The Influence of Followers: Would You Still Blog if You Didn’t Have Them?

Having followers and readers is great. I won’t lie. When I started my blog, although I loved writing book reviews and enjoyed it immensely, I would often dream about having a decent amount of followers who I could get to know, exchange comments with and build a rapport with. I would grow green with envy at the bloggers who had hundreds, sometimes thousands of followers. Who would receive comment after comment on their latest post and who would constantly be chatting to people all over the blogosphere. I realised that although I loved writing and reading – followers were something I wanted too. 

Would You Still Blog if You Didn't Have Followers

Over my three ish years of blogging, I’m thrilled to the bone that my following has grown and grown. I may not have thousands and thousands and heck I’m definitely not up to the standard of some amazing bloggers I know but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. Although it was hard and took a long bloody time, it was worth it and still I will continue to work hard on my blog and attempt to grow my following even more. Like I’m sure a lot of you are doing right now too.

This got me thinking. I had a blog post up – I can’t remember what post it was, but in terms of stats and interaction, it didn’t do as well as I thought it would and definitely didn’t do as well as some of my other posts. All bloggers will experience this and it’s usually the posts that you think will do well which are the ones that surprise you and don’t but although it was annoying, it got me thinking of the importance of my followers and the need for having them and the interaction I often crave when I publish a new post.

I took to my trusty friend Twitter and posted this question in a poll: 

“If you didn’t have followers or readers, would you still blog to the same standard or at all as you do now?” 

I left 3 answers, “Yes – I blog for myself”,Maybe – I’m not sure” and “Probably not”. I received 123 answers to this poll – so a decent amount to be able to gather some reliable results. And the results both surprised – and didn’t surprise me. In a funny ol way. 

67% of people said yes, they would still blog because they blog for themselves. 

26% said they weren’t sure.

And only 7% said they no – they wouldn’t blog anymore if they didn’t have readers and followers.

The reason these results both surprised and didn’t surprise me was because I know how it feels to blog for yourself – at the beginning when I adored writing my book reviews just because. I understand that blogging is an outlet: emotional or creative for an awful lot of people. It’s something to do in a time of need and can help tremendously in getting all your thoughts and frustrations out on virtual paper.

But I was also surprise by the amount of people that said no. I thought it would be more. Why? Because in this instance, I fall in the very small minority. 

I’m not ashamed to say that actually, now I know both sides of the coin, if I lost every single one of my followers in some freak nature disaster tomorrow (which would be totally weird that all my followers just happened to be in the same place at the same time…) I probably wouldn’t blog anymore. I’d say a fond farewell to this chapter and move on.

Why? Because I love my followers (I’m not saying that people who don’t agree with me don’t love their followers – just bare with….) I love writing my blog, I love brainstorming post ideas, trying new things, reviewing books and films and writing discussions about topics I find important. I love writing funny lists that I think people will relate to and in depth posts about personal issues that I hope my readers will be able to take knowledge in knowing they’re not alone if they’re going through the same thing.

And that’s why I wouldn’t blog anymore if I lost you guys – because I write for you and I adore hearing what you have to say. I relish in every single comment I get – and I always take the time to reply personally to everyone. I relish in the fact that my anxiety posts might have helped someone or given someone some well needed advice in a time of need. Or that my list posts might have made someone laugh on a day where they felt like doing anything but laughing. Or that my book review might have encouraged someone to buy the book and read it for themselves.

I thrive on followers and interaction. Call me needy or an attention seeker – whatever but that is when I’m at my best. That is when I work hardest and feel the most motivated and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with blogging for you – and only you and having followers is just a well earned bonus. That’s the thing with blogging, we’re all different with different intentions and aims and goals and that’s what makes it special.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you with the majority or do you agree with my points? I’d to hear your thoughts! 

95 thoughts on “The Influence of Followers: Would You Still Blog if You Didn’t Have Them?

  1. Hhhmmmmm Good question, and I’m not really sure which camp I fall in to. Probably a bit of each.
    I blog occasionally myself, but only about once every 6 weeks, when I’ve got something interesting to say – and some decent photos to put up.

    My blog posts are also never (usually) about just one subject. So from thAt standpoint, I suppose I am doing it largely for myself.

    I suppose every blog is different. The blogs I read regularly are usually those that are amusing, quirky and interesting. There also HAS to be something to read in it. It CANNOT be just regular repeats of “Buy my book”.

    So, summing up – you keep writing yours, and I’ll keep reading it!

    John ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I agree, regardless of the writer of the blog, if it’s the same pushy thing over and over its an instant off-put. Like the ‘BUY MY BOOK’ authors and product review after product review.

      Well I’m glad we’ve come to an agreement: I’ll keep writing, you keep reading. That works for me!

  2. It’s not so much followers I worry about. I care more about responses. I blog on a weekly basis, sometimes encouraging people to leave comments on the topic that was discussed for that day, and RARELY do I get a dialogue going. It’s gotten to be a bit worrisome as if lately, for the numbers have been slimmer than usual for some reason.

    I don’t know if I answered your question at all, for I went a tad bit off the rails. Basically, I care more about response and communication than the quantity of followers.

    • I agree, as I said to someone else I’d rather 10 followers who all leave comments than 1000 who don’t. I’m much more about the interaction, too. I do go through periods where the interaction is a lot lower than usual, I think all bloggers go through those phases xx

      • Yeah… Except that my blog has been like that for a MAJORITY of its existence. Honestly, I get more spam comments than actual comments. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. Wow, great discussion post!

    I think I care more about the interactions I get rather than the actual number of followers. I’ve had many bloggers visiting my blog just to say ‘Hi, follow me!’ and never talk to me again. I don’t really see the point in this kind of followers. I want people I can really discuss with, and I make a point to always answer and comment on their posts, too. It’s a two-way thing. So, yes, I’m glad every time I get the notification for a new follower, but I’m happier when it turns to something more concrete and in the long term.

    I think I mainly blog for myself. I created my blog to improve my English and do something I can be proud of (it takes me an awful amount of time to write anything so every post is a little victory, haha). I do my best to make my posts interesting, so I’m always excited when I see a reaction from someone, because I have some of the best followers and I love them very much! They make the whole process of blogging so much more interesting and fun. But I think even if my numbers don’t grow or dwindle, I’ll keep blogging. I feel it is a very personal thing and I love to think I own a little corner of the internet.

    • You have expressed how I feel about this subject so well. I agree with you 100% because I like most do adore my followers and I blog mostly for myself because it’s fun, I get to work on my writing skills and do something I could feel proud about. It’s a place where I can be creative and to pass the time with something I look forward to doing. So yeah it’s an extra treat when you spark a reaction or when someone stops by to make a comment or two and if someone enjoys what you wrote it is amazing. I am an ordinary person and never expect to have thousands of followers but the ones that follow me are special for sure. Also I like that my followers are from so many different places in the world that I may never see. That’s the part that amazes me the most. So yep I too will keep blogging just for those reasons alone.

  4. I am not sure what I would do if I didn’t have any followers. I can still remember what it felt like in the beginning when I didn’t. I’m pretty stubborn, so would probably carry on and hope to find them again. Like you, I don’t really don’t blog for myself, there would be no point in that…

  5. This is such an interesting question, and I think I’m in the minority with you, to be honest. I blog about things I like, so in that way I do blog for myself, but at the same time I see blogging mostly as an interactive medium. You write something and people react to it, and I love getting people’s thought on topics I’ve been thinking about. I would probably just keep all those random thoughts in my head though, if I knew I was going to write it out, post it online and no one would read or respond to it.

  6. It’s a good question! I think if I had a handful of followers who enjoyed my work and kept coming back and leaving comments (as was the case for a long time) I would keep going. I can’t honestly say I would continue blogging if no one ever read my posts. I wouldn’t stop writing, of course, but maintaining a blog takes work and with no readers, it wouldn’t be worth it for me personally.

      • Quite. If you literally had no followers or views, there would be no point and I don’t believe people who say they would carry on anyway. If you write ‘just for yourself’, why put it online? Nothing wrong with diary writing, by the way, but it is a different type of thing. xx

  7. Hi,
    I know Juana, both Chris’s, and Porter Girl.
    I agree with you. Without the readers and the commenters, we might as well write a diary. We don’t need the Internet to write a diary. That is the dynamic of blogging, the interaction.
    Janice @ MostlyBlogging

  8. Actually having followers according to me is maybe like having cherries on top of a delicious ice cream cone. Although we still get a lot to savour without them but having them on the top is a real delight for the soul.

  9. Fantastic post. I definitely agree that it wouldn’t be worth it without readers. For me it’s about community and sharing and chatting. Plus it takes time and effort. If I didn’t have readers, I think I’d spend more time writing fiction and entering writing/story competitions. My blog is still really new, only just 3 months old, but I really enjoy reading and replying to the few comments I do receive.

    • Yes I completely agree with you! If I didn’t have followers but still wanted to write, I’d just write. I wouldn’t worry or care about photos or presentation or anything like that because what would be the point? You’re doing great! I barely had any comments and stuff at 3 months old, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing! Hahah xx

  10. Okay you’ve really made me think!!! I love blogging and it would be hard for me to throw in the towel…. but if NO ONE is reading what I post, what’s the actual point?? I think I would at least try to keep going in the hopes that I would find new MF-ers (Michelle Followers LOL), but yeah, if no one liked me I’d eventually have to call it a day and maybe just review on Goodreads.

    • Hehe I’m glad I’ve made you think, that was the idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I 100% agree – I’d definitely still write book reviews for Goodreads and Amazon (although probably not to the same length and standard I do on here) because I know how much that helps the author (: xx

  11. I was getting frustrated for a while in my first half year of blogging. The first two months I had a good amount of traffic, and then it completely disappeared for the next 3-4 months. It was tough spending all of that time writing posts that literally no one was reading-given all of the time you spend not writing (formatting, images, editing). I could just write a journal entry and write.

    However, I started on actually posting links to my blog! I don’t like to post more than two links a week on my own Facebook page, but I’ve gained some more readers that way. I also have a Twitter for my blog now. I am continually engaged in that dance of “What readers want to read and what I want to write” haha.

    I also now have a core group of followers that I look forward to seeing their comments!! I write specific posts with different people in mind, while accepting that some posts are just for plain ol’ me.

    I love this post- thank you for saying what we are all thinking ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS. No one likes “Follow me” comments ๐Ÿ˜ You’ve wasted everyone’s time. That should earn you a negative blog point.

    Cheers!

    • I had periods where my traffic is really low, too. I think all bloggers do! It just happens so if it happens again, don’t worry! It is disheartening though and very annoying when you spend so long writing posts. Posting links to your blog is crucial and can have SUCH an incredible impact. Facebook and Twitter are both really good platforms (: Just don’t worry about being pushy with links, as long as you’re not posting them every 10 minutes with nothing else inbetween haha! Cos that can definitely get annoying! Totally agree about the “Follow me” comments. I don’t even accept them! xx

  12. You raise some humorous points–and good ones. I blogged when I had no followers, I blogged because I was told to by my first publisher (Lord Voldemort). It felt uncomfortable, and I dreaded it. Then one day I discovered blogging was my way of thinking out loud, and my blog changed, becoming more natural, an outgrowth of a conversation with whoever might chance across it. I would be devastated to lose the friends I’ve made on this crazy journey over the last five years, but I would still blog. Thinking aloud is what I do.

  13. I would not blog to the same standard, that’s for sure. But I’d still blog. Without my followers, I wouldn’t go to such great lengths to write advice posts (like my Book Blogging Tips series or my Book Recommendations). I started my blog to be able to archive all my opinions on books, my reviews. Without followers I’d still do this. My blog would just be my personal archive.

  14. I would still blog without followers. In fact, I did for a long time. But I must admit, it is a lot more fun with followers. I also love the interaction, and it is nice knowing people actually give a crap about what you write. A little bit of validation.

  15. Is the question about followers or whether or not people who read your blog post comments?
    The fact is that I have a good amount of followers (about 1650) but I get about 2-5 comments on whatever I post. I started the blog to write about all of the things that I’ve experienced in life. I thought they would be interesting. I add photos when possible to give a visual. I add slide shows too. But, no bites on comments. I’d love to know what my followers would like to see. I’ve seen some people getting ideas from my blog: layout, colors, images, even writing ideas. It’s a compliment to know that I’ve encouraged some peoples creativity but a simple “Hey, ya’ll” would be nice. Right now, I’m just blogging and not thinking about it. No need to get down …
    Your post created a very nice dialog.
    Isadora ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    • Both – it’s about everything. It’s about not having followers, people not leaving comments or not even having many – if any views. But interpret it how you like! Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post (: xx

  16. I like blogging but sometimes don’t like my own push of my books towards my family on Facebook n other social media sites. I feel it over kill. I feel though that it was a great way to get started and with help from others. The encouragement can make you keep at it. Definitely some of those people that raise you up are needed. I like the creation aspect of my own product. It’s like practice for your articles. After all do we really want to only ever read the same people n only their ideas. Let’s explore others along with the tried n true. Hope that helps!

    • There’s a fine line between pushing your own book or blog enough and too much I think but I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of doing it – especially if it’s something you’ve worked hard with and are proud of. There’s loads of different ways to do it too (: xx

  17. Ahh what a brilliant post!! I actually get what you mean, though if I’d seen your poll, I would’ve voted the other way. I love interacting with my followers and people I follow, so it’d be really rubbish if they stopped being around. (I actually get really sad when someone I like stops blogging for a while!) That being said, I would do this without followers, because that’s how I started out and I liked doing it back then without the followers- I would miss having the followers because now I know what the interaction is like- but I wouldn’t stop because I’d miss the other side of it too much. Sorry for the rambly post, this was just very thought provoking!

  18. While I don’t get many comments, I can see a gradual increase in the Likes, and views. It would be a nightmare to wake up and see and follower count reset to 0 :\ . But I don’t think I can stop blogging. I mean, yea sure, it doesn’t feel good if no one Likes or sees your posts, but I get such a high whenever I do put up a review. And it feels so awesome to get personal messages from authors thanking and appreciating it.
    I feel like Twitter is such a boon for bloggers, not just for promoting your posts, but for just being “visible” if you are going through a blog drought.

  19. It’s so interesting to see all of the different points of view on this subject. I voted that I would blog no matter what, mainly because I’m brand new to blogging and so have practically zero followers at this point. I am passionate about books and about writing, whether it’s reviews or just random bookish ramblings, so I think I would continue to do that even if my follower count never grew. Man, it is lonely getting started though, haha ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Isn’t it?! (: I’m glad you’re enjoying it and having fun is the most important, I think even more so in the beginning! But you’ll get there – it is lonely at the start, I remember it well but the great thing is that every achievement, even the tiniest of ones, seem like such a huge thing and it’s such a nice feeling (: xx

  20. Most of the comments above mirror my own thoughts. I have gotten a bit disheartened sometimes at the total lack of comments and page likes for posts. Plus I’m pretty sure any rejections I’ve got from Netgalley teeter on the fact that I have so few followers( which is fair enough!) There are times you look at book review bloggers who literally just rehash the blurb and get over a hundred likes for it, but they didn’t start out with that amount of followers, they all worked for it and so they deserve them. I have a very small amount of followers, but I have some epic core followers that support me so much that it’s worth it. I know I don’t do the right thing in terms of book blogging-I don’t do giveaways, I rarely do interviews, and I don’t spend enough time on twitter chats or anythings so I don’t really deserve what people who put ten times more time into it get. That being said I am proud to be a book blogger, albeit blogging to myself out loud! I get to put my thoughts on books out there, and read and sometimes get great books to review so, happy out really. Great post and I’m pretty sure it would take something crazy to get all of us off your site, I still think you’re amazing and an inspirational, and am in awe:)

    • As long as you’re happy and you enjoy it that’s all that matters. And I have to pick up on your point about people rehashing the blurb… WHY. I don’t get it either, it’s a waste of time! And I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to book blog – just because you don’t run giveaways or interview authors doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong (: thank you so much for your lovely comments โค

  21. I would still blog. I write because it is important and I am driven to write (sound familiar?), so even if I had a few followers I would certainly blog. I love your train of thought and questioning. Interesting percentages, too. -Jennie-

  22. This is a thought provoking question. In the beginning, I was like you, I blogged more for me, but now I’ve made so many friends throughout the blogosphere that I would miss terribly if I quit blogging. At this point I’d have to say, without my blogging buddies, I would probably quit blogging.

  23. I admit I enjoy an audience/readership of my blog. There are times when we write for others more than ourselves. Bloggers seek approval of what they do like other things. But if you think about it some write in journals where the audience is one person and that is them. I love the connection of blogging and being in a network like WordPress.com, Tumblr, etc. You learn from other bloggers that way.

  24. Good point. I suppose it was followers to start with, then receiving likes and then comments. Now it’s comments that demand a dialogue rather than just ‘nice post’ but that depends on the subject matter – comment pieces generate more interactive comments than, say, short stories. Like yours! But would I blog without followers? Yes, it is the views my posts, at bottom, that really count for me. if people are looking, whether they follow or not, comment or not, then my basic goal has been achieved. I write to be read. Period.

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  27. That is an interesting question and tbh, I feel like I’m in minority too.
    I don’t have big number of followers, but if I lost them I wouldn’t blog anymore.
    I don’t see the point in giving so much of my free time to write posts (and don’t forget that prepearing a post also takes time, sometimes even more then actual writing) if there’s no one to read them.

      • I did that when I was younger, when my life became more interesting, I stopped in case someone finds it and reads it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        But joke aside, yeah, I probably couldn’t make piece with the fact that I am invisible on internet, where I feel everyone is visible at some point. I think that would be the prove that blogging is not my thing and I would find some other hobby. I would still read, I just wouldn’t waste my time on writing reviews that no one reads anyway.

  28. Hi Jenny! I just found your blog via @thebookkeeperssecret and had to read this post. It’s so interesting to read so many different perspectives on this topic. I’m fairly new to book blogging, so I’m technically blogging for myself and for my own enjoyment at this point in the game. I can’t say how I would feel if I ever get to that point where people are actually liking and commenting on my posts, then stopped for reason. I can imagine how that would be disheartening enough to convince anyone to quit. To be honest, I do enjoy getting ARCs and being a part of book tours and street teams which is an incentive for me to keep going even without the big numbers. I do hope that one day I have more followers, likes, and comments, but I know it has to be at my own pace. I don’t want to feel obligated to post when I don’t want to or try to read 10+ books in a month like some bloggers when I know I’m only comfortable reading 2 books in a month at most.

    • Hi! I’m glad you found my blog, I hope you enjoy it (: I completely understand where you’re coming from too. 10 books a month?! That’s crazy! I knew a blogger who would read 5 a week it’s madness

  29. As a very new blogger who can’t figure out how to get people to follow my blog ie incorporating a follow button I swing between not caring and caring very much. Love for people to just look at them, if they comment that would be amazing and that’s, most of the time, enough for me at the moment especially in the sea of already very established (and brilliant) blogs. Hoping very much to keep it as something I just want to do for myself and potentially helping authors get some publicity for their books and not caring too much about it. The real test, I’m sure,will come when I put my own thoughts put there with the posts I have planned that are not reviews.

  30. Hi, thanks for the interesting question. I agree with one of the comments above in that if you didn’t have followers then it would just become a diary. At the end of the day its your blog so you can do as you wish. I also think we get hooked up on follower numbers and stats. Having a small and select group of followers can be quite satisfying.

  31. Yes, and I do. I do not have thousands or even hundreds of followers but yet I blog. I get my memoirs and stories posted. They are now out there for anyone to read. I wrote a book, it did not do that well but it is out there. It would be nice to have more followers but if it does not happen I will still blog.
    I have met some wonderful people and read some marvelous poetry and stories and books. When I am gone my words will still be out there. :o)

  32. Great thought provoking question! I feel like Colin Firth in the movie The King’s Speech: “I have a voice!” and Geoffrey Rush responds, “Yes, you do.” I blog because I have something to say, and the responses from other folks is what keeps me keepin’ on. Of course, I love it when I “get” more followers, because we all love to be heard and appreciated. Not gonna lie about that! At the end of the day, it’s the feedback from other, much more talented bloggers that keeps my motivation in high gear.

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  34. Great post! If I’m being totally honest (which I always am) I’m probably am a minority. It would feel strange posting with no one reading. Like yelling at a wall. Or discussing topics to an empty room. I have about 200 followers and on my dark days I just blog for them. Its motivation.

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