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.”
|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.