Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Follow or Not To Follow?

I have so many questions about blogging that I haven't yet worked out, even after almost a year of blogging. But the question I wonder about most is: How do you know when to follow a blog?

Most of the blogs I follow are family blogs and blogs of my friendliest followers, generally other Catholic homeschoolers like myself. But I read so many more blogs than these.

When I want to read a blog, I subscribe to a feed, or bookmark the page. That way I always know when there's a new post. Following would make this so much easier. But then, do I actually like these blogs enough to follow them and make myself known?

I am always so pleased to open my blogger dashboard and see a new follower. There's something about having a person like my writing enough to publicly announce it. Should I follow other people and spread the joy? But then, I can't decide when I should follow.

How do you know when to follow a blog? Is it when you first decide you like this blog? Or is it when you've been reading it for a while? Is it when you're regularly commenting? Got any advice for me? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I follow a blog when I'm interested enough in their work that I read every post. Since I don't generally read blogs otherwise, this means I'm a follower of every blog I read.

    I usually look at old posts and find out what the author is like, how often they post, and if I enjoy reading their entries. These factors all contribute to how often I visit the blog. If the answers are favorable, then I follow!

  2. This is actually something I've been thinking a lot about recently, it is so much easier to "follow" a blog and get updates that way rather than clicking on each seperate blog to read them that way...and I haven't quite decided at what point I choose to follow a blog. I suppose it is after reading a few posts that I really identfy with, that I know I identfy with the author and I feel perhaps safe reading their blogs? I am pretty sure they won't post anything that will leave me embarressed and wishing I hadn't read it. I suppose it's like choosing a book at the library that you haven't heard of before, you read the first few chapters and at that point you decide whether it is something you wish to continue to read or whether it is something you want to return.

    I guess for me it's when I feel like I would enjoy knowing the author in real life.

  3. I'm always blog-hunting - I love discovering new bloggers! Usually when I find a new one I'll read a few pages, read the author's "about me" section, and see who they are following. If I like what they write, if they seem like good people, and if some of the blogs they follow are blogs that I myself like and follow, then I'll usually follow them. Lots of bloggers are lazy like me, anyway, so I usually don't have to worry about my dashboard getting TOO cluttered. ;) Also, like you mentioned, I myself get really excited to have a new follower, so if I like someone else's blog, I want to let her know and make her happy. :)

    - Victoria

  4. I follow a blog by readint their current post and then looking at older posts. You can always follow a blog and if you don't like it de-follow it. You'll work out which you want to follow.:)

  5. Think of it like your movie collection at home. I doubt you have the entire Blockbuster inventory in your living room. You selected a few because they spoke to you.

    Following blogs isn't much different, for me. I always appreciate vision in how a blogger presents themselves (in their writing and in their blog design - something that you have a good handle on). If you have cool interactions with the blog's author, that's another incentive (I have appreciated your many comments lately).

    I'm always looking for blogs to follow, even if they don't follow me back. Some have followed me that I have not followed back, because (as great a person as they are) the theme of their blog didn't appeal to me. What matters is picking blogs that you would like to visit every day. Because they speak to you. :)

  6. If you're reading the blog you should follow it! It would make the blogger happy and build your relationship with them. Then they will visit your blog more often :)

  7. Hmmm.... I tend to err on the "follow" side. With Google reader, you can sort them into folders. I have a "funny things" folder for humor sites, a folder for blogs I especially want to comment on, a folder for writing, publishing news, etc. That way, if I'm busy, I can go directly to whatever folder I need and I don't have to sort through six million blog posts.

  8. Magdalen, that sounds like a very sensible idea. I couldn't follow every blog I read if I had that code of following, because sometimes I read blogs for posts on certain subjects, not all their posts.

  9. Emily, first off, welcome to my blog. it's nice to hear from you.

    I'm a little wary of following blogs in case I suddenly find that I don't like reading them any more. While I can take a library book back if I don't like reading it, I'm not so sure of unfollowing someone if I've made a mistake.

  10. Victoria, I don't mind that your blog posts don't come every day. When they do come they're good quality.

    All the blogs I follow seem to be connected in a circle of blogging friends. Sometimes I want to break out of the circle. That's when I start to really worry about following.

  11. Autumn, I'm a little shy of unfollowing people, just in case I hurt their feelings. I've had a couple of people unfollow me and it's not very nice. I always want to be sure about who I follow before I click the button.

  12. David, thanks for your compliments! I'm always a little worried that people won't find my writing interesting.

    I love your simile. No, I definitely wouldn't have the whole of Blockbuster. I guess, thinking about your way of following, it makes the most sense. Maybe I'll adopt it!

  13. J.A.Bennet, you've just inspired me to clean up my reading blogs. I guess you're right. If it's not worth me following it, I probably don't want to be reading it either.

  14. Miriam Forster, I've never actually tried using Google reader. Maybe I should look into it!

  15. I follow so many blogs that I can't keep up with half of them, to tell you the truth. I comment on so many blogs that it overwhelms me. I want to make myself known as much as possible but I can only do that so much. I love the writers I meet online. I'm actually "glad" I met them. If it weren't for the blogosphere, if it weren't for Blogger, those connections could have never been made and I'm glad that I took the time to read, comment and perhaps follow their blog.

    I follow mostly writer's blogs because I can relate to them in some aspects and I must love the person's personality or blogging style to follow their blog.

    By the way, I'm a new follower here! :)

    1. I like your reasons for following someone's blog. For me it's sort of the same, except I generally wait around and read their blog without following for a while, so see if this is a blog I would actually be interested in following, or whether only the occasional post catches me. I'd rather be cautious and only follow the blogs that I really want to follow, than follow everything and hurt other bloggers by unfollowing because their blogs just aren't for me.