Blogging etiquette with vanilla followers

I have a problem.  (Oh shush, peanut gallery.)  What do you do when you don’t think you should reciprocate attention to your blog?

Part of my ethos as a blogger (well, as a person really) is that if someone takes the time to get to know me, spend time with me or my work, and invests time/effort in me…well, I want to reciprocate.

Don’t we all?

In some cases, it is easy.  The person who follows me has a blog with similar interests, I’ve seen the person commenting elsewhere in blogland, and I feel perfectly comfortable leaving a comment on his or her blog.

In other cases, it’s also easy even though it has a few more steps.  Someone visits/follows/comments on my blog once or twice, the only comments are hard sells of his/her own blog, and after a few days or weeks the person disappears.  I still visit at least once or twice because sometimes bloggers are simply new and don’t know how to find other people’s blogs, but after a while I shrug and focus on the relationships and community that want to interact with me.

In the last case, I still don’t know what to do.  The first time I received “follows” from what looked like an extremely vanilla blog, I assumed it was spam or an auto-follow.  The second time it happened, I thought that someone had found my post on a “fresh-pressed” page and followed me simply in the hope of getting me to follow back.  Then there were bloggers “liking” my posts.  Now, a significant portion of my followers and likers are (as far as I can tell) vanilla.

I’m stumped.

I am happy to have readers, and if you are happy to lurk I am happy to have you.  But I wish you could know that I appreciate you.

If I were a very vanilla blogger writing a very vanilla blog with very vanilla friends, would I really want a ttwd blogger to leave comments on my blog?  Possibly “out” me if I had visited the ttwd blog thinking that I was just leaving a nice note?

What do you do when you have vanilla “likers” and “followers” who have been consistent in their attention to you?  I want to show my appreciation, especially the ones who haven’t commented, but even though I like quite a few of the blogs I don’t feel right about returning the favors.

What would you do?

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36 thoughts on “Blogging etiquette with vanilla followers

  1. Julia says:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, while at the same time, i wouldn’t be sure whether to comment on their blog or not. Depends on the topic I think…

    Like

    • Ana says:

      If it is something like, say, photography of children then I feel very awkward…:S

      Though we will have a vanilla author visiting for Fika next month, so I guess there is room for border-shifting. 🙂

      Like

      • Julia says:

        That is true. I posted a pic of two little girls the other day, cause it went with the content, but posted a couple having sex further down. Didn’t even occur to me to not do that. DH was like, get the kids out of there….:D

        Like

        • Ana says:

          I know…people can completely get the wrong idea and I am paranoid about being seen as a pervert in any way. I post enough about liking kids and…!!!

          Hope that you have a good day today. Needs are hard.

          Like

  2. Cowgirl Up says:

    Well, my first thought was just go ahead and comment. In a vanilla way of course. But then, any of the other commenters can, of course follow you back to your blog…….So, I don’t know! I had a guy comment once that I followed back to his blog. It was very vanilla with pictures of his kids/family. This guy wanted a DD relationship, but didn’t have one yet. I just left him alone! I have a feeling if I had commented, he would have had some explaining to do!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Another really good point if it is cross-gender! It is hard when someone has been nice to you and you want to say thank you somehow. I wonder what happened to that guy and if he was able to bring up the subject.

      Like

  3. foxy says:

    I got three blogs two that is very vanilla and another one which is not, I started on the vanilla, linked with name, the other with a different name.

    But this is one with all the hot blog follows, so now is default one which leaves answers everywhere

    Like

  4. Lillie says:

    Ana, are you talking about me? 😉
    I agree with the people who say be your adorable self. Maybe your vanilla bloggers are people who are curious and have desires, interests, etc. that they haven’t come to terms with yet.
    Maybe they just love you for who you are……like we do 😀

    Like

    • Ana says:

      *giggle* You? Vanilla? *falls on the floor laughing*

      And awwww…thank you. First you tease me all day and then you say something sweet like this. I am completely disarmed. 🙂

      Right back atcha. ❤

      Like

  5. Adaline raine says:

    Hmmm. I have thought about this a lot especially since my blog started out dd oriented and now encompasses my writing which is not all erotic. I have lots of followers on twitter but I do note that I write erotica though how erotic depends on the follower I guess. Hmm. Idk. I’m all out here online and yet I do wonder what others think. Don’t we all? I guess vanilla sometimes has swirls of other flavors init. 😉 at the risk of your firm hand I like ya just the way you are. 🙂 (awww)

    Like

    • Ana says:

      *giggle* I actually have a soft hand. I use lotion. 😉

      I really understand wondering what people think, though of course it’s different because my writing doesn’t fit into that category. Oh well, I guess we are all weird in our own way!

      Like

  6. lea27f says:

    I’ve had the subject of comment reciprocation on my mind lately, but this is definitely a different take on it. I’ve never been aware of any vanilla people reading or commenting on my blog. If they did, I’m not sure if I would write on theirs from this account. Hmm. Interesting question. I do have a few spanking friends who HAVE vanilla blogs and if I read them, I comment anonymously and not from my Lea profile.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      There are other things to consider of course. One is when I visit someone else’s blog and comment but there is never any reciprocation (unless it’s a freakingly awesome blog, I don’t go back). Another is if I comment on their blog and they don’t respond to comments. But those I know how to handle, so instead of talking about pet peeves I thought I’d get responses on something I don’t know how to handle.

      Like

  7. Roz says:

    Hi Ana, I have been following your blog for a while but I don’t think I have commented before – sorry 🙂 So, I thought this would be the perfect post to start.

    I would comment, depending on the topic but keep it fairly general and not give too much personal detail. Just be you 🙂

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Hi Roz! Welcome! I guess this turned out to be a de-lurking post for more than one person. Not my intention in doing it, but yay! I am glad anyway.

      That is good advice. 🙂

      Like

  8. Susie says:

    I deal with the entire thing on my own blog. I leave a comment back to the commenter saying that I visited but didn’t leave a comment. Often enough they’ll come back and realize that not doing so was a good idea. People don’t always realize how easily trackable they are. If they want me to visit and comment, I do but I use “anonymous” and give them another common name that I’ll use on their blog. They know who I am but nobody can track it down. Then I delete that whole bunch of comments so that it isn’t sitting out there on my blog either. Seems to work well.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Oh wow, that sounds like a lot of work. So you delete their comments on your own blog? How you they know it’s you commenting on theirs? Hm…maybe Ana can have an alter ego…

      Like

  9. Basia Rose says:

    My blog started out half kink, half vanilla, and gradually morphed into almost 100% kink. I do feel weird now because some of my original followers are alienated, and I feel wrong commenting on their sites.
    What really annoys me is when I might “like” some guy’s blog post, and he sees that as an open invitation to begin an online relationship! I’m not sure who told so many men that a “like” was a date invitation!
    Or maybe they just think that women who blog about BDSM must be free-for-all sluts!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Hi Basia Rose, and welcome!

      I have found a lot of (what seems to be) vanilla guys following me on Twitter. That feels a bit weird. It’s not as if they are writers (I think).

      I do have to say though that some of the bdsm-related people I’ve followed I’ve had to unfollow because their tweets are very explicit. So I dunno, maybe some people get the wrong signal.

      And aren’t women all just sex objects anyway? Bah. That is a rant for another day. 😀

      Like

      • Adaline Raine says:

        There seems to be a lot of vanilla male authors that follow me on twitter too but I clearly talk about spanking a lot so maybe they just like the idea of me getting spanked even though they may not be into it? I did stop myself from twittering an explicate blog post (mind blowing orgasms) because it was all about MDK bringing me to some type of subspace and I wondered if that would be OK? IDK. It’s a fine line…

        Like

        • Ana says:

          Yes, I think that if we share those kinds of details (though I don’t share that kind) we need to be aware of our audience. One of the side effects of trying to brand ourselves is that we become easy to find and therefore have to be careful about what kind of presence we leave. It is hard.

          Like

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