Spring Cleaning for the Blog Roll

Two years ago, when I was attempting to gain more of a readership for The Cutter Rambles, I was given a piece of advice: Follow other blogs, and many of them will follow you in return.

That seemed both smart and simple, so I began to scour the internet for other blogs to follow. Once I located a few that seemed worthy of following, I would then check out people who commented on those sites, and see if they had follow-worthy blogs as well.

Every time I found a blog that seemed even remotely worthy of reading on a regular basis, I’d click the follow button. (And sure enough, many of them began to follow me back! Hooray for reciprocation!)

It didn’t take long before my blog roll became quite expansive, and I was following over 200 blogs. Unfortunately, that left my WordPress reader quite bloated. On a typical day, I might have over 35 new entries appear in my reader, and I simply don’t have time to read that many.

As it turned out, some of those “impulse follows” turned out to be mistakes. It’s not that they aren’t quality sites or well written, it’s just that for one reason or another, I don’t necessarily want to read them on a regular basis.

So I’m going to do some spring cleaning on the blog roll. If the blog is inactive (No new posts in over a month), then it’s gone. If I haven’t read a post on the site in over three months, then it will similarly be removed.

If I take a look at the site and can’t figure out exactly why I would have ever chosen to follow it, then I’m going to have to unfollow. (And if you happen to be one of those blogs’ authors, please don’t feel too bad. It’s me, not you. Really!)

Hopefully, this paring down process will allow me to not feel overwhelmed by how many posts are in my reader, so that I can actually read the blogs I do enjoy reading.

So for any fellow authors who might wonder why I don’t seem to read or comment on your sites anymore, you’ll likely either get a lot more attention in the coming days…or never hear from me again.

This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was B, and the topic was “Blog roll.”


About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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27 Responses to Spring Cleaning for the Blog Roll

  1. Green Embers says:

    I need to go do this… I am following over 700 blogs, lol. One thing you can do, is use the Lists feature for blogs you still want to follow but not have in your main feed. It’s a pretty nice feature that I wish WordPress talked about a bit more, rather than following everyone, curate and list people in topics (for example I put all Review blogs on one list, works great!).

  2. What a smart idea. I may have to follow in those footsteps.

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    My new rule is follow those who comments I like, either on my blog or a blog we have a in common. Not fool-proof, but better than follow-for-follow too.

  4. Smart idea! I hope you stick around my blog!

  5. I cleaned up my blog roll two weeks ago for many of the same reasons you list. I was following 175 blogs, many of which were no longer active. Others I already keep up with on Twitter or Facebook, so I saw no reason to clutter my reader. I’m down to 74.

    • The Cutter says:

      I also follow some on FB, so there’s some overlap. For a while I thought I’d only follow the ones I really liked on another platform, but that didn’t seem to work well.

  6. Margie says:

    I’ll have to look into lists too! I’ve followed a lot of blogs, but don’t have time to read or comment on most of their posts. I also have quite a few followers, but very few of them ever visit my blog either!

  7. rogershipp says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty!!! I have been wondering the same thing. I am a very new flash fiction writer. I seek blogs to follow for not only the enjoyment of reading… but to improve my craft. You were very helpful. If you have time … check out mine? https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/

  8. Times change, tastes change. It’s not a bad thing to pare down what shows up in your reader. You have your hands full with real life.

  9. Man, do I know the feeling. When you’re first starting out and are desperate to make connections, “I’ll follow you if you follow me!” is an easy icebreaker. After a few hundred supposed quid-pro-quo exchanges, when you learn how badly you don’t want to read about fashion or model train photos or Malaysian limericks, and once you realize how many “followers” stopped caring about your site about 48-72 hours after they got a “Follow” out of you…the diminishing returns from that super-long reading list can be quite the buzzkill.

    • The Cutter says:

      There are some sites I can’t figure out why I followed in the first place. And again, it’s not really about their quality, just that it’s not “my thing.”

  10. I have been doing this all along… I like to keep the blogs I follow below 100, and those that are active and posting regularly below 50. I maybe spend a total of 4-5 hours each week reading blogs, so I don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs that either don’t interest me or who have no intention of ever really following me in return…

    Now to see if I make the Cutter cut….

  11. You’re in it for the long haul!

  12. See, I gave it quite a bit of thought in the beginning and decided not to do the “reciprocal” follow. I even asked people’s opinions about it. I MIGHT have even written a post about it (something like “To Follow or Not to Follow.) Sometimes I still feel overwhelmed in my reader, but I peruse it. If I feel like reading, I do, if not, I don’t, and I refuse to feel bad about it. I am also a mother, a business woman, and about a bazillion other things everyday. Most people prob feel the same, and they should realize blogging can’t be full time job for everyone. You just do you, honey!

    Also…if feel so USED! lol

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