Do NOT ‘Like’ This Post!

Blogging can feel like talking to yourself. So there can be a sense of relief when someone ‘likes’ your post or follows your bog – ‘it’s not just the voices in my head, someone else understands what I’m saying’.

But how genuine are those likes and follows?

As a writer, I started my blog simply to have a platform for my novels. Last year, though, it developed into something more. I wrote quite regularly about a range of subjects, often only loosely connected with writing, and got into some interesting online conversations with other writers/bloggers.

However, with some bloggers I had a sense there was an etiquette involved: if I follow you, you should follow me.

Huh? I follow other bloggers for a simple reason. I found something they wrote interesting/provoking/entertaining and wanted to know more. If someone follows me that doesn’t automatically mean I like what they say (or that they’ve got something interesting to say).

There’s also a limit on how many blogs I can follow – I’ve only got so much time to read them.

On my own blog, I’ve currently got just over 380 followers. Some are fellow writers or other people I’m interested in enough to also follow their blogs. Others I’m not so sure about. Like the ‘follower’ that goes by the name ColombianCuties.

Yes, I do like good-looking women and I realise ColombianCuties may be a great lover of literature but…? What do you think? I’ve never clicked on their name. Should I?

I think it’s like Facebook. Some people only care about how many friends they’ve got, not the quality (or point) of that friendship.

My impression is there are (hundreds of) thousands of other writers out there: some published, some not. All want publicity and one (limited) way of achieving that is by luring as many other people to your blog as possible. This ignores the fact that the vast majority of the bloggers in the ‘writing’ niche are too busy trying to sell their own books to want to buy yours.

Or am I just a jaded wannabe who’s not playing the game?

I’ve got similar issues with ‘likes’. There have been times I’ve published a 600-word plus post and someone has liked it within seconds. Call me cynical but I don’t think there are that many speed readers who can go that fast. Do you really ‘like’ my post or are you just trying to get me to visit your blog as a way of boosting your ratings? (And what is the point?)

Not long ago, I started publishing extracts from my new novel in instalments. Again I had quite a few likes but no actual responses to the story.

It made me wonder if anyone was actually reading it. So, at the bottom of the last published extract, I included a poll, asking readers to rate the story from 0-5. I’ve still not had a single person click on the poll even to diss it!

Unsurprisingly, I’ve given up on the instalments. But the published version of Church of the White Rabbits  is now available on Kindle with a print edition coming soon.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. Am I just talking to myself? What do you think of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ by people who don’t really care about you or your blog?

(I’ve had very worthwhile exchanges with some of you in the past so please don’t think I’m putting all bloggers into one category!)

Thanks for reading this far. Now, please, do not like this post. If you do, I promise not to reciprocate. Instead, assuming you’ve read this far and have an opinion, do share your thoughts and leave a comment.

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9 responses to “Do NOT ‘Like’ This Post!”

  1. suzie81speaks says :

    I have the same things that happen – some like my posts, (which are often 1,000 words long) within seconds of me posting it. It doesn’t bother me – its the views that I get and more importantly, the comments from followers when I post something thst matter to me. I started my blog a year ago and in that time I have never followed somebody simply because they have followed me – I know lots of bloggers do this but I follow blogs because I enjoy them.

    I suppose the question is ‘who am I writing for.’ If you write for the purpose of reading, then liking posts is a good way to increase temporary traffic. If you’re writing for yourself, then the number of likes you get shouldn’t matter.

    Great post!

  2. Juliette Kings says :

    I’ve also had some less than desirable types following my blog. It is always someone selling something – everything from sex to get-rich-quick books. Not so much lately, but a few months ago there was a string of them.

    But it is my handful of loyal readers who sometime drop me notes and comments that keep me from being discouraged. It seems to go in cycles as well.

    I also cycle in and out of what blogs I read or don’t. I’ve missed a lot of good posts due to just being too busy or just missing them in the jumble of spam and other clutter.

    Keep your spot here. Don’t go away. Please.

  3. mikhaeyla kopievsky says :

    Read and genuinely liked 🙂 I don’t care whether I get the likes or comments (which is a good thing, since they are rare :)), I like the catharsis of sharing my trials and tribulations (even if it is just with myself!) – saying things out loud or writing them down is part of a personal journey that, I think, has the potential to make me a better writer… so the writing (and not necessarily the garnering of an audience) can be a worthy goal (although connecting with people and being vindicated would also be cool :))

  4. constantwriterjl says :

    I know the feeling. I don’t have my blog connected to the WordPress.com community, so I don’t get “likes” on posts the way you do, but I get the same thing on Twitter. I tweet one thing and get a few follows from people who like/tweet about similar things, and if I don’t follow them back, they unfollow within a couple days. It’s a crummy system.
    I only follow/like stuff I am actually interested in! If I like a blog or a twitter user and think I will like reading their posts in the future, then I follow/like/retweet/share their stuff. If I don’t, I try not to feel obligated to like/follow them back!
    I don’t blame them for trying to figure out a strategy, but the internet is not a puzzle. Your follower count or like count is not automatically going to get people to read your blog, buy your book, or tell their friends about you. Following/liking stuff just to make a shallow connection is useless and a waste of time. It’s better to find the people who share common interests with you and with whom you can really interact on a deeper level (like writing real comments or exchanging messages/emails) rather than those who only interact with the like/favorite/follow buttons.
    PS: Congrats on White Rabbits! I look forward to reading it!

  5. TheLegendaryMiko says :

    I just liked this post. Out of spite. And immature defiance.

    Now on to my response. I share your same feelings towards likes and follows. Likes to me are not worth much nor are follows. Instead, I judge on comments and the ratio of views to viewers (twice and up the number of views to viewers). And as for the blogs I follow, I don’t have many. And every once in a while, I do a ‘cleanout’ of the blogs I am following where I unfollow blogs that don’t post as much, I don’t find enjoyable anymore, etc.

    • Huw Thomas says :

      That’s okay – I can relate to defiance – whether immature or not!
      At least you were paying attention and had something to say. (Unlike those… people… who ‘liked’ the post without making any comment!)

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