Welcome to blog talk!
This is the fourth installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and then continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.
Anyway, I'm not usually one for scheduling posts during my absence, but I figured I might as well give you all something to ponder while I'm away since this is something I have been pondering on my own for a while now. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Today we're going to talk about the thing that makes every blogger's heart skip a beat... in a fall-out-of-love kind of way: it's the dreaded unfollow.
I don't care if you have 2 followers or 2,000 followers NO ONE likes seeing their numbers do this:
I have even come to think that big bloggers care more about this than small bloggers. But I obviously wouldn't actually know how big bloggers feel.
So let's talk about it.
Why does this happen? Why do YOU unfollow? Leave a comment and let's discuss!
Here are the 4 main reasons I unfollow:
1. If You Don't Respond to My Comments
We talked about this in Blog Talk #1: How Do You Get So Many Comments? Responding to comments shows readers that you're listening, that you care that they are taking the time to read your blog and to leave a comment. It also allows you a chance to exchange communication with that blogger and maybe make a new friend. One of my favorite things about blogging is the back-and-forth emails I get to have with all of you who leave comments.
I totally get that big bloggers have thousands of followers and a lot of emails to get through, but in my opinion, that DOES NOT give them a free pass to never reply to comments. I'm not saying they need to reply to every single one, but if your job, whether part time or full time, is to blog, then responding to at least some comments is part of that job! I'll stop my rant there before I get carried away. This is seriously so annoying to me.
The same goes for any blogger, big or small. I know we all have lives and can't just sit around waiting to reply to comments, but I personally don't see the point in continuing to read a blog where I can never actually engage with the writer of that blog.
And that's probably the number-one reason I eventually unfollow: if I've commented multiple times and never once heard back from you. Rude.
2. If You Never Visit My Blog
This is similar to the first point, but I think if I take the time to visit your blog and say hello, you could pay a visit back. Again, I'm not going to be unrealistic and say that anyone has time to visit a hundred blogs every day (or even five blogs every day), but if I am a regular commenter and visitor, and you have NEVER popped over to say hi (even just once!), I probably won't keep reading.
Note: It's probably not feasible for a really big blogger to visit other blogs, but I don't think replying to a few comments once in a while is too much to ask for. (See point #1)
3. If I Find Myself Constantly Skipping Your Posts in My Blog Reader
Every so often I will realize that I keep clicking "read" on the same blog every time a post comes up in my blog reader. Eventually I have to ask myself what I'm doing. Why follow a blog you don't even read? Makes no sense.
It's hard to say specifically what it is about a blog that makes me like it or not like it. There are some blogs I read where I love every single post, no matter what it's about. Other blogs I follow mostly for their pretty pictures or their free downloads, but I'm not all that interested in their personal life. That sounds bad, I guess, but it's the truth. But when I find myself constantly skipping posts from a certain blog, I decide it's time to unfollow. (Just for fun, you might enjoy my post: 5 Blog Posts I Usually Skip.)
Finally, we have the most ridiculous reason of all...
4. Writing Style and Post Structure
I know this will sound completely insane, but writing style can often make or break it for me.
I usually end up unfollowing blogs with giant paragraphs. My blog might fall on the opposite end of that with annoyingly short breaks, but I strongly believe that people need a place to rest their eye! Long paragraphs in blog posts = no bueno. Is that just the weirdest thing ever or is anyone with me on this?
Now, a long post doesn't bother me. In fact, if all a blogger ever does is post short little, two-paragraph posts, I will probably stop following. For me, there's just not enough meat in the post for me to really feel like the blogger spent time and effort crafting it enough for me to care to spend my time and effort reading it.
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So those are the main reasons why I unfollow a blog. To be honest, though, I don't find myself unfollowing blogs very much, because I am very picky about which blogs I follow in the first place. That might be something else to consider, and maybe it's a post for another Blog Talk: what makes you follow a blog?
Now for discussion! Here are a few questions to get you started:
1. What makes you unfollow a blog?
2. What are your thoughts on bloggers (big or small) replying or not replying to comments?
3. Are you picky about following blogs, or do you follow a lot and unfollow later?
4. Do you prefer long or short paragraphs? What about long or short blog posts? Is that even something you think about at all?
I have my opinion, but I want to hear yours. On these posts I will write back to comments in the comment section so we can learn from each other, so be sure and check back. And again, you can disagree, but be nice about it. Any unnecessarily rude or nasty comments will be deleted. The Lady Okie has spoken.