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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To unfollow the blog, click on ‘Following Site’ in the new mini-window that opens.
You’ve now unfollowed the blog.
3. Click the ‘Manage’ button (situated near Followed Sites).
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.
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.
Thank you to Marje Mallon, who blogs at M. J. Mallon – YA/Paranormal Author, for asking me a question about blogging after reading my blog post ‘Do You Have A Question About Blogging…’
Marje’s asked two questions, which I’m going to answer as best I can. Here they are –
With millions of blogs out there, Marje’s first question is one I get asked a lot.
Every time we hit the publish button, our blog posts are launched into vast cyberspace in the hope that they will stand out enough from all the other millions of blog posts out there.
How do we make sure our post is brighter than all the others?
For me, the most crucial part of a blog post is its title. If it doesn’t stand out or is eye-catching enough, then it’s likely that it will fade away fast. Almost certainly, after a few weeks, it will probably be long forgotten and never receive any further attention.
I firmly believe that when getting the title of a blog post right, you’re already halfway to getting a blog post to stand out.
The other half, of course, is getting the content of the post right. Get the title and the content correct, and you’re well on your way to having a successful outstanding blog post on your hands.
Why? Because it opens the door to make it stick in the memories of many of the people who read it.
Many of those readers may save the post so they can refer to it in the future. It’s also likely to attract lots of attention by way of comments and by being shared on social media and other blogs.
Indeed, the number of shares a blog post gets on social media will almost certainly tell the author if their blog post has stood out.
Of course, some will share the blog post of others they are friendly with regardless of what the post is about, but if other readers who are little known to the author also chose to share it, then that is when the author knows their post has stood out.
The same goes for when a post is shared via a reblog, Press This, or by way of a pingback on another blog. If the number of shares is more than average (taking away those who always share the posts of certain bloggers), then it will have stood out.
Keep publishing blog posts that have eye-catching titles and excellent content that engages those who read it, and it won’t be long before the whole blog starts to stand out.
When it comes to content, don’t rush the post and publish it on the same day you write it. Give it time so you can go back to it and make changes that will make it stand out even more.
Remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
What are some of the key elements when deciding on the title of a blog post?
Making sure the title makes sense and reads correctly.
Word it in way that will make the reader want to find out more.
Ensuring the title is not misleading and has little or nothing to do with the content.
And, of course, ensuring you have a title for your blog post.
You’d be surprised by how many blog posts I come across that have no titles.
Did you know that when a blog post with no title is published on WordPress, the title is made up of a random row of numbers?
That doesn’t look good, does it?
If you really are stuck for a good blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the link to read the post you’ve just written.
Once you have your title, try inserting it into a headline analyser and see what score it gets. The higher the score, the more likely your blog post title will attract search engines and readers. I use CoSchedule for this. Click here to try it out for free.
What else can I do to get my blog post titles to stand out?
To get my blog post titles to stand out, I like to ask a question or use certain words in the title such as –
And don’t forget to add an excerpt after your blog post title. This will help the post stand out even more.
Look for opportunities to write guest posts for other bloggers.
Open up the opportunity for other bloggers to write guest posts for your blog.
Ensure you promote your blog and blog posts on all your social media accounts.
Now, you may have come up with the best blog titles in the world and have excellent content in your posts, but remember that if the layout of your blog is not friendly or inviting, then you’ll be dimming the way your blog stands out.
What are some of the most critical aspects of making a blog stand out from the rest?
The name and subtitle of the blog.
A good blog theme that matches what you blog about.
Easy to use and accessible menu and widget bars that do not include any broken links.
A blog that downloads quickly (especially photos and images). Click here for some tips on how to improve your WordPress site speed and performance.
Using neutral or coloured backgrounds that do not strain the eyes or make reading posts difficult.
Ensuring that the font (and the size of the font) used is easy and comfortable to read.
The layout of your blog is not cluttered (e.g. too many items in the menu bar).
Any images or photos do not overlap with other images or text (especially on the email notifications that are sent out).
Images and photos are aligned correctly (especially on email notifications that are sent out).
Using the latest software and tools available when drafting posts.
Publishing blog posts that are of good quality content that invite readers to engage with you and each other.
With regards to Marje’s second question – ‘how do you successfully combine an author platform and a blog?‘, I believe there are several choices open to an author who also has a blog.
Some authors will have one blog purely for their books, their current work-in-progress, author interviews, etc., and another blog for more personal stuff that does not include anything about their books.
Some will have two (or more) blogs that combine everything, but this is something I don’t recommend as it is likely that there is a lot of repeated and duplicated information on each blog.
Then there are authors, like myself, who will have everything on one blog.
I think the main thing to remember when combining an author platform and a blog is continuity.
The author should stick to using the same photo, logos, and themes on all their social media accounts, blogs and author platforms. This helps readers identify you as the owner and gives you a brand.
If you’re a blogger who already has a book published, ensure your author platforms (such as Goodreads) follow the same theme as your blog. That way, your readers will instantly know it’s you when they see your page.
Thank you so much for your questions, Marje. I hope my answers have helped?
Connect with Marje
Blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com
In my recent post, ‘Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog?’, the subject of the ‘like’ button came up in the comments section of the post. Some of those comments got me thinking and asking questions.
WordPress says that clicking the ‘like’ button is a way of ‘tipping your hat’ to an awesome post you’ve just read and crediting the author of the post for a great piece of work. It doesn’t say anything else as to why or when the ‘like’ button should be used, yet I’ve heard and read other reasons as to why somebody clicks the ‘like’ button at the end of a post.
I’ve scattered some of those examples throughout this post.
“It’s a way to show support for a blogger, even though I’ve not read the post.”
“I use the ‘like’ button so that I can come back and read the post later.”
I’ve come across comments left on some blogs (which do not display a ‘like’ button) saying that they miss not being able to click on a ‘like’ button, and some even almost beg the author of the blog to reinstall it.
On my own blog, I regularly have some readers who will ‘like’ a chunk of my posts within seconds of each other. I’ve never known any of them to have ever left a comment on any of those posts. I also found out that some of the same readers, who do this, also do it on other blogs. And, how many of us have had somebody, we’ve never seen on our blog before, ‘like’ one of our posts (even those that contain over 500 words) within seconds of the article being published?
“Pressing the ‘like’ button on blog posts (without necessarily reading them) is a great free way to promote my blog or site.”
Recently, I’ve also begun to see spammers ‘liking’ posts in the hope that a reader will click on their Gravatar and be tempted to click on links that lead to sites selling certain medical remedies, followers, webcam shows, or pornographic images. These spammers are getting more and more ingenious in ways of getting spam links onto our blogs. Did you know that you can unsubscribe readers from your blog but, other than removing the ‘like’ button altogether, there does not seem to be a way to stop anybody from liking one of your posts? Unless, of course, you know of a way? However, you can report suspicious Gravatars and blogs to WordPress.
“When I click the ‘like’ button, it shows the blogger I’ve visited their blog even though I have not read the post.”
“I click on the ‘like’ button of all the posts of certain bloggers because I’m good friends with them. They’d be upset if I didn’t press the like’ button.”
I don’t know about you but, until recently, I rarely (if ever) look at who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any of my posts or those of other bloggers. Clicking the ‘like’ button (as I have discovered) doesn’t mean to say that the reader has actually read the post. So how many of those ‘likes’ at the end of your posts are from readers who have actually read your post?
For me, and more importantly, are the comments left on posts, especially those that clearly show they have read the post (I’m not talking here of comments that just say ‘great post!’). In my post, Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog, it was clear (with just about everyone that left a comment) that leaving and responding to comments on posts was one of the positives of blogging? Not only that, but it also made many bloggers feel good and valued about what they were writing and/or publishing on their blogs. Does clicking on the ‘like’ button do that?
“Bloggers would get upset with me if I didn’t ‘like’ all of their posts.”
“I use the ‘like’ button on days when I’m too busy to read posts. At least the blogger then knows I’ve visited their site.”
So, is it time to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Is there any value in having a ‘like’ button on a blog? Have you ever ‘liked’ any of your own posts and, if so, why? If it is time to remove the ‘like button’ from your blog, you can click here to see how to remove it.
As for me, I’ve taken the decision to remove the like button from all of my posts (past and present). However, I can always be persuaded to reinstall it, but you’re going to have to give me some good reasons to do so. Not only that but, from now on, I’ll only ‘like’ a post in line with what WordPress says it should be used for. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from leaving comments on your blogs. In fact, if I like a post then I will probably leave a comment.
“I always click on the ‘like’ button on all of the posts of certain bloggers, even if I haven’t particularly liked the post or have given up on it halfway through. They’d be upset if I didn’ ‘like’ all of their posts.”
What are your thoughts on the ‘like’ button? Have I persuaded you to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Leave me your comments and thoughts, and let’s start the debate.