Before I literally read one blog that was a blog about pugs.
I read it because it was funny and there were fantastic photos showing off that cute pug.
I was reading for pleasure and fun.
Then I decided I wanted to be a "style" blogger and I started to realize just how many other blogs there were out there and I felt as a member of this community that I needed, nay I was required to read as many blogs as possible so that I was well informed and also to increase the exposure of my blog.
Suddenly I needed to keep up with fashion blogs, DIY blogs, home decor blogs, food blogs, weird blogs, quirky blogs, blogs I didn't understand but thought they were interesting, art blogs, craft blogs, you name it, there were a million blogs out there on every subject that you can think of that needed to be read.
Reading blogs became serious time sucking work.
Needless to say if you are trying to promote your blog you will also need to leave comments at each blog you read.
Most common comments when simply promoting your own blog:
I just love that!
I'm going to try this right away!
What a great idea!
And the very bad ones,
What a great post…won't you please follow me?
I'm having a giveaway…please come over.
I have to say I have never commented like those last two ever but during those first months of blogging I often went with one line positive reinforcement.
Or what I like to refer to as PROCID GASA. (Positive reinforcement of crap I don't give a shit about) smiley face… cause that makes it all better.
Then it all became too much.
My head was going to explode.
Then hubby got super sick and I wanted to stop blogging because it all felt fake and useless.
Then I got some positive reinforcement from people that did seem to give a shit and that stopped me from pulling the plug.
After that I decided then and there to no longer leave remarks on blogs if I didn't truly mean what I wrote.
Enough of the fluff.
I wanted the comments to mean something. Truly from the heart. Even if it was just "I really love that outfit on you."
I meant it. I was no longer blowing smoke.
I stopped all of the PROCID GASA.
I cut my blog reading back…WAY back.
Fashion posts seemed irrelevant and trivial so I blogged about my experience in hospital. Something that was deeply personal but that meant something. I hoped that I could spare someone from the same dreadful experience or at least educate people to truly appreciate their bodies while they still work.
I kind of stopped reading most blogs at that time.
As I'm still trying to get past this illness 100% I've started edit my blog reader list even more, but I will admit it is a losing battle since I find new ones to follow each week.
Now there are three very simple reasons I will follow a blog.
1. The person is interesting or funny. I'd like to meet this person in real life and sit down and have a chat with them. I like them. I don't "know" them, but I like them. Plus, anyone that can make me laugh is like gold to me.
2. I learn something new or think about something I normally wouldn't. These type of blogs stretch my mind and help me remain aware and grateful.
3. The outfits are unusual, creative and inspirational. Someone that thinks differently than I do but that I can relate to.
I don't even bother following blogs anymore for food, interior design, art or DIY blogs. I follow Pinterest and pin away. Much faster and easier than following the blogs daily.
What makes you decide to follow/read blogs?
Before I blogged, I only read blogs of real life friends because of course, I was interested in them. And to this day, the blogs I’m most drawn to are either the bloggers who I’ve “known” for so long that they feel like old friends, I’m invested and interested in their lives, or else they have the kind of sense of humor that really appeals to me (I think you know that I LOVE funny!)…or fellow quirky, colorful dressers. I have no use for following DIY or recipe blogs, though when I’m searching for instructions on something specific, I definitely go to blogs for project and recipe instructions, but either through pinterest or google, I don’t follow on a regular basis.
And oh, your description of the one word or self-promotional comments….those are the worst! I’m always like…you aren’t fooling me into thinking you read this post, so why try?
sylvia | 40plusstyle says
Good question Suzanne. First of all I find them very entertaining! When you have been reading blogs for a while, you really get to know the good and interesting ones and they are just all so different and good. You also get to know some people so well. Like you though, blog reading consumes a lot of my time and most days I don’t even get to commenting at all. So the ones I keep reading are those ladies and men that I connect too or that have something interesting, funny or intelligent to say. They can often write well and the style bloggers I follow I admire for their originality, personality or exceptional style.
Tamera the Menopausal Supermodel says
Awesome post Suzanne!! I was in the same boat as you before!!
I now only read blogs of people that interest me and post when I have something to say.
The bloggers I read are people I would want to hang out with in real life. People who would pick christmas trees out of curbside trash with me…….
Pinterest is a rabbit hole I fall into far too much……LOLOL
Happiness at Mid Life says
I think I am still in the time suck phase of blog reading. I do try to and leave comment on blogs that I read but have stopped commenting on every blog. I do prefer to comment on blogs that I feel like I have a relationship with the person via commenting on each other blogs if that makes sense.
A great idea to follow food blogs on pinterest instead of reading them all too.
Another thought provoking post on the nature of blogging, Suzanne.
I think… I used to be (ha! A little embarrassing) into reading fanfiction and such (for Harry Potter) and therefore came from a culture that when you created something, like a story or artwork, it was considered polite to leave a comment, as a way of saying thank you for the time and effort put into something for your enjoyment. I also read a book called “Who Let the Blog Out” around that time that connected links (such as comments) to money online, so you were sort of “paying” that person. I got into the habit of leaving comments then.
Over a decade later and I’m into style blogging, a completely different online-creature, but one those same commenting habits carried over for. Sometimes my comments are hopefully conversation starters or contributions to a discussion. But I’m definitely guilty of the “Cute” or “great idea” or “I love that (purse, skirt, whatever I like)” type of commenting. I don’t always have a lot to say, but use the comment as a way of leaving a sign of thanks or appreciation to the blogger. They have, after all, provided me entertainment. After all, getting comments is a definite sign people are reading and that always makes me happy. But I’m realizing more and more that this does not seem to be the prevailing attitude/outlook when it comes to comments. But I’m honestly not sure what the “prevailing” attitude is. We only want deeply thoughtful comments? Or just not spammy comments (fair enough. I dislike follow back comments too). Or is commenting not needed? I suspect the fact that it is hard to start a true conversation with comments is part of it (or am I the only one who finds she often doesn’t get notifications of responses?) and part of it might be a migration to new outlets of conversation like Twitter or the fact more are reading on mobile devices where commenting is more of a hassle. And part of it is the largely passive consumption of content, made easier by readers like Bloglovin and Feedly.
All of that is a bit tangeticial, sorry. Just you bringing up a lot of good points.
I do follow a lot because I have the time to and enjoy reading them. Hopefully more hours at work with mean pruning which blogs I follow. I tend to follow mostly blogs with whom I feel I’ve developed a relationship of some sort. I try to comment or at least look at any bloggers’ blog that comments on mine, so I’m also more likely to keep reading people who also follow mine back (because I’ll be back on their blog several times and get to know them). But as to why I follow a specific blog- I like ones with personality, and who are funny. I pretty much follow mostly style bloggers because that’s what I find interesting.
More prosaically, I also am WAY more likely to follow a blog that makes it easy for me to read their blog (I hate weird fonts, and centered type.) and who’s pictures etc. are a decent size. Feels like they care about my reading experience. Also, I am more likely to follow if I can get updates through a feeder.
Great post on phenomena many of us (myself included) have gone through. Ultimately, I realized that for blogging to be fun and healthy, I need to do it with integrity. No leaving comments just to attract attention. No marketing of my blog that’s unnatural. Trying to be authentic in my writing and communication. I look for blogs created by people I’d like to know. The blog is a window into their minds and lives. I’d like to learn more about you!
Patti @ NotDeadYet Style says
I agree with Shybiker about the importance of integrity in blogging. I try not to spray comments willy-nilly around the blogosphere, and I don’t think I’ve ever asked for a “follow”. Like you, I enjoy most the blogs written by people I’d like to have a cup of coffee with, or even discuss national health care plans with! And blogging can become a huge time-drain if I let it, so I try to limit my hours, and then go outside.
Aya in Couturgatory says
Hah, I’m totally going to use PROCID GASA from now on, only I’m going to split it Pro Cid Gasa to make it sound Fake Latin. I know I picked up reading your blog as soon as I found it because you write insightful prose and you encourage detailed comments and input from your readers. I love and admire that!
I struggle with leaving comments sometimes as well, because I want to convey sincerity, but often what I want to express on cool outfit posts is “You’re beautiful and I love your clothes!”
Can’t read what I think of as the stereotype or visible face of home blogs, which is that floaty text with fancy cameras and very narrow fields of view, sunshine, and perfect white kitchens. There’s a lot of smiling down and to the side and shots of chins and handbags in the fashion blog version. It’s very nice, but I do not relate and I’m afraid if I throw my caustic wit at it the website will shatter and the poor owner will be left in tears.
My criteria for blog following is imaginative or interesting style sense, well-written prose I find interesting, and humor. I’m with you on personality of bloggers being the main draw. Since I could go to fashion sites if I wanted to read trends, blogs clearly have a different appeal.
P.S. You’re beautiful and I love your clothes.
Aya in Couturgatory says
Patti, I would love to discuss national health care plans with you. 😀
I find you have chosen a very interesting subject today, Suzanne! I like meeting people all around the world, which have different stories to tell and different ways to look at things. I have always found my city and my country too small for me, and blogging is a way to know more. I like having friends all around the world, but I love “special people” ( I mean people who have something to tell…)
This is a really great question, and something I wish more people thought about in more depth. I don’t mind the “how cute” comments, but I definitely prefer the more engaged comments that show that someone actually read what I wrote!
I will say that I’ve found it to be a two-way street. Once I started opening up more on my blog or talking about things going on in my life, I got so many more meaningful comments. I’ve learned that I can’t just post a few outfit pictures and say “Here’s my outfit blah blah clothes etc.” and expect readers to truly engage with me.
I agree with you on why I read blogs…if they’re funny, offer something useful, or just seem like a relateable human being, then I will stick around!
Brilliant response Kristian.
I always find myself wondering if people are getting response notifications or not. I only get them on a handful of blogs. Do you get them with my blog?
I never thought of leaving a comment as a way of thanking someone.
I so appreciate your insightful comments. You always make me look at something a little bit differently. I can see why you chose the perfect profession, teaching, you were born to do it.
Okay : )
What do you want to know?
Okay this is fun. I want to steal your idea and shorten it to YBAILYC…except no one but you and I will know that stands for “you’re beautiful and I love your clothes.” It’ll get people wondering though.
The whole world would be so much poorer without your caustic wit.
When I thought about PROCID GASA it made me think of heartburn medication. LOL
Your last sentence made me laugh out loud.
So true that via the internet the world is a much smaller place.
That is very true about opening up. You become more vulnerable, but at the same time more relatable.
Pinterest sucks you in.
I’ll pick through your neighbours throw aways any day : ) isn’t that what neighbours are for? LOL
It makes total sense.
BTW your responses on your blog (which I get every time) always make me smile.
I “love” it when they comment on something that makes no sense at all with what you just wrote. That kills me.
Sometimes I get so engrossed with other people’s blogs that I forget about working on my own.
Well Suzanne, this post made me laugh (in fact i’m still laughing over the PROSID GASA), it taught me something new, and most of the time I see an outfit which is beyond unique and something I would love to copy. But the best part is I would absolutely love to meet you in person and that is why I follow and comment on your blog.
I have found what makes me follow and read a blog are the ones that are REAL to life, ones that SPEAK to me more than through just an outfit, with humor, creativity, and true friendship.
MIS PAPELICOS says
I am so glad to see you back to blogging, and the fact that I am one of the one you comment makes my day, Suzanne.
I shall keep up with you too.
To me followers are not numbers but friend in the world.
Oh, thank you Suzanne!
I don’t get responses for your comments (I came back to read the comments because I was sure people would have interesting insights and wanted to read more!) I only seem to really get them for Disquis replies, not even blogger replies, which is what I run my blog on (I think on blogger you can get notified but then you get it for every.single.comment. that post gets, not just replies).
I struggle with leaving comments sometimes as well, because I want to convey sincerity, but often what I want to express on cool outfit posts is “You’re beautiful and I love your clothes!” – See more at: “>http://suzannecarillo.com/why-do-you-read-blogs/#tpe-action-resize-395
This! This is me too!
Dawn Lucy says
I’m just a little newbie to this blog community, but I’m enjoying it SO MUCH! I’ve always been a fashion magazine lover, but wished I could find some inspiration that was a bit more relatable. That’s why I love following fashion blogs from real women with real lives … and a real passion for fashion! I too need to watch my time management with this new hobby though. Whew … it’s so enjoyable that time can fly by without realizing it. Moderation in all things, right?
Me too Trina. I want to be at one of your fabulous parties.
ha ha! Good luck on that one : ) Between Pinterest and Blogging moderation no longer exists.
I have missed a few posts there Suzanne!
I often had the same thoughts about blogging and commenting
Useless, fake and what the hell am i doing this?
But like you i had positive, encouraging and sweet comments that made me pursue!
But God!Commenting is friggin part time job i tell you!
I do it a lot at work cause i’m not that busy but it might change, there’a new person coming in and she might make me work harder, bugger!
I try to leave a meaningful comment, i try, but i admit sometimes i left, the cute outfit comment –
There are so many boring blogs – I’m not brilliant as far as writing, but i’m an original in terms of dressing, right?
Yes I know what you mean, to much time on the computer. Too much commenting. I feel like a must comment back on those who comment on mine. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this when I started blogging. I must start doing less too. I do enjoy seeing all the fashion and find it inspiring. I like you follow many blogs where the styling is different than mine. Interesting post.
blue hue wonderland
Interesting to read about your motives and your reading process. As you know I am going to write a similar post one of these days (and you are gonna be in it;-))…. I had a different ‘route’ then you, but there are similarities too. You ‘ll see.