“Hello blogger! Cool post. Here's a link to my blog. Please follow me and I'll follow you back. Have a good day.”
Does this sound familiar?
I've talked about the “psychology” of a commenter, and how “hater” comments suck, but what about the “follow me and I'll follow you” comments that often fill up under a post, your email box, or IFB messaging system? See examples below:
I can understand why some of you are vocal about your frustration with this tactic — and I'm here to say I agree with you. While self-promotion is a part of the blogging game, sending out floods of mass, impersonal messages could actually hurt your blogging reputation more than help.
Why the “follow me and I'll follow you” marketing tactic doesn't actually build a strong readership…
- First, and most importantly, you should really only follow and promote blogs you genuinely enjoy. Readers pick up on who you are endorsing and, in a way, it's a reflection on you. Stay true to what inspires you and save your “follows” for bloggers who actually matter to you.
- The “I'll follow you if you follow me” tactic may get you a sweep of initial followers, but the reality is that it's not a long-lasting plan, especially for engagement. Sure, they may “follow” you, but are they commenting on or sharing your posts? Are they offering advice and engaging in conversation? Probably not. In fact, if they aren't even reading your blog, you're not even getting more page views. What's the point of having a follower if they aren't a genuine reader?
- For the people you are messaging, it may feel like spam or disingenuous. When you are constantly bombarding people with vague “follow me!” messages, it leaves a sour taste much (akin to junk emails). However, if you are genuinely interested in collaborating with a blogger, write them a well thought out email about why you like their blog, what your blog is all about, and why you two would be a good fit to work together. This way you are building an organic relationship that could be lasting over time, not just a temporary boost.