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What’s Your Blog-Reading Style?

February 25, 2012

This is curiosity and this is research . . .

a strong sense of duty by heidi hengel

Back story:

This is a not-for-profit blog (as of now). I have a full-time job and a calendar of commitments for miles (like everyone). Once in a while, I just want to spend time with Nicky, or read a book, or doodle. So sometimes – often, lately – I will go several days without posting. Maybe even a week. And then I feel guilty. I feel like I’m falling behind. I feel like I’m letting you down.

Which got me thinking:

This is what often happens to me . . . I’ll go several days without having time to check up on my RSS. Then I’ll find a random 15 minutes to go see what everyone is up to. When I scan down the list of my favorite blogs, I’ll see some that have two new posts and some that have, say, 25 new posts. Almost always, I’ll click on the blogs that have fewer new posts and really read those posts. I might even comment on those posts. I hate to admit this, but when I get somewhere that has 25 or more new posts, I usually do a very quick scan. I’ll skim through the info and stop if I see something super-enticing (and skimming isn’t very reliable – I know I’m missing out on some great stuff). I don’t know why I do this . . . maybe subconsciously I think that fewer posts equals more precious posts?

stumped by heidi hengel

Anyway, I thought, “Perhaps I’m not the only person who reads like this,” and “Maybe it’s okay that I don’t post every day (or three times a day). Maybe I’m not a let-down after all.”

So I’m wondering, what is your blog-reading style? Are you a skimmer or do you really read through every post? Do you get overwhelmed when you see a ton of new posts in your reader? How much is too much, and what is too little? Do you prefer that a blogger posts daily, weekly, multiple times a day – or doesn’t it matter at all? I am oh-so-curious to hear what y’all have to say about this . . .

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    February 25, 2012 7:11 pm

    I do not have a blog, but I do like reading them,and I dont respond very often. However decide is ok with me. I do appreciate, that the blogs i do read goes to my email,cause I can not remember all the blogs I like to read. Lol

  2. February 25, 2012 7:25 pm

    I have been somewhat curious about this sort of thing too! I have never posted more than 2 or 3 times a week and more often once each week. I have always been and will always be a not for profit blog except for a link to my own etsy shop. I like to write and I like to ‘show and tell’ so I write, not to please others or to entice them to buy something, just because I like to write. Read me or don’t…

    And I do prefer, fewer posts, Each blog has its individuality but if I have to take an hour of my time catching up, because I do read throughly, I will only read the most recent and go onto the next blog in my RSS feed. I just don’t have the time to spend reading hundreds of posts nor to write daily or multiple times a day — I can’t work that fast. And I wonder sometimes if the for profit blogs are operated by one or are there are multiple contributors? I prefer one author and that is why I don’t much care for Martha Stewart, she is not really the creator. There are nameless others who have great ideas but all the credit is to one personality.

    • February 25, 2012 7:33 pm

      I’m glad to hear your thoughts. So often I hear or read, “you must post at least once a day to be ‘successful’ and to stay interesting.” Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed — both by the writing standard as well as the reading standard. I have a mix of sites I read — ones written by individuals as well as conglomerate and multiple-author sites. Usually, the conglomerate sites get super-skimmed . . . and I’ve even deleted some from my feed because I was getting stressed seeing that I missed 100 posts since I last checked it.

  3. February 25, 2012 8:41 pm

    I am a blogger myself and there is no way I can post everyday. I have a husband and two kids to care for and I just can’t find that much to blog about. I do try to read my favorite blogs as often as possible but like you there are times when I find myself skimming. Hope thus answers your questions.

  4. February 25, 2012 8:42 pm

    I’m definetly a “less is more” person. There are blogs I read that will post more than 1x a day and a sometimes do even less than skim them. I totally think 1x a week is great! If you find something so inspirational that you post more , that’s great. I’ve read blogs longer than I have blogged and it seems that folks who do more tend to burn out much quicker. Now if I could just get into the 1x a week blog habit I would be doing great. ;)

  5. February 25, 2012 8:48 pm

    Wow! So far, these responses are both surprising and reassuring . . . Glad I’m not alone here!

  6. February 25, 2012 8:51 pm

    I’m also in the group of liking to read blogs that don’t post a million times a day. To me, one can make a blog TOO busy with fifty different things going on, 10-20 posts per day, it just gets a little overwhelming. From the ones I read too, it seems those who post a few times a week really think about the content of those posts and they spend the time constructing them to be interesting. I also have to say I enjoy those who make their blog their own. People all too often apologize for writing about family/friends/pets/life events in a craft blog when they shouldn’t. Family/friends/pets/life events are among the many reasons people craft so it relates more than people give credit I think :). On that note, I’m totally getting off on a random tangent that could turn into a novel so I should slowly step away from the keyboard hehe.

    • February 25, 2012 9:48 pm

      Agree, agree, agree. I love getting little glimpses into “real life.” Oddly (or maybe not), the people I follow usually come to feel like friends, so I love that sort of thing . . . hope that doesn’t sound too stalker-y!

  7. craftgirl78 permalink
    February 26, 2012 5:16 am

    I read my feeds in Google Reader. I click on “all items” and then open each post. I start reading the post, and if it fails to hold my attention then I move on to the next one. Evidently, yours held my attention to the end!

    • February 26, 2012 10:04 am

      Oh, thank you, Shelly! That’s interesting — I also use Google Reader, but I’ll look on the left sidebar at individual blogs, see who’s posted, and click to read from there. I might try your way and see if it works better for me.

  8. February 26, 2012 6:48 am

    Like you, I catch up on blog reading & writing, when I have a few spare moments. Which lately isn’t that often, but with everything else, I’ll always choose quality over quantity.

    • February 26, 2012 10:01 am

      That’s a good point . . . quality over quantity.

  9. February 26, 2012 11:29 am

    Some of my favorite blogs post very sporadically, but they remain my favorite, for when the do post it’s like a special treasure and I always enjoy the few minutes I can sit and really take in their writing. I get the desire to post each day and to have things that are NEW and EXCITING and what-not, but I found myself skimming through posts that are more fluff and less content. I like to have a good dose of thoughtful words to chew on.

    • February 26, 2012 11:31 am

      Totally — I get a little excited when I see a new post from someone who hasn’t posted in a while!

  10. February 26, 2012 1:54 pm

    It is unreal if somebody writes 20 posts a day, nobody going to read them, not me for sure. I think 2-3 times a week is the best. Depends why someone has a blog, what he/she wants to achieve. More readers, better businesses, profit from sponsors ?

    • February 26, 2012 2:01 pm

      That’s true — if this was a for-profit blog, I’d definitely want to be posting way more frequently.

  11. February 26, 2012 5:09 pm

    i’m new to the blogging world, but i’ve found that i prefer bloggers who compose one great post less frequently than bloggers who post less meaningful ones more often. you can tell when someone has spent time on their post and their photos. to me, quality is far more important than quantity.

    • February 26, 2012 5:53 pm

      I feel the same. These comments are all so similar — I totally thought I would get the opposite response!

  12. February 27, 2012 7:55 am

    it’s reassuring for me, too, because i’ll always be part of the ‘less is more’ camp :)

  13. February 28, 2012 8:56 am

    I read through my google read, I click on all items, and recently I’ve been clicking on “sort by magic” as seeing really old posts stresses me out (as does seeing 750 unread posts!), I scroll at the speed of light through much of them and generally the ones I stop to read properly and even pop over to comment on, are the ones who blog a few times a week or less. The blogs that blog several times a day seem to be full of sponsored post rubbish and stuff like that.

    On a more personal note, I also scroll quickly through posts about people taking a walk, the flowers they have in their house, their pets, children/grandchildren/holidays and especially food. I agree, every blogger can write about whatever they like but these posts hold NO interest for me at all, (especially pictures from a walk they took which seem to pop up a lot). I do like snippets of personal information, but that’s it! But each to their own and I’m not saying people shouldn’t blog about these things if they want to!

  14. Phoebe permalink
    February 28, 2012 3:11 pm

    This is a great question! Thanks for starting the conversation.

    I usually read blogs/drift through my google reader at work as a way to take mind-breaks. Sometimes I read full posts, sometimes I skim, sometimes I just look at the pictures :^). It all depends on my mood. I find I prefer blogs that don’t abbreviate their content on the Google reader feed. I also find that I prefer blogs that don’t post every single day, but more than once per week.

    On the writing end, I post to my blog three times a week, weekdays only (I usually do my writing on the weekend.) It’s been my goal to write four posts per week to create a backlog of posts. I think I’ve been about 30% successful with this. When it works, when I can make the time, it’s great! I found this tip through the SimpleDollar (which actually a blog about personal finance: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/building-a-better-blog/).

    • February 28, 2012 3:38 pm

      Gah! I don’t like the abbreviated content, either — I’m so glad you mentioned that. I think I feel about the same as you on all accounts here. I’m off to check that link. Thanks so much!

  15. March 1, 2012 1:57 pm

    Agreed, thank you for starting this conversation! I wish hobby bloggers would place less emphasis on posting every day; when I got started, the fact that I didn’t post every day made me feel immensely guilty. But a post-a-day takes away from important personal and crafting time — time that’s so precious when you have a full time job too!

    I check my reader about once every other week; since I got an iPad, I haven’t found a reader I really love. So, I mostly read posts when friends tweet about them or link up through a linky party. I do “babysit” my reader though, and if someone doesn’t post for more than 3 weeks, I take them off the list.

    I think it’s important to reassess your goals when thinking through a question like this. Is your goal to have readers return every day? Or is your goal to share when life really excites you? Do you blog for yourself or to inspire others? No need to cater to any blogging practices that don’t help you reach your goals!

    • March 1, 2012 5:43 pm

      “But a post-a-day takes away from important personal and crafting time — time that’s so precious when you have a full time job too!”

      Um, VERY well said, Kristina. You make very strong points here, all. And, I totally agree that your own personal goals have a lot to do with how often you post and what you post . . . now I just have to get myself clear about what my real goals are :)

  16. tisha permalink
    March 4, 2012 7:31 pm

    less is more

  17. March 9, 2012 9:08 am

    wow, I am so glad I found this post. I just recently started blogging and have really been in debate about how often I post. Right now I post about twice a week, but so many of the “big time” blogs post so often I worry thats what I would have to do to keep up. But I dont want my blogging to be stressful for me, its supposed to be a fun, creative outlet right? So it’s so refreshing to read how many agree that 2-3 times a week is not only acceptable but preferred. Quality over quantity, less is more, thoughtfulness over rushed filler content. Thanks so much!

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