August 29, 2014 - Friday.
Before I say my peace, I want to tell you that this forum post is not aimed at any one hubber or group of hubbers. It is aimed at every single person who comes to HubPages and who does the any of the following:
After joining HubPages, there are newbies who write at least one hub, however I noticed quite a few lately who have no hubs. Get the first one written, get the experience.
Then they spend considerable time combing through the feeds and forums looking for the most active hubber names to click to follow. I have seen several newbies with 2 to 10 followers and then I see they are following 100, 200, or in one case, 4135 people. When I look to see when new hubbers joined, they are only here less than 2 weeks!
Stop doing it. As soon as hubbers see you only have 10 followers, and they see 4135 that you are following, we know you are not serious about this site.
We know you only want a big number next to your name and that you are not willing to do the work that comes with having those people as followers.
Work? What work?
If you are serious, following people is hard work. It means you are interested in what they write and the only way you show you are interested in what they write is by actually reading their work and commenting.
If you don’t leave a comment, they will never know you read their work. HubPages doesn’t track names, just numbers of visits. We can only tell by comments who was there.
Trust me when I tell you that if you have 10 followers now, if you are following 4135 people, you will only get a very small fraction to click "follow" back to you. And they do it only to be nice.
Following 100, 200 or 4135 jambs up your email (if you have notifications set to on) and your personal feed is so congested, you have no idea who wrote what and if you had already read it or not.
Being a follower to get a follower is hard work when you get into those astronomical numbers.
They will not be your loyal followers who will go out of their way to read your work until they see you are a loyal follower to them. It's the high following numbers that give you away as not serious.
Many of us give newbies a few chances to visit and comment, and if they are a no show, we unfollow. Not all of us, but a good many of us.
The reason why we frown on following such high numbers is because we are pretty serious about our writing here. We follow those who write stuff we like, and usually we have followers who like the stuff we write. We are supportive in our comments and we vote and we use the share buttons often to Hub feed, G+1, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
We don't usually follow people just for the hell of following. We are not interested in having 4135 followers within the first 2 months of joining HubPages. It is not a race to get the highest number of followers in the shortest amount of time. There is no bonus pay for having 4135 followers.
How many hubbers will you be able to read in a day? Example: If you are following 4135 people, and say 80% of them write an article a day, that leaves 3308 people you have to visit to read what they wrote, leave a supportive comment on it and hope that they visit you to read what you wrote and comment too, because that is how it works. (I hope you have more than one hub written by then).
It’s called reciprocity - giving and taking. You should only follow people if you like their writing. Many are nice enough to follow back without even checking out your writing. But don't be surprised if they unfollow if they don't like your stuff.
A short time later, you too will stop reading their work too because it just gets too overwhelming and besides, they aren’t coming to read your work now at all.
Why aren’t they?
Well, if you skipped reading them, that could be one reason. But probably because they saw your 4135 following number and knew you were not a serious writer and why waste time on that kind of writer when they could be reading someone's writing they like and someone who comes to read their work as well.
You will look back on this in a year or so and wonder what the heck you were thinking.
Follow responsibly, remember to read and leave a comment, and write good stuff.
In all fairness to the new Hubbers, they now have to go thru Boot Camp. Until they have 5 featured articles approved by staff, their hubs won't show - not even the count. This is something fairly new that I just discovered. I didn't have to go thru Boot Camp when I first joined. Point being, if they have zero hubs showing on their profile, it may just be a matter of timing.
However, following people just for the sake of racking up the numbers is not the way this site works. As you said, follow if you enjoy the Hubber's writing. When I get notification that I have a new follower, I'll check out their profile page and glance thru their titles. If they don't interest me, I won't follow. I refuse to be a hypocrite. Additionally, if someone follows me but hasn't bothered to leave a comment, I won't follow them.
There is a way to see who has visited your page even if they don't comment. Go into one of your hubs. At the top you'll see a "Stats" button. When you click on that it gives you the URLs of visitors to your site.
The way to be successful on HubPages is to engage in the community and make new friends. Read and comment and it'll come back to you. Those of us who have loyal followers read everything that person writes and vice versa. As you say Rachael, it's all about give and take. And you'll find that as you gain a loyal following, your writing will improve. We're here to help each other and most of us do just that.
Oh - one more thing. If a reader finds typos, or has something negative to say either don't say anything at all or email the writer with your findings. Embarrassing a writer via the comments section or chastising them publicly is not the way to build a positive community relationship.
All in all, do unto others as you'd have others do unto you.
I have just joined and am relieved after reading this. The idea of trying to read the works of hundreds or thousands of writers per day is not only overwhelming, it is highly improbable. I would much rather be selective about the pieces I read and comment on.
Also, I am happy to learn that negative criticism and editing suggestions are preferred via private messages. Public scrutinizing of a writer's work was something I found commonplace on other sites. I feel rather fortunate to have joined a site where serious, dedicated and sincere writers gather. I look forward to getting to know some of you as well as becoming familiar with some of your works!
It was a good idea that you made that point of view clear. Following others, reading what they have written and commenting is, by far hard work. Writing hubs is also hard work, as you have stated including showing others what you have to offer.
Rachael, I am glad someone came out and made this clear. It had to be said. I just hope those it is intended for get to read it.
Indeed let's hope newbies are attracted to the title so they stop in to read this. I think the following situation is way out of hand when they have 1 hub, are fairly new and have thousands they are following. Thank you, Jodah,
To respond to some of the other comments here....We all enjoy having followers and many of us truly don't care who makes the choice to follow us. It'd be nice if they would read our work once in a while because what is the sense of following us if they don't read our work or care about what we write.
The point I was making in my original post was:
Follow only those you enjoy reading.
You may never find those you really enjoy reading because they are lost in the crowd.
From this side of the screen, when someone follows thousands, it says they are only viewing HubPages as a social site like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc where having thousands of followers is the goal.
There is no rule that says one has to follow back. So, for me, I follow back to see if I like their work. If I do, I stay a follower. If I don't, I quietly click "unfollow."
There is no prestige in following a lot of people or having them follow you back. It is almost like buying a vote on election day from someone who doesn't care what you stand for. Their vote is a number counted to add to the tally, but the person can't be counted on for anything.
Following works differently on different sites. Here, you follow people whose hubs you want to read . It is a way to be informed when they publish something new so you can read their hubs.
Or, people follow you to see what you are up to and/or to steal your content. Yup! Happened to me. Months ago I had a follower who followed me just to steal my content. I got all the plagiarized stuff removed, but he is still allowed to follow me. HP wouldn't cancel his account or prevent him from following.
Except for that thief, I'm glad when people follow me, whether they read my Hubs or not.
Hello, Peg2. I live part time in Virginia and part time in Winter Haven, not too far from you in Tampa. I'm in Tampa nearly every day to take my son to work.
Welcome to HubPages. Once you get out of Boot Camp, you'll know the ropes better. Make your way around to topics you like and read the work of some of those hubbers. Comment, follow, leave them some fan mail if you wish. Soon people will be following you as you publish more hubs and make your mark here on the site.
Good Luck and have a great time writing.
Bravo! Excellent expression of my feelings. Its been a fabulously wonderful busy summer with thousands and thousands of miles of travel. When I can, I check my notifications. I have lots not yet checked, but they will get looked at and responses will be made. It may be February,but it will get done:) Hub pages is an important to me. Please be considerate of other Hubbers time.
Interesting... I noticed some who followed tons but had little content. I thought it was silly as well.
I quickly learned the value and importance of interacting on hubpages. These are relationships, friends really and should be treated as such, even if it is virtual. Support is valued when it's sincere.
It's wonderful that you took the time write and share this thread. I'm sure many will find it helpful.
God bless you!
I came across this post as I am a new hubber with nothing to show as of yet in the hubs department. It can initially seem intimidating to get up and running with 10 quality hubs and perhaps there is a tendency to over research subjects and strategy by delving into the forums and reading hubs. I have put together ideas but have so far not taking the plunge. It hadn't occurred to me to follow for followers so I'm not sure it is fair to over interpret the motives of new hubbers. I ought to just get going and 'publish or be damned' and indeed, now that the new school term is underway, I will hopefully turn some of my ideas into text. So far I am procrastinating in the tutorial and community forums so please don't rebuke me. I'm trying to get there just like the rest of you.
Hi Maggie, welcome to Hub Pages. The first step is the hardest and once you have taken a chance and published your first hub it gets easier. Read a few random hubs of other people and get an idea of what works. Check out boot camp, then get hubbing. I had trouble starting off too, but now can't wait to publish my next hub. Good luck, look forward to reading your work.
Thank you for the kind words. I've only just figured how I get notifications so have only just seen your comment. I'm still browsing but have taken the plunge with my hubs and will wait until I've got a few drafted up before I press the publish button. My confidence is growing with the use of the features and I get a buzz when I've mastered something. I can't believe I didn't find this site years ago.
Thank you so much for the great advice in this forum. I started less than 7 days ago. I published one hub, but I'm still trying to get my feet firmly on the ground. I have a lot to learn, but this advice surely helps!
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