Breaking Up With Blogger

You’ve just started blogging, and a few months in, a blogger you’ve never heard of nominates you for one of those blogging “awards.”  It’s exciting.  How flattering to think that somebody noticed your blog, somebody that isn’t your mother.  You realize that the “award” is more of a chain letter that promotes exposing other blogs to your audience, but you don’t care.  It’s fun and you participate.

Well, the person who nominated you must be somebody special, especially since they found your fledgling blog and obviously admire your work.  So, you decide that you will become a follower of their blog.  Why not?  You’ll probably be best friends in a few weeks, and maybe you’ll even end up meeting.  This person obviously has good taste.

Well, the story doesn’t always end happily.  Sometimes that blogger and you just don’t click.  Sometimes you follow and then regret it.  Sometimes you are bombarded with posts about hammocks, excessive alcohol consumption, and grammar advice.  This person just isn’t what you expected, and you have a sneaking suspicion that they aren’t really reading any of your posts.  What to do?

Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes it’s a different situation.  Sometimes you follow a blog or two and find blogging friends through the comments sections.  You find out that the people you’ve connected with are all connected to each other.  It becomes a blogging community of sorts, with everybody patting each others’ backs and commenting around and around.  It’s fun.  It feels like a high school clique.  You’ve got a crowd and they’ve got your back.  So, what happens when this crowd suddenly wants to start doing drugs and you’ve decided to “just say no.”  Well, I guess it wouldn’t be that dramatic.  It’s NOT high school.  But what if your interests change and the crowd no longer seems to be supportive?  What if you realize how different you all are?   Is it okay to back out, back off, or say goodbye?

Well, it may be time to break up.  You gave these relationships the old college try.  You made an effort to become interested in their life/work/writing, but it just isn’t the right fit for you.  It’s okay.  Go ahead.  Push the “unfollow” button.  They’ll never know, right?

Has this happened to you?  Is it okay to “unfollow”?

I’ve done it.  I admit this.  I’ve unfollowed some blogs.  There are a few blogs that I wanted to be excited about.  I found them through said awards, commenting, or the WordPress homepage.  I’ve even found them outside of WordPress.  They seemed interesting, smart, and funny.  But after a few posts, I realized that I just wasn’t that into them.

Is that okay?

Is the better solution to just stop subscribing to emails?  I always check the “instantly” option when it comes to email delivery.  I want to see what the blog is up to.  I want to be the first-to-know and up-to-date.  However, instead of reducing their follower count, should I just opt to not read or not to have it delivered?

What do you do when this happens?  (And let’s hope it hasn’t happened to you with my blog!)

33 thoughts on “Breaking Up With Blogger

Add yours

  1. Oy, great topic. I feel like now that I’ve been blogging for a few months this is really a struggle. Unless I’m offended by their blogs I’ve just turned off the emails. No skin off my back to fill up my “blogs I follow” page. BUT there have been a few I left entirely. Some posted every day. One just pissed me off.

    It’s all a measure of feeling ok (ethically, emotionally) with the big ol’ blog world.

    1. That’s a good tactic. I never look at the “blogs I follow” page, so cluttering it up won’t bother. I like that you bring up ethics. I think that’s where I’m getting stuck in some of these (hypothetical, of course) situations.

  2. I think it’s completely okay! I’ve “broken up” with people on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and have been broken up with many, many times as well. This is the good part of social network breaking up – you don’t have to take it personally (you could, but you most probably shouldn’t.) Unlike in real life, it’s not you, it’s your writing/tweeting/FB updates, and honestly, how seriously can we take all of that anyway?

    Don’t answer that.

    1. Ha! I guess if anybody is taking themselves too seriously (like I admit to sometimes doing), then it hurts more. I like that you mention not taking it personally. I need to work on that!!!

  3. It is something I treat seriously, but sometimes I do unfollow–you are kind to not want to wreck their follower stats and just not read them–I think it is something we all struggle with–but sometimes some blogs are just not tailor made for us–good luck in your decision

  4. Well said, Emily. I’d rather someone clicked “unfollow” if they weren’t into what I have to say any longer. The blogosphere is huge and it’s easy to make new friends.

    I never select the email option because I like the reader from WordPress. It doesn’t intrude and it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Also because most of the bloggers I follow post about different things and I am not necessarily into everything. I don’t force myself to comment on every post, only those sparkling an interest. I think that’s okay. I don’t expect my followers to comment on my every single post either.

    I’ve unfollowed several blogs. I get easily excited over a new blog and I don’t feel guilty if I realise I was wrong. As you say, people evolve 🙂

  5. I’ve only been at this a couple of months. I’ve already done some un-following. I don’t mean to be like an elitist or anything… It’s just that I’m not that into them. Once someone noticed my un-follow. I felt bad, but not bad enough to re-instate the follow. Out of sight, out of mind.

  6. Think of it like Facebook. Do you unfriend people or just ignore all the annoying things they post about their cats? If I were in your situation I would probably just turn off the email alerts and never read their blog (I don’t look in the Blogs I Follow either…it is quite an unattractive layout that all runs together….). At this point in our careers, not being famous as say, oh Perez Hilton, we need all the followers we can get. If you start deleting yourself from following blogs, perhaps they will delete themselves from yours. It is a numbers game. Sadly.

    1. That’s a really good way of looking at it. What you said made me think of the fact that I have almost 3,000 “followers,” but I am pretty sure that only a fraction of those people are actually reading with any sort of regularity. Thanks for the great comment!

  7. That’s a sticky issue, Emily. Kudos to you for addressing it! To be honest, I only click “follow” on blogs I really connect to (either content or person-wise). And I only use my reader, no email alerts. I used to get all of my comments, likes and new posts via email and it quickly became overwhelming, so now I visit the WordPress site to access all of those things. But I don’t unfollow people (or at least I haven’t yet)–it feels pretty yucky to see your #’s drop and I don’t want to be source of that feeling for someone else. That’s why I’ve tried to be a bit selective from the start.

    But, what I do to make up for not following a thousand different blogs is drop in on people from time to time and catch up on their posts all at once. I look at new blogs or the blogs of followers and leave comments and say hi. There’s a ton of great content out there, and so many great people. But I feel like following just to be followed doesn’t result in authentic connection and is super overwhelming. I think it’s better to read content that inspires and informs you and to build strong connections with a handful of people than to spread yourself all over the place reading and commenting on hundreds of blogs. But I know bloggers who do the complete opposite and it works really well for them.

  8. Dear Emily,
    This post really resonates with me. There was a bit of a clique going on in my blog world. There still is, but I’ve un-attached myself. I don’t sling the “F” word around like it’s nothing, and if that makes me a prude, well then so be it. There are many others who seem to love the people who do, and so I’m sure my UNfollow won’t even be missed! (I’m not judging them, mind you, but it’s just not my cup of tea)

    I really don’t want anyone reading my blog out of “duty”. If what I have to say fires them up, fantastic! If not, it’s totally ok. I follow a few people that do not follow me back. It bothered me initially, but the longer I’ve blogged, the more I see that it’s nothing personal.
    We all like what we like!!
    Thanks for another great post.
    Love, Lis

    1. Thank you, Lis! You have such a great attitude, and it’s so true: we can’t take such issues personally because we are all so different! Thanks for reading and I love reading yours, too!

  9. I tend to just unsubscribe to e-mails, mainly because I always have this thing where I’m like “Hmm…I might come back to it, one day.” It’s the reason I can never bring myself to unfriend on Facebook (no matter how much I don’t know the person!) or delete numbers on my phone. But I really get what you mean. Some blogs I followed because I was like “This seems interesting,” then after a few posts I feel like I’m almost struggling to read even a paragraph.

    It’s just another part of blog life, I guess.

    1. You’re right. It is just a part of the blogging world. I have the same problem with coming back to something. When I do get emails for posts, if I don’t have time to read right then, I think that I’ll get to it later, and then I’ll find it still unread weeks later. It’s hard to keep on top of it all!

  10. I think the reader would be greatly improved by the ability to sort one’s followed blogs into categories. I get overwhelmed by my feed of followed blogs, and I wish I could sort them into “Writing Blogs” and “Art Blogs” and “Poetry Blogs” for easier consumption. If we had a system like this, we could also create a category for “Disappointing Blogs” or “Blogs I don’t feel like reading every day.”
    That said, I think it’s okay to un-follow a blog you have no intention of actually reading again. Personally, I’d rather have fewer followers that are actually reading my blog than a large quantity of folks who clicked the “follow” button and never came back.

  11. What a fantastic post, Emily! I have unfollowed some folks because I found that what originally attracted me to their blog was not consistent with the regular themes they write about. Now, I’m much more selective when I click Follow and even more so when I select “Follow by Email.”

    I understand when people unfollow me and I don’t take it too personally. Do I follow every person who follows me? No. Do I expect ever blogger I follow to follow me? Absolutely not. I would rather make meaningful connections with readers and bloggers than just keep my number of subscribers up. I want people who are interested in my posts, who occasionally comment, and who may learn–or teach me–something new to follow.

    Again, excellent post!

    1. Thank you! I think you’ve made an important point about meaningful connection. That’s really where blogging gets to be fulfilling. I guess it’s okay to move on when this just isn’t happening.

  12. I’m probably a bit late to comment here (I have only joined WP a couple of days ago), but I say go for the unfollow. We spend too much time worrying about how people would feel about it, but, honestly, an unfollow is no ofence at all. I see unfollowing someone as simply not openning their page or unsubscribing from a feed. We all have the right to read what we want to when we want to and any person who actually bothers this is, in my opinion, writing for the wrong reasons.
    I have recently read about social minimalism: cutting off the social experiences you don’t want in your life. This is a bit like it: life is too short to be spent being bothered and reading something one doesn’t want to read, when there are so many options out there that could get forgetten in the middle of wasted time. I’m all for hitting the unfollow button!
    (Please excuse my English, it’s my second language and I’m sleepy right now haha)

  13. I started to blog one year ago with an idea, got a pause after some months and now came back with another one. That’s the life: to change (ideas, in my case). Well, I’m discovering a little detail I didn’t think about enough before: the world speaks English. I know, you already were aware of it, but try to think as a non mother tongue for a moment. My blog is a daily trip to the publishing day of my brand new book and I can write short and simple posts or comments, talking about my “great job” (I’m not really sure of this, of course) and perhaps someone could be curious to read it, while It wont be possible. Next time I’ll born in New York, guys. Or London, or Melbourne, or … how many places there are.

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