Monday, August 27, 2012

On Blog Networking: Do you lose authenticity when you try to gain a following?

an unrelated picture 

Lately, I've been participating in and hosting a lot more giveaways and link-ups. I do it because it's fun and I get to find new blogs, but I mainly do it because I want more followers. Is that greedy or narcissistic? I think that's why most people do it. We want to gain a following.

But when is it too much? When do you cross the line to that area where bloggers no longer write genuine posts, only posts on blog/twitter/facebook hops, giveaways, etc.? How many "authentic" posts should a person write per week in order to stay on "this side" of the line?

I had to set some rules for myself so I never forget why I started blogging, and what my blog is supposed to be about. I lost sight of that a while ago (as seen in this post), and I've tried really hard to keep my focus with these rules.

1 giveaway per week, and never have more than 1 giveaway open on my own blog at one time.
2 link-ups (absolute maximum, avoid if possible). If I do more than 1 link-up, only one should be for networking purposes.
A minimum of 3 personal posts. These can be week recaps, pictures, recipes, how to's, or general musings. Those posts are the reasons I continue reading blogs.

Do you have rules for yourself? How do you stay authentic? Or do you think that as soon as you start networking and trying to gain followers, you lose all authenticity?

Speaking of networking, enter the giveaway on Living In Yellow!
Also enter the JUNIEblake giveaway.
Two giveaways at once? you may be wondering. Yes. But only one of them is on my blog. Ha! Trick.


  1. I dont do many link ups or giveaways because I find those followers are very flip-floppy and will drop you the minute the giveaway is over. I rather write posts that are meanigful to me and others so that I am real and they get to know the real me. Writing genuinely important topics with reach out the people who like your blog for you and for a longer time. I know how it is to want more followers and people to like your blog...Im there too. Its a struggle to find that balance.

  2. I think your goals are spot on! Let's be real, who doesn't want a following? I would enter your giveaway but work is blocking Rafflecopter :( Have to tonight! Speaking of, check mine out!

  3. Well I have a big 8 followers and have never done a link up or giveaway yet but I do plan to! Like someone mentioned above I want people to follow me because they want to read my posts not just because of a link up or giveaway. Sounds like you have it figured out only a certain number of linkups/giveaways a week and more of You posts!!

  4. New follower from the GFC Blog Hop! This is such a great post. I easily get tired of blogs that primarily focus on giveaways and promotions. I understand they can be amazing to grow a following, and some blogs receive awesome sponsored freebies, but you hit the nail on the head with being authentic...the best blogs are all about the writing and sharing :)

  5. I'm feeling that way right NOW. Ive done two Giveaways and just felt.. fake. Nothing to anyone else out there who has done this but I loved doing it but at the same time I felt like I was selling SOUL. If that makes sense? I LOVE this post. I do need to set Boundaries for myself. Id love to grow my audience but I just love blogging and want followers to follow me for me and not for a bribe either (thought it is nice)! xoxo

  6. Wow, before I came here I thought of this exact thing. Most of my followers came from me networking and actually talking to other people or helping other people with there blogs or my images being found on google/pinterest/beautylish.

    It wasn't until I reached I think a little over 250 that I joined a blog hop and got a lot of new followers. Then I started my own blog hop about 4 weeks ago and really it was to help other bloggers. I try my best to help other bloggers whether it be with followers or designing there blogs or just useful tips

    I think you can see who has followers that are merely just blog hop followers,
    the comment to follower ratio is way off. I saw a blog with 1000 followers and the comments were only about 10. That was shocking.

    I have never had a giveaway, and do want to have one, but then I change my mind, I would much rather send something to each of my loyal followers then have a bunch of people who don't really read my blog/comment/interact with me winning something I paid for.

    I am not against blog hops (hence I join GFC BLOG HOP every week, and I have my own) but sometimes I feel like maybe I should stop. But of course we all know, people are more likely to view/follow you if you have more followers. It just sucks when your blog becomes more of a way to get followers instead of what your blog was suppose to be for, for you.

    It isnt' just blogs that do this, everything is based on numbers.
    facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter and a bunch of other social networks!

    Well anywho, I came here from the GFC hop!

  7. All I know is that I'm in awe that anyone would want to follow my blog in the first place!

  8. Thanks for this post. I post on average once per week, with authentic content, and I join all the link parties and hops I can. I just don't have time to do anymore with work and home and family, so it is what it is for me. Is that awful?
    Thanks for co-hosting! Happy to be a new follower.
    Check out my blog sometime and follow back if you like.
    Have a great week! :)
    Julie @ The Path to an Organized Tomorrow

  9. Hello :)

    Stopping by from the GFC blog hop today! Hope you are haveing a great week so far.

    I´m a new follower!

    Smooches from Germany,
    Anni //

  10. I´m your new follower!
    Greetings from Germany!

  11. Speaking of followers... new followers via the blog hop! I participate in quite a few link ups throughout the week because I'm super new to blogging, but I also post about everyday life and our travels. Hopefully that evens it out.


  12. new follower via blog hop!! i completely get where you're coming from in this post. i have been doing more to gain followers and that's why a lot of us do it. but i don't do anything that's going to make my blog different...i may add the occasional link up post, but not too many. i try to stick with more blog hop things and if it's a link up it's something that it's beneficial to my readers, either to get to know me or understand me.

  13. Hey :)

    Just found you via the GFC Blog Hop :) I look forward to becoming friends with you and interacting more :)

    Life in a Break Down

  14. Hiya, I found your blog through 'the life of a not so ordinary wife'. Enjoying the blog hop, and I am your newest follower. Hope you can stop by my place too!

  15. I think you can both network and be authentic--but you do have to be really careful with the balance. Many blogs go too far to the networking side, and, at that point, I doubt any one of their followers reads them anymore, but instead their followers use them for giveaways and linkups.
    This is a dilemma for me as I seek to grow my blog--for now I'm definitely weighing heaviest on the side of authentic content, but I might have to scoot a little more toward the networking side for growth. We'll see.

  16. I believe there is a middle ground that you can find- I chuckled that this post is what is up when referred here from the GFC blog hop, which's prime purpose is to gain followers! I feel the same way though, don't get me wrong.

    I link up frequently in the hopes of gaining new followers, but like you said, it works both ways- I find new ones to read as well. Like yours!!

    I've decided in the last few weeks that I need to make my blog what I want, and what makes me happy. Since then, I've not been as strong with the marketing and advertising, visiting sites to get them to visit me back, etc. And my followers are growing without it!

    Thanks for cohosting this week! Love your blog and am now a follower! ;)

  17. I don't have rules per se, but honestly I should. I'm a meme player, but that being said I like to incorporate everyday life into these posts and occasional I'll have giveaway/review on my blog. That's about it. I agree with you. I think we all hope to gain a follower when we participate in blog hops and you're right when is enough? I'm not going to stress over not getting a follow back or anything. I'm just going to have fun & roll with the punches. =D

    I'm now your newest GFC, Twitter, & FB fan page follower via GFC Blog Hop! Whenever you get a moment, perhaps you'll come join me in reading today's random post Cathy Kennedy's Blog

  18. Nice blog you have here! I'm your newest GFC follower from the blog hop. I would be very grateful if you could visit and follow back the same way through GFC. Thank you very much!!

  19. hey,
    following from GFC,
    come say hit

  20. Hi! I'm Kendall - new follower from the GFC partaaayy! Hope you'll come on over and say hello! Blogger love is the best! xo

  21. Hello! Stopping by from the Blog Hop and now following on GFC :) I like this post a lot, I've been thinking about how to balance the networking while staying authentic - I think that's a great set of rules you have there. Happy Tuesday to you!

  22. I agree! When I started blogging I refused to do any link ups or even have GFC on my site. I wanted to grow my blog organically and only have followers that were interested in what I had to say/write. But then I realized that there really is a community and that if you take time to read and comment on other people's blogs, they will do the same. I just make sure to write what I want to write...not what I think other people will like. That's a good way to stay true!

    So happy I found you on the blog hop!

    xo, jill from Classy with a Kick

  23. I've been trying to network just by joining up links and just generally being interested in others blogs. I haven't hosted any giveaways & I'll be hosting my first blog hop tomorrow, but I haven't found the reason to really "network" a lot. Right now, I guess all my posts would be labeled as "personal" posts. I think I'd rather have people following who are interested, even if it means a smaller following, rather than a whole bunch of ghost followers.

    I know what you mean though - it's a fine line between being real and being a networking slut ;)


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