Wednesday, November 17

Bloglists and Followers

Isn't it great to see a new member appear on your followers' list but do you ever wonder whether all the people on the list are still following your blog?  I'm really very envious of those of you who have followers numbering over 100 - wonder if I'll ever achieve that magic number? Sometimes, I can be guilty of forgetting to join the followers list on other blogs that I enjoy, but over winter I hope I can rectify this.

Even though I may forget to become a follower, I do try and add all the blogs that I have enjoyed visiting to my two bloglists. I have one for GB blogs and another for ones with authors outside of the UK. This is set up so the order changes whenever a new post is made so that I don't miss everyone's latest posts. I have found lots of the blogs I enjoy from other people's bloglists but I'm always on the look out for new blogs to add to mine. Hopefully over winter I'll have a bit more time to browse.

Then there are the blogs on my list that haven't been updated for quite a while. Maybe bloggers are too busy gardening, maybe they have other things which are demanding their time or that they prefer to do, maybe they are ill, maybe they are away from home or maybe they have given up blogging or even gardening altogether. Writing a blog may not be for everyone so maybe some decide they prefer just to read other people's blogs and why not?

So how long after a blog seems to be inactive do you decide it is time to remove it from your bloglist? It's not something I like the idea of doing but lists can get too long. Another problem is if my visitors - like me - use bloglists to find new blogs maybe they are frustrated if links take them to blogs that haven't been updated for a long time.

Then there are comments - I love receiving comments from other gardeners, allotmenteers or anyones else really. I try to respond to every one. Many are really helpful and others just confirm that there are people 'out there' who actually read what I have to say and enjoy the same sort of thing as I do.

I know there are also readers who don't want to make a comment and that is just fine too. For some it is just a matter of feeling that there is nothing to say but sometimes for a new visitor it can almost feel as though they are gate-crashing a private party. (I sometimes feel a bit like that when I visit a new blog and most of the contributors seem to have been posting comments on one another's blogs for ages).

If anyone out there reading my blog feels that way then please don't - everyone is really welcome to join in and post a message - even if it is just to say hello. It's always exciting to have a comment from someone new just as it it great to build up a group of 'blog friends'. Comments that aren't as welcome are the sneaky ones that are just there to advertise some product or link to a website that has nothing to do with the topics being written about.

If you think there is a blog - maybe it's yours - that I  have not yet found and you think I would like then I'd love to hear about it.

By the way don't forget to enter the competition - just a couple of days left.


  1. Very nice post!
    I know perfectly how you feel. I love receiving comments and seeing the list of followers increase. And, although I must admit I haven't done a proper blogroll, I do put a lot of effort into reading every blog who follows mine and put comments on every blog that commented on mine, even if they only did it once.

    Is great to see how one's efforts of reach out payback, and to get to know a lot of interesting people from all over the world.

    And also, I am so glad that even tho I am a newcomer into the gardening blogging world, I have found a lot of people who have give me a very nice welcome, and made me feel part of their group.

    Thank you very much because you are one of them. I really enjoy your blog, and I am always happy to receive your visits and comments.

    It feels like you are my neighbor from down the street who gives me very good advice on how to take care of my garden. Which, I must say is really good considering that we live half way across the world.

    Thank you! I look forward to more of your posts

  2. Some good points GL. I am always reading your blog, but do not always comment, it totally depends on what stimulates me, your harvests got me a bit jealous I must admit! (laughs).

    I actually have quite a lot to thank you for, according to my stats your blog ranks 1st for traffic to my blog, followed by allotments 81 and allotments4you.

    I do feel a little disheartened when I see commenters on other blogs who have never visited mine, but that's life, there does to seem a few little 'clicks', but then again, I have a little following of my own too which is nice.

    Maybe readers of this topic could share a few tips on how they promoted their blog. I have passed mine around to a few neighbours on my plot, and shared the link with a few other blogs.

    As for culling back inactive bloggers, I think about 3/4 months of inactivity is suffice. You're either a blogger, or your not. I used to run a forum many moons ago, nothing worst than inactive members, falisfying numbers. You want to see genuine readership, something which you can all reap from one another.

  3. I don't always post a comment, but I do love reading your blog and take inspiration and motivation away with me everytime. I like to come home from work and read the blogs that I follow. It is a bit like having a regular magazine but only with the bits that interest you. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi ~fer - It is great isn't it to feel that you can just talk to someone who is in a completely different part of the world - it makes your garden expand. If you are in the northern hemisphere like us you can continue to enjoy growing plants through southern hemisphere blogger friends

    Hello Craig - One of the ways I have promoted my blog is by finding other blogs that I enjoy and making comments on their posts. The promoting of my blog is in a way just a side effect. The comments aren't just made as a promotion tactic. Another is by adding my blog to blog lists although I'm never sure whether people come from links on those lists. Maybe visitors could comment on how they found my blog and maybe that would help everyone know how to expand readership. As for commenting - personally I don't think vistors should feel they 'have to' comment on posts.

    Hi Fran - I agree with you - it is a sort of online magazine reading what others are up to often gives reminders and ideas. It's also great that the information is two way - you get information from others as much as passing on your own ideas.

  5. "As for commenting - personally I don't think vistors should feel they 'have to' comment on posts."

    I referring to inactive links given, seems silling endorsing a blog with one post, or thats been inactive for a year or two. I have seen one or two blogs in particular that have fallen seldom of this. I have also seen a few bloggers leaving comments with their only purpose of which is to promote their link, primarily for advertisement motive I think. I usually check them up on google first to see if they're legit or simply bogus.

    I can't say how I found your blog, but I started off by trawling through allotment blogs, and went from one to the next to the next.

  6. I started my blog as a type of journal. Blogging started very soon after I acquired my allotment so it's been a good way to document my progress. It's nice to know that other people enjoy my ramblings though, and no matter how long I've been blogging for, I'm still excited when I get a comment or a new follower. I've really cut down on the blogs which I list on my blogroll, mainly because they were running off the page. I still visit many more blogs than I show there, though I don't 'follow' any blog. This is because I don't really know what happens when you do 'follow'. Do you get an email when there is a new post on that blog? I thought you might, and this is the reason why I don't follow. I end up with too many emails from this, that and the other. If you don't then I might just start 'following'. I have all the blogs I read in my favourites and check these each day usually.

  7. Hi again Craig - The comment that you quote was more a response to you and Fran saying that you don't always comment - it was to say people shouldn't feel that they have to make a comment.

    I have a few blogs that I am visiting that I haven't added to my bloglist yet - just seeing how often they post first and I'll have a look at my list over winter and take out blogs that appear to have become inactive

    I've had advertising posts too some of which never appear as Google has a spam filter now which pulls some into a spam box where you can delete them. If any get through I usually delete them too. A while ago I had lots of Chinese symbol type ones that went to weird websites. If you translated the text using Google Translator the text was just a series of words that had no place on a gardening blog!!!!

    Hi Jo - You can set up your bloglist to only show 5 blogs and set it so that recent posts go to the top. If you look at my lists there is a show all link so if you want you can see the whole list you just click on that. This stops you having a huge list of blogs appearing on your sidebar.

    Followers don't get an email but if you follow a blog they are listed on your blogger dashboard "blogs I'm following" list and in Google reader if you use that (I don't). You can browse there to see what is happening on the blogs that you follow. You can only follow on Blogger blogs as I don't think WordPress have this facility maybe a WordPress user can confirm that. Hope you can follow all that.

  8. Hi Jo
    I too recieved a new follower only this month and I was thrilled. I always find some time each week to pop by and have a quick read. Your blog is lovely, keep up the good work. Amanda x

  9. Interesting points! Every so often I go through my blog links and weed out the blogs that haven't been updated for a while. I even put them in alphabetical order one day a while ago!

  10. Good points, I've been writing my blog for a year now and have only just started exploring the other 'social media' out there such as Facebook and Twitter linked to my blog although I've been a personal member of both sites for a lot longer. I haven't really 'followed' anyone up until now but will start to over the winter and see if this works better for me. Whilst I really like the Wordpress blog I use the one annoying thing is the blogroll doesn't update as and when people post so it's just a list of my links. So it is difficult to know when posts are out there so I tend just to go through the whole list every week or so. Maybe following will make keeping up with everyone's posts easier.

  11. Hi GL!
    As the other lovely bloggers have said - Great Post! Im one of those infrequent (and new to blogging) bloggers but every day I am reading new posts of the bloggers I follow - and commenting when I have something valuable to say!

    I'm looking forward to having some more followers (I only have one who happens to be a close friend)but I can see that what you put into your blog has a direct link to the community that you can create around you.
    Its great to be linked in so to speak with fellow bloggers, sharing ideas and information and Its a very fun and exciting hobby!!

  12. I am impressed with the wonderful comments on this great topic. It is something we all can relate to.
    Although I started my blog not knowing anything about "following" and "commenting", but only for the purpose of documenting changes in my garden.
    Now I love seeing that other bloggers read my blog, especially as my mother tongue is Croatian, not English. Now, I can talk about "crashing a party" of English blogging world :-)

    One more thing to say - I love commenting! Sometimes I more enjoy reading other blogs than writing my own. I especially love commenting on topic that I can relate to, like this one!
    Thanks for the lovely post!

  13. Hi enjoy reading your post. I always try to comment back when anyone comments on my posts. But I have this problem sometimes when I have a new follower but I cannot go to their blog because the link is not there. I feel really bad about not visiting them.

  14. Lies, damn lies and statistics!

    I increased the number of people visiting my blog substantially in the last month by 'playing the game': commenting on other blogs, following people, using Twitter, updating the design, writing regular updates, writing on forums, reading various articles, RSS, etc.

    If you want more comments you need to ask questions or post something to stimulate debate (like this post!). Most forums are dominated by a (relatively) small number of the total number of people registered. People are happy to read but don't always want to stick their heads above the parapet to comment, which is fine.

    Oh and 58 followers, I wish ;>)

  15. Hi Amanada - It IS exciting to find that someone new has spotted your blog and seems to like it isn't it.
    Hi Matron - I'll have to weed out my bloglist too but I'll keep an eye on the ones I weed out just in case. I really like the bloglist set up in the order of last updated as it is good to spot a new posting this way.

    I joined Twitter Damo and got a very spurious invitation to befriend so got out quickly. I do have a Facebook account but it got bored of it so don't use it very much. If you use Google reader following should work for you but I'm not sure whether the following links to WordPress in any way.

    Hi Phoebe and welcome to the world of blogging - I have been to visit your blog and it's one I was watching for my bloglist

    Hi Vrtlarica - For a non native English speaker your English is fantastic. Must admit I always find other languages easier to speak than write which makes me sound as though I speak lots. I'm OK at French and have a smidgeon of Italian just so I don't starve on holidays etc.

    Hi MKG - I always try to visit blogs of commenters and followers too - I think if a follower chooses to remain private then there is no link to their blog. Also some people just read blogs and don't have a blog of their own so don't have anything for you to visit.

    Hi Rob - I go on forums too well one in particular as some are a bit frosty. I agree with what you say too about some people preferring to read. People often think they have nothing of value to say - I[ve been trying to get schools to send examples of their school gardens to one of my websites but so far the response has been almost non existent. I think in asking a question you let people know that they are welcome. I do also think that regular updates keep people interested too but in many ways my regular updates are because I rabbit on a lot (another one for you Vrtlarica) By the way your blog doesn't link from you comment it says you have chosen not to share your profile. I saw that you had a follower button but how do your followers show up as you don't seem to have a list.

  16. Organizing ye old blog list is one of my most dreaded tasks. Which ones to prune, which to add? If they haven't posted in 6 months, do I unsubscribe to free up precious list space? And then I feel guilty every time I do a bit of pruning away of blogs that I just don't get excited about reading, like I've delivered a personal insult.

    Little did I know that blogging would be fraught with so many decisions!

    Christine in Alaska

  17. It's difficult isn't it Christine - you feel you have insulted someone or told a friend that you don't want to be their friend anymore! I wonder if anyone reading has a blog that they haven't updated for a while who is on my bloglist who could add anything to the discussion.

  18. I know what you mean about blogs not being updated...which is why I feel incredibly guilty when I get busy for a couple of weeks and don't find the time to post...i also know what you mean about comments....if people don't comment you can feel that you are writing to yourself. I try to make myself feel better when no-one comments by reminding myself that I sent my blog up as a kind of diary for me to refer to and while I hope others can enjoy and benefit from it if they don't I know I always will.

    Your was one of the first blogs I started visiting and I have added many to my list since then but I have to admit to having had a clear out a couple of months ago due to inactivity.

    I would love to follow more blogs but don't really have the time and at the moment the blogs I'm following are providing me with enough help and pleasure so I think for now I will keep things as they are!!

  19. Hi Tanya, I don't call a couple of weeks neglecting your blog - I have some on my llist that haven't updated for sveral months so I've commented asking them if they are still around - if I don't hear then I guess they aren't.

    Comments are strange aren't they - I wonder if it can get so as there are too many comments and people are put off making their own maybe put off by reading through what several dozen other people have written.


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It is not published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.