Why Do People Follow A Blog? Why And How To Unsubscribe Those You Don’t Want

Why would any blogger want to unsubscribe somebody from following their blog?

After all, we all want more followers, don’t we? However, there are genuine reasons why you should unsubscribe some people from following your blog.

For example, there may be a blogger who is horrified that one of the managers from their office has subscribed. Or a family member has found your blog where you share intense feelings about family and friends.

Then there are the ungenuine followers who only follow your blog in the hope that you’ll visit their blog and buy products you don’t want or need. Are any of them following your blog?

Banner for the blog post 'Why Do People Follow A Blog? Why And How To Unsubscribe Those You Don't Want'
Are there any people following your blog that you don’t want following you? Remove them now.

Why do people follow blogs?

Isn’t it because they enjoy reading the content? Not necessarily, no.

When I began blogging, I asked why some people wanted to follow my blog. For example, why were a womenswear company and a blog that sold coach holidays following my blog?

At the time, I was not writing and publishing any blogging or social media tips, so I could not understand their interest in my content.

They never ‘liked’ or left comments on my blog posts, yet I was still conscious that they were lurking in the background as if waiting for the right moment to pounce on me. 

Some of them may have been playing the ‘follow you, so you’ll follow me‘ game, but I soon realised they were interested in taking my or the money of my followers.

At the time, I was delighted with watching the number of followers increase, but there may be occasions when you want to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog.    

Here’s how to do it on WordPress.

  • Ensure you view your blog’s dashboard in the ‘Default‘ view.
  • On your blog’s dashboard menu, click on ‘Users.’
Image highlighting the 'users' button the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Click on Users.

On the Users page, click on Subscribers.

Image showing the subscribers link on WordPress
Click the Subscribers link.
  • You’ll now see a list of all the subscribers to your blog, with the ones who subscribe via email first.
  • To remove someone from your subscribers’ list, click on the arrow next to their name.
Image showing a list of subscribers and an arrow to where they can be unsubscribed.
Click the arrow next to the person you want to unsubscribe from your blog.

On the next page, click on the Remove button.

Image highlighting the Remove button on a WordPress blog.
Click the remove button to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog.
  • They will now be unsubscribed from following your blog or receiving email notifications of new posts.

There is nothing stopping people from still viewing your blog and trying to subscribe again, but you’ll get a notification if they subscribe again. 

By unsubscribing them from your blog, they will get no notifications that you have published any new blog posts. Nor will they know that you have unsubscribed them from your blog. 

Is there anything else to consider?

Yes. You may also like to remove the same people from your social media accounts.

This is especially important if newly published blog posts are instantly shared on your social media platforms.     

Of course, suppose you have reasons for not wanting certain people to discover your blog or social media accounts. In that case, it’s probably better to use a pseudonym and not publish photos of yourself on your blog or social media accounts.

Because I publish many blogging and social media tips, I’m no longer concerned about who follows my blog. However, I will remove or block anyone who tries spamming the comments section on my posts with uninvited links or keeps trying to sell me something I don’t want or need.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • There are genuine reasons why people want to unsubscribe somebody from following their blog.
  • Follow the steps in this post to unsubscribe people from following your blog.
  • Remember to do the same with your social media accounts.
  • Just as when you unfollow a blog, people you unsubscribe do not get notified that you have unsubscribed them. 
  • Unsubscribing somebody does not mean they can no longer view your blog, but they will stop receiving notifications of any new blog posts you publish.
  • Consider using a pseudonym on your blog and social media accounts if you don’t want anyone to know your real identity.
  • Block users you do not want to receive any comments from.  

What about you?

Are there any reasons you’d want to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog? Have you ever unsubscribed somebody from following your blog? What are the main reasons why you follow a blog?

Join the discussion by leaving a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’

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This is an updated version of a post originally published in February 2020.

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59 thoughts on “Why Do People Follow A Blog? Why And How To Unsubscribe Those You Don’t Want

  1. Good advice, Hugh. One of the reasons I thought people might be following my blog was because I had the “Followers” widget set to what was at the time (maybe still is) default which was to show recent followers. I changed that setting to followers who interact most.

    The other issue I have is due to the variety of my posts. Whenever I write about a D-I-Y project, I get a group of followers related to or interested in that subject. Then they drop off after I move to a different subject.

    1. I don’t see it as an issue when some followers drop off the radar when we’re not publishing posts on subjects they’re more interested in, Dan. Likewise, it happens to me. My blogging tips posts get a totally different engagement from those that prefer my Wordless Wednesday posts. I think spreading our nets is healthy rather than sticking to just one subject.

      Good choice on changing that setting to those followers that interact with you the most. I recently had a new follower who had an eye-popping Gravatar photo. I unsubscribed them from following my blog. Can you imagine other readers seeing that eye-popping photo on my widget bar?

  2. Useful! Useful! Thanks, now I can remove this stalker. A hehe and a haha were had as I read through the instructions… like shall I rub my little hands together? Should I be happy about fixing this? Absolutely. Much gratitude!! 🤌🏾

  3. I do often wonder why some have started following my blog, but never comment or like. That even includes friends of mine.

    Even though I don’t have that many followers, it may be worth having a ‘tidy-up’ sometime.

    1. Several people read my blog posts but never click like or leave comments, Paul. They have their reasons, and you’ll probably have some that do the same.

      However, there will also be ‘ghost followers’ who follow a blog but never return to read any posts. Those are the ones I do not understand. Some follow in the hope that they’ll get a follow back, but we know that doesn’t work, and even if it does, we have to ask ourselves if we’re following out of obligation rather than being interested in what they publish.

      1. It seems that some will do anything to get their follower numbers up, but in the end it means nothing. There are many baffling elements to the blogging world!

  4. It’s a useful option to remove subscribers but I don’t think a lot of people know about this feature (I think you told me about this last year).

    Follow counts are vanity anyway – I’m now in the position to have over one thousand followers and each new post might get 30 of those reading, so it’s not going to be a big loss if you remove ‘Crypto mining blog’ from your followers.

    I don’t cleanse my follow list often, but I had to take action on a follower who was getting on my nerves – they weren’t nasty as such, but every comment they had to debate and say ‘yeah what if…’

    I don’t mind opposing views but they seemed to be contrarian on everything I said!

    1. James, I’ve unsubscribed someone who only ever left the word ‘Nice’ as a comment on all my posts. I doubt he ever read any of them, and in any case, the link to his Gravatar is also broken. So another good reason to remove him.

      I agree that it’s only around 20% of the followers we have ever engage with, but I know some who read my posts but never like or leave a comment. I’m more inclined to remove the ones I know only want to sell me or my followers something. I removed two – one that led to a drugstore website and another to a blog that advertised cheap flights and holidays.

      Thanks for joining the discussion.

  5. Hi Hugh,

    You picked an interesting topic this week!

    I’m not on top of my blog statistics or numbers, so I’ve never looked at my list of subscribers. Yes, I’d like my following to grow. I haven’t noticed anything fishy, except for spam comments. Since the first time someone new leaves a comment on my blog has to be moderated by me, these events remain controlled and not a big deal.

    I used to follow blogs of people I knew or who followed my blog, but now I’m only doing so for blogs that interest me. I’m still working on finding that balance. 🙂

    1. So good to hear that you’re only reading blogs that interest you, Leisbet. Our time is precious, and I’m always amazed at how many bloggers tell me that they read blogs because they feel obliged. Not because they’re interested in the content but because they’d feel guilty for not doing so because those bloggers read their posts.

      Glad you enjoyed the topic of this post. It’s one I had written about before and was worth revisiting.

  6. These are great tips, Hugh! I never thought to unsubscribe followers. I also delete links and pingbacks that have nothing to do with my blog or what I write. I am consistently keeping tabs on those I follow. If they haven’t posted in 10 days, I unfollow them unless I know there is a reason for their inactivity. I follow about 300 now so time to do some blog housekeeping.

    1. Yes, 300 is a lot, Eugenia. I’ve no idea how you keep up with them all. Although 10 days of inactivity seems a little harsh to unfollow somebody. I know many bloggers who only publish monthly. I tend to wait for 6 months of inactivity before unfollowing somebody.

      Great to see you’re on top of those pingbacks that have nothing to do with the contents of your post. I get many of them, too, often leading to blogs that want to sell you something.

      1. There are exceptions to my 10 day guideline. Like you mentioned, some only blog once a month. There are a few I follow that haven’t posted in a couple of months but I understand their reasons for not doing so. My 10 day idea is just a guideline so I can stay organized and not be overwhelmed.

        I have to stay on top of pingbacks and spam. I get way too much of it.

        1. Never allow spam to defeat you, though. Too many bloggers close the doors in their readers’ faces by closing off comments on their posts that are only a few days old.

          As for not getting overwhelmed, only follow the blogs that publish content that interests you. Never waste your time reading content that does not interest you and that you’re only reading because you feel obliged to.

  7. In my early blogging days, I used to follow people who followed me. These days, I only follow people who write content that interests me. I recently went through and cleaned up the list of blogs I follow. Many bloggers have disappeared over the last year or so. I suppose for them blogging was a pandemic stop-gap to fill their time.

    1. You could be right, Michelle, although I think many who come to blogging also believe it will make them a lot of money. When the visitors to their blog don’t materialise, they abandon their blog usually without realising that blogging takes time, and that you have to work hard to get an audience. Some will try and jump on the back of successful blogs without engaging with the blogger, while others don’t engage properly. I’ve just unsubscribed a blogger from following my blog because the only comment they leave on all my posts is ‘Nice’. They do the same on other blogs. I wonder if they have read any of the posts, given that they only leave the same comment.

        1. Same here, Michelle. I see no point in leaving comments that can not form some kind of meaningful conversation other than a ‘thanks’. Isn’t that what the ‘like’ button is for? Press the like button if you’ve nothing of value to add.

    1. There are many other situations, such as pingbacks that lead to blogs advertising cheap holidays and flights. Or another I had was a drugstore blog.

      I also unsubscribe anyone running a reblogging farm where all they publish are reblogged posts. I have no idea why they want to do that. Removing the reblog button from my blog has helped, but some now create pingbacks to all my posts.

  8. I didn’t start blogging until I left my office job and started freelancing. I can understand wanting to keep co-workers from seeing your blog posts! Most of us are different people while on the job than we are in private life. I follow people I think I’d like to have a cup of tea with!

  9. I haven’t had too many spam comments lately, but I see new followers whose address looks odd. I have also been getting emails stating I owe $499.00 for a subscription or another. It makes me wonder if they follow my blog to get to my email address. In any case, those go to my junk mail in outlook which I can ID and block. Thanks for this reminder, Hugh. Always good to check the back ends of our blogs.

    1. Same here, Terri. I always look at the web addresses of anyone leaving a comment. I’ve just sent two pingbacks to this post to the trash folder of my blog. One went straight to a drugstore blog, the other to a blog that advertises cheap holidays and flights. I also trash any pingbacks that go to reblogging farms. I’ve also unsubscribed another blogger whose comments are only one word on every post (nice) I publsish.

      Those emails can sometimes come thick and fast. They’ll try anything to get our emails address. It’s a shame that some bloggers will fall for them, especially the ones from companies that claim they can get you thousands of new followers.

  10. Hugh, What great timing. I was looking at followeres who have never liked or commented any post and are running a business of some sort. Honestly, they havent done anything to cause me to unsubscribe them. It all started when a blog I follow went dormant and now has expired. My blog has many pingbacks from them. They lit up the broken link program so I decided to delete the pingbacks on my blog. Thats when the question of legit followers crossed my mind. Great post. Thanks and all the best.

    1. Hi Danny, I send any pingbacks from business-related blogs that have never engaged with me to the trash folder, so they never appear in the comments section. Thus, none of my readers will be taken in by them, click on the link, and be taken to their website where they want to sell you products or services you don’t want or need.

      I’ve just done a couple. One was a drugstore blog, and the other was a link to a blog that advertises cheap holidays and flights.

  11. During the almost 9 years I am blogging, I unfollowed a hand full of people from my blog. Some were just impertinent or even thought it was a dating platform. Some made me feel like they spy on me. So, I even blocked two or three bloggers from my blog.

  12. Great Post Hugh. I do check out people who follow me but I would only follow in return if I’m interested in what they’re writing about. I find quite a few of my followers post in another language, so I usually don’t take that any further, unless it’s a language I speak.

    The ones that I’m never sure about are the business ones, but they usually respond/follow after I’ve published a more ‘professional ‘ post. They don’t tend to promote their own sites/products … if they did I’d remove them straight away.

    I used to feel guilty if I unfollowed someone, but as you said, we need to use our time wisely, so it’s prudent to be selective.

    I also wonder how long to leave an inactive subscriber before dropping them

    1. I’d be cautious about inactive followers, Brenda. While they may not click the like button or leave comments, they may still read your posts.

      However, if it’s another blogger who has not published any new posts for over 6 months, I agree they may have abandoned their blog and no longer be reading your posts. I tend to unfollow any blogs that have not published new content for over 6 months.

      There is a language translator widget that you can use to change the language of blog posts into any language you want. I have one towards the bottom of the widget bar on my blog, although I rarely use it. But it’s there just in case I need it.

      1. 6 months seems a reasonable amount of time. I tend to look at their activity on their own sites.

        I’ll check out the translation widget, thanks. I’ll maybe dm you if it’s ok, as I have another, unrelated question

  13. 🙂 Approximately two years ago, someone who was promoting article-spinning software followed my blog. I was afraid that they would spin my blog posts, so I removed them from my list of followers.

    By the way, Hugh, people can still follow our blogs if they want to; all they have to do is use a RSS Reader (We will never know that they are following us).

    In my case, I follow some blogs via Feedly and that is because the feed of some blogs do not always show up on the WordPress Reader.

  14. Thank you for this post, Hugh. I think I have a few who I need to unsubscribe- those which are companies selling products and people who simply don’t like or comment. I will have to do a general housekeeping and clear some blogs I follow, too.

    1. You’re welcome.

      I’d be cautious before removing anyone who has not liked or left you a comment. Some readers read posts but never click ‘like’ or leave comments. How do I know? A few have contacted me via the Contact Hugh form on my blog.

  15. I’ve never removed a follower from my blog. I’ve had a few conservatives remove themselves when they discover my liberal political beliefs, but that’s okay.


    1. The correct approach is that if we don’t find the content interesting, then why do we follow a blog? It’s just a waste of time.
      Likewise, I’d unfollow a blog if it contained anything that promoted hatred towards anyone. I’ve had a few commentators attack other bloggers in the comments section of my posts. I ended up blocking them.

  16. This post is so useful. I have been wanting to do this for a subscriber, I know them in person. We are friends but I do feel like they use the posts I write as topics in our conversations. I would like to remove them. Something I would like to add is that it really does affect the content one posts and how frequently they post. Thank you for the useful post. I thought of just continuing with my blog boldly and ignoring this person’s comments. Some subscribers make posting content a drag and I hope this helps a lot more people. The “follow me I will follow you” game hasn’t been that bad for me because I like to follow blogs a lot just from one post and they usually follow back. I am lucky that I enjoy most of their posts.

    1. I’m delighted you found this post helpful.

      Be careful with following blogs simply because they followed your blog first. I’d recommend you only follow the blogs that publish content that interests you and where you know you’ll engage in discussion. Following too many blogs can become overwhelming and lead to stress or guilt because you’ve been unable to read and comment on all their posts. Don’t follow blogs you’ll never get around to visiting and engaging on again.

      I used to follow nearly 500 blogs. Now I’m down to following around 60. It works much better.

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