Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To Follow or Not To Follow...That is the Question

Look at me; the Shakespeare of the blogosphere. I've been wanting to broach this subject for a long time and I feel that now that I have 100 followers,
{thank you thank you thank you}
it's time to muster up the courage to talk about blog following and the method behind why we decide to follow someone.

Please don't take this as a plea to get more followers, nor as criticism to the people that follow me.  I thank you from the very bottom of my heart {you like me, you really like me}.  These are basically the thoughts that have been going through my mind and I wanted to share. It just so happened to fall around the time I hit the 100 follower mark.

Okay, blog following.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you sit down to your dashboard or your Google reader?  I mean, I get a block of time in the morning and a block of time at night to take care of my blog posting and reading.  When I read blogs, I truly intend to comment on most of them.  To actively engage myself in what I'm reading.  I do this just as much for myself as I do for the actual blog writer.  I find myself not being able to comment as much when I'm trying to caught up on blog reading.  I hate that!  However, I love the blogs that appear in my dashboard and find myself continually adding more blogs to my blogroll.  

Bottom line:  I get behind on reading blogs and this caused me not to comment as much as I would like.  There's just not enough time!  I don't like that part but I don't know how to fix it.

Now, what makes us decide to follow?  And the kicker, are blog followers the sole contributor to our success as a blogger, however you may define success?  

Oh lord.

Here's the process I go through when deciding to follow:  I read the first blog post.  Oh, this is good, I say to myself.  I decide to read the about me section.  Oh, this person is just like me! I must know more.  I then click on a random month in the blog archive and read the top post from that.  If I like it and immediately want to know more, I'm a follower.  
It's no scientific method, but it works for me.

As far as my second question goes, I think the number of followers you have depends on how you define success.  When I started expanding my blog, I wanted to grow my following.  I've expanded and am hoping to expand more.  However, to me success does not only lie with the number of followers a blog has.  To me, that's not a true indicator of a successful blog.  I want authentic communication between me and the people subscribing to my blog.  It's not enough to have x-amount of followers if no one will participate in what I have to say (ie COMMENT).  What good is a huge blog following if no one comments?  For me, I would trade a huge following with low commenting to a smaller following with active commenters.

I guess I'm saying I need validation, which another way to say I am a comment monger-er.  

What do y'all think of these truly deep and insightful questions I've posed?  And yes, it's okay to tell me I am completely over-thinking these things.

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gabriellecato said...

that is EXACTLY how i decide what blogs to follow! and i follow you because we have so much IN COMMON! i love your blog and am a loyal reader and this post really makes me understand that i really need to communicate more with the blogs i follow! thank you!

Jenae @ Wildflower said...

I too get behind in blog reading which then equals not as much commenting but I do try to comment on at least 3 or more when I am reading them all :)

Kristi McInerney said...

really good points here, very true, especially being a busy mom of 2 toddlers, reading through each followers post for the day can be a daunting task when I only have limited computer time during nap time.

Diane and Chad said...

I must admit that I love the blog reading much more than the commenting...but I've always been less social than most. I would hope that you wouldn't feel that I wasn't interested in what you say if I don't comment. I only comment when I feel I have something to add. But I only follow blogs that I love reading:)
Come check out my blog if you want to, but I am now following you from the mingle hop:)

Danielle said...

I feel the same way! I do want lots of followers, but I also thought to myself, why does it matter if no one comments. I do have a few regular people that comment but it's no where near how many followers I have. I have almost 400 followers and less then 10 are regular commenters.

I'm a new GFC follower. I have a blog hop on my blog as well, if you'd like to link up. =D

Becky said...

I think part of what makes us follow other blogs is something that grabs our interest, from a blog hop, the way I found your blog. Or, a feeling of something in common, besides blogging, such as you using 'Y'all' in your post. I have an 'ah-ha' moment, we both southern. I too get behind in reading, but do try to keep up with the dashboard. New follower from the Mingle Hop. Would love for you to visit me at
Life or Something Like It
and possibly follow back.

TerinAleah said...

I'm a new follower! :)

Laurie said...

oh, it's so hard. I have SO many blogs I love to read, but it's so hard to comment on all of them, when I want to.

By followers, do you mean just google followers, like the picture you show? because I am also happy when people follow me in other ways: feedburner, facebook, and Twitter. :-) so don't look at just your Google follower numbers.

and yes, I'd rather get a lot more comments, too!! It's weird, some posts get a lot of comments, some get hardly any, or none.

I think I read somewhere that only about 1% of a blog's readers actually comment...some really low percentage like that. Depressing, eh? so, even if not a lot of people are commenting, people are reading! ;-)

Chrissy @ Boerman Ramblings said...

i follow your blog because I love u and your blog <3
I too have an overwhelming blogroll that takes at least a few hours to catch up on each day. UGH

TriGirl said...

Ok, woman, get out of my head! I am with you 100%. I follow blogs that I actually *like*. I just read a blog post giveaway for the 600 follower mark...she just started blogging in January! How does she get that many followers?? (I of course entered the giveaway...starbucks gift card, hello??) Seriously though, I have to agree that I prefer having my readers interact with me rather than just drive by with a "hi i'm your newest follower so follow me back, kthanksbye". Even if I *only* have 125 followers :)

Oh, and btw, I'm your newest follower :D

Ginger said...

My blog roll is ridiculous! There are just too many great blogs out there. I try and read/comment on my favorites first in the reader then go back to the others. It is hard though.

I would also rather have 100 followers who comment regularly verses 1,000 followers who follow because of a giveaway and don't ever comment again.