I know I shouldn’t focus so much on the numbers, but The Intrinsic Writer’s “following” has been rather stagnant for the past two or three weeks. Right now, I’m stuck on number 264, which is both low and high depending on who you are, and where you’re at on the blogger’s assembly line.
Last week my number was 266. Over the weekend it dropped to 263. Then yesterday, it jumped up a notch to 265. When I checked this morning, I saw that it had sadly fell to 264.
Let me tell you this. The more followers I lose, the stupider my latest post seems. On Facebook, the “un-friending” tactic is the ultimate social media bitch slap. On Twitter, it’s a little less severe, since avid Tweeters tend to have followings in the ten-thousands. But on our personal blogs, the occasional “un-follow” feels a little more, well, personal.
I’m always two steps ahead with my blogging, often pondering ideas days before they are written. This alone takes vast amounts of mental energy. Then, when I compose a post, I don’t just write off the whim. Any of my loyal supporters (you know who you are and you’re wonderful) knows I’m no willy-nilly blogger. I take time to craft my pieces. I put thought into them. I aspire to spread knowledge and raise awareness.
So when someone dumps me, kicks me to the curb, gives me the shaft…it hurts.
And as a result, the slippery slope of toxic mental activity begins to roll: No one likes me, I’m not appealing enough, My writing is no good, I’ll never be published, He or she is interesting, but I’m not.
And so on…
Do I need to take the proverbial “chill pill”? Most likely, yes. After all, blogging is not about racking up the numbers; it’s about making connections with others. I have a group of blogging friends who have helped me in valuable ways, and in the long run that’s all that should matter. And it does. And I know that.
But I’m human and I forget sometimes. And no matter how you slice it, rejection simply sucks. Furthermore, I’m curious. What makes someone “un-follow” another writer’s blog?
Some reasons to possibly consider:
1. Posts too much
2. Posts too little or sporadically
3. No particular reason, just cutting from the list to make this experience less overwhelming.
4. Just not interesting enough
In response to # 1: I don’t post too much. I’m not blowing up anyone’s inbox…I don’t think. At the very most I’ll post three times a week.
In response to # 2: I don’t post too little either. Again…three times a week. I’m consistent, yet not obsessive.
In response #3: Not much I can do about that.
In response # 4: My worst nightmare realized.
But hey that’s life, right? No matter what I do there will always be some “non-fans.” I’m a teacher, I know. You can be as fair and engaging and helpful as you can, but some students just will not take to your style.
Focus on the ones that do…in teaching, writing, and in any endeavor.
While I’m at it I’ll tell you what makes me ‘un-follow’ someone’s blog. I’ve only done it maybe three times at most. We are all striving to get our voices heard and we are all struggling with the truth that getting people to give a !@#$ about what you have to say is a very difficult enterprise. This is why I typically don’t kick people off my list. I know how it feels.
However, I draw the line at these two notions:
1. Not following the standard blogging “etiquette.” If I reach out to you, leave comments, make it known that I now subscribe to your site, and I hear zilch from you, yet meanwhile you’re posting away and responding to other bloggers, then likely, yes, I will set you free. No hard feelings. There’s just obviously no “blogger chemistry” there.
2. You leave a nasty, unprecedented, comment to one of my posts. I’m not talking about simple disagreement; that’s good, in fact, that needs to happen sometimes to keep the conversation going. But a rude, uncalled for comment or unrelated rant will give me plenty of incentive to give you the boot.
I’ll reiterate…it really isn’t about numbers. Unfortunately though, the brain recognizes numbers. We’ve been trained since a very early age to assign meaning to said numbers. Therefore it’s only natural that we bloggers become “follower counters.”
Still, it’s nice to recognize the true, underlying purpose in this enterprise and that is to make friends, to show support, and spread ideas.
I am still curious though…what makes you “un-follow” a fellow blogger?