5 Things Bloggers Should Stop Obsessing About

You know I love bringing you peeps things like killer blog tips, fabulous guest posters and new things (like my new online course).

But sometimes I just gotta rant.

When you’ve been around the blogosphere a while, you start noticing things bloggers talk about over and over. Some are worthy… and others are not. Which five make me cringe the most? Oh, let me tell you.

1. Your Klout Score

I see tweets, Facebook messages and other updates out there from time to time that go a little something like this: “Oh my Gahhhhhhh. My Klout score dropped 2 points!!!! What did I do? How do I get it back up?”

Really? Do you not have more important things to do, like scrub the toilets? At least there’s a noticeable effect when you scrub your toilets. They kinda sparkle. Do you sparkle when your Klout score is two points higher? I think not.

Are brands really paying attention to your Klout scores anymore? Well if they are, they certainly consider more than that. I haven’t looked at my Klout score in months and finally went through the trouble to delete it yesterday (it’s a P in the A so if you want to know how, read the update part of this post on deleting your score). I decided I didn’t need Klout to send me free Axe deodorant. Huh.

2. Who Unfollowed You on Twitter

Does anyone really notice when they lose a follower? Apparently so.

I admit it. Way back when, I used to get a weekly email that told me who unfollowed me. But then I realized something. THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT.

I mean, why spent time trying to decipher the real reason that @coolmama123456789 unfollowed you? You’ll never figure it out unless you ask her. And then you’ll just look like a stalker.

Time is better spent actually tweeting something to the followers who are still following you.

And remember… even though Twitter will never admit it, I know for a fact that I’ve mysteriously unfollowed people.

3. How Many Followers, Friends, etc. Someone Else Has That You Don’t

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look. Hey – it’s human nature after all. But if you get all frowny faced that Blogger C has 100 more Twitter followers than you or Blogger D has 400 Facebook fans and she just launched her page yesterday, well like I said before, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Maybe Blogger C has more followers because she spends an hour each week seeking out new followers and the majority of them follow her back. Maybe Blogger D actually purchased Facebook ads to gain some targeted new fan page likes. Of course, they could have gotten them from doing less savory things too. Regardless, it’s not hurting you. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

4. Forum Posts that Start with “I’m Looking for New Blogs to Follow!”

You know the posts. They’re splattered all over blogging forums with titles like “Looking for genuine followers!” and “Let’s follow each other!” If part of your “networking” tactics includes visiting forums and leaving your link in these type of posts, just stop. PLEASE stop.

The “genuine follower” poster is probably really looking for genuine followers. But most of the replies she gets will be *this* close to comment vomit with bloggers posting their blog link faster than Steve Carrell can say “That’s what she said.” They aren’t looking to actually visit any other blogs on the thread; they just wanna make sure there’s is included.

If you see a post like this in a forum, click the back button. Instead, answer a forum question where you can show how awesome, smart or supportive you are. (Note: If you’re in a smaller, more targeted group on a forum, in a Facebook group, or elsewhere, those are typically okay. Just not the massive ones where you’ll get stuck following bloggers you really don’t care to follow).

5. Lists that You Didn’t Make

Is it normal to feel disappointed when you don’t make a list? Absolutely! But dwelling on it you should not (thanks Yoda).

If you really, really wanted to make that list, study those who did. What makes them stand out? Can you glean any tips from their blogs? If you just wanted the bragging rights, know that it really doesn’t last forever (not speaking from experience, hehe. just guessing here.)


There you have it. Five things that you really should stop worrying about. Of course, I’m not saying you should be all loosey-goosey with your blogging either. You should pay attention to some things, like if your blog stats shows that your blog is growing rather than shrinking. And hey- I can spout off around how many Twitter followers I have if someone were to ask me off the cuff.

But these five things? Not worth the effort. I’d rather channel that effort into making my blog kick more ass.

So spill it… you guilty of any of these? What else would you add to the list?

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  1. says

    So true, and the time you put into your blog the more growth you will see. The last couple of months and have been really busy with the real world for me, and I def saw my stats plummet. if you are not out there engaging, you really do lose the people.
    Always love it here … and I already follow you everywhere 😉

  2. says

    :::raises hand::: I am guilty of a few of them. And often it is hard like you said, but you move on because it’s not the end of the world. What I see a lot of the times is the lists and huge followings are nothing more than a popularity contest.
    Klout.. ugg… I ditched that a long time ago and have never been happier!

  3. says

    I was guilty of seeing who unfollows me before I removed the weekly notice and stopped caring. Yeah, there’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s human nature to be curious. Gees, does high school ever really end? Meh.

  4. says

    Brilliant post, with excellent advice as always — especially #5. But I can honestly admit to being guilty to obsessing about all of these at some point. I made a few resolutions to just say no to all 5 of these things this year… and I feel like a better blogger, mom, friend and overall person because I’ve let go of most of it. Like you, I haven’t visited my Klout profile in months and now have the desire to [attempt] to delete it today. Thanks for the motivation!

  5. says

    I have made a list, and have even written a post, on things I hate most in bloggydom, although I’ve never published it. My husband says it is uncharacteristic of me to rant like I’m about to, and that it doesn’t go with my online persona, but I will happily unload on you, Melissa. 😀

    One of the things I hate the WORST is pale links that I can’t read. Or pale gray font, or wonky shaped/difficult to read font. Please don’t strain my eyes. In fact, DON’T MAKE IT HARD FOR ME TO READ YOUR WORDS, OR I WON’T.

    Also, music that starts up, especially music with words. This distracts me from reading YOUR words. Do you want me to read your words? DON’T MAKE IT HARD FOR ME TO READ YOUR WORDS.

    Please, don’t have a ticker telling me how many babies have been aborted since I started reading your post: flashing lights distract my eyes. Do you want me to read your words? DON’T MAKE IT HARD FOR ME TO READ YOUR WORDS. (Plus, aborted baby stats make me want to click away as fast as possible, because they’re tragic: don’t make me want to run away, or I will.)

    Finally, I hate pop up ads. You know those stealth ads that come sliding up while you’re trying to read and block your view of someone’s words?.DON’T MAKE IT HARD FOR ME TO READ YOUR WORDS.

    I’m feeling better now, Melissa, and I owe it all to you. Feel free to borrow my content, and incorporate it in another rant. Just give me a little nod therein, and I’ll be fine. This blog, which is ABOUT the process of blogging, is a more suitable place for these thoughts than my blog. People don’t come to my blog to learn how to be better bloggers. But they come to yours for that very reason. Hope you agree with my thoughts, and hope they are helpful or thought provoking to someone.

    • melissa says

      Not comment vomit at all! In fact, every single thing you say is a peeve of mine too! A blogger could have the best darn content out there but if it’s hard to read, it will drive people away. So preach it, sister!

    • says

      I agree completely with Susan’s pet peeves! I am in the process of having my blog completely revamped, so have spent HOURS looking at other people’s blogs for good ideas. Or perhaps I should say, what not to do. The super pale links really annoy me, and it seems like a really obvious no-no. If you can’t see it, why would you click on it. Life can be hard, so why make it hard to read something that you so obviously want some one TO read.

  6. says

    Great post. I had to share it. I get so sick of seeing people worry about who unfollowed them on Twitter. Honestly there are more important things in life to worry about. I never look at my twitter numbers. I stopped Klout but I need to actually go in and delete my account. I guess I’m off to do that now.

  7. says

    This is a fantastic post. We have all obsessed about all of those at one time or another, so it is always nice to get reminders about these things. There is so many ways to get distracted in blog land, but in the end your blogging is what stands out the most.

  8. says

    Oh my gosh I KNOW I’ve done this…especially with agonizing over Klout (especially after they redid the analytics and my score plummeted overnight by 12 points) and the comparison game we all do. While it’s great to look at other blogger’s successes or stats for inspiration, we are not all from the same cookie cutter. One of my best friends also blogs and while I have more Twitter followers she gets WAY more comments on her posts- so instead of feeling crummy and comparing e/o we just celebrate our successes and that our “success” is unique.

    Loved the post!

  9. says

    I totally agree! I think I am pretty good on all of these except #3. I definitely watch other bloggers’ traffic and try to see what they are doing that I am not doing. I try not to let it make me feel bad about myself, but I do tend to obsess over traffic. But I often compare my current stats to last year at this time and see growth so I feel better. We all have to run our own race!

  10. says

    I was obsessed with my Klout score for about a month and then gave it up. I have a blogging friend that ALWAYS has a higher Klout score than me. Although she rarely blogs, hardly tweets, and has fewer followers than I do. After seeing that for a month I realized that score means little. I still check my Klout score every week or two and have received a couple of cool perks, but I don’t really care what the number is. It can’t tell me if I’m a worthwhile blogger or not!

  11. says

    I’m totally guilty of a couple of these. Were you reading my tweets? LOL I didn’t realize until recently that Klout doesn’t really matter, now I feel guilty if I don’t give point thingys back lol. And I had added the unfollow app a couple of months ago and I swear I just posted a tweet today saying I had an unfollow app and found it interesting how many unfollows I had, I just got the email today and had forgotten that I even had it. Honestly I don’t care that people unfollow me, well I cared somewhat about one that unfollowed me and I went to send a DM and found out but just figured “Oh well”. You are completely right about focusing on better things, I am more focused on making my blog better, love your tips btw, and trying to have better content. And I agree with Susan, I hate the gray links, flashing junk and especially the ads that go across!

  12. says

    Huh. I keep forgetting about my Klout score. Hurrah for me! In fact, I do none of those things. So while this was a draggy Monday morning, I now feel like I’m more evolved than I realized. Thanks for the boost! :)

  13. says

    Thanks for some great information. I don’t even know what Klout is, so I’m good there by default. As for number 4, I was guilty of that one all day yesterday with the new Linky Follower blog hop. It just made me feel crappy, like I’m cheating. I don’t like to cheat; I’m stopping now. I want genuine followers who will hopefully get some benefit from my blog, stick with me & encourage me & be honest with me when I do something stupid (like “follow me, I’ll follow you back” blog hops).

  14. says

    This is a really good list; I see these a lot. We’re pretty good about not obsessing about any of these. We don’t have a large number of followers on twitter or facebook, but we’re okay with that. We have fun with our blog, share it with those who care and are interested, and keep it at that. I could definitely see how things could become obsessive though…especially the Klout score. We do like getting GOOD free stuff (like, we were just offered a free Shrek themed night at Opryland Hotel here in Nashville through Klout – we’ve ignored most of the other “perks”), but have thus far been fairly good about not obsessing about the score.

  15. says

    Love this!
    I never understood Klout. I signed up and gave a few K+, but what were they?? :)
    I think I’ll delete it. Maybe. Okay I will.

  16. says

    Another awesome post – although confession – I do take a sneaky peek at my Klout score, and even though I try to resist I still get a wee thrill when my score has gone up!

  17. says

    Great post. Fortunately, I don’t do any of those things! However, I do other not so great things. I obsess about my stats – pageviews, visitors, bounce rate, etc. I have an app on my phone that accesses Google analytics and lets me see my stats in almost real time. Maybe I should just take it off, because I check it daily! I think it’s good to take a look at my stats, but I don’t need to know every single day how many pageviews I had!

  18. says

    This is a fantastic post! You’ve hit the nail right on the head. I will admit to having fretted a bit about follower numbers a bit but my blog is still new. When it jumped from 10 followers to 93 in a couple months I was excited! I recently took your advice and removed GFC sooner rather then later, I was momentarily sad that I wouldn’t see that 93 go up….then I realized, who cares! If people genuinely like reading my blog they will still follow. I’ve given them easy alternative options to do so. It will take some time and as long as I keep writing content that others appreciate.

    love your blog and all your wonderful advice!

  19. says

    Klout is my biggest pet peeve. I think if that’s all a company is looking at to judge a blogger’s worth, then THEY are in the wrong. And it *is* hard not to play the comparison game at times. I’m definitely always working on that one. I do miss the genuine connections that seemed to be so easily found when I first started blogging a few years ago.

  20. says

    I obviously don’t have very much klout because I’ve never even heard of it. I looked it up, signed up, saw my 26 and then couldn’t figure out how to delete what I’d just done. Ugh! I had to read the article you linked to (intriguing btw) and find the hidden delete button (now buried at the bottom of the privacy policy).

    Phew. Glad that’s over with.

  21. says

    Good advice…but isn’t it really the same in life? Worrying about what someone else did before you, or has more of, or comparing ourselves to anything or anyone else really serves little purpose. Thanks for putting it out there!

  22. says

    People still care about Klout? I’m always a little surprised when I see someone tweeting the “I gave +K to ______!” I thought that fad was way over. I admit I got a little sad when I got my first feedburner unsubscribe notice the other day. Then I realized that I can’t be a good fit for everyone, and in the end, I don’t really want to know. :)

  23. says

    I blog for 3 reasons. 1. My blog creates a portal across the Atlantic Ocean and my boyfriend can feel closer to me whenever he needs to. 2. I hope to help and inspire those other couples in long distance relationships who are finding it very difficult. It isn’t easy. And 3. I write for me. I love writing and it’s a way of stress relief and relaxation. It also makes me feel closer to Vernon even though he’s usually sleeping when i’m writing. But I like knowing that he’ll be reading my latest post while I’m still sleeping. :)
    I don’t even know what klout is.. is that good? :)

  24. says

    I have compared my followers with others. I’m not going to lie. But then I stopped and thought about why I am blogging and tried to forget about it.
    One thing I find funny is people who follow and unfollow me. I have had one person follow me 3 different times so he must have unfollowed me at least twice. Clearly he doesn’t pay too close attention to who he follows.

  25. Nil Zed says

    6. Tweeting messages, especially passive aggressive messages to a Twitter stalker. Someone I really WANT to follow periodically has these long one-sided ( to me) conversations with some evil person from her past. She says it’s because that person followed her followers and many followed back. She is defending and arguing re: posts I don’t see in order to maintain those followers.

    I say drop it. If any of her followers are that tenuous and affected by this other person, screw ’em. I’m about to ‘mysteriously’ drop her due to the annoyance of it all. So her enemy wins and I’ve never read a word they’ve posted.

  26. says

    None of those things has ever been a big deal. If you write from your heart, or write fair and honest reviews, all the rest will happen. You’ll never be able to please everybody, plus other people’s needs and wants change. Who cares if they unfollow? Either unfollow back (if that’s what you want) or stop getting the unfollow messages.

  27. says

    Klout, what is it really?

    I have my goals for Facebook Likes and Twitter but they do not reflect what I really want out of my blog of my life. They are just yearly goals that I hope to achieve by helping overwhelmed moms like myself.

    I occasionally go to those blogs that help find readers because I know I have at least a few bloggers who would never admit they open their email for a challenge form time to time and I dont really care. I write to help moms smile about housework, or at least I try. Because homemaking is not glorious. lol

    I love you blog by the way, and I read it because I love it and it helps me. Isn’t that what this is all about in the long run.

    Pam aka Momma

  28. says

    I had one time when I unfollowed someone that I didn’t really know personally on Twitter because I didn’t really feel comfortable with some of the things she was talking about, plus she talked so often that I was rarely seeing other people’s tweets. Right after I unfollowed her, she tweeted to me (not a DM, mind you) asking why I unfollowed her. I wanted to say, “If I didn’t have a reason before, your asking me like that should have been reason enough.” It was very odd.

    • melissa says

      Yeah, that’s pretty odd! I can’t believe people even care so much about why someone unfollowed them. They are plenty more followers out there!

  29. says

    😀 Not guilty of this… much, anyway. *blush*
    I am guilty of going through the statistics and ranting in my mind about where the people who read my blog come from.6
    “google images” makes me see red… and then I realize that that’s exactly what *I* do! It doesn’t mean they don’t read!
    I also keep checking how many came to my “blog event” posts, and get upset, if less people looked at my post, than I looked at other people’s posts…
    All that is… statistics, schmatistics. All I can do about that is keeping to write good content *I* would like to read, and the people will come if they are interested, and if they are not – then at least *I* am interested 😀

    • melissa says

      so so true! While we can look at statistics to improve here and there, obsessing only spins our wheels instead of writing more awesome content!

  30. says

    Sorry! I’m a little late to the party, but I had to comment on the mysterious unfollowing on Twitter. So funny you brought that up because I have had to re-follow one particular celebrity (ahem, Bachelorette) at least 5 times in the last two weeks. It totally happens and I’m glad I am not the only one who thinks so.

  31. says

    In the end, my biggest lesson, is don’t obsess over the numbers. Your people will find you and when they do they will stick around. Genuine readership is so much more than having thousands of followers, etc.

  32. says

    I just removed my followers button because it seemed to be broken. After reading this, I think I will keep it off, then I won’t be tempted to worry about how many followers I have-or not.
    I also removed all the other gadgets that no longer work, like the link to twitter which used to show my tweets. It’s so annoying that these gadgets no longer work.
    I am intrigued by the opportunity to make money by becoming an affiliate and will continue to read and pursue. Thanks for your insight.