Why I will (and won’t) read your blog

There are a whole damn lot of blogs and book blogs out there and only so many hours in the day to see them all.

You know me: I really love spending time blog hopping, reading blog posts, seeing some people’s incredible talent for writing reviews, unique blog posts, spending time on blogs that are so pretty my eyes are watering and so on.

Yet, with years of book blogging behind me and only so many hours each day, I can’t be spending as much time as I’d like visiting, cheering on and supporting other book bloggers. Therefore…. I become selective with what I read. I become selective with the kind of blogs I stop on and the kind of blogs I just, well… skip.

Today, I thought I’d share my selection process. What makes me stay and what makes me go, what makes me want to keep on reading to discover a blog and their blogger and what makes me close my browser’s window right away.

Small heads-up: this blog post isn’t meant to be mean, at all and it’s based on my unique, personal preferences, just as well, so please take it with a grain of salt!

πŸ” My first impressions on a blog

🎨 The blog’s design: do and don’t

Honestly, the first thing we see from a blog is its design and, despite trying our best not to be shallow and, well, judge a book by its covers, there are just some things that I personally can’t deal with.

I am far from being a graphics expert and even farther away from being a branding expert, but there are two things that will make me flee from a blog without even trying.

  1. Colors, and
  2. Fonts

If I’m stepping onto a new place online and have to squint to be able to read something, because the font is too bright or the colors are too flashy, I’m sorry but I will go away. My eyesight isn’t the best and I’m not here to make it worse.

Choose your blog’s colors and fonts wisely. If you like pink, that’s fine, but maybe think of making it more of a pastel color than a very bright one. If you like patterns, fine too, but is your text still readable under all the lovely colors and motifs?

Same goes for fonts. I personally love script fonts and, when I rebranded my entire blog, I hesitated for a long, long time with multiple fonts, some that I personally loved, but my sister told me they weren’t that readable. So I skipped them.

Don’t be afraid to ask for others’ opinions when choosing fonts and colors and design overall.

As for the blog’s layout, I also happen to have some pet peeves.

If I can’t find your most recent blog posts in a minute, I’m sorry but I might give up. If I’m visiting a blog, it’s to read blog posts, or at least see what the blog posts are about, before deciding whether or not I’ll read on. If I can’t find the blog posts easily, I might not even get to read your blog, at all.

Some bloggers choose to display their most recent posts on their homepage, which is, honestly, what I love the most. That being said, if you’d like to pick another homepage, that’s good too – but you should make sure that your blog posts are accessible. Either through your menu, with “Blog Posts” clearly stated, through categories in your menu and so on.

Some other tiny things tend to bother me:

  • Pop-ups that open right away when you’re just arriving on a new blog. Give me some time to see your blog before jumping on me to make me subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Not being able to comment on a blog post. I know, I might be old school since everything’s happening on social media, but.. if I read and love a blog post, I still like to comment on it to show my appreciation. If I can’t, or if I have to jump through loops, connect three times and type my comment six times until it goes through, I will give up.

Some interesting articles about designing and branding I’d recommend:

May @ Forever and Everly wrote a great blog post about : How to get started on making your blog pretty: a design guide.

Kat @ Novels & Waffles asks 4 questions we should ask ourselves while rebranding.

πŸ’» What makes me read a blog post – and why I won’t read yours

I would LOVE to read more blog posts and leave more comments. I know how hard book bloggers work and I know that free labour is, more often than not, rewarded and made worth it by comments and others’ appreciation. I know that’s how I feel.

That being said…. sometimes, I’m really sorry, but I just won’t even want to read a blog post. Here’s why.

  • If your text is just one massive block, with no paragraphs, no images, no GIFs, nothing. Just WORDS.

I know, I know. I’m a bookworm and I read 400 pages novels with no images at all, so what? I don’t want to read a blog post when all I see is text, okay. I want paragraphs so I can take a breath, I want GIFs, or images, photographs, yours or stock, whatever you prefer. It makes it so much easier to read a blog post, it makes it so much easier to make me want to pay attention. I’m like a kid okay, I see just text and I’m reminded of my university assignments and want to run.

  • If your blog post is just book covers and images and no words.

I know, I’m kind of saying black and white in these two paragraphs, but hear me out. If I don’t want to read just text, I don’t want to be thrown just images at my face. I’m mainly talking about book blogs here, since it’s the main kind of blog I read…. and I don’t want just to watch some book covers. I want to hear why you’re putting them here, why you’re talking about this book, why you think it’s a great winter read or it made you want to throw it out the window. Give me something to think about, give me something to talk about with you.

  • If your blog post isn’t engaging overall…. I won’t read it.

Okay, Marie, you ask, but what the heck do you mean by “engaging“? It means, I want to read it. For me, it’s a compilation of everything, really. The blog post’s title, the blog post’s appearance overall (with images and text, breathable and beautiful, with bold and bigger text and titles in between and so on), the writing (with no mistakes and grammarly correct, though I know we’re not all perfect, I know I am not!).

When I click to read a blog post, I want to keep on reading it. It starts with the first image, the first words, up until the very end of the blog post. It’s about raising points, asking questions, expressing opinions, making me think, wonder, want to add a book to my TBR. I want to see your passion, your blogging voice and your interest in what you write.

One easy tip to remember to achieve that is this: what makes YOU read a blog post on others’ blogs? What makes you want to keep on reading and what do you like about them? WITHOUT COPYING their entire layout and way of writing, think about how you can achieve that, too.

Related blog post: How to find your blogging voice.

Some other tiny things that tend to bother me on book blogs…

  • I personally love seeing diversity on a blog.

It’s a very personal opinion here once again, but…. I’m sorry. If I only see almost exclusively book reviews, I might not read on your blog a whole lot, or want to come back. If I only see memes and Top Ten Tuesdays, same. There are some exception to these, I’m sure, but most of the time, I like to see different kind of blog posts on book blogs. I like reading reviews, discussions, memes, unique blog posts, wrap-ups and so on. This is NOT what will prevent me from reading a blog, but this will maybe prevent me from subscribing and coming back, when I don’t see too much diversity.

  • If I read a book review…. I want to read your opinion about the book.

Another personal pet peeve: book reviews stating the synopsis in 3 out of 4 paragraphs and only giving out two sentences with your opinion. If you don’t want to say more or don’t have a thousand words to say about a book, it’s FINE. I just feel cheated when I see a long review, think I’ll get a whole lot of thoughts about a book and just end up knowing very well the synopsis, but just that you liked it.

That’s it? I need to know why, how and why another million times, because I want to talk with you about this book and….Β  well, right now I just can’t.

Related blog post: How to write a great blog post

Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea also wrote an amazing blog post about what makes her keep on reading a post.

πŸ‘€ I might not be reading your blog because I just don’t know about it.

Every single day, I discover new book bloggers and I am amazed by just how much and how passionate they are. Bloggers that are just starting out, bloggers that have been there for so many years now they’re dinosaurs just like I am.

πŸ“’ Remember to put yourself out there

If you want people to read what you have to say, you have to put yourself out there. I know how scary it is, believe me. I know how anxiety inducing it can be, but it’s the best way to grow your blog and to meet others, to be part of the community and to really feel what it’s like, to be blogging.

There are many ways to network when you’re a blogger.

  • You can join the social media overwhelming frenziness, twitter and instagram (bookstagram, for bookish people) being the two main platforms for book bloggers. You can share your thoughts and your blog posts and both make people read what you have to say and meet incredible people.
  • You can blog hop, meaning visiting blogs, reading blog posts and leaving genuine and sweet comments to the blogs and posts you enjoyed, create a link, a conversation that can continue on both your and their blogs and down the road, create a wonderful friendship, too.

Related blog post: how to blog hop and why I do it.

πŸ’› It’s okay if you’re not reading too many blog posts, too.

Honestly, I’m just one human with 24 hours per day to live and…. despite everything said above, I might not be reading your blog posts at all because I’m not aware that they exist.

I also want to do more, read more, support more bloggers, but I just don’t have the time, either.

I feel like I want to apologize for not reading blog posts more, especially lately, but I also feel like I should read blog posts I genuinely enjoy and when I can dedicate the time for it, too, without burning myself out.

In the end, we’re all doing our very best and I want to hope that every blog post out there finds their readers, sometimes with time, perseverance, sometimes randomly and sometimes extraordinarily.

What makes you want to read a blog post? What makes you want to just run away from a blog post or a blog altogether? Do you sometimes feel like you don’t read enough blog posts, or is it just me?

What are some of your blogging pet peeves? Anything we share? Feel free to ask in comments!

 

 

 

 

Twitter β˜‚οΈ Goodreads β˜‚οΈ Bloglovin’β˜‚οΈ Support the blog

 

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

144 thoughts on “Why I will (and won’t) read your blog

  1. you make so many good points in this! I think my process in following a blog is quite similar to yours! it can get really overwhelming keeping up with all the amazing blog posts there are but blog hopping is something where you have to find a middle ground that’s good for you! I loved reading this! πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aww thank you, so happy you liked my post! It is overwhelming at times, there are just so many incredible blogs to read.We’re all doing our very best though ❀ thank you!! ❀

      Like

  2. I love this discussion post. I just stay away from flashy looking blogs because MY EYES! And also yes if the reviews are just synopses and a few words I’m #annoyed. I came to hear that person’s opinion. Also I don’t like it when the blog is filled with just book blitzes and promo posts eeep

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post! I agree with so much of what you are saying. I hate it when I have a hard time reading a post because of colors or decorative fonts. My eyes just can’t do it some days. I can also have trouble with “snow” or anything else moving across the screen. My eyes are old and while it may be cute it make the words harder to read. I hate having to jump through hoops to leave a comment. It makes me not want to come back and have that kind of experience again. I probably don’t have as much variety in blog as I should have which gives me something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much, Carole! ❀ Oh I get that, I feel like I rarely stumble upon blogs with snow or little moving things anymore, thankfully, I hate these too!
      I love commenting and I'm always so frustrated when I can't!
      Thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts!! ❀

      Like

  4. Popups, fonts/colours, and not being able to comment are total turnoffs for me too :/ I also have a really hard time connecting with posts that are written poorly & don’t make sense. The theme, organisation of a post, and overall accessibility are what either draws me in or pushes me away :’) I absolutely love when I come across a blogger who knows their writing voice & can get their point across beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you so much, Macey. I feel like blog posts need a proper start and end, without being like college essays, they still have to be written in an understandable way, so I know where the blogger is going with this haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie!! This post was amazing! Great discussion and definitely not something that’s usually talked about. Everyone has their own criteria for what kind of blog posts entertain and interest them. I’m definitely a visual person so blogs that are aesthetically pleasing to my tastes tend to be the ones that get my follow. (Side note: I’ve been gone quite a while but I love your redesign! It looks amazing!! ❀️)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SARA! Oh it’s so lovely to hear from you and I hope you’ve been doing okay ❀ ❀
      I so agree with you, aesthetics matter a whole damn lot to me too ahha πŸ™‚ THANK you so much ahh😭 I'm so happy you like it, thank you! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with everything you mentioned! Whenever I discover a new blog the first thing I do is scroll through the homepage. I want to see how it’s set up. One of my biggest pet peeve is when you need to scroll through an entire post to find the next one. That’s an immediate no for me. I want to easily find older posts, because I’m not always interested in the most recent post. And I appreciate variety as well! If I don’t see any discussions, I usually won’t spend that much time on the blog, since those are my favorite posts no matter the blog. I also find that purely review blogs are not my thing since, on top of not loving reviews that much, it means that I have to read the same books as the blogger, which is pretty rare.

    And I feel like one of my biggest fears are blocks of text. If there is no gif or cover in a post, it can take me a year to finish, no matter how interesting the content. It’s difficult for me to read things on screens, but pictures and big fonts save lives. I could go on and on about how I agree with every statement you made, but there’s no need because you said it all so well, and this comment is turning into a novel already. In summary, I loved this post and it definitely has everything that makes me want to revisit your blog! πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes this is something I could have mentioned as well! I much prefer it when there’s the “read more” option and when I don’t have to scroll through entire blog posts to get to the next ones. It’s a little frustrating!
      I’m so, so happy you could relate to this post! I’m right here with you on that, I can take ages to read a blog post with no images and… I just might give up halfway, oops haha.

      THANK You so, so much ah, you’re too sweet Malka, thank you ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 2019 was not my best book blog hopping year… but I am trying to do better this year. I have my favourites which I will try to visit first on a hop session, and then I try and comment back as much as possible. But I also have a few pet peeves and one of them is whether the design is accessible or not, and if the review is just synopsis or really shows opinion! I also find it so much easier to keep up with blogs if they have bloglovin but lately it seems like new blogs don’t use it?? DD:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so, so hard to keep up with all the blogs, there are just so many and with so little time on our hands, we’re all doing our very best! ❀
      I feel like bloglovin' isn't used anymore, either, though I'm not sure why. Maybe people keep up with their blogs on social media? I'm curious about that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve started to use feedly alongside blogger and it helps so much seeing as they don’t have to be on there… you just need their link and you can sort blogs into categories.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes yes yes! I agree with everything you say. I also don’t like it it if there is too much stuff going on in the side bar. I get distracted easily so no moving things or lots of colors next to the main post. Luckily, lots of people don’t have that. πŸ™‚
    Pop-up subscription boxes are THE WORST. Instead of closing them, I’ll just close the whole website because it ruins it.
    I also love gifs, but I don’t use them (yet). It is so difficult to find the right one! It truly is an art haha.
    Lovely post Marie! ❀ And also, thanks for the low-key tips for making my blog better πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much, so happy you enjoyed it πŸ™‚
      I agree, pop-up subscriptions make me want to quit the website right away, it makes me so sad. AND YES finding GIFs is so complicated sometimes, takes me hours hahaha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! ❀ ❀

      Like

  9. This is such a great post Marie! I tend to only read reviews of books I’ve read/heard of, but I’m mostly drawn to a post by its title as it comes up in my email feed. Then once I’ve decided to click if it looks really long and not broken up I’ll probably just like it and not read it, but usually it mostly depends on how I’m feeling that particular day. Variety is definitely important too; I also don’t really read memes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This was so interesting to read, especially from someone so experienced in the blogging community! I agree with everything you said about why you DON’T read a blog post, and all your tips about networking and getting your posts out there are so helpful. I’ve been doing this for a while, but there’s ALWAYS more to learn!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree completely with all of your statements! I especially agree with the point you made about blog posts that ONLY contain images (or sometimes just book titles but no descriptions, no reasoning for why they chose that book, etc.). I click on the post because I want more than just a generic Goodreads list! I want to know WHY you put the book on that list and what you liked about it! Great post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful post, Marie!!! You really pinpointed many of the things that can either make or break my desire to read a blog post! Having a nice and readable design is definitely something that contributes to my initial desire to read a post, and having breaks in the text and an overall coherent layout and thought provoking content is sure to keep me there! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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