When I first started blogging — almost three years ago! — I really had no idea what I was getting into. I was focused only on the “me” parts: I’d write my book reviews and other content, and people would read what I wrote.
Ha! I really knew nothing about blogging, obviously.
Readers don’t magically appear. It’s all about connections. If I want people to visit my blog, I need to reach out and connect with other bloggers. It’s a back and forth — you comment on my posts, I comment on yours; I visit your blog, you stop by mine.
It’s not a quid pro quo, really, just simple networking and connection. We all want visits and views, but people have to know we exist in the first place in order to come for a visit.
Over the years, my circle of favorite blogs has grown and grown. Here’s the challenge: How do I find time to cultivate and nurture my own blog when so much online time is devoted to visiting and reading other people’s blogs?
If people follow my blog, I tend to follow back. (Side note: If you’ve followed me and I haven’t followed back, it’s probably an oversight, so let me know!)
For WordPress blogs, new posts show up in my reader, and I can opt in to receive daily or weekly email alerts. For non-WordPress blogs, I tend to subscribe by email for ones that I really don’t want to miss, or else I’ll follow via Bloglovin’ or Twitter. (Twitter is least effective for me, as I’m not on all that much and I miss a lot).
At this point, with all the blogs I follow, it’s an enormous task to try to read everything every day. I get about 20 – 25 daily emails about new posts. My Bloglovin’ feed is huge, and so is my WordPress reader feed. There just isn’t enough time in a day for me to read all the new posts and still have time for reading books and writing my own blog posts.
I’ve been trying to prune a bit lately, so I’m trying to make sure I’m not following the same blogs on WordPress and on Bloglovin’, for starters. For WordPress blogs that I interact with less frequently, I’m starting to turn off the email alerts. I can still read new posts in my WordPress reader, but that way, the daily list of emails with blog updates will hopefully be a bit more manageable. Plus, there are some blogs that feel like priorities to me — people who share similar tastes with me, or write pieces that I find particularly engaging, or those who I’ve developed a virtual friendship and rapport with — and those are the ones I want to see in my email inbox each day. When I get email alerts for all the blogs, it’s hard to separate out the ones that I really want to read from the ones that I might read if there’s time.
Meanwhile, I’m still thinking about the whole following back thing. If someone is nice enough to follow me, I really appreciate it, and I feel like following back is the right thing to do. And yet, if I see that their blog is focused on a genre that I never read and that our book tastes have no common ground, I’m less likely to actually read their posts.
What’s your approach to following? Do you automatically follow back when someone new follows you? And do you actually read your blog feeds every day? How do you manage to keep up?
I’d love to hear how others handle the challenge of keeping up with other bloggers. Please share your thoughts!