You guys…I love the book blogging community. Sure, it has its ups and downs, but for the most part it’s crazy and amazing and wonderful. And part of being in the community is following and/or commenting on lots of different blogs! And I’m a Bloglovin’ addict. I follow hundreds of blogs and do my best to try to comment on a good chunk of the posts in my feed.
But there’s a system for which blogs I choose to follow or not follow, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today. These are just my opinions, though, and I know that lots of other people have different standards or reasons why/why not…let me know in the comments how you decide whether to follow!
Why I Want To or DON’T Want To Follow Your Book Blog:
Whether or not it’s fair, the first thing I notice about any blog is always going to be the layout. I love modern, clean, feminine designs such as Nose Graze, Books for a Delicate Eternity, and Stay Bookish. Even if (like me!) you don’t have the skills or money to design or pay for a fancy layout, there are plenty of nice simple WordPress designs available for free. I’d love a beautiful layout, but with a few personal tweaks, I was able to make a free layout work pretty well for me (at least until I decide to get a pretty one someday).
Sometimes a blog’s layout is just so egregious that I can’t even stand to look at it for more than a few seconds. If you have tons of flashing and floating banners and buttons, or crazy colors that make my eyes hurt…I’m probably going to click the red “x” on my browser pretty fast. I also really dislike layouts in which you can’t easily find a person’s posts. There’s one book blogger that I follow (no offense, but I’m talking about you, Effortlessly Reading!) who’s layout is really pretty….but I can’t find anything. There’s no search bar and you can’t see her latest posts besides the four that are on the homepage. I love her blog, so I still follow her, but it’s definitely a little frustrating sometimes!
The next thing I’ll notice is the type of posts you normally have on your blog. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but usually I try to follow blogs that have a good mix of reviews, discussion posts, features, and memes. If a blog only has reviews (and maybe the occasional meme)…I won’t follow them.
I also really enjoy content that’s well written and original. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, but I like it when I can easily relate to the content and your words kind of “speak” to me. For example, I really like The Daily Prophecy blog — Mel has a great mix of posts and also has interesting discussions and features.
Like I talked about in my recent discussion post about replying to comments, I love it when bloggers are actively interested in having conversations with other bloggers, whether it be taking place in the comments or on Twitter. I really like talking to other bloggers and the “community” aspect of book blogging, so I’m definitely more apt to follow you if I notice that you have a decent social media/commenting presence.
On the other hand, it kind of bums me out if I’ve been following a blog forever, but I’ve never heard from them in a personal way…whether it be in a comment, a comment reply, or even on Twitter. And I also don’t appreciate negative activity. For example, a couple weeks ago there was some big Twitter drama over plagiarism, and some bloggers reacted very inappropriately and it really made me want to un-follow them.
4. Type of Blog
Another thing that influences my decision of whether or not to follow a blog is the type of blog. While I hate the Blogger commenting system, I still usually will follow a Blogger blog anyway…I just might not comment very much.
But, hands-down, I dislike the IntenseDebate and Disqus commenting systems so much that I actively refuse to follow or comment on any blogs who use it. This may seem harsh, and I feel really bad if you’re a friend who has this on their blog (sorry, Nara!), but I follow so many blogs that I have to draw the line somewhere. I just can’t do it right now, but maybe in the future I’ll change my mind.
I love WordPress blogs, though! Their commenting system is so easy to use, so as long as you basically follow my other requirements, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up adding you to my feed!
And that’s pretty much it! What criteria do YOU use to decide whether or not you’re going to follow a blog?