Blogging Tips / Community building / Subscriptions

Blog Attraction and Blog Divorce

If you have been blogging for some time then you have some following blogs and unfollowing blogs criteria that you may or may not be aware of. Take a break to consider grounds for blog attraction and blog divorce.

follow buttonWhat should new bloggers do to get noticed?

Given the broadcast range that social networks have, the blogosphere is a big, noisy place and actually being heard at all is not easy to do.

The problem with communicating your unique message is that auto-posted redundancy makes those receiving it, who are drowning in a sea of duplicated material, assume it’s old before it has been read.

follow buttonThe following and unfollowing how to’s are not my focus in this post but  I’ll summarize briefly.

By visiting a blog and clicking the “follow” button on the Admin bar logged in bloggers receive posts from blogs they subscribe to in their WordPress.COM Readomatic reader.  By entering the URLs of blogs that aren’t hosted by in their Blogs I follow listing they can also subscribe and set up their delivery preferences (instantly, daily, weekly, never).  When one needs to know how to unfollow ie. unsubscribe from following a blog that’s described in Unfollowing and Unsubscribing from Blogs.

I’ve been editing older posts, some dating back to 2007, and that caused me to recall the comments Darren Rowse got on his post titled What makes you unsubscribe from a blog’s RSS feed? Check them out and you will find the top turn-offs for most are:

  • frequency of updates (too few or too many);
  • low quality content;
  • excessive advertising;
  • neglect or inactivity.

I think reader feedback that shaped my 2010 article What do you look for in a blog?  has stood the test of time and reading it again made me smile. If you haven’t read it I recommend reading it now.

Ben Huberman’s article The Art of Following a Blog provides some solid advice on following and received some interesting feedback

I think we follow blogs when we are attracted to them and we unfollow when the attraction has faded.

What do you think?

Why do you follow a blog?

Why do you stop following a blog?

Related posts:
WordPress Followers, Likes and Stats Who Follows Who?

40 thoughts on “Blog Attraction and Blog Divorce

  1. Wonderful to see you back TiTi and trust all well with you! So many blogs I started following have dribbled away, others have stayed the course but I can’t cope with daily posts. The Reader annoys me a little in that I find it feeds the “more often than not posts” which leaves me trawling . . .

  2. Yes indeed, I got quite a thrill when I saw a post notification from the legendary One Cool Site pop up in my inbox! And the idea that you’ll do one occasionally if and when it feels right, sounds perfect.

    Great to see you back, TT, and wonderful to hear about your singing in two choirs. Just don’t try to sing in both of them at the same time, that would be my advice… : )

    It’s funny– I think I know within a sentence or two if I’ll be coming back to a blog. The best ones have a kind of personality that colors and informs the content. For example: in one of your comment replies here, you said that you SNARL (all caps) when you see more than an occasional reblog in a blog. I busted out laughing and said: that’s the Timethief I know and love!

    Great to see you, don’t overdo, keep snarling. I mean, SNARLING. : )

    • Hi there,
      I`m not really back. I no longer work in the evenings. I`m so busy learning new music for two choirs I joined that I don`t have the time to blog. That said, I love singing and I`m enjoying myself.

  3. I follow blogs when the content – photos and/or stories or advice – interest me. I post once a week. That’s about all I can muster some weeks. I do enjoy the comments from those that I do follow and read.

    WordPress and others have challenges to encourage people to post daily. I want to respond, but the frequency of the posts often overwhelms me. As a result, I have cut back on some of the e-mail notifications I receive for that reason or I just cut down on reading and responding to many posts.

    I am so glad, timethief, that you’re back and hope that all is well. ;-)

    • Hi Judy,
      I hear you. Everywhere we blog we here encouragement to blog daily. It`s motivated by two facts (1) most who register blogs will abandon them in less than a year`s time and (2) abandoned blogs don`t produce the advertising clicks that continually updated blogs do.

      I`m doing okay physically and I`m very happy because I`m singing in two different choirs and in two different sections (soprano and alto) and loving every minute of it.

  4. I’ve only ever unfollowed one blog. It was more political than I realized when I inititially followed it. While I find it interesting reading others’ opinions, this blogger regularly insulted anyone who didn’t agree with her. That was enough for me to bail.

    • I know exactly the kind of blog you are describing. I learned early on to avoid following political, religious or sports blogs. Any blogger who insults their readers is dumber than a braying ass so unfollowing was a wise decision on your part.

  5. There’s no one reason I follow a blog. I may feel I have something in common with the author or I am attracted to excellent, thoughtful writing on topics I care about. And the blog has to be reasonably attractive and navigable. Sometimes I follow a blog “just because” something about it appeals and I’m not sure what; I’ll have to see more.

    • What you say is interesting. No single reason prompts you follow. Maybe I can make that claim too because sometimes I look at the blogs I follow list and wonder what drew me to follow this blog or that one in the first place.

  6. As always lots to consider and mull over. Your “What do you look for in a blog” is always worth re-visting. Ben’s post also brings up some issues – like the recognition that sometime your interest in a particular blog just wanes. Hadn’t been able to put my finger on exactly why I’ve passed by some feeling guilty, but …

    Blogs that are annoying: the ones who dash by and subscribe to everything expecting lots of return visits immediately, those who simply “discover” other blogs and want to “share”/reblog every single post, and those who post constantly (and the posts tend to be not all that interesting – please put a brake on it….don’t run me off.)

    Thanks for adding these well worth visiting links.

    • Hi There,
      Your description of annoying blogs that I don’t subscribe to is right on. I SNARL when I see more than the occasional reblog in any blog. I won’t follow blogs full of reblogs and wwards, nor will I follow blogs that exist only to the purpose of responding to memes. The way I see it there are plenty of others to play with so they don’t need me. :)

      Ben’s a thoughtful writer and I follow The Daily Posts because the hosts (Staff) there rock. I think we all have had that experience of slowly losing interest in a blog and feeling guilty about it. The difficult part for me is unsubscribing.

  7. Your “frequency of updates” and “low quality content” hit home. Some bloggers adhere to a “post every day no matter what” method that doesn’t work for me. If a really good writer posts frequently but most of it isn’t really good writing, I will unfollow. I followed a great writer for a while but she started posting selfies (and they weren’t unique) and quotes from her husband which were sometimes funny but not what I was looking for. There was an interesting article every couple of weeks. It was just too much material to wade through.

    • Hi Kate,
      I never follow blogs where every day publication or more than on post every couple of days is the status quo. Like you I cannot cope with the volume. However, if a blogger has a pattern of publishing only a couple of articles very fortnight or ebven every month and they are worth reading then I’ll follow. As for selfies – I’m hoping that trend will be over soon. It took me over eight years to share my images online and it may be another eight before I update them. :)

  8. Seeing your post made me very happy (that is why one reason why I follow) – hope you are feeling more like yourself again. I tend to read one or two posts on anyone who likes or makes a comment on my blog. If the posts are interesting, I’ll follow.

    I also trawl the tag categories for anyone who is writing about similar subjects (butch, transgender, genderqueer, non-binary) and every so often I find someone who I really want to continue reading.

    I have not divorced many blogs; I have a bunch of inactive blogs in my “blogs I follow list”, but I am bad at house cleaning – literally and figuratively.

    • Hi Jamie Ray,

      I’m feeling better again but my energy level is low and I’m still unable to work in evening.

      I follow and eclectic mix of blogs. When I decided to stop blogging I unfollowed all the blogs I was following. Now I am reading two or three posts on the blogs of those who comment on my posts or click the like button and gradually building a list again. I’ll probably default to following too many and not doing enough cleaning up often enough again, but at,this point I’m trying to keep the number I follow low.

  9. This is really interesting Timethief and I’m going to do a deep dive on this to find ways that I can create more efficiency on blogs I follow. Thank you!!

  10. Wait– are you back?? That would be so amazing! Regarding this post, I had to laugh when you brought up divorce because several times I have felt like I’ve been unfaithful to an old favorite blog that somehow lost its charm in recent times. I visit less frequently, I leave briefer comments because there’s not the same palpable passion. Instead I stray to another blog where I get my much needed fix. But is that right? Should we stick with following a blog for better or for worse? Can’t some people have off days or weeks? I struggle with this. Because mainly I would want people to give me a bit of a chance if the situation were reversed. That said, it’s survival of the fittest, even in the blogosphere. Wow, I really hope you’re back.

    • Dear Stephanie,

      I’m so tickled to know you too haves suffered unfaithful guilty feelings as I have when and old blog just doesn’t charm me any more and I slip away to read others. I’d hate not to share the bad stuff as well as the good with you. ;) In fact when I selected this title I was on the verge of attempting to write a humor post. As if!

      I’m only sortof back. I can’t commit to a regular posting schedule at this time and I’m hoping you guys will cut me some slack and not unsubsbcribe en masse. Who knows? I may have something meaningful to share sooner rather than later.

  11. You’re back! I’ve missed your posts.

    I’m short on time, and that makes me selfish about what blogs I follow. Although I should–I know I should–follow some out of sheer gratitude that they’re following mine, I just can’t handle any more reading. Or even skimming.

    • Hi Ellen,
      I missed you too. Yes, I’m back though I’m not making any promises about frequent publication. :)

      You sound so disciplined and I hear you. I have an eye infection right now so I’m skimming and bookmarking some longer posts for later reading.

  12. Blog love is a visual thing to me, some kind of love at first sight. It will instantly happen – or not. I have to like the design and photography, otherwise I probably don´t start to follow. Following to me means to read and participate, if not by commenting, then at least by expressing my appreciation by that little like star. I usually am not a silent visitor to a site, but since this is kind of time consuming, I don´t follow a huge number of blogs- but a precious, and sometimes changing, selection of my best loved ones.

    • Thanks for sharing your criteria Sabine. The temptation to follow more blogs and comment less is one that I struggle with. You raise a good point about not following a huge number of blogs. We all treasures comments and following fewer blogs can mean more time to comment and higher quality relationships.

  13. I follow either for regular engaging content or just for the rapport I have with the writer regardless of their content.

    As for unfollow I find this harder and need to do it as I can’t keep up with my reader x

    • Hi Justine,
      I also find breaking up hard to do (joke). I find it hard to unfollow and easy to follow. When I notice that I’m following too many blogs now I stop following the ones that are inactive.

  14. I start following blogs for two main reasons: One is that I enjoy the personality that comes through the writing and/or two I love the photographs.

    I keep following blogs if I have developed a relationship through mutual commenting or if the blog is very good.

    There are a few good blogs I follow where the writer has never once visited mine, but they are few and far between.

    The problem is time. I like to spend time reading and commenting on blogs and also on replying to comments I am given. That does limit the number of blogs you can actually follow if you want a real life.

    I stop following blogs if I am bored when I read them.

    There are so many brilliant blogs out there that my list is still spiraling out of control. I think I may need help!

    • Hi Annette,
      You are so right about the number if blogs there are that are worth following and the lack of time we have to follow them all. I’m striving to create a better balance when it comes to my offline and online life and that means I have to follow fewer blogs.

  15. Nice to see your blog in my reader again – hope you’re well!

    You’ve raised a good point…one that I’ve not yet spent any time considering. I think I’ll go have a look at my follows and clear out the clutter a little bit.

    • Hi there,
      I’m managing quite well. Thanks for asking. There are so many interesting blogs that it’s easy to get carried away and subscribe to too many blogs. From time to time I go through my list and do some pruning.

  16. I follow blogs where I like the content and don’t care if the blogger knows I exist or not, such as Jon Katz and Ree Drummond.

    I follow blogs where I’ve developed a relationship with someone, usually through comments or likes, either from them to me or me to them where they responded. Some of those friendships developed because I helped them with something (like widgets or something with the photography) or they helped me by answering a question on something.

    I follow blogs whose people enthusiastically support my work even if we don’t become friends.

    I unfollow blogs whose content is mostly reposting others work. I also unfollow where I’ve left comments that never get acknowledged and I don’t care enough about the content to read it without having a friendship.

    Good topic! Thanks for the link to your 2010 post. That had some great stuff there.


    • Hi Nancy,
      I smiled because I’m the same. It’s content that’s the attractor for me too. And, in a couple of cases like you describe where I have commented and my comment has gone unacknowledged I have unsubscribed.

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