It all started at the beginning of 2016…
Every time I looked at my blog stats or social media followers, I felt embarrassed. Friends, family members and a handful of bots were the only audiences I had. Who would take me as a serious blogger with such a small online following?
Like many beginner bloggers, I was under the impression that 1000’s of followers was more important than loyal fan engagement.
I was up late one night playing around on Fiverr and came across all these people that offered services to grow your social media following. You could buy anything. Twitter followers, facebook like’s, Instagram followers AND Instagram post like’s! I thought I’d hit the jackpot. For a small investment, I could make my blog look like the REAL DEAL. I’m embarrassed to admit, that day I sold my soul to the social media devil. I purchased 2000 Instagram followers for a tiny $6AUD. The fake followers were instantly delivered and I felt on top of the world. My Instagram following went from 700ish up to almost 3000 followers!
My euphoria was short-lived. Because even though I had 1000’s of followers I could only manage to rustle up 40-50 likes per post!
It was abundantly clear to me and everyone else that my followers were FAKE!
That wasn’t the worst of it. I started growing my following organically and I was really happy with how my page was travelling. Then all of sudden, I wake up, open Instagram and BOOM. I’ve lost 50+ followers. Then BOOM lost another 100+ followers! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, 70, then 100 then another 50 GONE. Instagram searches for and blocks fake accounts daily, that’s why I was losing tonnes of followers overnight!
I have learnt 3 important lessons from this experience:
- Loyal fan engagement is more important than the size of your following.
- There are no shortcuts to “making it” in the blogging world.
- Focus on your own blogging journey, don’t compare your blog to others!
It has been almost 1 year since I purchased followers but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Almost all of my bought followers accounts have been closed and deleted. And I am finding that my post likes are beginning to match my follower count more accurately. My advice to you is, as attractive as it may seem – don’t do it! Grow your following organically, with loyal fans. PR agencies and potential collaborators want to work with bloggers that have a REAL following.
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