Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fan Month: How to Find New Blogs

Funny story: I had initially planned to post this post today, and then I thought “Eh, better not, it seems dumb, I’ll post my ideas on deleting blogs instead.”

Then I got this comment from Precious on my Fan Month Declaration:

I should really try to do this. How do you discover new blogs?

And I thought, “Whup, guess we’ll do that instead.”

MAGNIFYING GLASS
Flickr Credit: andercismo

I know that for a lot of people, #FanMonth is about finding more blogs to read and expanding the community you are a part of—that’s great! As far as I can tell, you need to take two things into account when you follow new blogs:

Thing 1: What do you like to read about?


Take a minute and go to your feed—what kinds of blogs do you usually read?

For me, there’s a definite pattern. I tend to read writing/art/book blogs; and when I say that, I mean that the authors are typically around my age, the posts are a little more personal, and they tend to focus about unique writing journeys.

That being said, most of the blogs I read aren’t professional. They don’t sell me anything. Usually I visit because I want to know more about that person, not because they will change my life. If they do have advice to give, it is more sincere and personal, and that’s fine, because usually I do not read blogs to learn to write.

There’s always a little variance. I follow a lifestyle/humor blog. A parenting blog. I follow a few blogs about faith, culture, that kind of thing. But the real tie is the writing and art.

So, what is your pattern?

  • how old are the bloggers you read?
  • what is your favorite subject matter?
    • what are your less-favorite but still-interested-in concepts?
  • what kind of relationship do you have with your favorite bloggers?
  • what’s the common thread from blog to blog?
  • what is your favorite blog that deviates from that thread?
    • why do you like that blog anyway?
  • what do you want to get out of the blogs you read?

You don’t have to sit down and write all those questions out, but they’re good ideas to keep in mind as you look through the blogs you already follow. By doing this, you basically create an idea for yourself of what kinds of blogs you might enjoy and want to take for a “test drive.”

(Don’t feel limited by it, either—I don’t really want to be a parent, but I like reading the parenting blog because it’s funny and it’s about writing, and that works for me.)

Thing 2: Where can you find new blogs to read?


To be fair, I am not specifically setting out this Fan Month to follow new blogs, but I do have a little bit of experience in the matter:

a) Google It—if you don’t have anything particular in mind, see what you can find by running a search and checking out popular blogs that pop up

b) Search Bloglovin’—I haven’t had a ton of luck with the actual search bar, but if you pay attention to the activity feed, you can scroll through your friends’ saved posts and see what blogs they value or enjoy

c) Find a Community—at least for me, Go Teen Writers and Teens Can Write, Too! have been integral in my search for a community by hosting writing exchanges and blog chains; there are always blogs to sift through

d) Get Tagged—joining in tags and following up on the other tagged people is a great way to find other bloggers; also, by tagging other people, you draw someone directly into your community, which expands YOUR audience, too

e) Read Blogs—by far, this is the most consistent methodology I have found and used; especially towards the end of the week or month, bloggers recap blog posts they enjoyed, they put blog rolls in their side bars, they respond to each others’ posts, they interact everywhere! See who bloggers love and enjoy, follow up on those blogs, and then see if you love and enjoy them as well!


TL;DR Find out what you like to read about and then use the resources available to you to find blogs you’ll love reading.

How successful are you when finding new blogs? Here’s something you can do—ask for suggestions! What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read (with links, of course) and what is their common thread?

27 comments :

  1. I usually find blogs via comments or tags.If I see someone who has actually taken out time to post a meaningful comment on someone's blog that makes me want to go over to there blog and check it out.Similar interest is a must in the blogs I follow.Sometimes when people guest post on blogs I follow that also helps. :)

    Neal Kind
    Daily Diaries

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    1. Comments and tags are a great way to find other blogs! I know that commenting back is another way that works really well for me. Similar interest and guest posting are also good—it seems like you have great criteria in place to get what you want to read!

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  2. Most of the blogs I follow I found on Aimee's blog because she kept tagging them >.> Also, a lot of times I use comments, and when people follow me via Google+, I follow back.

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    1. XD That's funny: tagging is great; and following back can also introduce you to plenty of interesting things. Those are excellent ways to keep finding new blogs. :)

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  3. I find an awful lot of new blogs through the Explore feature on bloglovin. Unfortunately it's all getting a bit out of hand at the moment - so many blogs, so little time to read, let alone comment on them!
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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    1. Ooh, I haven't had much luck there, but I'm glad you have. I know what you mean, though—so many other things get in our heads and take up our time and it's nearly impossible to get to everything you want to! :P

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  4. I find a lot of blogs through bloggers I already follow, whether they're sharing the posts or have them up on a sidebar. I've found that's the best way for me to do it, because I can generally be sure they'll be somewhat similar to the blog I already follow!

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    1. Yeah. This is exactly what I was going to say, so no need to repeat it twice. :p
      Great minds think alike, Aimee! ... Right? xP

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    2. Oh, yeah—I do that too! It's always cool to use those because bloggers tend to prioritize the best of what they read. Great way to keep reading!

      Also, I've got you there, Katie, but hey, thanks for commenting and adding your thoughts anyway. :D

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  5. I mostly read blogs about writing and reading, but I also follow the occasional photography or running blog, because I also love reading about those two topics. I've found that the best way for me to find new blogs is from other blogs and from linkups. I actually plan to comb through all the blogs on one of the Top Ten Tuesday linkups for Fan Month because there are so many great book blogs on there. The only problem is that there are so many of them, so I might not get to all of them, but I'll try my best.

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    1. Ooh, I see—I follow lots of reading and writing blogs, too, but it's cool that you also use photography and running as other ways to keep reading. Other blogs and linkups are great, too, and I've seen Top Ten Tuesday as well! Getting through them all is a hassle (I know) but it's great that you're willing to try! :D

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  6. I love finding new blogs! I mostly use bloglovin. My other favorite method is to check out the commenters on blogs that I really like. A lot of time they have similar blogs that I can hook onto.

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    1. Those are both great ways to find new blogs—I think that commenting is my favorite out of your two, but whatever works, works, right? :D

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  7. Great advice. I read the same kind of blogs as you! Hahaha, which is funny considering I don't write those sort of things too much.
    Thanks for the advice. I'm using Bloglovin' a lot for finding those new blogs. It seems the best way.

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    1. That's interesting that what you like to read and what you like to write are different, but also cool. And, Bloglovin' looks works very well for other people, too! So, I see what you mean, there. :D

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  8. Thanks for doing this post! I've discovered some awesome blogs through memes like Top Ten Tuesday, and even Bloglovin', but you gave me some good advice. :)

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    1. Welcome! And yes, memes and Bloglovin' appear to be very popular choices, if you read the rest of the comments—but, certainly not the only options out there!

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  9. Thanks for this post Heather. Just what I needed today. Fan Month is difficult for me in that it takes a while to find new blogs to explore. I guess that's what makes it all so worthwhile though. You actually have to put in the effort to discover the blogs. I'm definitely going to put your tips into practice, especially Googling and looking for link round-ups. They seem particularly helpful to me.

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful! And, you're right—sometimes finding blogs that you know you can commit to following is tricky, but that's what makes you a fan. :) I hope you find some awesome blogs to share, and enjoy, and I don't know what you do with blogs but have a good time anyway. :)

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  10. Mmm, I know that feeling -- I also re-schedule posts constantly. And this is particularly useful for Fan Month -- thanks, Heather! I normally decide to follow if I've found the blog more than once through other channels and was impressed by their posts both times.

    So basically Twitter and recs are the central ways I find blogs. Hopping around linkies for link-ups are also really useful :)

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    1. Re-scheduling is pretty much my life. I'm glad you found it useful—and yes, I know what you mean. I tend to see what other people think of blogs before I commit. That kind of makes this sound like a popularity contest, but really, there's no reason someone can't be a good blogger: other bloggers just have an eye for recognizing people who put time and effort into their blogs and produce good content. :D

      Twitter! I didn't even think about Twitter, but yes, to all of those. Good points!

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  11. I usually find new blogs because they find me. xD If someone comments then I try and go to their blog and a lot of the time I end up being a regular reader! IT'S FUN. I also find new blogs through linkups, aaaand, when my favourite bloggers do recommendations. So it's always a good idea to recommend your favourite blogs, right?! Gets the rest of us clicking. *nods*
    I really get stuck juts reading Book Blogs, though, and I probably ought to expand more. I'd love to read more photography blogs! I steer clear of the writing ones, even though I luuuurve writing. I DON'T KNOW WHY. But if the blogger is awesome, then pfft. I'll read anything.

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    1. XD I can see how in your case, that would be a thing. Commenting back is something you're really good at, so I'm impressed that you're able to do so much! And, you're right—recommending your favorite blogs is a great way to get others clicking.

      Book Blogs can be good—but photography sounds like something interesting, too! I find that blogs that teach me how to write aren't suuuuuper helpful because mostly they just confuse me; I find personal feedback better. But, you know, reading whatever can be kind of fun and relaxing, as well. :D

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  12. NOT dumb. Just sayin'. :)

    I love finding new blogs. If someone follows me, and they have a blog, I'll usually follow back. Comments are a great way to find blogs, as are blogrolls and LINK-UPS, as I discovered with Fan Month. There is the little problem of feeling overwhelmed, though. I get a little crazy with that follow button, haha.

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    1. Glad you think so!

      That's a nice policy to have—I usually don't, mostly because I feel like I really want to like a blog to follow it. Linkups are great, too—but, like you said, it's easy to overwhelm yourself. Enjoy following, but don't get too crazy!

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  13. I normally find new blogs through comments, link ups or other peoples blogs. For me though, I struggle with keeping the amount of time I read blogs under control- I could spend hours and hours reading others blogs, which is not something I can really afford.

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    1. *nods* Basically the same for me; you have no idea how much the time commitment can be. It's either reading or writing or commenting or commenting back and it's awful; I have other stuff to do! So, we have like lives, in that regard. :)

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Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!