Do You Need to Follow Bloggers Who Follow You?

What would you say is the correct etiquette for following those who follow you? If you check out their blog and your eyes start to bleed, or if they read and review book genres that you don’t, BUT they have popped by and said they are now following you….what do you do???? Is it considered the done thing to follow them back anyway? Even if you’ll probably never read any of their reviews, or they have that comment system where you HAVE to have an account at fb/livejournal/disqus and a whole lot of others to actually comment on their posts?? (and if you have none of those, there is no way you can actually comment!) If you totally ignore it and don’t follow them back, is that “bad” etiquette? Aaargh. What do you do in situations like this???

Hi Jaki!

To put it simply: you are not under any obligation to follow people you don’t want to! I think it would drive me bonkers if I felt obligated to follow everyone who follows me. In order to keep yourself sane, it’s important that you only follow blogs that you really enjoy.

Yes the person who follows you might be sad or offended that you didn’t follow them back. But I think it’s important that we all realize and understand that everyone has different tastes. If you don’t want to follow a blog, that doesn’t mean the blog is necessarily bad; it just means it doesn’t click with you. That could mean that you really don’t like the design, or you don’t like the commenting system, or you’re just not interested in the same books. Either way, it just boils down to different interests.

I know people who comment on my blog, but I don’t comment on theirs. And I comment on other peoples’ blogs but they don’t comment on mine. Every now and then I do have a little “poor me, they don’t like me enough to follow my blog” feeling. But I quickly snap out of it. I just understand that I may not want to follow a person because they only post book reviews and these days I’m more into discussions. That doesn’t mean their blog sucks, it just means it’s not “for me”. And on the flip side, my blog has mostly discussions and blogging tips with fewer reviews. I totally understand why some people might not like that.

So don’t feel bad for not following people! You’ll only drive yourself mad if you follow blogs that you don’t actually like.

Have you ever followed another blogger out of guilt or obligation, rather than genuine interest?

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  1. Oh yeah, this is a hard topic. I use to follow everyone who followed me in the beginning, but that got old real fast.. It’s just not possible. And I don’t expect everyone I follow to follow me. I don’t even mention if I follow someone because I don’t want to make them feel obligated. But we are human so we all must get a little sad when someone doesn’t follow us back but we must suck it up.

  2. I never follow blogs I’m not interested in. When someone comments on my blog regularly (like on memes), I just comment back on their blog, but I don’t follow them. I don’t see the point in following a blog that I’m not interested in. 😛

    And I keep laughing with what you said… Bonkers. XDD Isn’t that that car game Bob It (In the Simpsons it’s called Bonkers) Ahahaha. Sorry, random. 😛

    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted: LGBT Month: Sign Up post!
  3. I follow blogs I’m actually interested in, I can’t read blog posts that I don’t really feel like reading. And sometimes, this happens with the blogs I like as well, but you know, sometimes it just doesn’t click.It just really depends on my mood. Sometimes I follow a blog back, but only if I’m really interested in the blog of course 🙂

    Sandra @ Sandra's World of Books recently posted: The Dinner - Herman Koch
  4. It drives me insane when someone comments “I’m now following your blog!” It makes me feel like I have to now check theirs out. Don’t get me wrong, I try to visit every blog to see how they are and whatnot, but I follow back very few. I use bloglovin sometimes to follow them for a while and then if I get bored of their posts, I may unfollow. It sounds kind of mean, but like you say, we’re not obligated to follow everyone who follows us.

  5. I think this was something I struggled a lot with in the beginning. I think mostly because when I started blogging, there’s not a lots of followers and then when somebody is genuinely interested in your blog and responds with enthusiasm, its hard not to want them to have the same. So I used to follow them back and visit regularly, even though their posts didn’t really pull me in.

    However, when my blog grew bit by bit, I started to see that that just wasn’t the way. I want people to follow my blog because they love it, and love the content. I really don’t want people to feel obliged to follow me back, just because I follow them. So I cleaned my subscriptions and everything else, and I now follow the blogs I love, because I love to visit them and read their posts. Which works way WAY better for me 🙂

  6. I have a lot of blogs I follow/comment on and they don’t return it, but at the same time I have the same with other blogs. I think it’s indeed to remember that you can’t like everything and you should never feel obligated to someone 🙂

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Monthly recap. March.
  7. I’m not big on returning follows unless I like the blog’s posts consistently, but I do try to return comments when people comment on my posts. Sometimes it’s really hard, though, when the other blogger has totally different reading tastes and I have nothing to contribute to their book discussions or reviews. In those cases I don’t leave a comment, and I feel bad about that.

    Abria @ Read. Write. Discuss. recently posted: Five Things I Learned Writing Wake and Love Among Pigeons
  8. I don’t think I’ve ever followed someone out of guilt but I do try to visit their blog occasionally if I see that they comment regularly but I probably won’t follow them. It’s very hard for me to follow so many blogs so I restrict them to only blogs I love. It definitely stings I admit but it’s impossible for us to follow each and every blog we encounter or follows us.

    Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews recently posted: My Blogilates Experience
  9. I never felt forced to follow any blog but once I did something a bit similar.
    There was a person who was obviously commenting on my posts just for the opportunity to add a link towards her own blog. I mean, I’m 100% ok with people having a link to their own blog when commenting. I find it nice and I discovered quite a few good blogs when following such links.
    But I didn’t like that she was just commenting for advertising herself, making some very dull comments like “oh, that’s cool”. It almost felt like spam sometimes.
    So for a while, I just made myself comment on her blog for the same reason. Then I got bored. 😀

    Lily recently posted: Oust, Hiver, Oust !!!
  10. I do feel bad sometimes, especially on Twitter when people take the time to reply to my tweets and stuff, but even if I followed them back, I can’t guarantee I’d like their stuff or would be able to give them the love they deserve. It saddens me, but there’s just not enough time in the day to visit all the blogs!

  11. I think I used to only follow back when I first started blogging. Now I don’t typically follow back unless I like the content. Similarly, I don’t expect every blogger that I follow to follow me back either. I think having to follow everyone that follows me on Bloglovin’ or Twitter would drive me nuts! That’d be too much information to sort through for sure.

  12. I used to do this all the time. I really did feel obligated to follow other book blogs that followed me. I began to realise how ridiculous that was when reviews and covers for Adult and Erotica books started showing up on my feed.
    Cleared that up right away! Definitely NOT my thing. Now I stick to strictly young adult book blogs, or blogs where I can find awesome discussion – like this one, for instance.

    Brea Johnson recently posted: Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
  13. When I first started out, I followed anyone who followed me. I thought it was a must do for etiquette. Then as time went on I realized I couldn’t read ALL OF THE POSTS, just like I can’t read ALL OF THE BOOKS. So now I pick and choose who I follow and in what way – some people I follow on everything, some just FB, some Bloglovin’ and Twitter. It all depends on the blog.

    This was a great topic.

    PS I don’t get offended when people don’t choose to follow me and I don’t get offended if someone unfollows me either. It’s normal.

    Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books recently posted: Book Budget: March 2014
  14. This is a hard topic. I used to feel soooo guilty if I didn’t follow a blog back. I agree with a lot of the comments above. What happens is you trap yourself.. your feed gets clogged with so many posts and many you may not even be interested in. Then you end up spending 2 hours going through blogs that don’t interest you when you could be using that time reading or writing your own posts. Eventually I learned that I just can’t follow 300 blogs! LOL!

  15. I never really thought about this because I just followed whoever I was interested in. I don’t think I would follow anybody just because they followed ME. I don’t think following blogs should be a game where you return the favor to someone who’s followed you. If I’m not interested, I’m not following. And honestly I don’t really see how it benefits anyone. I certainly don’t benefit from following a blog that I’m maybe not too interested in but just out of a feeling of obligation and the other person wouldn’t truly be gaining a reader if I’m not really crazy about their content. And maybe this doesn’t bug me as much because I never really noticed MYSELF if someone I followed followed me back. That really wasn’t the whole point of it for me and I don’t think anyone should follow a blog out of expectancy that they’ll follow you back.

    Annie recently posted: If We Were Having Coffee #1
  16. I definitely felt the pressure to follow everyone who followed me when I first started blogging (I also often participated in Follow Friday, where that was an expectation), but when I realized that it meant I was just skipping over a lot more posts, I stopped. Now I need to find a post or two that interests me. But I’m the worst follower, because if I notice that I never find any of your content interesting (to me), I’ll unfollow you to clear up my reader.

    So while it’s not necessarily hard to get me to follow your blog, it can be hard to keep me as a follower.

  17. I actually always used to follow back when I first started blogging. Then my feed got clogged up with hundreds of posts that didn’t interest me, and I still haven’t had a clear out!

    I’m much more selective now. If we read the same genres that’s great, if we don’t but the blogger posts something else like great discussions etc then that’s good too =D

  18. I’ve been on both sides of this issue. I have a few people who regularly comment on my blog and I would desperately like to enjoy their blogs, but for one reason or another, we just don’t click. Instead, I make sure to always return their comments. I hope that they share my preference for only having followers who truly like my blog and won’t be offended. If I follow someone and they clearly only comment back on my blog when I comment on theirs, I notice, but I do just remember that we all have different tastes. If I comment regularly on someone’s blog and never get comments back on my blog or worse, don’t even get responses on their blog, I will probably eventually decide that blog isn’t worth my time, whether that means not following or not commenting so much.

    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted: Mug O’ Comfort Swap Reveal
  19. Reading all the replies confirms once again the kind of society we live in, just pure selfishness and lots of low attention span. I do follow people who follow me. I have two blogs, one more popular than the other, but not created for “followers”. they happen to be public journals followers stumbled upon by accident and decided to follow me, and quite honestly, that’s the way I prefer it, but when someone is nice enough to follow me I take the time out of my day to follow them and post on their blog when I have some time. I do it because it’s the decent thing to do. Just a bunch of pathetic overweight bloggers looking for validation. It’s so sad, man.

  20. I am a new blogger and I love to follow. I don’t know if this will change but for now, I was questioning the same thing too- do i follow bloggers who follow me or not? I figured it would be good blogging etiquette…but it does boil down to common interest!!!

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