3 Secrets to Getting ‘Return’ Blog Followers

I was recently reading a post about what makes you subscribe to a blog. The author posed some really good questions and it made me reflect on why I follow a blog and I would love to take this conversation a step further…

As bloggers, we follow blogs for various reasons; there are many platforms that bring bloggers together, as well as those with supportive communities…and the list goes on.

But as many blogs that you choose to follow and vice-versa, what makes you not only follow, but return to that blog again and again?

For example, you could subscribe to over 300 blogs but really only read and comment on 30 of those weekly. This brings me to the question…out of the many blogs you end up choosing to follow, which are the kind of blogs that you return to again and again no matter what? The kind of blog that if you are pressed for time will be one to visit on your list?

I strive to be one of those blogs that you follow and return to, not ever wanting to miss a post. So when I think of the blogs that I follow, I wanted to share my top three reasons of what brings me back to those blogs again and again:

  1. A blog with well written content that I can relate to: A blogger that posts about topics I can easily connect with is a major draw for me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about motherhood; any well written post about a topic I can sincerely relate to will get me hooked.
  2. A clean blog design with easy navigation: I enjoy blogs that are easy to navigate with just a few clicks. If I want to peek into the archives or get to know more about the blogger, I don’t want to have to go searching for it. And easy navigation does not have to mean a fancy blog design, just a clean design that doesn’t take away from the content.
  3. A blog that encourages support of its readers: I like a supportive blogger who encourages comments and wants to continue the conversation. How boring would blogging be if you never got a response? A blogger that shows support of its readers is what brings me back again and again. And I certainly don’t mean a comment for every comment. In a perfect bloggy world this would be fabulous, but we all know how unrealistic that goal would be. I’ve tried to keep up and it’s impossible. So, how do you show support? It can be displayed in various ways to fellow bloggers: via a reply to a comment, a visit to the blog, a link back to a blogger within a post, an email, a tweet or retweet of a post, the sharing of a post on Facebook, a Stumble of a particular post, a chat on a community message board, a recommendation of a blogger to another, etc… There are so many ways to help promote and show other bloggers support, so I like to return to blogs that encourage this as well.

So now I would love to hear from you! After you choose to follow a blog, what makes you return again and again? And if you are a new follower, welcome! I am so glad you are here at Theta Mom and can’t wait to check out your blog!!!

Comments

  1. says

    Great question! I definitely agree with you about relating to the person and what he or she writes about. For me there is also an added bonus of liking the person even though I may not have met him or her. I find I return to blogs again and again if I want to know how someone is doing, what they decided to write about today, what is going on in their life etc. It’s like when you check in with friends :)

  2. says

    When I first discovered blogs, I mainly visited sites where I could get new ideas for either teaching or for my hobbies like quilting. Now my list of favorites also include blogs that make me laugh or blogs that I can relate to the thoughts and experiences of the blogger.
    Since I am a new blogger I will be following this discussion with much interest!

  3. says

    Good points and I agree. I often follow a blog because it made me laugh, had content I could relate to or just caught my eye. I always go back…but sometimes the blog turns out to be not my cup of tea and I may only read once in awhile. I don’t unfollow just don’t read as often.

    I try to respond to comments, I don’t always but I have gotten into some good discusions with bloggers via email following a comment. I check out blogs that follow me and those that leave comments. It is a great way to find new blogs to read.

  4. says

    This is such great advice, especially for newer bloggers like me. I think that the main reason I go back to certain blogs is because I love the content, and because I’ve made a connection with the author and can’t wait to hear what they have to say next.

  5. Becca says

    I agree with your 3 reasons. Relateable is most important to me. If I find myself nodding in agreement as I read I know I’ll probably return. Although even if I can’t quite relate but still enjoy the read (humorous, beautiful prose, etc) I’ll come back again.
    And it definitely helps if I find there’s a relationship building. If they come back and read my blog, leave me a comment, follow me on Twitter, etc. Then I’ll feel it’s a “friendship” and I’ll be more compelled to return.
    I think about this a lot as I try to build my readership but at the same time, I try not to care too much so I can stay true to my blog and not write ehat I think others want to read, but more what I want to write!

  6. says

    I think that the blogs I frequent most are the ones that are “real” meaning people who aren’t afraid to let their bad days show, as well as the good days. We all know that everything is not always sunshine and lollypops and finding a fellow blogger that can let you know you aren’t the only one thats not always the perfect wife, mom or person is comforting. I also love blogs with humor, when you can just sit down and read and find yourself laughing out loud thats a good thing. And of course any blogger who can help me find an easier or more creative way to navigate my life is going to be someone that I will read over and over. I do try to spend a lot of time going back and responding to comments from my readers it is such a great way to get to know your readers and find people that you have things in common with.

  7. says

    Becca – That’s a great point. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR blog and you need to write what works for YOU. And building a readership does take time and works both ways. I agree, following on Twitter and other social platforms helps to build relationships!

  8. says

    I return to blogs that I can relate to. I don’t really like “snarky” blogs, so I usually stay away from them. I like to be uplifted and feel inspired by what I read.

    I am a recent follower of TM and I have to say, it’s one of my favs. Thank you so much!

    Jenn from Blonde Ambition

  9. says

    I know I return to blogs that have content I’m interested in reading, whether it be humorous, book-related, family releated etc. I think you brought up some valid points.

  10. says

    I love people with a sense of humor. I like reading about people who are on a journey (weightloss, fertility, becoming debt free, etc) and what gets them there. I do not enjoy reading about people who are basically showing off how perfect their life is- I guess it just doesn’t seem real to me. On the other hand, whiners do not get followed either. I think it’s all about personality styles. If I could sit down with someone and have coffee with them and not want to strangle them from annoyance, I’ll follow. :) Have a fantastic day!

  11. says

    I think the biggest thing is that it has to be something I can relate to. Also–I don’t follow blogs I don’t relate to/really like. I realize that there are lots of “you follow me/I’ll follow you” places out there but I don’t ever want to feel trapped into following someone’s blog. I realize this makes my numbers grow slower than some. I’d almost prefer it that way because then I can get to know more blog readers intimately…rather than just having a gajillion followers who don’t relate to me and I don’t relate to.

    I like sites that are clean and easy to navigate as well…and people who are open and honest. If I go to someone’s blog several times and they are continually talking about how wonderful their yacht club is and they don’t bother to attempt interaction I’m likely to not come back. That may work for some people, but not me.

    I’ve also noticed that my blog preferences change over time. As I grow my choices change. I don’t think I read but 1 blog that I started out reading when I first started blogging. I found people that I related better to, not just people who were popular and easy to find.

  12. says

    Kristen and Sandy – I couldn’tagree more. Authenticity and honesty goes much farther than being ‘snarky’ or trying to show off a perfect life. I stay away from those blogs as well!

  13. says

    Hi there, I’m Desi…I found your blog from a different blog I follow :). I totally agree with you about having an easy to navigate page. Usually if its too busy or has too many ads I’m turned off by it and don’t even read what they have to say. I also enjoy when its not all rainbows and butterflies and we get some posts that let you know that person isn’t perfect…bc who is right?

  14. says

    Great thoughts … I agree completely. Since I read most blogs in my Reader, I have found there are about 25% of those I subscribe to that I will actually click over to the website itself and leave a comment on the blog. Wonder if that’s about normal? I also love finding new blogs through links in my favorite blogs … I trust the recommendations of my online bloggy friends and will check out sites they like.

  15. says

    Great post. I have found that I go back to the blogs that I think are genuine. The ones that talk about the ups and the downs of being a new parent or the ones that tell great stories about something their 4-year-old did. They make me laugh, make me feel like I’m not the only one that wants to escape to Mexico sometimes and make me go “aww… yeah, I feel that way too.” I never thought I would be as addicted to blogging as I’ve been, but it has become a great source of information for me.

  16. says

    Can I also add that as a “wanna be blogger”, I think it’s hard to know what to write about? When your husband infuriates you or your mother-in-law says something hurtful, do you write about that? It’s genuine, it’s life, but does that have the potential to make in real life situations worse? If you know that people who who know you personally read your blogs, does that influence how you write or what you write about? I wish I was bold enough to throw all of that stuff out there, but I’m just not sure where the line is.
    I would love to hear what other have to say.

  17. says

    I couldn’t agree more. I read blogs where I am interested in the content and where the blogger is open and honest. I feel like I can connect with them more. Also, I love simple, clean blogs. I can’t stand going to blogs where this is a million ads, flash, etc. It is an overload for me and I click out as fast as I came in.

    Great post!

  18. says

    This is something a lot of my blogger friends and I have been debating ourselves lately– I’m thrilled to see you do a post on it, because we pointed to you as a hallmark of blog “interactivity”!

    The big thing that makes me follow a blog is the humor of a writer. My job in TV news is super-serious and stressful; finding a blogger that can make me laugh out loud during a break at my desk brightens my day. That person is definitely going to get my follow.

    I also enjoy following bloggers who (like you) have children (particularly girls) around the same age as my daughter. It reminds me of why I work so hard at work every day!

    ~Elizabeth
    Confessions From A Working Mom

  19. says

    Krista- In my opinion, I think certian things should be off limits and kept out of a blog. “Real life” arguments with a spouse, family member or friend is sort of like airing your dirty laundry. To me, this does not create good content, it only makes the “real life” sitution harder when those you care about read the drama online.

    My motto is- if you are in doubt, don’t publish.

  20. says

    Great post! I often follow a blog that is original, creative and funny, and of course, have great content and information. I also enjoy interaction with readers, and that keeps me returning to their blogs.

  21. says

    One of the biggest reasons I return to a blog is because of the connection I feel with the blogger. I like to know there is someone at the other side of the blog. When I get a response, I feel like, wow they are actually doing this for others. I also look for great content, controversial topics, or just something that makes me think.

    Thanks for the post!

    Alicia from Coffee Mugs and Sippy Cups
    http://www.coffeeandsippy.blogspot.com

  22. says

    I go back if I think the bloggers voice is relatable. Authentic. And I like a little humor. It doesn’t have to be slap stick but, humor goes a long way. I also like when a blog is nice to look at. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just not a mess.

  23. says

    I totally agree with your three points for sure. I wil go back regularly to a blog particularly if I can relate to the content, if its updated regularly, if there are giveaways that I can enter (as a Canadian, not always possible) and if I get an otherall feeling that the owner is a positive person! Also, I don’t necessarily unfollow, just wont visit a blog as often if I don’t care for it.

  24. says

    all really good and true points. As a newbie I have done alot of searching for blogs and have found that I am returning to the ones where the author is someone I would share a bottle of wine with and whose content I find interesting. Lets face it, time is short these days so building a network of ladies that you enjoy makes it worth while. Great tips as well.

  25. says

    Hmmm, that’s a good question and I bet you get a lot of good answers for this one. It depends on my mood which ones I visit. If I can just go there and relax and maybe laugh or awwwwe, then fine, if it’s a super long post or 25 pictures in one post, then I’ll skip it. I liked your comment above about when in doubt, don’t post something. Some blogs just TRY too hard and it’s beyond annoying – there’s one I used to go to and it was always link me, link me, and every comment she left was about another contest or giveaway she was having and it was like OK, enough already. Your number one is probably my number one – relatability. Love your blog, girl, you’re doing a great job ~ ♥

  26. says

    I am agree with you Heather. If I read a blog, I really enjoy reading her/his topics, and I join it, what she is writing about, what she is asking for..I join and support her. Of course I expect the same thing. I appreciate if she joins my topics, I appreciate her support .Then it brings a friendship. Sure there are a lot of great bloggers I missed. It is great to discover new blogs to read,to have new friends each day. It is also wonderful thing to have blog friends who they know me for a while, to have them as witnesses of my life. A friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.

  27. says

    Your three are the core. I think more than anything, I am finding blogging to be relationship builing/community. So, I am looking for the interaction. I can find lots of great content out there and if one blogger is interactive, and of course that comes in lots of forms and it doesn’t have to happen daily, and one is not, I will frequent that one that wants to build community.

  28. says

    I visit maybe a dozen blogs on a regular basis. They are all ones that either help me hone my skills, or that I have a personal interest in. I agree, they have to be well written or I’ll stop reading immediately. They also need to show personality and make me feel like they’re speaking to me, not at me.

  29. says

    Ladies – You are with me, I love it! A blog will re-visited if it is relatable, easy to navigate and a blogger who shows support. This is how you build a community…awesome!!!

  30. says

    I’m a new blogger, and I’m with you–the content doesn’t have to be Mommy-related (but that is what I identify with most at this point in my life) for me to be interested in the blog. I love good pictures, and good stories!!
    Love your blog!!
    themommarazziblog.blogspot.com

  31. says

    what keeps me coming back is when I feel like the blogger could be my friend, we share common interests, and I want to see what’s going on in their life! : )

  32. says

    I agree with most of the ladies that have already commented its gotta be relatable. I try to visit the blogs that have been updated most recently on my blog list.

  33. says

    Great post! And thanks for continuing the conversation about building a blog following because it’s a goal all of us bloggers share!
    I couldn’t agree with you more on the reasons for following a blog, I think that echoes my reasons as well. I think #1 and #3 are so crucial!
    Thanks for linking out to The Pursuit of Mommyness…as I’ve said many times before…you are one of those bloggers who really understand the give/ take. I am privileged to be part of your blogging community!

    http://thepursuitofmommyness.com/

  34. says

    I love a blog that is honest and humorous. I love to be entertained by the an effective writer’s spin on the everyday happenings in real life – love when we can appreciate what seems ordinary as EXTRAORDINARY. Keep up the good work. Love coming here

  35. says

    Those are all great tips and I agree,yup the over syrupy makes my heart swell is too much and fake! I like the funny blogs,getting a good laugh makes my day.
    I orginally started blogging as a way to keep my Family updated and none of them blog,they do read it cause they send me emails letting me know.At first I didnt get comments which I didn’t mind but now I get comments and enjoy reading them,I was looking for a way to respond to the comments like you do but I wonder if theres a way to show our responses to come up maybe in a different color than than the bloggers comments?
    love your motto – if you are in doubt, don’t publish-and think I may steal it to post on my blog :)
    its a good reminder because sometimes I would like to say certain things and then I remember anyone can see my blog so I don’t!

  36. says

    I agree with all of your points – for me the primary, most important thing is the quality of the writing. I’m really impressed and drawn to voices I find moving, people who speak with humor and honesty about their experiences.

  37. says

    I return to the blogs I follow for mostly the reasons you mention. I enjoy the connection with other bloggers…like it’s a mutual friendship of sorts. I always comment back on the bloggers who have commented on my blog and more often than not, I follow them so it’s easier for me to keep track of their posts.

    Humor often attracts me and keeps me visiting again and again, as well as other things that I can relate to.

  38. says

    OK I love blogs
    that make me laugh.
    provide useful information
    or just plain sweet

    I have to agree with you on the easy manuevering of the blog for comments and loading and stuff. Sometimes if it is too hard I won’t follow or return.

    ONE of my biggest things is FONT. If it is too small I just can’t read it. I get a headache. Oh ya and paragraphs are all mushed together I won’t read it LOL… I get migraines and if it is too hard to read than it is a no go!

  39. The Penny-Pinching Mama says

    I completely agree with you on all points. Some of the blogs listed on Friday Follow are hard to navigate which is frustrating. I need to be able to find that friend connect button and find a recent post – sometimes that’s difficult.

    Happy Friday Follow!
    The Penny-Pinching Mama!

  40. says

    I try to stay with people who are in a similar but not same situation as me. I like seeing how others deal with things that I might also be dealing with/have dealt with/will probably deal with. Still, I like variety. I like a little dark humor in them. My life and kids are messy, so perfection doesn’t fit in my world.

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