Why You Shouldn’t Use Bloglovin’s Follow by Email Widget


Not long ago, Bloglovin’ updated their logo and buttons (it’s about time). They also added a shiny new follow by email widget. What? A FREE FOLLOW BY EMAIL OPTION!?! grabby hands


NEVER never never never never EVER switch to a follow by email option before TESTING IT YOURSELF! ASSUME NOTHING!

Now, Bloglovin’s Follow by Email option had me very curious. Why would they offer this service and how did it work…I set out on a mission to find out and here are my findings.

The Experiment

First, I created a brand new gmail account and added Bloglovin’s widget to my sidebar.

enter email

I entered my new email, followed and then confirmed my subscription.

Then I left the mailbox alone and waited 2 weeks.

2 Weeks Later….

After 2 weeks, I have posted 5 times since then. Here’s what the inbox looks like:


WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS CRAP!?!?! How did 5 posts get turned into more than 3 times as many emails?

Not only that, but one of my discussion posts isn’t even in here anywhere!? Ya know what those other 11 emails are? SPAM. You are essentially spamming your readers with random Bloglovin’ crap.

But maybe the emails “Latest from These Paper Hearts & more” are good?

What’s Actually Inside the Email?


Oh, look. I get a little excerpt and then a bunch of random popular posts with food pictures…?

That’s it?! >_>

This is NOT how your subscribe to email should work

  1. You are spamming your email followers. They’re getting over 3 times as many emails than they were expecting.
  2. They never receive your full post in an email. It’s just an excerpt with a bunch of other posts
  3. Your post could be combined with other Bloglovin’ blogs they follow (you don’t stand out in their inbox)
  4. Apparently Bloglovin could also not send an update email for your posts

So when someone new comes and subscribes to your blog, they also subscribe to Bloglovin’. You’re like a package deal at that point. The problem is, you’re very likely annoying your follower with all these emails and their anger could very well be directed at you!

How should an email subscription work?

  1. You sign up for emails and confirm subscription
  2. You receive a new email with that blogger’s full post inside each day that they publish a new post

Guess what, if I wanted to follow blogs via Bloglovin’, I would create a Bloglovin’ account and do that! I LIKE Bloglovin and actually use it a lot myself, but this I could never get behind. If you want people to follow you through Bloglovin’ then add one of the follower widgets, not the email follow widget.

Bottom line: Don’t force anything on your followers that they didn’t sign up for!


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48 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Use Bloglovin’s Follow by Email Widget

  1. I am so glad I read this post because I had no idea the bloglovin email widget did this! I guess I should try things out from now on before I actually use them. I will be removing the widget from my blog this second. I do not want any of my followers to feel as if they are being spammed. Thank you for the very helpful post.
    Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies recently posted…Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Stephen Emond ~ Impeccable ReviewsMy Profile

    1. I’m glad I was able to help Chioma! It’s definitely very important to test something before sending it off to your followers/blog viewers. I always subscribe to my own blog so I can always review what the post emails look like when they’re sent out and that they are actually sent out when they’re supposed to haha.

  2. Can we just say NOT NICE? I’ve had issues with Bloglovin’ for quite some time, honestly. This just doesn’t surprise me. Their once a week emails about various blog posts is more than enough for me from them! If I wanted to see other blog posts, I would totally just go to their actual website.

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Stephanie! I’ll be staying far away from this widget (& I’ll be sure to test all my future widgets as well!). <33
    Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (59)My Profile

  3. I didn’t even know this existed, but wow, this is baaaaaaaad. I get enough spam as it is from things I’ve signed up for, I don’t need even more. In a way, it’s one of the few reasons I don’t follow anyone by email – my emails are for me and for important communication, at least, my blog one is, I don’t want to change that. Still, this is sneaky and wrong in so many ways and shouldn’t be allowed. Great experiment and great post!
    Amanda @ Nellie and Co. recently posted…Blogger Love | Awesome Posts That Rocked Last JulyMy Profile

  4. OH.MY.GOD.

    It’s like they’re violating every email subscription rule (not law, but common courtesy rule) there is.

    It’s like they’re trying to amp up their monetisation but they’ve gone WAY OVERBOARD. This is just so uncool on so many levels.

    Thanks for experimenting with this and reporting your findings. I can’t even believe how screwed up this is… I was never going to put the widget on my website, but maybe I would have used it on other peoples’ sites if it was the only email option. Well now that’s SO NOT HAPPENING.
    Ashley recently posted…Vote for Your Favourite Tweak Me Design!My Profile

    1. Exactly, no common courtesy. I was annoyed already by the ads and self promotion that Bloglovin’ has been doing on their own blog feed that I use. It just made me more angry now to discover they’re spamming emails subscribers now too :P

  5. Oooh – nice work figuring this out! That is definitely no good! I’m actually in the process of changing my email subscription system…I currently use Feedburner (but sending a weekly rather than daily option doesn’t exist) and considering moving to the free version of Mailchimp so I can set my frequency to weekly. Thoughts? What do you think is the best email subscription system?
    Sarah’s Book Shelves recently posted…Sarah’s Snippets Book Review: Bull Mountain by Brian PanowichMy Profile

    1. Honestly, it’s hard to say. If you’re only setting your email frequency to weekly, then Mailchimp could be a good option because it’s less likely you’ll hit their free sending limit. Email subscriptions can start costing a lot of money if you have a lot of subscribers. If you want cheap/free with no limit, then there’s Feedburner, FeedPress, and JetPack. Otherwise you have options like Mailchimp, MailPoet, etc that offer limited free versions. Personally, I use MailPoet for a non-profit I support and JetPack for These Paper Hearts(because I’m cheap).

  6. At a first sight I thought that it was a good idea, ’cause would be pretty good have this function on Bloglovin as a reader as Feedburner is. But I also test myself on my blog and the results was pretty annoying too. Everyone hates spams!
    Despite this, I really liked the button that doesn’t need to open a new page for follow the B’ account.
    Kisses! And sorry my bad english :P This is not my language.
    Marina @ Texto Sem Leitor recently posted…Como organizar fotos digitaisMy Profile

    1. It does look really nice at first glance, especially if you’re already unhappy with feedburner. It is a nice tool if you’re already a bloglovin follower as it’s just a quick click to subscribe. It would be a really cool tool if it didn’t also work as an email subscriber to non-bloglovin users :/

  7. actually I have no idea about the email subscription, I pretty much thought that whomever subscribe to your blog through bloglovin uses bloglovin. but I still get bloglovin email stuff that is similar to what you mention and I didn’t follow anyone on bloglovin nor as I only set it up for people to follow my blog, guess I have to reset my preferences.

    thanks for this. hope you have a lovely day.
    lissa recently posted…August 05My Profile

  8. I wasn’t a fan of BlogLovin, because I found their interface not to be user friendly, and it seemed it kept trying to push other blogs on me all the time, rather than being a space to collect blogs neatly for me.

    However, I have to say, that is rather shady of them. I tested out MailChimp recently, to see how it would work. It wasn’t a complete success, but it wasn’t a spam-filled e-mail either.
    Liza recently posted…Goals & Updates – 1st EditionMy Profile

  9. I am so glad I decided not to use this widget! I just assumed if people signed up they would get an email each time a new post was published, but I was wrong.

    I have an email subscription system on my website for which I send out a newsletter each Friday with all the posts have I published that week, which I think works quite well.
    Holly recently posted…Tips for running a successful Etsy shopMy Profile

  10. I was actually excited when I first saw this service (I mean, free email subscription with an easy to use setup?) but now you’ve got me questioning myself. It’s absolutely atrocious that they would send so many spam emails to their customers. And what’s even worse is that in all those spam emails, not one contains the actual full post. Wow. Just wow. Thank you for taking one for the team on this Stephanie and being willing to share your findings!
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Raw BlueMy Profile

  11. I noticed one of my pins on pinterest had a bloglovin’ url and when I hit it, it offered people a subscription to my blog!! I never signed up for bloglovin – at least not in my recollection. Can they offer a subscription to my blog without my permission? I couldn’t find any place to contact them.

  12. Yep :( spam. I don’t use this BUT unfortunately I did once subscribed to a blog via bloglovin (that’s the last time I am so careless!) and then the spam started… using unsubscribe (that is included in all emails) doesn’t seem to do anything, so now I told gmail to just treat them as spam.

  13. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lozt on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a frse platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    aree so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed
    .. Any ideas? Cheers!
    papoutsiaforematakaiergasia.wordpress.com recently posted…papoutsiaforematakaiergasia.wordpress.comMy Profile