I was reading a post over at Hugh’s News and Views, which captured my attention:
In the post Hugh commented that not many people talk about why they unfollow blogs, and to this my reaction was to say “Challenge accepted!”
Perhaps this post will be too close to the truth for some bloggers as they realise they have done some of these things (I know I’ve made one or two of these), and you might even raise an eyebrow how picky I can be, but today I share all the reasons why I unfollowed your blog.
10 Reasons Why People Unfollow A Blog
- It’s boring.
- You post too much.
- It reads like an advert.
- You’ve done a complete U-turn on your niche.
- Your content is stolen.
- You act in a manner that doesn’t make you trustworthy.
- You don’t respond to comments.
- You’ve got political (when you’re not a political blog).
- Your attitude sucks.
- You repost the same content way too much.
Some of these are self-explanatory, some are not, either way let me explain:
Your blog is boring
Without being too boring myself, what do I mean when I say a blog is boring?
I define this as either:
Lacking any emotion to make you want to read
Imagine you write a post about how to be confident.
It opens with a 500-word introduction explaining what confidence is, just in the event someone has arrived from another planet who has no idea what this concept means.
The body of your post contains nothing new or unique that the reader couldn’t find outside of the Wikipedia page on confidence.
There is no story, nor any anecdotes to explain your concepts. It’s just a lifeless article, dragged down with dictionary level facts and shoe horned keywords.
Talks about trivial stuff from your life no one cares about
It helps adding personal experiences to spice up your work and differentiate it off anything you find on the first page of a Google search, but be careful not to be too self-indulgent, as these don’t go anywhere, nor entertain.
Be careful bragging, and using your blog as a sound board to rant about the world, as it offers little incentive to keep reading.
You post too much
“But why does it matter if I post ten times a day? If my followers don’t like it then they don’t have to read it!”
It’s a good point, and maybe I’m shallow about wasting micro seconds of my time, but it gets frustrating to scroll pasts posts by the blogger who can churn out two posts of much of the same old-same old before breakfast just to find what I want.
How much is too much?
I have no issues with people who post every day, I have issues with people who go for quantity over the quality, under the delusion this is “productive”.
If you have a constant need to write, then spread out your output – submit guest posts, freelance, write on Medium, Quora or Twitter, and always ask yourself the question “If I was my audience, would I enjoy reading that?”
Am I reading a blog post or an advert?
On Twitter, I was checking out a blog post sharing thread and someone actually promoted their post by saying “Check out my new post on how bath bombs should be part of your personal self-care package, I look forward to your visit and checking out my ads”
Here’s a protip – go on YouTube, watch TV, sit on the bus, go for a walk… you can see adverts all around you. So why would anyone want to visit a blog that is one big billboard!
For the record, I have no issues with people who make money from blogging, but if 90% of your front page has posts that start with “Sponsored Guest Post” or “Ad:” you’re putting yourself as risk of being unfollowed.
If you want to sell something, add the value with a quality post, and then use it as a sales funnel to your products.
You’ve done a complete U-turn on your niche
I like fitness blogs, and one that captured my interest was from a morbidly obese man who talked about his weight loss journey as he lived a healthier and more active lifestyle.
One day I logged onto the WordPress reader, and saw the site had been renamed and was now focused on reviewing B movies – fair enough we all go off topic once in a while, but if you have a drastic makeover of your sites purpose, then don’t be surprised when you get a few loyal readers unfollowing because they don’t share the same passion for your hobby.
You steal other people’s content
This one is self-explanatory, but allow me to vent.
If I catch you posting other people’s work – words that a blogger has toiled away in their free time to write while having to balance family, jobs and other commitments, then not only do I not want to follow you, I don’t want you to read my work, and if I had power over the internet, you would have your domain revoked, and you’d be banned from using any platform ever again!
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You give me other reasons not to trust you
Stealing is one way of destroying trust, but there are other shady practices in the blogging world.
This ranges from:
- People who follow, then will unfollow you when you follow back.
- Write lazy comments like “Great post” in the blatant attempt hoping you’ll read their stuff.
- Begs you to “Come check out my blog”, while showing no shame that they’ve not read your post.
- Likes your post but doesn’t read it.
All types to ignore, unfollow and blacklist from ever giving any support.
You ignore all comments left
Perhaps there is an insecure part of me that needs validating, but if I read your post, and leave you a well thought out comment that took me 10 minutes to write, you can understand why one would get a bit annoyed if the blogger doesn’t respond to the comment.
I remember getting this treatment from a fatherhood blogger, who only a few weeks later was complaining on Twitter he wasn’t getting much engagement on his blog and could he have a #writerslift to get more support.
Here’s your writers lift pal – respond to your damn comments!
What if my post explodes with more comments than I can handle? No excuse, to manage this spread the task of responding to every single one over the next few days. If I can do this with a full-time job and two young children, so can you!
You get political
If you run a fluffy lifestyle blog, it’s not a good idea to go on a political rant about whoever the news media told you was the villain this week, as you’re playing a game that could potentially lose half of your readership.
Beyond losing followers, there are a lot of spiteful people who might choose to make your life difficult – for a while I had someone harassing me because of a post I made about Fight Club (you can still read the comment that started it all), and all I was talking about was some of the philosophical aspects to self-improvement from the film that they took exception. When it comes to politics, people take it way more personally.
Your attitude sucks
If you want a quick hack to lose the followers you’ve built up just make sure to whinge all the time that not enough people are reading your work and threaten to quit (please do).
A poor attitude is a major turn off to being a regular follower – when you blog you are putting a bit of your personality on a page, and if that happens to be a downer, then your readers start to feel dragged down with it.
You rely too much on repeats
There was a blogger who I followed who would always cycle his posts.
Don’t know what cycling is? There is trick on the WordPress, where if you update a post to show today’s date, it will appear back at the top of the reader.
This gives an advantage that you get a nice constant flow of getting your posts to new eyeballs, but for followers it can be irritating to see the same post again and again.
The one post I always remember seeing from this blogger, I kid you not, was called “7 Signs You’re Dealing With a Narcissist.”
Yes, write new posts to direct your new readers to old favourites they may not have seen, but don’t keep recycling the same stuff otherwise your loyal followers will just become apathetic and check out.
Conclusion: It’s not me it’s you…
One of the great features of WordPress against other blogging platforms is having the WordPress reader, which allows you to choose whether you want to keep in touch with a blog that has taken your interest at the click of a button.
For many bloggers like myself it has been one of the most dependable sources for maintaining a regular readership and also helped introduce me to other content I would never have been aware of.
When you choose to follow a blog, you are letting yourself, just for a moment get a glimpse into someone else’s world.
But like any relationship, it either grows deeper as you get to know that person, or you grow apart, wondering what you saw in them in the first place!
In this post I’ve shared some of the turnoff’s that make me click ‘Unfollow’ – some of these habits can be corrected with a little gentle education on blogging etiquette, some are just unforgiveable.
The lesson is clear – be careful, it can take years to build up your reputation, but credibility can be destroyed in a second.
These are my thoughts on why I choose to unfollow certain bloggers – am I too harsh?
Do you have any red flags that put you off?
Let me know in the comments.
Wishing you the best in your success
James @Perfect Manifesto