Are These The 7 Main Reasons Why Your Blog Is Losing Readers?

Unfollowing blogs. It’s something many bloggers don’t like talking about and is something many fear.

However, unfollowing blogs is a great way to free up time. Your WordPress reader and email box (if you subscribe to new post notifications) become a little more uncluttered from stuff that no longer interests you, and you get back some time you’d have otherwise wasted.

Blog banner for the blogging tips post Are These The 7 Main Reasons Why Your Blog Is Losing Readers?
Are These The 7 Main Reasons Why Your Blog Is Losing Readers?

Have you unfollowed or not followed a blog for any of these reasons?

1. No ‘About Me’ page or one that hasn’t been updated

Did you know that the ‘About Me’ page is one of the most visited pages of a blog? Go on, check your stats. You may be surprised by how many visits that page has had.

One of the first things I look for when visiting a new blog is an ‘About me’ page. If there isn’t one, it takes more than 30 seconds to find, or the contents of it are not interesting, then I won’t follow.

Likewise, if there is an ‘About Me’ page that hasn’t been updated for many years, I’ll also not follow.

Of course, if you don’t have an ‘about me’ page then you could be missing out on hundreds of new visitors and followers every month.

Don’t have an ‘About Me’ page or don’t know what to put on one?

My blog post Why Every Blogger Should Have An About Me Page On Their Blog gives full details.

2. Broken links

From time to time, we all encounter problems with broken links on our blogs.

Broken links are no good to anyone and can spoil the enjoyment of reading blog posts and pages that contain them. The ‘404 – Page Not Found‘ message is one of the most frustrating messages readers come across.

If I find a broken link, I’ll notify the blog owner of it. If it doesn’t get fixed and there are many other broken links on the blog (including those in the email notifications I get from WordPress), I will unfollow the blog

Check the links on your blog’s home and ‘About Me’ pages at least every couple of months to ensure they’re still working. If they’re not, fix them immediately.

Don’t lose followers by not fixing broken links on your blog.

Not sure how to create a link or pingback?

My blog post How To Create A Pingback On A WordPress Blog gives full details.

3. Not responding to comments

I’ve mentioned this many times before, but if somebody has taken the time to read any of your posts and leaves a comment, then how are they going to feel if you ignore them?

Would you ask somebody around for dinner and ignore everything they had to say? No!

So never ignore or take readers for granted.

If bloggers do not respond to comments, I will unfollow them or stop leaving comments if the content is still of interest.

4. Unfriendly and uninviting blogs

Would you shop on a website that’s not easy to use or navigate around? Probably not.

Do you find the layout of my blog or my blog posts messy? Are they not particularly nice to look at or hard to read? I hope not.

Now, ask yourself the same question about your blog. Does it look inviting and friendly? Is it easy to navigate around? Are all the links working? Is the menu too top-heavy and over-cluttered?

If my first impression of a blog is any of what I’ve mentioned in the above paragraph, then I’m not going to waste my time trying to find posts I may be interested in reading.

Likewise, if a blog I’m following becomes over-cluttered, unfriendly, no longer easy to get around or takes too long to download, then I’ll unfollow it.

So ensure you keep up with your blog’s housekeeping. Keep your blog an inviting and friendly place to hang out on and make all your blog posts engaging.

5. Out of sight, out of mind

One of the first things every blogger should decide is how often they are going to publish posts. If you choose to publish posts three times a week, then stick to that schedule. However, do not, without warning, change your posting schedule or not publish anything for a couple of months.

There’s nothing wrong with changing how often you publish blog posts and informing your readers why you’re doing it, but try and stick to the same schedule. If your readers expect a blog post once a week, they will probably not stick around if you don’t publish anything for months. Out of sight, out of mind.

Every six months, I check for blogs I follow who haven’t published any new content for at least six months. I’ll unfollow those blogs because it’s likely they’ve either abandoned their blog and will not publish any new posts.

If your readers expect a new blog post from you once a month and don’t get anything for six months, then you’re going to lose followers.

6. Uninteresting content

I’ve followed many blogs by mistake. In the early days, I fell into the trap of following every blogger who followed me. Have you fallen into that trap?

Then again, and this is something I think many bloggers don’t like talking about, I’ve unfollowed blogs because the content they are publishing no longer interests me.

Doesn’t it make sense to spend the precious time you have reading content that interests you rather than read content that doesn’t interest you simply because the blogger who publishes it follows you?

And I have no problem with people unfollowing me if my content no longer interests them. However, I take a different view of people unfollowing my blog simply because I don’t follow them.

I follow many bloggers who don’t follow me. Why? Because they publish engaging content I am interested in and which motivates me to leave comments.

Never be afraid to unfollow a blog you’re no longer interested in. It will free up valuable time, which you can put to better use, such as writing or reading and commenting on the remaining blogs you follow.

Not convinced? Click here and read some of the answers James, who blogs at Perfect Manifesto, gave in a recent interview. He hits the nail right on the head when answering the question ‘Do you have any advice for bloggers starting or struggling with blogging?

7. Annoying popups

Do you have any annoying popups on your blog? Do they keep popping up because they don’t give readers the chance to say ‘no thank you’ to what you’re trying to offer them? Or do they not go away unless I do subscribe to your newsletter? What if I don’t want to subscribe? Will I keep seeing that annoying popup?

Then I’ve probably unfollowed your blog.

I don’t mind discrete popups that do not cover the post I’m reading, but when my reading is interrupted by the same popup every time I visit, then I’ll unfollow.

Get rid of annoying popups. If you do need them on your blog, chose a design that is discrete and one that does not interrupt the enjoyment of reading.

Do You Know How To Unfollow A Blog?

The simplest way to unfollow a blog is to click on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the WordPress email notification you get when a new post is published.

Screenshot highlighting where to find the unsubscribe button on a WordPress email notification
Where to find the unsubscribe button on a WordPress email notification

WordPress.Com users and those choosing not to receive email notifications can use the following methods.

1. Click the ‘follow’ button that appears in the bottom righthand corner of a blog you’re following. It appears when scrolling up on the device you’re using.

Screenshot highlighting the Following button when reading a WordPress blog
The Following button on a WordPress blog

The ‘following’ message will change to ‘follow‘ when you click it.

You’ve now unfollowed the blog.

2. Click the ‘Reader’ button (situated next to ‘My Sites’ in the top left corner of your blog).

A list of newly published blog posts from the blogs you follow will display.

If the blog you want to unfollow is listed, click on the toggle menu button next to the post.

Screenshot highlighting the toggle button on a blog being followed from the WordPress Reader list.
Where to find the toggle button

To unfollow the blog, click on ‘Following Site’ in the new mini-window that opens.

Screenshot highlighting where to find the Following Site button on a followed blog on WordPress
The Following Site button

You’ve now unfollowed the blog.

3. Click the ‘Manage’ button (situated near Followed Sites).

Screenshot highlighting the Manage sites button on a WordPress blog
The Manage sites button

You’ll now see a new page that lists all the blogs you follow.

Find the blog you want to unfollow in the list and click the ‘following’ button next to it.

Screenshot highlighting the Following Blog button on a blog being followed on WordPress
The Following Blog button

You’ve now unfollowed the blog.

Does WordPress notify bloggers you’ve unfollowed?


Of course, nobody wants anyone to unfollow their blog, but do consider unfollowing some of those blogs you never visit anymore. All they’re doing is cluttering up your WordPress Reader and email box.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • Unfollowing blogs you’re no longer interested in frees up your WordPress Reader, email box and time.
  • Rather than wasting time reading and following blogs you’re not interested in, use that time to write or read the blogs that motivate you to leave comments on.
  • It’s easy to unfollow blogs on WordPress. Follow my guide in this post.
  • WordPress does not notify any bloggers you’ve unfollowed.
  • Don’t want to lose followers? Then make sure your blog is inviting, easy to navigate around, has an updated ‘about me’ page and is a friendly place to hang out on.
  • Never ignore or take your readers for granted. Consider unfollowing bloggers that do not respond to your comments.
  • If you’re going to change your blogging schedule, inform your readers about it.
  • Don’t leave long gaps between publishing posts. Stick to your schedule. Once a month – great. Once a month, but don’t publish your next post for six months – not good. Out of sight, could mean out of mind.

Join the disussion

Do you unfollow blogs? If so, what are the main reasons why you unfollow them? If you’ve never unfollowed a blog, why not?

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Are you reblogging correctly on WordPress? Check out my post for full details.

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70 thoughts on “Are These The 7 Main Reasons Why Your Blog Is Losing Readers?

  1. Hi Hugh,
    Congratulations! Your post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party! You’ll be featured on my site on Monday!
    Thanks for showing a screenshot of my article!

  2. Hi Hugh, you always have the most interesting blog information. Off the top of my head the three reasons I’ve stopped following blogs is 1) When a blogger doesn’t respond to comments. 2) An unfriendly feeling on their blog. After all it’s nice to sense some kind of a connection, right? And 3) Too many sales pitches. I do understand that a blogger needs to make money and they must do what they have to do to help their blog. However, if I get more sales pitches than blog posts I’ll stop following. On the other hand I will do whatever I can to support a blog that I follow which includes purchasing from a link to one of their sponsors when possible. I do believe in supporting bloggers. It’s just in the way it’s done. Filling my inbox with too many sales pitches is spam, to me.

    There are a few blogs that I’ve unfollowed that don’t take me off of their list. I mark them as spam.

    It doesn’t bother me if a blogger stops writing for a while. I understand that things happen. If they write a post later I’ll continue to follow, if I like their blog.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Lea.

      I’ve also stopped following blogs where there was an unfriendly feeling. I usually pick it up in the comments section. I’ve often been shocked at the way some bloggers respond to comments. I also unfollow blogs if any racist remarks are made towards languages, people or the way people live their lives.

  3. Oh, those pop-ups! If I get one the minute I click onto a blog, I automatically leave. Ghastly things – how do you know you might want to follow until you’ve read the post?! They’re desperate, grasping, intrusive – I could go on!

    I disagree about frequency. I post as and when I feel like it – might be 3 times a week, might be once a month. But then I’m not a blog follower, and even those I do follow I rarely read via the email notification. I am more likely to read via a tweet. Also, I think my views come from Twitter and Google, more – I find that some old posts keep reappearing in my ‘ten most read this week’ – just had a look at my stats and yes, Google is my top referring site. Second is via the blog itself (either email subscribers or my Twitter posts??), followed by Pinterest and DuckDuckGo. I had someone do Pinterest for me for a while – stopped it 18 months back, but still getting views via the site. Hope that is of interest/use to you!

    1. Regarding scheduling posts, my aim was more towards those who want to make money out of blogging or who have targets for the number of followers etc. For example, if you start off publishing one post every week on a Saturday, then don’t (without warning) suddenly leave a large gap before publishing the next post a year later on a Monday. Many followers get used to regular posts, especially if they contain important information, so if you’re going to change your blogging schedule, let your readership know. It sounds to me as if you’ve never had a regular blogging schedule, so your readers will know that you publish posts as and when you like.

      I get a lot of views from Twitter and search engines too. In fact, they are number 3 and 2 on my list, with the WordPress Reader being my number one referer. I tried Pinterest but could not get the hang of it. So, when I cut back on the number of social media accounts I wanted to run, it got axed.

    1. Unfortunately that wasn’t the blog I wanted it to appear on, Something odd is happening with the drop down menu where yiu choose on which site to reblog. Had to get the technical people at WordPress involved but even they couldn’t fix it. They gave me a workaround so I was able finally to blog to’s getting some comments

      1. Sorry to hear about that problem with reblogging, Karen. Good to hear WordPress is working on it. I really appreciate you sharing the post with your readers. I’ll pop over to check out the comments that have been left on it. Thanks again.

  4. Great advice, Hugh. Our JULIE has chosen your post to be featured in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. Congratulations.

  5. My experience may be helpful to some people.
    There is this company in Finland called Semalt which specializes in making your blogs Google-friendly. I didn’t sign up for their service which costs money (especially when one time they called me at 3 AM our time to discuss my blog.) but instead intuited how to make my blog Google friendly. There is a line directly under the blog name in which I always posted a meaningful quote. Anyhow Google uses this line to determine what the blog is for. After I figured that out, I switched that line to always read “A Literary Fiction Book Review”, and my views have been going up ever since. I realize that line is rather pedestrian, but Google uses it to determine if they want to use your source in their searches.

      1. The company Semalt is actually located in Estonia. I sometimes get Finland and Estonia confused because they are two countries which are very closely related.

  6. Read your post the day after I went through my blog feeder and cleared out a lot that were clearly no longer active and a number which, on reflection, are focused on topics I’m not very interested in. Sometimes I feel guilty about those ‘unfollows’ but as you say, they are just clutter that gets in the way of the really interesting stuff.

    So glad to hear you mention the irritations of pop ups. I am so tired of sites that repeatedly ask me to subscribe to their newsletter before I’ve even had the chance to read their content, so how am I supposed to guage if its of interest to me ??

    1. That ‘guilty’ feeling is something every blogger needs to deal with. I see it happening a lot in the blogging world. Bloggers feeling guilty because they’ve not been able to publish any posts. Bloggers feeling guilty because they’ve not been able to read posts and leave comments. You’ve done right by unfollowing blogs that no longer interest you. I hope you’ll see the benefits.

      Regarding your questions about annoying popups, if the blog is still of interest to you, the newsletter they offer may also be of interest. If it’s not, then you can always mark it as spam so that it goes straight to your spam folder. That way, those popups won’t appear anymore. If they do, you’ve a tough decision to make whether to unfollow or put up with the popups (if the blog is worth following).

      I contact a blogger recently about an annoying popup on his blog. I asked if he even sent out a newsletter. Apparently, he hadn’t sent one out for over a year, so he got rid of the popups. He was thankful I contacted him about it.

  7. This is a fantastic, always timely, and well thought-out and written post, Hugh. One that will help, inspire, and teach/remind many bloggers about the priorities in blogging.

    I agree with all of your points (especially the comment section), except with the blogging schedule. But that depends on the kind of blog in my opinion. I follow travelers who usually post once a month, but sometimes take an unannounced break of multiple months. It doesn’t make me unfollow, because I enjoy reading their content any time and usually these are real-time friends as well, whom I met on the road. Plus, their readership and amount of comments don’t seem to decrease after a break.

    When it comes to my own blog, I try to post once a week. Usually on Wednesdays. But, life on the road (internet availability, time, other planned activities) sometimes prevents this. I don’t feel guilty about not being able to post that day and I don’t feel the need to let my readers know about the change. Even if I don’t post for two weeks. Which rarely happens anyway. If I’d take a one-month break that is planned (which only happened once in fourteen years or blogging), I would mention this on my blog.

    The main reason for me to unfollow someone is because the content doesn’t interest me. Based on that, I should probably unfollow more blogs and free up time for book reading… Unlike you, I still have to get there. 🙂

    1. Please get there soon by unfollowing those blogs that no longer interest you, Liesbet. I compare those types of blogs to storing empty shoe boxes in a closet or under the bed. They’re empty, so why clutter up space with something empty? Get rid of them and use the space to store shoe boxes that contain shoes (or something else that is not empty).

      I guess because those travel bloggers are friends and you’ve met some of them, it is a good reason not to unfollow them if they don’t publish posts for months on end. I’d see travel bloggers as different because they are always on the go and sometimes won’t have access to good wifi. In this post, I talked more about those bloggers (like me) who are at home or in one location and who have extended breaks without any reason. Out of sight, out of mind. If readers expect a post once a month and don’t get any for six months, many (not all) will have left and closed the door behind them.

      And I don’t believe that anybody should apologise for not publishing posts or not reading posts or leaving comments. I see it happening a lot in the blogging world where some bloggers think it’s some kind of crime for not reading posts because they’ve been away for a few days. We all have lives outside of the blogging world, so no need to apologise for taking a few days or weeks off because you had to deal with other stuff. However, if you plan to take a break, then I always recommend you let readers know (especially as some of them may worry that they’ve not seen you online).

  8. Good tips. I try to respond to comments, but it’s easy to fall behind. And though current posts have active links, some of my older posts have broken ones. I need to set aside time to weed those out.

    1. Try not to fall behind with comments. If you’re getting too many, you can always close them off while you catch up.

      Likewise, I keep finding broken links on old posts. I revisit a few every month and fix them.

  9. Thanks Hugh for including the link to my recent interview 🙂

    I really don’t get why some people feel obliged to keep supporting blogs when they no longer interest them, I think it’s personally a self-esteem/assertiveness thing.

    I used to follow a guy because it logged his fitness journey, but then he rebranded his blog to talk about 80’s B-movies which had no interest to me, so I decided to unfollow.

    There was also someone who I’ve followed pretty much since the start, but they’ve started posting 3/4 times a day! All that does is spam my reader so I was not noticing posts by people I really want to read – if the quality was any good I’d have stuck with them as it was the type of things that interested me, but it just read like really boring content that you usually get when you’re doing a google search for facts about something! Unfortunatley people’s over obsession with ‘SEO’ and key words is making their work uninspired and flat!

    I think a set schedule you can stick to, even if it’s the first Monday on every month which you can do 100% of the time, it’s better than committing to three posts a week, and only achieving it 5% of the time!

    And you’ve also reminded me I need to update my About page as I’ve not changed it in over a year and it’s due a refresh!

    1. Cheers, James.

      Yes, I’m on board with you about why people read blogs that don’t interest them but feel they have to read and comment because the blogger follows them. I was on that train for a long time, but I am glad I got off it. It freed up a lot of time and helped take away the stress I was feeling about blogging at the time.

      Your answers to Bella’s question I highlighted were spot on. In fact, you nailed it far better than I did in this post.

      Yes, keep that ‘about me’ page updated at least once every six months. It’s one of the most visited pages of a blog.

      1. I’ve had a bit of attention on my ‘About Me’ page and realised it’s not quite the accurate picture I want to represent my blog, so looking over every six months and making updates is great advice!

  10. Hugh, I came across this post through Don Massenzio and found it interesting. Yes, I have unsubscribed to blogs for some of the reasons you mentioned. I hate annoying pop-ups and blogs that are hard to navigate. IMO everyone should also have a home page that makes it easy to navigate back where you were. The about me page is essential as well.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you so much for coming over from Don’s blog, Joan. My thanks to Don, too.

      I tend to change my blog’s home page from time to time. However, I hope the menubar on my blog helps with the navigation around my site.

      Thanks so much for the follow.

  11. Thanks for including me again in your post, I just hope they all don’t start unfollowing me :). I have had to follow bloggers again lately, as they seemed top drop off my follow list for some bizarre reason. Your advice is as always spot on, and by including links to past posts it makes it easy for bloggers to address issues they may not know how to do initially.

    I hate pop-ups too and lately I am having trouble with finding out bloggers’ names, it really annoys me as I would like to address them by name when I reply to their comments. As you say I understand some want to remain anonymous and that’s fine, but it’s hard to have a relationship if you don’t know their name.

    My biggest drama at the moment was that I changed up my month of blogging through April, and didn’t stick to my usual routine, mainly because I was joining in with Becky’s Squares on many days. I must say though that my stats and follows increased during the month so something good was happening as a result of mixing things up :). Thanks again Hiugh!

    1. Hi Debbie, that’s great news about your April stats, and I’m sure your regular readers won’t have minded a schedule change. At least you informed them about it.

      Sorry to hear about the problems with blogs you follow falling off your list. From what I’ve read, WordPress are aware of the problem and are attempting a fix. At least I now know why some bloggers have refollowed me.

      Thank you for allowing me to use a screenshot of one of your new post notifications.

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      1. No problem Hugh, I’m always thrilled to be included in your posts. Thanks also for the update about the followers dropping off, and that WordPress are onto it.

  12. I recently read a short story that I loved and wanted to tell the author so and see if they had written anything else. I was prepared to be a ‘fan’ based on that one story.
    I followed the link supplied at the bottom of the story. They hadn’t posted anything on their blog since 2016 (the short story was written this year so I knew they weren’t dead!) Their brief ‘about me’ was written in the third person and contained only their ‘writerly’ qualifications and there was no way to contact them or even leave a comment … needless to say, they lost a reader right there.
    This stuff isn’t rocket science, it is however, annoyingly common.

    1. A five-year gap between posts isn’t going to keep any readers. And if there is no way to engage with a blogger, I think it will put off many readers.

      Given the five-year gap, I think they’d be better off contributing to a blog that publishes posts from different authors. They’ll have a larger audience and probably won’t need to keep to any sort of schedule. However, if they don’t respond to comments, I think they’ll get little engagement with further posts. Plus, from what I know, most blog owners that allow contributors, insist that all comments are responded to.

  13. Hi Hugh, I will certainly take a good look at my blog in consideration of all that you have shared here. I am definitely guilty of having an irregular posting schedule, but I don’t leave long gaps in between. On average, I post about every 10 to 12 days.

    Recently I unfollowed a blog I initially loved. The author attempted to use humor to guise bigotry and the result was extremely off-putting. I come to this arena for entertainment, information, encouragement, and connections, and I do my best to support others who do the same. I am not offended when I don’t get the follow-for-follow reaction and consider that practice to be disingenuous. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    1. Hi Suzanne, if you publish a new blog post every 10 to 12 days, you have a schedule that your readers know. It’s when people suddenly don’t publish for weeks on end (for no reason) and keep doing it that readers start to get fed up. If it’s a long gap between posts, some will unfollow as they see an unreliable blogging schedule develop.

      Likewise, I stopped following a blog when the author started publishing posts that seemed to poke fun at how people spoke and how words were spelt. He went from friendly to an ‘I don’t care less attitude’, which sometimes came over as offensive, especially in his comments. There was no way I was going to stick around to witness all of that.

  14. I think you’ve nailed the primary reasons that most bloggers stop following others. I’ve very seldom stopped following any blogs, but one thing I have to consider is the sure volume. For those blogs that regularly send out a mountain of daily information, I’ve let some of those go if the content isn’t that great to begin with.

    1. I agree about letting those blogs go that publish too many posts with content that doesn’t really interest me, Pete. However, for those who publish interesting content, I’ve switched off notifications and usually catch up with them in the WordPress Reader (if I have some spare time to do that).

  15. Excellent post Hugh. I totally agree on the annoying popups. Nothing makes me leave a blog faster than multiple popups before I’ve even read a paragraph or two.

    I have followed blogs thinking the content was of interest to me and then unfollowed if I found out it wasn’t. Before I follow, I usually scan the last few posts to see if the content has value for me.

    1. Thank you, Michelle.

      Same here. I’ve followed blogs because of the content but have had to unfollow when the content changes and does not interest me anymore. Before I follow a blog, I always visit its ‘About me’ page. If I get past that first page, then I read some of their posts before deciding whether to follow or not.

    1. Yes, I’d recommend you update it at least once every six months, Stuart. The ‘about me’ page is one of the most visited pages of a blog. If it’s not been updated, new visitors could think you don’t care about keeping your blog updated.

  16. Hi Hugh, as always a useful and interesting post. I must be honest that I do some of things really well and a few not so well. I have about pages and always reply to comments, I also visit a lot of bloggers because I enjoy their blogs and conversations. I am not as good about following a blogging schedule. I do blog at least three times a week but it doesn’t follow any particular pattern or schedule.

    1. I don’t think you have any problem with your blogging schedule, Robbie. The problem would occur if, for a few weeks, you published up to three posts a week and then publish nothing for a month before returning to three times a week for a few weeks and then nothing for two months. That’s just an example, but I hope you get what I’m trying to say. It sounds to me as if your readership knows you’ll publish up to three times a week, so that’s your schedule, which sounds good to me.

  17. Thank you for this blog! Being new to blogging, this has really changed my outlook and this has helped me immensely … I am thankful to have read this blog 👍

  18. Always good advice Hugh! I constantly go into people’s blogs when they comment to find out their name, I know some bloggers like to remain anonymous but I like to say thanks John or Julie or whoever.
    After reading this I’m going to go through mine
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Thanks, Alison.

      Yes, I get why some bloggers want to remain anonymous, but I believe they should give their readers a name by which they can be referred to. It comes over as being much more friendly.

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