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Backstage at the Blog: F is for Follow

April 7, 2014

F-Pleasingly PlumpLike everyone else who starts out in blogging, I had no followers at all when I set up shop at A Scenic Route. Unlike many bloggers though, it took me a long time to gather some peeps. I was utterly convinced that no one would want to read what I had to say.

Then one day I turned it around and asked myself, “What kinds of posts prompt me to follow someone else’s blog?”

I like to laugh.

I like pretty pictures.

I like to think about the world around me in new ways.

I like music.

I like fluffy cats and frolicking dogs.

As I looked at the blogs I subscribed to, I noticed that each of them had something unique to share, something that I love about it. So, I decided to make this blog the kind of blog I like to read: Pretty pictures, silly posts, esoteric playlists, and the occasional adorable cat picture.

Image courtesy of Crystal Galvez @ stock.xchng

But, I’m always curious: What makes you decide to follow a particular blog? What kinds of posts make a blog a slam dunk for your Inbox or reader?

(Here’s your link back to the A to Z Challenge Sign Up list.)

Kitty image courtesy of Crystal Galvez @ stock.xchng
  1. April 7, 2014 9:07 am

    Good thing you like music, as I don’t think I’ve ever posted a photo of a cat or dog.
    I like a variety. And anything entertaining.
    Don’t worry, I didn’t gain followers fast in the beginning. When the first Challenge started four years ago, I began it with about thirty followers.

    • April 7, 2014 9:52 pm

      I really like music, so I was really glad to find your blog, Alex. 🙂
      Really, only thirty followers? That gives me hope for my little blog!

  2. April 7, 2014 9:11 am

    Like you I’ve also had a hard time building up a following. I’ve heard other bloggers lament about how they had to “work so hard for a whole YEAR” before hitting a number like, say, 500 followers. Meanwhile I’m into my third year on my blog and still haven’t hit the 200 follower mark. 😛

    I think a lot of times it comes down to a little bit of luck (the right person links to your blog, or you write that one post that makes people flock and stick around), so I try not to take my lack of success too seriously.

    For me what makes me follow a blog is really quite random. It all comes down to a particular post catching my attention. The topic could be a great many things, but if it strikes me enough to make me click on the post chances are that I’ll continue to follow that particular blog. 🙂

    • April 7, 2014 9:57 pm

      I’ve been blogging for almost three years too! And we seem to have roughly the same number of followers. 🙂
      I try not to measure the ‘success’ of my blog using just the number of followers though. I’ve met some flat out amazing writers through this blog, and wrote and shared some of my craziest stuff which was really hard for me to do at first.
      Although, I admit sometimes I daydream about seeing one of my posts on Freshly Pressed … 😉

      • April 8, 2014 7:30 am

        Agreed; I also try not to measure success in numbers…though sometimes it can be difficult. lol I definitely daydream about getting Freshly Pressed. I think we all just want to be recognized. ^_~

  3. April 7, 2014 9:20 am

    A blog has to speak to me in some way. I haven’t followed as many blogs as I spend most of my online time on FB. I like parenting blogs b/c I always need tips and encouragement. I also like funny b/c I desperately need humor in my life. And yes, I have very few followers and wonder if anyone wants to hear what I have to say. But sometimes you just have to write. Just because you are a writer.

    • April 7, 2014 9:59 pm

      It’s funny you say that, Cheryl, because that’s how it was when I started out. I just thought it was unbelievably cool to see my words up on the screen like that! Wow, someone could actually read them!
      And now I have some wonderful followers who do. 🙂

  4. April 7, 2014 10:06 am

    I like variety because I want to broaden my awareness of varying topics. So I follow a couple parenting blogs, a couple 20-somethings, a few travel blogs and many art, vintage and eclectic writings. I have been so happy to have found a few supportive, generous, bloggers with whom to laugh, commiserate and share our musings.

    • April 7, 2014 10:03 pm

      Yes, I’m always amazed by who I meet online. I happen to love sailing, and I met a sailor who writes fiction! I’m learning about Renaissance painters this A to Z. 🙂 I subscribe to a fabulous book reviewer who I wish more people could find because she’s so great.
      And on and on. It’s a fun way to spend some time. 🙂

      • April 7, 2014 10:12 pm

        What’s the book reviewer’s web address ( if you have time). Like I have time to read more blogs, let alone more books !!!

        • April 7, 2014 10:21 pm

          She’s on my blogroll. 🙂 under Armchairauthor at ‘Ink’ ======>
          She rates books on a chair rating. You have to see it to believe it!

          • April 7, 2014 10:36 pm

            Thanks – will go see her!

            • April 7, 2014 10:43 pm

              LOL i see what you mean. What a cool idea! From carousel seats to tree houses! I have her in my follow – will be one more blogger to look at past posts once A to Z is over. Thanks for the tip.

            • April 8, 2014 8:00 pm


  5. April 7, 2014 11:06 am

    It depends on what I’m looking for. Good information is a top priority. I like posts about writing, books, cultural issues, other cultures, history, and art. I also like it when authors post a short story for free. It doesn’t have to stay on the blog forever, or even more than a week, but it often gives me a risk-free chance to see a writer’s style and ability.

    The rest is just whether or not I like the blog’s vibe. 🙂

    • April 7, 2014 10:06 pm

      A short story as an introduction to a writer’s style is a fantastic idea–maybe not necessarily as a post, but up on the pages in case someone’s interested.
      I know what you mean about vibe, too. Personally, I don’t like my blogs too serious all the time. Once in a while, okay if the topic warrants, but mostly I want to be entertained. 🙂

  6. susan permalink
    April 7, 2014 11:12 am

    I was lucky When I started wordpress in Nov 2010 I was already in a writers’ group. We had been on My Space but had to move so I started on WP. Then I started in another writing group and got followers that way. I still don’t have a lot but that’s ok. Most of the blogs i follow are writers. But one day I was so intrgued by a comment that I went to see who that was. He’s a writer too but very different than the ones I had been following. it worked out very well. I like blogs where the comments are as good as the post. Like this one

    • April 7, 2014 10:09 pm

      🙂 Thanks, Susan. I love a good discussion!
      I’ve met a few bloggers through comments as well. It’s a great way to broaden one’s horizons.

  7. April 7, 2014 1:36 pm

    I follow blogs that are either really informative and helpful, or people who have similar interests as I do. Also, like you said, people who make me laugh or think.

    • April 7, 2014 10:11 pm

      Hi Melanie,
      I follow a lot of blogs for their information as well. If I can laugh while learning that’s a bonus!

  8. April 7, 2014 3:15 pm

    I’m a sucker for clear prose and interesting content of any kind that gives me something to learn. Humor and pictures are a plus, but not required. I mostly follow writers, literary blogs, and grammar gurus, but in randomly visiting several new sites per day on the A-Z sign-up list this week, I’ve already added a few new ones, with topics as diverse as cooking, parenting, travel, science, and genealogy. I’m *so* glad you inspired me to get on board!

    • April 7, 2014 10:13 pm

      I’m so glad you came on board with me. 🙂
      I love that A to Z is introducing me to something besides writing blogs. I need to mix it up a bit sometimes!

  9. lonitownsend permalink
    April 7, 2014 5:14 pm

    I like blogs representing people as they are. Instructional blogs are great, on occasion, but I don’t feel compelled to comment on them. Personal blogs are much more enticing for me. Though I do admit, I sometimes struggle to connect with the inspirational blogs. My self-deprecation and inappropriate humor tends to clash with them. I suppose voice also plays a large part. I relate to all of your listed likes. I’ll be interested to see what pops up on Bloglovin’ after the A to Z challenge is over.

    • April 7, 2014 10:17 pm

      I know what you mean, Loni. 🙂
      Blogs that strive to teach are useful, but don’t invite the level of interaction the personal blogs do. I’d love to have a good balance of both– share something I care about, and yet project some of my own personality onto the content.

  10. April 7, 2014 7:13 pm

    Humor, irony, and unique art/photos lure me in every time:)

    • April 7, 2014 10:18 pm

      Yeah, a good image draws me in like a tractor beam. 😉

  11. April 8, 2014 1:55 pm

    Pet pictures are usually enough to get me. 🙂 I guess other than that, something interesting, more positive than not, and not in a tone that annoys me.

    • April 8, 2014 8:01 pm

      Hi Danielle,
      Yes, I like my blogs to be upbeat, at least most of the time!

  12. April 21, 2014 10:42 pm

    I tend to approach blogs and books the same way: looking for a great voice. One that helps me form a picture of the person writing. Of all the random blogs I read on baking, books, gardening, entertainment, crafts…strong voice is the througline. There are a couple of blogs with great content that are just too dry or dopey in the writing for me to read regularly.

    • April 22, 2014 6:48 pm

      I definitely agree! If the writing leaves me cold, I don’t usually go back. It’s amazing what a difference a clear voice can make. I’ll read anything if it grabs me right. 🙂


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