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

    Hi – the blogs I continue to read are the ones that have similar interest as mine and have interesting blog posts without bragging and writting a novel. I really love your blog as I find your posts interesting and love the look of your blog. It keeps me coming back.

  2. says

    Stopping by to say hello with Friday Follow. I honestly need a better system of keeping track of blogs I want to return to in order to spend more time checking out. at the same time I don’t want to receive hundreds of emails a week every time a new post is added. Maybe a tool like the lists on twitter that we can break down the blogs we want to keep track of into groups so that we remember who they are and why we are following.

    Felissa
    http://www.felissahadas.blogspot.com

  3. says

    Theresa – Thanks so much for the sweet words about Theta Mom! And Felissa – I think making lists on Twitter is a good idea, I just haven’t gotten to it yet!

  4. says

    For me, I love to follow and read about other Mom’s who are like me. They’re not perfect, and they don’t pretend to be. They’re probably spiritual, but not preachy on their blog. Most of all, they like to laugh and find humor in the everyday things.

  5. says

    I don’t really have a formula for how I decide to follow a blog. I guess the first thing that I notice is the blog design. Is it design “pretty” . I know that’s superficial but if I don’t like a blog design, I probably won’t stay around to read the content. Next is the most important part, the content. Is the content well developed. I’m an English teacher, so I can be really hard on bloggers. When I’m reading a post, I treat it as if it’s one of my students term papers. (I know that’s awful, but I’ve been teaching for 10 yrs. I can’t help it). Third, do I know you in real life. Now this is a tough one because most of the blog I frequent are people that I don’t know. But since going to Blogalicious last year, I met a lot of bloggers and I always go to their blogs and leave comments.

  6. says

    Brianne – I think you are right about that in the sense that some are just looking to increase their following by a “number,” not necessarily a true readership. That’s where this discussion comes into play, when you decide out of the blogs you do follow, which do you really follow?

  7. says

    Wow great post…glad Ive found you…length of post is an issue that makes me follow or not..as time is tight and sometimes Im blogging while working (I know, not good)..also I dont like constant complaining and/or bashing people/things…..yeah sometimes but not on an everyday basis..otherwise Im pretty open to all new and interesting..and funny..blogs..!! Have great day Im following you now..!

  8. says

    I just came over from The Mother Load. Great post, it really made me think, I primarily write my blog for myself but it is lovely to have followers and commenters. The interaction is important, it’s about the community as well.
    Jade

  9. says

    I visit the blog of anyone that comments on my blog. I’m still a pretty small operation so this isn’t too cumbersome for me. I keep visiting blogs only if they are well written. And I know it’s just me, but I’m really put off by cursing. I don’t think the f-bomb adds to anyone’s writing. I have to really enjoy a blog to put up with coarse language.

  10. says

    Six month’s into blogging and I am still trying to find my way, my style. I have taken some of your advice to heart and I have cleaned up my sidebars. You know its too busy when it bugs you! And I have been way into MEme’s lately. Some are fun but I really, really need to cut back on them.

    I like to read blogs that are funny. I love a good laugh.

  11. says

    Well for me it’s content, content, content. I also like to feel the connection. Answer my comment, reply through email or visit my blog. Engage in some way or else it begins to feel sort of one sided. And that’s not what blogging is about.

  12. says

    I follow blogs that interest me and keep me entertained. I cannot stand a cluttered blog, it hurts my eyes. So for the many reasons you listed above that’s what keeps me coming back for more. I leave comments on things I like or relate to in hopes that I’ll have the same returned. So far not so much, any tips on how to attract more people and to get my readers to comment? I would love the interaction with me.

  13. says

    I have a list a blogs I love to follow. The ones I read everyday offer things that I do on a daily basis, family/kids stuff, cooking, cleaning/organizing and crafty/scrapbooking.
    I love new tips and tricks and when you feel like you “know” the person writing the blog!
    Thanks for the tips!!
    I just found your blog and I am a new follower :-)

  14. Christine says

    I just started my blog and this is some interesting information…thanks. Honestly in the beginning when I was blog hopping I looked for the best giveaways but now I just try to find nice people who I may have things in common with. Love your site! :)

  15. says

    I follow blogs that I can relate to–especially if they are in the same stage as I am as a parent. They need to be grammatically correct and if they are funny it is a bonus!

    BTW- thanks for this post! As a new blogger it is good to think about why people should read what I have to say and what I can do to get them to come back again.

  16. says

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m still new to blogging and trying to find out all I can to be able to get more readers and keep them coming back. It’s been really great to be able to see all these comments and know what keeps different people coming back to a blog. Thanks!

  17. says

    I’m still new to the blogging community. So with all the new blogs I discover on a daily basis it is overwhelming to figure out which ones I want to follow, and then remember to go back to them! I love using Google Reader to keep up with who has new content, but then I miss out on actually visiting the blog itself.

    I think design is so important. The design and layout is your first impression. I may just leave without reading if the design is too cluttered. But it is also your ‘brand.’ With all the different blogs I try to read each week, the design is what helps me remember who each blogger is.

    I love your blog! I love the colors and the clean layout :)

    Happy Monday to everyone!

  18. says

    Great post..and a topic I have thought about often – it’s funny – so tough to quantify what makes you return to read another’s words – you just know when you have found a place or person with whom you connect – but I agree – conversation is good – have to get better about that – i used to try to comment for comment but i couldn’t do it – great post!
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Parenting Instincts =-.

  19. says

    I would have to say the main things that make me return to a blog are the content. If they write about something interesting to me, especially if they have a sense of humor. I love blogs that are written by “real” people. Someone who is not afraid to let the world see they are not perfect. It is so much easier to relate to them and become interested in what is happening in their life each day, because what is interesting about reading about someone’s perfect life? As long as it is not really awful or difficult to read I really don’t get caught up or care too much about perfect grammar and spelling. It is kind of hard to say what might make me an every post reader of a blog. Gosh it might be easier to list what will NOT make me one! ;-)

    I don’t mind advertisements or someone that is selling something on their blog that they personally make. I am ALL for small business owners but if all they write about are just promos for their product I lose interest. Also someone who never, ever visits my blog in return or acknowledges detailed comments I have left on their blog. I certainly give someone with over 100 followers and active commenters a break on this. I understand it can be almost impossible to do that for everyone, but really, if I visit your blog multiple times and leave 10 or more comments when you only have 20 followers and you never, ever visit mine…call it petty but I am going to lose interest. Pet peeves I guess and I am sure I am triggering others if they have a pet peeve for long comments! Sorry! Great post though, lots of good info.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Been Away on an Island =-.

  20. says

    I’m with Krystal up there when it comes to a well-written uncluttered blog being one I’ll follow. Spell check, use your dictionary, learn the simple rules of grammar (there, their, and they’re … your, you’re), punctuation please, paragraphs are fun too!

    Harsh, but true. If you can write, have a sense of humor about yourself, and are real, I’ll follow you through good times and bad.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends . . . =-.

  21. says

    The blog’s design is not important to me at all in deciding who to follow as I use google’s reader and rarely go to the site itself. Content that is well-written and interesting is what draws me in.

    P.S. Happy SITS day. You drew me in with your content!
    .-= Bucksome Boomer´s last blog ..Kroger Gift Card Winner! =-.

  22. says

    I’m in a different genre of blogs, so while I agree good writing is nice, it’s not a necessity. I like the bloggers to be personable, have good ideas that I relate to, and also have an easy-to-navigate blog. I’m debating to whether I should go to an all white background (?), speaking of appearances – if anyone wants to stop by and give me an opinion.
    .-= Kim @ Cheap Chic Home´s last blog ..Tablecloth Complete! =-.

  23. says

    I’ve pondered these exact same things recently. I, too, strive to host a blog with all the things you listed, yet, it seems traffic is slow and feedback in the form of comments is few.

    I always wonder about the folks that follow hundreds of blogs –
    like how many of those they ‘actually’ read and what is the motivation for subscribing to so many – is it just in hopes of recieving more followers themselves or a way to say ‘hey, I like your blog’ sort of thing?

    What are blogs YOU don’t want to miss??

    I think if I ever get a big following (big IF it seems at this point)
    I’d like to have a special feature on my blog to recognize followers maybe within posts or on my sidebar to offer reciprocal support.
    .-= heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last blog ..Monday Musings :: May WE Be ‘SHE’ =-.

  24. says

    Hi Theta Mom,
    So glad to be here and Happy SITS day. Gosh, this post speaks straight to my heart. I’m just now beginning to struggle with the comment thing and I really like your explanation on how to handle things. I was finding that visiting other people’s blogs who visited me and replying to every comment was just eating up all my time and that wasn’t my purpose in starting a blog. My purpose was to write, to find my niche in the blogosphere, to create an online presence before I sent my written novel out into agent world. I am determined to create a balance now instead of killing myself with the comment love. You summed it up perfectly and for that, thank you.
    .-= joann mannix´s last blog ..Breaking The Rules =-.

  25. says

    very good points. I love comments but I never seem to get very many. My blog is a frugal sight with some random motherhood and womanhood items. I did just open a facebook fanpage which has now has more followers than my blog. It is fun to blog and I am have just been doing this since part of last year.
    .-= Amber Hurd´s last blog ..Coupon Lingo =-.

  26. says

    The things that make me go back to someones blog are humor, I love to laugh. I also like honesty, not just “our life is so perfect all the time” blogs. I like it when people are willing to reveal the “uglier” truths of motherhood, marriage, life, etc. And finally, as lame as it sounds, sometimes, it depends on the look of the blog. If it’s overrun and messy, I don’t want to come back. Thanks for that post, it was interesting and rang true with me.

  27. says

    It’s amazing but true. The simple formula for success all revolves around your readers – making their experience interesting, engaging, and easy.

    Sarah Baron

  28. says

    Stopping by from SITS.

    This is a great post. It’s completely true that despite following quite a few bloggers, there are really only a few that I definitely check every day.

    First, I love their content. It’s either helpful or relatable or just plain fun.

    Second, I feel a connectionto the blogger themselves either because I know them or we share common interests.

    Third, they follow me. I know that probably sounds bad, but if someone puts the time in for me, I’m more likely to put the time in for them.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..A New Life’s resolution – Day #65 (Occupational) {written for 3/23/2010} =-.

  29. says

    Thanks so much for this very practical and helpful information. Like everyone, I’d love to connect with more readers on my blog and your suggestions are perfect. I blog with my grown daughters so we have a variety of audiences to appeal to. I’ll definitely be visiting your blog again, that’s for sure.
    .-= Debby Carroll´s last blog ..Women in the Workplace or the Home? Really? =-.

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