Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do, Part II

On Monday, the Daily Post asked the question:

Daily Post at WordPress.com

What makes a blog great? What makes you follow a blog or “Like” a post?

AB_LOGO_webready

Right now, attorneys are drafting a Cease and Desist letter with my name on it.

Yesterday, in Part I of Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do, I made you all quite a bit paranoid about the readers of your blog by explaining the reasons why people Like/Follow your posts.  Armed with that knowledge, how can we explain the fact that the dumb post that stupid blogger wrote about his dinner at Applebee’s where his wife ordered this dish and he ordered that dish and that was it, goddammit, they didn’t even take pictures of the food, and not one thing happened that was memorable, let alone bloggable, and I just wasted ten minutes of my life reading that post and now oh my God how did this post get 114 Likes and 278 Comments???????

How can we explain that?  What is there to Like about a dinner at Applebee’s?  What is there to even say about a dinner at Applebee’s?

And yet there are 114 Likes and 278 Comments.

I consider myself to be a member of the Seinfeld School of Blogging, meaning I blog about nothing, so in and of itself a dinner at Applebee’s isn’t automatically disqualified as material for a blog post.  In fact, I envision a future post on this blog about dinner at Applebee’s, because I’ve eaten there (unfortunately), and I’ve rather a lot to say about the experience.  I consider myself to be a bit of a gourmand (or at least a foodie.  Or at least a person who eats), but I’ve decided I’m an abject failure as mother because my daughter wants to go to Applebee’s for her birthday because it’s her favorite.  I blame her father.  His favorite restaurant is Red Robin.

My point is, I don’t think it’s the content of an individual blog post that attracts Likes and Followers, which is why we so often see craptacular posts get a zillion Likes while our best work is ignored.  Think about it.  Isn’t there a post on your blog that got a ridiculous amount of Likes for no reason that you can fathom?  Here’s mine: What If You Had to Marry the First Person You Had Sex With.

Instead, I think we can attribute these mega-Like posts to the following:

  • The Lemming Like/Follow:  A blog is Liked/Followed because other people are Liking/Following.  When I first started blogging, I remember following a blogger for the simple reason that she had 1400 followers and I thought, “Wow!  She must be good to have so many people following her!” so I started following her.  It turned out she is an absolute psycho, and my original reason for following has morphed into something else (see: Trainwreck Like/Follow).
  • The Catch 22 Like/Follow: Similar to the Lemming Like/Follow but it also works in the reverse.  Your blog gets Likes/Follows because it has Likes/Follows and it also doesn’t get Likes/Follows because it doesn’t have Likes/Follows.
  • The Social Like/Follow: Packs of bloggers who roam WordPress in gangs and Like one another’s posts because they’re mafiosi friends.  I actually should do more of this, but I just can’t bring myself to Like that awful post you wrote about Applebee’s.  You’re better than that.  Really.
  • The Are They Fucking? Like/Follow: I’ll confess that there are at least a dozen bloggers I follow because I think they’re having affairs with one another (they aren’t.  Well, they probably aren’t.  I mean, they couldn’t be, could they?)
  • The Trainwreck Like/Follow:  The posts on these blogs are just so bizarre that you can’t look away.  This explains every single Like/Follow on Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please.
  • The Freshly Pressed Like/Follow: The least valuable Like/Follow, it’s the result of WordPress editors using the random filter (which is no filter at all!) on all the gazillion blog posts published each day.  I’ve been Freshly Pressed twice and while it does give a momentary spike to your stats, you’re left having to respond to a shitload of comments like this: “Your blog is very nice.  Can you please come over to my blog and follow me?”

So there you have it.  Those are the reasons Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do.  I wonder if WordPress has any more questions for me to answer . . .

You can join me in mocking Applebee’s with images, like the one in this post, from their media page, Applebee’s newsroom.

43 thoughts on “Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do, Part II

  1. Karen says:

    A couple of things: On my birthday, I want to have dinner at this restaurant: Vetri.

    I got an email yesterday regarding Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You, Part I asking me what sort of Liker/Follower I consider myself, so here’s my answer:

    I would characterize myself as a Lurker Liker/Follower: I read your blog but I only occasionally comment, and rarely Like a post, on account of my philosophical differences with the entire Liking system here on WordPress.  In fact, I so rarely Like or Comment on your posts (though I’m always reading them) that when you see my little Gravatar show up on your blog  you’ll probably have forgotten who I am, and then a flutter of recognition will flash through your brain and you’ll think, Oh, yes, I know her.  She’s that weird woman who writes that blog about sinks, or something.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      🙂 I don’t know if it’s envy so much (ignore that delightful shade of green I’m turning) as it is exasperation and just utterly being mystified by the attention that some bloggers receive.

      And I have way too much time on my hands right now to think about this. 😉

      Like

      • Karen says:

        I want to add that I don’t believe that the number of Likes or Follows or being Freshly Pressed reflects on your merits as a blogger. That’s sort of the point of these posts. The reasons why people choose to Like/Follow often have very little to do with whether or not your blog is any good.

        But we don’t have any other metric to assess our worth, I guess, so Likes and Follows take on a significance they don’t deserve.

        A very serious answer from me, for a change. 😉

        Like

      • Dylan Hearn says:

        It’s envy all the way for me. I started out blogging as a means to write about things other than my novel (don’t worry, I haven’t finished so this isn’t a sales pitch) but got hooked on the numbers. I now analyse the weekly averages avidly. It’s not good for the health.

        Like

        • Karen says:

          Ah, you haven’t been blogging for very long (I just checked your blog). Right now you’re thinking all these other folks must be awesome because they have a gazillion followers, but keep reading their posts. You’ll see they’re mere mortals, and writing about dinner at Applebee’s.

          Like

  2. Michelle at The Green Study says:

    There’s a weird level of nepotism which also falls under the Social Like/Follow. These people give nonstop virtual hugs and seem kind of creepy, but they definitely travel in packs devouring any joke or sarcasm or intent as hug-worthy and you can hear the strains of Kumbaya every time they comment.
    I would also add the CAUSE Like/Follow, which I’ve discovered recently. They like or follow when you’ve written about their pet cause and then drop off the radar when they realize you’ll be writing about domestic violence one week and then shopping at the mall the next.
    I lack that kind of sentiment and sometimes will un-follow a blog if crappy writing gets constant stroking.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was getting at with the Social Like/Follow. The comments section on those blogs (here’s where you see posts with 200+ comments) is more chit chat between these bloggers than relevant to the subject of the blog post.

      I think it’s a little unfair to expect our readers to be in love with every one of our blog posts, and every subject we choose to tackle. Sometimes we’ll strike a chord, sometimes not. If I’m not interested in what you’ve written about today, I may be interested in what you’re writing about tomorrow. I try to write a focused blog, but on any given day who knows what I may write. In my head, it’s all connected, somehow.

      I know for a fact that “What if You Had to Marry the First Person You Had Sex With” caused a lot of folks in India to Like that post and even follow this blog because the news story that inspired that post came out of India. I’m sure the 14 new followers I picked up with that post were all very disappointed to see me writing about sanitary napkins and YA fiction and Monty Python and not a word about India over the next few days.

      Like

      • Michelle at The Green Study says:

        I agree and believe that many readers are discerning. On the other hand, CAUSE junkies bother me in offline life, too. I wouldn’t expect every topic to be of interest, but you start seeing a pattern. From my perspective, I can’t imagine only reading or being engaged on a narrow range of topics, since I have an interest in just about everything, but of course, that’s my preference and subjective.

        Like

  3. oneawkwardyear says:

    This is great! The ‘social like/follow’ is the one that I always find myself stressing over – like, I have a number of regular blog “friends” with whom I nearly always trade back likes and comments, usually because I just appreciate their writing but also because I feel that we now have sort of an internet relationship & I want to keep that up. When I read other “bigger” blogs than mine or follow bloggers on instagram I see these packs of bloggers who travel together, commenting, liking & linking to one another and I like to become dramatically despondent that I’ll never fit in! Which is silly and everyone should just keep doing their thing.

    Also two other things the “are they fucking” like = hilarious and now I want Applebees so THANKS A LOT!

    Like

  4. Joyce says:

    Ha! Blogging mafiosi. I like that. My mafia is pretty non-threatening.

    Some day I’ll write the follow-up to this: Why I stopped liking/commenting/following your blog. (Not YOURS, of course, but others.)

    Like

    • Karen says:

      Oh, do it! You would think the posts I write and tag “sex” get the most views, right? No way. The posts I tag “blogging” and “blogging tips” do because that is what a lot of the audience (WordPress bloggers) are searching, so guaranteed to get pageviews. I’ve often considered dropping the whole sex thing, and just start writing about blogging, because I have this urge to improve the blogosphere, and my tips are so helpful. 😉

      There’s only two ways to get me to unfollow your blog (I really am a stalker). First, your blog has become insipid, e.g. the blog posts consist of “Oh, I don’t know what to write about. Hmmm. What should I write about? Do you know what I should write about?” Here’s a fucking clue: if you don’t have anything to write about, STFU and don’t blog. Save it for another day when you *do* have something to blog about.

      The second way to get me to unfollow is to begin any post with the words, “Sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile.” Instantaneous unfollow, I don’t even bother reading the rest of the post. And maybe they have a good reason, like they lost the use of their hands in a tragic accident and now have to type using voice recognition software, which they could only just recently afford to buy.

      Wow, I really am a bitch.

      Like

  5. Katie says:

    Hilarious and SO much truth. Apparently, I’m a featured humor blog now, so I think I’ve been getting a lot of follows from that (from some startling usernames, too..)

    I still have blog envy. My blog could always be better.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      Congrats on being featured!

      I think I can honestly say that I don’t envy other bloggers for their stats (maybe if they have nicer breasts than I do, I’d like those, but stats? Not so much). Like I’ve said ad nauseum here, Likes/Follows/Comments aren’t a true indicator of the quality of a blog. I realize I’m writing a sort of niche blog here, and I’m also probably an acquired taste (I did, after all, once write what I thought was a humorous post about incest), and I’m never going to get those 367 people who want to read about Applebee’s to Like/Follow Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please.

      Like

  6. ClewisWrites says:

    So funny! It made me want to check out my most viewed post…109 views. I average about 3 comments per post…though that one post, the most viewed post about Adults who like My Little Pony had not one single like. Go figure!

    Like

  7. rossmurray1 says:

    I’m pretty much only following new blogs based on recommendations from other bloggers I trust and appreciate. That’s how I ended up here (happily, so far; don’t blow it). I do check out the legit blogs that follow me but I’m a lot more discriminating in my return-follows than I was at the start.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      Oh, man, do you realize the pressure you’re putting on me? I’m sure I’m going to blow it.

      I’m probably not as discriminating as you. I’ll follow a blog as long as it looks as though the blogger is putting some effort into it, and find it interesting.

      Like

      • rossmurray1 says:

        There’s also the time commitment involved in following a blog. If I’m in, I don’t want to be half in, you know what I mean.

        Also: You’re cheeky, so I’m sure you’ll do fine.

        Like

  8. bumblepuppies says:

    Let me help you get a little more traffic to this page:

    sex pistols, orgy, penis, vagina monologues, dick cheney, kama sutra, hump day, oscar mayer wiener

    Having the right keywords in your posts helps bring people in. I hope you get a few likes and follows out of it. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t go X-rated or XXX?)

    Like

  9. Elyse says:

    Sigh. I’m in one of those groups of bloggers who follow each other and form friendships. It is because I have no real-life friends.

    I was going to suggest you join us but now, I’m not so sure….

    Like

    • Karen says:

      You wouldn’t want me as a friend. I often say inappropriate things and occasionally fart in public.

      In these posts, I intended to explain the Sucky Blogs (that suck) and their sometimes huge Followings. There are lots of talented bloggers out there who are writing Great Blogs (that are great) and getting tons of Likes and Follows, as well, but there’s no joy in making fun of them, because I’m just so jealous when I think about them and all their fancy Followers Liking all their fancy posts I could just spit.

      I often wish I was part of that community of bloggers here at WordPress because hey, we’re all writers of some sort, and I’d like to connect with those sort of folks. I’m just afraid that’s going to require me to Like posts about Applebee’s or, even worse, people liking *my* posts about Applebee’s. You know? I want to see your little gravatar up there Liking my post because you LIKE it, not because my blog has become an obligation.

      Like

  10. stillstrange says:

    Wait, are you calling me a Train Wreck Follower? Your blog is great! It is not a train wreck. . I don’t follow train wrecks.. I don’t like to be in the way at accident sites. That’s is very wrong.
    I’m the want to be friend type. I try to find blogs that entertain me or blogs of people I would like to get to know or blogs of people that think semi like me. Not sure where I fit along your blog type follower ranges.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      🙂

      No, I don’t think my blog is a Train Wreck. That was just me poking a bit of fun at myself.

      I have to confess that I was a little nervous even writing a blog post like this because I was afraid some readers might take offense (“Are you saying people only Like/Follow my blog because I’m fucking them?????” “Are you saying my blog is a Train Wreck????”) but so far everyone appears to have taken these posts with the good humor which they were intended.

      Or else no one is reading this blog. Could be that, too. 😉

      Like

  11. Frances D says:

    I followed you because I like your writing – plain and simple.
    I shared your post on my tumblr because I want my very small audience to read it.
    And I will share your link very soon on my own WordPress.
    Happy NaBloPoMo
    PS Your blog name is GREAT!

    Like

  12. Madame Weebles says:

    I am guilty of doing the Reciprocal Like/Follow thing with people who have liked/followed me. I’ll check out their blogs, and if I like them, I’ll keep reading them. If not, I’ll give them a few posts and then unfollow. I’ve seen the Freshly Pressed lemmings, who like and comment on every single FP’d post with something like “Great post!” which is a really bad ploy to get people to follow them. I do have a bunch of bloggy friends who I regularly read and comment on, but even then I don’t read or comment on every single post of theirs. I don’t *think* I fall into the other categories. At least, I hope not.

    Like

    • Karen says:

      I check out all my Follows, and if they appear to be making an effort, and aren’t writing in a foreign language, I’ll reciprocate the Follow. I think it’s just good manners.

      For whatever reason (and maybe this happens to everyone) I get a lot Christian folks following my blog, and they’re writing about God and Jesus and stuff and I always think, “WTF? Did someone as a prank send them a link with a note ‘I think you’ll like this blog!’ and they just followed automatically?”

      I’m sure reading my blog is a sure path to hell and damnation.

      Like

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