Witnessing a fall in subscribers is always accompanied by a sinking feeling in your stomach.
You start to experience the 7 Stages of Grief.
You are shocked, then in denial. It must be a computer glitch.
You get angry and then start bargaining (with whom? yourself? a greater power?).
You feel guilty that you didn’t do enough to stop the loss before it occurred.
Then, finally, you experience hope.
This post will give you reason to hope because you absolutely can get the subscriber count back to where you want it.
Then, there are others who shrug off the loss.
“What’s one less person,” they ask?
They turn to a loved one for solace only to be told, “You didn’t want them anyway if they are not genuinely interested in your writing. You are better off without them.
Consider this quote from the BlogTyrant:
Don’t be afraid to lose lots of subscribers
…don’t worry about losing lots of subscribers… That’s good. It means you’re getting rid of people who aren’t interested/aligned to your content.
I have the utmost of respect for the BlogTyrant. Its reputation is far-reaching. However, I must say in the strongest of words that I vehemently disagree.
Blogging takes perseverance. Effort would not touch on it. You are time-challenged and sleep starved. The joy of blogging makes it all worthwhile.
However, that small little number off to the right that shouts how many people have put their faith in you to inform or entertain them is motivating. To see it drop is demoralizing.
Demoralizing I wrote and demoralizing I mean. Even the loss of one follower as indicated by the number of subscribers falling by one digit kills morale. It murders morale.
I have seen people threatening to abandon their blogs, to stop writing all together.
I know of people who couldn’t handle the stress of not being able to get their subscriber count to grow, take a break, just to return to the same “growing pains,” to quote a blogger whose blog was not growing at the rate she desired. She taught me the phrase.
Even a one digit drop is a rejection. The reason (too much Email perhaps, no longer interested in the topic possibly) does not matter. It is taken as a rejection.
I know of people who blocked MailChimp notifications, and taught others experiencing the same sadness to do the same just so they wouldn’t know someone had unfollowed their blog. One blogger reported that it ruined her whole day to wake up to that Email.
Bloggers may acclimate to living without free time and sleep, but they shouldn’t have to live with a loss of morale as well.
Even though you know losing subscribers is part of blogging, it is still a loss. Seb Dani, in his post How to Deal with Rejection, explains that rejections can even cause physical manifestations. Whether or not they do, they still hurt.
What You Can Do if Someone Unfollows Your Blog
Is there anything you can do if someone unfollows your blog? You can’t seek them out and get them back. Even if you knew who they are, and the odds are you don’t, you certainly can’t argue with them.
I am not advising you get the lost subscribers back. I am advising you get the subscriber count back up or even higher.
How to Get Blog Subscribers
Is there anything you can do other than throw a pity party for yourself? Yes! Absolutely. Before you follow these tips, figure out how many subscribers you want to replace.
Go to a Follow to Follow Directory to get new subscribers to replace the ones that left your list. The people on the directory are there for one reason, to give a Follow Back. They are on the list for the sole purpose of following anyone at all who subscribes to their blog.
- Look over the blog list. Try to determine which blogs have content that would be interesting for you to read. The articles will end up in your Email, after all. If you have a choice, pick the ones you would enjoy reading.
- Follow their blog.
- Introduce yourself. I would use a template. The following works well.
I am __________. I found you on the Follow to Follow Directory. I followed your blog. I would appreciate a Follow Back. Thanks! Nice to meet you.
(Sign your first name.)
- Repeat the process each time you lose a follower.
Locations of Follow to Follow Directories
- I have a Follow to Follow Directory
I started my directory last year. It is still thriving, actively collecting names.
Hundreds of blogs for you to choose from must be on it by now. I have them all listed by date, so you know the recency, and you can stay organized as far as who you’ve already asked to follow you. I use my directory as a way of saying thank you to my blog subscribers. I give them this perk.
- Michael Rios also has a Follow to Follow Directory.
- AJourneyWithYou also has a Follow to Follow Directory.
When I first started my Follow to Follow Directory last year, it was such a success that it came to the attention of a famous blogger who goes by the moniker Weird Wally. He is a regular blog columnist. He publicized my directory in his column with these words:
Is it worth the Trouble to Get an Email Following on My Blog?
What You Should Not Do If Someone Unfollows Your Blog
This post has contained an action plan for getting an increase in new followers and getting rid of a drop in morale.
I acknowledge that a downward spiral could indicate something is seriously wrong with the blog; for example, maybe the blogger stopped caring about mechanics or something. However, if the quality of your blog is the same, just get the number back up.
Readers, do you have other ways bloggers can get increase their subscriber counts? I would love to hear them. I look forward to your views.