A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts: Following Blogs

A GloWorms Thoughts Button-01

So last week I was having a comment conversation with Asti and we sort of talked a bit about what type of blogs we like to follow and it got me to thinking:

What is it that makes you want to follow a blog?

I know for me that when I first started blogging, I mostly followed those who followed us and I found a Goodreads group that specifically did this. You follow someone and they returned your follow. Then I realized that hey, these people never really visit. what good are followers that don’t actually visit your blog? Yes, you can claim you have so many followers but in reality, it’s just not true.

So then I started entering the blog hops of giveaways. Nearly everyone wants you to follow them for these, so you end up following hundreds of blogs (and getting hundreds of followers if you also have a giveaway). Again though, now you have all these followers, but they aren’t there because they like your blog, they are just there for free books. So you can claim so many followers again, but no one is still reading your blog.

I’m ashamed that with my first blog I did these things. I have hundreds of blogs that I follow and I don’t have time to read that many. So I’ve been slowly unfollowing people (most of them don’t even post reviews of books I’m interested in) to clean up my bloglovin’. Now before I unfollow or even follow a new blog, I look at the content they have. I’ve become a reader that mostly looks out for blogs that have a variety of content. People who post reviews (of books I’m actually interested in), discussions and don’t participate in an overwhelming number of memes are generally people I’ll now follow.

I like to read reviews of books I’m interested in,if I’m not going to be reading them in the near future, or ones I’ve read. Then I actually have something meaningful I can post on their thoughts.

I like reading discussions. Maybe I’m just really nosy, but I like to know what other people opinions are on certain things. I also like being able to discus and share my own thoughts on it in the comments.

I guess another thing that ties in there is that I like to follow people who actually respond to my comments. I don’t care if they don’t respond to something small, like if I were to tell them I enjoyed their post, but if I leave a meaningful comment that takes me awhile to post and they say nothing? I’m kind of insulted. Again, I don’t care if it takes awhile for them to respond, but if like two weeks later they still haven’t responded to me but have to others, it makes me feel like they don’t care about my comment, even though I spent more than a few seconds on it and clearly thought about what they said. They don’t even have to visit my blog, just leave me a reply and I’ll be happy!

I do like when people comment on my blog. When I get comments from new people, one of the first things I do, after replying to them of course, is to go visit their blog and check out some of their content. If I liek what they have, I’m most likely going to follow them! There are a lot of blogs out there and this is something that can make you stand out of the group.

I also mentioned memes. Some blogs are exclusively memes, did you know that? I know there are tons of memes out there for every day of the week, but if your blog is just memes (no reviews even), you’re not a real blogger, you are just pretending to be one. You have to think about your own content, make something that’s going to separate you from the hundreds of other blogs out there. I’m okay with blogs that post maybe 3 memes a week, as long as they have unique features and well written, interesting reviews, I will follow them. Your content is important.

The last thing I like is unique blogs. The ones who you can tell that they actually care about what they are posting. People who try to come up with their own features, it’s doesn’t always work out for them, but at least they are trying! Or their blog just looks awesome. Maybe their reviews are different from everyone else, it doesn’t matter, if something makes them stick out, I will follow them.

So I guess this is what it comes down to for me, if you want to convince me to follow your blog:

  1. Reviews of the types books I like to read

  2. Discussions

  3. Don’t go crazy on the memes

  4. Be unique!

  5. Reply if it’s clear I left a thoughtful comment!

  6. Comment on my blog so I can check out your blog, if I haven’t already!


So that’s what makes me follow blogs, what about you? Do you have certain things that will make you press that follow button?


34 thoughts on “A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts: Following Blogs

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  3. I just recently started my own WordPress blog, but have been reading through my internet BFF‘s book blog (even though that’s completely not what I write about) and following discussions on her posts and clicking through the links of what she found interesting that week in the blogosphere. Just by doing that I’ve begun to get a feel for how the people she interacts with write and conversate with each other and I’m beginning to grow fond of them. I have a pastry blog rather than a book review blog, and don’t even read in the YA genre, but will be following some people in that world once I catch up on my friend’s backlog. I just enjoy their personalities, which makes the subject enjoyable as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge book nerd (and may even do foodie book reviews sometimes on my own site before long) so it’s not totally outside of my realm of interest. So I suppose personality is a big thing that will make me follow someone, no matter the subject content. I also like blogs that will teach me something, or provoke thought, or make me want to better my photos and recipes because I admire the level they’ve progressed to on their own sites.

    I’m also a huge fan of blogs that post the weekly or months “favorites” type lists, because they nearly always have something interesting I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Plus, call me nosy, but I like to see what other people crush on. 🙂

    As for the follow-for-follow thing: if I follow someone, I absolutely 100% would not get my feelings hurt if they don’t follow me back. I would much rather know people are following because they like my content, than that they are cluttering up their feed reader out of a sense of obligation. I would hope that anyone following me would be of the same mindset.

    • I agree, I’d rather have people following me because they like my content. It’s always nice when you know they are reading your blog and actually like what you are posting, rather than just following and never reading.

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  5. So true! With the follow memes and things, sure you may get a lot of followers (If people even follow your blog rather than just commenting and saying they followed when really they didn’t. They just want you to follow them back – Grr that annoys me), anyway, as I was saying: You may get a lot of followers but how many of those followers ever return? How many follow you through a way that they use specifically for the follow memes and actually don’t ever check that email, RSS feed or Linky etc again, rather than legitimately following you? (I wonder if that ever happens…)

    Now when I do the follow memes, I actually check out the blog first and if it looks like a blog that posts things I have in common with, I will follow it and leave a comment on their post. This is pretty time consuming but I figure this way it saves me following a whole lot of blogs I would never post comments on or really read any of their posts because I don’t have the same common interests as they do. And I get to discover new blogs that I actually like.

    A long explanation to my point.

    I also don’t like following blogs that have a lot of memes. Like the memes that every blog does nowadays and I get bored of seeing over and over again. I like new, fresh content. Discussion posts of their own ideas. Not memes where they get the question from and answer, where hundreds of other blogs will also answer that same question. I like blogs that reply to their comments and interact with their readers. I like blogs that may visit your blog in return and leave a thought out comment. Also, for me, if the layout/colour scheme is messy, unreadable or confusing I am deterred and find it incredibly hard to browse their posts.

    Phew. Man I love discussion posts!

    Miss J @ Miss Book Reviews

    • Wow! I have no idea how I missed your comment! So sorry! I’ve seen the discussion posts that you’re given a topic and then you talk about it. They are are okay, but I’m not going to go read everyone’s thoughts about the same thing. I’d rather read posts on different things.

      And yes, I will follow a blog that I found through memes if it has other posts I’m interested in. As much as I’d love to follow all the blogs, I just don’t have time to read them all!

  6. I also started off following waaaaay too many blogs because the meme/hop required it. I read in a different reader than most people though (OldReader) and so GFC follows don’t even add the blog to my actual read list. I have a select ~30 or so blogs that I’m interested in their actual content. I’m definitely guilty of being one of those useless GFC followers if it is required for a giveaway. However I will also look at their content and see if I actually want to read what they post. Your features are exactly what I look at too! I looove discussion posts, so if they post those extra points. However since fantasy/sci-fi blogs seem to be the minority to YA/contemporary/romance focused blogs, I often find that I really don’t care about any books they review :(. And memes, oof, I’m so tired of reading ten meme posts every day, I just scroll right by unfortunately….

    Anyway, awesome post and I completely agree! I hope that maybe this will encourage people to post more original and unique content 😀

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    • I’m guilty of being a useless GFC follower as well. As I’ve been slowly going through my list of blogs and cutting out the ones that don’t interest me, I have been looking at the last few weeks of content to decide if it’s interesting to me.

      I think one of the things I like about your blog is that the sci fi/fantasy blogs are rare. I don’t exclusively read those genres, although I do love them, but it’s nice to see someone who does, so they are really familiar with it. Plus you seem to have the same taste as me in it, soo… And your blog design is super adorable!

      I also scroll by memes a lot, except for book hauls and TTT, I like lists, which is why that’s the one meme I participate in other than clock rewinders!

  7. Yes. Yes , and yes. I couldn’t agree more. Although there are still blogs I follow not because of the reviews, for some unknown reason I sometimes have difficulty reading a review, especially if I want to read that book – opinions have a tendency to discourage me.
    But discussions and passions and looking for great book ideas; those book hauls I tell ya will keep me busy forever. I just enjoy seeing what people have to present to the rest of the world.
    Although I am guilty for partaking in certain memes but that’s just to keep me on my toes and allowing me to figure out what I want to put out there. Because I’m still new to the book blogging “game”, I’m still working out some form of schedule to what I’d like to let my readers know about, or what to expect from me.

    • I don’t like to read reviews of books that I’m planning on reading shortly because I don’t want someone else’s words floating through my head while I’m reading and changing my true thoughts on the book. Just because I feel I should think the same things as them. Basically judging the book on someone else’s thoughts before I start it.

      I do like reading discussion posts and books hauls and any unique features they might have, so even if I’m not looking at every review they post, I’m probably looking at other content that is well done.

      Also, I don’t see anything wrong with participating in memes, I do Top Ten Tuesday and Clock Rewinders on here, so clearly I like them. I just don’t like when that’s all a blog has.

      • I don’t read reviews for books I intend on reading (shortly) for that exact reason. I’m afraid of creating an opinion throughout the book through somebody else’s opinion instead of my own. If it’s a book I was never interested in than maybe I’ll consider it.

        • Exactly! Maybe they will talk me into reading that book I wasn’t going to, but for a book I already know I’m going to read, I don’t want any accidental spoilers or to remember what someone liked or didn’t like so I’m not harshly judging it when I get to that part!

  8. Oh, I love this post for so many reasons.

    I also got caught up in the follow-for-follow craze on goodreads. While I do think it’s a good way to get an initial following, and some of my most frequent visitors and commenters were the result of a follow-for-follow, I agree that it’s mostly a way to fluff up you blog and say you have hundreds of followers. What’s the point if they’re just names on a list who don’t actually care about your content? I’m at the point where I’d rather have one follower who actually cares about my content than fifty who won’t give it a second visit.

    I also agree with pretty much all of your following criteria. It bugs me when my comments are ignored, too. If you have time to post and find new followers, you have time to show your current followers appreciation. Too many memes is a big red flag for me. Generally if I don’t find a thought piece on your blog’s first page – be it a review or discussion post – I don’t even bother with it. Posting every day is only good if you’re posting quality content. A similar reading taste is another must for me, because at the end of the day, I follow these blogs so I can find new books and discuss old favorites. As a YA/fantasy reader, I’m not too likely to follow the blog of someone who reads primarily autobiographies and non-fiction. I just won’t be interested in the content.

    That said, since your blog really does fit into all of those criteria categories, I’m heading over to bloglovin right now to add this blog to my list! 😀

    • Thanks for the follow!

      Yes, the follow for follow is somewhat good for when you’re starting out, but then nobody was ever commenting on anything, so I kind of felt like it was a waste of time to have even done it that way. So when I started this solo blog, I decided that my number of followers didn’t matter, as long as I had some who cared and could become friends with. Which has happened, so I’m happier here!

      Comments being ignored makes me sad. I also dislike when people come in for memes and leave a comment but it’s just like “Great list/choice! Here’s mine!” with a link. To me that screams copy paste and they probably didn’t even look at the list. They are just aiming for everyone to come to their blog, so putting that on all of the blogs listed. If they come and comment on something on my list by name, I’m happier because at least they took the time to look!

  9. I love this! I agree with everything. The most important things to me are that the blogger posts discussions, reviews of books I would read, and that they don’t load up their week with memes. I’m not usually a fan of them and I feel like it’s just filler material. Great post! Oh, and I love your blog. 🙂

    • Thank you!
      I don’t mind a meme or two in a weekly line up, but I do like for there to be other interesting content for me to look at! And yes, it helps it they review books I like, although if they post good discussions and unique content, I might follow them even if the reviews aren’t of books I would always want to read. They might even get me to go outside of my comfort zone this way though.

  10. Great post. I think as a new blogger, the you follow me and I’ll follow you is a good help to get someone to visit your blog. No point spending hours working on your blog if no one sees it. The blogs I follow are blogs that love to discuss bookish things. And by discuss I mean write a post and then interact with the commenters, that way I feel connected and will be happy to keep coming back. I also like unique, different content that makes me consider something I might not have thought about before. I don’t mind a blog that takes part in a few book tours but not one everyday, that just doesn’t sit right with me. And memes are fun but 2 is enough in my opinion.

    • Yes! 2 is enough for me too, although if they post more but have good unique content, I will probably follow them anyway but ignore the memes. I just don’t like people who only posts memes and then might have a review in there once a week and nothing else. A lot of filler going in there.

      I’ve participated in book tours on my other blog, but I limit it to once a month or every two months. For books I can’t wait for.

      Follow for a follow is good for those starting out, but I don’t think it’s really needed. I think if you try to promote your blog and post good content, the followers will come, you do need to visit and comment on other blogs though to help with this, but you should be doing that regardless, even after you have the followers!

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  13. It’s not hard to get me to follow your blog – I’m willing to give most bloggers a chance. But to KEEP me as a follower, bloggers need to be posting content I enjoy (discussion posts, reviews for books that I find interesting, unique features/memes, etc.) and keep the promo stuff to a minimum; I just don’t find it that interesting.

    I also appreciate a blogger who takes the time to reply to my comments/comment back on my blog, but that’s not a requirement for a follow. It might mean that I comment on their blog less though!

    • Yes, I always like to try to comment back on their blog. Especially if they are a new commenter and I’ve never seen their blog before. I’ve found many new blogs that way!

      I’m also not really a big fan of the promo stuff. It can get irritating if I have someone keep posting it in my feed because it seems kind of pushy. I don’t really know it that makes sense, I’m a bit sleep deprived..lol

  14. I can’t tell you how much I agree with this post! I also prefer to follow blogs that write reviews on books I am interested in. It also upsets me when I comment regularly on someone’s blog (which is clear I am reading their content and not just a “follow”) and they NEVER respond – quite annoying and disprectful.

    Also, I prefer comments on my content because I enjoy the discussions. Luckily I have quite a few followers who partake in the discussions and book reviews, which I’m really grateful for 🙂

    • I have a few now as well that chime in, it’s nice!

      And yes, it’s very annoying and disrespectful. I try to at least reply on my blog, even if I don’t have time to visit their blog back. I try to, but it doesn’t always happen.

      Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  15. For me, I have a few folders in my reader.

    The first one is for the awesome bloggers, who are the bloggers who I have conversations with and actually talk with on Twitter — I feel like there is some kind of friendship there, you know? I try to comment as much as I can on these blogs.

    The second one is for the Edmonton bloggers, so that I can be sure to comment on most of the posts that go up.

    The third one is for all other blogs. If, eventually, I start to forge a friendship with a blogger, they’ll get bumped into the first folder. These are also blogs where I do like they’re reviews, or they post interesting comments, or maybe we’ve kind of chatted on Twitter, but I still don’t comment all the time on their blogs.

    I like to take into account — with other blogs — the similarities between the books we read. I mean, I’d like to read reviews of books I’m interested in. AND I like it when that blogger does unique things, like discussions, or playlists, or something that’s not JUST reviews.

    I also love bloggers who reply to comments. I don’t always go back to check this, but if I have the time, I like to go through each blog and reply to their replies. It’s nice to be able to have that discussion!

    And I like it when a blogger posts regularly and isn’t ALL ABOUT THE DRAMA. Like, they’re not always complaining on Twitter, or only talking about bad things. I like a fun blogger, someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves.

    Great post, Jenn! 🙂

    • Thanks!

      Omgosh, drama llamas! I honestly have stopped following a few blogs because they only time they posts some type of discussion is when there is some type of drama going on in the community. So they type up a quick post because they HAVE to share their thoughts on it and basically it becomes a bashing. So something is getting a lot of views and they jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

      When there is drama I just try to keep away from it. I actually never know about it for about a week after everything is all said and done. Clearly I’m very ignorant and sitting in my own world, bopping my head to my imaginary music. Basically I’m just too busy with my own things to give it much thought.

      I also have my blogs categorized in my reader. Right now it’s just my favourite blogs and then a folder for everything else. I’m still going through the list and sorting everyone.

      I’ve always gone out of my way to try to visit and comment on other blogs, not just look at the comments on my own. I’m not sure how it is on ORI, I’m pretty sure the co-bloggers don’t ever visit anything really. Unless it’s for a meme. It kind of irritates me. I know a lot of our commenters are people whose blogs I visit as often as I can. Maybe they just don’t realize that people I’m friendly with are the ones visiting!

      I know what you mean about feeling there is some kind of friendship there. How can there not be when you already have something in common? I probably talk to other bloggers more than any of my friends I see.

  16. Oh my gosh, I had just been thinking about this, so I’m glad you wrote this post! You expressed a lot of the same things I’ve been thinking lately. I keep seeing blogs who had over 300 followers after a month or two of blogging, and I’m thinking “HOW the HECK did they DO that?” – Now I know. I mean, I’ve been blogging for 8 months now, and I still have a pretty small following overall (nowhere NEAR 300).

    Like you, I’ve become a lot more choosy about the blogs I follow. They have to have content I’m interested in, whether that’s reviews of books I like, discussion posts, whatever. I also think having a nice-looking blog theme counts for a lot. I know it sounds superficial, but I think that taking the care to make your blog look good shows that you care about your blog and are more serious about it.

    What do you do about people who follow YOU (whether it’s on BlogLovin, twitter, etc.)? Do you follow them back, as a courtesy? Or only if they capture your interest? I don’t want to be rude by not following back, but I also don’t like to inflate the blogs/tweeters I follow, because my feeds can become overwhelming if there’s too many. =/

    • OH man, I forgot to talk about the comment replies. That is pretty important for me, too. If a blogger consistently NEVER responds to my comments, it’s pretty discouraging. For some reason, I often still feel compelled to comment, like I’m being the bigger person or using the golden rule or whatever, but I don’t know that it’s always worth it. =/

      • I think when people follow me, I feel I should follow them back. I don’t always though. Like with Twitter, my feed is insane on there already, I feel like I need to weed some people out, but then I’d feel bad.

        If someone never responds, I’m going to feel extremely discouraged. I don’t know, I guess I feel like if I can make the time to getting around and replying, they can to! I know I don’t always reply though, but I try to!

  17. I’m glad I could help bring about this discussion, and I think I agree with every single one of these things!

    Reviews – I usually only actually read these if it’s for a book I’ve read or am really interested in, because I want to be able to join the conversation. I have a few exceptions for some bloggers I really like to follow, but other than that I pass over a lot of these.
    Discussions – I’m with you on this! I absolutely LOVE discussions and if a blog does not have a single discussion post ever, then I don’t follow.
    Memes – I really agree with this one. I mean, technically you could say six out of my seven posts a week are memes, but I don’t consider them as so. TTT and F&F Fridays are the two I would say are memes because they’re hosted by others, but I like that they have a conversational aspect to them. But really, there are so many memes out there that people participate in that it gets overwhelming. Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, Feature & Follow Fridays, Stacking the Shelves… I’m sure there’s even more than that. I rather a blog just pick a couple and focus more on content.
    Unique – Definitely! There’s so many book blogs out there that if a blog can show themselves to be different in any way I’m likely to follow. This can include interesting reviews, a cute layout, a unique feature, etc.
    Replying to comments – This is a huge one. I usually write long thought out comments (like this ridiculously long one I’m typing right now) and would eventually like the blogger to acknowledge my comment. It makes my effort seem worth it, and it’s how friendships are started!

    So, I think you covered anything. I guess the only other thing I look at is frequency of posts. I don’t need a blog to post every day (like I do, which is a bit over the top >.>) but I don’t follow a blog unless they post at least once a week.

    • Oh yes! The frequency of posts. There are a lot of blogs that got carried over to my bloglovin’ that haven’t posted in weeks, or if they have it’s just a giveaway to gain followers. So I’ve been taking them off the list. I don’t really enter many giveaways anymore soo… I don’t need to see their weekly post for the blog hop giveaway that’s going on.

      But by no means does someone need to post everyday. Quality > Quantity. As long as they are making awesome posts, I couldn’t care less if they post every day of once or twice a week.

      In terms of memes, I would consider certain posts of yours, like Bookish Finds, Bookish Thoughts, Bookish News, things like that are more like features of your blog. Things that are fairly unique to you. Memes are the ones with all the links attached to them. So you actually have unique content, which makes your blog more interesting then the person just doing memes. You’ve thought about your content more, rather than someone else thinking of all the ideas.

      I do still like memes, I just think (like you) that you need to pick a couple to do so it’s not overwhelming. Like I only do Top Ten Tuesday and Clock Rewinders, which is enough for me here. Then I have my features. Like Fiction to Film, Reading With Kailyn (which is only new) and this one. Not all of them are posted every week either, only if I can think of something interesting or I make them by-weekly. I still have room every week for 2-3 reviews, not that I actually read that many extra books, especially lately. It’s taking forever to get through my current book, even though I really like it.

      • I agree, quality > quantity. I post every day on my blog, but only because I have so many things I want to talk about and I still try to make it quality content. (Of course, usually it’s just my rambling but some people seem to be interested by it!)

        And I like your features (especially your thoughts, because I’m such a talker)! It’s good that you leave room for reviews. I think most people expect more book reviews than anything else, I’m just an oddball 😉

        • I don’t always fill the spots with reviews though..lol Sometimes I just don’t get enough read! I’m finally getting back on track with my reading lately though. After last week and getting next to none done.

          And yes, you may post every day, but there is still quality to it!

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