Earlier this week, the social networking site Bloglovin announced a new competition for bloggers. Entitled ‘The Bloglovin’ Follower Challenge’, bloggers with an account on the site are encouraged to gain as many followers as possible in the month of August in exchange for a shoutout on the company’s website and blog. However, some members of the blogging community aren’t so keen on the site’s latest contest.
Hannah, who writes for Someone Once Wrote, says that she’s “not a fan” and “it shouldn’t be about the number of followers, but the quality of them”.
She then went on to add: “I’m not ‘completely’ against it, just think it’s something we shouldn’t make a habit of”.
Lauren, from My Lavender Tinted World, said: “[I] don’t agree with it” and “would prefer true followers who interact to action seekers”.
Meanwhile Rebekaah, who blogs at That’s So Bekaah, said: “I honestly think it’s great to have a little bit of competition”.
Liam, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, said: “I think for every blogger there’s something exciting in the numbers and statistics, but it shouldn’t be as important as the quality of the blog”.
“I still struggle with forgetting that the numbers don’t matter, but the quality of what you write and publish should always come first”, he added.
The controversy over the new blogging competition also ties in with the idea of ‘quality over quantity’, and the revelation that followers on social networking sites can be bought. Online Twitter chats, which bloggers use to connect with other bloggers, often involve discussions about the ‘follow for a follow’ debate and the obsession with getting as many followers as possible.
Fii, from Little Miss Fii, says it is because “the more followers you have, the more likely brands are gonna go ‘ooh’ regardless of the engagement actually achieved”.
She then goes on to add that: “[Follow for follow] or buying followers is the quick way to grow, rather than creating good, relatable content” and that this is “something that needs to be addressed”.
Bex, who blogs at BubblyBex3, said that the competition is “setting a bad tone”, adding that “blogging should be about writing and interaction, not numbers and popularity”.
In the blogging community, the focus on actual interaction as opposed to numbers resonates with a lot of bloggers. Charlie, who recently wrote a post about the issue, said: “Think about what you are trying to achieve; remember that truth trumps numbers every time”.
“Every time you ask somebody for a follow back or some help to reach your next follower goal, ask yourself if you’d prefer true engagement with a dedicated, likeminded reader or another number that is using you for their own statistics”, she added.
The idea that a follow should be honest, truthful and meaningful is a strong belief in the community. “I want people to follow me because they like my blog, not because they’re obligated to”, says Becky from the blog, Becky Bedbug.
She also added that “it works the other way too. If I follow your blog, it’s because I enjoy it, not because you made me feel bad or because I felt like I had to”.
But for some bloggers, the reason why some bloggers use ‘follow for a follow’ remains a mystery. Sara, from Bloo ’n’ Stuff, said: “I often wonder what their thought process is knowing that it’s so frowned upon and a fake way to gain followers”.
Jenny, from Jenny in Neverland, raised an interesting point on the topic, asking: “Why would you want random followers who don’t interact with you just to up the numbers? They’re not genuine”.
Whilst Bloglovin has yet to comment further on the contest, in an article on its website explaining the competition, they said: “We want to help up-and-coming bloggers grow”.
They also mentioned that: “Growing your followers on Bloglovin’ is a great way to connect with your readers and update them whenever there’s something new”.
The contest, which launched on Tuesday, will run until the 31st August, where the top three bloggers who gain the most followers in August winning the prize.