I recently asked on Twitter what reasons anyone has for unfollowing a blog. I’m interested to see how the number of followers fluctuates almost every time I publish a blog post. It’s not predictable either – sometimes I lose followers for posts I think will be popular, and sometimes the reverse happens. Nobody answered my question, so I’m going to discuss it here and if you have any more reasons to add, please do comment.
Why do I follow a blog?
- I enjoy the content, which appeals to my taste in books (for example) and is well-written.
- The owner of a blog has reached out to me (perhaps by engaging with me on my blog or other media) and we have tastes in common.
- The owner of a blog is very approachable and pleasant to interact with, usually replying to my comments.
- There is a variety of content on the blog – I really enjoy variety, so my favourite blogs have a mixture of book reviews from different genres, discussion pieces and non-book posts.
Why do I unfollow a blog? This rarely happens, but when I do, here is why:
- The blog appears to be inactive and was never one I interacted much with in the first place.
- I become fed up with the blog owner ignoring my comments, especially when my comments are questions. If you’d prefer people not to interact with you, then it’s a good idea to turn your comments facility off.
- The blog’s main purpose changes, for example it becomes more about product placement or has a lot of guest posts which are not on subjects that interest me.
- A book blogger never gives their own opinions about the books they review, instead just repeating the blurbs and promoting the authors. This has a purpose, but it’s not content that appeals to me.
Some things that don’t affect whether I follow or unfollow a blog:
- The aesthetic. I know some blog owners work very hard on how their sites look, but nearly all of my blog viewing is through the WordPress Reader, which levels the playing field, as it were.
- Tags or shared themes which many bloggers join in with. I don’t take part in these myself and they aren’t my favourite kind of posts to read, but if the blog has other content too, I’m not unfollowing.
- The number of followers a blog has. It doesn’t always correlate to the quality of the content, and besides, everyone starts from zero followers. It matters more to me that I enjoy the content and that the blogger is likely to interact.
- ‘Unpopular’ opinions. It’s better to have any kind of opinion than none at all. Unless I encounter opinions that I find offensive, I’m not going to unfollow.
- Frequency of blog posts – unless they are so infrequent that the blog seems inactive, then I don’t mind how often the posts are published.
- Use of images or gifs. I think it’s nice to have at least one image per blog post but wouldn’t say it’s essential for my enjoyment. I prefer images that aren’t too large, or else the page can be slow to load.
I hope this post has been of interest. Are any of these reasons yours too?