The etiquette of following people...
That sounds sort of stalkerish, doesn't it? I know it does. But, lately, I don't mind people stalking me online. I kind of like it when they think I have something to say. The thing is, there is some etiquette that I think should be followed online, when following, that isn't always...followed!
1) When following someone new....look at the content of their post, and don't just say: "I followed you from here, please follow back!! That annoys the shit out of me. I'm sorry, but if you didn't read my post, are you really interested, or are you only following because you want me to come back and actually read your blog and follow you?
2) Greet the person. You can mention that you're a new follower, and, in fact, that's probably a good idea! I don't mind you mentioning that you're a new follower, as long as that's not the whole context of your comment. It helps me to figure out who is who, who says what, and where I shall be visiting next.
3) Don't visit just once to ask for a follow. If you want to follow a person, or if you start following a person, to ask for a follow-back, and you really want them to follow you back, don't just visit them once and then ignore them. Truth be told, some of the people I follow, I'm not into all their content, but I go back and comment when I find something that I like! That doesn't mean I stalk every post, because sometimes I won't like their post. If I find myself disinterested, I move on...which leads me to...
4) If you're disinterested, don't be a troll and be rude on posts! If you're going to follow someone, and you really don't like their content, you don't have to follow them. It's nice to have followers, yes, but not followers that have negative things to say about your posts. If you have some content that you like, make sure to go and read the post and comment!
5) Comment!! Comments are your friend. If you want someone to follow you back, they're more likely to do so if you leave them a comment. Sometimes, I don't know where my follows come from. I mean, they could be blog hop followers who are following me simply because the rules say to follow a blog hopper, and they could care less what I have to say, or they could be someone genuinely interested. Even short comments are good! If you say "Hey, I like what you wrote today"...that's a good comment! "Hey, I like dogs too!" is an excellent comment. If I find someone commenting regularly, I'll go check them out, even if they're not following me. Sometimes I follow them because I like their blogs, even if they're not following me.
6) Don't be rude. If there's a misspelling or a typo, see if you can find a way to send a message. I've seen comments that rudely address the blogger with a correction to the typo, with no other comment or content. If you're following me to be a grammar nazi, you're probably following the wrong blog.
7) Be friendly with the people you follow. I've found that I actually like a lot of the people I follow, and even some of the bigger names respond and follow. It makes me tickled when someone who has a bigger blog, a larger sphere of influence, and more followers than I have viewers, comes and visits my blog, comments, follows, or even just tweets me. BUT this often starts out with my action- I tweet them first, I follow them first, and I comment on their blogs. I make myself known. I'm friendly, and I pay attention.
8) Social networks are your friends. If you want people to follow you, sometimes you have to use social networks. Have few followers and want more? Put it on facebook. Afraid mom might see? There are settings to where you can block her from seeing it (and I'm serious). Twitter? Really good way to spread word. Plus, if you follow someone on twitter, they usually follow you back, out of interest, to find out who it is that's following them. Half the time, I end up getting 10 followers when I follow 2 or 3 people. I have a hard time keeping up. Once you follow people, talk to them. Tell them what's going on. Invite them to your blog, but make sure to mention their content too. Show interest (and don't fake it).
9) Blog hop following- When you follow on a blog hop....you often just read one post. BAD BAD BAD!!! Go back. Read another. Perhaps the person might write something more interesting. If something doesn't spark your interest, don't follow them just because you clicked their link, and be done with it. Find something that sparks your interest. Don't hide their blogs in your feed. If you're not going to read them, why are you following them?
10) Best of all these tips- if you're following someone, and you find them to be fantastic, spectacular, wonderful, and all of the above, share them with your friends and followers. Maybe give them a shout out in your blog. To be honest, I've had a couple shout outs (make sure you tell them they've been pimped), and it makes me feel great! Mention what the blog is about, how you found them, and why you think they should be followed. The best thing about good following is blogger love. If they see that you pimped them, they're likely to do something nice for you too. I read and reviewed a book for someone that pimped me. I write guest blogs for another person sometimes. This makes me feel good. I love it. This way, you can find out if people are actually interested, rather than just following because the rules of a hop say so.
BONUS: Participate in a blog hop!! Yes, a lot of them have rules. They want you to follow other bloggers. Thing is, many of us don't have time to surf through all the linkyers in a blog hop, and settle on the first one we click on. Bad idea! Click on more than one, and you're likely to find someone who you like following! This makes the experience better, and gives you more material that is worth being on the follow list. After all, you don't want followers that don't like you at all; I'm sure they don't either. I mean, a big follower list is great and all, but don't you actually want people reading and liking your blog? Yea. I have a page of blog hops that I participate in, and they're also all at the bottom of my page, if you want to check them all out. ;) These are the best way to get your blog out there, and find people that like it. Participating in monthly activities and prompted writing may also help, if you have trouble with content- future blogging topic. xoxo
The blogosphere is a great place to make friends and build relationships with other people who share interests like your own. Sometimes, though, people ruin it, and make it an uncomfortable place. Don't be one of those people. When you follow someone, make it worth the time. I see people all the time with thousands of followers, but very few actually engage, and it's sad! Commitment, commitment, commitment. And, of course, blogger love. Share it, spread it, love your fellow blogging associates. Most of all, be a good follower!