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What Blogs Do You Read & Why? February 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Writing & Writers.

First, an easy question:

How many blogs do you follow on a regular basis, by subscription or otherwise? 

Ten, Twenty, Fifty, More?

And now a slightly tougher question:

Why, out of the millions of blogs circulating in the blogosphere, do you read those specific blogs?

By no means an exhaustive list, here are a few possibilities to consider:

1.  Friendship ~ You know the bloggers (or feel you do after exchanging cyber comments for a time).  You want to support the writing and blogging efforts of cyber friends.  You enjoy the blogger’s personality and want to get to know them better.  Their posts seem honest, sincere, and from the heart, offering a down to earth perspective to regular readers as well as first time visitors.

2.  Subject Matter ~ You respect and admire the blogger’s view of the world.  They teach and educate, reinforce what you know, entertain you, make you laugh, or help you see the world from a different perspective.  You find the subject matter of their posts riveting, fascinating, helpful, or supportive.

3.  Writing Style ~ Reading the words of these witty and talented writers adds to the quality of your day.  Their eloquence brings you to tears or makes you laugh out loud.  Their writing shows true genius and you want to be able to say you knew them when.

4.  Giving Back ~ You want to reciprocate for the time they’ve spent reading and commenting on your posts. You enjoy exchanging comments on a variety of topics.  You remember being the new kid on the blog, and want to support blogs still looking for an active  readership base.   You want to share what you’ve learned, contribute to the discussion, reinforce the message they are sharing, or offer a slightly different view of the world for consideration.

5.  Exposure (to Gain Readers) ~ You’ve noticed that commenting on  other blogs increases traffic to your blog.  You’re looking for a larger audience and want to encourage new readers to swing by your posts.

6.  To Grow as a Writer ~ Reading well-written blogs helps you improve your writing skills.  Reading less than stellar posts helps you improve your editing skills.  Seeing varied styles increases your confidence and reminds you that your own posts are “good enough.”

7.  To Gain Blogging Skills ~ You’re reading and commenting on lots of blogs to improve your cyber-confidence so you can begin blogging with a vengeance.  You enjoy seeing how other bloggers format posts, share photographs, respond to comments, develop rapport with readers, and handle constructive (and unconstructive) criticism with tact and diplomacy.

8.  Procrastination ~ You’ve been writing, writing, madly writing, and need to distance yourself from your work in progress.  Reading blogs gives you a break from Tweeting, Twittering, Stumbling, and Texting.  Playing video  games from dusk to dawn no longer appeals.  Two words:  Writer’s Block.

9.  Addiction, Obsession, Compulsion ~ You’re lost in a maze of words, posts and blogs, and can’t find the exit sign.  You’re addicted to surfing the blogosphere and keep promising yourself, “Just one more.”  Reading about the self-created dramas in other bloggers’ lives makes your life look pretty darn good.  You are afraid that you’ll miss something important if you don’t keep reading.

10. Entertainment & Comparison ~ It’s F-U-N  exploring amazing blogs  circulating in cyber-space.   Seeing how others cope with challenges and adversity keeps you going for one more day.

11.  Compensation ~ You’re a literary agent or publisher searching for undiscovered novelists because there’s so much self-publishing going on that queries have stopped flowing into your in-box.  Narcissistic bloggers are paying you to read and comment on their blogs to increase blog traffic.  You’re a paid consultant hired to evaluate blogs and share your professional blogging secrets.  You’re writing a book on blogging pitfalls and pinnacles.

12.  Curiosity ~ The blogger’s self-proclaimed expertise  seems at variance with his or her typo-riddled posts and comments; you  suspect they may be delusional, deranged, or both.  The blog has been nominated for the Sexiest Blog Award and you want to see whether it really is “too sexy for its site.”

13.  Other? 

My reasons for reading specific blogs vary from blog to blog.  On some, it’s the quality of the writing.  On others, the subject matter aligns with my interests.  On still others, it’s the personality of the blogger that keeps me coming back for more.

My favorite blogs?  A combination of the three ~ quality writing, varied and insight-filled posts, and more than a dash of personality and pizzazz!

How about you?  What are your primary reasons for reading the blogs you do?

No rules.  Just write!

Quote:  There is only one trait that marks the writer.  He is always watching.  It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it. ~ Morley Callahan

Related posts:  Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time? * 40 Bloggers to Watch in 2011Blogging: Making First Impressions (My Literary Quest) * The 2011 Sexiest Blog AwardDown The Blog Hole * I Can Name That Theme in 3 Notes *  Great Blogging Tips (WP Daily Post) * Dear John Blogger Letter (Col’s Blog) *  WP Daily Prompt ~ Why Did You Start To Blog?


1. Maggie - February 5, 2011

Great post! I read blogs for all of these reasons, but mostly #2 and #6.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Subject matter is key for me too ~ if the posts address topics of little interest and no value to me, the quality of the writing rarely compels me to stay.

Thanks, Maggie

2. Pseu - February 5, 2011

Why, oh why?

When you sense the blogger you are reading has a certain similar understanding of the world?

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

I like how you put that, Pseu.

If I’m reading and nodding and saying, “Yes. Yes. I quite agree.” ~ I feel an affinity that makes me want to hang around for another glass of wine.

kateshrewsday - February 5, 2011

Absolutely. nail on the head, there, Pseu x

3. postadaychallenge2011 - February 5, 2011

Great post I love it all. I wold love it if you would add me to your blogging buddy list?!~ I blog to help others and gain readers, learn. Oh it all resonates with me.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Welcome to the blogosphere! From your comment, I can’t tell anything about the theme for your blog, so no promises. 🙂

If you want more readers, write posts on your theme. Then, read and post thought-provoking comments on blogs that interest you and tie in with your blog’s theme.

For example, if you post current event pieces using the “news” tag, or humor pieces using the “humor” tag, click on those tags to find other bloggers blogging in your area. Visit them and share your thoughts.

Chances are that many will swing by your blog to see what you’ve been up to.

4. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

Actually, I know that #12 is the reason you read mine, because after all, it WAS named “The World’s Swxiest Blog!”

I read and follow your blog because I like what you have to say, and how you say it – whether I agree with you or not – I enjoy your wit, and find your humor sensibilities to be very in line with mine most of the time, and primarily, I enjoy bantering and agreeing or DISagreeing with an intelligent, open to all views writer/blogger!

Also, it must be said that some of the best blogs I have found that I now follow I got yo through you! So, I am also indebted to you! Thanks, Nancy!

Actually I believe that the reasons for blogging and reading blogs are various combinations of what you enumerated above. I didn’t think that you had guessed that I’m actually a paid agent, however! Sneaky! 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

You are a paid agent! I knew it!

I kept getting this intuitive feeling that whispered: “Remember Julia Child. Tall. Stately. Handsome Woman. A Spy during the war. Not at all what she seemed.” 😉

Now, backtracking ~ thanks for your oh~so~kind comments. Wit, humor, banter, open-minded intelligence . . . we’ve got it all!

Of course, people will be thinking that I was fishing for comments with this post. I was not . . . but if a “gift fish” lands in the blog, I’m not going to toss it back. 🙂

I got to thinking the other day about the time I spend reading and commenting on blogs. That caused me to start this post ~ examining my motivations for following so many blogs.

I remembered when I started blogging, I would post something and then wait. And wait. And wait for someone to visit SLTW. Like sitting at home on a Friday evening hoping that someone comes knocking on the door. I soon realized that my posts could stay home alone while I went out VISITING. Much more fun.

But I recall that quiet period while waiting for a comment to appear. So, when I see that a blogging friend has posted, I often fly around straight away to say something to them.

BTW: You’ve got me pegged on #12. And even though I’ve long since concluded that you are far too sexy for your site . . . I’m going to keep reading your reflections. 😉

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

BTW, as far as “fishing” for compliments – of course you were! Why not? I did! 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Not I, said the little red hen. 🙂

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

Hmmm. . .I just saw that I am the World’s “Swxiest” Blog. I sort of like that – think I’ll keep it. Makes my swxiness all the more intriguing and unique, don’t you think? 😀

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

If you want it, you’ve got to ask for it. And of course, all the compliments and comments I get are the God’s honest truth! The good ones that is.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

I keep adding separate comments because I want to see if I can take up the whole list of “recently commented” spaces with the gorgeous recent photograph of moi.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

Hmmm. . .not yet, but I’m getting there! If only Sidey would get out of the way! (No offense, Sidey!)

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

This one more should do it! 😀

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

Yup! Mission accomplished.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

That is an awesome photo ~ well worth drawing a bit of extra attention! Even if you had to shove Sidey out of the way. 😉

5. nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks, Duke!

6. starbear - February 5, 2011

Good Questions – Thanks for asking. I would say 1-6 for me. Mostly, a place to share and market – combined with giving back – Insights, Inspiration,teaching. Sharing what I love.
Is it the best place? Not sure yet. It is one of many outlets for creativity.
Now, to go visiting. 🙂

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks, Starbear. I feel that most blogs are a combination of several of the reasons on this list.

I enjoy seeing other perspectives and sharing my own. I like reading insights and inspirational messages and viewing gorgeous photos and . . .

I keep adding blogs to my queue. As long as I write first and then go blog-hopping, it works well.

7. Richard W Scott - February 5, 2011

Actually, 8, 9 and 11 are the only reasons from your list that I do NOT read other blogs.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Same here. But I tried to be inclusive in my list, and I like the idea of literary agents and publishers trolling around looking for the next Great American Novelist. 😉

8. Carol Ann Hoel - February 5, 2011

I read blogs that interest me. I may initially wish to keep up with a blog for a multitude of reasons, but before long, I will drop most that write very long posts consistently, or write on subjects that do not hold my attention, or just don’t appeal to me for some reason. Time is precious. I tend to support those who frequent my blog, but this is not a tedious endeavor. If someone consistently comes to my blog, very likely we have some affinity for one another’s views, and, therefore, I naturally find their blogs attractive, too. Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Excellent points, Carol Ann. Like you, I tend to support my readers in their writing endeavors ~ and it’s a joy, not a chore. They’re reading my blog because it appeals to them. And, for like reason, their blogs appeal to me.

I also prefer short and sweet posts, rather than lengthy treatises . . . most of the time.

When I got ready to publish this post, I glanced at the word count and realized it had grown much longer than I first intended. I generally try to keep posts at 500 words or under. This one is closer to 800. I’ll try to be more concise in my next post. 🙂

Thanks, Carol Ann!

Carol Ann Hoel - February 7, 2011

I don’t notice how long a post may be, if I am compelled to continue reading for some reason. 🙂

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Thanks, Carol Ann.

9. Cindy - February 5, 2011

Simple: I sense a ‘connection’ with certain bloggers and I will follow them forever. Don’t know why.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

I sense that same connection and affinity with many/most of the bloggers I follow ~ an intuitive knowingness that we could sit down with a glass of wine and talk for hours about anything and everything.

Stopping only to refill our glasses. {{clink}}

10. crazygoangirl - February 5, 2011

2 & 3 get me started. I can read a blog on a subject that’s not of particular interest if it’s written in an appealing style which usually means laced with humor. Then 5,6 & 7 set in sometimes insidiously and I’m hooked. Fun & curiosity are a given…I love finding new material to read and I like to read about lives similar to mine as well as learn about people with whom I might not have much in common. Everything interests me! Most times I’ve landed up becoming friends with the bloggers I follow regularly and I must confess that although I follow about 20 or so online (haven’t counted), I end up reading my favorite regularly as compared to the others.
Great topic this!

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks for a great comment, crazygoangirl!

Like you, I start out for one reason, then find that another reason keeps me coming back for more. Humor is key to me.

Bloggers that are too serious and somber, or who brag all the time about their self-perceived expertise, or who whine incessantly about minor issues, lose me as a reader in short order.

I love to laugh and look on the bright side of life and want to read blog posts that remind me to do just that.


11. kateshrewsday - February 5, 2011

I’ve made great friends, irreplaceable really. But I’ve also felt my world broaden: I lived through thanksgiving with my American friends for the first time, and experienced a vicarious Summer with the South African Contingent: even got a hotline to a Dublin hostelry. Wonders will never cease.

Visiting the right blogs opens our minds, I think 🙂

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

So true, Kate! I’ve learned so much about South Africa from Cindy, Sidey, Naomi, etc., and I get a peak at England and Wales and Ireland from other blogging friends ~ like YOU!

It reminds me to broaden my horizons and embrace diversity. I now tend to remember that when it is night HERE, it is day THERE ~ and that the Winter HERE is Summer THERE.

So very cool!

I’m very pleased that blogging did not exist when I attended college ~ if I had, my four year degree would have taken sixteen years to realize. I would have been too side-tracked to attend classes, write papers, and pass exams. 🙂

12. Tokeloshe - February 5, 2011

Excellent post!

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks, Tokeloshe!

I’m running out at the moment, but I’ll swing by your blog in the not too distant future.

13. viewfromtheside - February 5, 2011

For some, the style, for some, they are friends, for some, I really don’t know, except I keep going back

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

It’s our unlimited, outlandish, aadn consistently humorous wit(s), lovely, heartfelt, gut-wrenching stories and/or confessions, distinctive style(s), and general all-around greatness that draws you in, I’m sure! At least, that’s what draws me back to yours again and again, Sidey! Same for Nancy – but I’ve already told her that! 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks, Sidey. I’m sure I can’t top Paula’s response. She’s on a roll today! 🙂

14. oldancestor - February 5, 2011

All of the above?

What often happens is I start following one blog, and then I see regular readers who leave interesting or amusing comments, so I check out those blogs, and it just expands from there.

When I got into blogging last April, it was because I had gotten laid off and needed to vent my frustration though humor. I also felt pretty invisible and wanted people to know I still existed. I got re-employed in June, but I was already hooked on it and continue to post.

What I didn’t expect was that I’d discover this blogging community full of talented writers and people with so many interesting, intelligent, and diverse views.

Lately, I’ve been having fun just searching on random subjects in wordpress and seeing who is out there and what they are saying.

And, on an unrelated note, this is the longest comment I’ve ever left that didn’t include a joke in it somewhere.


nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Excellent comment! I agree. I started looking around, not expecting to find much to hold my attention and . . . SHAZAM!!

I might have to follow your lead and search out random subjects on wordpress to see what’s being said and by whom.

15. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

You ruined my “commented on” string with your comment to me! Oh well! It is your blog, after all! 😀

Glad you like the photo. It’s one of the few of me that I really like (therefore it must look exactly like me!) – unfortunately, that one was taken more than 35 years ago! 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Sorry about that, Sweet Cheeks!

So, you’re rather “chatty” today ~ you and Sonya getting along better?

And I do like the new old photo.

16. jannatwrites - February 6, 2011

This was an interesting post – and a comprehensive list of reasons, too! I visit 10 blogs a day on average. (If I get a comment from one that’s not on my radar, I’ll go check it out.) This could be why I’m slow going on my other writing…

I know you said you’re not fishing, but I stop by here several times a week because I like your humor, wit, frankness and your ‘go with the flow’ attitude.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Wow. Thanks, Janna. That’s a lovely comment to find on a cloudy (dreary) Sunday morning.
I enjoy your posts for the same/similar reasons ~ wit, humor, and sass-appeal. 🙂

17. granny1947 - February 6, 2011

Hi NR…also for a variety of reasons…but I have a penchant for the ones that make me laugh.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Yes. I enjoy posts that make me laugh and smile. Like you, I prefer light-hearted anecdotes that encourage readers to view human foibles with amusement rather than condemnation.

I try to avoid posts, books, movies, and news which erode my optimism which show the darker side of human nature with no “light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thanks, Granny! Your posts make me smile.

18. Piglet in Portugal - February 6, 2011

Great post!

I subscribe to about 30 blogs since the WordPress challenge and enjoy reading a variety of posts on a wide range of topics. I update my Blogroll regulary and like to connect with like minded people.

Friendship and Giving Back is what I look for in a fellow blogger.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Today’s prompt (could you survive without the internet?) caused me to pause.

Could I? What would I do for entertainment? Return to the TV? Read books without the opportunity for interaction with the author? Write without the opportunity for interaction with readers.

I’m sure I could survive, and even thrive (in time) . . . but only after the withdrawal symptoms subsided. 🙂

Thanks, Piglet!

19. Piglet in Portugal - February 6, 2011

Today’s prompt made me think 🙂 Yes, I could survive without the internet by losing myself in my garden, photograpy, and painting. I would definitely read more books as blogging has tended to replace this activity.
However,I hope this is never put to the test though 🙂

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Maybe I shall attempt a one-day internet fast, and build up my stamina from there.

Piglet in Portugal - February 6, 2011

Good idea! I had a couple of days of fasting when I went to my Mothers. I tried using a Dongle but paint would dry faster!

20. Julie - February 7, 2011

Most of the blogs I read right now are educational – on the craft of writing, the market (agents, editors, etc.), and author blogs. My favorites, however, are the ones written by friends like you, whom I feel I have come to know and enjoy a genuine connection with.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Thanks, Julie. I feel the same way.

Seeing “Gratitude Sunday” return this week made me happy. It’s a fun way to see what’s going well in your life ~ knowing that others are happy always makes me happier.

21. classyrose - March 3, 2011

Excellent points made!

I read blogs for just about all of the reasons you’ve listed except I’m not a literary agent or a publisher looking for untapped talent. 🙂

nrhatch - March 3, 2011

Thanks, Rose. I wanted to be inclusive. 😀

And thanks for your interview of PiP.

22. classyrose - March 3, 2011

Thanks but I didn’t do the interview. I just republished it to give PiP some extra exposure.

I like doing what I can to promote other blogs. 🙂

nrhatch - March 3, 2011

You rock!

23. CMSmith - November 29, 2011

Wow. That pretty much says it all.

nrhatch - November 29, 2011

That’s why I posted links to your queries, rather than typing it all out in the comment box. 😀

24. aawwa - October 17, 2012

Thanks for the link to this blog. I don’t think I read it first time around. I enjoy our conversations and your comments – thank you!

nrhatch - October 17, 2012

Same here. Thanks, aawwa.

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