I’ve been thinking about this question for some time. I’ve noticed on recent posts that some people have discussed their reasoning behind whose blogs they follow—and don’t follow. Even though we’re still in the depths of the summer blog doldrums, I thought I’d wade into the topic with a few questions for you. Don’t worry, these aren’t essay questions like we had in school. They’re very simple. And the poll results are anonymous. I hope early readers will stop by later to see where the responses are going.
Are You a Formal or Casual Follower?
If I’m interested in a blog, I’ll follow it formally if I can. Even though WordPress has a “Follow” option that links to the Reader, I follow blogs by email notifications. That way I know I won’t accidentally miss something. Since I’m not overly tech savvy, I follow some bloggers on other hosts simply by bookmarking them and trying to remember to visit them regularly.
So, here’s our first poll question:
Who Do You Follow?
I think this question will generate a wide range of answers. Some readers of this post may not have a blog. So your reasons for following will likely be different from someone who does blog. Some advice I’ve seen says bloggers should follow everyone who follows us. I have a hard time with that. You may be someone I’d really like, but your blog focus may not click with me. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to diligently follow everyone who follows me.
Also, I’m not one to “inflate” my statistics by following thousands of people in the hopes that many will follow me. I have blog followers who never leave comments or likes. And that’s perfectly fine if you simply enjoy reading my posts from time to time. I’m glad you’re reading them, and I hope you’ll enjoy my novels when they’re finally published. (And I’ll be okay even if you don’t like the books—sort of, maybe after a box of Belgian chocolates. Wink, wink) I do the same thing with some blogs. But if someone followed me and 3,000 other bloggers in an attempt to pad stats, I’m sorry I can’t help. We all have limited time, and we should allocate it well.
And so on to question two:
I follow mainly writing blogs (big surprise, right?) but also some on other topics. And I found those when their authors either liked some of my posts or followed me. I always visit a new follower’s blog (if there is one) to see what it’s like. As I noted above, some simply don’t match my reading interests. But I’m grateful to everyone who follows because s/he’s interested, and if I don’t follow you back, please know that it’s not a reflection on you or your blogging abilities.
How Many Blogs Do You Follow?
I hope you’ll all answer this question. Of course, some readers may be new to blogging and don’t yet follow many blogs. And some of you may have been at this for years and may follow many blogs. I’ll admit I’m curious where I fall on this scale compared with those of you reading this post. So, for question three:
I currently follow 122 blogs. And I have to be selective about how many I add. I’ve timed myself in this first week of reading and commenting on other blogs only during the evening hours. And it takes from 1.5 to 2.5 hours per evening to get through one day’s new posts. That’s a chunk of time I used to devote to my manuscripts. You can understand, I think, why I can’t give up more. I’d never finish the books. And this is why I can’t comment on or like every post I read. I’d never get anything else done.
So if you think I’m invisible or I followed you only to get a follow back, or you wonder why I didn’t follow you back, in reality, I’m doing the best I can. And I hope you’ll understand.
Those questions weren’t bad, were they? I could ask more, but I don’t want this post to be too long. If it gets favorable feedback, I might do a follow up this fall about blogging habits. As always, let me know what you think in the comments. I truly appreciate your input.
I’m not the only blogger thinking on these lines today. Check out my blogging buddy and beta reader extraordinaire 4amWriter’s take on blog following, too.