The helpful technicians at WordPress.com cannot tell you the number of people who are following a site that you do not own, but you can often see this number on their web site if they have the “Email Followers” WordPress.com widget installed. This is the default widget that you get with a WordPress.com blog.
Wow, what an awesome number of followers I have, right? I’m impressed. Hello, 82,408 people!
Here’s the truth, however.
As the administrator of your WordPress.com web site, you can type any number of followers you like and have that display exactly the same way as the real followers number that shows up in the Widget.
At least this is true for the WordPress theme I’m using. Here’s what the widget looks like when you are working on it in the Admin control panel for WordPress:
You just UNCHECK the “Show total number of followers?” box at the bottom and type in the Optional text with the number you’d like people to see.
So, I really have 1,779 followers according to the WordPress widget, but using the above text, I boosted my apparent followers up to 82,408. As a reporter of true strange news, I like to occasionally point out when things are not as they seem.
My 9 million blog hits are what WordPress is really reporting, but keep in mind that a “hit” is not the same as a “visit” and depending on how the counting system is set up, one web page can count as several hits (eg. every image on the page could be a hit.) I haven’t looked into the details of this yet for WordPress.com’s hits counter.
Truth over ego. Keep it real.