I can't lie and say that my follower count doesn't matter to me. To an extent, it does. After all, if I didn't care about people reading my blog, wouldn't it be private? But when I got an email from BlogLovin' announcing their new competition, I couldn't help but cringe a little. If you haven't already heard, BlogLovin' are running a 'BlogLovin' Follower Challenge' this month. You can read all the details here but generally the idea is that the three blogs who gain the most followers in the month of August will be promoted by BlogLovin' on their feed and on their own blog. I don't really agree with this competition and judging by my Twitter feed, I'm not alone in this. This is a blog post about why I disagree with the competition and won't be entering it myself. I'm going to try and make this blog post as coherent as possible but I will probably end up having a ramble/rant. My main points are that you shouldn't see other bloggers as your competitors and that gaining followers for the sake of gaining followers isn't a good way to go about things either.
Of course I would like to gain more followers. That's a given. But I want my followers to not only be followers but to be readers. I don't want someone to click that follow button unless they enjoy the content that I write and want to read more of it. I don't want people clicking that who will never again return to read my blog. And I don't want people clocking follow for the sole reason that they hope I'll follow them back. I'd rather have 10 readers who read my posts and enjoy them than 10k followers who have clicked follow and then never looked at my blog again. That's why I've never really understood people who 'follow for follow'. Yes it gets you a lot of followers quickly but these followers have absolutely no interest in you. Their interest is purely in their own self gain. These aren't 'good' followers in my opinion. I know it sounds a bit harsh but as far as I'm concerned if you've gained your followers through follow for follow, you may as well have 0. I'm very lucky to have quite a large following already. But I gained these followers through a lot of hard work. I've been blogging for three and a half years and this post is my 953rd blog post. It took me six months to gain my first 100 followers. But a lot of those 100 followers still read my blog now. There are a ton of blogs out there that are 10x better than mine but have no where near as many followers. And that really sucks.
Also another thing about this competion that I find a bit weird is that because they want to promote up and coming bloggers so you have to have under 10'000 followers to enter the competition. I don't know about you but I would consider a blogger with 9'999 followers to be fairly well established. What about the bloggers who are just starting out? The ones who have under 100 followers? Surely these are the up and coming bloggers who could do with a little boost. Remember when BlogLovin' used to have a section based on up and coming bloggers? They removed it a while ago(I think it may actually have been over a year ago now) and replaced it with a feature that promoted popular blogs from that niche. And by popular I mean blogs with large followings. It seems like BlogLovin' is just trying to make it harder for the little guy to be noticed.
See your fellow bloggers as friends not enemies. Remember that successful people help others to succeed whilst unsuccessful people want others to fall. Write the blog posts that you are passionate about and don't forget why you started.