#Follow4Follow is a growth strategy that many bigger bloggers poo-poo, but this is a must-try strategy that all new content creators should consider. Please keep reading for top tips on using the Follow for Follow method for growing your blog.
What is the Follow for Follow Method?
Follow for Follow is a growth tactic for jumpstarting a blog or social media following. As the name suggests, a burgeoning blogger or influencer will indicate via his or her post, comment, tweet, or hashtag that he or she will follow another content creator in exchange for a follow. Similar tactics include comment for comment or ‘like’ for ‘like.’
Common ways to find other creators using the follow for follow method include Blog Parties, Twitter Threads, or use of hashtags like #follow4follow on social platforms.
3 Reasons Why Follow for Follow is Essential for New Bloggers
For whatever reason, a lot of content creators love to trash the follow for follow method, but I’ve personally had a ton of success initially growing my blog following using this strategy.
1 | Follow for Follow Attracts New Readers
When I first started blogging, I felt like I was shouting into a void where no one was hearing me. Gaining momentum is always the hardest part about starting something new, whether your new venture is starting a blog or getting your first job.
The Follow for Follow method can help you to get your content in front of readers who may not have found your content otherwise.
2 | Follow for Follow Facilitates Friendships
I can’t stress this enough: blogging is lonely and stressful without friends to support you. The majority of my first blogger friends were made through Follow for Follow Parties on WordPress or through Twitter Follow Trains.
Will everyone you connect with become a friend? No – but I’d be willing to bet that you meet at least a few amazing people who you’ll really connect with!
3 | Follow for Follow Enables Inspiration
Even though beauty is my passion, I love how the follow for follow method helped me to connect with bloggers who write about content outside of my niche. Not only does non-beauty content inspire me, but it provides a necessary break when I feel overwhelmed by all things beauty-related.
3 Ways the Follow for Follow Method Falls Short
The follow for follow method will help content creators grow their following, but there are obvious shortcomings associated with this tactic
1 | More Followers Doesn’t Equal More Engagement
The Follow for Follow method can potentially harm your engagement rate (likes, comments, shares / followers) if your new followers don’t actually read and engage with your content. What’s the point in having a high follower count if no one actually reads your work?
Struggling with your engagement rate? Consider reading this post full of tips on boosting blog post engagement.
2 | It Becomes Difficult to Keep Up with Your Feed |
Personally, I became overwhelmed by my WordPress Reader after using the follow for follow tactic for several months. There were way too many blog posts for me to read. I started to feel internally cluttered.
Eventually, I had to clean my feed up to reduce my stress and help me to better focus on the blogs I most enjoyed. This helped me to write more thoughtful blog comments.
3 | Follow for Follow Can Leave You Feeling Jaded
What do I mean by this? After a while, you’ll notice that some creators will quickly unfollow you or never return your follow. I’d be lying if this didn’t leave me feeling sour.
To be fair, no one owes you a follow. Having a follower who never engages is pointless. However, I think that it is shady to promise to do something without following through.
When is it okay to unfollow someone?
Let me be crystal clear: you can unfollow someone anytime you like because you don’t owe anyone anything! Opting to follow someone’s blog does not lock you into any sort of lifelong contract and unfollowing someone doesn’t make you shady.
As I mentioned above, I found myself super stressed out by my cluttered WordPress feed so I did a major purge of the accounts I follow. Also, I found my feed cluttered with content that (1) I wasn’t interested in or (2) made me feel bad about myself. Your mental health should always come first, so don’t let fake obligation lead you to believe you’re being rude by unfollowing someone.
The above being said, I do think it is shady to play the Follow-Unfollow game (which is very popular on Instagram). To note, this is very different than simply unfollowing someone that you no longer feel inspired by. People who play this game tend to prey on smaller creators who are looking to grow and will immediately unfollow accounts once they receive the follow back.
Final Thoughts on the Follow for Follow Method
The follow for follow method is far from perfect, but I do think this is a worthwhile growth tactic for new bloggers to try. Connecting with other bloggers and readers is what makes blogging worthwhile. The follow for follow method can be a great way to facilitate new friendships!
Have you tried the follow for follow method before? Was this successful in helping you grow your readership? Why or why not? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.