Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Follow the Leader

kitty, computer, blogging
photo courtesy tumblr (sorry, I don't have a better source!)

I find I read an awful lot about blogging, and about how to be a better blogger, but I don't see all that many articles about blog following. This is probably not surprising, as I find when time is short so much of it is spent creating new content for my own blog, reading and commenting on others becomes the second priority.

The problem for me is that there are just so many blogs I would read every day if I had the chance! I was a blog reader long before I was a blog follower, so I just dipped in and out of blogs as I wished. Now I always have a thought on what I'm going to post next, how many days I've got posts for this week, whether I'm going to have time to photograph things... you know the ususal (and also the reason for the kitty up top - this week is too busy to take photographs already!)

I'm interested to know how many blogs you regularly follow? I know I've spoken to others in the Blogisphere about how I used to love finding a new blog to follow, and now it seems I can barely find the time to keep up with my old favourites.

My current strategy is to have several layers of following. I have the blogs I read daily - usually people I talk to on twitter and interact with, often people I've met in real life with a few 'big name' blogs thrown in too, but not many. Then I have the people I know less well, whose blogs I often catch up with in one big go once a week or so. These are usually people I really like, but don't speak to so regularly. They might be people who write quite wordy posts I often don't get around to reading in the week, or people who post lots of inspiring pictures, which I like to get my fill of when I can properly enjoy them!

Lastly of course I reply to comments. I always try to reply to everyone who posts a comment on my blog, and I've found some fabulous new blogs to read that way. This again usually happens once or twice a week when I get the chance, although I feel I've been slipping lately, which is part of the reason for this post.

I've started trying to vary my daily routine to get in more blog reading. I'm doing a lot more on my iphone on the way to and from work which helps. How do you go about following other blogs? If you're a blogger, which I reckon most of you are, how do you fit it in alongside blogging too? Which takes priority?

If you'd like to tell me, what is your favourite new blog you've discovered recently? Because lets face it, I may say I don't have enough time (and I never do!) but that doesn't mean I don't always manage to squeeze more time from somewhere everytime I come across a new blog I love!


Danni and Maria said...

My current, and most recently discovered, fave is http://kertiii.blogspot.com/

The photography is so dreamy- love it!

I read a complete mixed bag 2bh, at the moment I'm trying to broaden out as well so any new links would be much appreciated!


Louder than Silence said...

Nice post! I was a blog reader for years before starting my own, like you. Before I used to read about ten or so blogs but now it's probably almost ten times that - and I'm always finding more to add to the list! Time consuming but I love reading them all - some daily and some I'll catch up on every week or so. Sally x

Hello Bee said...

This is a really interesting post! I'm interested to see the responses. I agree, there are SO many blogs I wish I had time to read every post of but usually wait and catch up on in a big chunk. I like reading on bloglovin as it's easy to browse new stuff, but then also just pick specific favourite daily-reads or people I know better to read if I have a spare 5 minutes at lunch or something.

I love making a cup of coffee at the weekend and having a massive catch up and comment fest, but some weeks my reader is into the hundreds and I have to admit... I just quickly press the 'mark all as read' option and go hide back under my duvet!

My favourite new addition blog is the beautiful Greer


Leia said...

This was a really interesting post, Harriet! I've been struggling with this myself, but I find - like you - I have a few 'layers' of blog reading. The first is Bloglovin - I keep all my regular reads on there, so I don't miss a post, and within Bloglovin I have a list called Best of the Best, which are my absolute favorites (yours included, of course!) and I try to check these every day. Then I have to reply to comments which takes the majority of my time, and I seem to have different commenters on each post, so I can't put them all on my Bloglovin, and like you I discover a lot of great blogs through comments so I reply to them whenever I can (a few times a week). I do feel guilty if I haven't replied to comments for a while and I feel overwhelmed if there are too many unread posts on Bloglovin! I wish there was a better way to manage it all but so far I haven't one.


and flowers pick themselves said...

ooh, very interesting, my dear! anytime i think too hard or long about my blog or blogging, my brain tends to shut down and i loose interest in the whole thing. this is thought-provoking in a good way for me, though. so thank you!!

xo Alison

Krissy said...

Thought provoking post! I always feel like I could do a much better job at keeping up with others' blogs. Like you, I was a blog reader long before I even started my blog. I recall, actually, I time when I just kept all of the blogs I liked in a folder in my bookmarks toolbar, and would open them all once a day, read them, and be done in about 15 minutes. Now, I'm lucky if I even make it through my feed reader by the end of the day. Funnily enough, just the other night, I removed about 100 blogs from my reader and just saved them all in a folder just in case I missed them. And as guilty as I feel for doing that, it's really quite a relief to wake up and not have hundreds and hundreds of blog posts staring at me waiting for my attention. I feel like I can put more focus into those blogs that I love the most now, and it's kind of a nice feeling. Because I feel like I've been very slack with my blogging interactions as of late. I used to reply to every comment on my blog, but now, very rarely does that happen.

Anyhow, I'll stop rambling on you now. ;)

Hannah said...

I spend more time reading and commenting on other blogs than I do on writing posts. I think that's because I just write about what ever I feel like and don't necessarily plan it out. I like to be part of the whole 'blogging community' and try to do my best to read blogs regularly and comment accordingly. Commenting is also a great way to get your blog noticed and by that I don't mean leaving a comment saying something like 'please follow me' cos those really piss me off. I try to reply to everyone and get round to it maybe every other day. At the minute I'm dedicating an awful lot of time to blogging and I sometimes think too much but I enjoy it and that's what counts.

Hannah xx

Lauren said...

Ah, I can so relate! So many blogs, so little time! I feel so bad when I cant comment as often as I like but then I think, ok Lauren, you can't do everything. My fave new blog is Louder Than Silence. Thanks for always leaving me such sweet comments x

Kb said...

Ah great post! I recently showed a friend all the blogs I follow and it's actually about 189 on google reader (which I'm obsessed with clearing) and about 80 on Bloglovin (where I'm not so bothered at having some unread)! I find I use bloglovin to keep hold of some blogs where I wouldn't necessarily read each post, but I will occasionally check (plus it's good karma, I remember when I had 2)! There's also all the posts that appear on my Twitter feed so potentially it's around 300 blogs! Eeek! I guess I have a few layers like you too, I tend to leave all the newsy fashion blogs till last and read my faves first. I tend to reply to comments when I've done a new post, but in this case if I see something I want to respond to sooner, I will!

Nicola said...

It's so difficult to keep up! I think of myself more as a blog reader than a blogger really, I spend more time reading than I do posting myself. I'm cutting way down on my blog reading habit though because I find that I just don't have enough time, and I'm so undisciplined that I could just read blogs all day and neglect everything else. I've pruned my RSS feed down to my favourites, and I use LeechBlock to block any Blogger site after an hour a day of viewing time. So I have flexibility with when I read them, but once my hour's up, that's it. Except for any blogs that aren't on Blogger, I do carry on peeking at those after my Blogger hour is up.

This is my new favourite: http://alltumbledown.blogspot.com/

Filipa said...

Oh dear, this is a topic close to my heart! I've had Feathers for about half a year now (I had a different blog before) and I loved posting on it, but never got chance to comment and follow others, so nobody ever read our blog, which made me discouraged. But lately I made it my priority to get into community more and really engage more with other blogs, even more than with my own. I try and visit about 60 daily, those are blogs I already know people who write it, I know their names and I read their sotries, and I love being part of their life. WHen I discover a new blog I bookmark it and then try to get to know them more. I feel like it's really paid of investing my time and interest because I already made some friendships.
Actually, Harriet, you inspired me! I just wrote a post on blog following and commenting, (scheduled it for tomorrow:P ) so thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

I follow around 150 blogs on bloglovin and I try and more-or-less keep up every day. I love following and commenting. Sometimes though I'll comment on a few posts on a blog with maybe 5 or 6 comments. When I hear nothing back I just presume that the blogger in questions hates my blog - I don't know if that's irrational!
I am looking for new links at the moment - tammy sent me a whole load but I'm after a lot more if you or anyone has any suggestions!

Hayley said...

I've added a lot more blogs to my Google Reader since becoming unemployed, just so I have something fun to read. I'm not even sure how many it is at the moment - I went through recently and deleted everything so I'm still rediscovering lots of blogs.
I have them in different folders though, which is the prioritised way that I read them - when I was working, I would read them on my phone on the bus or at work! (Although this meant I was less likely to comment)

kate maggie said...

Your blog is amazing! I am so glad that I found it today..and I loved reading this post. I know what you mean, I have like 200 blogs..and its so hard (impossible) to read every single one, who I just have a handful of them that I read daily..like you, usually the ones I interact with outside of the blogging world. I need to be better in this area though! You are now added to the list of readings :) I really like your blog. Hope you have a great rest of your week lovely!! x

New favorite blog? Definately Sadies Wardrobe! What a doll.

Che said...

oh i KNOW how you feel! too many blogs!! not enough tea-times!
here are some (kind of) new lovelies:
i also find not enough time to read more 'wordy' blogs :(

Sherin said...

Because I'm unemployed right now, I find I have a lot more time for blogging and disscovering new blogs.
I follow tons of blogs though. There were over 80 posts in my bloglovin this morning!! Some of them were my daily reads, whereas some were regular reads.

But I also make sure that I read everyone who comes to my blog as well, out of courtesy.

Vixel said...

All the blogs I read are on the same Google reader account, but when I lack the time to read every post I click on each one, skim the first couple of lines to see what it's about, and click through to read it properly if it's of major interest.

I also "star" longer posts to read later, (and also those I intend to link to).

Zoya said...

I know what you mean, sometimes it get quite hard to keep up with all the blogs that I love and I am constantly discovering new and exciting blogs. I find the best way is to subscribe to the blog that way I know when blogs have been updated and can check them at my leisure.

Alice said...

I think it's a tough one really, because I often feel guilty if I miss a bloggers post or don't have time to comment.

But with so many blogs, it's hard to keep up. I try to check my reader twice a day (if possible) if not I often find there is a backlog of posts to read, and I hate to miss ones that I really would enjoy reading about xxx

Kate said...


Major cat spazzout over. I was always reading blogs before I started blogging, & I've had blogs before this but none that I've taken so seriously. I have my Google Reader split into sections. At the top, I have a section for blogs I read every day & am most likely to comment on every single post. Mostly the same blogs stay in here as they are friends or blogs that I adore to death, although I do change things up a bit sometimes, some adds & removals happen. Then I've got sections for UK bloggers, US bloggers & then Worldwide bloggers. I have so many on my Reader, I can't even count. I don't even read them all, although sometimes I sit down & go through the majority of them. It is a tough job though, as I don't like 'missing' stuff. However, in my 'read every day' section, I currently have 24 blogs. I need to take a couple out that don't get updated anymore, & add probably about five more. I think this is a healthish amount - the rest of the blogs I have on my Reader, I'll sit down & go through about once a week, maybe twice at a push.

Ooh two of my favourite blogs that I've discovered recently are:

arnique said...

I am addicted to Google Reader. I see the unread count and I am compelled to read every post, it's seriously damaging my study habits! Next week I'm going to whittle the list down to about thirty (!) blogs to read daily, then write up a program to randomly select less "pressing" blogs. You're on my top 30 for sure!

Winnie said...

I couldn't agree more. I follow quite a lot of blogs but I don't always regularly check them. Commenting wise, I love commenting back everyone but it takes a really long time! Though that way, I get to find some new blogs and actually connect with people who take their time to actually leave a comment. So even though it's time consuming, I find it really important to comment and connect with everyone!

Great post btw!!

Anonymous said...


Filipa said...

Hey Harriet, I tagged you for a stylish blogger award! Sorry if you've already done it! :P

Shopgirl said...

Great post. I think it is difficult to stop and go out and read other blogs sometimes when you're bogged down in making your own blog. But it is important. I also find that when I'm reading other people's blogs I am often more inspired to write my own posts. I had a few weeks where I was so uninspired and had no idea what to write and then I realised I'd been neglecting all of the blogs on my "reading list". So I spent a few days reading blogs and suddenly the creative juices were flowing again!

I used to be a bit of a lurker on most blogs but now I try to comment when something really appeals (like today!!).

I'm like you, in that I have blogs I like to check in with (nearly) every day and others that I check in with once a week, say. And others still that I love but always forget to add to my "blog list" and so happily come across them every few weeks and enjoy them too.

Sorry for the long comment! :) xx

PinkBow said...

oh harriet...it was as if i had written this myself! i have a constant battle with keeping up with everyone and you're so right, it's the replying to comments that tends to come in after posting. the iphone definitely helps but i have yet to find a solution!

vint junky said...

I can completely relate to this right now. I've had such a nightmare week i'm trying to catch up on my replies and it's seriously overwhelming.
I have layers too! Firstly i try to keep up with blogs i've been following regularly for a while and then i comment back on my old readers and blogging buddies, and then people that i feel left a genuine comment.
Now I just leave the 'nice dress' or comments i feel are only there to get you to comment back if i don't think they're genuine because i simply don't have the time to spend going around playing the game of tit for tat commenting.
Is that bad of me? It obviously means less comments but at least they are genuine

Sarah said...

I so agree! More and more I find myself slipping at reading other blogs because I'm ploughing my free time into updating my own blog - I hate it to slip! Trying to get better.

This is my favourite new blog at the mo: http://accoudrements.blogspot.com/

Fayoona said...

i am *trying* to read more, blog more, interact more. But it is very time consuming, isn't it, this internet faffing. I worry that I lose touch with my "real" friends if i spend too much time with my "internet" friends. It is a blurry line now as a lot of my "internet" friends are "real" friends and while blogging is a great way to catch up on their lives, i get caught up not reading and following and commenting and liking and retweeting and such. bit tangential.

one of my favourite new blogs is yours! it always has lovely insights. plus you are definitely someone i enjoy seeing both in "internet" friend scenarios and "real" friend scenarios.
x fi

Anonymous said...

I had a good time here but will return to google now.

Loz8188 said...

I know what you mean! I am new to blogging and it is a right ocean out there! All of it flooded with gorgeous images and quirky posts, if only there was more time in the day. And perhaps an extra person to update mine while I read other peoples x

Tech Support said...

That kitten is the cutest i have ever seen!

Remote Support