How to Get Me to Read and Like Your Blog

I was working on a post on how to get thousands of people to like and follow your blog.  While doing the research and carefully outlining all the steps you need to take, I realized that I have no idea how others are going to react to your blog.  I can only tell you how I respond to your blog and what you might do to attract me as a reader.  I offer the following as my rules for reading, following  and liking a blog.

There is the theory that there are other people like me, and if you get me as a follower, you might get others like me.  So, this post could either be a guide to getting more readers, or serve as a warning of what not to do.  The choice is yours.

First thing you need when writing, is to know your audience.  Here’s the kinds of blogs I like to read:

1. Personal essays, humorous stories of life, memoir, glimpse of the past and its impact on today,  overcoming adversity, and the occasional cute cat story (they have to be really good, because my cat stories are cuter than yours).
2. Woodworking, especially projects you are working on, with pictures.
3. Prostate cancer personal experience blogs of those dealing with it, or supporting someone who has it.
4. Poetry, good poetry with images and metaphors that make me feel an emotion, picture a scene, or tell a story.
5. Writing blogs that focus on creativity, inspiration, challenges of being a writer, or general experiences of the writing life.
6. Faith based stories that are from my “radical middle of the road” perspective.
7. WWII history and remembrance.

Next thing you need to know about your audience is how to get your words in front of their eyes.  Now, there is a chance that I might be doing a Google search or checking out blog recommendations on WordPress and discover your blog.  Odds of that happening are remote as I rarely do that.  Here’s how I most often discover new blogs to read:

1. Someone starts following my blog.
2. Someone leaves a comment on my blog.
3. Someone likes a post I’ve made.
4. I read a post on someone’s blog that mentions another blog that sounds interesting.
5. When reading another blog, I read an interesting comment and decide to check the commenter’s blog out.
6. A friend emails me about a blog they read.

When I do discover a new blog that falls into my interests, I’ll go check it out.  What I’ll do when I get there is:

1. Read the “about page” if there is one.  I like about pages, they can be fun.
2. Will read one or two posts and see if they’re interesting to me.
3. Will check see how often the blogger posts.  I like fewer, high quality posts.
4. If I like what I see and I can find a “follow” button, I’ll follow the blog.

Once I am following a blog, I rely on email to inform me when there is a new post.  Yup, old-fashioned email.  I get a lot of email in a day – work, blog stuff, ads, spam…

Here’s the hard truth, I don’t have time to read each email in detail – I have to pick and choose.  I timed myself one day and I spend on average about four seconds per email (less if I can bulk delete things).  I wish I could tell you that I am looking for gems to follow-up on, but in reality I am looking for junk to throw away. There is a long list of things that annoy me about people’s blogs and any one of these will cause me to click away from a post.

I was going to list all the annoying things, but I don’t want this post to devolve into my personal rant on what I dislike in the blogsphere.

If I am still reading a blog after four seconds, I’ll likely finish reading the and then I’ll decide whether or not to click the like button on the post.  Provided there is a like button.  Lately  I’ve been surprised at the number of bloggers who’ve removed or haven’t enabled the like button for their posts.  Liking a post is very much a choice I make, I don’t blindly click like.

Some final points:

1. I prefer quality over quantity.  I’d much rather get one outstanding post in a week than five posts a day.
2. I like playful humor, especially where a writer takes a small incident and turns it into a humorous essay.  Something like: you ran out of clean socks and all the problems that is causing you.
3. I appreciate skillful and clever use of language.
4. I love it when poets take time to record themselves reading their poems and post the audio file along with the text.
5. I like to learn obscure facts.  The more obscure the better.

and one thing I really dislike is numbered lists – you know posts that list the “Top five ways to …”

Humm, guess I won’t be liking my own post.

Till next week,
Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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52 Responses to How to Get Me to Read and Like Your Blog

  1. I pressed “like,” deliberately!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glynis Jolly says:

    And to think that you decided to follow my blog — today, in fact. This is a honor. No, I’m not making a joke here. What you’re looking for is pretty much what I look for, except for maybe the Prostate cancer blogs. Sorry, I just don’t want to know. Just so you are well aware, I’ve chosen to follow your blog too.

    Like

  3. I wouldn’t have minded reading your annoying list, everything else was so interesting :). The About page is first or second bit of writing I read on a blog also. I have seen some blogs lately that don’t have a comment section. Commenting back is a bit of time, but I couldn’t imagine not interacting. To each his own I suppose. Anyway, great post Andrew.

    Like

    • Okay, another vote to see my annoying list. I’ll see what I can do. Commenting does take time and I can’t comment on everything I’d like to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s nice to have the option. I was just guessing some don’t have a ‘comment’ section because it creates work for them to respond in return, not that they would have to respond of course. I’m just not understanding no like/no comment blogs. Ironically there is no way to find out because they can’t be asked 😀

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  4. Great post, thank you. I’m new at this and still figuring out how to make my blog relevant, so this is very helpful. I’m writing around and about my book that isn’t quite finished yet, which is challenging. I agree about the like button. I’m not one to click it unless I actually like it. It’s hard to gauge whether the few likes I get are genuine or not. I also agree about having quality over quantity. I’ve subscribed to a couple blogs that I immediately unsubscribed from after suddenly getting bombarded with 20 or so emails in my inbox from that one blogger. I try to be consistent and write one post a week. I also don’t comment on others’ blogs much. Maybe this will help? I’d be honored if you took a look. Thanks again.

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    • The problem with ‘likes’ is that you never really know if the liker is truly likes you post or is just trying to get your attention. I don’t worry about it much anymore as the attention wanters don’t stay while the real fans come back week after week. I like the fact that you keeping a regular schedule on your blog. I think that helps. I did like your most recent post. It seemed like you best post so far. Your writing is good and I liked the subject. Doesn’t seem like you use any pictures, you might want to add a photo once in a while (either one you take or one from a free photo site). A big part of blogging is building a community, liking and commenting on other people’s blogs is just part of it. I noticed on my blog, that once I made an effort to comment on other people’s blogs, I started to get more comments and followers (even if you just pick one or two blogs to leave short comments on). The other small suggesting I’d make is about your progress posts – maybe you could do two posts a week. One short progress post and one long post on background or writing method or something like your post on “Soul.” I like your writing style, keep writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chris White says:

        I totally agree with you on this. It all boils down to the time and effort we put in. Comments ( giving or receiving) are powerful. ‘Likes’ are just too easy but at least they show something. All the best. Kris.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Andrew! I really appreciate your thoughts on this, and I’m glad you like my writing. I felt that was my best post so far too, but then it didn’t get any likes when I initially posted it, so I got a little more pro-active. I like your suggestion about commenting. It’ll help get me some notice and I’m sure I’ll find some other great blogs in the process. I’ve thought about adding photos too, but what I’m hoping to do is get some artwork up there soon. I am working with an artist on some character portraits and other pieces, so I’d prefer that to stock photos. But you’re right, something visual would be a nice addition. Interesting idea about two posts a week. I like it and will consider it. I’ll have to streamline my process though, because writing these posts sometimes takes me too long. They take me away from actually working on my book! But I know they’re important to getting the word out and building that community. Thanks again!

        Like

        • Working with a artist is a great idea – love it. Even a little bit of art will help the visual. I don’t use stock photos as my wife is an excellent photographer. If you see a good picture on my site, it’s her’s (she did the photo that I use as my page header).

          Don’t get discouraged about not getting likes yet. I’ve written some stuff I thought was brilliant with almost no one noticing, but my most popular post so far is this dumb post I did on a homemade table saw stand. Then there is the every popular sea shanty post I did. Go figure.

          Keep building the community and when you’re ready to launch that book, you’ll have people waiting to see it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s a great photo by your wife. And perfect for your site. The more I think about it, the more I can’t wait to get that artwork going. That’s funny about the likes. Who can predict? But yeah, I’m planning on being here for the long haul and to just figure out what works. Thank you for the encouragement!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It is helpful, your listings on interesting blog posts and finding new ones to explore. Personally, I do not really take to blogs where there is no ‘like’ choice, and one must comment, (or just leave). Not every post warrants a comment, but when I ‘like’ something, it is because I DO like it, without needing to comment.

    Like

    • I agree on the like button. I general don’t follow those. I’d be hard pressed to write a comment for every post I liked and save my comments when for those times when I think I can add to the conversation. Or if the post is so good that a simple ‘like’ isn’t enough.

      Like

  6. Ha, clever. Love the end. I am also glad to hear you don’t click like unless you actually like the post.

    Like

  7. Janice Wald says:

    Hi,
    I found you on Chris White’s reblog. I teach blogging to bloggers. You don’t like lists, yet they are basic blogging tips. I do write a lot of How to posts without numbered lists. You said About pages were “fun”, so I brought you my link http://wp.me/P5jxvv-1
    You also said you like #5. Writing blogs that focus on creativity, inspiration, challenges of being a writer, or general experiences of the writing life. My articles fit this description. As you can see, I read your criteria. I am trying to pass muster.
    Nice meeting you and hearing your perspective.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: I, Follower … The Noble Art of Following … Part 2 | 1951 Club

  9. YAPCaB says:

    No mention of your liking photo blogs. I consider myself honored.

    Like

    • Okay, I’ll admit it, photo blogs aren’t always my thing and didn’t make the short list of subjects I like, but I’ve liked your photo blog from the day I found out about it. I like the subjects you pick and the way you frame them. I also appreciate that you don’t flood me with pictures, but rather show one high quality picture a day. Keep it up.

      Like

  10. koehlerjoni says:

    These are great insights. Even though I don’t do woodworking, your enthusiasm is what makes me love your Wednesday posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for compiling this, Andrew. Even though all bloggers may have different perspectives, these are good guidelines. I’ve had my blog for about four years now, as an amateur poet. I’ve learned a lot since I began this journey and still continue to learn and meet new bloggers, which is the best part. But like you, I’m not concerned with quantity and am simply grateful for the core group of followers I have.
    After all these years, it’s time for a change so I’m currently in the middle of rebranding it. My son is the tech expert in our family and he’s helping me. The tough part though is coming up with a new name. The subject will still be poetry with a touch of photography or personal posts occasionally. Hopefully something will click soon. Anyway, have a good Monday!

    Like

    • I’ve thought about rebranding this blog. I am interested in seeing how it works for you. Picking the right name is tough. The name I am using here, it isn’t the best as my blog posts rarely reference the blog name other than, it’s Andrew’s blog. At one point I was thinking of starting a second blog, but didn’t really have the time.

      Like

  12. What an interesting analysis. So here’s my response: I assume you structured your blog based on what you’ve listed as the ways you find new blogs. Oddly, I don’t pick blogs based on the criteria you outlined (that’s not good or bad, simply an observation), yet now that I’ve discovered you, I love reading your take on woodworking, poetry, even cats (a stretch since I’m a dog person). I do think our interests intersected over WWII and grew from there.

    I hope you post later about your blog annoyances.

    Like

    • There are similarities between dogs and cats – four feet, fur and we love them.
      These are very personal rules and are all me. Others have different methods, which is good. Boring world if we all did it the same.

      I’ve tried writing about my annoyances, but it’s not worked out yet as I start to feel like a pompous ass about halfway through writing it. I might give it one more shot.

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  13. Margie says:

    It is impressive to see how much effort you do put into selecting blogs and posts! I wish more people would take the time to actually read blogs, instead of trying to ‘like’ as many blogs as possible in their WordPress Reader!

    Like

  14. Glazed says:

    I see many similarities here, in how I choose whether or not to follow a blog. For instance, those who post multiple times per day, or even once a day, had better be very, very good in order to get my follow.

    Like

  15. jfwknifton says:

    Obscure facts, now there’s a challenge…..

    Like

  16. Gargi Mehra says:

    Great post. My blog falls under categories 1 and 5 (personal and writing). I follow the same method as you for finding new blogs to read.

    Like

  17. Patti Rose says:

    Arrrgh! I’ve taken note- but can’t figure out how to activate a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button on Tumblr….

    Like

  18. Chris White says:

    Reblogged this on 1951 Club and commented:
    This is a brilliant post from Andrew.

    Like

  19. Chris White says:

    Also … I’m blogging this. Many thanks.

    Like

  20. Chris White says:

    What an excellent post Andrew. Very honest and extremely useful for bloggers everywhere. You are so bang on the money.
    All the very best. Kris.

    Like

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