Hi Virtually Readers! I recently unfollowed quite a few blogs and followed some more. This got me thinking about why I follow some blogs and don’t follow others. So if you’re wondering what I look for in a (book) blog, then you’ve come to the right place.
I follow more than 40 blogs on bloglovin’ (I don’t use WordPress reader. Not sure why. But I just never have) but a few months ago, I went through the ~60 blogs I was following and unfollowed a lot of them. Why? They didn’t post regularly. So the first thing I look for in a blog is
If I see that a blogger hasn’t posted anything for six months, or has several months in between posts (excluding hiatuses), then I won’t follow them. Ideally, a blogger I follow will post at least 3-4 times a month.
But if a blog regularly posted about the cuteness of giraffes , I still wouldn’t follow. Which brings me to the next thing I look for in a blog.
I really like to read blogs about things that interest me! Such as books (especially YA books) and writing and the world. I also really enjoy lifestyle/personal posts, but usually interspersed with other posts, not just ‘this is my life’ type things all the time. I often look at the blogs of people who have commented here or who I know from instagram, and if I like their posts, I follow. But if the content doesn’t interest me, then I don’t. (That’s why we started another blog, by the way: so we could make sure this blog is mainly bookish stuff but still have somewhere to talk about other thoughts.)
Also, with content I like variety–meaning not only book reviews, tags, or discussions, but a combination.
The next thing I notice is normally the blogger’s writing style. I like blogs with a distinct voice. This doesn’t mean that all they ever have to talk about is one thing, but rather that there’s a distinct style that makes this blogger stand out, whether it’s their use of CAPS LOCK, passion for a particular genre, or general writing style. Basically, I like to read things that can’t have been written by robots.
(Side note: I think the choice of content to post, and which books are reviewed also totally contribute to voice. So, like,different blogs balance things out differently or review different genres. That’s what makes each one unique!)
Also, this is totally me, but I kind of judge people’s grammar. And spelling. And like, the general readability of their blog. If I’m confused because something’s written badly then… well, I leave.
Writing style, content, and regular posting are the biggest things I look for in blogs. I think they’re all equally important. However, I can be a shallow person. So here’s some lower order things that influence my following of a blog.
Blog design doesn’t matter as much as content. But it does make me notice (or not notice) a blog. I totally judge headers and graphics and stuff… but I also try to pay attention to the user experience. When I’ve been working on Virtually Read, I think about these things:
- If the about page/ other pages are easy to find.
- If the sidebar is useful or distracting. Did you notice we have no sidebar now? I prefer that look but I don’t like how the entire page is slimmer. All the links are in the footer btw.
- If the post graphics work for the post, or just look bad
- Whether something about the theme makes the post hard to read, such as only taking up half the page.
Obviously, if you have a specific theme you can’t control all these things. But thinking about them does help. And being able to
easily stalk peoplefind your way around is useful.
The blogger themselves
If the blogger seems nice on social media or has an interesting or amusing or otherwise engaging about page, I’m more likely to follow them. If you already follow me and leave awesome comments and stuff, then I just get more interested in what your posts have to say. It’s as simple as that. Which leads to…
I love stalking people. I often find blogs through twitter (I don’t have an account… just stalk)
Please don’t judge meor Instagram or the other way around. And if I like those pages, maybe I’ll follow.
Basically, me choosing to follow a blog is basically all about me being judgemental (and often judging yes). So here’s a list of some blogs I really like reading (plus I love the bloggers), and which fulfil a lot of the things on this list. (I couldn’t include everyone I follow, but be assured that if I follow you, it’s because I like your blog, okay?
- Nut Free Nerd
Holly is so nice! I like her writing style and the fact that she reads a lot of classics and is also super critical
probably because she’s an English major.
- Somewhat Reserved
Grace reads a lot of UKYA, which other people don’t, and I like her discussions and personal/thoughtful posts.
- Paper Fury
Who doesn’t know Cait? She has a lovely design, is super active on social media and commenting back, and has a super distinct style which is enjoyable.
- Drizzle and Hurricane Books
I really like Marie’s writing style and balance of reviews/tags/discussions. Plus she is the most dedicated commenter ever and basically the best.
- Ivyclad Ideas
The blogger is also a lit major and an interesting reviewer and stuff, but my favourite part is that her inner editor is always snarking back at her on ever post.
- Forever and Everly
May is like a bright young blogging star. She has hilarious footnotes and I like her graphics as well as post topics.
- Others I’ve forgotten.
That’s it! Wow gargantuan post. So what I want to know is: what makes you follow a blog?
(including this blog hint hint) How do you figure out the balance between different types of posts?