Blogging Chat: Spammy New WordPress Followers

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We all get spammy new followers, but what exactly is the point? In this post, I thought we could chat about that.

First, what do I mean by spammy followers? I’m talking about people who are following your blog for reasons other than having any intention of reading it. I would consider a good 90% of my new followers to be spammy, and I will never see them again after that new follow shows up in my notifications.

So if the intention isn’t to read a blog, what’s the point of following it? I see two main reasons why people might do that. One is that they’re hoping that you play the follow-for-follow game (or are simply nice) and will follow them back. Another is that some bloggers have a widget displaying their followers, and the spammy person is hoping to show up there. Aside from that, though, I’m not really seeing other potential benefits that could be motivating them.

Oh, and if you get a new follower and clicking on their Gravatar in your notifications takes you to a page that says the site no longer exists, that’s probably not a spammy follower. More likely, it’s because the blogger changed their site’s URL at some point, but their Gravatar is still pointing to the old URL. WordPress doesn’t let people know when this is happening, so the blogger is probably blissfully unaware that it’s an issue. This blogging toolbox post goes into how to check and fix that.

You can remove someone as a follower if you want. Go to “My Sites” > “Stats”, and click on “Followers” near the top right corner of the page. That’ll take you to a list of your followers, and there’s a “Remove” button next to each one. I’ve found that some people are fairly persistent, either because they’ve built themselves a bot or because they’re blindly going through the Reader following any blog they find that they’re not currently following. Rather than getting into an unfollow/refollow war with these people, it can avoid much frustration to just let them be and ignore them.

If the follower’s gravatar is an obscene image (like a dick pic), you can report that to WordPress and they would probably remove it as a violation of the terms of service. Back in my earlier days of blogging, there was a dick pick gravatar that would repeatedly refollow me even though I kept deleting him. Once I reported him to WP, that stopped.

I used to get mildly annoyed by the masses of spammy followers, but now I just don’t care. Part of that is because I’ve stopped caring at all about my follower number because it’s so meaningless, so I’m not sufficiently motivated to make the effort to remove the spammy types. I know for some people, though, getting that follower number to be more reflective of reality can be very satisfying.

Do you get a lot of spammy followers? Does their presence annoy you?

Blogging toolbox: graphics of toolbox and wordpress logo

The blogging toolbox series has tips to support you in your blogging journey. It includes these posts:

87 thoughts on “Blogging Chat: Spammy New WordPress Followers”

  1. Pingback: Blogging Chat: Spammy New WordPress Followers – The Jedi Mind Trick

  2. Greetings Ashley Leia,
    Thank you for all the work you do putting the information on the wirld of WordPress into mor bite-sized morsels.😍

    Hope you are doing well. Prayers and blessings to you. Peace🙏

  3. Pingback: Blogging Chat: Spammy New WordPress Followers –

  4. Uh oh. I might unintentionally be a spammy follower. When I check out someone’s blog, I frequently follow because I like what I see. Then, I forget. Yes, I get email notifications but I don’t check my email. Hmmm.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I definitely have many spammy followers, but it doesn’t bother me because I care more about views and comments than follower numbers. But lately I haven’t been letting my dwindling stats get to me. I’m doing the best I can to blog at least every 3 days and to read blogs when I can. I’m getting busy/distracted/depressed so when blogging or reading blogs feels like a chore, I just don’t push myself to do it.

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  7. I had a new follower who commented so often most of his comments went to my spam folder lol so I had to manually approve them – I thought he was just really keen and interested, but then it got into him telling me he could give me better ideas for my blog than myself and I politely refused, then he pushed further and I said no again then I totally lost him as a follower. I find spammy people often just want attention and aren’t as genuine as they try to act.

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