Tag Archive | blog followers

The Blogger Stands Alone

I’ve been blogging for close to two years, and something happened to me this week that has never happened before:  I wrote a blog post that got absolutely no comments.  NONE.  NADA.  ZIP.  I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who’ve experienced this before.  I’ve seen empty comment sections on countless blogs that I’ve visited…. and then scrolled passed without commenting.  But believe me, had I known how shitty it felt to put on a performance for an empty room, I would’ve taken the time to give you my two cents worth of feedback.  Probably.

I didn’t even get an obligatory comment from any of my friends or relatives – what good are you people if you’re not going to feed my ego and tell me that everything I do is awesome?!  Anyone who knew me back when my hair had its own zip code….

High School

is contractually obligated to blow smoke up my ass every once in awhile – especially when no one out in the cold, harsh world seems willing to do it.  Hey, I’ll probably be the one changing your adult diapers if/when you become too old to remember how to navigate the complicated world of indoor plumbing.  So, the least you can do is comment on one of my blog posts if it looks like it’s going to crash and burn.

Which clearly, this one did.  Okay, so point taken.  Obviously, none of my (almost) 1,400 followers had any interest in hearing about my writer crushes on David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson, or the fact that I’d love to know what it feels like to wear their skin like a suit.  Whatever.  You want to be all judgey about it – FINE.  How was I supposed to know I was the only one who got excited about tumors and children dressed up as dead fairytale characters?  It’s not like they tell you those kinds of things in the blogger’s guide to the galaxy.  I had to learn it the hard way.  But that particular lesson came at a pretty hefty price – now my ego feels a bit like week-old roadkill.

No, that’s fine.  Just paint right over me.  My shame looks good in speed-bump yellow.

No, that’s fine. Just paint right over me.
My shame looks good in speed-bump yellow.

Perhaps I’ve been a bit spoiled by the past two years worth of praise from other bloggers and the WordPress powers-that-be (I was Freshly Pressed.  Twice.  Yes, I’m totally bragging – give me a break, did you see the splattered remains of my ego back there??).  I know I can’t realistically expect to always be on top.  I also know writers need to have a really thick skin so they can withstand the public’s scrutiny, time and time again.  And yes, I know that I should be writing for myself, and not just to please the masses or get a pretty ribbon pinned on my shirt.

But here’s the deal – knowing all of that doesn’t make failure suck any less.  It also doesn’t silence the voice of doubt that creeps into my head while I’m sitting beneath a pile of my own stink; the voice that keeps wondering if I’m really cut out for all of this.  And if I wasn’t…. what the fuck am I supposed to do now?  Seriously – WHAT?!

I hope the future has karaoke bars.  If I’m going to be stuck working some shit job,  I’d at least like the option of getting drunk and singing show tunes.

I hope this exit has karaoke bars. If I’m going to be stuck working some shit job in the future,
I’d at least like the option of getting drunk and embarrassing myself in public.

Have any of you writers out there ever had any truly EPIC fails on your blog?  Please share your sob story with me.  Then we can have a few beers, a good cry, and sing a drunken rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s  “I Will Survive”.   It’ll be awesome.

Beware the Followers Made of Spam

Have you seen a burst of new followers on your blog in the last couple of weeks?  Well, before you pop the cork on the champagne bottle and toast yourself for being master of the blogiverse, first you’d better go see if your new followers actually have a pulse.

Why is he just laying there??

Why is he just laying there??

I have a lot of shortcomings as a blogger – PR work is right at the top of the list.  I’m no good at reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them, and I’m even worse at following WordPress’ advice when I get a new follower and they suggest, “You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!”  I might WordPress, but most days it’s hard to see anything passed the big pile of facebook memes and status updates that I’m buried beneath.

Since I wasn’t checking out all my new followers and sending them a dozen roses and a new puppy like WordPress suggested, when I saw my follower numbers start to climb at an abnormally fast rate, it took me awhile before I realized something was amiss.  I just thought people were finally beginning to realize how completely awesome I am…. seemed like a logical conclusion at the time.

Somewhere after gaining over 100 followers in two weeks, a light bulb went on in my head – even I’m not that awesome (but if you want to refute that point, I won’t argue).  A rapid increase in my following happened each time I got Freshly Pressed, but that made sense because of the increase in traffic; I was getting thousands of hits a day, so statistically, I was bound to find a few people who wanted to jump on board my blog.  But now, my views were pitifully low – under 50 most days.  So what gives?  I decided to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and sniff out the answer.

As it turns out, the answer smelled a lot like Spam.

I got out my trusty pen and paper, blew the dust off of them (because really, who the hell uses a pen and paper anymore?), and went to work sifting through all these so-called followers.  I made a “phony spam” and “real deal” column on my paper and kept track each time I visited a follower’s blog site.  Before I knew it, I had more spam than my Grandma after she accidentally visited a porn site…. it’s okay Grandma, we all know it was an “accident”.

Hot damn, that's a lot of spam!!

Hot damn, that’s a lot of spam!!

I found that my followers fell into four categories:

The dead end.  When you click on their web address, you are led to a page telling you that they don’t exist.  Well, where the hell did they go?  They were obviously there a minute ago.  Was clicking the follow button on my blog the last thing this person did before keeling over?  Perhaps finding me was enough to make them feel as though they could die happy now.  Or do my followers just have a shorter lifespan than most fruit flies?

R.I.P. Archangel.  Enjoy your travels to other side – bring me back a t-shirt!!

R.I.P. Archangel. Enjoy your travels to other side – bring me back a t-shirt!!

The used car salesman.  People that aren’t really people – they’re companies trying to sell you stuff.  Well, listen up assholes – because you got me all excited about having a new follower, and then turned out to be just another cog in the corporate greed-machine, I’d rather drive to Wal-Mart on black Friday to shop than buy anything you’re selling.

Bitch, I don’t NEED a name badge – I already know who the hell I am.

Bitch, I don’t NEED a name badge – I already know who the hell I am…. most days.

Ummmm….. what?  These followers are a tricky bunch because I can’t tell if they fit into the spam column or the real one – probably because I can’t understand a fucking thing they’re saying.  They look like legitimate blog sites because they have dated blog entries and followers of their own (most WAY more than me).  But because nothing is in English, I can’t tell if they’re writing about legitimate things or if they’re trying to sell me internal organs from the black market.  If it’s the latter, I could really use a new gallbladder guys – mine got cut out six months ago….

2,800 followers for naked bicycle riding articles??  I might have to rethink a few things….

2,800 followers for naked bicycle riding articles?? I might have to rethink a few things….

It’s ALIVE!!  Real people.  These followers are the reason I sit down to write everyday…. well, almost everyday…. okay, about twice a month.  The ones who read my stuff, and decide that they want to read more of whatever I write about in the future.  When they click my follow button, it’s because they think my problematic chin hair is hysterical, and they can’t wait to see what other gross things happen to my body as I get older.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!

You guys should follow her – her name is Bel, and she’s very funny… and Canadian.   What more could you ask for?

You guys should follow her – Problems by the dozen
Her name is Bel, and she’s very funny… and Canadian.
What more could you ask for?

Lovely, faithful (REAL) readers aside, these fake followers have managed to suck one of the true joys out of blogging – the excitement of watching your follower numbers climb.  Every time I gained a new follower, it was an affirmation that I’m a good writer.  But now, that number is meaningless.  I know I earned the first 643 of those followers, but every one after that is a mystery.

WordPress, you do such a fantastic job of blocking spam comments from making their way onto our blogs, can’t you do the same for spam followers?  Please find a way to protect my innocent eyes (yeah, right… who am I trying to kid?) from having to see any more pictures of naked people riding bicycles.  PLEASE!!  And restore the kid-on-Christmas-morning joy that used to come from seeing our blog audiences grow.

A new blog follower just for ME?   Thanks, WordPress!  It's just what I always wanted!!

A new blog follower just for ME?
Thanks WordPress, it’s just what I always wanted!!