#LetsDiscuss2018 – Is Variety The Spice of Blogging Life?

Gossiping Women

Last year around this time I was struggling with how I follow blogs.  I was using Google+, Bloglovin’, WordPress Reader, and email plus Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Some bloggers I followed in every which way, others only one.  Because of that, I was missing out on some great posts but seeing others two, three or four times.

It was more than a little frustrating and, as a result, I made the decision that, social media aside, I was going to use Bloglovin’ as my main blog following tool.  For the most part it’s worked.  Recently, though, I’ve started to feel overwhelmed again and I think it’s because I’m following too many people.  If I add everything up, it is close to 300 individual blogs yet I probably only visit 30 or 40 on a regular basis.  Which got me to thinking about why I follow people and if I should really be following everyone I am.  So, why do I follow people:

  1. Because I came across their blog and really enjoyed their reviews or discussion posts and found myself visiting regularly
  2. Because a post caught my eye and I thought “this might be an interesting blog”
  3. Because back when I first started blogging I had a habit of following everyone who followed me, regardless of whether their blog was of interest
  4. Because they comment a lot on my site and I feel that I should return the favour, and the only way to do that is to follow their blog

And should I keep on this way?  I think the answer is no because it doesn’t make sense and I need to spend a little less time wasting time and more getting the most out of blogging.

follow-us-2395640_1920

First up, the following people because they have followed me.  I’ve already stopped this for the most part.  I will go and check out a site that follows me but I don’t automatically follow back, partly because I think some people follow to be followed back but have no real intention of engaging with me – which doesn’t seem in the spirit of blogging – and partly because I have ended up following blogs that just don’t do it for me, either because of the type of books reviewed or – in one case that particularly sticks out – the number of posts the blogger made a day (I’m talking four or five a day, every day, which is just too much).

blog-2151307_1920Next, it’s the following people because they comment a lot on my blog.  Much like following people because they follow me, I think this has ended up with me following blogs that just don’t interest me that much (sorry!).  When I see them on a feed, I skim past, only visiting when they visit me, which seems a bit of a waste of time for both of us.  That doesn’t mean if you comment on my blog I’m only following you for that reason – I’m not, I love some of the conversations I have with frequent commenters, it’s just that in some cases it is a case of “great review” and nothing else every time and I have a sneaky suspicion that it might be just to get me to visit their site in return.

Following blogs because a post caught my eye stills seem like something I want to do but I think I need to be a bit more aware of how long I follow these blogs.  In January last year, I said that if I hadn’t visited a blog or commented for six months I would unfollow it.  I did it once and not again so I think it might be time for another clear out.

wordpress-265132_1920The only one that seems to be a really good reason for following is enjoying people’s reviews and discussion posts (or other posts, as I don’t just follow book blogs).  A lot of the blogs I love are very different.  Some post detailed, in-depth, reviews once or twice a week, others post more light-hearted and “emotional” reviews every day.  Some blogs post nothing but reviews, other have author interviews, discussion posts or write a bit about anything and everything.  Some write about genres I love to read, whilst others introduce me to new genres and help me step outside my comfort zone.

Variety, for me, is the spice of blogging life.  Perhaps at the moment, though, there is too much variety when all I really want is to be entertained and informed rather than feeling there is so much out there my head spins.  So, time for some (more) changes.  What about you – why do you follow blogs?  how many blogs do you follow?  do you find you follow too many or is there no such thing as enough? and if so, how to do you manage to keep on top of what is out there?

Emma x

 

 

23 comments
  1. Funnily enough, I just had a bit of a clear out. And true to form, felt a tad guilty about it but I just can’t keep up. Between reading, blogging, sharing and actually doing some things around the house, I never seem to have the time to actually comment on blog posts and interact with people.

    Like you, when I started my blog, I automatically followed everyone back. I’ve stopped doing that. I will always check a blog out first and apart from some people I’ve gotten to know better the past few months, if the genres they post are not my thing, then I don’t follow back. It’s silly to follow something that doesn’t hold your interest, if you’re just going to skim over the pages.

    Ultimately, it’s all about finding a balance that works for you. I doubt any of us can sit glued to a screen all day, desperately trying to keep on top of things. Kind of sucks the fun out of it as well.

    1. Why do we feel so guilty over a hobby? I know exactly what you mean though. I am sure my cull when it comes will be hard but I want to find the posts that I know I’m missing – many of which I see on weekly round ups then never get round to reading.

  2. I’m such a disaster as far as following blogs. I just keep a list of the blogs I like and try to go down the list every day! discussion posts is the main reason why I keep visiting a blog. Like this post! 🙂 Greta post Emma.

    1. Thank you. A list of must reads is a good idea – or maybe just have a favourites list on my browser?

      1. That’s a great idea Emma! Don’t know why I never thought of it since I already keep many favorites on my browser!

  3. When I first started blogging, I would follow those who followed me, but that did become problematic, as sometimes I would wonder why I had done so. Now I had a dilemma. Should I unfollow? Or just not visit them very often?

    A few weeks ago, I got a lot of emails from people I’d never heard of, following me. I didn’t follow back, since I didn’t know anything about them. Then, in a week or so, my numbers dropped significantly. So…I had it figured out. They were of the “follow me back” school of thought. Mystery solved. LOL

    Summing up…I have my favorite blogs that I enjoy visiting, and I will continue to follow them. I won’t necessarily follow every interesting blog, but I might visit for a while…and then decide.

    Interesting post.

    1. I think I got stung by the follow me back variety of blogger and the same on Twitter. As we get older we get wiser I guess as I learnt my lesson in a similar way to you. I really want to not miss out on the blogs I love x

  4. I am really bad about how to follow blogs, mostly I put the ones I really want to check out about every day in my inbox so I can just go check it out. I follow a ton on bloglovin but honestly I don’t really check there. I do check out a few different blogs on Sundays when I check out TSP but mainly I have a select few I check out when I get an email about their current post. 🙂 It’s to hard to follow everyone. 🙁

    1. It is hard to follow everyone. I like emails but I don’t use them as well as I should. I like bloglovin because it’s got a good app and I tend to browse from my iPad.

  5. I think we all have a tipping point regarding blogging and with limited time choices have to be made. Like you I need to stop following blogs that don’t interest me so that I can see the ones that do. I also think that I’m never going to have time to regularly visit all of those either and therefore I will miss things sometimes. Great discussion post.

    1. I think I have reached mine. I am definitely having a cull this weekend. Hopefully my visiting will feel more worthwhile then vs a rushed visit. 😊

  6. I think I follow about 100 blogs on Bloglovin’, but I don’t ever get to visit them all. I tend to visit if we are doing the same meme, if it’s a book I’ve read or want to know more about, or an interesting discussion. A lot of posts in my feed just get left unread, but there is only so much time to read blog posts, so I prioritise.

    1. It is so hard to visit everyone and I do want to, which is where the stress comes in. I have a system for memes where I visit 10 but more than that and I lose the day x

      1. I try and visit 5 for memes. It’s usually more, but I try and do a minimum of 5 and the low target makes it seem more manageable.

  7. Like everyone, I don’t have time to read or comment on every blog post. I have my favourites which I will always follow & share but mostly I add those blogs that interest me to my WordPress reader so that I can just scroll through and read the posts that look interesting.

    1. I used to use WordPress Reader but with others on blogger and others self-hosting I did find Bloglovin’ worked – I just need to get back to being organised. I know I’m missing on my favourite blogs because they aren’t showing up or are getting lost!

  8. This is such a good post! Like many of you, I followed some blogs that followed me when I first started blogging that I now almost never visit. Some I have changed to weekly notifications. Since I changed over to being self-hosted, I now don’t get notifications on some blogs that I really want to check out frequently so I have to rely on memory or a paper list (gasp!) to remind myself to visit their sites. There is only so much time in a day and there are days when I can’t get to every post or comment on everything I read. It’s difficult because we don’t all know one another IRL. When someone doesn’t comment or like a post, I don’t take it personally. I assume that, like me, they are busy people with kids, jobs, whatever… I try to read them all from my inbox and on my laptop but that doesn’t always work out either.

    1. Thank you. No, I don’t take it personally if I don’t get visits or comments but I do feel guilty if I don’t do the visiting – something I need to get over. Weekly notifications are a good idea I think. I’ve had the same problem as you since I self-host, though that might be my technical know-how as I don’t seem to be using half the options available to me!

  9. It’s really tricky… I love the interaction with blogging and that I chat with a number of delightful, interesting people. Some are science fiction and fantasy fans, but a whole bunch aren’t and somehow that really doesn’t matter. I find that the business of who I visit tends to sort itself out and while I do sometimes worry a bit about it – most of the time I don’t. I still cannot get over the miracle of being able to talk to people from around the world about books and daily trivia… Marvellous!

    1. I love talking to people even if I don’t love their genres but I do think it needs to feel like a genuine conversation if that makes sense. I’m with you on the miracle of talking to people everywhere…I remember my first job where we had one computer we all had to book in to use and floppy discs the size of dinner plates – how far we’ve come!

      1. Oh we have, haven’t we? It’s amazing!

  10. This is indeed a good post and I totally understand your dilemma. Having been involved in blogging for a number of years and also having stepped away at times, I change it up now and then. I’ve done all the things you said you’ve tried and then I think I’ve finally gotten my comfort zone figured out. The guilt is real, but seriously, why do we feel guilty? I do like to comment a lot, when I have the time to do so. But sometimes I don’t have time. I have finally whittled my list down to a manageable level, for now anyway. However, that can always change. And I’m determined to not worry about whichever way my preferences and time take me. This is supposed to be fun, right? I will say that a significant portion of the blogs I follow are either people I’ve known for a long time or mystery/thriller readers.

    1. You are right it is supposed to be fun, I think my guilt comes from people commenting and sharing and then, when I’m busy, not being able to return the favour. I never knew a hobby could make me feel guilty!

Let me know what you're thinking...