That’s the way I check you out {#SummerBlogSocial 2011}

Whenever I see someone, whose Social Media Stream or blog is catching my interest, I check them out before I follow. Especially concerning the blog, I want to make sure I’m going to like it in the future before I save it into my RSS stream.

And I believe everybody wants to be followed. Everybody wants people reading their blog posts, getting them regularly in an RSS stream or Reader.

So picture this, I just found this new blog and I’m so exited to learn more about it. What am I you going to do?

Most of the time I’m doing the same thing. I follow steps that help me to decide if I’m interested in this blog or not, if I want to keep coming back to read more and ‘follow’. Ok, sometimes a blog is just catching me without any other check, this has happened too. Or I follow because I have the feeling I just need to.

But here are the things I usually look at:

1. The first visual overall appearance (which is certainly very individual):

  • The header: That’s normally the first thing that pops up anyway.
  • Is the page appealing to my eye? I do not like a dark background with a light-colored writing.
  • Are the widgets/gadgets in a reasonable order?
  • Do I like the overall color scheme? The colors need to go well together.
  • How long does it take to load?

2. Next I check out the main post: That’s what I’m going to read all the time when I follow the blog, so it’s kind of important. 😉

3. I read the ‘About me‘ section: And of course I’m very happy when I find a little picture of the author. If I happen to find a section about kids with some pics, I’m more than happy.

4. Now I go into the past, I want to know what the blogger has been writing before and most likely is writing in the future. I don’t care when it was written, but I like to look at the Categories, or Tags. This is very important for my decision if I’m going to like the future posts. Depending on the design, I also check out the different pages, maybe there I find more information about the topics the author is covering in his posts.

5. I like to find the Social Media Icons at a glance, preferably towards the top of the page or in the top area of the sidebar, either grouped together or otherwise easy to find.

6. And last but nut least I check out the Blog-Roll: It’s a good place to find out if the blogger has similar interests and it’s also a good place to find other blogs to check out and follow.

What I’m not interested in are the memberships, calendar or other gadgets/widgets. If something is moving and blinking it’s also a big turn off. And another thing I don’t like is one advertising banner after another, promotions for things I’m not interested in any way. Remember, I want to read the post, not to learn about diapers, baby food, tools, fruit juice, you name it …

If I find some good photos however, it’s definitely a plus.

And taken all this into consideration, now it’s a piece of cake to find out if I’m going to like reading this blog in the future or not.

Of course there is one major exception: If the posts are absolutely brilliant, I might follow anyway. 😉

But now to you: What are you looking at when you check out a new blog? What did you check out in my blog? Let me know, there is always room for improvement. 🙂


This post is for the prompt #4 “When you visit a blog, what areas – besides the main post – do you check out? Do you visit the Nav Bar pages? Look at the sidebars? Check for a list of categories or tags? Talk about the elements of a website that are most important to you.”  of the #SummerBlogSocial by Liz from a belle, a bean and a chicago dog and Jessica from Four Plus An Angel, come over, check out the other prompts, read the other posts or add yours.


Posted on August 4, 2011, in Blogging, Mommy, Things I like. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Love this!
    I’m off to add a pic to my about me page!

    • Hey, I have to admit, in your new design I didn’t pay attention to your your about me page so I just had to head over and see for myself. You are one funny woman, a big YAY for your Primal Scream. 😉

  2. Having the subscription and social media icons up in the header is a great way to free up sidebar space!

  3. I’m so glad you wrote on this prompt! It’s so helpful to know what others look for in blogs. Thanks! 🙂

  4. I had a blogroll for a long time, and I took that down as I wanted to trim the number of pages I had. I also removed the tag cloud as it looked messy on my home page, and I’m trying to keep things at a minimum. But I think all blogs are a work in progress, I’m constantly changing mine out, with minor adjustments 🙂

    I like the look of your blog, it’s a great color (calming) and the picture in your header is perfect with your blog name.

    • Yep, it is a work in progress. I don’t change for weeks and all of a sudden it’s biting me and I switch things around.

      He he, actually there was a time when the island in the header was our ‘paradise’, it was the little refuge the Hubs and I escaped to, a place to chill out with nobody else around. Ok, sometimes we also had to show the place to tourists. Business was calling.

  5. Elena @NaynaDub

    I feel like we have the same opinions when it comes to finding a new blog. I love to check out the design, their about me, previous posts and blogroll. A fun header definitely catches me first. Like yours – I want to go on a trip every single time I come here – or just come visit you. 😉

    • I’d be happy, make sure your boys are sleeping and surf over to my site, you’re always welcome 😉 And if you want to come in person, we’ll find a place for you to crash, no problem. Btw what I really like on your design is this nifty feature-widget in your side bar that makes me click it every time.

  6. JDaniel4's Mom

    I have an about me page, but removed the about me blurb on my main page. Maybe I need to bring it back.

    • Funny, I never thought about putting it on the main page, I always though having it on a second page is enough. He he, maybe also because I never wanted to put my photo to the front. But maybe I should give this a try too, just a picture and a couple of lines in the top area of the side bar. I’ll have to try and see how it is going to look.

  7. I’m really eclectic with what I like. My main thing is paragraphs. I like blogs that are easy for me to read. If an entire post is just one or two long paragraphs I lose my place and I’m not as likely to follow.

    • Oh yes, I totally agree with the paragraphs, especially when the whole post is long. Then I might zap away after the first couple of lines and miss out on a really good, well written and catching blog.

  8. I like the simplicity of your blog. I also appreciate what you wrote, honest about what you find interesting.

    But based on those findings, you wouldn’t like my blog appearance. It’s a muddy mess, but I figure that’s how life goes from time to time.

    • It’s just the way I see it, the things I look at, but everybody is looking at different elements. If all the blogs would be the same, the blogosphere would not be interesting anymore.
      Btw you chose a good name and are using it well in your blog design, I used to be a girl scout in my teens and I like your personal version of the ‘fleur de lis’. Your Louisiana meme with the ABC… is cool. Can I please ‘steal’ your idea for my blog?

  9. I thought that was a very honest list, especially about the visuals. For a long time, I didn’t do anything with my design (in terms of header and really looking at it from a graphic standpoint and not just usability), and it is currently a work in progress.

    It’s interesting to see what hooks people, how you look at the Blog Roll but other people prefer to see the networking/community sites.

    I personally like your island a lot. It makes me feel peaceful 🙂

    • I think blog sites are as individual as blog topics. The site and the context both are always a work in progress, if they stay exactly the same over a long time, the readers are getting bored and stop coming.
      And of course different people look for different things when checking out a new blog. A big ‘yay’ for the differences’

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