Follow trains & why we need to be more genuine online

Isn’t the purpose of follow trains to engage more, find inspiration and meet new bloggers?

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I’m kind of breaking up a pattern here. I have almost finished writing my post about my last days in Japan, but I felt the urge to write down my thoughts on this topic as unfortunately, Twitter isn’t convenient for the type of tweets I’d like to share with you. While my tweet from yesterday might sound like a rant, it’s not. It’s more of a summary of my realisation I’ve had over the course of the last few weeks.

Finding new blogs and meeting new bloggers inspires me

I actually love the idea of blog follow trains. I didn’t really agree with the critique they often get about how they’re simply a way of increasing your follower stats in a dishonest way. I believe it’s the opposite. Isn’t the purpose of follow trains to engage more, find inspiration and meet new bloggers? At least for me personally, they’re all about engaging with new bloggers, discovering new and amazing blogs (or even just single posts you find inspiring) and feeling like you’re part of the whole blogging community. I participate in follow trains with an honest wish to meet new people and really read their blogs. Follow trains and discovering new blogs actually belong to my source of inspiration for my own written work. And I love letting bloggers know that I’m enjoying their blogs.

But what I don’t do, is scroll through all the comments, click on every blog link and then immediately – whether I like the content or not – press the follow button. Why would anyone do that? Why would you willingly choose to receive e-mail notifications or clutter your wordpress feed with blogs you don’t care about, don’t find interesting and will never read?

Before I press the follow button, I look at people’s blogs more closely, read one or two (if I’m enjoying it even more) blog posts and then decide if I want to follow them or not. And while I don’t want to be mean in any way, I also never feel pressured into following someone just because they followed me. What if their content doesn’t really appeal to me or maybe is the complete opposite of me, my interests and beliefs? Then I just don’t follow back.  If they’re interested in my content, they will stay. If they only subscribed for a follow back, then they’ll leave after a while. So what? At least I will know who is genuinely interested in my blog and who isn’t.

Use follow trains as a source of inspiration

Why not try and approach those follow trains in a more positive way than just as a means of increasing your follower stats? To be honest, the only positive thing I’ve been getting out of follow trains are the new blog discoveries I’ve made and also the very few bloggers I have met that actually engage and show interest. But most of the time, I go to bed at the end of the day feeling rather dissatisfied and not genuinely happy about my follower growth because I’m aware that 9 out of 10 new followers aren’t interested in my content and/or haven’t even bothered reading at least one blog post. So instead of participating in a follow train in order to get new followers, I approach it with a different attitude: to get inspired by other bloggers and show them support if I like their content.

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Give your fellow bloggers the same kind of support you’d like to get

I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. I love getting comments or any form of genuine engagement on my blog posts. So I try to do the same for others. I’m not perfect. Most of the time I only like things rather than comment because even online I sometimes still have trouble approaching people and worry about saying something completely stupid or confusing. So instead I just like a post that I’ve enjoyed reading. But I make up for the lack of commenting. I read posts, I browse blogs, I read the ‘about’ page because it’s interesting to find out more about the person behind the blog and I also like to go and check out their older posts too. This is also why I make sure that whenever I participate in a follow train, I have enough time that day to actually also browse through all the blogs and links in the comments.

Try to have more FUN with blogging

I’m still quite new to the blogging community so I don’t really know in how far things have changed throughout the past years. But I do feel as though there’s a lot of bitterness, competition, popularity contests, follow/unfollow games and generally a serious determination to reach certain amounts of followers or likes going on all the time. Just relax. Where did the fun go? You write about things that fascinate you, interest you, things you want to share with others or help others with – shouldn’t this be an enjoyable experience? Why not post a blog post and just leave it be? Why worry about likes and followers? It might be a very successful post or it might not. At least you enjoyed writing it. I really feel that it would make the whole blogging experience so much more rewarding and fun if we all stopped following random blogs just for the sake of getting back a follow from someone who won’t read your posts anyway.

This is pretty much all I wanted to say. Trust me, blogging is way more fun if you stay relaxed and learn to take it less as a competition but simply as a way to exchange thoughts and experiences with fellow bloggers from all around the world. The internet is already full of dishonesty and bought followers so why doesn’t our blogger community try and add a little more positivity and sincerity to it?

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Forever, Sierra Kay says:

    Such an awesome blog post! I agree with your thoughts on the follow trains and act really similar to you in that I follow what interests me and if people unfollow me because they were simply looking for a follow back that I didn’t provide then so be it. I also love the part about having fun and not being so focused on how many followers you have or seeing it as some kind of competition, we should all be lifting each other up to succeed, make friends and find inspiration through one another. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Exactly!! ❤️🤗 Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Forever, Sierra Kay says:

        You’re welcome! It’s also a pleasure to meet like minded people who have similar interest as you do! Definitely happy to follow you 😊😘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. verilesr says:

        Awh thanks so much! It means a lot! Same here!! 🤗❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. jen_bookworm says:

    I’m so glad you said this! I like follow trains but I don’t always have an interest in some of the blogs so don’t wish to follow and feel bad, so I don’t join. But if you do it your way and just follow the ones you know you will like and not anyone it will be better. There is pressure in the community and it’s annoying but there are lovely people out there

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      So true! There’s some great and genuine people out there which makes it all worth it despite all these stupid follow games going on! Thanks for reading and commenting! Means a lot! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an awesome blog 😊 Your thoughts are pretty identical to mine’s in a lot of ways especially about follow trains. They’ve helped me a lot with growth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you can relate!! 😁

      Like

      1. Yeah it’s so easy to relate to this 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. photini1967 says:

    I love this! I would’ve just clicked the ‘like’ button, but I didn’t see one. 😊👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Thank you!! 🤗

      Like

  5. I have to say I agree. I am new to blogging, to twitter. I try to do one train a week, as it can be time consuming. 50 people reply, and I’m much like you, I want to look at the blogs(or other links included) read a little, and see if it is a good fit. I sometimes follow blogs I never would have actively searched for. Sometimes I don’t enjoy the blog, but I might really like the instagram account instead. I engage where I want to, on my own time, and it works out for me. I find even with 50 other bloggers commenting on one of these posts, it does take me a whole day to go through all that. I feel it is a good process for me, and have received in turn a few great fellow bloggers who engage with me as much as I engage with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Yes! I’m just the same, sometimes I like an instagram account more and just follow them there instead. Such a great comment and it’s great that you engage where YOU want to and don’t feel any pressure! ☺ 💕 Thanks so much for taking the time to read! ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CiCi Marie says:

    I absolutely love this post! I think a lot of it comes from the intimidation of the “big bloggers” and their advice. I have been wanting to go through my WordPress following too. I definitely followed people in bulk in the beginning (not the follow unfolllw thing but because that was advice on building a community) but I prefer those that actually engage with me. I will lose every follower I have and keep the few that actually like and take the time to connect. I worry about those that follow me but hate me and my blog. I still feel anxious actually trying to make friends in the blogging community and comment on people but I’m doing my best to face that fear. Thank you for making this post and talking about this. Keep up the great work! (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Thanks so much! ❤️ You’re right, I totally agree. I realised there’s just no point in following random blogs or follow back someone I’m not interested in since the only thing it does is increase my follower stats and that’s it – they don’t even read your posts or anything, so just like you I definitely prefer to have fewer followers I can engage with than hundreds that don’t care about reading my posts! I’m still a bit anxious too! But don’t worry, it’ll get easier and most importantly, there’s nothing wrong with being a bit anxious in the first place! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and your lovely comment! 😃💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CiCi Marie says:

        I had to hop on my computer so I could write a good reply! You’re so welcome. I really do enjoy giving back to other bloggers by reading and commenting on others but it makes me so nervous sometimes! A lot of it comes from feeling like I’m annoying. But, you’re absolutely right! I definitely would prefer people to actually like my blog and at least click on a post occasionally. Thanks so much for the great reply to my comment. You’re so welcome! (: ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. When partaking in follow trains, I always look at what they post (whether it’s on twitter, insta, blog, etc) purely because I don’t want to follow someone who’s content I’m not into. I don’t want to follow them and then feel like I’m ‘stuck’ with following them because otherwise I’ll risk being classed under the “follow/unfollow” group

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Exactly! I completely agree. It’s better to make sure you like a blog/its content first before following them because otherwise, unfortunately, you might be considered part of that follow/unfollow thing, which is kind of annoying..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. „Just relax. Where did the fun go? You write about things that fascinate you, interest you, things you want to share with others or help others with – shouldn’t this be an enjoyable experience?“ – I totally agree with this statement. I’ve been reading your blog, ​and I love your style and authenticity. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. verilesr says:

      Thank you so much! That means a lot! ❤️😀

      Liked by 1 person

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