Responding to “Follow My Blog!” Messages & Comments

Image by arnold | inuyaki

 

Spam comes in all shapes and sizes (and apparently flavors).  What happens when unsuspecting and ignorant bloggers become just that though– spammers?

 

A few bloggers were recently talking about the IFB forums and the growing number of new bloggers spamming people with emails that look like this:

I would like to have more followers by google connect. If you like my blog and you follow it, let me know and I will do the same for you. You can fallow my blogloving as well.
LINK
LINK

 

Or it may read like this:

I would like to call you to check my blog, and if you like it follow me I will love to follow u2~!Also, find me on polyvore and tumblr if You want 🙂
kisssssses
TWITTER
LINK
LINK
LINK

 

These are real messages sitting in my IFB inbox right now.  Recently Eli at Thrift Eye posted an image of an email sent to her by a blogger– the blogger called herself very popular and noted that her popularity came through other blogs writing about her.  Naturally she thought that Eli should write about her.  People responded on twitter– she wasn't the only one who received that email.

 

Self promotion is a great tool, and in many ways blogging is still like the Wild, Wild West– untamed, wild, and without rules.  Sadly, this approach likely works in the short term because these bloggers will simply add one another as friends on Bloglovin.  In the long-run, I don't believe creates an interactive, vocal, or dynamic audience.  As someone who works with brands, I know many companies value seeing comments over numbers– interaction is much more important to them than numbers!

 

There are so many resources on the IFB community (through forum rules, our current blog posts, and our extensive archives) and through social media that there's no excuse for lazy behavior. This doesn't mean that the blogger is bad– just misguided and a bit ignorant to how the community functions, along with the hard work required to grow your blog.

 

Responding to Unintentional Spammers:

It's up to you ultimately how to interact with these people– maybe you love to check out their links and explore new blogs.  Maybe you see the email in your box & groan.  Maybe it fills you with a Hulk-like rage (ASHE SMASH!).  No matter how you respond, maybe there are conductive ways to help them out, lead them on a better course,

 

  • Ignore them.  This has typically been my response.  If they can't be bothered to build a natural relationship with me (or even visit my own blog), why would I justify it by giving them a shred of traffic?  This method doesn't necessarily help the blogging community at large.
  • Write back. I believe this idea came from Bella at Citizen Rosebud, who mentioned schooling some of these misguided fashionistas.  Create a  response you can send when writing back– something fast & friendly.  You could write back something useful like:
    Hi doll!
    I know how hard it is to grow your blog, but writing messages like this is considered spam and many bloggers don't appreciate them.  In fact, many do resent them!  This might be why a lot of your messages go unanswered. While I'm happy to check out your site, I do believe in genuinely building up relationships with other bloggers.  So perhaps getting out there, commenting on blogs, and getting active in the community is a better way to reach people.  While this may create short term growth for your site, in the long-run it'll just alienate you from the community!  I'd hate to see you stunt your growth before it can even begin! If you want more suggestions on how to grow your site, maybe check out the following articles/websites?
  • Provide Great Tips.  When Bella wrote back to a blogger she said, “May I suggest you reach out directly to blogs you like, and introduce yourself via THEIR blogs or email. This doesn't make me feel good, the “I'll follow you and you follow back” message, it makes me feel like I fell into a hole and landed back in gradeschool.”  This is great because it's not only personal, but she provides suggestions on more efficient ways to get in touch with and build relationships within the blogging community.
  • Share information.  Ways to grow traffic aren't a secret.  There are dozens of ebooks, IFB articles, and Problogger articles on it.  Keep a short list that you can attach to an email, like the following links:
    Don't Go It Alone: Relationship-Building for Bloggers
    10 Realizations that Will Crush Your Little Heart Your First Year Blogging
    IFB Forums: How do you get many followers/your blog noticed?
    IFB Forums: How are you getting your blog noticed?
    IFB Forums: How do you get people to follow your blog once they've visited?
    IFB Forums: How to have more traffic and readers: my experience

 

Have you written these kinds of emails– and if so, what has the response been when you've sent them? Have you been on the receiving end of them– and what tends to be your response?

 


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154 Responses

  1. GRIT & GLAMOUR

    THANK YOU!!!

    This has been something I’ve been contemplating addressing for a long, long time. I personally ignore them after I once tried to point out the error in doing this and had a blogger get really nasty with me as a result. I have so many of those kinds of messages in my IFB inbox. All I do is hit DELETE.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      What’s the point in getting nasty? I just don’t understand that. IFB is about education for fashion bloggers wanting to be professional bloggers… so I don’t see how breaking the opportunity to network is in the IFB spirt at all…

      Reply
  2. Casie

    So true!!!! Whats the point in having fake numbers. Interaction is a more honest tool and reflection. Great article.

    Reply
  3. Tali

    Do the same.. just delete. It’s a great article though, because I found some useful links here))) thanks!

    Reply
  4. Rachael

    I hate to say it but I also tend to just delete these messages when I get them. I love the idea of having a form response with some education and guidance though!

    Reply
  5. Amy Nievera

    Yes! This post expresses so much of the frustration I have with other fashion bloggers. I not only get these add me emails, I’ve also gotten promises to add me back – which they don’t go through with! It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me cynical of other bloggers. Sending them a friendly advisory sounds good; I may just link them to this post!

    Reply
    • Casie

      Agreed! It leaves a bad taste and it kind of reminds me the people that cheat when they play solitaire, haha! Like–they’re just cheating themselves out of something (such as a real loyal reader) that could be valuable. I want to write back “You following me just because I followed you doesnt actually do anything for me! Or you!”

      Reply
  6. yoantaway

    lol… its my 2nd day atfer join the ifb, well i dont feel annoyed with those msgs tho, i feel happy cus some of them realy2 come to my blog and followed me…… well i dunno how it will happen lol… anyway…. i hope they’re just a nice ppl who try to be nice.. and making link.. and appreciate each other blogs…

    P.s : please follow me at XxXXX *Lmao i was joking*

    Kisses to all seniors here… i’m newbie…

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      I hope you’ll join us in the IFB forums– it’s a great way to get to be part of the community, meet people, find new blogs and more!

      Reply
  7. Bella Q

    This is yet another post I am bookmarking- great post, Ashe! Ignoring IS a viable method, but have you noticed that the “spam” is getting more prevelent, more and more of the newbies think that’s the route to grow a readership- and more and more bloggers who are on the receiving end of the spam are getting annoyed. I hope that by addressing the issue, we can open up a dialogue and possible share for the first time WHY we blog- to create conversation and community.
    xo. -Bella Q

    Reply
  8. Jennine Jacob

    thank you for writing this… one way to make sure i never visit your site is to write me an email like you have listed above… or even a comment on my blog. it’s so self serving and not a community spirit at all. i wrote a post way back about promoting yourself by being useful… this isn’t useful at all, so it’s best to think of better strategies to gain influence.

    you know, in the beginning i used to contact other bloggers to add me to their blog roll, but only after a long period of time (like 6 months) of commenting on their sites…

    anyway from what i gather, it’s more important to have influence than traffic…and unfortunately there is no shortcut to that, you just have to provide great content, and we all know that doesn’t come easy.

    Reply
  9. Eli

    Pretty sure you’re talking about the link I posted on twitter.

    Here is what I had posted.
    http://twitpic.com/4e29ek

    I never figured out what to say without sounding like a bitch – but I really wish I would have emailed her back saying that if she really liked my blog she should have left a comment!

    The other day on the Instagram picture feed I saw someone left Jennine a comment that was like “I followed you so you need to follow me now” and I totally was like WTF?!

    Relationships are made through communication and genuine interest!

    Reply
  10. Eli

    I swear, just as I write this I get this comment!

    “Great post! I’m glad I found this blog.

    Check out mine? I’m a photographer.

    wwww.xxxxxxx.com

    If you want, follow it & I’ll do the same. 🙂 thanks.”

    Really, what ARE we coming to?!

    Reply
  11. Jamillah

    Honestly this is a huge struggle for me. And my very limited experience with these kinds of messages is kind of sad.

    If the message is not “follow me and I’ll follow you back” I will look at the blog give my thoughts and write back. But 90% of the time those people won’t write ME back and it makes me super sad.

    I mean I love reading blogs and I’m totally open to reading more but it’s been a little disheartening for me.

    And as a new blogger, what is my takeaway?

    Just thoughts friends.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      GIRL, I SO hear you on the writing them and no response. I can’t tell you how many emails I get asking for advice on their blog, blogging in general… and I craft this huge email to them, only to receive nothing. Not even a “Thank you for your response!” It’s disheartening.

      Reply
  12. Lee Oliveira

    It is so great to highlight this. I get a lot of this through emails, here on IFB and also as comments. A lot of it comes from new bloggers who don’t really know the ropes and think this is the best way to gain readers. Most soon learn quickly that this doesn’t work. I am finding more and more the most interesting thing about blogs is the people behind them. Twitter is a great way to find out more about someone through their tweets. I don’t really take much notice of the amount of followers someone has anymore. Its more about their engagement. Someone who has 5000 followers and little or no comments tells me that not to many of these followers are actually reading the blog.

    Reply
  13. Madeleine Gallay

    It makes me sad to simply delete the request, the email here at IFB and move on. Many bloggers reciprocate immediately with a comment or following the blog with google friend and the ones that you fall in love with by bloglovin.

    It drives me crazy. I don’t want to exchange links. I want to LOVE someone and have them LOVE me, know that there’s a consistent sort of mood or quality and the blogger isn’t half daft. A few are, oh my.

    I follow almost everyone back on twitter who follows me, I’ll like someone on facebook easily enough.

    If you want someone to interact with you, great. I don’t care any longer, hoping to attract friends. I don’t leave comments everywhere and wish I had more time to leave insightful and good comments on the blogs I love. I don’t … it’s time and work.

    And I love a crazy amount of bloggers.

    And maybe it’s grouchy me, but please – unless you’re writing for children, please consider whether “kinda” and “gonna” are suitable.

    I would throw a Vogue away if it condescended to childish cute.

    Love for the work bloggers do. Truly.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      “It drives me crazy. I don’t want to exchange links. I want to LOVE someone and have them LOVE me”

      I feel like that’s the best part of blogging! That relationship that builds based on content and grows to more!

      Reply
  14. Marie Denee

    !!!!!!! Ashe!!!!!

    Currently engaged in a situation where a blogger is clouding up my facebook fan page with her links galore AND spamming the comment section and I soo was not sure about how to approach the situation- without being mean and for her to learn and not be put off!- thank you for this!

    I cannot tell you how pertinent this is, and for the comment about adding back- I always send a follow up email- especially as I am forgetful… I always assume peeps forget too! LOL

    Reply
  15. HauteWorld

    I’ve always ignored the spam messages as well. While I think some bloggers are naive and desperate, there are a few who are just plain lazy or too impatient to realize that sometimes gaining a readership will take more than a week. ‘Educating’ the latter will most likely fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes). I’ve never quite understood the point of having 1000 followers if you only get 100 daily pageviews (a sign that your followers aren’t even reading your blog) and dozens of generic comments in the vein of “love this!” (a sign that your readers aren’t really interested in the content).

    Unfortunately I do think many are trying to find an easy way to blogger fame and forget how much hard work and patience is involved. I will leave comments on new blogs I stumble upon – and like – and comment back on people who leave me relevant messages, but I refuse to acknowledge spammers anymore.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      “‘Educating’ the latter will most likely fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes). ”

      That’s what I’d worry about! But then again… I feel like at IFB, it’s all about education.. and it should be put out there, whether people read or not, respond or not, or agree (or not!).

      Reply
  16. Jess

    Hi guys,

    thanks for your opinions on that topic.

    I honestly have been writing welcome-messages with my blog link as well. But the respond was very good and I gained a lot of lovely readers (not followers!) from that. But I actually check out other blogs as well and follow them if they’re interesting. And if not I contact the owners and try to support them as well.

    So in my opinion these messages aren’t always as rubbish as it is mentioned in here. Of course there are also bold bloggers who say: “I followed you so you need to follow me now”, like Eli just said- but most of us are just trying to call attention to our blogs by an easy and time-saving way.

    I’m very new to blogging and new on IFB. I also had been welcoming by these messages and honestly I was very very happy about it, I felt welcomed and introduced to the community.

    Of course we also have to pay attention to not spam others and not to lie or to put upon others.

    Important is to have a voice and not to look after numbers.

    I hope not to be misunderstood. I just wanted to add, that all messages (or at least mine 😀 ) are not ment like: come follow and I follow back and that’s it.

    Me in person, I got attended to blogs I would not have found, if the bloggers hadn’t wrote me.

    But anyhow, thanks for the opinions!!

    Yours,

    J.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      Hey Jess! I’m so glad you commented with your POV– I think it opens up the convo more! I haven’t had quite the great experience you have with the messages, so I’m glad to hear how it does or doesn’t work out for those who send and respond to those types of messages.

      Reply
  17. lisa

    I usually ignore and delete emails like these. If they’re comments I’ll allow them to be published, but I won’t respond.

    Reply
  18. The Compassion Fashion Project

    I have done this, but I have found some of my best blogger friends through this method. I guess I am a little shocked that other bloggers get so upset…what is that all about? Clicking a “delete” button if that is just not your thing is not so hard. I have to do it to my regular email addresses constantly, but don’t have “rage” about it. Wow! It’s like I said when I started The Compassion Fashion Project, “compassion” is just not common enough. Sorry guys, I do not agree. We are all here helping each other out and should be able to communicate our messages however we like to. I personally WANT to support anyone that supports us, since we are a grass roots effort. And since I have found some really awesome people through this method (although I always try to include in the message what we are about) I am glad, because I may not have been able to reach them any other way. I can name at least ten blogger friends who leave comments, we email each other at our personal email addresses, we exchange ideas, and in general try to help promote each other that I found through a “marketing” type message like this. And from their blogs, I would have never known their interest in this topic. To each his own people! That’s what feminism is about. That’s what creativity is about. We are not robots, we are all going to go about it in our own way. If you don’t like it, fine, that’s your choice, but to call someone “ignorant”…are you kidding me? It’s okay to put each other down and shame other bloggers, but by God if you make me click a “delete” button..COME ON! If you are someone who takes up for the “underdog” like I do, then it’s hard to sit and not say something. I am working for charity and take up for the “underdogs” in our society everyday. That may not be quite appealing to everyone or “fashionable” to you, but trust me that I have found people very much interested in helping me continue my efforts to support survivors of domestic violence through fashion. We have donated coats, money, slippers, and a bundle of information on this topic to women’s shelters and others who are concerned about this topic. I wish I had the time to read everyones blogs and comment all day long, but frankly I don’t, I am a wife, mother, chief correspondence officer for a local news station and women’s advocate and my time is limited. If that works for you, that’s great, but blogging is not and should not be “policed” or a blogger should not be discriminated against just for sending a little message…they might be a fantastic blogger. It is a form of expression, period. No one is better than anyone else, so let’s just cut the “you know what.”

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      To be honest, I think your comments are as equally judgmental as you’re accusing me of. “If you are someone who takes up for the “underdog” like I do, then it’s hard to sit and not say something. I am working for charity and take up for the “underdogs” in our society everyday. That may not be quite appealing to everyone or “fashionable” to you”

      I work at a non-profit in my day-to-day job.. and I still make the effort to reach out to people naturally. I work 60-80 hour weeks, blog nearly full time, have a boyfriend and pets. Many of us have obligations. It doesn’t mean that our feelings can’t be hurt when someone shamelessly self promotes themselves and doesn’t take time or an interest in our own sites and hard work.

      I also think that a project like you’re working on benefits from sending out press releases to bloggers, to make them aware… more aware than a Follow Me! message could send. Because if I had received an actual press release, I’d probably support it on my blog. But again– you stipulate that you WRITE what you are about…which goes beyond the meaning and the messages above.

      Reply
      • The Compassion Fashion Project

        Well, thanks for responding and your opinion, Ashe, but like I said I just think we should all be able to do what we want. I think it was not a good choice of words to say that a blogger is “ignorant.” I would never judge anyone and don’t see where you got that I was judgmental. I was simply referring to myself feeling the need to say something, not anyone else.

        I think that’s great that you work for a non-profit and never said anyone didn’t. I am actually very happy with my project and the success we have had thus far. If this is an educational piece then I think it could have been done so without the derogatory comments, that’s all. I’ll be sure to take your advice on the press releases however, because I think that’s a great idea.

        I’m not a big back and forth disagreement person, so I hope we can just agree to disagree here. I do not want anyone to feel bad ever. That’s not what I’m about.

      • AsheMischief

        Please understand– I’m not trying to argue, I’m trying to clarify.

        I think you’re projecting a personal, offensive definition on to the word ignorant, which means:

        1. Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.

        When I say that these bloggers are ignorant, I mean in this definition. Many of these bloggers are newbie bloggers. I’ve been around almost 4 years– and I’ve learned a lot in that time. I’m sharing my knowledge & expertise with the community, so that many bloggers don’t have to learn on their own how to do things, much like I did.

        And, IFB, as a resource created to education, inform, share resources, and tools to help fashion bloggers become professional bloggers, has a role in the community to educate.

        I’m sorry if you find think when I say that these messages are ignorant you find them offensive. It’s not my goal to offend, I mean that they are likely uneducated & uninformed on the best practices blogging wide to build a community and gain influence.

        I’m also not saying that they shouldn’t do what they want. I’m saying though, that to become a professional blogger, that there is etiquette and certain means that are better at building community, loyalty, and influence than the paths they’re taking.

        Best of luck with your project, and I hope the press release works out!

      • The Compassion Fashion Project

        Dearest Ashe, I am well aware of what the defintion of ignornat means. I stand by what I have said. Thanks for the supportive comments about our project. My real message is that we should always seek out ways to empower women and make them feel good about themselves. The Compassion Fashion Project seeks out ways to do this and will continue to support women in their endevours. Good luck to you!

  19. Kimberly

    Thank you! I am relatively new to IFB and thought this was the way things were done. I responded to these people and did follow their blogs only to discover that they did not return the favor by following mine. lol I won’t be doing this anymore. And you’re right–it’s the quality interaction that matters, not just sheer number of followers. Thank you for yet another valuable article!

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      “did follow their blogs only to discover that they did not return the favor by following mine.”

      I find that to be the most disappointing aspect of it– that it doesn’t create a reciprocal relationship! Or, most of the time, even open one up…

      Reply
      • Marusya V

        There are tons of bloggers like that “Follow me, I ll follow you back” the thing is – most of them never will come back to you. Annoying! on the other side, sometimes you can find quite nice blogs this way and actually I made friends this way too. They ask me to llok at their blog – I like it and they like mine… Why would not we follow each other then? I guess it is all a matter of how genuine your intentions are. I’d call spammers those who send hundreds of identical “follow me” messages, while other messages with intention just to stay in touch with a fellow blogger – I guess it can be viewed as the way to start a friendship…

  20. Nnenna

    I got sooo many of these emails when I first joined IFB (many of them started of with “welcome to IFB…check out my blog!”) and at first I messaged them back because I thought that people were genuinely welcoming me, but after the fifth one or so, I noticed that they were pretty much all the same and it didn’t feel sincere. So now I just ignore!

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      I’m sorry that that happened just after joining! There are many great ways to interact with bloggers on IFB…. just join in on the forums, and get chatting!

      Reply
      • Jess

        Hi Ashe, I really got so excited to see what others will answer to my point of you 😀

        But yes, I really understand your point.

        But to come back to mine once again: as “The Compassion Fashion Project” (sorry I don’t know her real name :-D) just said: we’re not like all-day sitting home and spending the time chatting in forums. Of course I’d love to do so and I also think it’s the better way. But I just don’t have the time for that. I’m happy to upload one or maybe two posts a day- and in between, yes I admittedly mail to new bloggers. This is just (ok, I already said that) a very time-saving and effective method and I also got to know great great people and blogs by that!

        And yes, I was writing to maybe 100 persons, but at least 50% of them thanked for the welcome and said they love my blog.
        And most of them also followed without being asked!
        So this is just another reason I really appreciated IFB. This community seems so easy to handle!

        And I think we should decide on our own whether to delete, ignore or answer these messages.

        This is just what I think, and to post this article with a “spam-photo” above is, in my opinion, very influencing the members minds.

        Jess

  21. Jen

    I received one of these a week or two ago except the person said link to me but I won’t link to you because it will hurt my google search ranking. So no networking, no compensation, no nothing. In addition, it was the personal blog of someone who works at a marketing/pr agency I’ve worked with in the past for real $. She spammed their client list! Totally unprofessional, but it basically boils down to the fact that I’m a business woman, people, I’m not going to give you something for nothing!

    Reply
  22. PrettyDeeDee

    It is not easy to be called an ignorant, but to be honest i was one of those spammers myself. When i registered to this website(i mean that i did not even had a picture yet) i recived many of this type of messages; i really tought that this was a common and valid practice in this website, but then i recived a message from a person telling me everything about sppaming. I really apprecited this message because nobody bothered to say this before. I was really worried about numbers more then establishing a meaninful connection with other members.

    I guess that IFB should send some important information, like links to this type of post or post that explain the main purpose of this website to the new users.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      I know the use of the word ignorant is hard to hear– but I don’t necessarily mean it negatively! Everyone’ is ignorant when they first start out…. even after 3.5 years of blogging, there are tons of things I’m ignorant about! I just don’t know better.

      In my opinion, what separates people is those who are willing to accept information and change their habits of accordingly (like you have!) and those who are not (I had one girl argue with me when I pointed out the forum rules and deleted her FOLLOW ME thread). Then it’s choosing to STAY ignorant.

      I love your tip about some sort of resource that IFB could send out with important information, an explanation of the site, etc. It’d be fantastic for new bloggers!

      Reply
  23. Fumiko Kawa

    great post! I always received kinds of “follow me and I will follow you back” email since I start blogging few months ago~
    I think it’s better to keep your content with unique and creative, exchange ideas with other bloggers/readers.. it could help you to keep improving on your blogging..

    currently I blogging about my redesign on branded or potential non-branded, Japanese fashion designers/trends, my styling, creativity around the world and my trend forecast.. it is interesting to do what I love and my readers like it, this is the most huge encouragement for me to keep updating more and more post.. and my followers and page views are keep growing too.. I am really appreciate on it.

    I believe that numbers are not representing all of the picture, but a temporary excitement effect for you or visitors..
    the main thing is how you could write for your readers and what kinds of blogger you wish to be!^^

    gambatae all 🙂

    best regards,
    ~F.

    Reply
  24. Sarah

    Hi. I’m also new to IFB though I’ve been blogging for about 9 months now. I was also overwhelmed by the number of “follow me!” messages I got, especially since I was new and on WordPress you don’t really get that a lot. This post helps though – thanks!

    Reply
  25. Pearl Westwood

    Oh I get this all the time!! Emails I just ignor and blog comments I delete – I actually set my comments form to read ‘any comments which just said: ‘love it,follow me, link, link, link’ will be deleted as that is just plan rude!
    I like to change it regular to target specific spammers. Bella’s ideas are great, as you say I guess most of those doing this are newbies are just don’t know better.

    Reply
  26. meg, reckless daughter

    wow, you are far more constructive than I with these types of requests. I think they are unbelievably rude and a true sign of an armature. That said, I am inspired by this post to perhaps say something to the people sending them – in a calm and polite manner. I’m not going to answer everyone though – its been insane on ifb lately.

    For someone who has been blogging for several years I guess it is hard not to be irritated that someone can’t even take the time to look at my blog and yet expects me to take my time to look at theirs? I’m sorry no.

    Anyhow, great post!

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      Well, I really do believe that IFB is an educational resource for bloggers! There are days when I want to be rude back, but I realize that it just doesn’t do anything for the community as a whole that way…

      And I hear you– I’ve been blogging almost 4 years now, and it’s HARD and FRUSTRATING. We all had to learn on our own– I was lucky to start blogging about 6 months to a year before IFB started, so it kind of helped me along the way.

      Reply
  27. Pearl Westwood

    Also just wanted to add, this is totally different to sending a blogger whose blog you like an email and actually trying to get to know them, talk about their blog, ask for advise etc. Just going off some of the comments above, it is only those who email you just to get another number on their google / bloglovin without actually giving a toss about making connections / friends who I see as spammers. I love actually getting to know other bloggers.

    Reply
  28. AsheMischief

    Absolutely! In fact, that’s how I’ve built up all the blog relationships I have– through emailing, showing genuine interest, asking for advice (hell, I’m ALWAYS emailing Jennine for advice!). Getting to know other bloggers is one of the best parts!

    Reply
    • Jess

      Love to hear that, because I also asked her for advice and didn’t receive a respond.

      So, I mail others to hear their opinions. I don’t think that can be called spamming.
      It’s supporting each others!

      Reply
      • Ashe Mischief

        But I do think there’s a difference emailing a blogger, building a relationship– and then asking for advice. And emailing a blogger you don’t know, and just saying “FOLLOW ME AND I’LL FOLLOW YOU BACK!” IS Spam. Spam is categorized as: the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.

        If you look above, most bloggers mention that there’s no indication that their blog has been read in the first place, that it’s copy and pasted to multiple people. It IS spam.

        To be honest, I’ve had bloggers I’ve never heard from, never receive comments from, write and ask for advice– and I’ll spend a LONG time crafting a thoughtful and constructive response, only to never hear from them again.

        No thank you, no I’ll consider that– and it makes me feel like shit. So to be honest, when people ask for my advice, I just point them to forums now– I work a LOT in real life, and if people can’t respect my time and the work it took to build my blog, and the time of writing back– I’m not going to waste mine.

        It sounds harsh, but unfortunately, as you can see by many of the older bloggers– a lot of us can be burned.

  29. Courtney

    This came up in last weeks Friend Friday group. I hate hate hate follow me comments and IFB messages. Don’t these people know that if they leave me a genuine-seeming comment, I am more likely to check out their blog?

    I don’t delete those comments, but I don’t click through either.

    Reply
  30. Danielle Grigsby

    I participated in that thread in the forum. The bottom line is your gut, it seems to me. I just joined IFB about a week ago. I got those “i’ll follow if you follow me” messages. My gut told me, “Why is somebody out there offering me a lose/win.” They get a “follow” and I sit here with nothing. My response to this eneven bargain was to go and check them out, get to know their personal vibe and then send them a message letting them know what I had given, “the follow”, expecting nothing in return. But people almost always reciprocate. This is very difficult, blogging, nothing is easy. But I do think it never works to make someone wrong in the education process, or re-education process. People in their own minds are always right or justifying their behavior. Finger-wagging is a loaded bullet with a closed fist. Think NLP. People need to be met where they are. I can have just as much appreciation for the fashion blogger who is really tacky (they exist) and the one who dots every polka and crosses every stripe if you get my drift. If someone sends me a “follow follow” message, eh, what of it? I can choose to do my best to follow the guidance of Emily Post in her ETIQUTTE which by the way is an excellent read. You will fall off your chair with laughter.

    Reply
  31. House of Villains

    I just started my fashion blog after many years of coaxing from my friends. I really had no time to blog. I goto Academy of Art full time…..its going to be my senior year…..and I worked full- time as a store manager for different retailers….now I’m unemployed and I get to jump into my passion full speed ahead….this article will definitely help and guide me in the mannerisms of the blogosphere…..if there’s any advice everyone can give me I would greatly appreciate it……please let me know if theres anything I can do to improve on my page…..

    http://houseofvillains.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  32. Ana.

    This is a very good article.

    In my short experience, I have found amazing blogs with that method, but I have also felt used when I get a new follower and then the next day I lose it because “I didn’t follow back”.

    I don’t want to call names, but when I first joined the community I got a few (four) messages like this and I checked them ALL out. I liked them so I started following them, even if they didn’t do the same thing.

    So that made me think, do we “give to receive” or are we just happy about fairly giving and fairly receiving? I think that is the actuall root of the problem, not spamming. There will always be people that think they are smarter than the rest and will do such things, so I guess ignoring them or sending them a polite reply will do it.

    I want to share one nasty experience I had. I am into cruelty-free beauty blogging, and I have made clear I am against any fashion-related animal harm. So one day this girl left me a comment on one of my post saying “Wow, great post! Do you want to follow each other? Comment me back!”

    When I saw her blog, I must say I didn’t quite like it. And then she had a lot of fur and leather posts, so I decided to pass. She followed me and left me another comment saying the same “Wow, great post! I am following you. Follow me back if you like, and also on bloglovin please”.

    I wrote her an e-mail (to keep the privacy) and told her my blog was all about cruelty-free and how I didn’t share her POV on leather and fur clothing, so I decided not to follow her. I was very happy she was interested in what I do though, and I invited her to comment me anytime she liked.

    The next day I saw she unfollowed my blog. She never replied.

    And that is just my case, which perhaps it is a little bit more complicated because of this cruelty-free stuff. But then, it is completely normal that you find blogs you don’t really like and you decide not to follow them. Is that a crime? No. But there is people that can not understand that and that will do anything to gain more followers.

    So, as I said above, the real reason of this people to do such thing is that they are not satisfied with the natural-course of their blogs growing at their own speed.

    This self-promotional messages should get a little more personal, and honestly, that is what I like to do. I check their blogs out and then I write something like “It is very nice to find bloggers with similar interests. I love cooking too!” – and then I add the “shall we follow each other? Let me know!”. If I really like the blog, I will follow it and I won’t get upset if I don’t get a follow-back.

    HOWEVER, IF I DO, I WILL MAKE SURE TO LEAVE COMMENTS ON THEIR POSTS ONCE IN A WHILE. Hey, I liked it enough to follow it and it is actually in my dashboard. Giving meaningful and non-generic comments will also help that self-promotion you started at an IFB messageboard.

    Sorry for making this so long. I have a really complex opinion on this subject and I can understand both points of views, so I hope this will add some balance to the topic.

    Reply
    • AsheMischief

      I ADORE the balance you brought to this piece!

      “So, as I said above, the real reason of this people to do such thing is that they are not satisfied with the natural-course of their blogs growing at their own speed.

      This self-promotional messages should get a little more personal, and honestly, that is what I like to do.”

      This. Right here. It’s an incredibly complex topic, as you noted, and this is one small aspect of it. You can find amazing blogs that way, but I love that you emphasize so much making it personal. In all of the cases I noted–they’re not personal, they’re entirely self-serving, and they’re just trying to fight a system that ultimately won’t work.

      Your anecdote makes me so sad. I have bloggers whose opinions I don’t always agree with– so I don’t comment on those posts. But will on other posts that I feel I can relate to and engage with them with.

      Reply
    • Marusya V

      Hey Ana! Absolutely agree with you!
      I found friends-bloggers this way too. And also I did get ‘hurt’ by annoying spammers-bloggers. As I said before, it is all just a matter of how genuine your are in your intentions…

      Reply
  33. Justine Guy

    Thank you so much for addressing this matter! I get so many of these messages each day. People literally begging me to follow their blog. Sometimes they can even be pretty rude. I once got one that said. “Hey. Check out my blog. Follow.” and that was all. I have even got some from people saying that they have already followed me, and that because they did this they ask that I follow them back out of courtesy.
    Again, thank you for writing about this. I’m so tired of spammers.

    Reply
  34. Juliette

    I am a newbie blogger and within 2 seconds of singing up with IFB I got NUMEROUS messages like that in my inbox. As well as on fashiolista, twitter, etc. It is just annoying and makes me not want to check out their blog, period!

    Reply
  35. fuyume

    Excellent post Ashe (as always). Spammers really annoy me. The best part about blogging is the community aspect and follow me comments and messages don’t serve anyone in the long run.

    Reply
  36. Nikki Denim

    I understand that people are looking to get to know other bloggers but I really get a bad taste in my mouth with the insincere follow me I’ll follow you requests.

    If you are a new blogger I suggest you genuinely check out other blogs and make a sincere comment, not great post but something relevant to the post.
    After showing interest in a blog then perhaps message on IFB with a real message that talks about how much you like the blog and reference a post to show that you know what you are talking about. You can mention at the end of the post that you would love to have your blog checked out sometime, I know personally I would check the blog if approached that way.

    Another suggestion for “follow me I’ll follow you” poster is don’t ask others to follow first, if you are going to be spamming, the least you could do is say ” hey I am following you ( and actually be a follower, mentioning where you follow ) I would appreciate if you could follow me back”

    Sorry for the rambling

    Also I don’t know if it can be done but perhaps there should be a spam button in the message center and spammers would have their account either closed or be blocked from sending messages for a period of time. just a thought

    Reply
  37. Shoeocracy

    It’s amazing this is the first article I read as a new member of IFB and I have only been a member for a little under 3 hours and I have already received at least 20 emails like described.

    The thing is I have always read different blogs for years but this is the first time I have my own blog. I want people to read and post comments because they love it, not because they are just promoting there site. Then whats the point!

    Za

    Reply
    • What Sadie Did

      Hi Shoeocracy – ditto!! I am exactly the same as you! (Well 24 hours old as a member!) and have the same opinion – what is the point?!

      Reply
  38. Jasmine Sinclaie

    I am loving this conversation. It is great to know how other bloggerrs, new and old, feel about this situation. I would love to know more about acceptable blogging etiquette.

    Reply
  39. WendyB

    My pet peeve is people putting extra links to their blogs in their comments. They’ve already used the form to hot link their name. Why do they need something else? This is what newbies used to do in 2007. I don’t know why it’s suddenly so widespread. People who do that often get caught in my spam filter so I have to find them there, though I really shouldn’t bother. And even if they don’t get caught, why do they have to promote themselves twice when everyone else is okay with once. Why does every comment of theirs have to include this crap:

    WENDY BRANDES BLOG http://wendybrandes.com/blog/

    See? Unnecessary. Of course, I don’t mind links if they’re relevant. If someone wants to point me towards their photos of their leopard outfit, or something they wrote about a band I like, that’s fine. But general promotion annoys me.

    So there!

    Reply
    • Courtney

      I personally find this more applicable when commenting on Blogspot blogs since clicking on someone’s photo can take them to a Blogger profile. I don’t use Blogger but have an account to comment so leaving my URL in my name works better, though I prefer this method for my signature:
      Courtney

      Subtle and non-abrasive!

      Reply
      • WendyB

        I’m WordPress so no one needs to take the extra step. Why type more if you don’t have to!

        Honestly, when I was on Blogger I got less of this than I do now. It’s like it is newly trendy. Before it was only the newbies who did it and everyone would tell them “You don’t have to do that” and they’d stop.

  40. Faiza

    I’m so glad someone addressed this. When I first joined I was getting friendly emails welcoming me to IFB and that’s really nice when your new and starting out. I also made some new blog friends this way. So, it’s not entirely bad.

    But then the emails asking to follow started coming in and I didn’t follow anyone at first. I even had to tell someone it defeats the purpose of my blog if I follow them for the sake of them following me. That person got really upset at me for not supporting them as a fellow blogger.

    I asked other bloggers what they thought. Most of them said they love to support their followers and some said it didn’t bother them to follow. I only followed the blogs I really liked at first then the emails just kept coming in and I thought that it didn’t hurt me to follow some blogs that I liked to help support and avoid nasty emails.

    I even asked those bloggers who emailed me to check my new blog out, for feedback and said “feel free to follow if you like”. But, that’s only because they asked first. And it seemed like that’s what everyone was doing. No harm in getting feedback and sharing your new blog with other bloggers.

    I do think if it’s a BIG No No to ask others to check out your blog or ask to follow in exchange for a follow, etc. then IFB should set-up some rules or at least let the new IFB members know not to do this.

    But, I got over the emails bothering me as I like to check out other blogs when I have time and get to know other members in the process. But, the follow me & I’ll follow you back is a bit much.

    It would best if people Followed because they genuinely want to.

    Sorry for the long message.

    Reply
    • What Sadie Did

      Hi Faiza,
      I agree with you…it is nice to get a welcome message when you join IFB. I found it a bit too much though, cos you could tell that most of them were just copied and pasted and didn’t actually have an interest in finding much out about me or my blog (which I thought was disappointing).

      I am the same as you – I love checking out new blogs and having a little nose around, but only want to follow those i’m genuinely interested in.

      Sadie x

      Reply
      • Faiza

        Hi Sadie,

        Thanks! IFB has been wonderful and I have seen my traffic increase due to being apart of it along with new followers & friends.

        I’m so glad to be apart of IFB and it’s such a great place to learn more. And making a few mistakes along the way is normal, But, hopefully, this post will help alleviate some of the spam.

        Faiza xo

  41. What Sadie Did

    Great article. I joined IFB yesterday and couldn’t believe the amount of cheesy messages I received! You could clearly tell they were copy and pasted into my mail box!

    Some of them did admittedly take a quick glance at my blog as they’d tried to make the message personal, but I was dubious about the whole site because of these messages.

    I am more than happy to follow and interact / comment with other bloggers but I want them to genuinely follow my blog because they like it, not because they want my stat in return. I blog for enjoyment, not for commercial activity, and so I only want genuine followers who I hope to become friends with (some at least!) and receive real interaction.

    So I guess what i’m trying to say is, thanks for the post, and by the look of the comments I’m not the only person who was miffed and confused at receiving dozens of messages when joining the site! 🙂

    Sadie x

    Reply
    • Ashe Mischief

      Sadie, I’m sorry to hear these messages made you dubious about IFB! I promise– it’s an incredible resource. I’ve been a member for years and can’t thank Jennine enough for what she’s created.

      I hope you’ll check out the forums and the blog archives– we ARE a friendly bunch who want to help!

      Reply
  42. Brooke

    Thank you for this article which is, as everyone has said before me, really useful.
    While I am trying to grow my audience I refuse to leave comments blatently asking for followers, nor do I want to follow you just so that you follwing me back!
    So what I’m saying really is it is nice to see that this is something that kinda irks other people as well!

    Reply
  43. joanna

    oh gosh….i thought this is normal here because when i joined ifb i was full of this kind of msges…

    Reply
  44. The Fashionable ESQ

    I just joined IFB and within minutes (literally) received a bunch of these messages in my inbox- One of them was even prefaced with, “I’m sure you’re getting a ton of messages that look exactly the same…”

    At first I was excited – But then I read this post 🙁 Boo!

    I do agree, however, that in the long run, commenting + relationship building will win over numbers.

    Reply
  45. Helen

    I am getting at least three a day on here! It annoys me no end, is just lazy.
    Some great tips here though will be sure to follow them

    Helen, X

    Reply
  46. eyeliah

    I get an IFB message like this EVERYDAY! I simply don’t have the time to respond to each one as I know that takes me longer than it took them to spam me in the first place. The part that bothers me the most is the generic “I love your blog” when it is obvious they’ve never looked at my blog with that cut and paste message. I’ve been thinking for a while that the IFB community needs to be educated on this. After reading the comments here from new IFBers getting over-spammed upon joining I am concerned they will get a sour taste in the mouth about IFB. It is apparent that a guideline needs to be set, perhaps members could ‘flag’ messages so admins can follow up with the uninformed spammers.

    I only want blogs I read and LOVE on my blogroll, if I am just going to add every blog that asks I lose credibility with my readers, something for the spammers to think about. I always respond to requests that are genuine and thoughtful and the person actually looked at my blog.

    Reply
  47. Jess

    Oh guys, sorry but I just wanted to add something: how do you find other blogs then?

    Me in person, I’m not that annoyed of these messages. I think we all can distinguish between: “let’s follow and we’ll never hear again from each other” and “please tell me what you think, I’d like to improve- and if you like (!) feel free to follow”

    So what I think (oh yeah me again :-D) is that these messages (the second ones) can be the basis of great blogger-relationships.

    Reply
    • Ashe Mischief

      Ways I find new blogs:
      – I check out the posts lists on Links a la Mode each week.

      – I check out the blog rolls of bloggers I DO like, because I trust their taste!

      – When someone new comments on my site or interacts with me on Twitter, and I don’t recognize them, I check them out.

      – There’s a thread in the forums (the offical link up thread) that’s some 800 comments deep!

      – If my favorite bloggers post their own link round ups, I read through those links and check out the people’s sites.

      If you check up above, I totally agree with you– and this post isn’t about the second one. The examples in the post aren’t like that.

      Reply
  48. Sandee Royalty

    This article is so needed! When I signed up my mailbox was bombarded with these “follow me” types of messages. For me blogging is about relationships and finding people who like what I like. I thought “yay! a new way to connect with people” but It was not. I quit even reading the messages anymore (let alone responding back) because they were so impersonal. Because blogging is so social, there are so many unwritten rules and guidelines to follow that it is hard getting started. An article like yours really helps!
    xoxoxo,
    Sandee

    Reply
  49. Jess

    Hahaha… Just had to laugh about this upcoming group called:

    “follow my blog, let me know and i’ll follow you back!”

    😀 Great timing!

    Reply
    • Jess

      and two others:

      2) My Blogspot : Follow my blog, I’ll follow yours
      open group

      3) Following Frenzy

      😀

      Reply
  50. birdie

    OOF! I get these as comments sometimes (not usually emails), and they generally go to my spam filter. I feel bad if there’s a real comment in there, and I don’t catch them when I sift through my spam…

    Reply
  51. Roan

    I’ve received messages like this! I just ignore these kinds of messages because I follow blogs that I love and believe in. I only have 13 followers (!) and I don’t mind.

    Reply
  52. Heel in Mint

    I go to other blogs to read and comment but I don’t see a lot of bloggers do that, especially the ones with 200 plus followers. Some bloggers are so immersed in promoting their blog and getting followers/comments/feedback that they don’t realize others want the same thing in return. That’s sad!

    Reply
  53. Tea For Two

    (Can I just say firstly that it’s encouraging to know from someone who works with brands that they’re not just looking to collaborate with blogs sporting a high number of followers. I’m getting to the stage now where I’d quite like to enjoy a creative collaboration with a brand. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve money changing hands but it has to capture my imagination. so, it’s good to know a massive following isn’t the only criteria.)

    On to the subject at hand – I have definitely had issues with spam comments. And personally it’s saddened me. I’ve even started a group here at IFB about the uglier side of comments.. I don’t know if I’d be able to make like Bella and start policing these people, but I have had a disclaimer in my comments box for a while now that states plainly that I won’t be responding to comments that just say, ‘Great post, follow me!’ If there’s no proof or indication that the blogger has read my post before commenting, I don’t see why I should read one of their posts and leave my standard thoughtful, focused comment in return.

    Reply
  54. Shini

    I never ‘tamper’ with my reader’s comments but when a comment just looks like spam (i.e Cool shoes! LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK) then I just go an delete all the links and leave the ‘core’ of the comment in.

    As for emails I always ignore, they’re never directed to ‘me’ anyway. (Sometimes I get names that are one down on the alphabet list… same with some PR emails.)

    Reply
  55. Treacle

    I’m glad something’s being said about this. I know it’s a free group and all, but it really undermines the quality (to the point I stopped visiting for awhile) when IFB is overrun by spammers.

    Reply
  56. madam0wl

    This is my first comment on an IFB post and my first click-through from an IFB email. Honestly, the first few emails I received after signing up for IFB were kind of spammy ones from other members. I remember thinking how do these people even know who I am yet? I ignored them. Maybe it was the welcome wagon and if it was, sorry I misunderstood. Admittedly I haven’t taken the time to look around over here yet. But this topic did ring bells for me so thanks for bringing it up.

    Reply
  57. Kate

    LOL I almost wanted to be a smart a** and write follow me at…., but I wont. I use to do blackhat for companies no longer do I have to do that, but spammers suck man and most of them are using automated tools to do the massive spamming of comments…sadly it works to a certain extent until the IP is blocked. Though I will say I comment on a lot of blogs and for some reason one blogger blocked me for criticising her outfit LOL sorry, but if you’r going to put it out there be ready for it. Sheesh it’s not like I was rude about it I was just commenting about it in a way that wasn’t threatening and all I could think was dang she’s got issues. Ahh well.

    Reply
  58. Mousevox

    Thank you so much for posting this! I love finding new blogs, but when I receive emails like this (or even similar comments on my own blog), I automatically resent them and don’t give them a chance. It also kind of makes me feel sorry for them. The number of followers you have shouldn’t define you as a blogger and you should be happier knowing that those who are following your blog are doing it as a choice because they like something you have to offer. Great post!

    Reply
  59. Alli

    I generally ignore these, but I recently had to make the very difficult decision to close my blog. I wrote a farewell post and received several comments that were 100% spam comments/msgs begging me for follows. I had to take a deep breath and fight the urge to follow the clueless and insanely tacky people who commented on my last ever post begging for followers. I couldn’t believe that someone would be that tactless as to ignore the farewell message and post a “lol great blog, I have one too check it out and follow me! link link”

    Reply
  60. Heel in mint

    Omg, Alli..that’s so sad! I can’t believe someone would respond to a farewell message in that manner. It’s just way too tacky. It’s hard to believe people can be that desperate.

    Reply
  61. Julia M

    I hate these spammy comments! I get a lot of comments saying nothing but “Found you via IFB, follow me back”…not even so much as a cursory insincere “cool shoes!!!1”

    I tend to delete them, but I once got so fed up I replied to one particulary spammy one (seriously, like 10 links to their blog and not much else) with a polite suggestion that spamming someone’s comment section with links wasn’t going to do good in the long run. I got a swift reply of “what would you know, you don’t even have 100 followers, loser” and suddenly felt like I was in primary school again! Badtimes.

    Reply
  62. Angel

    I did find comments like these quite irritating, but I do feel sympathetic for the bloggers who write them and read this. It must be embarrassing…

    Reply
  63. trisha sakhlecha

    I’m a new blogger and in the past week I’ve received 12 such messages ! They all basically say the same thing : “I really love your blog, i’d love to follow you..IF you follow me !” If you love my blog, why all the conditions ? It’s so disheartening to receive such comments especially when I’m trying to build a blog. On the contrary, I always make it a point to check who my latest follower is, and often end up following their blogs in turn – not because I have to but I want to.

    Reply
  64. Stephanie

    Ahhh, finally! I get so many of these spam messages! It’s like checking my regular e-mail, I just adore making new connections but it’s disheartening just to see a plain form letter in there.

    I’ve also received the same form letter (“Please follow me!”) from the same couple of users but weeks apart. You think they would at least keep track! ;]

    Reply
  65. Katherine

    I’m glad this article was posted. I really dislike it when people send me these types of messages on IFB. At first I thought it was nice that people were sending me messages, and I was legitimately checking out their blogs. However, after I continued to get these messages, I stopped reading. The point of the IFB community is to make connections, not gain a million followers who are never going to look my blog ever again. Personally, I only follow blogs that I truly like. To reiterate what others have said, I probably only have about three followers at this point, but I’d rather that be the case than have a false sense that a ton of people are following my blog. Not to mention, it’s especially gratifying when someone comments or sends me a message that shows that they have read my post and are interested in what I have to say.

    On a similar note, I feel somewhat the same about blog giveaways in which you need to follow the blog, leave a comment, follow twitter, retweet, and post on your own blog to enter. It is a way to get more followers and sure, people want to win the prize, but it seems likely to me that once the giveaway ends, many followers will unfollow. I know that there are different dynamics working in these situations, but it’s just a thought. . .

    Reply
    • madam0wl

      I was going to say, the constant Giveaways and all their conditions bug the hell out of me too. There is one person I have in my feed reader and I swear to god the ONLY posts she does are giveaways. I can understand a well meant, from the heart, once in a while giveaway… heck even once a month might be okay, as long as there was other interesting content in between.

      Reply
  66. B.

    I got this message mentioned in the article too. I think this girl contacted every blogger she could find :-S
    Mostly I’m too lazy to reply something immediately and then I forget these messages. They’re as annoying as the Bank of Africa emails I get daily where account managers from Burkina Faso offer me some millions… hehe

    I learned and still learn a lot from IFB, it’s the most helpful site for fashion bloggers.

    And I have to say that if people receive comments from me on their blogs that consist of only one or two words, then that’s my opinion in short version, not a cry for attention. I’d rather spend time reading blogs then leaving long comments. So if someone here got a comment from me already saying: Love it! or Awesome! then I mean it and want to leave something nice. 😀

    Reply
  67. featherfactor

    This was a really interesting post to read – thank you for writing it. I joined iFB when I first started blogging so for me it was what I thought was normal. I typically followed people who asked me to follow them, and some followed back, some didn’t. It is a lot of work honestly to spam and send the same message out over and over..and for what seems like little reward as outlined here.

    The one thing I will say though is that when I first started blogging it was so sad to write a post and then feel like nobody was reading it. So the first few followers I got, even if they were because of “follow me and I’ll follow you back” kind of deals, were a nice feeling to have, even if it was pretty artificially generated. So sometimes even if I get “spammed” if I click their link and they only have a few followers then I will just add them because I remember what that felt like!

    Reply
  68. DameWithMoxie

    As some have stated before, this is a really timely post. I have an issue with folks who want you to follow them, list their blogs on your blogroll and won’t reciprocate. What’s the protocol when facing this issue?

    Reply
  69. january

    i am sooo glad this article popped into my inbox today!! i am a relatively new blogger, and i am beyond frustrated already with the amount of comments on my posts just saying things like:

    pretty.
    follow me and i’ll follow you back.
    link

    the comment didn’t add anything to the conversation, it was just an excuse to add their link it seems.

    i would even love it if it just said
    “pretty.
    from so and so
    link”

    because it’s not a direct ask. if i feel like clicking on your link, i will.. and if i like your blog, then i will follow you because of that, not because you asked me to, or because it’s a trade off. and i would never want anyone to follow my blog for any other reason than if that they like the content as well. i went on a bit of a rant recently on twitter about this, whoops! probably not the best thing to do, but i just couldn’t take it any more!

    so glad this was written!!
    THANK YOU.

    Reply
  70. Jen-Style MILK

    Ha I just got a comment the other day on my blog the same follow me I will follow you type thing…..I think it is better just to leave an interesting comment relevant to the post rather than promote your blog as usually I will check out someones blog if they post interesting comment and if it is good more than likely follow them…it is a type of spam and almost makes you question why they post it….do they need followers desperately type think….

    Reply
  71. Bernard Patacsil

    I always ignore these kind of mails unless theyre actually some good blogs. The thing about it is I can find good blogs and it makes me want to connect with them and actually build relationship with them (so sometimes, the spam messaging works on me). But still, connecting with me first in any way possible other than “follow me back” messages engages me to actually connect with you more because it means you’re a potential loyal readers and bloggers will do anything to keep those loyal readers.

    Reply
  72. Carla

    this article is needed so much! I’ve been getting a lot of these spam mails, myself, ever since I joined IFB. When I joined IFB, a lot of bloggers told me that the people in this community are so friendly. when I started getting those spam mail, I was thinking “okay, so is this what they meant friendly?”/ thank goodness I read this article because now it’s clear to me that I’m not the only one feeling irritated with these “follow me, follow you” emails filling up my inbox. No offense to those people who do that, but really this article is so true. I’ve been blogging for a few months already and I’ve been working hard to getting my blog exposed and known without doing this “follow me, follow you” thing. It feels great knowning that people are following not because you asked them to but because they wanted to. You guys (spammers) should maybe try that out and build real relationships!

    cheers eveyone!
    Carla
    misscarlaviolet.blogspot.com

    Reply
  73. Hanna

    This is so true. I’ve never visited a site of someone who was asking me to. I always ignore them.

    Reply
  74. SequinsandBangles

    I get so many of these via comments and emails. The whole ‘follow me and I’ll follow you thing’ annoys me so I generally ignore or delete them. It makes me feel like I’m in school again! I’m also wary of these emails as you never know if it is a genuine blog you are going to be brought to when you click that link.

    Aoife xx

    Reply
  75. Alisha Ross

    My blog is fairly recent, and I too have been bombarded with follow me, and I’ll follow you comments. It makes me glad to hear that people out there in the fashion community have managed to build their blogs because of blogging relationships rather than this follow me, follow you. Its taking a long time to build up and build a following, but I’m hoping by ignoring the fast track way to build up a blog, I’ll be able to create more of a lasting following. This article was definitely needed to show the bloggers who do this that it is not at all appreciated, and also to show them that there is another way to build your blog.
    Great article.
    Alisha

    Reply
  76. Abigail Ny

    I definitely agree about that and I’ve gotten a lot of those in my inbox but some I felt like checking the links and found them to be good blogs but the message sent that seems a bit desperate can put you off that this person doesn’t believe in their blog!
    I’ve got a month more before I’ve been blogging for a year and I’ve gotten a decent number of people following. Luckily I love reading other blogs or finding other blogs so when I drop a comment there I just put my comment and blog link sometimes and if the person checks out my blog I leave it to them to decide if they want to follow me or not because right now genuine followers are all I want and I’ve been lucky to get loyal ones that are amazing and always give me feedback and encouragement to blog more. So everyone wants people to read what they post or see it because it’s getting their views out so my advice is focus on content and be true to you’re self because you are different and different is what will pull you away from everyone else. Blogger integrity is a major thing to me and believe it should be to everyone else.

    Happy Blogging … much success to everyone whatever the motive. <3

    Reply
  77. Denise

    Great one Ashe! Hopefully by putting this out there we’ll see a decrease in the cheap self-promotion.

    Like Jennine, I also find it irritating when commenters sign off with their blog URL – not just on mine but seeing it on others irks me. It’s obvious they’re only commenting to get their blog out there and it cheapens the quality of the engagement, especially when they add after their vapid comment ‘Hey, check out my blog!’ It’s made the comments on one of my favourite blogs deteriorate from thoughtful debate to spam central. Such a shame.

    Reply
  78. Jess

    I joined IFB a few weeks ago, and I have to say I was rather offput by all the “hey, I’m new too! Follow me and I’ll follow you!” messages I received. It was a little like the great flood. I’ve ignored the vast majority of them. When someone leaves a really fruitless comment like that on my blog, I generally do the same, tohugh if they try to leave some sort of considerate comment I’ll check out their blog. I’ve found some nice followers/pals that way.

    However, it’s pretty annoying and pointless to spam people like that, because at the end of the day, it’s about quality over quantity. I’d rather have 10 people who follow my blog and really really enjoy it than a thousand following me who never read my posts.

    Reply
  79. Tikkitiboo

    Thank you so much! When I first signed up for IFB I had sooo many of those messages that I considered un-registering… I thought it was a bit of a scam – and unfortunately I fell into the ‘like me and like you back’ net and started liking a heap of blogs that don’t really interest me! I’ve now learned that IFB is a great resource to browse around, and I write because I’m having fun with my new hobby – I don’t care about pseudo interest to boost numbers. I would appreciate though some help in getting the most out of the IFB resource – I am still a newbie! 🙂
    Tikkitiboo + Ahka Blog

    Reply
  80. Krystal/Village

    i loved seeing this article, i was working on a similar one since i joined IFB. I hate those messages on my own blog but when I joined IFB and got 20 of them within 24 hours it kind of pushed me over the edge. I love the emailing them back with tips. I wrote back one of them a similar type email and she wrote back and said that she just wanted to get noticed and then asked me to follow her AGAIN. All without coming to my own blog. Awful!

    Reply
  81. Casee Marie

    I’m so glad to know I wasn’t the only one who got that e-mail or any of the same sort. I tend to take the path of ignoring them (although the Ashe Smash technique sounds fabulous, just sayin’) but I think in the future I’ll keep this post especially bookmarked as it really says it all. Great job, and thank you. (:

    Reply
  82. LuceBuona

    Thank you Ashemischief!!
    This article is sooo true! In my not too long blogger history, I left a few comments on other blogs that remind me a bit of this article. And I most say that the times I wrote something slightly similar it gave me a “moral hangover”.I felt awful!

    I still have a lot to learn from the blogging world, and it annoys me so much to receive bold-faced spam, specially since I’m still working on getting my followers to express theselves!

    Reply
  83. Vinda Sonata

    great post ! i really agree with this
    anyway, spammers are really annoying.
    often i get comments like that on my blog, most of the times, though, i instantly delete them.

    Reply
  84. fhenny

    such a great read! i received similar email a few days ago, ignored it though.
    I found that kind of email is just rude

    but personally i do not mind if someone put their link signature on comment.

    Reply
  85. Lou Jones

    I find spam from business-based blogs annoying, as it’s just a generic message they send you & you can tell they have not looked at your blog – but we can’t network with each other on here & like each others blogs if we don’t start the communication somewhere.
    The bottom line is, we need to differentiate between spam & genuine contact from other bloggers.
    I’ve communicated with loads of people on here this week – I’ve looked at their blogs & am happily following & commenting on their posts. That doesn’t happen unless one of us contacts the other. 🙂

    Reply
  86. Pearl Westwood

    After reading this post I got one of those emails so I decided rather than hit delete to write a nice reply explaining blogger etequette and linkng to this post and other useful IFB posts. I explained how it might seem rude to not even address an email to the blogger, and not even say they follow the blog. Also that asking to be added to my ‘daily reads’ list was inappropriate as they actually are the blogs I read daily, instead I suggest she asked to exchange blog roll links and so on. I finished with saying I would be haappy to help further just email. Guess what? I didn’t even get a reply, so my beleifs are confirmed bloggers who do this are only after a high follower count, they dont actually care about making friends or being part of a community.

    Reply
  87. Vanessa

    My blog is only just over a week old and I’ve already gotten a surprisingly large number of comments asking me to follow them and they will follow me. Personally I find them frustrating. I get very excited about comments and look at everybody’s blog anyway. If I like the blog, Im more than happy to follow them but if they are already telling me to follow them in the comment, I don’t even want to look at their blog. It just makes them seem so desperate! Glad to hear that it’s a common problem!

    Reply
  88. Colleen

    Brilliant, I couldn’t have said it better than myself. This particularly makes me feel awkward when you go to their blog and you just can’t care for it…Like, how could you imagine that we have anything in common?

    Reply
  89. Joni

    Geez! I just joined yesterday and I was so upset by the spamming. I just kept accepting the friend requests until it became too much and I had to make my page friends only. I don’t know what to do. I want to make new blogger friends but not this way.

    Reply
  90. Beverly

    I joined yesterday and was inundated with these comments – over 90 in one day! I was so annoyed that I was about delete my account, when I read your post. Now I will respond to future spammers with a link to this post 🙂

    Seriously, something needs to be done about these emails – i.e. kicking people out who send these messages. It’s so off-putting to join a group, only to be spammed like crazy. I’m sure IFB unintentionally loses many lovely, non-spamming members as a result.

    Reply
  91. Chaplinnn

    I just joined a couple of days ago and was really unsure how to deal with the bombardment of messages like this. At first I though ‘Ugh, is this normal?’ I want to be polite to everyone, so I wasn’t sure if it was rude to ignore these [what I thought might be] spammers. Thanks for the article, it definitely makes me feel better about not answering everyone back!

    Reply
  92. Lionstigersrahhh

    This is such as good article! I have only joined recently and I got bombarded on the first day with lots of these messages and it put me off for a few weeks! Now I am back and loving it.. Thank you for this.

    Reply
  93. Yen

    Thanks for the post. Before I read this post, I have considered myself if I should follow it or not. Just because I am new, I don’t know if everybody here does it or just some of them. So confusing to me. Now, it’s totally clear, and am happy with my first decision: never write an email or message like those. I will find my audience myself.:)

    Reply
  94. Michelle

    I get to annoyed with this, in my INBOX! you never hear from them again. Even when you check out thier blogs you don’t see much action. I send out emails when people make comments on my blog! The first time visitors, and i visit their blogs and comment on interesting things. I stopped leaving my blog info as well because I got a taste of that when people were leaving like 3 links to their stuff on my blog! I think this was much needed, and i even started a topic on here about it. I think i understand that people want to make friends and everything, but I think they could get a bit more creative and try to not look so desperate to have a follow.

    Reply
  95. Phoebe

    I’ve recently joined IFB and I was overloaded with these messages! Sometimes they’re personalised to make it look like it’s only a message to you, when it actual fact the same message has gone to tons of other people. Or they say, ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘Ask me anything if you need help!’ and then go on to release a bucketload of links. I’ve only recieved one genuine welcome message, free of spammish links. I wish people wouldn’t do this.

    Reply
  96. Em

    So true! I’m a new member at IFB, and within the first 24 hours of being a member, I received probably around 5 emails an hour with a ‘FOLLLOOW MEEE <3' message. My approach was to thank them for welcoming me to IFB. But to be honest, it wasn't really a warm welcome. I really hope those messages stop!

    Reply
  97. Jen

    I got these too and have welcomed people myself. I actually do like people to give me feedback and since I’m new to it all, I like to check out others. I really only follow the ones I like but appreciate how hard it is to network.

    The small, but well written blogs are out there and looking through some mail doesn’t take too much time

    Love the article though and am constantly learning through this blogging world!

    Reply
  98. Bckls

    Yeah me too, and I sort of didn’t know how to respond but I’m understanding that people are really eager to get their sites noticed and receive as much feedback as possible. But I myself will try and participate in as little spamming as possible. It really doesn’t hurt to check people out though and I agree with Jen above me.

    -bckls

    Reply
  99. Madeline

    Honestly, I send these messages, but only to blogs that I think are interesting. If someone sends me one, I like them! I love to see there blogs and read them. Obviously, I don’t mean it to be like spam, but I suppose it is. I guess I should apologize for spamming you’re inboxes, but I figure networking like this is a good way to get your blog known to many other people. Sometimes commenting just isn’t enough

    Reply
  100. Tikkitiboo + Ahka

    I dislike the follow-me-i’ll-follow-you bloggers – and usually ignore any that leave a comment like that. But I do a lot of commenting myself, and if I don’t like the outfit/blog I don’t leave a comment.

    Reply
  101. Tina

    I love this article! I just joined IFB a few weeks ago and I got 3 emails – one was a nice welcome email, one was of the “follow me and I’ll follow you back” variety, but my favorite was just a “follow me” email.

    I only have 3 members on my blog right now (who may or may not be married or related to me, haha) but I would rather have someone follow my blog because they actually like it and read it.

    Reply
  102. Agus

    I recieve many emails to follow bloggers, a few were interesting blogs and I follow this. They no follow my blog back, only 3 persons of IFB follow me.

    Reply
  103. merve

    when i first read an article in IFB about how to be better blogger it said to not ask other bloggers to please follow etc since then i don’t do it. I believe if a fellow blogger likes what i write they will follow me either way 🙂 and i really only follow blogs that i really like. i think blogging should be honest. 🙂

    Reply
  104. Cherry Monster Fashion

    I have to admit, the first time I joined IFB I bumped into a lot of people saying please follow my blog blah blah blah. Well, this one girl was talking about how she badly needed followers. Well when I checked her blog she had like 400 followers! And at the time I only had 5! I was furious! It just made her look incredibly greedy! I instantly deleted the email and blocked her. Now, When I get a friend request, before I confirm, I check the their site out. If I like it and feel I can learn or be inspired by it, then I accept. Other than that its a no. Im not going to just follow you to follow you. Im going to actually add you on bloglovin’ not just follow you to make my friend que look big! I got the followers I have because I started talking to people on IFB and participating in polls etc.

    Reply
  105. unchch

    Soooo true!!!!
    I get a lot of them when I registered. For the first 4 I thought it was a common practice, but when i realize all the message I was getting were like this.. well I understood it was spam and I lost all my ineterest in the IFB network 🙁

    Reply
  106. Veronica

    When I was a new member to IFB, I got spam after spam of “follow me and i’ll follow you” msgs. I was naive and even wrote them back and followed them to be nice.

    But then I unfollowed soon after since their blog/style/fashion was not in my taste or their blog was not all that interesting to me. I want people to genuinely enjoy my blog/writing, not because it is a numbers game.

    Reply
  107. Alexandria Adair Vasquez

    2 years later and this article is just as relevant! I guess not much has changed :/

    Reply
  108. Bulk Messaging

    Thank you for posting the great content about messaging. I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing. thanks

    Reply