There are a lot of reasons why I follow blogs. I subscribe to those that exhibit excellent writing or inspiring photographs which take me along on adventures around the world. Other times, because I can relate to the writer, the posts are informative or I want to make a connection with one of my own followers.
I just checked and have subscribed to 270 blogs. That is crazy! I seldom follow those that blog every day or more than once a day since that is a lot to read. I try to comment or at least “Like” everyone’s blog sometime during the week. It’s how I get to know everyone!
So I have to ask the question. Why do so many subscribe, but never come by to read again? I am not getting a thousand views every time I post a story. I realize that some accounts are no longer active, but where are the majority of you guys? (((ECHO))) ((Echo)) (echo)
It’s a long way to the top
Some sly bloggers comment consistently and as soon as I follow back, they never stop by again… “Hey! Where did you go???”
Do the beginner bloggers freak out when email alerts start coming and they suddenly realize the consequence of hitting the follow button on 100 blogs in one day?
Do they follow and then turn off the email alerts? I know. Why bother.
Are they trolling for followers?
Do they think numbers are the most important part of blogging?
I have never followed random people with the hope of having them reciprocate just to build my numbers. To me, that is such a strange way to build a community.
A few bloggers stand on mountaintops built on their accomplishments. They expound knowledge or give us a slice of their life with very little interaction and good on them. I may always trudge along the rocky path.
Jenny Lawson – AKA – The Bloggess
She sneezes and gets 1000’s of views.
If I ever reach the summit, I wouldn’t want my own voice to echo back to me from the empty abyss. Everyone wants their voice to be heard. Right?
Hello out there! (((Out There))) ((out there))
Lecturing keeps distance between a writer and their readers. Many have a small clique of those to which they will respond. I HATE CLIQUES. Hate is a pretty strong word. Okay. Dislike…
There are many types of readers. I have family and friends who click over from Facebook or email. Many loyal bloggers stop by and comment almost every time I post. There are the skimmers who may be in a hurry and hit, “Like” to let me know they stopped by my place and those who press “Like, Like, Like,” on all the blogs they follow through the reader and hopefully click over to read once in a while. I love all of you! Really!
The blogosphere and specifically WordPress is an amazing community of people from around the world. I have made a lot of real friendships through the interaction of comments. I plan to meet up with more of you over the summer! Get ready!
Two years ago, I was told that if I planned to publish a book, I needed to blog in order to build a writer’s platform. I wondered what the heck that was. It is the group of people that follow you over a period of time that will be interested in buying your book (crosses fingers) when it is published (crosses fingers again). I learned that a rickety platform built with straw-like hits or views and can be worthless. One created through communication, connection, and relationships built with mutual respect is rock solid or at least a lot more solid than straw. Cue wind machine…
Once a month, my blog becomes a house party. Readers have the opportunity to meet my friends and build their own community. The next Use Me and Abuse Me Party starts April 25th. Yep. It’s official. It is no longer one day. The last one was a rager and lasted nearly a week!
I will continue to construct my community brick by brick and hope that others will keep stopping by my Wild Ride, if not to comment or like a post, at least to peruse my latest adventures for a few minutes.
It’s my dream that someday, I’ll shout from my own mountaintop and a crowd will respond, “FOR GOD’S SAKE, WE’RE RIGHT HERE. STOP SHOUTING!”
Now that’s what I call a following! Woo! Woo! Woo!
Are you selective when subscribing to blogs? Do numbers matter to you?
Hello, Susie. *waves* Numbers once meant a lot to me. I spent quite a lot of time doing “like parties” on the social networks, but finally realized that it was all just one big time-suck. I don’t do these anymore. Now, I want some sort of connection, not just everyone liking each other’s pages. It could be anything really, but there has to be something. I just changed jobs and this has really messed up my routine. Hopefully things will begin to calm down soon. In the meantime, I try and visit with my friends regularly; however, sometimes that is only once every couple of weeks on blogs. My hope is to stay connected in some fashion of another. I’ll look forward to the event this month. Will there be dancing? Ok, you called my bluff. I still don’t dance. However, I will sit near the bar and cheer you as you do though.
I am glad you came by today, well yesterday… 🙂 I will look forward to seeing your “moves” on the dance floor on the 25th. Everyone becomes an excellent dancer during the Use Me and Abuse Me Parties!
I try to stay away from the social media time suck, but get pulled in like everyone once in a while! We all put a lot of time into building communities and there is a certain amount of maintenance required. I am grateful for everyone that stops by and try really hard to stop by others as well!
Great to “see” you Jimmy! You were one of my first followers!
I love the echo echo echo.
Your posts are fun.
I subscribe to way too many blogs (100+++) but even at that number, those have been selected because of content and personality and I do my best to keep up – but life intrudes and sometimes I’m reading really fast – or so many comments have already said what can be said, so there’s “like” as a business card. (It’s hard when some post so frequently – I tend to leave fewer comments on those- it’s a time thing)
I do sympathize with writers who are trying to finish/publish as well as blog as well as build a readers’ community – hard to prioritize.
I think that Like button is really a Godsend. I do like to leave a comment if I take the time to read just so they know I did since many Like from the Reader.
I think routine is key! Today I will finish these comments, this post really struck a nerve with bloggers, then I will read posts and comment. I will work on a couple of revisions on my book this afternoon and hopefully get out to enjoy the day and buy some socks and underwear. We are in for a huge storm tomorrow!
Thanks so much for weighing in! I am glad that you are a part of my Wild Ride!
I’m selective when I follow blogs…days are sometimes too short…actually MANY days time is too short to check in on the blogs that I follow…but I do my best…
That is a great way to be. Then you can build your community with real communication. I am in awe of people who work and blog and those that have children, wow, I don’t know how they do it all!
Thanks so much! I always appreciate your comments!
I see Rene and Val follow here. Now that’s quality network.
I know right????
Thanks Carl and for being a part of my community!
Thanks for initiating this wonderful discussion! I have been wondering about many of the same things. (BTW I will follow you to the end of the earth, Susie!)
Awwww! Thanks Julie and we would love to come and meet up with you some day! Got to save money for that air fare… 🙂
I am so glad that you are part of my Wild Ride.
You made my day!
I have learned a lot from the responses!
I agree with many of your comments. I decided some time ago that I would rather have a few consistent followers than a hundred who just drop by.
The comments are very eye-opening! I am so glad that it touched a nerve.
Community is everything. I love the friends I have made here. Some of my real friends are skeptical of the process, but in some ways. you guys know me better!
Susie, you are one of my favourite bloggers! Your posts are always so upbeat and fun … even when you are talking about something serious. In my books, you are the real deal and one of the first blogs I look for when I am catching up. I’m seriously backed up with my blog reading as I’ve been caught up in the chaos of releasing my new novel but I’m here to tell you this right now – you can go to that mountain top and shout, because we are already here! Keep doing what you are doing!
Awww! Thanks so much Patrica! I really appreciate that. Wow!
I am so grateful for the friendships I have made here and am glad that you are one of them! I always look forward to your posts since I am whisked away to one of my favorite places!
Congratulations on your book! I plan to download it today since it is the last day at the special price.
Thank you so much Patricia and a big **muah** to you!
I decided initially that finding good followers that you can bounce ideas off of or share whatever with are better than masses of followers. I’ve never really campaigned, and I’m kind of bored with those that do. I’m still trying to figure out if people are actually community building or hoping enough hits gets them advertisers. That, perhaps, is the answer to several of your initial questions here.
That’s a good point. I never thought about that. The advertising on my site is WordPress’s not mine. I would love to make any money doing this! 🙂
If you read the comments, it is different for everyone.
It’s the people that make blogging such an incredible place to connect. I have friends all over the world!
Thanks for your comment!
Yep, no prob. Just an idea. Some people are quite cynical about the whole thing. For me it is just about finding cool people with like ideas about photos/writing, etc. All the best.
This is a crazy cycle. I follow a bunch of blogs that I really want to stay on top of. The thing is, I can spend all my time reading blogs and never move forward on any of my own work. Stop reading the blogs and I lose the connection. It’s a catch 22. That’s pretty much where I am right now. Your stamina and endless well of post ideas never ceases to amaze me. You are so loved here, chickie!
Awww! Thanks Debra! See! You are who I was talking about! I have made real friendships here and you are one of them.
As far as the tightrope walk we all do between blogging and our own work, I don’t know how you do it with children at home! I couldn’t get anything done the first summer when my children were here. Too distracting for me, but you have cranked out work!
I am so glad that you are a part of my Wild Ride Community and hope to make a trip out to Cali again soon!
Thanks for making my day Debra!
Given the number of comments this post alone has got, I’m pretty sure that we’re hearing your voice! 🙂
Seriously, I follow your blog and I read practically all posts and I try to read the posts of all those blogs I follow. Sometimes, the sheer volume of comments intimidates me (‘how many times can she be interested in hearing that people think this is interesting?’) and then I don’t write a comment, but in future, I will!
If I find that I never read the posts of a blog or that when I do and comment and I never get an answer to my comments, I stop following that blog, but then I actually click ‘unfollow’. I don’t see the point of letting someone believe that I follow them when I don’t.
Having said all that – I love your blog and you always manage to make me smile and most of the time feel more energetic. Plus, I love how community-minded you are. You rock!
Awww! Thank you so much for that!
You definitely should leave a comment. I wondered where you were….
I actually feel guilt when unfollowing, but I have to start doing that with those I don’t read and that don’t stop by…I learned a lot thought these comments and I realize I do get overwhelmed by how much reading I have to do in a week. And then I have to leave a somewhat intelligent comment! Sheesh! That is why I am so grateful that you and others take the time!
Thanks so much for reading!
I totally know what you mean, it can get overwhelming. I had to take a small time-out in the last few weeks because it felt like too much. But weeding out those blogs that I really don’t feel connected to is helping. As well as allowing yourself to not read every single thing that pops up in your reader. I do try to read the posts of my friends, but if I can’t manage, then I can’t manage and that has to be okay. (Alright, I’m still working on that…)
I enjoyed reading this post because so much of it rang true for me too. No need for me to repeat it all here. But I do like to feel a personal connection after a while with my blogging community so if we don’t comment at least once in a while, why bother following?
Exactly! And I wonder if many even go back to view the blogs after following… so weird. I do think that many only stop by once in a while since they have a lot on their plate, but there are many that are new bloggers. Maybe it takes them a while to get their bearings… who knows??? I would love to hear from one of them!
Thanks for your comment! It is always nice to “see” you here!
Susie… thanks for hosting the monthly party.. my circle has expanded since our paths crossed and I follow about 60 different blogs and I just don’t have time to read them all much less see them all. Of course, there is that guilt that I must read (and comment) and then write… and then, do I follow or not. Like you, I try to follow blogs that are similar to mine and those that i feel i would know in the real world. I find myself conflicted because I would rather spend more time on the blog, but I don’t have the time. This past weekend I wanted to write a post, but didn’t – didn’t have time, time got away from me and my laptop. Again, thanks!
You work full-time! It won’t be long and you’ll be on summer holiday. Maybe you can write a bunch and store them up! I always think I can do that, but if I have extra time, I have a book I am finished with but needs tweaking…
We all just do our best and that is good enough!
I am glad to hear that the parties are working for you. If I were you and teaching all day, I would just go to the Reader and hit Like to let them know you made the effort!
Thanks Clay! I am so glad that you are part of my community!
Great post Susie – Interestingly, WordPress encourage following and commenting to build a blog’s following so perhaps this may explain things – until people feel themselves into what they want their blog to be. Many of the blogs I follow (ed) have been silent for a while now and a few others I have just grown tired of and have stopped following, but never have the heart to press delete on them. But we still find great insights from new faces everyday and I guess that is the transformative beauty of all these words and images spilling around.
Numbers aren’t important (if it were – every blog would be of a cat asleep on a velvet cushion with a crown slightly askew). Being true to yourself and building a following based on quality, honesty and originality (and in my case stupidity!) are always the way to go.
Anyway lunchbreak over – but like I said at the top, great post.
Thanks Jim! I don’t know how you do it with working full time! I appreciate our friendship and all the comments you leave as well as the effort!
Love the metaphor with the crowned cat! I have to admit that it makes me smile and curious every time I get a new follower. But I would rather put them on the velvet cushion with the crown. I used to stress about every post I wrote until I realized they are like yesterday’s newspaper…..
Thanks so much for being a part of my Wild Ride!
I have read about 85% of of all the post here. DAMN!!!!! It took me over an hour to get through it. I am happy to say though it has boosted my hits being involved post Bonanza !!!! I want to thank you Susie for that personally, and it shows me what to work on. I hope you never stop this kind of networking because it has helped all of us here. Thanks again and take care. Robert Niswander Aka PLot121.
I am so glad to hear that! That makes my whole day! Once you start clicking and saying hello, bloggers will respond in kind. It is a really cool community!
I am so unknowledgeable about the blogosphere and blog etiquette… that I read each and every comment right from the notification email! Until just a few minutes ago, when I bumped into your comment, Susie. So it all comes down to “clicking and saying hello and bloggers will respond in kind”.
One thing I am pretty sure of now is I could write a post off each comment read here. The only thing is, my blog is about translation and while many of you may find it useful, how could I add a new post about just anything else? Would an “off-topic” tag do?
Have a great week!
Definitely! It’s your blog. Experiment!
Thanks. I will try that too.
I follow blogs that are interesting to read, in addition to the ones that post weekly challenges so i can be inspired. I don’t look for numbers, if someone wants to follow my blog, that’s great. I mainly write about travel or post pics taken on my travels so if it inspires someone to take their own journey, so much the better. I comment now and then and try to “like” most of the ones i follow though i don’t get in to check every day. I appreciate every like or comment and try to reply to all the comments too.
That is a great way to go about it. I am finding that many only have time to Like a post. I have to resort to that on busy days like this one.
I guess we all know what goes into writing a post so we do our best to make the rounds. I am glad that see how important it is to comment on comments. I do look forward to your visits. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
I’m constantly checking out new blogs to find those I will really enjoy. To some of them, I return occasionally. But there are very few that I visit regularly, i.e., every time there’s a new post.
My reason for being so selective is simple: I don’t have time to read more than a handful of blogs on a daily basis. So I have my small batch of favorites, and for the rest of the blogosphere, skimming will have to suffice.
My criteria for picking favorites are similar to yours. I like really funny writers and really good photographers. I’ve made friends with a few bloggers, and will keep returning to them even if their material is not the best in the world. And a few just fill some niche that I find interesting.
Speaking of filling a niche, I think the most important thing in blogging (and perhaps any writing) is to find your own voice and develop it. Once you do, your writing will always be attractive to those who identify with that voice. This will not include everyone who stops by, but a precious few–perhaps a few dozen or a few hundred–will become forever-loyal readers and potentially great friends.
That’s what I think.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that we all have to find our voice. People know what they’ll find when they come here. I do find it hard to go to other blogs that are all over the place. I don’t generally comment on political or religious blogs.
What I have learned through all of these comments is maintaining blogging relationships is as individual as the writers!
We all do what is best for us\…
I can be selective when it comes to blogs I follow. I do look at the numbers, but that is not the main reason I blog. I have a few blogs that I check into daily (about 10 to 15). Like your blog because I love your writing flair and seeing what you are up to:) Happy Monday!
Awww! Thanks Renee! You are always that ray of sunshine I look forward to seeing…. :Happy Monday to you!
270 blogs!!! Holy smokes, I follow about 30 and can barely keep up with those.
After reading all of these comments, I whittled it down to a very manageable 238! Hahaha! I do my best to stop by everyone’s at least once a week. It sounds like a lot, but I read about 30-40 a day. And when bloggers like you only blog once a week, that makes it easy!
Thanks for coming by! I thought I’d see you on my other post with a gnarly scar story!
Sheesh! Once a month! I just checked to see what you have been up to…
Yeah, ummm, been kind of delinquent lately. I’ll be back, just need to find the groove!
270? Holy freaking cow!! You amaze me. Seriously you do! And you comment back to everyone, that’s some fabulous commitment, my friend. I try to read every blog I follow, but some weeks I just get knocked back and now that I’m dealing with some wicked nasty medical crap (that I haven’t really made public), it’s been a huge challenge. Maybe tomorrow I’ll blog about what’s been making me dizzy and bring it all out of the closet. 🙂 But I have about 20 that I get through each week for sheer pleasure, yours included. They make me smile, laugh, cry, or think. I consider you all my friends and in some small way, I hold you all close in my heart. There are about another 30 – 50 blogs that *if* I can get through each week I feel a sense of accomplishment. But those first 20, they are my *musts*. Cause I lurves you.
Ohhh! Thanks Tameri! I lurve you right back!
What the heck is going on? Sounds rotten and ominous…
I just motor through and do my best. I have always been a collector and now I collect blogs! Hahaha! I feel the same way about all of you. I feel like we have already met and hung out on several occasions!
I hope you are okay…..
Oh my goodness, that was rather cryptic of me, wasn’t it? I didn’t mean for it to sound so maudlin! I’m pretty sure I’m okay. A bit of vertigo, some nasty virus stuff going on, mysterious ailments of unknown origins and all, it’s been fun! And blurry vision, so if there are typos, blame the dizziness… 😉
Wow 270 that is a lot. I don’t think I’ve even reached 50. I try to read each one during the week and it’s tough to catch up because there’s a lot going on, plus I like to pop in on some of my followers. But it takes me a while to follow someone and I’m sure it takes some time for people to follow me. I’m one of those postaday people … well at least I was in my first year. Now I’m a Monday through Friday but it may still be too much for people 🙂 … And me I don’t follow too many people … I like to make sure that it’s something I’d want to read for a while. This of course means humor, any kind of funny in there, things I might relate to, and some awesome photography. I don’t get 1,000 views or likes a day, not even 100, but as long as I can connect with a few peeps I’m all good.
I think you really hit on what’s important. Community. I am so glad that you are a part of mine Guat! You always make me smile… 🙂
I have learned a lot through these comments. Everyone handles blogging differently! I tend to jump into things with both feet and here I am!
Really thought-provoking post, Suzie. I “liked” it yesterday from my phone as I was riding in the car on the way to somewhere else. I hate to try to comment from my phone, particularly when I have more than a quick line to say. As a relative newbie – I haven’t quite reached the 1-year mark yet, and I started out testing the waters with about 1 post/month – I’ve noticed a lot of the things you describe. I’m also with you in that I’m all for building a community and I don’t blindly follow other blogs just for the sake of raising numbers. (Although, I hit the Freshly Pressed page on Friday & the traffic to my page was thrilling AND overwhelming. I’m working today on replying to my comments and checking out others blogs.)
Blogging has been an interesting learning experience. I started for the same reason you did, and now it has become about something more than just a “platform.” You are kind of my role model. Your posts are also interesting and fun to read, and I so admire how good you are about replying to comments, which is pretty incredible considering how many comments you get! And I love your parties, even when I don’t post a link (because I don’t feel I have anything new that warrants reading). You are one of the most generous bloggers I know! So thanks!!
Awwww! Thanks Mary! AND CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING FRESHLY PRESSED! WOOHOO!
That is a huge accomplishment and you must have gotten a lot of followers! How cool is that???
I think you have a handle on what this is all about and it is good to stay in control of it. With my blog parties, I started subscribing to newbies, but this last one was huge! I can’t keep up… Thanks for being so supportive and a part of my Wild Ride!
I’ll NEVER understand how The Bloggess can post a pic and few paragraphs and generate a few hundred comments and more than a million hits a month, but she has a HUGE publisher behind her and all its resources to draw upon.
And her site generates advertising revenue, so someone is running it for her while she tours. You’re on your own, Susie! I think you should be damn proud of your success so far.
I know I am.
And don’t expect your followers to always show up to the party, so to speak. People get crazy busy – as I can attest – but they if they love your work enough to follow, they show up sooner or later.
Hang in there, cutie!
Thanks so much Hook!
Even you left a long comment! This post really struck a chord with people.
I agree about being crazy busy. Between my Scarred post and this, and answering comments, I am waaay behind on reading blog posts. Sometimes I have to just catch the new ones!
The Bloggess had timing on her side. I didn’t even really know what a blog was when she was already posting. What surprises me is the shock jock factor of a lot of popular blogs. I have to be careful what I comment on since it really isn’t my brand. Not that I don’t use a wide range of “colorful metaphors” in my real life!
I remember the first time you came to my blog and I watched you check out my posts one after another, like them and leave a comment. I kept saying, “Danny! He’s still checking out my stuff!” I love this Hook guy!
I love your blog! Your stories always crack me up. Thanks for being such a huge supporter. I always look forward to your visits and I am really glad that you are a part of my community!
That makes two of us!
Awesome post, Susie. Just this weekend I went thru my Google reader because (wah!) they’re doing away with it this summer and I found SO many blogs that haven’t been updated in months or even a year. I think you’re right, some people are no longer active bloggers. I tend to follow people that I have something in common with or am entertained by. 🙂 Like you, Susie! Although I will have to figure out what to do with all my faves before my reader disappears… Oh and I think the clique thing happens everywhere—school, work, the blogosphere. It’s no fun. Me no like either.
But you are doing a super cool thing here with your site. If someone asked me how to run a fun, successful blog, I’d send them here. 🙂
Wow! Thank you so much Coleen! I love your blog too. 🙂
It has been great to meet so many wonderful people here like you!
Just an idea. You could start a WordPress shell blog and not use it, but use the reader. You can add any url to it. You won’t get email alerts, but it is updated as people post with no delay and you can check on it when you like.
Thanks, Susie! I will check that out. 🙂
I am very selective, not only with subscribing but with reading. There just isn’t enough time in the day. Sometimes my dilemma is visiting loyal readers whose friendship I value, but who aren’t especially good writers.
I don’t have near the followers that you do, but I ask myself the same question – why do so many bother to subscribe if they don’t want to read me?
As to the second yes; numbers do matter to me. Maybe they shouldn’t, but they do.
I also have a problem with the whole “I’ve Got A Book” thing the way some bloggers approach it. Not you, Susie, and I’m totally in awe of someone who has the drive to complete such a project. It’s just that on some blogs it’s obvious the writer is not interested in building community as much as building a block of buyers and it makes me feel manipulated.
You always have such great insight Peg! I agree with everything you said. I have almost 1500 WordPress followers, the rest are Facebook and Twitter. I just checked and you have almost twice as many…
The book thing really throws me. I figure, if it’s good it will sell itself and by word of mouth. Period. Not by hitting people over the head with it. I have almost unfollowed people who kept posting about their latest. It’s a tricky thing and I will announce it when it gets published hopefully sooner than later. I’m still learning the process!
Thanks so much Peg! I am so glad we met!
It IS tricky with the book thing. Of course anyone would tell their readers about writing a book. People want to know that, and the occasional gentle plug is great! It’s when they’re “hitting people over the head with it,” as you say.
Me, too with the gladness!
Really interesting post. I’ve kind of just started in this whole world. I used to use Google Reader to “follow” all my sports blogs and stuff (stopped long before google junked it), but it became too crazy to keep up with. I have a fairly small core of blogs (like this one) that I’ve started following through the WP reader, and I’m sure that’ll keep growing at a pretty good rate, but I think mostly I’m going to have to keep relying on things like Twitter to point out the gems I really need to read. There’s just too much stuff out there.
Thanks Bill! I am glad you are a part of my Wild Adventure!
The other way to find great blogs is through the Recommended Bloggers or Freshly Pressed. My commenters are fabulous writers and worth checking out too! It is a lot to grasp at first, but WP has come a long way in building community around its Reader and its still pretty new.
Thanks for stopping by to read!