How To Keep Track of Your Favorite Blogs

There’s nothing more fun than finding a favorite blogger or two and following along with their story. I was talking to a friend the other day about blogging and he made a really interesting point that I’ve been ruminating over ever since. With the pure amount of content we’re being barraged with, it feels like it’s less about what someone is writing about and more about who is writing it.

Do you like their style? Do you like their voice?

I just thought that was so true. I read such a wide variety of blogs – everything from sex blogs to lifestyle, cooking, or even religious blogs. What makes me feel excited about a blog is the blogger. Do I care about this person? Do I want to know what they have to say, specifically?

Despite having a few favorites, I still follow what may be considered an excessive number of blogs.

How can you keep it all straight while still prioritizing the content that is most important?

Subscribe to their blog

I only subscribe to blogs where I genuinely want to read every post that someone writes. Some people use their email inbox as a sorting and filing system but I’m a massive fan of inbox zero. That means I hate when something is just sitting in my inbox! If I really want to read a blog I subscribe to it and then read it as soon as it pops in my inbox. Generally these are the blogs I comment on and engage with the most.

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram

Bloggers are utilizing Twitter and Instagram more and more to notify followers of new content. What’s so fun about these formats is that they tend to be much more visual. I can decide whether or not I want to read a blog by a photo or a quick blurb. Both Twitter and Instagram offer push notifications for specific users which can help you stay on top of new content as it happens! Ding! @Suggestive has a new tweet!

Create and maintain an RSS Reader

I’m a longtime supporter of the Reeder App for Mac and iOS. Create an account and load in links for the sites you want to follow. I have everything from blogs to more website-y websites like Gizmodo! This saves all the content you read in one convenient, easy to read app, with the ability to quickly scan and remove content that isn’t interesting. [Reeder App]

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Want to start a blog?

Occasionally I get emails from readers who want advice on starting their own blog. Where do you start a blog? How do you get people to read it? A lot of that depends on what your ultimate goal is, and what you’re writing about.

The big tip:

The most important tip I could pass along is writing about something you’re interested in. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about, no one else is going to be interested in it either. I could start a blog about weird shapes of tortilla chips and gain a steady audience if I wrote with a salty passion.

It is kind of important where you write, but not as much as you might think. Good platforms give you some flexibility in categorizing posts and creating a layout that suits your subject. I use wordpress. I’d also recommend squarespace and blogger.

Growing from your starting point:

One choice I’ve made in blogging is to do very little marketing on my own. Some bloggers will go out and find ways to get others to view their blog, which is smart. Sometimes this has to do with link trading. Sometimes guest blogging. Some have a very heavy presence on social media.

I’ve grown at a steady rate since 2009, mostly due to people linking and sharing posts. So far that’s been my preferred method, because I think letting other people spread my blog word of mouth allows me to build my persona at a slower rate. I was able to feel out what I wanted my blog to look like and what I wanted to write about without pressing out half-developed content.

One thing you have to make peace with when writing is that which isn’t said. Particularly when writing about controversial issues, there is always something else that you could say that you didn’t say. This is a problem because you have to understand that people are likely to misinterpret what you’re saying or may even judge you and you writing based on what you choose to include or exclude. This goes back to the first point. Write about something you’re interested in and believe in the words that you choose.

Writing about gender or sexuality:

If you’re writing a blog and gender or sexuality, it can be helpful to choose a niche you want to be in. There are all kinds of sex blogs out there – some are based around personal stories, erotica, cartoons, reviews, sexual education, or question and answer. Some people write from a feminist perspective. Some people write from a conservative or liberal perspective. Some people write with the intention of being political and others just want to write about their opinions (which then, of course, might become political.)

Some people just want to write because it’s fun and they believe in what they’re saying. Some people want to write because it’s an outlet for something they can’t express in any other way.

Last, but not least, I would highly recommend being honest. Blogs about gender and sexuality allow the world to see the reality of gender and sexuality. The true thoughts and experiences of people that might not be represented in everyday media. People who are gay, pansexual, gender queer, people who are transexual or cross-dress. Putting stories to these people allows us to learn and connect with otherwise abstract ideas.

No matter what you write about it can help bring people together and it can help others learn more about you and that thing you’re interested in. The first step is deciding what you want to write about and how you want to share it.

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how to keep sane in an insane (blogging) world

I write about some fairly controversial issues sometimes, but more than that, I write about issues that people have true personal opinions on. How I feel about sex is purely how I feel about sex, even if you do agree with me. I don’t write to change your perspective, I write to broaden your perspective. Unfortunately, the nature of humanity is to feel a bit threatened when someone comes in and clashes with you. Your own personal morals and viewpoints might feel threatened. I’m sorry if I have ever made anyone feel this way.

What is even more interesting than this though is the fact that we tend to follow along with people who make us feel this way. I know that I personally follow many christian blogs, parenting blogs, weddings blogs, and even some severely republican blogs. I think this is because it is more interesting to read things that I disagree with than things I agree with. It’s nice to have those people around, but all you ever really do is bounce back the same ideas and have fun agreeing with each other. It’s empowering, and slightly egotistical.

I follow these blogs, and I have to watch myself. Because I’m in their world and all I want to do is reach into the internet and shake them back and forth. Have you read my blog? You should. Go read my blog. And read these books. And watch these documentaries. And do this and do that and I’m going to have everything you have to say and counter it with everything I have to say and seethe and wither in the background of your blog, hating life. 

Not the point.

Every morning I read the news on various different websites because I think it’s good to get perspective. In the same way that I think it’s good to read various different blogs. But if you can’t do so without accepting that their reality is different than you’re reality, you’re going to hate yourself. You’re going to boil in disrespect. Read and consider what they have to say and understand why they think that way, but know that you can’t change it by force.

“Just as no one can be forced into belief, so no one can be forced into unbelief”

Freud might have been jacked up on cocaine, but he’s got some got some good stuff here and there.

And so will the people you think you’re fighting against.

So take a step back and consider the blogs you read, and the bloggers who write them. If it’s too difficult to read their blogs without raging, don’t read them. If you can read them and learn something new from them and be able to step back and evaluate their perspective, good on you.

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