Brand Design Photography & Styling Clarity Consulting

Lesson Learned: via Blog Brunch

Hi there guys. I hope the day is treating you well 🙂 I wanted to pop in today and share some of my thoughts about the last blog brunch that happened this past weekend. Where you there?? I wasn’t able to make the first half of the chat, but found several topics of discussion to be very interesting. The whole chat got me thinking about my blog and some things that might need a little more thought.

1. Weekly/Monthly Newsletters: I’ve always been interested in this idea, but wasn’t sure if adding a newsletter would be beneficial to my readers. What do you share? What extra content would be interesting to get. I completely understand why having a newsletter for a small shop would be a great asset in spreading the word about new products, but how can a newsletter help my for my blog?? Would love to hear your thoughts about newsletters in general and also what you’d like to receive in a newsletter.

2. Less Commenting: It was mentioned that less commenting has been a trend recently in blog land. I’ve been noticing this as well and it was reassuring to hear that it’s not just my blog/my content, but an overall trend. I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing…

3. Search Bars: I really hate search bars and I really want to get rid of mine. Would anyone be disappointed if it just magically disappeared??

4. Viewing Blog Content In Readers: I don’t know why I didn’t think about this before, but a lot of people don’t even come to my blog to read a post!! Shocking, but makes 100% sense. After making this connection, I realized that it is SUPER important that I design/write my blog post content to reflect that knowledge. I’m curious now…who reads blogs in readers versus actually visiting a blog??

That’s it for now. Blog Brunch really got me thinking. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the topics above.

Get an invite to BlogBrunch here, and catch up on the discussion here (recap)!


44 comments on “Lesson Learned: via Blog Brunch

  1. I exclusively read blogs in my google reader – the only time I click over is to comment, pin an image, or if someone’s content doesn’t actually show up in google reader (this drives me NUTS!!)

  2. These are all really good questions. I guess I noticed it on my blog, but it is interesting to know that it’s happening everywhere too. Strange that people don’t want to get involved in conversation. I think that’s the best part about reading blogs – is the conversation. I don’t always partake myself, but I do when I feel like I have something to contribute.

    I know a lot of bloggers get upset at the idea of people using readers, but honestly, it is super convenient. Honestly, I use a reader too, mostly because I follow so many. However, I do visit 15 or so blogs weekly to get the full effect – your included.

    1. Thanks for your input Ciara. I was a little shocked to find out about the reader thing, especially because I read every blog post within the actual bloggers space. I use bloglovin’ to keep track of all of my favorites.

      Thanks for stopping by and seeing the blog (not in a reader). I really appreciate it 🙂

  3. I’ve been blogging for 2 years and I know absolutely nothing about google reader :S I can’t imagine reading blogs that way. The majority of the reason I visit is to get the whole experience!

    Also, I find search bars come in handy a LOT. It always drives me nuts when a site doesn’t have one

    1. Good to hear that you like search bars. I’ve found that search bars just don’t work as well as I’d like them too, even on my own site. Not sure how to improve the search capabilities….hmmmm

  4. WOW. Did not know about any of that stuff. I never use readers. in fact, i’ll usually just type in the URL of blogs i visit regularly or use bloglovin’ and go to the blog from there. i’m a designer though, so maybe that’s why i like to see the full blog 😉

    i’ve noticed the comment thing too, but then again, i never got many comments anyway, haha.

    newsletters – personally i wouldn’t want one, because i get so many emails anyway…extra stuff to sift through, ya know? looks like i missed a lot from the last blog brunch – thanks for sharing, cass!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by today. I think you and I agree on all of the above. I just don’t think I’d want ANOTHER email to deal with each day. I assume that you’d put more work into creating the newsletter than it actually being beneficial to my readers.

      I’m with you. Being a designer/visual person, i need to read the post IN the actual blog space. I feel I can connect with that person easier.

  5. I also use google reader… It’s just way more convenient to have everything in one place, and to have updated posts just magically appear. In the old days I had bookmarks and it was always really annoying when you’d visit a blog day after day hoping for a new post… I think it was easier to forget about blogs then because if you didn’t update for a while I just stopped checking.

    Like Alex, the only time I visit a blog is to leave a comment or if it’s a really great DIY/recipe or something, I might bookmark it. Some blogs have it set so you only see the first few sentences and no pictures – to be honest I tend to remove them and forget about them after a while. This is going to sound awful but I know they’re doing it to get higher stats and I’m just not going to play that game.

    1. Good insight Tamara. I definitely like having all of my favorite blogs in one space (such as bloglovin’) and I also skip over the ones that don’t show me a visual to go with it.

  6. I use Feedly to aggregate blogs, but I almost always click over to check out new content – especially when the blog is well-designed, like yours. I like being in the environment a blogger has created to view content.

    Search bar: I agree that I don’t use them allllll the time, but when I need to find something it’s pretty helpful. What would be the alternative – just using google to find certain posts?

    I love your space – glad to see all this thought about its evolution out for us to see. It feels very friendly and collaborative.


    1. Thanks SOOO much for noticing the collaborative process. I really value what my readers have to say and want my content stupid simple to read/follow along.

  7. I never read blogs in my reader, either! I think I actually don’t mind the few extra seconds it takes to take me to the page…It’s like getting takeout – I much prefer the dining-in experience. 🙂 As for commenting, I feel like it goes in waves! Sometimes, though, I feel this crazy pressure to comment, so maybe others feel the same way and there’s some sort of backlash?

    1. Yes. It’s pretty easy actually. You do have to click out to the blog, but the updates are visual and entice you to click and learn more. You can also search for new blogs to follow based on a category you enjoy. Pretty streamlines and easy.

  8. hi there,

    i just recently started viewing my daily reads in bloglovin’ although i have to make a point of catching up on those blogs that i can’t access through blog lovin’.

    also, i wanted to mention about the search bar…i recently just added a search bar to my blog, for this reason: it is much easier for someone to re-locate something they saw and liked on your blog when you have a search bar. without it, it takes much more time and frustration scanning through all the posts until it is found!

    gin murray

  9. I use Google Reader to read blogs, but being a fellow blogger, I always go to the actual posts that I like and comment. I know how it can bum you out when you write a great post and it feels like it goes into a vacuum and no one’s seen it.

    Anyway, I found you through Blog Brunch. It was my first one, and I found it incredibly beneficial. Nice to meet you!

    1. So glad you found me 😉 I’v attended a couple of those Blog Brunches before, but this was the first one that REALLY got me thinking and considering new things. Glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts. Thanks!

  10. I do not enjoy readers and they’re never aesthetically pleasing enough for me! I’ll use them to catch all the new posts and then I open the post in a new tab. Plus- how someone designs their blog really means a lot to me, so I really appreciate getting the full experience.

    I agree with those above who’ve said that another email is something else to sift through..there are very few weekly emails that catch my fancy..I think Food and Wine is the only one at the moment 🙂

    I don’t enjoy search bars and luckily, google makes it possible for you to find anything that’s on the blog that you might be looking for. Just googling the name of the blog with your search term is sufficient, in my opinion, probably 99% of the time!

    Thanks for filling us all in, I totally enjoy these posts..very insightful 🙂

  11. I’ve used aggregators for years. They’re just so convenient when you read tons of blogs. My favorite is Reeder, which is really well designed. If I want to comment I just click “enter” and the full post opens up. If I want to pin something I click a shortcut and it opens in my browser.

  12. I use FeedDemon to read blogs, and I only click through the reader if I wanted to comment, or watch a video (w/c usually doesn’t show on readers). I use to subscribe by email for the blog posts but they take too much space in my inbox since there are so many blogs to keep up with, and some posts more than three times a day.

    I do enjoy looking at search bars in blogs for inspiration (haha) but I rarely use them. I agree that using Google is usually much better in finding what you need. 😉 ♥

    1. Thanks for your feedback Arvee. I’m finding out that Google might be the best way to search a blog.

      Best way to search would be “The Veda House, Lesson Learned”. Who would have known!

  13. I don’t know about the newsletter, I hardly ever sign up for those and prefer a month end post about maybe your favorite posts you’ve made or something. I use search bars sometimes but so rarely – if a blog layout is good with archives or links to their “features” then I don’t need to. I used to use Google Reader to look at all the blogs I read but really didn’t like how it never showed the blog layout. I’ve switched to Bloglovin which I actually really like a lot except like someone mentioned earlier – it won’t let you see all blogs (usually if it’s a stand alone url, it just sees it as a website and doesn’t show up in the feed – not really sure why they don’t change their coding so you can access these sites too). I follow an embarrassing amount of blogs or blogs like craft zine that update several times a day and using Bloglovin saves me sooo much time.

    1. Thanks for all your feedback Danielle. I think you and I are very similar in our blog post reading habits. I appreciate the insights.

      And yes! I subscribed to Craft Zine too and Bloglovin’ has been a lifesaver when navigating those frequent updates.

  14. Definitely a lot to ponder from the last Blog Brunch!

    I use Google Reader but not in the way most people do. There is actually a little-known feature that lets you add a bookmark to your browser called “next” and you just click it and it takes you to the actual post on the site of the next unread blog in your queue. It’s brilliant! I won’t self-link it here but I recently wrote a post about this feature because so few people seem to know about it. Best of both worlds, in my opinion!

  15. Great topics that I find interwoven. I love bloglovin’. I think it is the perfect middle ground between readers and balancing all of the blogs you read. You get that visual and summary that helps you decide if you want to read further. I always read the post on the blog because, I too, enjoy the experience. One tip that I just learned about bloglovin’….if the blog name doesn’t show up when you search, simply copy the blog URL and put it in the search bar and it will automatically be added. I love this! I tried readers, but didn’t enjoy the experience, but I can see the value if you have very limited time to read.
    As for newsletters, I am not a fan. I think they require a lot of effort for little return. Any Marketer will tell you that your email list is pure gold and I suppose it is important if you are selling something, but as a Marketer, I find them cumbersome and they clog up my inbox.

    1. Holy Moly Batman! This is such a great tip about adding sites to Bloglovin’ Thanks so much.

      “One tip that I just learned about bloglovin’….if the blog name doesn’t show up when you search, simply copy the blog URL and put it in the search bar and it will automatically be added.”

  16. I am still trying to get acclimated to readers; I love the convenience, but maybe it’s the graphic designer in me that still wants to see the content in their beautifully-designed blogs.

    In regard to search bars, I agree that they are not always accurate, but considering how little real estate they take up on the blog, I think they are a must and make it easy for new readers to peruse the site and existing readers to find an old post they want to reference.

  17. I always visit the actual blog and I’ve never ever used readers. It’s like a blogger’s home and I’m always excited by how they design their space. It’s all about the experience. But I do use bloglovin’ as a bookmark for all my favorites.

    I think newsletters are great for shops with a blog but if it’s just a blog, it can be a little overkill for you and for your readers. I feel like facebook or twitter gets the job done.

    I think search bars are good because it helps readers or even yourself sometimes find specific topics. Have you tried dropping the search bar below your bloglovin’ link so it doesn’t bother you?

    About the decline in comments: Maybe people want more than just pretty photos? Maybe content needs to be more original and thought provoking? It’s because so many blogs are posting the same thing, so everything is same o same o. I know I need to step up my game. I’ve been in a lull lately. Blah.

    Thanks for opening up this discussion. It’s always nice to hear what everyone’s going through.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Dabito. I really like the search bar suggestion. I think that would help me get it out of focus a bit. 🙂

  18. Hi, what a great conversation, I use blog lovin and blogger to scan the new post, from my favourite blogs.
    I always visit for the whole visual experience too
    I love to comment, sometimes just to say “thanks for sharing”, a polite way to say I visited!
    I like it when a comment is acknowledged by the blog writer or they reciprocate by visiting your blog and commenting!
    It’s all about sharing isn’t it?

    1. Exactly! If there isn’t a mini convo between blogger/reader…why would the reader continue to comment. Thanks so much for stopping by Pippa!

  19. I use Google Reader exclusively too. I used to save all of the blogs I follow and go to each one nearly every day or second day. it was ridiculous. Now I just have them all in one place and it’s so much easier (especially when following over 200 blogs!!). The only time I actually go to a blog now is if the content doesn’t fully show up in Google Reader or if it’s to check out a blog redesign.

  20. I loved this. I am a reader, reader myself just because kindle and ipone are often my technology of choice. Which also means I don’t comment as often. But when I am on my laptop I am a commenting machine! Hence and voila, my comment here. I like to join in a conversation once in a while, and that is what I like to see in most blogs, a conversation or confession. Pictures are great too! Keep it up.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. I never thought about the phone/kindle/ipad situation contributing to less commenting, but it totally makes sense. Happy Sunday!

  21. Appreciating the persistence you put into your site and detailed information you
    offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  22. 1. I’ve always liked the idea of newsletters, but I honestly don’t get into them much unless the content there is either helpful or interesting, and if it’s the latter I’ve always thought newsletters that do the best add something to the reader’s experience that the blog/website can’t.

    2. I feel like blogging went through a serious trend surge a few years ago and so commenting was very popular, but a girl whose blog I used to read religiously eventually took commenting off her posts. On the one hand, I love commenting when I have something to add or if I want to join a discussion. For instance, I’m getting a lot of insight from these jtf posts, so I feel the need to comment on them all, haha. But this is actually the first time in a while I’ve actually taken the time to comment on anything.

    3. On occasion I get use out of a search bar, but I think as long as you have easy access to top/popular content on the site already linked somewhere on the nav bar or in the sidebar, then it’s probably not needed. I’ve always thought they look like sore thumbs sticking out in a perfectly nice design.

    4. I kind of think of readers as Spotify. I like listening to music, but unless I’m really into everything you produce, I’m mostly going to listen to a music through a playlist or radio. The same goes for websites. I put all my favorites under a subscription and then read them through the feed. The only time I really go to the actual website anymore is in cases like this, when I want to check out the entire space and archives.


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