“Invites You To Follow…”

One feature available on WordPress is that a blogger can ‘Invite you to follow’ their blog. During the past ten years of blogging, I have received an ‘Invite to follow’ email on more than sixty occasions. The latest one appeared on Sunday evening.

To this date, I have NEVER followed a single blogger who sent me an invitation asking me to follow their blog.

I might be ‘old school’, (and occasionally grumpy) but to me that is somewhere between begging, and bad manners. The bloggers I follow work hard to create good content. Most of them also follow my own blog, but not all. They write about things I want to read, publish photos I want to look at, or just ooze the kind of personality and character that makes them irresistible to follow.

Not one of them, to my knowledge, has ever emailed a complete stranger asking them to follow their blog.

Blogging is a community exercise. We look after each other, care about each other, comment on posts, make suggestions, offer useful links. We share experiences, whatever our differences of age, location, politics, or beliefs.

A good blogger DOES NOT email someone out of the blue, and ask that person to follow their blog.

So if anyone else is thinking of asking me to follow their blog by sending me an unsolicited WordPress email, I have two words for you. (In bold type.)

DON’T BOTHER.

Reblog Blogger

You might have noticed that I have reblogged a couple of posts today. While I seem to be languishing in a ‘blogging downtime’ where my own posts are concerned, I thought I might as well do something useful, and reblog posts from some of the people I follow. Think of me as a ‘Reblog Blogger’ for now.

So with that in mind, if you would like me to reblog something, please add a link below in the comments.

Not too many photos though please, (it counts to my allowance) and you already have to be following this blog.

Best wishes to all, Pete.

Enough Followers?

I checked my Stats earlier, and realised that I am fast-approaching 9,000 followers on WordPress.

8,395 WP followers.
47 following by email.
382 following on social media.
Total : 8,824.

Okay, we all know that most of those don’t really ‘follow’. Some probably don’t even exist, or have long since stopped blogging.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I have 2,000 active followers. They produce around 325-475 views a day, and generate a lot of comments, depending on how many posts I publish.

Many people begin blogging hoping to get 10,000 followers. Some would like to have 100,000 followers, or ten times that.

But if you love to interact with the community, as I do, and if you love your fellow bloggers and cherish them, as I do, then how many followers is too many?

Would you have time to comment on all the blogs you follow, or to reply to the comments you receive from your own followers?

If you are a serious community blogger, with a love of blogging, and a sense of responsibility to your followers, then there is a limit, based on what time you have available on a given day.

So I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but almost 9,000 followers, active or not, genuine or not, is enough for me to cope with.

Happy Christmas 2021

I would like to wish all my blogging friends and followers a very Happy Christmas.

It has not exactly been a memorable year, and we can only hope for a better one in 2022.

My thanks go to everyone who has read my posts during the past year, left Likes and Comments, and also shared on social media or reblogged.

There are no plans to change my blog format next year, so be prepared for more of the same old stuff.

Best wishes to everyone, wherever you live, and whatever you celebrate.

Pete. X

Blogging About Blogging (Again)

Having recently been consumed with my daily serial, I suddenly remembered that it has been a while since I blogged about Blogging.

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If you look on the right hand side of any of my main blog pages, you will see that I supposedly have 8,585 followers of this blog. Don’t worry, I am not going to repeat myself about what really constitutes a ‘follower’. (Not on this occasion, anyway.)

However, let’s consider the statistcs.

Given that number of followers, you might imagine my views to be at least 50% of than number. But considering my best ever views barely exceeded 800 in one day, that is not the case. Despite that apparently healthy amount of followers, the best I can manage, on a very good day, is less than a 10% interest on my blog.

As far as I am concerned, that is yet more proof that follower numbers are little more than an illusion.

***Note to new bloggers*** Read that part before you ever concern yourselves about how many followers you have.

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The new year of 2021 saw a huge increase in people starting out with blogging. My own unscientific evidence shows that around half of them gave it up quite quickly. Maybe they didn’t get the interaction they had expected, or perhaps there was not the amount of followers they had hoped for. I don’t know the answer to that. But they have stopped commenting on my blog posts, that’s undeniable.

Maybe my stuff just bored them silly? That’s very possible too.

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Spam has increased dramatically. Yes, I know that 99% of it is caught by WordPress and put in the Spam Folder. But having 200 Spam comments a day doesn’t help when I am trying to trawl through them to find one from a genuine follower. As you might imagine, I have given up on that.

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Emails from people wanting to help me with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have also increased, to the point of annoyance. For any of you bothering to read this, please stop. I don’t give a stuff about my Google rankings, or my placing on a page searched online. Don’t care, never will. Please stop. I’m asking nicely.

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Gravatar links to blog sites. Well this hardly ever changes, despite me posting about it until I am tired of typing the strange word ‘Gravatar’. In the last week alone, I have had at least ten followers with no site links directed from their Gravatar image. I’m not even going to bother to add a link about how to do that. It’s freely available online, so look it up. Or don’t look it up, and then you will never have any followers except your family and friends, as nobody else will be able to ever find your blog.

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That’s all for now. No doubt I will be revsiting the subject soon. I usually do.

Blog Stuff

As we come to the end of the month, and Autumn looms, I felt prompted to have a review of my blog once again. Regular readers will be aware that I cut back on my posts recently, and that has a significant effect on views and followers, just as I had expected. That isn’t a complaint, as that was my intention. And it worked.

On my Home page, WordPress now lists my follower total as 8,481. I am happy to report that I have had a reduction in ‘fake followers’ lately, and only a few companies trying hard to promote their goods by following my blog. There are also fewer followers without Gravatar links or posts on their own blogs. That’s great to see.

Including this one, I have posted 3,482 posts since 2012, and had 541,620 views of my blog. Even after posting less, I still get between 225-400 views a day, much easier to deal with than the 600+ I enjoyed previously.

I am currently following 114 other bloggers, and with six exceptions, they are all posting and active. If nothing arrives from those six bloggers by the end of 2021, I will follow six different ones after Christmas.

Guest Posts are still popular, and I would like to remind all my followers, old and new, that the offer remains open indefinitely. If you would like a guest post here, just send me an email to petejohnson50@yahoo.com

The latest series of fictional short stories has been well received, with views more than comparable to my usual serials. Each first line was suggested by a fellow blogger, and this is a good way to engage with others in the community. Using links to their blogs also helps make us all better known to each other, further developing the feeling that we are all in this together.

Any post about my dog Ollie guarantees a lot of interaction. As he gets older and slower his popularity never wanes, and he remains very much the heart and soul of my blog, with his many admirers and his ongoing adventures on our dog walks.

My blog trundles along in the same old way, and I still love being a blogger as much as I ever did.

A Follower Milestone

When I opened WP this morning, I saw on the side column that I had now tipped over 8,000 followers

I checked the Insights, and these are the totals.

WP Followers. 7607
Email only followers. 44
Social Media Followers. 356

Total. 8007

Regular readers will know that I always mark such milestones. The last time was when the number of followers exceeded 7,000.

As usual, I would advise everyone that the number means very little. Well over 2,000 of those were only trying to sell me something. Around another 2,000 or so only followed hoping I would follow back, then never looked at my blog again when I didn’t do that.

Far better to have 750 followers who read your posts and leave comments, than 20,000 who never look at your blog.

To all my genuine followers, old and new, I once again send my sincere thanks.

A Biblical Association

Readers of my fiction serials will be aware that my current story has a religious theme. The header graphic accompanying each post is a quotation from The Bible, The Book Of Revelation.

Those of you who have read up to the most recent episode will be aware that the direction of the story is taking a darker turn. And that it has little or nothing to do with religion.

However, many of my most recent ‘followers’ do not seem to have read past the first episode.

In the last ten days, I have ‘welcomed’ at least fifteen new followers whose blogs are packed with religious quotations, ‘fire and brimstone’ preaching, or just a lot of basic ‘God Stuff’.

Once again, I conclude that many ‘followers’ do not actually read the post, and only follow because of a few words or tags that they spot as they trawl WordPress looking for recruits or converts to their own brand of religion.

Sorry, you lot. I haven’t followed you back.

Not a single one of you. Maybe you should give up on me?

But then you would have had to actually read something to come to that conclusion.

Site Title: New Bloggers Please Note

I get a comment on a blog post. It says “Please follow my blog”.

Nothing relevant to my post. Just that one short line.

The same blogger also appears as a ‘New Follower’.

I check out the origin of their blog. Who knows? I may like it, and want to follow.

But it is just called ‘Site Title’.

There are no published posts.

So why would I follow a blog that has no title, and no posts to read?

Answers on a postcard, to the usual address.