Sunday 13 November 2011

I have a question for you...

I haven't been blogging all that long.
I started Brown Paper Packages the end of March and promptly fell in love with the whole process.
I started reading DIY/Home Decor blogs around this time last year and fell in love with that niche. 
But it hasn't taken very long to clue in to a few things.

Some blogs have the "it" factor and...well,...others don't. 
The cold blunt truth, isn't it? 

What I have not been able to figure out, however, is exactly what that "it" factor is.  
You know the ones that have "it"...the ones that explode overnight and suddenly you see them everywhere in blog land and everyone is hitting their "follow" button like there is no tomorrow!
 Then you may notice a blog that started at the same time, has equally as great content, is featured just as often as the "it" blog...and yet...the growth seems painfully slow.
Or maybe they have equally as fantastic work, but their blog is rarely featured, and the growth is small.
Every time I run into a blog that falls into that category, I scratch my poor head almost bald trying to figure out why.

So I thought I would put the question out to you, cause you're awesome. 
What's the "it" factor for you?
What makes you decide to click the follow button on a blog?

Do you follow because you like the "feel" of the blog?
Do you follow because you identify with the blogger?
Do you follow because that blogger hosts weekly link parties, whether big or small?
Do you follow because of one post you liked, or because you keep running into posts you like and you notice they are always from the same blogger?

And on the flip side...what makes you NOT follow a blog?
Maybe you like the content, but there is something that keeps you from sticking around...what is it?

Inquiring minds want to know....or at least this mind wants to know!
Let me know your thoughts...don't be shy (but please be nice!).

I look forward to hearing from you!



  1. I'm really not sure. I started my blog awhile ago but didn't really market it until a couple of months ago. I never know what is going to be popular so I just enjoy making what I'm going to do for my family anyway. The blogs that I like to read are ones that are from the heart, the people are as imperfect as I am and don't mind pointing it out.

  2. Consistent content is what will bring me back. A sense of humor helps :) You're in my blogroll and it's cuz I like you... you have the 'it' factor for me. A lot of blogs out there have a lot of followers because they ask/beg people to follow them. I only want people clicking 'follow' on my blog if they really want to, of their own volition! If there are a lot of posts about a bloggers family and kids I sometimes unfollow. I love kids and have 2 of my own, but I'm looking for crafty content. I don't have a ton of followers, though, so I don't know how much my advice helps!

  3. Funny, isn't it?
    Sometimes I think it's a little like real life. You meet someone and just "hit it off". There's some sort of pull or connection that you can't always put your finger on.
    I come across blogs that have over a thousand followers and I scratch my head wondering what in the world all those people are seeing 'cause I just ain't gettin it.
    Then it's true with the opposite, like you said. You come across one that's beautiful to look at and has great posts, but there's only a handful of people coming by everyday.
    I think, for me, the visual first impression makes a big difference. If I find the homepage visually appealing, in addition to liking the post I've ended up at, I may poke around a bit more and end up checking in every day.
    But I'm also drawn to personality, which sometimes goes along with your mention of relating to the author. If our lives are similar on paper, it's easier to see where they're coming from. The relating isn't always the case, though. I follow blogs of people that I'm pretty sure I have absolutely NOTHING in common with. But I like them and I like their content.
    I also started my blog early this spring and have come to love almost everything about it. For the most part, the people are awesome. Who'da thunk complete strangers would visit you every day and continue to pay you such nice, genuine comments?! It amazes me.
    So in conclusion, I think sometimes the "it" is being in the right place at the right time. Other times, I think some people just have "it" and for whatever reason, "it" is strong enough to come through a keyboard.

  4. Ha! I hear you...I didn't even think of putting my followers box up where anyone could see it until July...and didn't really get plugged into the parties until Sept.! I agree with only posting about what's real in your own life, rather than trying to keep up with trends in order to gain a following! Thanks for your input!

  5. Hi Evie,
    I seem to be going through the same situation that you are. It is difficult to know what folks will like and to know what to put out there to "lure" folks in sometimes. I try to have a mixture of recipes along with other things but am not into the diy thing yet as I am just getting my business going. I have a few followers but difficult to get more and even more difficult to get folks to "talk back to me". I enjoy your blog and look forward to many more of your u bloggings.

  6. I don't know but let me know if you figure it out! No, for me, I follow someone if I am drawn to their projects and feel that they are something that I could do myself. I also like those that are beautiful and inspirational to me, even if they are a bit out of my comfort zone, to try to broaden my horizons. I have learned SO MUCH from reading blogs! I like to be able to relate to the blogger and feel like she could be a real-life friend. Thanks for giving me some things to think about, I always want to know how to make my blog better.

  7. Aww thanks Jamie - awfully nice of you! I think you're right...lots of people do ask for followers and I personally find it a bit tacky. Like you, I'd rather have a few followers who genuinely like what I'm offering.
    Thanks so much for both of your input, Mindy & Jamie! I like hearing what other people are thinking!

  8. Evie, I believe the blogs that grow quickly are the ones that really make themself known to other bloggers ie.leaving lots of comments, offering giveaways and joining parties. Good content will keep them following. I tend to follow blogs that show creative ideas and projects for your home. I also follow some just because I love their style of decorating. I don't normally follow blogs that ONLY show pictures from magazines and web sights of other people's homes. Hope this helps!

  9. I agree with Sherry on this matter of blogs, I follow if I like the content of their blog and show pictures of what they have made or painted and I think that maybe I can do it myself! Such as painting my kitchen cabinets white, I would have never done it without some bloggers who had shared all they used or did for the project, I have learned so much from them!
    You asked what turned a person off? Well, again I agree with Sherry, I don't follow the ones who share just pictures of magazines or from websites! I have been on some that swear, although I'm not a prude, it just somehow turns me off to read it!


  10. I have wondered the same things. I tend to follow ones that are visually pleasing and feel that is what sets many apart from others. I also look for similar tastes in decorating but usually pass up the ones that show a lot of magazine pics. Anyone can do that and I would rather see their ideas and inspiration. I have left comments and do link up to parties and it helps but I don't understand the blogs that require you to link back to their blog even after having thousands of followers. (Still can't figure out how to do that)I thought it was about giving new blogs a chance to show off their work..thanks for bringing this up!

  11. I've been thinking about the same thing Evie. Visually, I have to be pulled in, then see if I can relate to the reader. I enjoy leaving comments and I feel a sense of respect and want to follow the ones that follow me back or comment on my comment. That shows me that they do care about their followers and they take the time. It's not all about how many followers they can get...I don't like the ones with the "glossy" magazine pics because that's just not the way I live! I think there is a fine balance in being creative and professional, but a blogger needs to show their followers that they are people too and lead a REAL life, just like everyone else. I'm not a fan of the ones who have a link up party, but won't take the time to link up projects to the people who ask if they'd like to share on their link parties. I don't follow them anymore! Thank you Evie for bringing this up!

  12. For me, I tend to follow blogs that have a variety of good ideas and projects that are accessible to the average crafter/seamstress. I dislike blogs that are all "fluff"--like giveaways and link parties. I usually unsubscribe to the ones that do this more often than not. They are ok to put on your blog once in a while, but most of us are just looking for new ideas.

  13. désolée,Evie moi je te suis fidèle même si je ne parle l'anglais je me sers de la barre d'outils traduction et je dois te dire que j'aime beaucoup ton blog l'ambiance, la chaleur , l'émotion tout cela ne se comptabilise pas, s'il est vrai que la barrière de la langue m'enpeche de t'écrire autant que je le voudrais je suis une fidéle lectrice

  14. Thank you ALL so much for your input! I LOVE hearing your thoughts...exactly what I was looking for! : ) Thank you!!

  15. Hey Evie! I just found your blog this morning :) So glad I did. I love this post. What an inquisitive question...
    who knows, really?? But I believe for me, it has to do with time. If I could sit here all day and join and follow and comment on blogs of everyone I like, I would. But work and family obligations are much more important. And I'm sure most ladies who blog would, also. However, I just have to have a handful of "my most visited"...due to only 24 hours in a day :)
    But I am so thankful for blogging, as it has given me a new world of friends I would have never had.
    It is so nice to "meet" you. Love your site, and I'm a new follower :)

  16. I'm not sure what the "it" factor is with some blogs. Maybe it is the blogger, their post, the way they communicate/respond to their followers, etc.

    Personally when I visit someones blog, I take a stroll through the posts; if I like what I see then I will become a follower. I don't tell them I am following, I just figure they will figure it out when they see my comments to many of their post. I like the linky parties, it gives me a chance to find other blogs without the whole search engine pain. As for the giveaways, well I like seeing what they are giving away but very seldom enter, but it doesn't draw me in to follow.

    As for my blog, some post get comments and as for the posts that don't, I have no idea if anyone reads them but oh well, to me it is fun.

    Have a wonderful week.

  17. Evie,
    May i just say how absolutely adorable you are, and how much i hope that my saying this does not offend you. (lol) I so enjoyed your wedding photos and commentary, lots of out loud chuckles! I even snagged a few ideas for my daughters Spring wedding, next Mother's Day. Thankfully, it will be outside with no snow and plenty of "in the ground" trees. ;p
    If there is an "it" factor, you have it in abundance!! My determination factors for choosing a blog are as follows: personable and genuine commentary by the blogger; fun and easy projects; money saving ideas; giveaways may draw me to the blog, but i might not necessarily enter them or follow the blogger, even if i did(definitely not a factor for me). I hope this helped.
    Thanks for blogging and taking me away from the dreariness in my own life! <3
    Have a truly blessed week! <3

  18. I totally agree with Sherry's comment. The other thing I would add, is that some blogs that have a couple thousand followers may be several years old and have had that much time to "collect" followers.

  19. Hi Evie! I am a new follower and this post couldn't have popped up at a better time for me! I have recently been wondering the same question. I have had my blog for a year and a half and I struggle with gaining readers. Recently I have started advertising and I have noticed my visits going up quite a bit. For me a good blog is one that is visually appealing but also is written by someone who is down to earth. I like to know there is a real human being behind that screen and not just some illusion of perfection.

  20. Don't apologize for posting this question... I have often wondered this myself since I've only been blogging for a few months as well.

    I have found that the Biblical principle "You reap what you sow" comes into play even when blogging. :) When I link up to parties, I really try to leave comment s & check out other people's blogs. That's when I seem to get the same treatment.

    I personally look for someone who is 'real', not perfect or trying to come across like they have all the answers. A blog who has do-able content & things I'm interested in. A sense of humour is a plus, but not a must.

    I love your blog. Keep it up!

  21. This is very thought provoking Evie! not sure exactly what the "it" factor is LOL! I believe in being yourself, being true to who you are and what you like. In return you will attract like minded friends and followers. Honestly, I do not look at what other blogs are doing or what their following is or even question how they got there...I just do what I do, and hope people will like it and read it and see the person that I am. I think you are doing a fantastic job!

  22. Oh.... I love this topic! I've been reading your blog for awhile, but just started "following" today and this is my first comment.

    I keep thinking that I'll start a blog, but haven't taken the plunge yet... so I am as interested in this topic as you are. I read some that have thousands of followers, and I read a couple where there are less than 10.

    For me... there are lots of reasons I go back to a blog. I'll list my dislikes and my likes. ;)

    I like those that reflect my interests... decorating, diy, crafting & cooking. Emphasis on the decorating.

    I like accessible decorating. I enjoy reading about thrift store finds and diy projects... not how a blogger hired a painter and ordered a room full of furniture from a catalog I can't afford to shop from.

    I like to see the progession of a room or a project. Nothing gripes me more than when a blogger starts a project and never mentions it again or takes months to finish it with no updates. One of the reasons I go back is to see the outcome. If it's taking awhile.... say so.

    Blog about your projects, your recipes, your home, etc. I don't mind reading about what you've seen on Pinterest... but I don't go to your blog to see pics from magazines or other websites. I can go to those sites myself. I want to see something you've done and hear your experience and advice.

    Be real. Talk to me like we're friends. Don't put on airs and don't lecture. I just stopped reading a blog because the blogger started lecturing everyone about hotlinking pictures and the do's and don'ts of posting on Pinterest. Those things are important... but I don't go to a decorating blog to get a virtual hand slap or to be berated.

    I like lots of pictures and detailed explanations.

    If you post a link in a thread... make it open in a new window so I don't have to backtrack to your board and figure out where I left off reading.

    Don't truncate all your posts. If I have to click on every one and open it up entirely to see the pics and if it's something I'm interested in... I'm going to skip it.

    Reply to comments. If I'm going to read your blog and take the time to make a comment, the least you can do is acknowledge it. I know that blogs get big and the blogger can't always reply to every comment, but if I see that you are replying to some of them, even if it's not mine, it makes me feel like you care about your readers and not just the traffic you get.

    And my number one blog pet peeve.... why does it seem like you have to have a blog in order to win the giveaways?

    Of course... when I say 'you' or 'your' I'm speaking in general and not to you directly. I love your blog and your projects. IMO... you definitely have the IT factor, so I expect your blog to take off anytime now and join the ranks of the super blogs.

    Hope I didn't step on any toes with my comments.


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