much of a valuable piece of this community. You are a rock to me, Pete. I really mean that. I am so sorry that I haven’t been around like I should have been. I have felt a lot of guilt about not being there for my friends because I really want to be there but life just went out of control but I had to learn I deserve to take at least an hour out a day to communicate with my friends online because I don’t have real friends offline. I’m sorry that I have neglected my blogging abilities and what the fuck is up with someone trying to sell you a Chinese Bride. All the posts that I have even done lately were pre planned obligations. I haven’t put my old spark into things and it makes me sad because I miss all of that. True I have been battling Akismet back and forth but I hate there is always something and just want to shove that shit down and be there for my friends.❀❀❀ I’m sorry if I let you down. *hugs* always!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You never let me down, Dani, and this post isn’t about my friends like you. I am well aware of your struggles, and just knowing what you have to cope with makes any visit from you treasured. This was just about those sellers, and ‘follow me back’ bloggers who build the stats numbers but have no sense of what blogging is about. You absolutely know what blogging is about, and were born to be a blogger loved by anyone who comes across your blog. πŸ™‚ X
      Best wishes as always, Pete. xx

      Like

  3. Interesting post. I’m a new follower (schmollower?) from this past week, so I must be counted among this twelve. But, none of it resembles me, I think. I’m just a new blogger who is interested in what you’re writing. (And it’s true, I’ve mostly lurked, but I feel too new to it to offer β€œhelpful” input.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Ari. You don’t fit into this category at all, I am pleased to say. You don’t have to comment if you don’t want to, and you are not one of the ‘non-bloggers’ mentioned.
      Thanks for leaving this comment, and I do appreciate you following.
      Best wishes,Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have seen the same thing happening lately myself and was going to write a post about it. I did a search on “followers” and your post popped up. It’s disheartening! It would be nice to have a true number! Well Pete, I’m a real blogger who just followed you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi. So sorry to hear this. These are actually real scenarios these days. And we can’t hold on to that. As for me, I write because I like to inspire people and impart my experience in life. Experience that people can learn as well. We have different intentions of our interest. Hopefully they will use theirs in goodwill.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I do indeed recall the first follower!
    As I creep towards my first anniversary in Blogsphere, I have a quiet aim roaming around my head .. to reach a thousand followers before the year is up. I have until the end of October I think!
    I notice on the days I peruse others’ blogs, pause and comment, genuinely read and enjoy – or not – are the days when a new blogger or two, or three, may drop into my followers’ box. (I don’t count the australian stripper team, or the marketing gurus who want you to make lots of money .. they get deleted in fact. I hate bots.)
    I’ve loved blogging, idly musing over rubbish and then important stuff, developing the craft of writing itself, posting bad poetry, dark fiction, funny stuff and the occasional photo of food I’ve astonishingly prepared.
    Must dash … got some work to get on with.
    Viola
    PS .. Maybe the australian hunks were not deleted, I don’t remember …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice to see you, Viola. My sixth anniversary is coming up, so well done to you for sticking out that first year, which I reckon is the hardest one. I hope that you get your 1,000 followers, and continue to love blogging. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WordPress statistics claim I have 190 followers on DearTedandJody. Three of you (you and two of your followers) regularly comment, and another one of your followers almost always leaves a like. So, I have four followers in the WordPress sense of the word follower. However, I figure I have three friends and one acquaintance. Then there are 186 other people (could be bots) who have stopped by at least once. Some of those 186 could have read something I posted, but a goodly number of them want to sell me on buying their service to drive more followers to my blog or some other product of service. At least that is what it appears from the build-up of span in my spam folder. None-the-less the letters to my old friends, Ted and Jody, will go out every day and I suppose will continue for some time into the future.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I once replied to someone I thought was a bot (and still do) .. I felt like Inspector Clouseau (spelt wrong probably) as I laid a trap inviting him/her to reveal themselves with a further reply. Alas none came. I still feel its a bot. Always liking my posts, about five weeks after they are published!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I still ignore the stats as far as followers are concerned, and work on the basis that around 3-400 people actually read my stuff. I have around 2,200 views a week, roughly 300 a day. But almost all of the comments are from the same group of less than 100 people.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Always something interesting to read here Pete. So far, I don’t have a problem with followers. I think there are 81. I just enjoy reading and making friends. I’ve had my blog since around 2010. I mostly talked to myself, and a family member would comment once in awhile. Then I tried the Jet pack add on, and I found all of you! It was like a new world.

    So you can say, that I really just started with real bloggers last March. I love all of you, and appreciate you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You are quite right about this, Pete, and in a way it makes sense because no-one can keep up with reading thousands of blog posts everyday and so the stats have got to be skewed for all of us. I am happy that I have a solid group of blogger friends who do read and comment on my posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sometimes I don’t know if that’s a nice problem to have because you could also have a small handful of followers who don’t interact either.

    The other thing I find with WordPress now is the lack of ‘community’ especially since they stopped doing the First Friday for newbies and the other Monday something (I forgot the name) as often you find bloggers there who are really looking to engage with others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never really got any sense of community from WordPress as a company, Pauline. However, I have a treasured community of blogs I follow, and followers of my own blog. Many have been around since the first week I started, and are still here. I would guess that ‘regulars’ number around 100 people, and that’s good enough for me. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  11. “But most were still trying to sell something…”

    That’s scandalous!

    But now that I have your attention, I do have some “pre-owned” sun-baked cosmetic products to sell you. And by the way, I just got back from FedEx, where I had the copyright page from the Bible printed 1,000 times. These are available for a limited time only, so grab one while you can! Also, due to the End of the World being just right around the corner, you might want to invest in a large stock of edible drugs and gluten-free elixirs (“shaken, not stirred”) for your fallout shelter. Finally, although I can’t offer any Chinese brides, I do have a collection of leather bridles made in China especially to celebrate the Year of the Horse. I can give you a great discount on a bulk order!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A Peruvian Women dating blog, and a Ukrainian Women dating blog followed me. I went under “People” and deleted their following. That’s happened 5 times now. They keep coming back. This morning, a comment was in moderation to an older post, and the person included a link to a site that sells things for dogs. I would not have taken offense with that if the person had been following and participating on my blog. However, to make a first time visit to sell services looks like taking advantage, wanting free advertising.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Xena. Using comments and follows to sell products is just unacceptable.
      I have a post that offers free publicity to bloggers who allow me to check their sites first, to make sure they are genuine. https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/free-publicity-for-bloggers/
      Around 50 bloggers have used it, and all were checked in as much as they have an active blog that isn’t just trying to sell something.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Back in 2013, I met a few bloggers who were in the process of writing books. When they finished and they were published, they announced it on my blog. I didn’t mind that because it had been months, (maybe even a year), that they had actively participated, making themselves known.

        However, another person, unknown, came to the blog announcing the publication of her book. (She didn’t comment about the post. Just a sales pitch with a link to her website.) I gave her grace the first time. About a month went by and she did it again. That is when I lost my patience and told her my blog was not a blog for free advertising of her book. To show you how ungrateful she was for the first time I let it slide, she said some angry things. I banned her.

        That taught me that any stranger who comes around with a link and sales pitch or to distract to another site, doesn’t get a first time. They are spammed without any discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That sounds like a good plan, Xena. I am always happy to promote fellow blogger’s books, and even have a ‘Bloggers Books’ feature. But they have to be a part of the community, a follower, and someone who engages on a regular basis.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Like

  13. I have the same problem with my contact page. For technical reasons I had to change from a plug-in which used Google Captcha to a simple form. Now I’m forever being offered loans and adult ‘services’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like to have an open comments box, as those Captcha things, and contact forms that require so much information can be annoying. πŸ™‚ Fortunately, I can select ‘awaiting moderation’ for any comment from someone I have not previously approved.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  14. WordPress notifies me of the spam comments they have protected me from – more than 700,000 so far – most are from car insurance links – so as they said in Caddyshack: β€œi got that going for me”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. At least we don’t have to do book signings here. Imagine having to sign your work a million times and people telling you it’s not for them but Gladys and you can’t know whether Gladys is a fan or has even heard of you, her friend was just passing and couldn’t be bothered to think of a better present and she never liked Gladys anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not you at all, John. An American lady, whose blog was just ‘doom and gloom’ Biblical texts.
      I think she was hoping for the end to come sooner, rather than later. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  16. The numbers of all those ghost followers are growing by the numbers all the time, Pete. Like FR, I have stopped visiting the new followers unless they have left a genuine comment.
    Another trick to catch attention is reblogging your work without a comment to a site no one reads.
    I started up an Instagram account to display my photos. I find the way IG works so annoying that I let it rest; it’s all about likes and followers (both you can buy for money) and on this platform the ghost-followers appear in big numbers; they follow you without having seen your content and after a short time they unfollow. On IG it looks good to have many followers, it doesn’t look quite so good to follow many yourself, because everyone knows “I will follow you if you follow me”… aaah…
    I appreciate the fact that WP only shows our followers and not the ones we are following; That’d be an invitation to increase the number of ghost-followers; they klick follow, you immediately receive an email and then they klick unfollow because they never had the intention to read your posts anyway.
    This morning started so wet and good for the garden πŸ™‚
    now the sun is out again, time for a walk to the church to look after the bookshelves there.
    Have a lovely day, you and Ollie,
    The Fab Four of Cley Xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sadly, it was a typo, Abbi. I have now corrected it, rather than cause any undue Biblical offence.
      But I have to agree it was amusing as it was. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for spotting it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  17. Well: I’m honestly not that interested about my stats. I care about the people that follow me and leave comments and are genuinely interested in the things I write. But definitely agree with you there are people that just follow with the intention of??? Well no real ideas to be honest 😊😊

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Ahhhhh, Pete. How I’ve missed your followers rants! πŸ’– Of course, as always, I completely agree with you! (of course, lately I feel that I am one of the annoying “pops in out of the blue” types.) but, I’m working a full time and part time job, trying to buy property, going back to school (online… Which I know nothing about and has been a nightmare) and trying to keep my own blog afloat this passed month or so… So, everyone can suck it until I have my life back. Ha ha! πŸ˜‰πŸ’–πŸ»

    Liked by 4 people

  19. I did get spammers on another blog site which I ultimately stopped using. WordPress is good at filtering spam. I always look at whomever follows (however rare) me, or even reads my blog. I have nothing like even 1,000 followers, though I have blogged for over 5 years, but it is my outlet and I like having a spot for my little voice. I do wish more that follow me would read it. Periodically I look at who I have followed and delete those who no longer even write posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Hi Pete, only one of my fellow bloggers starts a ‘Conversation’ where he asks a question and then we reply for a day or two but when the responses dry up he tries a different subject. It’s all about the craft of writing but we do exchange opinions which is much better than a mere ‘like.’ I also join in with a poetry blog where we can add our own efforts to the blogger’s rhymes. That’s fun. Of course I started because I wanted to find readers but I’m content to meet up with people who just want to connect.If I wanted to do a hard sell I’d join facebook. Good luck with your unwanted followers.It’s like the adverts down the side of the screen for things you have already bought!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. The best followers give input, helping make the blog better.
    Some become really good friends or people you like to talk – as you wrote.
    It is like in real life – there are friends, really good friends and the others – i think.

    Liked by 7 people

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