Follow for Follow: How I Decide Who to Follow

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I’ve debated about sharing this post for awhile. Part of me has wanted to talk about it sooner, but the other part of me felt reservation. I didn’t want to come across rude, but I believe it’s time to talk about it.

Finding followers can be tricky to begin with if you’re new to blogging and social media, and I even wrote a post called Finding Followers about how I grew my traffic this year. There are many feeds and groups where “follow for follow” is required, but I don’t participate in those.

It’s not that I don’t follow anyone back, because I follow a lot of people back. I just pick and chose differently as opposed to following everyone who follows me. I love following based on a few specifics, and I also look at who those people follow when I want to follow new people.

Chose Positivity

I used to follow everyone who followed my blog and all of my social media accounts, because I didn’t want to seem unappreciative. I would only unfollow or block someone if they were directly negative or lewd, but all of that has changed in these last few months.

When I follow someone, regardless of platform, I follow them because I genuinely want to see their posts. I follow people who bring positivity. I also look for content I can relate to and feel inspired by when it comes to hitting that follow button.

It’s okay to not have the same interests, and it’s okay to not follow everyone who follows you. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and vice versa. There are a few other reasons that I don’t just scroll through my followers and follow everyone back.

1. Mental health comes first.

I recently started going through my Instagram and WordPress feed to unfollow any accounts that could make me feel bad about myself and my body. I’m not saying the people I unfollow are bad or wrong in what they post, but I won’t compromise my mental health to support others. I’m happy they are doing what I love, but if I don’t love it, I see no need to see it when I scroll.

I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body image for years. I even wrote a book about it, so I try to not follow people who preach weight loss as the ultimate tool for happiness. I also avoid any accounts or blogs that put others down, because that type of energy is draining on my mental health.

2. I follow accounts that I relate to.

I love following accounts that discuss things I can relate to. Finding accounts where I can engage and talk to others is something I enjoy. I try to find accounts that discuss body image, parenting, relationships, and disabilities because I talk often about those things as well. Also, I have an understanding of those topics, and if I can relate and understand where someone is coming from, it makes the engagement even more enjoyable.

3. I follow back blogs and social media accounts that discuss topics I am interested in.

Even though I can’t relate to some of these makeup mavens, I follow them. I’m interested in beauty and fashion, and even though it’s not necessarily my highest skill set, I want to follow what peaks my interest. If the blog has a topic that I have zero interest in, I see no point in following only to always scroll past.

I’m not a chef, and I don’t write about cooking. I do, however, love food and attempting new recipes, so I follow some food bloggers and social media accounts. The same goes for book bloggers. I wrote a book, and I do read things other than blogs. I wish I had more time to read than I do now, so I follow book bloggers and save book reviews.

The point is, that even if I can’t always relate to something, I’ll still follow what peaks my interest. I thought that was one of the main points of this anyway- follow and support what you enjoy.

4. I follow accounts that are useful and provide how to’s and hacks.

I follow a decent amount of how to and tip type of blogs, because they are so useful. If I’m not good at something, but I want to give it a go, I’ll follow. I love showing the writer that their tips were genuinely handy, and I appreciate those types of blogs.

I blog about blogging, like right now, but I’m not an expert. So, I do share my experiences and my tips based off of what I’ve learned, but I also love to follow more experienced people. The learning never stops for me, and I enjoy research and learning from others.

5. I follow blogs and accounts to make real connections.

Another big reason that I follow people is because I really like making connections and supporting online friends. I know it may seem odd, because we are strangers behind a screen. I’ve honestly made some true friendships and sincere connections through this blogging journey.

6. I follow for a cause.

A lot of the time, I try to follow and support accounts with a cause. I love following mental health and disability bloggers, because not only can I relate, but it’s a great cause. Supporting what I believe in is important to me.

I think supporting causes in the blogging world can help break down barriers and put an end to stigmas. Offering support to accounts and blogs like that can also grow the cause and increase the visibility of what they are trying to achieve.

7. I follow the people who support what I am doing.

Even if we don’t share the same interests, causes, or opinions, and you still support what I’m doing, I will do my best to follow you back. I try to show my appreciation, and that includes following those who wholeheartedly support what I do.

Follow the Good Vibes

I don’t follow everyone who likes or follows my accounts or blogs. There are some who support me that I can’t follow back, because I have a list, if you want to call it that, of accounts and blogs that don’t bring good vibes.

I won’t follow people who are racist or hateful. Also, I won’t follow accounts who leave negative comments and mean words- very different than constructive criticism. I won’t follow people who plagiarize or steal content either.

I’m not trying to judge others, but I will not follow people who are just down right not nice. I want to scroll and smile. Honestly, I want to support and engage with those I follow, so I try to pick who I follow back with thought and consideration.

Blogging is bigger than follow for follow. I am very well aware that I could boost my numbers and traffic with the follow for follow feeds, but I don’t just do this for numbers. Yes, this is my job, but it’s also bigger than that. My mental health and feelings will come first when I hit follow, and that isn’t something I’m going to compromise.

When it comes to growing my following or finding new people, I go to the blogs and accounts that I already enjoy and see who they follow that I may not follow yet. It helps me expand my connections and discover new people and blogs. I do also participate in some follow trains when they are about engagement and my interests as opposed to follow for follow.

How do you feel about following others? Do you have criteria or do you follow for follow. Regardless of your approach, I appreciate that you read this post, and I look forward to some discussions.

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember that my self-love body book is now available on Amazon.

-With Love,


36 thoughts on “Follow for Follow: How I Decide Who to Follow”

  1. I’m fairly picky about who I’ll follow back, although it depends somewhat on the platform. Part of it is that I want to follow people whose content I actually want to see regularly, and that fits with the kind of experience I want to have online. It also comes down to capacity. I only have so much time, so I mostly limit myself to following mental health blogs. However, if a non-MH blogger becomes a regular reader once that clues in in my head chances are I’ll follow them even if their content isn’t what I’d normally read.

    And how’s that for a long-winded comment! 😉

    1. I loved it!! Thanks for reading and commenting. I used to follow everyone back, but I learned it’s okay to pick and chose what interests you, what’s good for your mental health, and what you genuinely enjoy.

      Have a wonderful weekend!!

  2. I will be re-blogging this in the near future. I likewise have my own list and requirements for following back which mirrors a lot of what you mention. I don’t join groups or lists where I have to follow back.

    1. Thanks for reading your input. It’s important to follow what we like, so the joy isn’t pulled from us while we scroll and read.

      1. I agree. The last thing I need for my bipolar 1 is to follow those who could swing me depressed or manic.

        I do encourage people who like what I post or re-blog to look at my Facebook blog page or Twitter feed if they don’t want to follow me.

  3. Hi Jenni, thanks for writing about this. I love Instagram and blogs, but I’m not a fan of FB. I have 2 IG accounts a personal and my Blindness Awareness blog. In my personal I only follow people who I truly enjoy in a personal fun level, IRL friends, hobbies like painting, writing and meditation. For my awareness account I typically only follow blindness, disability or awareness pages with the goal of learning and sharing. For blogging I only follow blogs that I will actually read lol I should probably quantify that more but it is what it is! On FB I do not have irl/personal friends and I only use it for interacting with Blindness specific groups. My one rule of absolute is that I will not follow any political content (I read NYT for that stuff) and I won’t follow any haters. Love your blog! I can’t even remember how we got connected but I’m glad we did 👍🏻

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your methods and input with following others! I totally agree with you! I’m happy we connected too. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree! I feel like staying true to myself is my ultimate guideline. Following for the sake of politeness or politics or better stats means I am bartering with my own authenticity. Something I fought long and hard for! Love this! Thanks!

  5. Hi Jenni – I do follow whomever follows my blog, but I cant keep up with all of them. I don’t read make up blogs because I don’t really wear it or pay attention. I am not fashionable either. I love real life or inspirational blogs, so those are the ones I read, I also like variety … like this one. You write about all different things. To be honest, I concentrate more on organic followers as opposed to fellow bloggers. A lot of people don’t like FB, but I do well on Facebook. That is where I get so many comments and support. Also, Pinterest is where so many of my organic followers and views. I don’t get a lot at all from twitter, but I don’t engage enough with bloggers. It is too hard keeping up with everything. I don’t know how you do it!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your follow methods. It’s definitely not easy trying to keep up engagement, but I really enjoy those organic discussions. Thanks for reading!!

  6. I feel the same way! Even being a new blog here, I used to have a large blog on Tumblr and I grew it based on the things you mentioned – following blogs that inspired me and finding others to follow based on who they followed and reblogged from. Even though this blog here is new to me, I’m not compromising just to gain followers. I believe if I focus on keeping my blog about what is meaningful to me, eventually the right people will find me and follow along on the journey with me. ❤️

  7. I enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing! I’ve learned so much from you and a few bloggers in just 4 months. 🤗

  8. I enjoy following blogs with real life content, inspiration, and based upon my interests. Being in IG, FB and twitter you run across a lots follow for follow. I do not partake in that and I do not get offended if someone does not follow back. I do enjoy organic followers which are more prone to read and share my posts. It is hard to keep up with all the great reads published. xoxo

  9. Thank you for this post. I agree 100% with your approach, it’s the same as what Tahlia and I do. I have been wondering over recent weeks why I don’t see many blog posts on my reader feed. To see yours I clicked onto your profile after you liked my recent blog (thank you). You have some amazing articles and these definitely do not appear when I click onto reader. We’re still relatively new to blogging, so wondering if you have any tips on how I can see the posts of who we are following? I’ll also contact WordPress admin who to be fair are always helpful with my enquires. Thank you 👍🏻

    1. I’d love to help, but I am in a similar boat. I don’t see all of my followers, so I type in their names, and searching them seems to make them more visible after a few attempts. Thanks for reading!!!

  10. I struggle with this a lot. I never want to seem rude for not following someone back, even if their feed doesn’t fit what I particularly like, so now I’m following someone who’s posts I’m mostly going to scroll by.

    1. Do what’s best for you, darlin!! You don’t have to follow everyone back. You can’t make everyone happy, so make yourself happy first!

      1. That’s so true! I guess still being a new blogger I feel like I need to show the same support by following back. But you’re right, can’t make everybody happy!

  11. This is without a doubt the best and most honest post I have seen in a long time, I am loving it! LOVING IT!
    I am going to follow you at least for sure haha

  12. Great Read, thank you for the perspectives. I tend to get off track from time to time when I follow certain blogs that pertain to nothing I happen to be involved with in my daily life. It all results in useless information that I don’t absorb.

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