Sunday, May 15, 2011

How I read YOUR blog

I'm new to this whole blogging thing. Yes, I had a blog back in highschool, but there was no Google Reader involved (which just happens to be one of the greatest things ever when it comes to blogging--all of your blogs in one, neat tidy place). It's like a customized magazine with stories and pictures.

I started using Google Reader this past Fall and was instantly hooked--adding new subscriptions on a weekly basis.

It wasn't until January that I decided to revamp my old blog with a fresh layout and updated content. Upon completing this site redesign, I was unsure of the focus for my website, so there it sat for quite awhile: empty and lonely.
After reading many of your blogs over the course of the last few months, I began to think to myself..."well, if all these people can blog about random things, surely I could do that too!" It was then that I took the leap of faith and just started posting about whatever came to mind. As I am still in the start-up stages of this whole blogging journey, I often look to my favorite blogs for inspiration. 

It was this weekend that an idea popped into my mind: why not share how I read blogs? That way, I can maybe spark a conversation among readers to see how they read blogs in hopes to improve my blog.

First up, I read all of my favorite blogs through my Google Reader. Right now it is packed with 133 new entries due to my being out of town this past weekend and having limited internet access. I read my favorite blogs almost everyday. There are a handful of my favorite blogs that I quickly scan my Reader for first to see if they are updated.

Among these bloggers are: 
Allie @ Allie's Life

So, what keeps me running back to these blogs all of the time? Consistent updates.

These girls are devoted to their blogs and post on a regular basis. They include lots of pictures to document their stories and experiences. Their blogs always have great content--with the random, daily life documentation being my favorite. However, what makes me love their blogs is the fact that their personality shines through each post. All of the blog that I listed above are written to reflect each girl's personality; the variety in my Google Reader is what keeps me interested.

And, good photography within posts never hurts, either. ;-)

Once in awhile, I will go through my Reader and do some "spring cleaning" to tidy up in attempt to keep it as streamlined as possible. If I find myself "skipping" through posts a lot, after awhile, I'll remove the subscription to make more room for new blogs.

Let's run though my blogging process:
  1. Launch Google Reader
  2. Skim through my subscriptions and open the above blogs in new tabs if there are updates. I then proceed to read those first.
  3. Start at the beginning and read through all of the new blogs in chronological order.
  4. Star the blogs I want to come back to if I'm short on time
  5. Comment, comment, comment
This process remains pretty consistent and I usually read blogs in the morning before work, sometimes during my lunch break, and to wind down before bed. That sounds like a lot, but it is something that I look forward to and enjoy each day. I've never met these bloggers, but I enjoy reading about their lives and getting ideas and inspiration from their posts.

Now, what about new blogs? I started my Google Reader addiction with just a few of the big names in blogging. Carrots 'N' Cake was one of the first blogs that I started reading and it was through her posts and comments that I found a variety of new blogs. Some of my favorite subscriptions have come through bloggers mentioning other bloggers in their posts. Another way I find out about new blogs is through bloggers hosting guest posts--since a little "preview" of a new blogger is displayed on a blog I already love.

Upon stumbling across a new blog, the first thing that I do almost always is rush over to their "About Me" page. To me, this is the most important page on your blog since it provides readers with a first impression of you as a blogger. After this, I'll scan through the first page of posts to get a feel for the content. If I enjoy reading, I'll add it to my subscriptions to test it out and then usually comment on a post or two.

The more I like a blog, the more I will comment since it allows more interaction with you as a blogger. I love how the blogging community offers a place to express yourself and document experiences in creative ways. On that note, even if I don't always comment--it usually means I'm short on time and I still love reading your blog. :D

Sure, my process adjusts due to the amount of time I have, or if I'm working on other things while surfing the web, but this sums of the majority of it. 

Do you have a certain process when it comes to reading and finding blogs? 
What makes or breaks a blog for you? 
Do share!


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