Lessons of a New Blogger...
I read something tonight that kind of made me sad: some people buy fake comments for their blog. Fake comments are apparently available for a reasonably cheap price and with more "comments" on your blog you can increase your SEO, get "found" by search engines, and look a lot more "popular" than you actually are. And, If you have a "popular" blog, you may get offers to write "sponsored posts" and make money, and be sent things (free!) to review and make more money (and get free stuff!).
Sponsored posts might be cool, and free stuff - well, what can I say? even I like free stuff - but to me, buying comments is deceptive for the real people who read a blog, and for companies who would offer a product for review.
And, just in case your blog isn't "popular" enough with fake blog comments, you can also buy fake Twitter followers. Then you have lots of comments on your blog, and loads of Twitter followers, and boom! - you are a "popular" blogger!
I also have a suspicion that some of the "followers" listed on some peoples blogs aren't real people, either. Often when I read a blog, I check out a few of the profiles of the blogs followers to see if they also have a blog; I figure that if they are reading the same blog as I am then their blog, if they have one, might be interesting to me, too.
Sometimes "followers" are not bloggers, and that is okay. But I, personally, am just surprised that Shakespeare and the Big Bad Wolf would be interested in reading blogs! I can picture Shakespeare tweeting, and the Big Bad Wolf might "follow" Little Red Riding Hood on Twitter, but reading blogs? I don't think so!
I know that not all blogs have fake comments and fake followers - there are some great blogs out there that are fun and/or informative to read, and written by genuine people, but now, as I explore the blogosphere I'm always going to have the question in my mind: "Is this for real?"