On the whole, I’d say us bloggers are a fairly nice-y nice-y bunch. For the most part we write about positive, light-hearted stuff, with occasional detours into the more deep and personal. Nothing wrong with keeping it real. Of course we know it isn’t always easy and blogging can pose challenges at times; I bet there isn’t a blogger out there that hasn’t shouted abuse at their screen on occasion! Buttt, generally the blogosphere is a nice place to hang out. We talk about nice things we’ve done, seen, worn, thought, ate, learned… etc.
When did it become a competition?
Whilst browsing the ‘Popular posts in all categories’ page on Bloglovin, I noticed more than a few of these sites offering ‘more traffic’ and ‘more followers’. Naïvely I clicked through, thinking they were possibly offering advice on how to build your blog’s following in the usual way that any ‘hints and tips’ article would. There are plenty of those floating around the internet. Perfectly innocent. We’d all love our blogs to grow – no point denying it – everyone’s striving for the same thing here! The difference with these particular articles being that these ‘followers’ can be bought for a small-ish amount of money. If I remember rightly, $15 buys 500. Seriously? Are people that desperate to increase their follower count? No likey this dodgy business.
It would seem that what started – and remains so for most – an innocent creative outlet has seen a turn to a dark side. According to the popularity of said posts, there are more than a handful of bloggers happy to hand over a little cash in exchange for a computer program suddenly faking 500 followers ex-nihilo. Last I checked, blogging involved actual people, who follow other actual people, and these actual people actually communicate. But alas, to some this personal side may not be quite so important.
I’m well aware that blog growth may be more important to some that others – each to their own! Blogging has developed into a profession, and therefore perhaps the personal side may have to take a slight backseat. Not ideal, but understandable. People gotta do what they gotta do. However, it isn’t always obvious when a blog’s followers are of the purchased variety, so what sort of unfair advantage does this give? Like I said, followers are not everything, but I can’t help but feel disenchanted by the idea. I’m lucky enough to have several loyal commenters, which leaves me with far more satisfaction than I think a greater follower count with fewer comments would. Still, this is totally unfair!
And whilst we’re on the subject of Bloglovin quirks, since they’ve done away with the ‘Up and coming’ category it’s become much more difficult to find… well… up and coming blogs. ‘Recommended blogs’ will bring up a randomly ordered list, making it pretty difficult to keep track of them. Either that, or you’re presented with a list of über popular bloggers who, of course, we all already know about. I used to really like just seeing the up and coming list, ’cause it provided something in between these two. This ‘buying followers’ scam kinda plays into the fakery here, as Bloglovin gives those with more followers more exposure. I’m sure I’m not the only one to miss this feature, so let’s just hope Bloglovin reintroduce it sometime.
Had you known of these sites offering followers for sale?
What side of blogland do you think it shows?