Why Don’t Followers Follow?

Back on my blogging soapbox about followers again, sorry!

Today is the 19th of November. In the nineteen days of this month, I have already been notified of 114 new followers.

Naturally, this is a nice feeling, and I am very pleased to welcome any new follower to this blog. If they have their own site, and good links, I thank them, and usually comment on one of their posts too.

However, with six notable exceptions, none of those followers has left a single comment on any of my posts during that period. A large percentage of them have not even bothered to so much as to ‘Like’ a post.

That is their business of course, and it is not up to me to criticise them. But why are they bothering? Presumably, they want to grow their blogging experience into something worthwhile. Hopefully, they want to become part of the wider community of blogging, and perhaps get more satisfaction from being a blogger.

If so, that will not happen. Not unless they interact with comments, and also reply to the comments made by others.

It could just be that they expect me to follow them back, without realising that I have been doing this for a long time now, so already follow more than one hundred other blogs. Even so, I might be a lot more inclined to do that, if they could be bothered to leave so much as one comment.

Once again, I am going to repeat myself, as a message to anyone else considering following this blog.

Blogging is not Facebook.
Blogging is not Twitter.
Blogging is not a ‘quick fix’ Social Media platform like so many others.
Not everyone you follow can just follow you back.
Blogging is not just about numbers of followers.
Blogging is about engagement, interaction, community, and friendship.

My sincere thanks to all those followers who have taken time to actually ‘follow’. To leave likes and comments, or links and discussion topics.

For the rest of you who follow for reasons best known to yourselves, I understand. You may not feel confident enough to comment. My blog may well have proved ultimately disappointing for you. The fact that I didn’t follow you back might have caused you some offence. Maybe you just followed far too many blogs at once, and became overwhelmed?

Do you need help, advice, or encouragement? I am here for you. My contact email is on my about page. Feel free to use that more private method to contact me, anytime.

Until then, before you click to follow another blog, think about what that really means.

131 thoughts on “Why Don’t Followers Follow?

  1. I have over 3 000 followers on Robbie’s Inspiration and if I interact regularly with 50 of them it is a lot. I don’t worry about that and enjoy the interaction with great bloggers like you. I can’t visit every post by all my friends because of working full time, family and my own writing, but I visit as often as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. I honestly don’t expect everyone to comment, or to follow religiously. But in that couple of weeks, over 100 new ‘followers’ didn’t so much as leave one like, or one comment. I think that’s what prompted this post at the time.
      In all truth, I wish they hadn’t followed me. I get plenty of interaction from around 100 people who I like and admire.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have often wondered this, but then when I follow a new blog and wonder why I don’t receive any emails alerting me of new posts, I go onto my list of who I am following, check the notification settings and quite often it turns out that I am following their blog but not changed the setting to actually receive alerts. May be an idea for a future post to demonstrate if others are actually being alerted of new posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What matters is that you have put down your opinion, experience or feelings into a content and once you have clicked it to publish it, there is someone who will be reading it. Maybe not immediate. And if it is engaging enough, they will respond to you one way or another.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When you are a new blogger, it is easy to get disheartened by lack of interaction. It takes many years to become part of the wider community, and a lot of effort too. Stick with it, if only for yourself.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. Mama Mia!! Somebody just made me think twice before following someone. You are actually true. I have 34 followers but only 7 bloggers are actively following and 3 are very active including you. I don’t follow back without any reason. I like their blog post. I follow them. Simple as that. But I usually don’t get many followers so m cool. You are the big guy. πŸ˜βœŒπŸ˜›πŸ˜œ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post πŸ™‚ I too wonder why followers do not follow sometimes. Maybe it is because they are not knowledgable on the topic, but love what they read – for example, most of your posts about films, I will comment on because that is a main interest of mine. Nevertheless, I try to make a valiant effort when I can to comment on stuff that is not related to film. Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pete, thank you for this post and honest information. I’m very new to Word Press and although I’ve been blogging for several years I’m struggling with very low traffic after I changed sites. I make a point to read other blogs regularly and engage with the writers and I’ve enjoyed discovering new and interesting blogs. Word Press makes it vey easy to find and follow authors that you enjoy so that is wonderful. And I am most appreciative that I was able to guest post on your site, I enjoyed a lot of engagement, and it felt very welcoming. Thanks again for all the support and devotion you give to fellow bloggers – it’s generous and appreciated Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. Low traffic is usual when you are a new blogger. For the first couple of years, I thought 30 views a day was something to celebrate, and if three people commented on a post, I was ecstatic. It is only recently that I have started to enjoy relatively large numbers of views (300-500 a day) and get lots of comments.
      That is a result of being committed to interaction and engagement, and also putting out a lot of regular content, with around two posts a day, seven days a week, sometimes more.
      Perhaps you could try having guest posts on your own blog? The guest will link to it, then their readers and followers will become aware of your own blog. Every little helps. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. PS your post says a lot about commitment to me. That blogging could actually be a way to truly connect with others, not look like we are winning a personality contest by being the most followed with the highest number of blogs followed! I prefer the more intimate connection you are discussing. I am still trying to follow up on your tips and get a few other things situated, but I know I will be one of your followers who will have an abundance of questions, and at times, far too many comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as I am concerned, I can’t have too many comments. And I am prepared to answer any questions you have, to the best of my ability.
      As I approach my eighth year of blogging, I can honestly say that I have made genuine friends, all around the world.
      People I have never met, yet care about, respect, and admire.
      Blogging is so much more than ‘social media’, it really is.
      Best wishes, Pete. πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Pete, I would not take it too personally. I think what happens is that people peruse a lot at once, like how an incredibly hungry person shops at a buffet, and often pile on more than they can ever hope to really enjoy, let alone interact with. I noticed similar trends on social media all around. For me, I know I tend to binge read and then create at different stages, so my reading/interacting will always be a changing element, much like the tide! However, it also helps to know you like commentary and feedback from your readers/followers, etc. As a newcomer to the blogging scene, I am still personally in the learning curve with my theme, finding the courage to even post a blog, and so many other new challenges. I believe I am going to write a new post soon, on a few authors. Wish me luck!

    (Also, never forget, a lot of readers are introverts! Which means a lot of your followers will retreat and withdraw from interacting quite often. And writers tend to retreat even more and spend long periods of time in their own world, as I am sure you know. Bear with your followers, and those you follow!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your opinion as a new blogger, Abigail. πŸ™‚
      Of course, you make valid points. My main reason for posting this article (and many others like it) is based on years of frustration from being informed that I have ‘X-amount’ of new followers that I never hear from, not even once. It just makes me wonder why people bother, that’s all.
      If they don’t want to engage, if they are introverted, or unsure about how blogging works, that’s fine. I get that.
      But if they click to ‘follow’ my blog, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect them to do that by at least becoming involved, if only at the smallest level possible.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. Could it be that they followed your blog for its good writing and are happy with being just a reader? I seldom comment even for the usual social media but I do read what catches my attention. BTW how did you tell that they followed but did not read? Is there a WP tool we can use?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, KM.
      I am not suggesting that they all do not read. But given a current total in excess of 5,000 followers, compared to daily views of between 300-500, it is a fair guess (even safe to assume) that less than 10% of the attributed followers are actually even looking at my blog.
      If they followed my blog just to read it, then that is acceptable. But the heart of blogging is surely to engage, comment, and interact?
      If not, then my own assumptions about why we blog are surely flawed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see what you mean. Before I was blogging, I managed an Instagram account focused on my (now deceased) dog (please don’t judge hahaha, but I loved her to bits). In my research on social media marketing, a good “conversion rate” ie. % of active likes or comments of followers is about 10%. And this is a platform that doesn’t require people to spend more than a few seconds per post! So I think your ‘conversion’ rate is pretty good. πŸ™‚ As for the reasons why we blog… I have to be honest and say I believe not everyone does it to engage others, or create a community, even though it is Online Media Marketing 101 Rule #1. I hope with your this post you get more followers engaged. πŸ™‚ All the best.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I think I follow around 200-ish blogs, but I do go through every once in a while and try to delete any that haven’t posted in at least 6 months. As for new followers, I tend to follow back art and poetry blogs more than anything else, but I can’t possibly keep up with them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It would be interesting to find out how they discovered your blog – I routinely check the blogs I follow to see how often new posts show up…most of us are consistent, but a few come and go, so who knows if they read a single thing I post any more?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I believe people are confused. You are correct. This is not facebook. Superficial, but I believe they aren’t willing to put in the work. Often I receive a new follower who insist I follow their blog, too. Unlike today’s democratic candidates, I do not believe bloggers work on a quid pro quo… πŸ˜’

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I am uncertain about something. . . Pete, I think you could help me out with this, because you are one of maybe five blogs I have followed. When I clicked to follow you, did it automatically send you a request to follow me? Is there a way to change that, if so? I guess I know so little about the blogging world I did not assume that following a blog meant the blogger would follow me back. . .Hmmm. . .It seems rather silly to me. As I would like my blog to be a means to reaching out to the public that is not necessarily blogging but may need entertainment or to be able to review my work to see if they want to work with me. It sounds like it is one cycle of bloggers wanting to reach bloggers. I hope this is not all blogging is in its entirety.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, it doesn’t work like that, Abigail. You have to ask to be followed, or send a request from your own admin menu.
          As for blogging in its entirety, it is not that ‘cycle’ at all. It is just what you want it to be, even if nobody ever reads it.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Like

          1. Well, you have a base group of readers that follows and interacts with your blog.

            If you could describe the ideal blogging community from your perspective, what would it look like? What purpose would it serve, to you? I want to understand more what other bloggers ARE looking for or at least the bloggers that I am following! I see you as being a fellow blogger to have more of a connection with and maybe I should actually try to see what the other bloggers I followed look like.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You can see what I look like on my ‘About’ page. Not a pretty sight! πŸ™‚

              My ideal blogging community?

              A mix of ages and gender.
              (I am old and grumpy at times, so it is nice to interact with -for example- an 18 year-old girl living in India who teases me because I don’t follow certain TV shows)

              People from all over the world.
              (Most of my followers reside in America, Canada, and the UK. But I have others in India, some all over Africa, and in the Philippines and China)

              Different styles of blog.
              (My blog is ‘varied’. But I also follow book blogs to get reading ideas, film blogs to debate film and cinema, photo blogs, to admire their photos, and ‘memoir’ blogs, as I like to read about others’ life experiences.)

              Long-term followers who also become friends, although we may never meet. They don’t have to comment all the time, or agree with what I write. But we have been blogging together for many years, and come to understand each other in so many ways.

              So, that’s my ideal, and I am happy to say that’s what we have here. πŸ™‚

              It doesn’t have to serve any purpose, but it does. It promotes understanding of different lifestyles, other cultures, and how opinions and viewpoints vary around the world. It makes me a better-balanced individual, and inspires me on a daily basis.

              Best wishes, Pete.

              Like

  13. I rather suspect that quite a few bloggers who ask you to visit their blog or to follow them are asking for a reaction of some sort to their blog. After posting an initial blog, the blogger must wonder, “what next?” or “Did anyone read this?.” As for comments or likes, well, those reading fiction may be there to read and not react as they read. For non-fiction, they may find commenting means they can read less. Then there are all the valid reasons other commenters have commented about.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Theo. If anyone who follows me has a valid blog, I always go to it, read some posts, comment on at least one, and thank them for following. If they ask me to follow back, I send them a link to this post.
      https://beetleypete.com/2018/03/04/new-followers-an-open-letter/
      All I am trying to do is to explain to them how blogging works, and I am always willing to communicate via email too.
      But I confess that ‘non-followers’ do exasperate me. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. It really helped me to see that there are people who confuse blogging with Twitter and Facebook and the like. It had never occurred to me, but it makes a lot of sense. As you know I write to engage and am satisfied with the interaction more than the count.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I think many FB and Twitter users migrate (or upgrade!) to blogging, then wonder why they don’t get 100 new followers every day. I am only trying to help them understand the difference. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t think you’ll ever resolve the issue, Pete. I’m becoming more cautious about ‘following back’ when someone follows my blogs as I’ve found myself reading, liking and comenting on their blogs (and some post several times a day) but they have never once responded to mine despite following it. I don’t have so much spare time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I follow some that I know don’t follow me, but that’s OK. They are all good enough that I would follow them even if I didn’t have my own blog.
      Over the last year, I have spent a great deal of time on my blog every day, but given the weather, I didn’t mind. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. When I get follows, before following back I β€œvisit” the follower. If I like the content, I follow them. If I think I was followed just to get a follower back, I either follow back if the blog is new and has few followers, or ignore the follow, especially if no likes or comments were made on my posts. I don’t follow back anyone who just goes down my posts and likes a bunch (you can see when they are read…no one can read 5 or 10 posts of any length in less than a minute). I follow quite a few blogs and don’t have time to comment on every single post I read, but I at least leave a like. Follows aren’t everything. I follow some blogs that don’t follow me back, such as yours, because of the excellent content.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, KT. I set a limit of 100 blogs to follow. As and when anyone ‘drops out’ of blogging, I then follow the next one that has been ‘waiting’ the longest. Any more than 100, and I cannot do them justice as a follower. Included in those are at least a dozen blogs that do not follow mine, but I stick with them as they are interesting, or well-written.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. “Blogging is about engagement, interaction, community, and friendship” – this is exactly my sentiment, Pete. thank you for being so thoughtful and caring. these reasons why i love this community – so respectful and caring. thanks, again! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I “follow” 20 blogs, butβ€”due to time restrictions, laziness, and plain old forgetfulnessβ€”only read and comment on two of them. One is Trefology.com, which is seductively quirky. I can’t remember the name of the other one offhand, but I believe it starts with a B and involves pun-hungry serials.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. When someone follows me, I always spend a little time on their blog before deciding if I should follow back. It all depends on compatible interests.

    As for engaging, I’m REALLY bad about it but I do try to check in with at least several dozen per day, not always the same ones, although I do have some must-reads πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 4 people

  20. I too have been frustrated by followers on wordpress before but usually the accounts that are about making money online. These accounts must trawl wordpress daily following sites just purely to get a follow back. I always check any new followers, if they are clearly only after a follow back, I ignore them. If you are genuine then i am more likely to follow you back as i enjoy reading peoples posts as much as i like writing. Ian

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I absolutely LOVE your points in this post. I’m all for blogging to connect with people, interact with people, to be genuine. I rarely “follow” blogs. I may do it if it’s a blog that is very interesting but with rare posts – then I may forgot to check it, and it’s easier to follow by e-mail if I want to be updated about new posts. Otherwise, I just collect blog links in my browser and check them now and then. But I always try to comment on blogs I like.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have followed blogs because of an interesting post or two, only to discover that all subsequent posts over a few months were uninteresting. At which point I opt out. I don’t chase numbers, it’s the engagement that matters to me and I think asking someone to Follow Back is a bit rude but everyone has their own reasons for that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, June. I appreciate that some followers can quickly tire of a blog, and I have no problem with them just ‘disappearing’. But on a personal note, I would rather they told me why they were tired of my blog, and had decided not to keep up with it. I am always open to any constructive criticism. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, it was more that the writer digressed from the posts that I originally liked, into topic that did not interest me. For example, I’m long past parenting info, on a recipe site or the latest bodycon dress and what drinks to order while out clubbing on a fashion site. Or cozy books on what I thought was a noir site πŸ™‚ I never tire of your blog

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Pete. I can understand your questions and concerns. I am respinding because I feel thus warrants a respinse. I can inly answer for myself. I followed you because INLIKED YOUR blog. Unfirtunately I am blind and wheelchair bound and quite ilk from cancer and this means that responding ir even Kiking can be very difficult for me. I become very overwhelmed by it all. Being newly blind I am finding it very hard to do things on Wirdpress. But thus does not mean that I don’t like yoyr Blig. Ni have apoligised many times on my own blig for not always being able to respind to peopke. So I am apiligusing to you personally now.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. The only thing I can think of is optimization and quid pro quo. I don’t know what you get if you have more followers, but perhaps it’s a notch up on the WP or Google totem pole. I don’t care how many people follow me. I don’t think it is relevant since only 1 percent who do follow like and comment. I am swamped and hardly get a chance to go on WP. Sometimes there are posts that don’t interest me. For example, I don’t watch horror movies, and I don’t comment on recipes. I just don’t know what to say. I’d rather be genuine or not say anything at all. Days go by and I haven’t commented on your blog because I’m just too busy, and I love you!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I followed you because I enjoyed your post and wanted to read more from you in future. I didn’t really have any comments to make. Thanks for commenting on my blog and liking it. I just started it recently so it really counts.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I agree with Nicholas on this issue – I also have blogs just on my reader which I glance at occasionally, because there’s no time for everything. Also I’ve often realized some of my friends read my every post without ever liking or commenting – they just say something when they see me. Others who don’t know me personally might be doing the same. They might feel they have nothing interesting to say – and it’s not an obligation, after all. Finally, may I add that I don’t often like things anymore, because I can’t. Every time I press β€˜like’, WP asks me to log in YET AGAIN, and I can’t be bothered. I also have to enter my email for every comment. This does not happen on every blog, so presumable this issue it could be solved by a β€˜happiness engineer,’ but I need to find a couple of hours to set aside in order to deal with it…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t have that requirement set on my blog, Marina, but it affects some people nonetheless. I also have to log in to comment on many others I follow. The last time I made enquiries with WP about that, they suggested it was a ‘browser’ issue, or perhaps excessive privacy software was installed.

      Thanks for your other thoughts. I know it is not compulsory for everyone to comment, but even once would be nice. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In some cases, the login requirement is dictated by the platform one uses and how often the user switches it on and off and not the parameters the blogger sets at the publishing end. I run into this when I use one of my “alternative” platforms to read your blog or attempt to respond to a comment from you on my blog. Warmest regards, Ed

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Piers Morgan on Twitter has 6.9 million followers and follows about two thousand blogs , I think he occasionally appears on the television in his spare time. Perhaps he has a gardener and cleaners to save him time.
    We easily slip slowly into obsession aided by our tendency to follow routine. I make a purposeful point of walking down the odd side street to break my mind of its desire to never change direction. I’m always passing people gazing at mobiles apparently they are taking them to bed and losing sleep. Don’t worry the moguls have got it sorted Zen mode is on its way , it turns off your phone to let you sleep whether you like it or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That brings to mind that it is just as easy to click follow “follow” as it is to click “like.” Perhaps some “clickers” just click follow every time? Then too, it is a way to bookmark interesting sites the clicker may want to visit again? Just thinking out loud even though it is not Sunday. πŸ™‚ Warmest regards

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Some people just need a sort of medal with a big number of followers on it… It doesn’t make much sense, but I’m still thankful for WordPress to be a nice platform where (also) meaningful interactions are possible!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. That is all entirely reasonable, Pete. I set up my Wilfred Books blog initially to try and encourage interest in my book [so far] and publishing site, but also to post about subjects associated with the book’s topics; politics, animal welfare, and 20th century history; so I am very discerning about whose blogs I follow, because I have such limited time for it, but those I do follow, I enjoy reading, including yours, that I find very thoughtful and engaging. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Including email followers, WP states that my follower count today stands at 5212. Yes, if they all commented, I would be swamped, to say the least. I don’t ever expect everyone to comment on everything of course, as I post far too much for that. But I get comments like ‘follow me back’ all the time, when I thank others on their blogs.
      This issue really gets under my skin, as you can tell! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think I understand why you wrote what you wrote because I tend to check the blogs my followers and I often realise that they did not read a single word I wrote. They just clicked a link. people have asked me to follow them back. I wondered whether it was polite of them. Since your follower count is mine X 100, I can see why this can be super irritating. 😁
        But I would say, they are just doing their job. Let them go! πŸ˜‹

        Liked by 1 person

          1. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. But if you’re happy trying, you shouldn’t give up. You’ve done a few posts on this now, have all the usual commenters like me, chimed in and agreed and the silent followers followed suit? Is it worth your time and you’ve got results? I’m all about letting go of things that irk, the silent followers are just missing out on the fun, their choice, I let them go and enjoy the people who I do connect with. It makes blogging a happy place for me anyway.

            Liked by 1 person

  30. I often follow blogs that look interesting. However, I have precious little time to read everything these fine bloggers write and can usually keep up with a small fraction of them. I suspect a lot of them will ask the same question of me. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy going through my Reader every now and then for posts that will catch my eye, even though I may not always show it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 6 people

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