How Many Blogs?

Blogging about Blogging

How many blogs do you follow? And how many do you read?

I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on blogs; a minimum of 2 hours a day, and sometimes much more. I decided to take a closer look at how many blogs I follow, read and comment on.

Since my platform is WordPress, I use the WordPress Reader as a blog feed. I subscribe to 41 blogs through WP. I subscribe to another 40 non-WP blogs through Bloglovin, for a total of 81 subscriptions. A few blogs I get through both readers to make sure I never miss a post. I don’t do any by email or Facebook.

Of the 81, I calculated that I read every post by 30 of the bloggers, and most of the posts by another 20. Of those, there are 20-25 blogs that I comment on regularly, and the authors read my posts and comment back. You are my Blog Friends: thank you! There are another 25 or so that I comment on occasionally, but the authors don’t necessarily visit my blog, and that’s OK.

The rest of the blogs I read occasionally and rarely comment on, but I stay subscribed to show my support.

I had a look at what my blog subscriptions were about.

  • Home (House, Garden, Food, Relationships, Family): 32
  • Crafts, Decor, DIY: 3
  • Daily Journals: 6
  • Daily Photos: 2
  • Musings about Life (other than above topics): 9
  • Personal Finance: 11
  • Transgender Issues: 8
  • Healthy Living (fitness and vegetarian): 3
  • Other: 7

I realize that lots of bloggers post about multiple topics – I like to think I do, too – but I reduced everybody to one of the above πŸ™‚

I estimate there are about a dozen blogs that I used to follow. The top reasons I unsubscribe to blogs are:

  • Despite frequent commenting, I get minimal replies
  • The author uses their blog as a forum for complaining. Everyone needs to whine sometimes, but I don’t choose to read daily doses of negativity
  • The authors brag or call attention to themselves in a way that irritates me (rather subjective, because I don’t mind a strong dose of self-esteem at all!)
  • I find out that the author’s religious or political beliefs clash with mine in a way that isn’t respectful or enriching
  • The author is in a very different place in their life than I am, and I can’t relate to it (for example, as an empty-nester, I don’t read many “mommy blogs” by women with young children)

As for the followers of my blog, you are an interesting assortment of people!

I have 31 followers on Facebook, 23 through email and 9 through Bloglovin. I know only 12 personally! And there are 10 people who subscribe more than one way.

Of 255 WordPress followers, I probably interact with 25. I don’t know if the rest read my posts or not. For those who subscribed and don’t read my posts, I can think of two reasons: sometimes people subscribe because they liked the topic of a recent post (such as “clothes inventory”) and they are hoping I write about that all the time. And some have their own agendas, mainly trying to attract readers to their blogs.

The bloggers trying to increase their own readership or traffic tend to be:

  • bloggers who post about blog income, blog traffic, how to leave the work force, motivation, or productivity
  • authors establishing a readership for their short stories or poetry
  • and sometimes niche writers in the areas of travel, fashion, fitness, food writing, and so on

When someone comments on or follows my blog, I always check out their blog, but I don’t automatically follow back. I know it’s the courteous thing to do, but I’m not looking for big numbers – I am hoping to get to know a smaller number of people well! If I followed everyone who followed me, the posts by my Real Blogger Friends would get lost in the feed and I would lose touch with the people who take time to interact.

It all comes down to why we blog and why we read blogs.

I blog because I like my circle of Blog Friends and it creates a community that makes me feel warm and fuzzy! And also because once-upon-a-time I imagined myself as a writer, and it enables me to keep up that illusion. I try not to give advice. I read blogs because I like to stay in touch with a community of like-minded people, and a few who challenge my way of thinking. I can also share things semi-anonymously that I would hesitate to share with real-life friends. And while I don’t read blogs to seek advice, sometimes I absorb some helpful ideas, whether I’m looking for them or not!

And my secret agenda? Yes, I have one. As a humanist, I like to write about my world view and see if others relateΒ to it.

Tell me a little bit about your subscriptions and/or followers!

44 comments

  1. I subscribe to 16 blogs in Blogger. There are a few I check randomly, but don’t have in my feed. Of the 16, 10ish post regularly, and I try to comment on all of them. If I find that I’m not relating to the author anymore or they are going in a different direction than I came for, then I’ll unsubscribe. For example, when I was a new mom, I followed a lot of mommy blogs. Now I follow very few bloggers that even have kids! I really like keeping my list small.

    As for my blog, I only know of one follower (at least that shows up in Blogger). When I was a “bigger” blogger, I was REALLY obsessed with the stats. Now, I just write to keep me accountable, but enjoy the interactions of those who choose to read. Blogging has allowed me to make friends that I truly rely on. I actually met a blogging friend this past week, and I was SO happy to do it. I definitely love the community blogging grows πŸ™‚

  2. So interesting – I’ve always wondered how many blogs you read!! As I’ve posted, I have some that come via email and the rest are bookmarked in Google Chrome, which I can access anywhere.

    There’s a long list of blogs reserved for weekend reading, either because they post less often or interest me less. Occasionally I lose a blog though via emails or bookmarks failing, like Lois

    Off wordpress, I get no follows which I prefer to “follower hunters”.

    I wonder which category I fit into!?!

  3. EcoCatLady

    Wow! That’s a lot of reading… I’m duly impressed. I probably have about 50-60 blogs in my reading list, but I’d say about half of them are either defunct or else the author only posts every once in a blue moon. There are about 30 who post regularly, and I probably read about a dozen faithfully. Like you, I’m mostly in it for the sense of community. I also enjoy having a forum to blather anonymously about random stuff… not really sure why the anonymity matters to me – you know all those touchy topics I write about like dishes and slipcovers! πŸ™‚ I dunno… I guess it’s just nice to have people to bounce ideas off of who don’t necessarily have a preconceived notion of me.

    • LOL on the “deeply personal” random topics! It’s funny, though – I would never tell my co-workers that I have done a home inventory or that I track everything I spend – I don’t want them to know I’m that weird πŸ™‚ My Blog Friends get it, though!

  4. I read far too many but I think it is a better way to spend my spare time than playing Candy crush or watching the goggle box x

  5. I subscribe to 33 blogs via Feedly…I read all of the posts, but there are some I skim read! I find having a blog reader means I waste less time obsessively checking for updates…thought I probably check up more often than I should..

  6. I read about 10. I drop into other blogs, mainly via comments on blogs I regularly visit. But I just can’t dedicate more time – and I think to get the feel and connection with a blogger I have to read the posts regularly. Three I read regularly but they never drop by my site, or if they do they never comment. But I find them interesting, so keep dropping by. Six blogs I make regular comments on, and they on my blog. Those are the ones I miss when I don’t “hear” from for a while, or if they take a little break. One blogger I think is very funny and read regularly, but, as much as I’d like her to like me, I’m clearly not her type.

    And I’m on a forum which I read every day. It moves quickly and I post quite a bit on there.

    You’re clearly an organised blog reader. I don’t think I could keep track of many more. And I’m trying to re-train my brain to read more lengthy things, like books, as reading posts seems to have made me less able to concentrate for long.

    • Isn’t it funny when we try to make a Blog Friend and they don’t reciprocate? Sometimes I feel like I am standing at the playground wailing, “Why won’t you be my friend?” Luckily it is easy to imagine lots of reasons why it might not be personal. And of course, they don’t see my humiliation. If you really want to ruin your brain for reading longer works, you should spend most of your time on YouTube – that does the trick!

  7. I have cut down the number of blogs I follow a couple of weeks ago, and it gives me a lot of rest to be honest. There were a lot of blogs I followed since I came on WordPress and grew out of, there were blogs I followed out of courtesy because they started following me. Lately I hardly follow people back when they follow me, since it more often than not are blogs I have no interest in. With having a lot of things I want and need to do, I do not have the time to scroll through hundreds of blogposts that I do not want to read πŸ˜‰

    To be honest, I often think about writing my blog in Dutch only. Many of my readers are Dutch anyway. On the other hand, it would be a shame to lose nice commenting readers like you πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Alynia! I noticed a Dutch post in my feed from you this week. If you do that, I could always use Google translator! I like the idea of growing out of some blogs. When I first started reading blogs, I wanted to know about personal finance and Real Food, but now I know quite a lot about those topics and I don’t seek them out any more.

      • Yes, sometimes we’ve learned enough about a certain topic πŸ™‚ I did notice that it is easier to keep reading a blog when I started to like the writer as a person though

  8. I follow 60+ blogs with Feedly, but admit I often don’t read every post. It seems I fall into a blog portal sometimes and end up adding new blogs (such as this one!) that I somehow stumble across and catch my eye. There is a good variety in what kind of blogs I read: simplicity, frugality, finance, philosophy, fashion, cooking… I only started a blog just to have a place to suss out my authentic self; having a big readership isn’t the point for me. Though it is nice to bump into like-minded people. πŸ™‚

  9. Fiona

    I follow nearly 60 blogs in Feedly. However, there’s only about 10 that I regularly comment on and they comment back. Quite a few are ‘blogger magazine’ type blogs – huge blogs with enormous followings, so I read them but don’t comment and I also often skim-read this big ones. I still have my blog set as unindexed to search engines. I don’t think I want lots of random comments and followers that I would feel obliged to follow back!

    My categories are: personal finance, organising, local Aussie bloggers, a couple of ‘mummy bloggers’ and still a favourite: ‘ex-pat’ blogs (acquired when we almost moved to Canada – now I just like reading the life stories of people who up-end their lives to move elsewhere.) I do really love the ‘community’ of blogging and the semi-anonymity of posting.

    • I indexed my blog so that if anyone stumbled across it and remembered a little bit about it, like “exacting,” they might be able to find it again. Although the content is indexed, it doesn’t get many hits. For example, once a while someone will visit after looking up “avocado sandwich”! But I have definitely not been inundated! In my HOME category I have included organizing, cooking, simple and frugal living and “environmentalism at home”.

  10. I follow 50 on Bloglovin’, nearly all personal finance and nearly all personal stories.
    I switched my reading from one account to another recently and culled a few from the list. When you’re skimming past a lot of posts and/or not having time to read your favourites, then it’s time to reduce the numbers.

    I don’t subscribe to sites that do a lot of whining or ranting either. We all have problems/issues occasionally, but I like my blog reading (and my own blog/s) to be of a positive nature lol.

    I haven’t mentioned the amount of bookmarked home design sites I have…it’s a lot! I dip in and out of them instead of subscribing – it’s easier.

    I love the community of blogging and my blog friends πŸ™‚

    • Good point, Laura – all the sites I read have personal stories, too. I don’t read any professional sites that are written like a magazine (or that are likely to become a book, although you never know!)

      I bookmark sites about art and architecture, and travel info for upcoming trips (places to visit, restaurants, etc.)

  11. Juhli

    I too read a lot of blogs and a variety of them. I don’t subscribe but rather bookmark them or know that I like all the ones on a blogs list of favorites and peruse the topics of the day there before choosing what to read. I tend to read blogs that are by similar age writers as well as the topics are more relevant although right now I am “hooked” on some frugal living blogs based in Great Britain too. I enjoy the give and take with the blog writers.

  12. Lane

    I don’t blog, but enjoy the blogs I’ve discovered in the last few years. I started after reading about a blog in the NYT related to a store I used to shop frequently; this lead to following some bloggers who blog about more than the material world, whose values and insights interest me. I used to follow more finance blogs than I do now, for a similar reason to you– I feel I could write most of them! I follow more Canadian blogs than American though I’m the later. Several authors are email friends now and at least one will visit this summer– exciting! I think I found your blog through a comment you left on a British frugality blog; I tend to be a “counter” too. I just bookmark as I am technologically challenged ( I could not tell you if I am “following” you or not? I mean to…). I would love to find a source for becoming more adept at technology, if you, as a librarian, know one!

  13. Tina

    I follow thirty eight blogs either on Bloglovin or through email. The categories for me are no waste, frugal or living simply, vegan, health, organizing and a couple of miscellaneous ones. I love reading my blogs. It’s one of the first things I do every morning. Your blog is one of my favorites! You always discuss interesting topics.

    • Thanks, Tina! Are you vegan? I still do dairy, but we have more vegan meals now. I read blogs every day over breakfast, too!

      • Tina

        I am mostly vegan. I have never been able to give up cheese and eggs 100% but I try not to eat it more than 1-2 times a week. 😊

  14. Before I read this post I followed 68 blogs but now I follow 61, having been inspired to weed them out a bit! The vast majority are other librarians’ blogs but I also follow some book reviewers, primary teachers and crafters. Like you I enjoy the small community of blogging friends I have now and after blogging for a few months I’m becoming less obsessed with the statistics! My blog is a lot less personal than yours (although I’m sure my personal beliefs and obsessions creep in) but I love reading about the life and views of a fellow humanist librarian!

  15. Hi Dar – what an interesting post (as always) but this one I noticed just as I was shutting down my computer for the evening. Truth is I fell asleep at 9pm for a couple of hours – I have had an exhausting week but I just had to read to the end of your post before going to bed!! I had to go and check in my wordpress reader for the number I follow – it is 41 though I have many more bookmarked and dip in and out of especially art, craft and gardening and funnily enough a lot of the sites I visit keep or have kept chickens (maybe there is a subconscious draw there!)
    I find it challenging trying to keep up with all you prolific writers and some evenings I find I read and comment with no time to post myself but I like to comment to develop that special relationship you get through bloggin as it is through the interaction that you get to know someone really well. I read a wide range of different blogs even vintage, though my site would probably have little to interest them but theirs satisfies a little part of me that likes old and retro. I would love to read and comment more but I have to restrict myself and I do like the circle of blog friends I have ‘grown up’ with over the past two years since I began but hope no one feels they now have to comment on mine out of politeness.
    As for my followers – what a mixed bunch and I say that in a nice way and when I visit their sites I often wonder why my site is of interest to them. I too am not interested in huge numbers although a blog just tends to grow naturally and each day I notice in my stats that there is someone reading ‘about me’ which always means a new visitor – probably wondering who this sad person is!!
    I would dearly love to meet with my blog friends and I know I wouldn’t be disappointed – each one of them has something special that drew me to them and their blogs in the first place – you can be yourself completely with a blog and people still seem to like you even if they have quite different lifestyles we obviously have something in common that keeps us reading. Oh and of course I am quite nosy too and like to know what is going on in everyones life!!!
    PS My hubby is curious to know what is in your ‘other’ category LOL!

    • I often find blogs by chicken keepers – I think they are representative of eco-living and urban farming and all the things we like! In fact, I just subscribed to “paidbychickens.” You’re right about the nosiness – I would never ask in real life what I ask of my blogger friends! I’m afraid my Other category might be a disappointment – it includes books, libraries, lists, technology, and one blog called Dollars and Sex (I know the author – that is my story and I’m sticking to it!)

      • The Dollar and Sex blog sounds interesting – it might just have confirmed his suspicions LOL !!
        I used to find time for the ‘planner’ blogs like Philofaxy – even though I love mine and stationery I am intrigued as to how you can try out a new planner or insert page or pen everyday and write about it – though in blogland just about anything is possible to write about. Have you come across any of the Nail Polish blogs – a big following there!
        Have a good weekend we are heading up to Scotland for a blog free one.

      • I only recently found out about people with beautiful Filofaxes – here in North America the usual brand is Day Timer, and they tend not to get fancied up too much. I keep quite a plain page-a-day calendar. I didn’t know there were nail polish blogs, but I have seen occasional nail polish posts on fashion blogs, so I’m not surprised! Enjoy your weekend!

  16. I follow about 100 blogs, but many of them are inactive – a lot of people drop their blogs after a couple of months. When I started blogging I read the butch, transgender, ftm, femme, and genderqueer tagged posts in the reader looking for any well written and/or intelligent bloggers to follow. I don’t comment a lot unless I feel I have something to add.

    I have a lot of followers, many of whom are bogus (digital printers in borneo?), and some who picked me up when I was fresh pressed. I have a theory that they figured out how to alphabetize by blog title, and since mine begins with an “a” I get a lot of people following hoping I’ll follow them or something.

    I spend about 30-45 minutes a day reading (I still troll the reader by topic), and about 10 hours writing/preparing one post a week. I’m a slow writer for posting (too fast and sloppy on comments) and I like to check my facts. My dog thinks I spend way too much time on the computer.

    • I really do have to laugh at some of the bogus blogs. The fact they keep being created must mean they have some small measure of success (like spam).

      I write some short posts which take me about 4 hours, and some long ones with research which take about 8 hours. I’m really slow at photo uploading, editing and resizing!

  17. I follow 89 blogs via Feedly. I had even more on Google Reader (RIP Google Reader. I miss you.) topics range from simplicity/minimalism, home decor, green, finance, and work related. I find using a reader makes it much easier and quicker to follow a lot of blogs. There I are probably 15 or so I read almost every post, the others I skim for the most interesting stuff.

    I am not so great at commenting on others posts or their comments on my blog. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy both, but I only comment if I have something more than “great post, totally agree to say. Plus commenting on the iPad can be painful.

    • I read far more blogs now that I use a reader instead of bookmarking, but it saves me the time of re-checking for new content or clicking through emails. I don’t worry if I have something to add to a conversation or not – I know as a blogger that I am just grateful for confirmation that someone is reading πŸ™‚

  18. I checked my feedly and found I subscribe to 43 blogs. It doesn’t seem like that many! They’re sorted into family (bloggers who post a lot about their family experiences), food (recipe blogs mostly), frugal (personal finance), green (environmentally friendly posts), home (decor or renovations), reading (mostly book reviews), and other (a catch-all). Blogger tells me I have 4 followers and Bloglovin’ says I have 11 πŸ™‚ I clean out my feedly every year or so because I do find I outgrow or lose interest in some blogs.

    I comment on most of the 43, because I enjoy the conversation and like you mentioned, getting comments means so much to me on my blog! πŸ™‚

  19. I follow far too many. But it’s winter and it is my entertainment. πŸ˜‰ I comment on anything I read that moves me and others like yours where I like to make my opinion known. lol

  20. This really is interesting…I follow you through bloglovin! On bloglovin, I follow 114 blogs!! Of those, I read only about 20 blogs more regularly, these are in a separate group. These are blogs that I feel I have some connection with – either with the author or the content. On bloglovin, I have 30 followers. I know two of those personally. Some of the others are the bloggers I feel connected to and there are a few that I am pretty sure only followed me so I would follow them back! It is a shame that happens really! But I confess, I do fall into that trap, I just don’t read them regularly.

    • I knew that being a blogger would require some self-discipline but I didn’t predict I’d need to be organized just to read all the blogs I like! It makes me happy, though!

  21. A while back I was commenting on WordPress blogs but my comments were getting lost in the ether so I gave up commenting. But I DO read your blog and really appreciate your comments on mine. Here’s trying again!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Sorry about that! I just figured out that if the first part of an email address matches the second part of an email address too closely, it always gets flagged as spam, because that is the same address format that bots use. I will see if I can add you to safe senders!

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