How Do You Follow Non-Blogger Blogs?

How Do You Follow Non-Blogger Blogs?

So, I have been thinking of removing my NetworkedBlogs and Linky widgets. Honestly, my main motivation is because the Linky widget code is very poorly made (Linky’s fault) and throws four 404 errors on every page you visit. This happens on my blog every time you refresh the page, and any other blog that has a Linky widget code installed. As a web developer, that pisses me off. But that’s not the point…

Click here if you want to read a funny, random story about those 404 errors

A couple of weeks ago, I turned on a certain feature on my security plugin. This feature would temporarily ban someone from visiting my blog if they got too many 404 errors in a certain period of time. You would enable this if you know for a fact that you don’t have any broken links. Because then the only way someone would get a 404 error would be if they were navigating to your site directly and misspelled the URL (would only happen once or twice in a given visit), or if the person was scanning your site for vulnerabilities (to try to hack you). So the goal is to lock out people who might be trying to find vulnerabilities in your blog installation.

Here’s where it gets good…

Because of the stupid Linky error, EVERYONE automatically get four 404 errors on every single page refresh. You don’t see them (you don’t get to a page that actually says “404 Error”, but they’re there. You can see them if you open up your developer console. So at one point, I actually got locked out of my own blog…… I had to go into the database and manually remove my lockout entry.

So the moral of the story is: Linky sucks balls.

Also, if you were affected during this period where I was banning people for getting 404 errors, I sincerely apologize and I hope we can still be friends. ♥

I originally added Linky and NetworkedBlogs because I liked numbers.

I was a bit of a followers whore. I liked numbers. I liked seeing that people were following me! But then I realized… when I follow someone via Linky or NetworkedBlogs, it’s solely for a giveaway. If I actually want to ‘follow’ a blog and keep up with new posts, I subscribe via e-mail or in an RSS reader. That’s the only way. I never check my NetworkedBlogs/Linky dashboards for new posts (do those even exist? I don’t even know).

Now, I care more about subscribers than numbers.

I think I’ve grown up a little bit, and now I don’t really care as much about ‘showing off’ numbers. I also don’t care about having silly subscription methods that people won’t even use to properly subscribe to my blog! I only really care about keeping the methods that people will actually use if they legitimately want to follow me, rather than the methods people might only use for giveaways.

But let’s not be hasty..

But before I go ahead and remove these features, I want to check to see if anyone actually does use NetworkedBlogs/Linky to subscribe to Nose Graze. For those of you who have followed Nose Graze on NB/Linky, do you actually use those outlets to view new Nose Graze posts? Or did you only follow me there as a way to say “Hey, I’ve followed you”?

Let’s not make this only about me.

Okay so far this has all been “me me me”, “Nose Graze Nose Graze Nose Graze “, “how do you follow me“. More generally speaking, how do you like to follow blogs? If you decide that you like a certain blog and want to receive new posts, what is your preferred method of subscribing? Do you like to get e-mail updates? Do you prefer RSS readers? Or do you use some other method? I’d kind of like to exclude GFC since that’s so “the standard” for Blogger blogs. It’s also slightly different because it can automatically add the blog to a RSS reader. Also because it’s limited to Blogger and I don’t use blogger… πŸ˜›

Your answer doesn’t have to be specifically for Nose Graze ; I’m just asking about in general! But if you do keep up with Nose Graze via NetworkedBlogs/Linky, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know.

Poll results

  • Email/RSS subscription (52 votes, 69%)
  • I manually check the blog every day (16 votes, 21%)
  • NetworkedBlogs (5 votes, 7%)
  • Linky (2 votes, 3%)
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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. For your blog, I have an email subscription but I mainly just go on it every day. I have a list of my fav blogs saved on my favorites and go through those almost every day. I also have email subcriptions, which is like a reminder. I don’t like RSS reader, I don’t use it, but I know a lot of people do.

    I always focus my followers towards my email subscription the most because I feel like more people check there email now a days and getting my new posts every day lets them see whats going on even if they don’t vists every day. But I also focus my follows to GFC, which I know is only for Blogger, but I wanted to mention why I do this. Though the number is not a huge deal to me, it is to publishers and book tours. I always get asked how many followers I have to see if I am “worthy” of books and ARCs. I don’t begrudge the people who need the numbers, but since they do, I make sure to have a lot of ways to follow on my blog so my numbers stay up and I have better chances of getting ARCs so I can review them for all my followers. Win-Win

    That being said, though I follow you with Linky and NB as well as email, I don’t use Linky or NB to look at your blog. But you should take into account that these numbers might be important some day. It all depends if you feel like you might need to numbers for whatever reason later on.

    1. That is definitely a good point about needing numbers for blog tours/publishers. I think if I was on Blogger I would also focus on GFC (in addition to e-mail subscriptions). The good thing about GFC is that blogs you subscribe to also get added to your Google reader. So in a way it’s like a GFC follow *and* an RSS subscription.

      But I think, since I am on WordPress, I’m going to start solely focusing on RSS/e-mail subscriptions. I can still use those as follower counts, and maybe they won’t be impressive as Linky/NB in terms of numbers, but I do think it’s a more accurate number of how many people actually do follow my blog regularly (rather than just for giveaways).

  2. My favourite and right now only way to follow blogs is bloglovin’. It’s easy to use, nice to look at and I can sort the blogs I follow into different categories. Plus I can add every blog I want to follow to bloglovin’ without having to wait until the blog owner does it.
    Bloglovin’s is pretty well known in the beauty/fashion blogger scene, but I think it’s finally becoming more and more known in the book community.

    Sabrina recently posted: Just read & enjoy it
    1. Ohh good one! I don’ot use BlogLovin’ myself, but maybe I should check it out. πŸ™‚ It sounds like a great resource!

  3. I follow this blog (and a few others) by email subscription, but I’m not a big fan of getting all of that in my email so it’s reserved for my absolute favorite blogs. Otherwise I save blogs under my Bookmark “book” folder. Easy Peasy. I don’t have to sign into anything or try to sort through posts.

    Michaniya recently posted: Book Review: Hopeless
    1. I subscribe to most blogs that I read through RSS. I don’t ever read blogs with Linky or Networked blogs and the only reason I follow with them is for giveaways. I don’t like getting blog posts in my email because I already get way too many emails a day. Google Reader is not very easy to use because I can’t look at in on my phone very well and once you’ve read it – it’s done. There’s no way I know of to save posts for later if I want to comment on them. I’m going to look into bloglovin since a few people said they liked it.

      I was sad when they got rid of GFC for WordPress. I was very attached to my numbers, too. If I ever need to tell a publisher my stats, I tell them my twitter and facebook numbers as well as direct subscribers through RSS and email and publishers seem fine with that.

      Jessica @ Books: A t recently posted: Young Adult eBook Deals for February
    2. I think that’s a great method! I’m the same in that I reserve my e-mail subscriptions for my absolute favourite blogs. I wish I could subscribe to more, but I already have trouble keeping up with them all. πŸ™

  4. When I redid my blog design, I took off the NB widget. As a blogger, I like that NB feeds my blog posts automatically to my blog FB page. But as a reader of blogs, I don’t want to have to check multiple places to read other people’s blog posts, so I try to use Google reader, which lets me read blogger blogs, WP and Tumblrs all in one place. But, hey, if there is a better way to read blogs, I’m happy to hear about it. You know I count on computer geniuses like you to set me straight!

    1. I definitely think Google Reader is one of the best options. You can use it for literally everything and it’s a great way to subscribe to blogs and keep them all in one place, without being overwhelmed with e-mails!

      I just took off my NB widget too. πŸ™‚

  5. We are in the process of redesigning Cuddlebuggery and as soon as that’s done, I’d like to remove NB from the sidebar. Most of our subscribers use the email freature from WP or RSS.

    As for your blog, I follow you via RSS. I’m a Mac girl so I use Feedly for my phone and iPad. And a RSS bar for my laptop. Really handy!

    1. First of all, I look forward to seeing the new design! πŸ™‚

      And I think removing NB is a good move (I just did it myself). I think this post has really reinforced the idea that most people only follow on NB/Linky for the sake of giveaways. If people legitimately want to keep up with new posts, they’ll do it via e-mail subscriptions or RSS.

  6. I am an RSS subscription kinda-gal. I add them to my Google Reader, which lets me see everyones’ updates in the one place.

    I removed Linky – mostly because I hadn’t gained any new followers on it for months – but kept Networked Blogs because it seemed like some people chose to follow me that way.

    I only signed up for Linky because it promised to be the next GFC. When it didn’t fulfill that promise, I kind of gave up on it.

    Kelly recently posted: ARCs, Blog Hauls and Jealousy
    1. Yeah I’m starting to find that people will only follow on Linky/NB if you have a giveaway that says “Follow me on Linky/NB”. Otherwise I think the majority of “legit” followers are through e-mail or RSS!

  7. With non-blogger blogs, I follow via email only if I really like the blog – even as it is, I get 30-50 emails a day. Many of those blog updates… it clogs my inbox. I usually follow non-blogger blogs via RSS in Google Reader, then import the Google Reader blogs into my blogroll on Blogger where the GFC blogs show up. That way, I have everything in one place.
    I use Networked Blogs too though because not everyone has RSS. I see those posts in my facebook timeline, but I never go through the whole thing, so it’s a hit or miss for me.
    Great question though! I’ve been wondering about how other people handle their following.

    1. Yeah, I think the one good thing about NetworkedBlogs is how it adds posts to your newsfeed. Otherwise, Google Reader/RSS is the winner!

  8. I subscribe to all the blogs that I follow through Google Reader. It’s easy and fastest for me. I also put the Linky code on my site and have been contemplating taking it down. The widget is kind of ugly even though I have a couple (maybe like 5) people on there.

    sabriena recently posted: Feature And Follow
  9. I subscribe via RSS.

    This is a great post Ashley!

    I used GFC, but after I transferred to WP, I had no choice but to let go. I also removed Linky Followers, because for me, it’s useless. I don’t check it. It’s just there for the numbers.

    So I’m focusing on RSS subscription now…

    JoAnne @ The Fairytale Nerd recently posted: The Sunday Story #39
    1. I think that’s great JoAnne. I’m officially in the same boat! I just took down my Linky/NB widgets. Numbers are pretty and all, but they’re kind of useless (or just for show) if 90% of your Linky/NB followers don’t actually check your blog regularly. RSS/e-mail subscribers are more likely to view your new posts regularly.

  10. I use RSS for all blogs, generally speaking. I don’t use Networked Blogs or Linky because that requires signing up for other accounts and making a mess in general, and I don’t think they’re worth it. I don’t subscribe via email ever because I’m awful about remembering to follow links from my email outβ€”I check it but I forget to do anything else with it, if that makes sense. RSS is, for me, the simplest and easiest way to do it, and I can divide my feeds into different folders by importance, topic, etc.

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts recently posted: The Bookish Comfort Zone
    1. I definitely think RSS is a great option. πŸ™‚ It allows you to stay organized and it’s easily accessible!

  11. I subscribe to RSS feeds. If a giveaway or Feature & Follow wants me to follow via Linky/GFC/email/whatever, I do it, but also sub to the RSS feed if it’s a blog I find interesting.

    I also usually follow their Twitter accounts if they’re linked up, not because they asked me to but it’s a good way to keep up (sorta, haha).

    And lots of times, I’ll connect on Goodreads as well (most of the time just following and not “friending”).

  12. Wow, this is one great post!!

    “when I follow someone via Linky or NetworkedBlogs, it’s solely for a giveaway.” Same here. And to me email subscription is for giveaways too.
    When I really want to follow/read a blog I add it to my Google reader. I have a ‘folder’ called Favorites with about 30 book blogs in it, and I check those every day or every other day πŸ™‚
    Also, I do signed up for Linky, but I really don’t like how ugly looking it is. So I’ve changed it’s favicon on my blog to a prettier one so it no longer bothers me. And if someone wants to follow me that way they can πŸ™‚

  13. Oh my gosh, I was the same way when I was a book blogger. As for how I follow, I don’t use GFC. I use Google Reader for Android. It grabs all my favorite blog’s posts and they’re basically right there in a neat little pile when I’m ready for them.

  14. I’m a bit late to this post unfortunately, but maybe it’s timely since Google just announced they are shutting down Google Reader in July. I know there are some alternatives, but grrrr!

    I honestly don’t like numbers. I’ve had people that host blog tours tell me I’m not keeping the right kind of numbers, and that I shouldn’t rely on x or y, because that’s not good enough. Needless to say, I didn’t bother with them again because I didn’t really like their attitude, but it shows that some do place an importance on numbers.

    I’ve done a lot of thinking on HOW I want to track followers. I do and don’t want to, because on one hand it’s nice to know that SOMEONE’S actually reading what I spend a LOT of time working on, but on the other, it’s usually not worth the stress. Linky seems to be the option for non-blogger blogs, but like you, I’m not really a fan. And because I don’t like to email subscribe to blogs, it’s not something I want to offer myself. Likewise with Facebook. I don’t really like it personally, and usually forget to update the page I started for my blog.

    So, in the end, I think I’m going for page views, although even that’s not entirely accurate. And Twitter followers I guess, because that’s popular too.

    Ugh. So frustrating!

    Leeanna @ recently posted: Book Review: Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell
  15. I’ve actually just followed you via Bloglovin’. I like reading your blog posts but always forget to check so hopefully now I’ll be able to comment more!

    From what I’ve gathered, not many people now use Linky or NetworkedBlogs; I certainly don’t. I used to at first but in the end it just got a bit inconvenient and a pain to use.

    I now use Bloglovin’ to follow all blogs and am finding it so much easier. It’s brilliant because it’s easy to use and I can follow all types of blogs whereas I was using Google Reader before and could only follow blogs via Google Friend Connect. πŸ™‚

    Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary recently posted: SPOILER REVIEW: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
    1. Thanks for following! πŸ™‚ Yeah I agree that Linky and NetworkedBlogs aren’t that great. I’m glad I removed them from my site, because I don’t think people were really using them for the right reasons (only giveaways mostly).

  16. I was a dedicated google reader user until they mentioned it closing it down. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I’ve been using Feedly for a couple weeks and really like it so far. I know a lot of people have gone the Bloglovin route but I have yet to check it out. πŸ™‚

    sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books recently posted: 'Post' on Sundays (38)
    1. I’m using Feedly too! I like it so much more than Bloglovin. I keep finding stupid bugs in Bloglovin.. like my blog entry on their site stops updating with new posts… It’s happened twice now!

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