Follow for Follow: How I Decide Who to Follow
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.
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. I love engagement, and I enjoy talking to others. I try to find accounts that discuss body image, parenting, relationships, and disabilities because I talk often about those things as well. 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. I 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.
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. I want to support what I believe in.
I think supporting causes in the blogging world can help break down barriers and put an end to stigmas. I think 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. I won’t follow accounts who leave negative comments and mean words- very different than constructive criticism. I also won’t follow people who plagiarize or steal content.
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. I want to support and engage with those I follow, so I try to pick who I follow back with thought and consideration.
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.