In Defence Of Buying Followers

I’ve never bought followers. But I’ve thought about it, and realistically I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who has.
But recently I’m seeing this hugely venomous reaction to people who have bought followers on social media-  it seems Twitter’s top 3 most hated topics are currently Fascism, Theresa May’s kitten heels and follower buying, and I find this really unfair.

 

Don’t get me wrong, is it annoying when you work for years to build up your blogging audience and then some tween with a few posts reviewing shitty Primark makeup gets 10k views overnight because she’s bought her WordPress followers? Yah. But is there anything inherently wrong with that? Well, not really.

 

 Often people are criticised for buying followers due to the belief that they haven’t put in effort so it’s ‘cheating’ but this is a massive assumption. While there are probably lots of people who do buy followers because they have zero patience and dodgy content that no one wants to read, there will also be lots of people who work so hard on their blogs and they just want a numerical reward which reflects how much effort they’re putting in. I mean, are you really going so spend actual, physical, real money on some website that you don’t give a shite about? There has to be some foundation of effort and love there in order for you to care enough to spend your dollar in the first place. For me, I feel like I would be completely justified in buying followers due to the amount of time and research I put into my content, photos and promotion- I just personally choose not to because I prefer to grow my following myself. But who am I to judge someone who has a different preference? 

I can majorly see the appeal. I’ve been blogging for 2 years and still my followers aren’t large enough to start contacting brands or earning money via advertising slots, but if I bought followers it would draw more attention to my blog and enable me to do these things. And that would be pretty cool. Yes I would know, deep down, that I didn’t necessarily earn my followers but that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t deserve them.

In an ideal world your following would reflect how hard you work, but, like, blogging is unfair! It’s kind of just how it is. People will always swoop in at the last minute and undermine your decades of success. People will always get reposted by companies and get more followers overnight than you’ve ever had. People will fake their stats to work with brands. That’s blogging. Plus, when you combine the natural unfairness with the huge pressure to be successful online these days, it’s not hard to see why so many people think their wallet is the only way to the walk of fame.

 

As for giveaways and advertising: they aren’t the same as buying followers… but they’re pretty similar. I don’t think you can criticise one if you engage in another. What do you do when you advertise? You pay someone to send their followers your way. Or when you host a giveaway, yes you’re thanking your followers for supporting you but, you’ve also just paid £40 for a Naked Palette which will be RTed, helping you to be seen by more bloggers and gain more followers. Granted, these followers are actual people instead of dead robot accounts, but you’re still spending money and getting followers in return. The principle of cutting corners to grow your following is the same.

 

And is buying inactive accounts really any different to what’s going on on social media anyway? Most bloggers start a blog Twitter and then give up within 6 weeks resulting in me being followed by accounts which are pretty much gathering dust. Even the people which are active often only follow me to get followed back, so realistically they might as well be inactive. What about those ‘follow for 10 free follows’ accounts? If we criticise buying followers then surely we have to do the same for all methods of growing your audience.

It seems like people direct their anger about the unfairness of blogging at those who buy followers, when actually the cuts run much deeper than that. Saying that buying followers is unfair because you’ve worked hard implies a) that they aren’t putting effort in, which we’ve established may not be true, and b) that success is synonymous with how long you’ve been doing something for, which trust me- it isn’t. It’s okay to be angry or jealous or upset about people who grow their audiences in sneaky ways but perhaps channeling all your emotions at those who buy followers isn’t the best way to address your wider dissatisfaction with blogging culture. 

And, if after all that, you still hate those who buy followers, remember that there’s enough readers in the world to read your blog too. Don’t panic b, just hit me up and I’ll give you some love.
Advertisements

41 thoughts on “In Defence Of Buying Followers

    • Jess says:

      Exactly, I think a lot of people think you naturally just get more popular with time but that isn’t true. I’ve been around for a few years and while I am growing it’s not as quick as other people so I understand why people may feel the need to buy followers to keep themselves motivated.

      Like

  1. TheTypicalBeautyBlog says:

    This is a really interesting topic, it’s one that actually been on my mind because I dislike accounts which buy their followers, which F4F or do anything else inorganic like that to increase their following… I purely just think people should follow you cause they genuinly want to follow you and see your stuff. That being said I do follow back 98% of the time. The only time I don’t follow back is when I literally have no interest in what the other account is offering. Reading your post has slightly shone some light on the situation though… I get that people could be working so hard and not have a decent following, so that could just want to be rewarded for all their hard work time and effort… But are the followers gained from those ways really a reward? If they’re robot accounts will they really end up commenting stuff that isn’t just a random emoticon ( that’s the weirdest thing I had to get used to on Instagram… You could post something and people would leave the most random emoticon behind lol) but yeah I get what you mean. It’s interesting to see another view on this matter.

    https://thetypicalbeautyblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jess says:

      Haha I agree there’s probably no point having loads of robot followers (plus often their names are like @ freefollow26 so it’s not even subtle!) but I guess if you want to work with brands it’s easy to be like ‘oh I’ve got 50k on Twitter’ and seem as if you’re popular. I’d also rather grow my following organically- I like that word omg- but I think it’s important to stay respectful who those that prefer different methods because they might just want some numerically reward xo (you’ve commented on so many posts bb thank you so much I’m too grateful for words so here’s a heart instead❤️)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms. Kat's Favorite Things says:

    I have seen a number of posts about this recently. This was a very interesting perspective on the topic. I really enjoyed your take on it and think you made some great points. I’m very new to blogging, but I’m more than aware of people buying followers. I wouldn’t do it, but with the pressure to succeed, I can understand why people do it. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jodiedcmitchell says:

    I’ve never thought about it like that! I think the main reason it bothers people is because some just can’t be bothered to put and effort in and then just get handed paid ads on a plate (a girl I went to school with does this and it does wind me RIGHT up)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jess says:

      I know a guy who did this and went from 2k to 100k Instagram followers pretty much overnight and it made me facepalm pretty hard but they might still work equally hard on their blogs/social medias. It’s frustrating when people buy followers but I deffo don’t think it’s synonymous with not working hard x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. palegirlrambling says:

    This was a really interesting read!! I’ve never thought about it like that! Although it’s not something I feel really strongly about I’ve certainly rolled my eyes at a twitter account with 24K followers and about 23 tweets. But you’re kinda right about those who put bucket loads of effort in to not get the views in return. You’ve definitely given me a lot to think about!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ktkinnes says:

    Thanks for the post! Personally, I haven’t bought followers, and I’ll admit that people buying followers does annoy me to some extent, however with so many brands refusing to work with you unless you have a certain number of followers I can see why some people do it. It just annoys me when it’s obvious – if someone has 40k twitter followers but only 2 likes on a post it makes me wonder if buying followers is worth it if you don’t get the interaction from them.

    Katie | http://www.lifewithktkinnes.com

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      Haha exactly, this is the thing that puts me off every time. It might be beneficial on like Twitter where your followers number is all that matters but with a blog it’s your actual readers that count, so robots seem pretty useless! Thanks for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ellie says:

    Thanks for the honest post, it was an interesting read. I’ve seen a lot of tweets recently on this subject so it did get me curious. I’m the same as you, I just love writing to be honest and I hope that people who read my posts like them enough to comment or read any future content on my blog. I’m trying to gain followers slow and steady and if I am ever lucky enough to reach a high number of followers, I’m going to know within myself that I earned it :). I’m not the type to judge people really, I mean if people want to buy followers then I feel it’s up to them .. I just have made a personal choice not to take that route myself. Thanks for the post & sharing your thoughts on the subject :).

    Ellie Xx | http://www.make-it-up.co.uk

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      I’m with you, I want to grow my following on my own because people like what I write, but I found it odd that loads of bloggers were attacking people that bought followers where realistically everyone’s entitled to grow their following just how they want. Thanks for reading doll x

      Like

  7. Chelsea says:

    Interesting read. I appreciate you confronting a very controversial debate here. I have always been one of those people who get turned off by the idea of buying followers – i just feel it’s not REAL then. The account and the person are into the numbers instead of the quality of the following. That’s my personal viewpoint – but i can understand how hard it is at times to grow a following.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      For me, I agree I want to grow my followers myself, but I think it’s unfair recently where people have been dressing their preference up as what ‘should’ be done. If you want to buy followers I think that’s your choice and one that shouldn’t be condemned x

      Like

  8. littleowlblogs says:

    It’s really hard – on one hand buying followers is tempting but then on the other gaining followers through good content is much more rewarding! I do youtube and my Primark Hauls have got much more views than my vlogs or hauls but I don’t just keep doing them to gain easy followers. I wanna gain followers that have the same interested and loves as me. Your doing great anyway! Here’s another follow from someone who’s really enjoying your content. Littleowlblogs.wordpress.com hope you can check me out xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      Aw thank you b! Means a lot. I agree that growing your own following is way more rewarding, but also I think it’s down to preference. I want to grow my followers on my own, but others may want help, so maybe it shouldn’t be condemned.

      Like

  9. Andrea says:

    This is so true!! I don’t even want to know what it’s like for a blogger who’s been around for quite a while; my blog is not even a month old and I’ve been noticing these things. Thanks for spreading awareness about this, it’s an actual matter 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      Mwah xo It must be so frustrating for blogs that have been around even longer than mine and aren’t successful, I completely get why they would buy followers and don’t think it should be looked down on x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. psmith83 says:

    Love this. I’m really new to the world of blogging (I just like the sound of my own voice so thought other people might do too) and am pretty naive to the world of buying followers and likes. I really don’t know quite how I would feel about taking that kind of shortcut when my writing is my little passion project ( I’d love the freebies and ad revenue though. Haha)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. corinneandkirsty says:

    It’s interesting to see another point of view.. However I can really agree. Basically because as you said: when you spend time growing your following I don’t think it’s fair that people take the easy shortcut and are seen as “better” than you in front of brands for instance… Even if their content is as good or maybe better. Plus if you work hard for your blog to be read and noticed it will work and happen quickly, it’s if you don’t put in enough effort that nothing will happen and you will want to buy followers to make things move. x

    Kirsty
    http://www.corinneandkirsty.com

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      I think it’s important not to assume that everyone who buys followers doesn’t work hard. They’ll be a lot of bloggers who have worked super hard for years and finally buy followers just to get some numerical results and I don’t think they should be looked down on. In an ideal world we’d all grow our followings on our own though x

      Like

    • Jess says:

      Haha thanks for reading. I don’t think I’d actually ever do it because all you get at the end of it is thousands of robots but it’s an interesting perspective to explore.

      Like

  12. bexfaye says:

    This is a really interesting read, and has put a few things into perspective. I guess people can do as they wish as it’s their own blog I guess and no-one elses. Thanks for sharing this xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jess says:

      I think if it enables you to work with brands and earn money through advertising etc it would be worth it, but personally I’d rather grow my following myself.

      Like

  13. altspeaking says:

    I don’t hate on those who buy followers BUT as a digital/social media marketing specialist I can tell you its generally a waste of your time…. instead of getting a community of followers that will support you, engage with you and help you to be successful, you get empty numbers that do nothing to move you forward. Generally most companies look beyond just the numbers to see if people actually engage with you across blogs and social media and take that into consideration – at that point you’ve basically thrown away the money spent buying followers… so is it really worth it?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jess says:

      Haha this is the thing that always puts me off- robots can’t read or interact with your blog so it seems like a bit of a waste. I guess sometimes if someone has a lot of followers on Twitter it then attracts attention (and in turn more followers) but I’d rather grow my following myself x thanks for the expert input

      Liked by 2 people

      • altspeaking says:

        Keep going with your approach – it’s the winning way long term! Takes a little more work but totally worth it in the end!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s