Change How You View Unsubscribes {Amanda’s Discussion}

Posted 9 August, 2013 by Amanda / 24 Comments

discussion

Numbers can mean a lot to us book bloggers. We want to see our numbers go up, not DOWN.

And sure, even though we know we shouldn’t put so much stock in numbers, we do. It’s tough to watch your numbers drop, no matter where you’re tracking numbers: Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin’, Feedburner, and so on.

Whenever you feel that brief panic of seeing your numbers drop (come on, you know what I’m talking about), repeat one–or more–of these mantras:

1. “Unsubscribes mean I’ve made it”

Just like many of us don’t trust books that only have positive reviews and look for critical reviews to legitimize the book, unsubscribes should be the same way.

So people don’t like what you’re doing? You’re doing something, people are paying attention, and you’re making them react. Not everyone is going to like it.

2. “I can’t please everyone”

And neither should you try.

You don’t want people to follow you who don’t want to follow you. They’re just going to get more annoyed by you if they continue to follow you.

3. “It was probably just a spammer”

Plenty of people follow you just so you follow them back. If you don’t, they unsubscribe.

You don’t want those people anyway.

4. “My subscribers are awesome”

Don’t get so obsessed with unsubscribers that you forget about your subscribers. Focus on your subscribers: they’re with you for a reason.

Make sure your subscribers feel appreciated. They’ll be more likely to stick around.

5. “People come and people go”

It’s just a fact of life. People change, decide they don’t want to follow you, and move on. You probably do the same.

If you lose someone, look to strengthen or create a relationship with someone else.

PS. Focus on the long term. The picture below represents my Twitter followers over time. So even though I’m getting unfollows? My follower count is steadily going UP. If there was a huge dip somewhere, I’d want to take a look at WHY to see if there’s something I can change or fix. That might be concerning. But this is not.

What thoughts go through your head when you see your numbers have dropped?

Filed under: Discussion,

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24 Responses to “Change How You View Unsubscribes {Amanda’s Discussion}”

  1. I probably get 10 or so unfollows per day on my twitter, but then I get like 15 more followers to make up for that, so like I get the twitter counter emails and check my profile when I log onto web browser twitter, but I don’t get upset over unfollows on there – UNLESS it is someone I thought I was friendly with. That makes me sad.

    As for facebook and blogloving, I could not even tell you my numbers without going to look. Ah well.

    I like the point you make though — appreciate the followers you have and in the long run it will increase.

    • I stopped receiving notifications on new Twitter followers after I kept getting the same email notification three+ times. It removes me a bit from the whole follow/unfollow thing. Which I actually like. The vast majority of the time, I don’t even know who unfollowed me–I just see numbers go down. And I usually assume I lost an author looking to promote, which doesn’t necessarily strike me as a loss, since I’m about interacting.

      It’s a perspective thing. I can focus on unsubscribes or I can focus on followers, and I’m much rather love the latter.

  2. Definitely agree — appreciate your followers who stick around, don’t worry about pleasing everyone and just do your thing. While that isn’t always enough to get new followers, it is enough to keep the ones who appreciate your blogging!

    • I think that strengthening your relationships with your current followers can lead to new followers. You’re essentially creating a community online–if it’s attractive, people will want to be a part of it. It just may take a while to increase. No massive jumps in numbers.

      Slow and steady wins the race. :) (If it were a race. Which it’s not. BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.)

  3. I definitely follow numbers, but more as a curiosity. I know there have been people I’ve followed and liked well enough, but at a certain point just didn’t really care about anymore. And so I unfollowed them. I don’t think it has to be like an awkward breakup, just two people drifting away from each other at a party.

    • That’s how I usually approach numbers too. It’s curiosity. And I like just being AWARE of what my numbers are doing.

      I like the idea of two people drifting away from each at a party. It’s quite apt. :)

  4. All fabulous points Amanda! Unsubscribes used to really bother me in the beginning, I was working so hard to put up good content and comment on other blogs and really trying to find my place in this awesome community, so the unsubscribes felt like a punch to the face. Now though, they don’t bother me at all. Like you said, you can’t please everyone and the people I do have reading the blog are AWESOME and make me happy each and every day, so I just focus on that. If something huge happened and I had a mass exodus from the blog, I’d want to know what that was all about, but a couple people dropping of every month or two? Not for me to worry about:)

    • I think unsubscribes are always more difficult when you’re just starting out. I know I’m more sensitive to them regarding my business (perhaps partly because it’s a money-making venture), but I really try to focus on all of these mantras. And unsubscribes happen–it’d be impossible to keep every single subscriber you’ve ever had.

  5. Great post, Amanda! When I first subscribed to Qwitter I was devastated to see that a book blogger had unfollowed me – what did I do wrong?! And then I realised, that I’m me, I’m blogging (and Tweeting) my own personality, and if she didn’t like that, I’m not going to change who I am to keep someone else happy.

    I try and turn my way of thinking upside down on follower/subscriber numbers too – if people don’t want to follow me anymore, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it :)

    • Yup. That’s exactly it–it’s not worth changing who you are.

      I don’t think I could subscribe to a service that tells me who unfollowed me. I’d be too tempted to check. I’m happy living in ignorance. ;)

  6. I like that! I’ve never looked at them from a positive way. The way I stalk all my numbers I always notice. I’m always curious why they unfollow though. I’m just proud of myself that I’ve never emailed someone to ask. I am that kinda crazy so that a positive.

    • If you really, truly want to know, have you ever considered doing a reader survey? You could ask people to rate their experience (like on a scale of some kind) of different aspects of your blog. You may find a common thread. (Or you may find that everyone has a different opinion and it’s too difficult to please everyone. That happens too.)

  7. Good coping plan! Twitter unfollows don’t bother me, I figure it’s usually someone I don’t interact with so I’m not worried. Bloglovin unfollows do panic me but I try not to worry. As long as the overall trend is up,that’s all the matters. I do admit to a sinking feeling when I spot it though!

  8. Nice post!
    Point 1 is quite interesting. I’ve never really thought about it that way :)
    To be honest, I don’t really track my followers anymore, but back when I first started blogging I would check my stats quite frequently, and whenever the numbers dropped I’d be like “WELL I DIDN’T WANT YOU ANYWAY!” *runs off sobbing*
    But yeah, nowadays, I don’t really think the exact number of followers matters, as long as there are some awesome people who continue commenting and interacting with you :)

  9. It’s funny how when I unsubscribe from a blog, it’s completely about me and not at all about them… but if someone unsubscribes from mine, it must be all about me. That knee-jerk reaction aside, I do try to keep it all in perspective.

  10. I usually figure we don’t have the same taste in books, and that’s totally okay. I periodically go through my subscriptions and delete ones that really aren’t my “type” because, life is busy and I need more reading books time! ;) I figure others do the same. It’s all good!

  11. I’ve kind of stopped looking at follower numbers. My blog focus used to be on getting all of the new book reviews out to my readers which meant trying to beef up my numbers so I could “look good” to publishers. My focus has changed to providing content that I actually care about and not keeping up with all of the other “big name” bloggers.

    Once that focus changed, I found myself a lot happier. Numbers are ALWAYS great and that’s totally why we go to all the trouble to do this. I go with the assumption that my subscribers are with me because they like what I’m doing. Naturally they ROCK! :)

    Excellent post! I love taking what could be a panic attack inducing event and thinking about it in a positive light.

    • Yes, yes, yes! I’m so glad that a simple change of focus made you happier with blogging. :)

      I also think that we have to remember that numbers = people. If we lose focus on the people, that’s when we start losing people.

  12. I don’t worry too much about losing subscribers anymore. It bothered me a bit that my numbers dropped when I was on hiatus, because it was like those people didn’t believe I would ever get it together and return to blogging. The lack of faith was what stung. Other than that, I try not to pay attention to unfollows.

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