|I’m linking back to Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight. They host the 2015 Discussion Challenge.|
Following Back—Why I Do It (And Occasionally Wish I Didn’t)
A few weeks ago, I came across a post on another blog that called the decision to follow back “controversial.” I didn’t know there was a controversy. I just thought that everybody followed whatever blogs they wanted, but the “controversial” comment did make me think about why I follow back.
If you’re not familiar with “follow for follow,” it means that I follow back any book blogger* who follows me on social media. I don’t remember making a conscious decision to do this. When Read All The Things! started getting followers, I followed them back because it seemed like a courteous thing to do. I’ve been doing follow for follow for quite a while now, and it definitely has perks and drawbacks.
The biggest perk of following back is finding a huge variety of book blogs. I’ve noticed that most blogs tend to specialize in certain types of books. Some bloggers only review fiction, or young adult, or horror, or graphic novels. I read all of those genres, plus a ton more. To get the verity of book recommendations that I want, I need to follow a lot of blogs. Follow for follow has helped me find some amazing books that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Another perk is the ability to help out new bloggers. Read All The Things! isn’t my first blog. It’s actually the fifth blog I’ve worked on, so I know that starting a blog is a lonely experience. You’re passionate about your subject, and you want to make connections with people, but publishing posts is like shouting into a void. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like anybody is listening (except for those robots that spam your comments, but they don’t count). Following back is a way to discover brand-new bloggers and let them know that I’m willing to give their content a try.
There are some big drawbacks to follow for follow. You guys should see my social media feeds. OMG, they are a hot mess. I do have a “favorites” folder on Bloglovin’, but the rest of my feed is crazy because I don’t have time to organize it. There are a lot of blogs in my feed that I don’t visit very often, but I don’t want to unfollow them because I promised to follow for follow, and I know that they’re following me. If my blog had 1000+ followers, I think I’d have to stop following back. It would just get too insane (unless I could be a lot more organized).
I also wonder what people think when they see that I follow for follow. Do they think that my blog’s content is so crappy that I can’t get followers unless I promise to follow back? I hope not. I prefer to believe that my content is immensely fascinating to everybody.
Right now, following back works well enough for me, but who knows what will happen in the future. I may get so overwhelmed that I’ll have to reevaluate my decision.
*My blog is followed by a lot of people who aren’t book bloggers. I don’t follow those people back because I’m usually not interested in the stuff they post on social media. I only follow people whose content I want to read.
What do you think about following back? Do you do it? If not, do you have any strong opinions about people who do? How do you stay organized on social media sites like Bloglovin’?