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Why don't our followers follow us?
Concept of Followers
A lot of online writing websites, including HubPages, allow you to follow other writers' work or make friends among the big community of fellow writers. Actually a large amount of traffic at all writing websites is generated by the writers themselves. They read, comment upon each others' work, encourage each other, argue sometimes - in forum discussions, or in discussions at comments posted to articles - in fact hubPages has an accolade for those who start interesting discussions in comments, Squidoo has a module (analogous to capsule at HubPages) called dual for debates. And in this process they increase the number of page visits.
Are your followers namesake?
The HubPages Community Viewpoint
Recently I came across a very interesting question (another great medium at HubPages to encourage the interaction between the fellow writers - asking questions, answering them, making hubs about them - you get an accolade for asking questions which inspire others to create hubs) "Why do followers follow us but do not support our work?"
I did some more research with related questions, and I found a couple of interesting ones - "Do you feel it's just plain rude for a hubber not to follow you back?" and "Should I follow all my followers?"
Almost all the answers to these two questions supported the notion of following a person only if that person's work is appealing to you - if the topics they write about are interesting. Very few said that it's not bad thing to follow your followers, and even fewer were strongly of the opinion that they follow their followers since it's morally correct thing to do.
So we could perhaps conclude, that on HubPages at least, most people would follow you if they find your work interesting - then why would they not read/comment upon your work? Some answers are pretty obvious, we will discuss them under 'Lighter Reasons'. Some are rather heavy, and if you are up for healthy criticism, they can provide a great feedback - We will cover these under 'Time for Introspection.'
1. Not all your followers would be hyperactive hubbers. They have an offline life too, and let's face it - clearing up a backlog of notifications from HubPages won't be on anyone's priority list when you're back from a vaccation.
2. They just did you a favor by following, in which case, there is certain percentage of your followers who only influence the statistics. They are not really interested in your work so won't read your hubs regularly. Make sure you don't fall in this category, it's all about Karma you see. ;)
3. Many of your followers might come and read your hubs, and then they might not comment - they might not be active commentators, they might not have a comment for your specific hub, or they might be running out of time.
Time for Introspection
1. Inconsistency in Quality/Originality. When a person started following you, you had many good quality hubs which appealed to him/her. Now, the quality is not consistent - you are more lenient about grammatical/punctuation mistakes, or you might have started repeating yourself. Often people won't unfollow you, but then if you do not maintain the quality, originality etc. your readers would start to lose interest in your work.
2. Diversified topics. You wrote great hubs for one topic. About 20 people started following you. Now you thought, let's improve the spectrum by writing for another topic. While this would definitely attract another category of audience, it might repel the first 20 followers who might not be at all interested in your new topic. So make sure you write something for old followers too.
3. Difficult hubs to comment upon. If your opinions appear too strong in a writeup, people might feel hesitant to comment upon your work - in case they offend you. Use Satire instead of straightforward criticism, avoid using too strong language and using examples/incidences to state your opinions is often more effective for expressing your views.
4. Making it easy for people to phrase comments. You could put in some extra effort to make your hub more interactive, with a poll, or by asking questions from readers which they can answer in the comments section.
While there can be many reasons which you can't do much about, there might be some improvements which could bring you better readership along with followership. So continue with good work - strive for better quality, Happy Hubbing.