A blog on the subject of having no followers…

*Thanks Tim Minchin for title inspiration*

found on Photobucket at celsealee

I have been reading in many other blogs of late about Twitter and its community feel and how everyone feels like they have found another family and how good it all is, and I even blogged here about that….

But then this feeling started – the everyone I follow and like has at least a hundred followers, if not up to five hundred and I have just under eighty. And followers – I love you all – please do not feel unappreciated, you guys MAKE my twitter experience, and I value and love you all.

But right now I am standing in the classroom of Blog School, and everyone has paired off and gone off into their little groups and I am left here on my own. People talk to me in passing, some know me, but I am not part of one of the cliques, not one of the popular blogs, and as much as my heart tells me I shouldn’t want to, DAMN it I want to be.

I have spent most of my life seeking approval in various ways and I suppose this lack of followers just feeds into it, and makes me question myself and my blog.

Do I not have a consistant enough theme? Am I too random? Do I write to much when I feel bad? Am I not quirky or creative enough? Am I not amusing enough frequently enough?

I think why this has struck me so hard as it come at a time where I am trying to fit into a new state, with new parents at a new school for my kids,  in a class at a new acting school and I am questioning myself as a person as well.

I think it basically comes down to, I do not like myself, not myself inside – she’s quite a nice and decent person really, its the me on the outside, the me I show to the world.

And how do I know this? Because I am looking at other people and wanting to be them, to look like them.

I am looking at other peoples blogs and thinking, well maybe if MY blog was more like that then I’d have more followers.

I’m even looking at my tweets, the one place where I tend to censor me least and am thinking, maybe if my tweets were more like other peoples more people would follow me.

All in all a pathetic state of affairs. if for no other reason than it is making me spend a good forty five minuites working out what to wear every time I leave the house.

And I am considering a fringe quite seriously. To cover up the ‘patch of dirt’ on my forehead (its freckles all run together).DOC about a week ago said to me “oh, you have some dirt on your forehead” I didn’t. It doesn’t come off. Does wonders for the self esteem that.

So where to from here? Right now I feel quite bereft and lost. I used to be so happy with my little blog and twitter account and amazed by my 70-odd followers and now I’m sad that I’ve lost that feeling, and sad that I want more, it almost feels greedy.

Has anyone else felt any of this? Or am I alone here?

My own little pity party.

Bleh.

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59 Comments

Filed under below 15%, DOC, down day, less happy side of me, not exactly amusing, twtter

59 responses to “A blog on the subject of having no followers…

  1. I didn’t have followers on my blog for ages! I barely got any comments. The first time round I stopped. Then came back April last year and I just ended up with some followers. Twitter I talk to everyone if you write something and I follow you you will almost always have me respond or retweet. It’s just how I am.

    I don’t censor myself on my blog. I speak everything and anything and it is always random.

    I don’t think i’m in any group either. I feel like you say a bit off to the side. Sure I have my regulars and I have the regular blogs I follow but I always try and make sure I comment.

    I love this post. I’m new to following you so will have to go thru your oldies x

    But I have 37 followers on my early childhood resources blog. Which is the one I put all my effort into these days. Go figure! Lol.

    Stay positive:) maybe we can make our own clique lol the loners x

  2. I know ALL about this. It’s the ludicrous side of Web 2.0 (as we used to call it) and Social Networking. Whenever my Facebook friend count goes down – I automatically think – is it something I said? Is it that last status where I trashed the Liberal Party yet again? The first thought is NEVER – Oh maybe the number went down because something has happened in their life and has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. At least I have learned to make THAT the second thought However, I will always begin with the silly, me-first, “Is it something I did” thought.

    As for Twitter Followers. I was sussing out my stats in “Twitmeme” (I think) and it said that on present growth levels I should have 500 followers in 6 months. Which is complete bullshit. I have hovered around 130 for ages. And when one of them departs I go through another 60 second drama of “Is it something I tweeted?” etc. Then I go into my finely honed Facebook Departure routine. Rinse. Repeat.

    And as for my ‘blog. I have been writing for 4 years have something like 370 plus entries and apart from the anomaly of my Grayson Hugh post (which seemingly attracted every single one of his fans for a 9 month period) I mostly have zero comments on most of the entries. If I take that as a sign of the quality of my writing, then clearly I fail to strike a chord MOST of the time. My actual visitor stats are better – about 50 a day – so I kid myself that those people are stunned by the genius and precision of my deathless prose – and not just searching for more info on the American singer-songwriter who penned “Can We Talk It Over In Bed.”

    So I have revamped my blog and have begun putting content out there more regularly and I am taking it all a little more seriously because I would like to be read more than I am. But ultimately being a blogger isn’t the main game for me. I am a writer and this year I am throwing myself into that and looking for as much paid work as possible in the various ares that I ply the biro.

    I think the ‘net audience is fickle and can be hard to reach without more work and focus than I am prepared to give it.
    Is this potential audience worth more time and effort in order to grab their attention? Maybe it is. But while you are striving to achieve greater recognition, it will take a great emotional toll if you take their lack of attention personally in any way. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but if you allow the numbers or lack of numbers to matter, then blogging will only be painful.

    I believe it is necessary to find some other purpose in the work in order to make it worthwhile. For me, it was always a way I could hone my writing. For others I think it is a sanctuary or a place to be reflective. I think the validation of others has to be a secondary reason. In fact, in most creative areas I believe this is the case. Unless a creative person finds something other than outside validation, their creative life will be a long and bumpy road.

    Hope this soup of thoughts is of some use to you. And please keep on blogging!

    • Thank you – so so so true – it is always the WHAT DID I DO!!!! I love your blog, but I keep forgetting it is there – and yes, the comments don’t happen for me because unless I can say something more than *great writing* I generally don’t, but maybe I should – I’d like it if people posted that on my blog…hmmm…thanks much…

    • “I think the validation of others has to be a secondary reason.” Mr Trivia, this is so, so true. One of the most annoying things about the blog interface is that you can’t remove the stats box. I don’t WANT to know how many people are reading it! Or at least I don’t want to want to know, and there’s that damn stats box to remind me. As for twitter, I was fuming when they started that list thing – as if it wasn’t enough that I had so few followers, now I have to worry that no-one is listing me?
      Maybe Woody Allen-esque types like us need to go a bit easier on ourselves. That list of things you have to do by April is a lot of stuff to do in a year. I’m exhausted just looking at it! :-)

      • yes, I was looking through it today and realised there is NO way in the world I’m getting through all that by April :) I have a bad habit of being overly ambitious.
        the lists annoyed me at first, then didn’t, now I try to be ambivilant. I just found a load of people to follow by looking at the people that the people who follow me follow.
        Very good point that – going easier on myself. Thank you. (by the way, am very glad that through Gabfran I discovered your blog)

  3. Well, I’m about to go through my followers and get rid of some – lots are spammers, or weirdos… that’s what happens when you don’t protect your tweets!
    I love your blog, & your tweets, but like you have so much other stuff happening at the moment I find it hard to keep up. I also need to cull my facebook friend list – I really only communicate with about 5 people – you being one of them.
    My blog is more an outlet for me – cheap therapy really.
    Keep on blogging, I for one would miss you if you stopped. xxx

    • Thanks hon – I have protected tweets because well, I suppose, I’m a bit paranoid about my internet safety and there are family members who i don’t want to find me…it would be nice to have the little twitter feed thing up the side of my blog though – wish there was a way of doing that…
      Yup – my blog is cheap therapy too :) and practicing my writing…Thanks hon xxx

  4. I’m a recent reader and your blog REALLY appeals to me. It’s raw and honest and interesting. I used to really care about my blog readership until I got so busy working on Rory’s Garden that I simply don’t look much anymore. And like Nomie I need to cull my facebook list too. I think we all go through stages of caring about it and then it passes. Your blog stands as a testament to you and believe me, it’s wonderful. Last week a number of people were handing out blog awards and I felt so left out cos I wasn’t included, so I know the feeling and it sucks.
    This is the advice I would offer and feel free to ignore it. I look for people I find interesting on twitter and I follow them, I’ll leave comments as well. Most times, with the exception of Rob Thomas, they follow back and chat too. The thing is maybe you need to put yourself out there a little more too. I notice you aren’t following many people, (though I LOVE the ones that you do!)
    Ok I am shutting up now.
    xx

    • Very good points and Thank You. I used to find it hard to find people on twitter – and like I said, for ages I was just happy and settled with my community – but now with lists (which i just thought of looking at) I have a whole new way to find people – thanks for that :) inspirational indeed :)

  5. the dotterel

    I think there’s been a collective loss of confidence in blogs and blogging recently. Even Jo Beaufoix’s decided to ‘rest’ for a while. Personally – for what it’s worth – I like blogs to be different; I like post-topics to be random; I enjoy the variety. Don’t go down the road that everyone else is taking – strike out on your own. Which is what you do, anyway. Stick to it. It’s steady tapping breaks the stone!

  6. You know what the best thing about your blog is?? The honesty with which you write. That and I can relate to so much of what you say. xx

  7. It’s funny – if you read anyone anyone’s s blog you will find a post like this in the early-ish days of it’s publication (me included!) We all seem to reach a stage where we have put our souls out there and want to know what people think. We look at other blogs and they are part of a community and get tonnes of comments. We wonder what we are doing wrong? I physically moved my blog onto a new platform to make it possible for people to comment and still only got (and get) a couple of comments per post. Then I though so what? I write this for me. It’s my online diary. I enjoy writing it. Every comment is very much appreciated but if I don’t get any I won’t stop.

    There is a definitely a blogging community out there – but it is a community not a clique and anyone can step in and out of it as they want. Keep at it and do it for the fun

    • That is interesting – I may go back and look at early blogs now – It should have a special name – ‘bloggers nerve’ or something :)
      The community vs clique comment is one of those things that just made something click – in a good way- Thank you.

  8. I love your blog, I don’t follow it cos I don’t really use the blog reader. I don’t have many subscribers myself. Put it this way I can count them on one hand. I for one, do like your blog and your tweets.. I like the way that when u come on tuqtte you look back through the timeline and @reply to different things. It’s kinda nice!

    • Thank you emily :) I love your blog. I too do not have a blog reader so I have blogs bookmarked all over the place :s. I love that about twitter – that i can go back and see what has been happening for people and maybe help – but i often feel like I miss so many moments. Everyone i follow, I follow ’cause I like them, so if something happens I’ll want to say something :) glad you like.

  9. You’re not the only one asking yourself those questions. . . I’ve just added your blog to my google reader. I write my blog for myself, but sometimes I find myself getting caught up in my lack of followers and lack of comments.

    I’d rather be me and be original than write the same blogs as all the other mummys.

    • See, yes, I write mine essentially for me too – and was so happy that ANYONE read it – in a WOW someone I don’t know is reading my writing kind of way, Don’t know why it effects me now – probably a post in itself on that. And you know what – I’d rather have my voice than anyone elses :)

  10. April…are you the same April that comments on my blog all the time? I hope so…I’ve clicked on your details before, but it doesn’t give me a link to a blog or twitter account (you can add that info if you want).

    And I’ve read your blog before – I know Nomie is a big fan. Lately, I’ve not caught up with lots of other blogs. Have been so busy with school etc. But I am now going to click on your “Notify me of new posts via email” after I type this as I’ve only just discovered this function on other blogs, and now it’s my preferred way of keeping up with blogs! It’s why I added a subscription box to mine. If it comes via email, I’m more likely to read it right then and there. If I leave it up to myself to go thru the blogs I’ve saved on my favourites, I just don’t get to them!

    ANyway, I’m looking forward to reading more posts, and I’ve sent a request to follow you via Twitter. I hope you are the same April, but if not, it doesn’t matter, because your blog looks great!

    PS – You should just blog what you want to blog about. Don’t worry about pleasing others. Please yourself and people will follow, because you’re being you. x

    Jodie x

  11. As someone in the very early stages of a blog, and one that’s a bit different in format from most, I completely understand this. You seem to gave a very loyal readership, which I think is worth more than vast numbers of faceless readers. And in all honesty, it’s thanks to your readers (and Josie’s) that I’ve been able to ride on your coattails and have some visitors to my blog.

    If the comments to this post are anything to go by, with several new folk, your readership is expanding. And I think it’ll continue to grow, as you continue to put together words as only you can and open those parts of yourself up to the world. And all who come here to read what you have to say, particularly those that keep coming back, appreciate it a lot and wouldn’t have your blog any other way.

  12. Ah honey, I’ve felt like this too. I totally understand the validation thing.

    You are unique as is your blog, and that my dear is A Good Thing! Plus you’re one of the loveliest Tweeters I follow, always on hand with a hug, so you very much are part of what I would consider my ‘community’.

    It’s your blog, write whatever you need to and don’t be swayed by the masses, that’s not your style!

    (((Hugs)))

    xxx

  13. Hey there! I saw your name on Twitter today and dashed over to see if I could help, then I read your post and God I could relate to so much of it. Where to start? (On a seperate note, I noticed your tweets are protected, I understand fully your reasons for that as I have concerns about internet safety too, but it meant I could not view your tweets to see what the problem was – maybe you aren’t following me!) Anyway, your blog is fabulous and I will certainly be returning. Reading your post today I remember the days when my self-esteem was chronically low and I placed very little value on myself, and during those periods I could have written a similar post. Don’t worry about followers on twitter – many of mine are trying to sell me things, only a small number are ‘real’ people who I have struck up real friendships with. Many people don’t follow people whose tweets are unprotected but I would keep them protected as you clearly have your reasons. As for blogging, you are not on your own, this is the 25th comment on your post. There is room for everyone and now I’ve found your blog I’m adding it to my google reader. Now come and say hello to me on twitter!

  14. Emma-Lou

    I have 25 followers on Twitter. I had a major cull a few weeks ago as porn sites, free hash for all and other such nonsense were following me. The more annoying thing is I have just 7 followers on my blog. It bothered me a bit at first – I’m extremely paranoid. However, since writing and participating in the writing workshop, I’ve really enjoyed it. My family have been reading it, although they’re not followers of it, and they’ve said that they didn’t realise I felt the way I did about some things. So keep writing, keep enjoying it. xxxx

    • Thankyou :) I don’t even know how many/ if anyone is following my blog and i don’t know that i want to know after my twitter meltdown…
      Isn’t the writing workshop great :) Good on Josie @http://sleepisfortheweak.org.uk for it :)
      T.You for lovely comment :)xx

  15. Paula

    This really appealed to me as I can completely empathise. I’m not a ‘mummy blogger’ (as great as they all are) I’m just me blogging about all kinds of nonsense and sometimes I feel as though it’s all pretty random and pointless. Like The Moiderer pointed out above it’s something that I think we all blog about at some point… for me it was a post called Paranoia, and I think it will continue to be a resurgent theme.

    I’m also a twitter devotee and really not part of a clique, although I do feel the community spirit there and love that side of it.

    I’ve come to the point where I acknowledge that I’m never going to have loads of subscribers or a technorati top score (WTF?) but I do have lovely folk who occasionally drop by and comment and that’s enough…. kind of! Keep going, you’ve got a lovely style and I’m sure your followers will grow organically.

    Px

  16. Quality over quantity! If you’ve got 80 followers and you want to follow all of them, I’d say that’s preferable to 800 followers, most of whom have nothing to say to you about your life (yes, I know. I’m playing ‘Spot The Smiths’ reference again).

    I really don’t know about Twitter. If you and a dozen or so other people are about, I pay attention. Everyone else who I follow I figure we’d have something to say to each other in real life should we happen to cross paths. But Twitter doesn’t work on a “People I really, really empathise with/People I empathise with a bit/People who I’d say hi to at the school gates but probably wouldn’t have much in common with” basis. Probably just as well.

    Validation. Just how many comments did you pick up with this? I’m lucky if I get half a dozen on most of my posts.

    More practically (as Rosie hints) Twitter is a hideously public forum and building up followers takes a certain amount of being public. So the private status of your updates probably doesn’t help. Or alternatively does help – who needs 5000 followers?

    • Good point – I find that since posting this and realsising how many other bloggers have felt the same I feel SO much better about twitter :)
      Sometimes I think (obviously enough) I worry way to much about fitting in :)
      (thank you for commenting- your comments are always helpfuland never sugar coated – I like that)

  17. I always read but rarely comment because I’m a complete slackarse. Love your blog and your comments on twitter. It only takes one negative person for me and I feel like deleting the lot but then I have sleep and a think and just keep plodding along. Bern x

    • Am glad I am not alone – commenting can get hard – particulalry if you are like me and don’t want to leave a generic comment but only have 2 mins, or if everyone elsehas said it already *thank you for reading though* That means a LOT.

      • You see I am there too, and sometimes I have good intentions to read and then real life takes over. Also I don’t like to repeat what others have said, but I do have a read and I like your blog. I am so new to this myself I have a minimal amount of subscribers one being my OH so he doesn’t count, but I mainly write my blog for me and my Baba when he is older that is all. So if anyone reads it I am amazed, but that is just me really.

        Look forward to reading some more Kerry xx

  18. Hi, Just found you today and you have 50 odd more followers than me – so go straight to the top of the class! lol I have been having these thoughts just recently too and am trying to stop as the blog is for me and if others read and comment that is amazing. I will join up and follow you. Mich x

  19. As a newbie blogger, every word of this resonated with me!! I’ve added you to my Google Reader, look forward to reading more of what you write!

  20. worldofamummy

    Oh I completely know how you feel – it’s demoralising to put your blog out there and feel that people don’t like it or you. The trouble with the internet is that has made how we communicate feel awfully like the school playground again. I keep telling myself that I blog for me, I don’t care how many people read it (it’s all a lie by the way). I stumbled across your blog from a comment on another and will definately be reading you now!

  21. I am so late here (stupid plague on our house!!)

    I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said but I can give what you’re experiencing a name – it is “Bloggers Wobble” of which I have frequent, nerve-shattering bouts.

    I think popularity is all in the mind. Do you know how many followers I have on my blog? 140. Not bazillions. A damn sight less than most other bloggers I know and that number has built up VERY slowly since I started last year. Judith’s Room gave me a big boost. I think at the New Year it was just under a 100. So don’t you feel bad with your 80 missus!!!

    I still feel like the new girl most of the time. I still feel shy and awkward and quite often like I don’t even belong – I think we all do.

    I’m telling you this because I know you think my blog is probably ‘popular’. But we’re all just the same.

    And you are in a clique anyway, you are in MY clique. There’s just the two of us (and DOC, we can let him in too) and it’s us against the world my friend with all our insecurities and wobbles :)

    I think of you so often my dear, I’m sorry I haven’t had much chance to keep in touch lately.

    Your blog is perfect. Please don’t change a thing xxxx

    P.S. And email me ok? If you want to chat? I’ll always reply xxx

    • yup bloggers wobble – i remember reading about yours last year – and jumping up and down at you going no, no, you must blog….
      You are so sweet honey, Thank You *sniffles* your turn to make me cry.
      I will email soon. THANK YOU again xxxx

  22. I’ve just discovered your blog through your post on Sleepfortheweak and have to say I love it, its fabulous! Am adding you to my feed straight away.

    I know exactly how you feel about people pairing off and being on the outside, I still feel that way now, its almost like walking into a room full of people who all know each other and your an outsider. On the most people are friendly and let you in, sometimes you just have to make the first move.

    Look forward to reading more of your posts in the future :D

  23. Oh yes I can relate to this! I have far fewer followers than you on Twitter and I rarely tweet. When I do I often feel like I’m trying to butt in on a private conversation. But little by little people are following me back. Then I freak out that there’ll be too many to keep up with and I’ll offend someone by not replying and they’ll think I’m stand offish. Same with my blog although I’m getting more and more confident. I worry it’s too depressing, I worry it’s too random. I think about stopping a lot. I seem to be a few days late with all the big dramas that go on from time to time.

    But I just think you have to keep in mind all the time that you’re writing for you and that it’s your voice. And if people like it, they will keep coming back for more. Great post!

    • Oh hon – okay you are overthinking more than me (please don’t be offended -i mean it in the best possible, i completely get it, kind of way) But I love the randomness and try to keep up with as many people as I can but yes, it has been very sad and heavy going recently – i think a lot of people are going through not good stuff.
      But I still prefer twitter to FB which is confusing me right now :s

      Yeah – that is something I am taking away from this, I am me blogging about me, not blogging about being a mum, or a style icon, or a person who tkes photos – just as me – inability to type well due to wonky keyboard and all
      Thank you so much for comment – will have to look at your blog too :)

  24. I think, echoing lots of other commenters, that it’s fairly usual to hit a point when you start to think ‘am I just talking to myself?’. I have been blogging in one form or another for six years now, and nowadays I don’t even look at statistics. I have NO idea how many people subscribe to my blog, and sometimes I write posts that get no comments at all! I enjoy it though, and that’s the most important thing.

    • I actually went and looked at my blog stats today – i haven’t before – i’ve always based it on twitter followers – and i realsied 1. I don’t understand the way the group followers and 2. I love my little group and am amazed that anyone would want to know when i write something :)
      I love writing too :) Thank you for comment

  25. I’ve just stumbled on your blog and look forward to reading more. But what I really wanted to say is that a few months ago, I felt v much like you do. In the end, I decided that Twitter and the mummy blogging “scene” were not for me. There is nothing wrong with it at all, but I felt that it generally brought out insecuritied in me that made it more difficult to just enjoy writing and photography. I became more competitive. I felt less creative. I began to get drained. And I walked away.

    It was the best thing for me and my blog. My subscribers went up. My creativity increased and I’ve been really happy with my contribution to the blogosphere. Yes, I miss out on the happenings in the mummy blogging world, but it’s ok.

    Anyway, I am off to have a nose around your blog.

  26. I’ve blogged about something similar today (or yesterday now, as I write this) and I’ve just tried to follow you on Twitter but your tweets are protected and, even though I have requested to follow you, I have no idea whether or not you will accept my request until you actually Tweet me. Twitter, for me, is not about checking up who has accepted my requests or who is following me back, it’s more about interacting with people and enjoying that interaction for what it is.

    I’ve got you in my Reader now, so there’s no escape – that’s got to be a good thing, right?

  27. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I’m glad I’m not the only person that feels like you. Well, I’m not happy we feel like that but more comfortable that it’s not just me. I hinted at it during the week on my post “Do I Smell?” However, I didn’t express myself as well as you have. I was worried I’d scare off any would be followers.

    As for twitter, I console myself with the fact, that quite a few of the followers making up large numbers, are likely to be porn, companies selling stuff or just people looking to increase their followers!

    And as for bloggers asking for comments that then don’t come anywhere near your blog with a barge pole let alone make a reciprocal comment (whoops I’m guilty but in defence was trying to find a post where I felt comfortable to jump in)! Grrr!

    Okay that’s my rant. I promise to chat to you on twitter more often :)

  28. Pingback: Its been 6 days… « Lifeslightlyused's Blog

  29. you’re probably well over all this by now, judging by how popular your blog seems to be, but i just found it and found this post and enjoyed reading all the comments. so thought i’d add another. i agree totally with what you wrote and struggle with it all myself. i too have but a handful of followers really. i only ever get a couple of comments, but i really enjoy getting the ones i do, and would like to have more. but i daren’t start twitter, i really daren’t. i will definitely pop back and read yours. please feel free to do the same with mine if you like!

    • Thank you and yes have found and love your blog – twitter eats time. you are a wise woman. See I keep reading that first line of the comment and going but NO it isn’t in my head , then I think about all the lovley supportive people who have dropped by and go ‘ah maybe i’m wrong’…

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