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:
- Because I came across their blog and really enjoyed their reviews or discussion posts and found myself visiting regularly
- Because a post caught my eye and I thought “this might be an interesting blog”
- 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
- 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.
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).
Next, 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.
The 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?