Many bloggers don’t particularly like talking about certain subjects, such as why they unfollow blogs or feel guilty about unfollowing a blog they’ve been following for years.
Another subject that has occasionally come up in the comments sections of some of my posts is feeling obligated or obliged to continue following blogs. You usually have no interest in these blogs, but you return the favour because they read and comment on your posts.
There are many other subjects, but I’ll keep those for another day.
From the beginning
When we first start blogging, most of us will follow many blogs simply because they followed us first. As time goes on, the number of blogs we follow grows, and before long, we find ourselves with a massive list of blog posts to read.
When I first started blogging, following all the blogs that followed me was something I did. If another blogger left a comment on any of my posts, I’d heard it was common courtesy to read and comment on one of their posts. It was a big mistake!
As time went on, I soon felt guilty if I didn’t read and comment on all the blog posts of all the blogs that followed me.
Although I was publishing much less, some of the blogs I followed published up to five posts a day. It wasn’t long before the reasons why I started to blog soon began to disappear.
The time-wasting blogging trap
Some days I found myself reading and commenting all day long, with little time left to write any blog posts. Blogging soon lost its sparkle, became a chore, and made me feel guilty and stressed.
I soon realised that I was reading and commenting on blog posts I didn’t particularly find interesting. Why was I doing this? Was it because those bloggers always read and commented on my blog posts?
The honest answer to the last question is ‘Yes.’ Because they were reading and leaving comments on my blog posts, I felt obligated and obliged to read and comment on their blog posts even if I didn’t find their posts interesting.
Do you feel guilty if you unfollow a blog?
I then started worrying that the owners of blogs I unfollowed would get upset with me for unfollowing their blogs. But I needn’t have worried about that. I found out that WordPress does not give bloggers a list of those who have unfollowed their blogs.
The only way somebody may know I have unfollowed their blog would be the sudden lack of hard to write comments I was leaving.
I then realised how much time I’d be saving myself by unfollowing all the blogs I often felt obligated to read and comment on because they had followed my blog first or were reading and commenting on my posts.
It wasn’t long before I cut the number of blogs I was following from just over 500 to 130! However, some of the decreases were down to unfollowing blogs that had remained dormant for over six months. There were lots of those too. And I also unfollowed some blogs for different reasons.
Are you one of these bloggers?
I occasionally hear from bloggers who tell me they feel obligated to continue reading and commenting on blogs they don’t find interesting simply because those bloggers read and leave comments on their posts.
‘I’d feel so guilty unfollowing them,’ are the words I hear often.
It’s a situation that shouldn’t happen to anyone in the blogging world.
When I cut down on the number of blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before some of those I had unfollowed stopped leaving comments on my posts. They must have been in the same position as I had been, or had it simply been a tit-for-tat situation? In any case, I wasn’t going to allow it to make me feel guilty.
What did matter to me was that I had finally admitted how silly I had been by continuing to waste my time reading and commenting on blogs I had no interest in reading.
What also mattered was that I had freed up much more time to write, read, and comment on the blogs that publish content I am interested in reading.
Goodbye guilt and stress – Hello Fun and enjoyment
The overwhelming guilt and stress feelings I’d been experiencing soon disappeared, and the fun and enjoyment I got from blogging were back.
Don’t fall into the trap of following, reading and commenting on blogs that publish content you’re not interested in reading. And never feel obliged to read and comment on someone’s post because they’ve just left a comment on one of your posts. Only leave a comment if you’ve genuinely enjoyed reading a post.
You’ll be surprised by just how many bloggers can spot ungenuine comments.
There are no rules in the blogging world that you have to read and leave a comment on every blog post a blogger you’re following publishes. Never feel guilty for missing their posts or not leaving a comment on every post they publish. Nobody cares if you miss some of their posts. If they do, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself why you’re following them.
Do you feel under pressure to read and comment on blogs that you are not interested in reading or on the blogs of bloggers that read and leave comments on all your posts?Do you feel guilty if you don’t read and comment on all the blog posts of certain bloggers? If so, why?
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In February 2022, I passed a blogging milestone. WordPress informed me that I’d been blogging for eight years! But that notification had me asking questions while I looked back at those eight years.
Eight years? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I started to blog. I know of bloggers who have been blogging for much longer than me and who continue to write and publish posts full of interesting content that are always of the highest quality. Not only do they care deeply about what they write, but what they publish. That makes all the difference – knowing what to publish and what not to publish.
In those eight years, I’ve seen thousands of bloggers come and go. Some disappeared without a trace, while others hung up their blogging gloves and announced their departure. The ones I felt the sorriest for were the ones who stopped blogging because they couldn’t get the engagement or the number of hits and followers they craved.
Some came here with the sole purpose of making money, while others came here more for collecting numbers rather than engaging outside of their blog. More often than not, they don’t last long and end up cluttering up the worldwide web with abandoned blogs that end up in the blog graveyard. It’s a sad sight.
From the beginning
I can count the number of bloggers on one hand who have been with me since that first year. I often ask myself why they’re still reading my posts and leaving comments, but that lack of confidence in myself isn’t something I will dwell on here. All I will say is that I must be doing something right.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I have unfollowed many blogs over the years. Why do some bloggers not like talking about unfollowing blogs? It’s as if it’s a taboo subject.
Unfollowing blogs is something I witness many shy away from speaking or writing about. It’s as if it’s a ‘hush-hush’ subject. Something that gets swept under the carpet. But not me, no. I’ve written about it and had great discussions about it in the comments section of those posts, but never on other blogs. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places?
Why do I unfollow blogs?
For many reasons, but mainly when I lose interest in the content.
One of the biggest mysteries is the bloggers who I stop hearing from because I unfollowed them. I probably stopped following them because I was no longer interested in the content they were publishing. That’s a simple enough reason. But why then go silent? Surely not for the same reason? Or was it a coincidence that we lost interest in each other’s content at the same time?
The different faces of bloggers
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some bloggers face to face. For me, that’s been one of the highs of blogging. However, I know that some bloggers like to remain anonymous. And they’ve every right to remain anonymous. Being behind a screen can feel like a safe place, but it isn’t always that way. I won’t talk about the trolls here because trolls like being discussed.
Ups and downs
I’ve had my ups, and I had my downs with blogging. It’s like being on a rollercoaster that some bloggers can’t get off. I’ve managed to alight the blogging rollercoaster a few times when taking blogging breaks.
Some of those breaks lasted months, while others lasted a few weeks. But they all had something in common. They helped me step back, take a look at what I was doing, how I was doing it, and most importantly, helped me change the way I blogged. I always came back refreshed and, best of all, despite what some say, readers do not stop following you because you’ve taken a break.
Barbara, who blogs at Book Club Mom, has evidence of blogging breaks. She recently wrote a terrific post about taking a blogging break. Read it here.
Like everything else in life, blogging changes. It would be a very dull place if it didn’t change. Can you imagine what life would be like if it never changed?
Since I first started blogging, things have changed massively. I’m talking here about the WordPress platform. I was never a fan of change, but I’m confident that the changes I’ve witnessed here on WordPress have made blogging much more fun and enjoyable. Blogging has finally moved into the 21st-century.
Those changes helped propel my blog to an even wider audience. Unfortunately, some bloggers got left behind, but I didn’t want to be one of them. There’s too much at stake when remaining stagnant.
At first, the changes looked like they were going to cause problems, but rather than complain about what I believed were problems, I adjusted to the changes and saw vast improvements for me, other bloggers and readers. It’s like climbing a ladder. The higher you get, the more you see and learn, and the more you can make a difference.
When I look at some of the blogs I’ve been following for years, I’m amazed by the changes that have taken place. That shows me how far they have all come on their blogging journey. They’ve adapted, welcomed change, become better writers and bloggers. But they have also updated and improved their blogs. It’s made them blogging figureheads with their readers and in the world of blogging. They have my utmost respect.
They continue to adapt to changes and continue to roar on their journey. That roar is one of achievement rather than the cry of complaint while refusing to adapt to change.
Change can make some problems frustrating, but you become stale by taking no action or hoping that others will tackle issues for you. Don’t allow your sparkle to dim by not adapting to change.
The biggest blogging trap to look out for
The majority of the people I have encountered in the blogging world are friendly. However, some don’t help themselves. By this, I mean that some bloggers seem to believe they have to be everywhere all the time to not upset anyone. It’s one of the biggest blogging traps bloggers fall into that can turn blogging upside down, inside-out, and become something that causes stress or a feeling of guilt. It’s a horrible place, yet it is easy to escape – if you allow it.
Many bloggers fall into the guilt and stress trap during their first few years of blogging. I was one of them, yet some don’t seem to learn the lessons of falling into that trap and continue slipping through the net, making blogging a not so lovely experience.
Some bloggers apologise for dealing with life outside of the blogging world. I don’t know why they believe they need to apologise, but it’s sad to see. Some apologise if they publish a post a few minutes late. It’s as if their readers’ lives depend on those posts going out on time; otherwise, something awful will happen.
Of course, the truth is that nobody cares if a post is published a few minutes late. Nobody cares if a post is a day late. But if it goes over a week late or your absence is out of character, care becomes a concern. It’s another lovely element of the blogging community – looking out for each other.
It’s my life
Something I’ve never been comfortable with doing on my blog is revealing everything going on in my life. Why? Because there are so many scammers out there looking for information they can use when they steal your identity. Plus, do people really want to know every detail of my life? Would I give that information out to total strangers?
Those are tough questions, but I decided to only give out a limited amount of information, most of which can be found on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page.
Some bloggers pour their hearts out on their blog, telling readers every bit of detail of their lives. Years ago, life was different, and many of us wanted to keep our lives private, but now it seems to have been turned on its head, and people complain if nobody reads their blog. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this tweet.
Be careful when giving information out about yourself. You don’t know everyone who reads your blog and the information you are giving out on it.
That’s my quick look at the last eight years. There will be more posts like this because I’ve lots more to share.
How long have you been blogging? Is blogging all that you want it to be? Let me know in the comment section.
If you don’t have an ‘About me’ page on your blog or are struggling with what to put on it, help is at hand. Blogger, James M. Lane has all the answers for creating an outstanding ‘About Me’ page for your blog. Click the link in this post for all the details.
Do you use the reblog feature on WordPress? Are you downloading images from the web and using them in your blog posts? Are you sure what you’ve downloaded or shared is actually free to use on your blog? Author, writer and blogger Deborah Jay shares her experience of facing a fine for reblogging a blog post that contained an image that was copyright protected.