Yes, dear readers, it’s been an auspicious day. This very blog–Lake Superior Spirit–hath reached the lofty goal of 1,000 followers! Why, this happened just after lunch. I’ve been watching with one lazy eye as the numbers soared during recent weeks.
You’d think this would be a cause to celebrate, to dance merrily, to shout to the treetops, to delight in 1,000 avid readers coming to your blog in eager anticipation of your treasured words and photos.
But, no, my friends, this is not a cause celebre. It’s hardly even worth more than a raised eyebrow. In fact, don’t you dare even offer congratulations! I beg of thee! You want to know why?
The majority of blog followers are spammers. They could care less about reading our beloved posts. They never even paused here in the first place! You can watch them follow your blog (if you’re into statistics) and see that they never even read a single word.
There are two kinds of spammers. The first kind of spammer is relatively innocent. She/he just wants you to come over and visit his/her blog. So he/she follows you hoping you’ll follow him/her. Got that? Just innocent egos trying to find their own followers.
The second kind of spammer–shame on them–sells a product and just wants customers. Sometimes they set up a fake blogging account to lure the delighted blogger over to visit. They’re intrepid manipulators. They want your dollar, your time, your attention and they’re using the blogging system for their gain.
Heck, I probably have a Viagra follower. One new follower runs a Chicago painting and restoration service. I won’t give you his phone number unless you insist. One spammer wants to advertise your “talent”, isn’t that sweet? Another begs me to travel on safari to Nairobi and Kenya, wouldn’t that be nice?
OK, so let’s mentally get rid of all the spammers who “follow” your blog. Let’s say 200 are evil manipulative spammers and 200 more are egoistic please-come-and-visit-me-even-though-I-won’t-read-a-word-of-your-blog spammers.
So you’re down to 600 legitimate followers. Let’s say you advertise your own blog on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s say you have 150 followers on Facebook who yawn when they see your post on their news feed. ALL of those people are counted! Even if they only “liked” you because that’s what friends do, even though they never, ever intend to visit your blog.
Worse than that, my friend, let’s say 75 of those 150 Facebook followers are ALREADY following your blog. So now you have double counts. Many of my dear friends feature one count as a FB follower of this blog and one count as an honest-to-goodness reader.
Out of our delightful 1,000 readers, we’re down to 450 followers. You actually think 450 people are primed by their email or Reader waiting to read your precious offering? Think again, dear disappointed blogger.
Out of the 450 people who might–just might–have wanted to read your blog, 200 lost interest, got bored, developed a passion for Kenyan safaris, decided they did not like your approach, and simply quit clicking. They still get emails advising them of your posts. However, their mailboxes have 10,000 unread messages and they really don’t care. They’ll delete you someday if they ever get organized.
(But don’t worry–the spammers will make up for their deletions!)
I figure I have maybe 250 followers. They don’t all come a’visitin’ regularly. They’ll come on a certain day depending on how interested they are in nature, Lake Superior, the Upper Peninsula, blogging tales, humor, lack of humor, fascinating titles, photography, writing, or deep personal/emotional/spiritual outpourings. (Put 25 in each category if you’re trying to make all the numbers somewhat balance.)
I am thinking of eliminating this “follower” button but have not completely decided. Some of us bloggers keep it because we get innocent readers who think “Wow! 1,000 followers! This blogger must really be HOT!”
Just wanted to set you straight. We may not be that hot. That person with 5,000 followers? I’m suspecting she might have a Twitter account.
P.S. If you look at the follower statistics on this site (to the right) and see there are less than 1,000–well, someone took offense. I’m predicting, however, that by tomorrow morning some new follower will be begging me to clip coupons over at their site, bless their spamming souls.
**But, no, I’m at 1,001. Dog Trainer Trish wants me train my dog! Hip hip hooray!