Hello, You! 😁
Here’s one of the greatest mysteries in the blogging world. At least, it was something that I never really figured out until recent years when I found the only right way to do it.
How does everyone blog hop?
Throughout the past years, I’ve seen all kinds of bloggers out there. Some of them simply followed back those who followed them, others followed only those that had something useful to offer, a couple would follow people who strictly had common interests, and some don’t follow anyone at all. But it was those that were able to be everywhere, all the time, that really made me wonder if I was doing something wrong.
Is there a way to blog hop that was simply never taught to anyone? Is blog hopping an art that only some are able to master?
Here’s a look at how I approached it over the years and what I do today.
When I first began blogging, I had no clue that “blog hopping” was even a thing. I thought it was an inside joke about people being rabbits. I really couldn’t figure it out. I barely did what it really entailed and thought that the Internet would somehow redirect people towards my innocent posts about Batman: Year One or Batman: The Killing Joke.
It is only a couple of months later that I understood that the WordPress Reader had its own feature allowing us to go discover others based on key words (tags). This is where you had to decide WHY you were blogging. Were you doing it to find like-minded people to interact with? Or maybe you were you doing it to be up to date with new releases?
Your blog hopping habits would simply follow your blogging purpose.
After a year of blogging, I’d notice that it was way too difficult for me to follow all the people that I did follow through the WordPress Reader. Even to this day, I have a hard time opening the Reader and to scroll through everyone’s daily post. And that’s the thing. The more blogs you follow, the more posts will pop up on it, and the less time you’ll have to go through them all.
At first, you’d think that you would be the kind of person who would drop a comment on every post you open up. It is only through experience that you’ll know how time-consuming this process actually is. That’s when I decided to give the email option a shot.
Always with the WordPress Reader, I decided to prioritize certain blogs, which would still cumulate to over 100 blogs, and activate the “Email me new posts” feature. In my email, dedicated to my blog, I’d then create a rule that would send all these “WordPress” emails straight into a file just so that I don’t get a gazillion notifications throughout the day. Yes, it sort of kills the purpose of being notified as soon as possible, but I was looking for a way to have a place where I could, on a daily basis, visit all the bloggers I actually really wanted to follow, before going on the WordPress Reader to check out the rest of my bloggers.
Rest assured that this method didn’t last long either. I still felt overwhelmed by how much blog hopping I had to do. It made me realize how much time I could spend creating posts and/or reading instead of trying to play catch-up with every blogger I followed.
A couple of years into blogging, I suddenly heard and saw a couple of bloggers utilize aggregator applications (e.g. Feedly or Bloglovin’) to help them in their blog hopping journey. I thought it was a cool concept to have all the blogs (WordPress or not) all in one place and have additional features that allowed you to organize them as you wish, while also being alerted of all the posts you haven’t read yet. How could it not benefit me or any blogger that wishes to blog hop efficiently, right?
You could simply blame procrastination here since setting this up properly and then making sure to get hooked on it (as in, making a daily habit of visiting this app) was much harder than you’d think. I still think there are a couple of bloggers who use this method, some better than others, but I haven’t been able to make it work for me. I’d still recommend people to try it out to see if it might not be exactly what you need for your blog hopping activities.
ACTUAL BLOG HOP FEATURES.
This isn’t the act of blog hopping (to voluntarily take the time to visit posts from other bloggers) but the feature that exists within the blogging world that helps bloggers link their posts to a source where the topic is predetermined by the creator (e.g. Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl). These posts are often very popular among bloggers and help many direct traffic over to their own posts just by making it their duty to find out how everyone did their post for that particular week.
I never got into the idea but I can see the appeal for many. It’s a great way to fill in one calendar day with something that could possibly help you discover other bloggers and vice-versa.
WHAT I DO.
My current system is the only one that works for me when it comes to blog hopping. It is far from being a perfect system and it definitely has underlying issues that some would probably find unappealing or doesn’t ring true to their core personality.
It mostly works on a comment-for-comment premise. Inevitably, it is assumed that you already have people dropping by your posts, reading, and interacting with you.
First of all, I’d have a list of V.I.P. bloggers from whom I read absolutely everything they post. It doesn’t matter if they don’t drop by my blog here and then because the solid relationship I have with them will make me want to visit their blog for who they are and then for what they post.
Second of all, I use a Google Chrome extension called OneTab that allows me to save multiple tabs into one page that I ping in my browser. With each post I publish, I open up a tab for each blogger who comments, creating a ranked list that gives me a order in which I’ll have to blog hop in the next couple of days of posting.
Third of all, as the days/weeks/months of blogging go by, I update my V.I.P. list to make sure that the most active bloggers, those with whom I’ve learned to appreciate their thoughts, their personality, their interaction with me, will be visited first. And since these bloggers probably feel the same about me, the comment-for-comment system simply cancels out.
Fourth of all, I visit the WordPress Reader to do additional blog hopping by visiting other bloggers I might have followed but have a harder time getting any interaction out of. This is usually very rare, considering how limited my time is. I’ve attempted to interact with some bloggers without ever feeling like they wanted to interact either and that’s why I have a harder time hunting for new bloggers to follow. The risk-reward ratio simply makes it less appealing for me, especially when we all have limited time for our hobbies.
Remember when I said that I now knew what the right way to blog hop was? It’s simple.
Your way is the best way.
Everyone has different lives, different responsibilities. The time we can put into blogging is never the same. The speed at which we create content and then blog hop is never the same either. As much as I’d love to visit every single blogger out there, to read every single post they put out, I just can’t. It’s humanly impossible. It is why my system includes a “preferential” prioritizing process. It’s not permanent and it allows me to discover new bloggers. I don’t filter out people because their content doesn’t interest me too, since I’m also here for the person behind the blog.
And with that being said, just remember to blog hop out of a love to do so, not by obligation, and not to burn yourself out of this hobby.