It would be a lie if I tried to say that I write “only for myself”.
In fact, I dare say that most people who write and share their writing on some level do not write exclusively “for themselves”.
Perhaps you, my dear reader, are someone who shall now attest that you do, in fact, write only for yourself and to hell with likes, shares, follows, and views. And if you are truly honest in this proclamation, then congratulations. You are an anomaly. You are unique. You are rare. You are a unicorn.
For most, however, there is some intrinsic desire to see numbers increase, to feel as though more people are reading what we write, and that they do so because they legitimately enjoy what we’re writing about…or at least the way in which we write about those things.
That being said, it is difficult to honestly gauge our reach, our level of connection. It’s difficult to tell who reads what, for what reason they read, and to what degree they like, or even if they actually care. We are given crude numbers that end up being this mercurial element which is tangent to all the numbers we’re given.
The actual connection between these numbers, however, is vague and the truth of those values debateable.
This leads us to the actual point of this post. Culling.
As of today, I’ve done two cullings of my followers.
The way I do this is as follows: I go through the last 10 posts or 10 days (whichever is longer) and I record the name of every like I got. I then go through my list of followers and redact anyone who hasn’t liked anything I wrote over that given span of posts or time.
First time, I went from approximately 430+ followers down to 48.
Think about that.
430 people were supposedly following me, but of them, less than 50 had made even the most tenuous of interactions with my posts. That’s a little over 11%.
Now, some people might say, “But perhaps a lot of them were reading, but they just don’t click like.”
This is true. But the problem with that logic is that, when I removed the better part of 400 followers, my stats didn’t change enough to substantiate the claim that almost any of them were just “passive viewers”.
Today, I completed my second culling. I went from 283 down to 105, and I suspect I will see the same overall effect. I suspect I will get the same sort of views and likes because, generally speaking, the same core group of people like what I post. Other people like and follow, and then disappear. More to point, it gives me a more accurate depiction of how many people might actually be looking at what I post rather than just giving me the total number of people who clicked on the “follow” button.
So, how about the rest of you?
Do you sometimes trim your following?
Do you let the idle followers stay on board for the sake of “well, they’re not hurting anything…”?
Feel free to share your thoughts. I always like talking numbers, percentages, and statistics. 🤓