I follow a lot of blogs but I definitely have my own criteria of what I am looking for which I use to not only decide whether or not to follow other blogs but to decide what to post on my own. For example, I personally like when blogs don’t do too many reviews, so I try not to do too many reviews on my own blog. But then, of course, there’s the problem that ‘not too many reviews’ is a part of my own criteria, and maybe other people love lots of reviews!
So I decided to share what I look for in a blog, and I’ve love to know what you look for!
I have split it into two categories: ‘musts’ which means I will base whether or not I follow the blog on this (and tends to be more content related) and ‘Likes’, which are just a few preferences and don’t really make or break the decision. And of course, I’m by no means trying to offend anyone here, these are just my own personal preferences!
So here goes!
- A good balance of reviews and other posts
Whilst reviews are an integral part of book blogging, I occasionally come across blogs that are literally all reviews, and if I’m honest, I probably won’t be following if this is the case. I’m only really interested in reviews about books that I have read or are interested in reading, so the blogger would have to have a very similar taste in books to me for me to be interested in most of their posts. I don’t even think this is just me – I know my own reviews tend to get the least views and responses out of all my posts, yet they take me the longest to write. At the same time, I sometimes feel like I don’t write enough reviews (because they take me so long to write!), and as a book blogger they are pretty important, even if I don’t want to be inundated with them. Therefore I think the key is balance, and I’m trying my best to do this with my own blog – one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to vary my content more.
- Not too many memes
In the same vein, I sometimes come across book blogs that are literally all memes – as in they do a different one every day of the week, and that constitutes their entire content. Whilst there are some memes I don’t mind – for example I’m pretty nosy and like reading people’s Top Ten Tuesday posts to see what they picked – for the most part I just skip past most of them when flicking through my Bloglovin feed.
- A sense of the blogger
Whilst book blogging is totally different to say, fashion blogging, or lifestyle blogging, in that you don’t really need to know what the blogger looks like or have much insight into their personal life, I still like it when you can read a blog post and really get a sense of the person behind it. I know there’s definitely an art to this though, as I myself have often struggled with my blog writing voice (I was institutionalized by years of academic writing!), but I like to think there’s some kind of personality coming across on here.
- Easy to comment
If I follow a blog, then I’m more than likely going to comment on it at some point in the future, so it’s all the better if commenting is an easy process. I don’t mind CAPTCHA too much, but blogs where you have to sign into various accounts (which you may or may not be signed up for) and have to jump through hoops just to comment really puts me off, and in most cases means I just won’t bother.
- A design that isn’t too busy
In the same way you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, you can’t judge a blog by it’s design, and to be honest I read a lot of blog posts in Bloglovin anyway, and so often can’t see the design. However, it’s definitely a bonus if a blog looks nice, and if the background is so busy or so dark that I can’t read the text, or it distracts heavily from it, then obviously that isn’t great!
- Pretty pictures and graphics
Images can really brighten up a post, and so I do like a nice picture to look at, whether it’s a picture of the book in question, a photograph or some of the pretty graphics a lot of blogs have.
- Discussion posts
I love a good discussion post, which is why I’m trying to write more myself. They’re really easy to comment on because usually the blogger is asking you a specific question that you can answer, and they tend to get a good conversation going.
- List posts
I love list posts and have been meaning to do more of these myself. I just think they’re so fun and easy to digest, and I always like reading them.
- Advice posts
So this really isn’t a staple on many book blogs – you see it a lot more on lifestyle blogs – but I’m a sucker for a good advice post! Whether it’s blogging advice, writing advice or even photography advice, if there’s any of this on your blog then I’m probably sold!
So what about you? What makes you (or stops you) clicking that follow button?