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Maxed Out Blogger!

I’ve been blogging since May of 2010. Almost a decade! For the first few years, I was pretty much talking to myself. Since 2015, I have observed a steady increase in numbers of likes, comments, and follows, probably because I’ve done a fair bit of liking, commenting, and following myself. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

I’ve decided, for what it’s worth, to document my blogging practices, as much for my own benefit as anyone else’s.

I’m now following 117 blogs, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed. My policy, as per my About page, is that every time someone whose blog I’m not already following likes a post, I visit that blog and read a few posts and/or the blogger’s About page, if they have one. When one of my posts gets a few dozen likes (which is great!), it can be hard to keep up. Posting only once or twice a week allows more time to react and respond.

Likes. If I “like” a post, that means I’ve read it and actually (surprise!) liked it, or, in the case of reblogs, the intent behind reblogging it. If I decide not to read a post, I just leave. I don’t use the “like” button to just to say “I was here.”

Comments. I don’t always comment, even on posts I like. Sometimes I can’t think of anything worthwhile to say, especially when there are already a lot of comments and mine would say the same thing. I’m in the Pacific time zone, so I’m usually a latecomer to posts written by folks east of me. And sometimes I start to comment, but a little voice asks me if I really want to say that. I’ve learned to obey that voice, especially if it’s late and I’m tired. Better not toss off a remark that might be misinterpreted and unintentionally offend or puzzle someone.
I always reply to comments on my posts.

Follows. I don’t routinely follow everyone who follows my blog. I know some bloggers assume their follow will result in a follow back. Sorry, no. I’ll visit and read a post or two, and maybe like them, but the only reason I follow a blog is because something about it — the content or the writing style — interests me. When I follow a blog, it’s with the intention to read all new posts on it. I sometimes wonder at some of the bloggers who follow me; they seem to have nothing in common with me at all. But then, life is full of small mysteries.

Not mysterious at all are a few things I find discouraging. They pretty much guarantee my quick departure from a blog. First of all, gifs. I hate ’em; they make reading almost impossible. I can read around the occasional gif if the subject of a post is interesting, but if someone has studded their post with snippets of people yelling, jumping, twitching, dancing, or collapsing, I’m outta there. Second: popups offering newsletters or deals of some sort. Nope, I’m not coughing up my email address, especially if the popup appears before I’ve had a chance to read anything. Third: the prospect of a daily deluge of posts. I already follow a few high-volume blogs, and hesitate to take on another, unless the posts are super short and/or riveting. A flood of posts means either a s**tload of email notifications to delete or a Reader that needs to be triaged — OK, let’s read this one; no, not that one, maybe that one, not that one… It adds to the fatigue factor.

Griping aside, I’m happy to see lots of visits, likes, and comments. I’ve “met” many delightful and eloquent bloggers in the past near-decade. I’ve learned stuff, I’ve been appalled, delighted, and enlightened. I have blogger pals all over the world. I’m looking forward to another decade.

Image from Pixabay

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60 comments

  1. I started blogging in February 2010 – just a few months before you did. And have had virtually the same pattern of experience, including the fact that for the first couple of years the audience consisted of a few crickets chirping in the air conditioning, and a good echo from the empty room… That changed, but it took time. I must admit, it’s often difficult for me to find time to devote sufficiently to expanding my social media; a lot flows past me, for no better reason than that I have an awful lot on my plate. I tend to stick with blogs I’ve followed – and which I keep following – over the years. I guess in a conceptual way, the contact one has with other regular bloggers over a substantial span isn’t too different to the kind of international contact with like-minded people that, in the mid-twentieth century, was referred to as having ‘penfriends’. Only it’s a bit faster than sea-mail.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ve thought of that pen-pal analogy myself (even though I never had a pen-pal as a kid). I value my blog connections with folks all over the world, such as you. When someone stops posting for a few weeks I hope they just ran out of things to blog about, rather than more dire possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Audrey. There’s a lot to learn from your experience as a blogger and I’ll take the lot – thanks for the tips. Also, now I feel all the more honoured and delighted that you’ve visited my space and even liked my writings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I first started blogging in 2016 (so not that long ago), I also went over to the blog of everyone who followed me. I don’t do that any more. I have three blogs and robbiesinspiration is very big. Now, I only visit another blog if the blogger shows real interest in my posts. Usually when I visit I find that people who are interested in what I blog about write posts that I am also interested in. I follow a lot of poets, writers and historians. Roberta Writes is my new blog for my adult writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t imagine managing more than one blog. Good for you with three! I do wonder when someone “likes” every one of my recent posts, even when some are about gardening and others about writing. And then I visit their blog and find their subject is lifestyle coaching…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a fresh take on blogging advice and very helpful. It’s getting reblogged today. Since I’ve been blogging for about two years, I’m starting to recognize bloggers I really like following other bloggers I really like. Makes me feel part of a knowledgeable blogging community. One of my pet peeves is getting inundated by bloggers I like–one or two posts a day I can handle, more than that puts even a good blogger into the spam territory. (I realize that this is a personal POV and each blogger needs to decide for him/herself how much is enough.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had a feeling there were other bloggers out there who approach blogging the way I do. It’s hard to follow more than one or two “super bloggers,” but yes, I have recognized folks who follow the same blogs I do, and now I follow some of them, and they follow me. It’s like weaving links through the blogosphere!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I had a feeling there were other bloggers out there who approach blogging the way I do. It’s hard to follow more than one or two “super bloggers,” but yes, I have recognized folks who follow the same blogs I do, and now I follow some of them, and they follow me. It’s like weaving links through the blogosphere!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Almost nine years then? I bet you’ve seen a lot of WP changes over that time, hopefully for the better.

    I post about once every two-three weeks. Hopefully I don’t pester people too much.

    I agree with you re the gifs. They make my eyeballs shake, so I hurry and scroll past them! I don’t like popups, either, but I understand them when folks have money-making blogs.

    I enjoy your posts. Blog on, Audrey, blog on!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I expected to hate Twitter, and refused to join it for many years. However, when I finally broke down and did, I have to admit that it turned out to be a great way to connect with other writers. I certainly found a lot of folks I Neve would have otherwise.

        That said, it can also be annoying at times, and it certainly rewards rushing to judgment to say something witty rather than nuanced, considered thought.

        And yes, it’s practically expected that you’ll use GIFs to communicate there.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes that is more or less how I handle my blogging and for sure the only way to increase visits is to visit! I too have had followers who can’t possibly be interested or have read my blogs – they write only about beauty prodcuts or their experiences of looking for casual sex on line!But mostly I am enjoying blogging for it’s own sake, not just a means to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with your points here, Audrey. You’ve been blogging as long as I have. It can get to be too much if you aren’t careful. I have limited my time on other blogs as well. May you continue to enjoy the blogging world. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m maxed out on blogging, too. Between 2011, when I started to publish, and a couple of years ago, I wrote a lot of blog posts, and then I ran out of ideas and enthusiasm. I also hardly ever follow a blog these days, because I find I never look at most of them (Audrey, yours is an exception). My own blogs do have a lot of good material in them, however, if anybody is interested, so here are the links http://termitewriter.blogspot.com/ (mostly about The Termite Queen and miscellaneous topics) and http://termitespeaker.blogspot.com/ (about the Ki’shto’ba series and about mythology in literature).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So much good stuff here, Audrey! I’ve enjoyed following you for a few years, always curious about what’s going on north of me. I admit I usually skip over blogs where you are writing about writing… but the gardening posts stop me in my tracks and I settle in for a good read. I admire your writing prowess. Congrats on 9 good years!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post and very helpful. I’m an infrequent blogger with a few followers. I follow a few but am really picky about it because too many new blog post emails stress me out when I’m busy. And I have wondered quite a bit about the etiquette of reciprocal following. So thanks. BTW, I found this because one eQuips reblogged this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found there’s a huge difference once posts regularly get dozens of likes, rather than a handful. I guess we all have to decide what we want our blogging adventure to look like. Thanks for reading and commenting, JeanMarie! I’m grateful to Pat at eQuips for sharing this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. If someone ‘likes’ a post or ‘follows’ my blog, like you I’ll check ’em out and see how I feel about their writing, and especially their ‘About Me’ page. That’s where the hook has to be.

    And interestingly, of late, I’ve started following a few YouTube channels, that I can listen to or have running while I do boring admin stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An informative “About” page is really useful. I like it when people list their recent posts too. Some of those minimalist themes don’t seem to allow that, which makes it hard to get a feel of a blog’s style. I differ from you when it comes to videos, though. I always have radio (talk or music) going, so have a hard time fitting in any more inputs.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Agree with you on everything, Audrey – especially the auto follow back. If it’s not a topic that interests me, I don’t follow. Like you said, there are already so many to keep up with – which I already struggle to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kindred spirits, I think. For me, blogs and bloggers start out as acquaintances. Over time, and by that I can mean years, some of them become friends. From a marketing perspective that’s probably not exactly what we’re meant to do, but…to hell with marketing!! -grin-

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well said Audrey. I smile as I really enjoyed and I 100% agree with your comments and the way you do certain things. I pretty much have the same thoughts and feelings about blogging. I have met some great people through my blog and yes I have followers who I have nothing in common with. Sometimes I feel that for some it is all about the numbers. Great post. Lyn

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s great… you have been blogging over a decade.. you have a wonderful experience in this creative world..
    There’s lot of work to put in here but once it’s regular then it feels good..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for sharing this, Audrey. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years, but just started with WordPress about 18 months ago and it’s by far been the most interactive of the three sites I’ve used. I can so relate to the overwhelming number of blogs and & try to respond with likes and comments, but there are days when it’s overwhelming. Still, I try to do what I can. It’s all we can ask of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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