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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blog Tip for Newbies - Does that 'Followers' Gadget put too Much Pressure on You?

DISCLAIMER: This post is for the sole purpose of helping beginning bloggers to continue blogging without the pressure to compete. If you have no issue with your numbers, this post isn't for you, so please don't take offense. Just realize that there are others starting out here and it helps to not have the pressure of the amount of followers they have yet to gain.
I've been reading many posts on numerous blogs lately about some of the pressures we have as bloggers. This post is not to rehash any of that, but it is interesting just how many blogs have been having discussions on the topic. The comments are always through the roof whenever it comes up.

Something I see recurring in the comments on a regular basis is how so many of the newer bloggers worry about the number on their followers gadget for one reason or another.
Many of them, although relatively new, are already seeing the pressure to 'grow their numbers'.

I've even seen many seasoned bloggers talk about removing the followers gadget from their blogs to take away the competition aspect of it. Some bloggers already have.

Personally, I keep the gadget on my blog so that I can see who is on it. I often click on their blogs to see who is reading mine and see what they're blogging about.

I've found some fabulous blogs by clicking on the icons in the followers on other people's blogs.
So, to establish my opinion - I like them.

(EDITED at 9:45pm: I removed what I had previously written in this space regarding what I don't like about the followers gadget. In rereading it, I realized that it sounded rude and unappreciative, and that wasn't how I meant to come across. To those of you that already read that part, I hope I didn't offend you.)
I blog because I enjoy it. I blog because it allows me to have interaction with others. I blog for me, and if you like me, hop on board - but if I'm not you're cup of tea, well, that's okay, I'll understand.

 If you choose to subscribe to my blog instead of follow me, that's ok with me too. I subscribe to many of you in a reader, so if you don't see my face in your follower gadget, don't assume I'm not following you. I am, but it's more than likely in a reader. I follow many blogs anonymously simply because I started following them before I was a blogger myself and I didn't know to put my name in.
That number on your followers isn't accurate anymore anyway since the popularity of blog readers.
You may show 100 following you, but you could have 500 more subscribing, which is just like following, only without adding to your numbers for everyone else to see. Please don't let your numbers bother you. Everybody starts at the same spot. They've all been where we've all been or may still be.

One of my favorite blogs has less than 50 followers.

So let me ask you......
Does this little widget intimidate you?

(Image courtesy of  Google Images)

If it does, then let me offer you a temporary solution.


You will still be able to see how many followers you have in your dashboard, but it will not be visible to the readers.
When your numbers get to a level that you're comfortable displaying, turn them back on.

Look at mine. Right there on the right. It should be there right about now if I planned this post length correctly.

See - no numbers. I love that!
I could have 200 or 2000. You'd never know by looking, would you?

Wanna do that on your own blog?

Here's how:
1. Go to your "layout" page
2. Click on the edit button
3. You'll see this box pop up.
If you have a white background, follow the directions I typed in the box.

If you have a colored background, you'll need to know the number of the color you have, and that is the number that you will put in the "Content Headlines" box.
You can find that number in your html code for your blog under "background color".

That's all you have to do!

And again, to reiterate:
This post is for the sole purpose of helping beginning bloggers to continue blogging without the pressure to compete. If you have no issue with your numbers, this post isn't for you, so please don't take offense.
Just realize that there are others starting out here and it helps to not have the pressure of the amount of followers they have yet to gain.


  1. i like what you're saying! i'm honored when someone 'follows' me but it's not the be-all/end-all of my reason for blogging...thanks! :)

  2. To me, the number is really only useful for blogs who do giveaways. I imagine a prospective company would want you to have a good following. Otherwise, it doesn't really seem to have a purpose.

  3. Good advice Polly! I was wondering why some displayed numbers and others didn't. I didn't realize you could tweak that feature.

    I actually use the number when I visit blogs. It tells me how established they are. But then I leave the assumptions outside the door and walk in. I've found many starlets just beginning and if I see a fantastic blog and their numbers are lower, I like to help them out.

    I for one like to see the numbers for that reason.

    Growing followers and why we do it is really to each his own. Those selling things benefit from it most. It simply means increased traffic. I believe that to be the reason why others may want to entice your blog to continue to grow.


  4. I totally understand what Donna is saying about using the numbers to see how established someone is. I like what she said about being able to drop that number at the door, so to speak, to go on and continue to browse the blog.

    I want to clarify that I didn't mean we shouldn't want to grow our followers, I simply meant we shouldn't feel pressure about it. I remember when I first started my blog that I worried I wouldn't be taken seriously as a blogger if my numbers were low, and that's why I chose to remove them.

    Also, I do appreciate it when people offer me well intended advice on growing my followers to help me get my products more recognizable in blog land(and Donna has definitely been one of those people, and has even gone out of her way to promote me because she believes in me and my product and genuinely wants to see me be successful).

    The advice I was referring to was not about those well meaning people. It was about the ones who think I should grow my numbers simply so people would consider me a big blog, and for no other reason. And they know who they are.:) Some have even told me I should make the time to complete at least one project a week so I can link to parties and get more hits on my site. AND, that's why I removed my stat counter too.:)
    More time? Who has that? I didn't feel I had anything to prove to anybody, so I removed anything on my site that had a counter on it.

    I want to blog because I enjoy it. Period. Now if I were a full time blogger who had income from my blog that depended on my numbers, I know I'd feel different about it. But Im not. And I don't fault anyone who is. A few of my good friends make money from their blogs, but they are serious bloggers, almost daily posters, with followers in the thousands. That's not me, and I don't think I could handle the pressure or responsibility to tie myself to that commitment.

    God bless you if you can do that, but I sure can't.

    Just clarifying.

  5. I must admit it...It bugs me!
    I don't like the numbers.
    Not on my followers and not on that plaque in the foyer at church either! ha!

    I'm not a numbers person. And when I visit someones blog ...especially if I know that they've been blogging as long as or a shorter time than bugs when I see their numbers creeping up!
    And really, I'm not that competitive AT ANYTHING!
    i JUST don't like it.

    Thanks for the tip. I removed my numbers.
    and just FYI... I've changed my URL you can find me now at

    see ya!

  6. I understand the pressure of numbers!!

    But that being said - there is pressure in all most EVERYTHING we do in life! I have had to watch what I say in my blog - because when I had my family blog - I offended a SIL some how! I still don't know how - but I feel bad! And now that I have my blog that I love - I have had comments from family that it isn't a 'family' blog anymore! You can't always win:)

    I have decided that I do what I do because it makes me happy and it helps my over all life to be better!! I do blog about my family - but I LOVE blogging about my crafts and looking at other peoples crafts! Talk about ideas!!!


  7. I try not to think about the numbers too much. But as a fairly new blogger I was certainly happy to get to the double digits! I am amazed to visit some blogs and see their numbers are well into the triple digits and they will be pretty new themselves. I'm not exactly sure how they get so much traffic!

  8. LOL what a wonderful post - thank you thank you!
    Thank you for both the tech info (non-declared followers/removing numbers) and your insight regarding the subtle pressure created by follower-numbers.

    Tho I've 'blogged' for years I have only one (much appreciated!) follower! I Pout pout pouted about it for quite some time :-) Then I realized I was 'pouting' over a feeling that harkend back to grade school when as the 'shy, quiet kid' no one wanted to sit with me in cafeteria at lunchtime.. (isn't if amazing - if not indicating the need for therapy lol - how those insecure feelings never totally vanish)?

    There's also the passing thought that what I put to keyboard letter isn't all that fascinating (did I really just admit that?! roflmao)

    Kidding aside, here's to blogging for the fun of it, removing my 'followers' numbers (well, ermmm, ummm, if there's ever more than one, lol) and to happily eat lunch with friends - or - alone (both are good)!!!! :-)


  9. thanks so much for this post. I had no idea you could remove those numbers. The followers gadget is not a pressure point for me. People are either going to stop by and see what I am up to or not and their really are so many ways to keep track of blogs that I truly don't worry about the numbers.

  10. Thank you Polly for posting about this. I have only recently felt pressure. It's self imposed pressure, of course, which I'm finding most of the pressure in my own life seems to be. Anywho, here I sit and feel pressure because I consider the folks who follow "friends" and feel a responsibility to them. I feel I should be posting more often. Right now, life is so that I am physically unable to - no time - and I got a bit fried from it. I decided to post now when I am inspired. I hope I do not lose "friends" because of that.

    I like seeing the number on mine. I couldn't even begin to tell you why. I think it kind of startles me and tickles me. It's all good, though I will admit that.

    I have also had some folks "tell me what to do". I don't follow those blogs anymore. I got a weird feeling about it. That's my choice. I don't hold anything against them. I just wasn't on the same page.

    The best and most lovely part of all of this is You and Donna and Pat and Marianne and Amy and Stephanie and Marian and Alaina and Gina and Leanne and Anita and Leslie and Cindy Kay and Pam and the list goes on.....I feel like I have new found friends. Nothing makes me happier than new friends. Pat, up there, I call her Corny - she described this aspect as having "pen pals". That suits me just fine. I love the idea of pen pals. All over the globe.

    Honestly, I don't know why I started blogging. I thought it was to get a fire lit underneath me to re-do our home. But I was actually reaching out to connect with friends. No wonder. That seems to be who I am - ALWAYS.

    So, numbers are good and best...if they're in the bank account!! Ha!!

    Love you Polz...from way up here in New York State!!!!


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