My thoughts on blogging…if I owned Bloglovin’

13th August 2015

My thoughts on blogging...if I owned Bloglovin

If you follow other bloggers on Twitter then you may have heard a lot of complaints about Bloglovin’ recently, and there are a number of reasons why.

The main reason is that Bloglovin’ sent out an email to all of it’s users about a competition they were running. Essentially, who ever gained the most followers in August would be featured on their blog, and this didn’t sit well with many of us bloggers who believe that blogging isn’t a competition.

This competition opened my eyes to many other problems with Bloglovin’. It’s a website that has the potential to be great, but at the moment it feel like they are taking all the wrong actions and upsetting their target market in the process.

Today I’m going to share some of the changes I would make it if I was in charge of/owned Bloglovin’ (which obviously isn’t going to happen!):

  • There would be no competitions to encourage bloggers to gain as many followers as possible. Blogging isn’t a competition.
  • I would ensure that the “Blogs you might like” weren’t just the most popular blogs on Bloglovin’ and instead look at the type of blogs you read and make decent suggestions.
  • Similarly, I would not just suggest the most popular blogs in the “Explore” section of the website. I would encourage users to explore a variety of posts from blogs both large and small.
  • I would make sure that the email subscription widget was use appropriately. It would only send out an email each time a new blog post was published instead of bombarding those who sign up with spam!
  • I would add more categories and provide an option for “No category”, and everyone would have an equal chance of publicity regardless of what they blog about.
  • I would remove inactive (1 year+) blogs. Of course, they could return at any time but I get sick and tired of seeing inactive blogs in the “Similar blogs” section. What are you trying to say Bloglovin’?
  • I’d scrap the Bloglovin’ awards, or at least try to provide some variety. I’m getting tired of seeing the same bloggers up for the same award every time. Yawn!

Are you a fan of Bloglovin’? What would you change about the site if you could?

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  1. Hahaha I agree with all these, even though I did enter the competition myself, this post was a nice reality check. I was also talking to Nick this morning about our trip to Europe next year and I was saying that if possible, I wanted to visit some people including you. It reminds me that despite this ‘commercialism’ around blogging we can still remember who our blog friends are.

    I actually don’t mind the recommended posts I get with teh daily digests on Bloglovin. Some of them end up being the same since I receive the email daily and there probably isn’t anything new. But you’re right, it’s the same blogs over and over and over again. It’s nice, but they are the popular ones, and I am sure there are some blogs out there that deserve some recognition for their real content. I am sick of reading all these life-changing tips and how to detox and x ways to grow your business. I’m looking for something different!

    I remember being very, very, very reluctant to use Bloglovin at all. I like that people read other blogs on it and can easily add mine to their list, but beyond that, it’s a bit ‘meh’. I bet they are having these awards and doing these competitions because they know they suck and need to give attention to smaller blogs. They are doing it the wrong way.

    • Holly

      I would love to meet you! So if you do come to England I will travel to where ever you are visiting to meet up. Although I do highly recommend visiting Liverpool. ;)

      Oh yeah, there are loads of great blogs out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve. And then there are some blogs that are super popular that just post the most generic content.

  2. Kya

    I saw that email and thought it was quite wrong. I really like many of the suggestions that you made and I am sure others in the community would appreciate it too! I stopped using Bloglovin a while ago and use Feedly to get blog feeds now.

  3. Susanne

    I think Bloglovin sucks big time. One main reason is that you can’t decide whether or not your blog will be there, which I think is wrong. YOU as the owner of your blog is the only one to decide if you want your blog to be in a certain directory. For me, having changed url tons of times, probably have lots of old blogs there on the bottom on their list, and I can’t remove those that are inactive. If I use another url I have to add it to my profile, and remove the old one from the profile but I can’t remove it from Bloglovin. That is odd in my opinion.
    Also I think their feed management sucks. If you remove a post, it still appears on the feed. You can’t manage anything really.
    Also, I totally agree with you about the most popular blogs… I don’t care much about the most popular blogs, they are boring most of the time. I also would like to see blogs that are similar to the ones I read. And about the competition.. well, I can just say that Bloglovin is feeding certain bloggers’ attitude that blogging only is about the number of people who clicked a “follow” button.
    And Bloglovin is created by Swedes. I’m kind of ashamed.

    • Holly

      I agree. It’s strange that other people can add your blog to the site. It should definitely be your choice, especially when there are so many other ways for people to follow a blog.

      I didn’t know Bloglovin’ was created by Swedes. I assumed it was created in America. That’s interesting to know.

  4. I agree with all your points. When I want to find new blogs to read I see only the same blogs with thousands of followers that aren’t even the types of blogs I read, very annoying.

    • Holly

      It would be so nice if Bloglovin’ could highlight some of the more unique/small scale blogs out there.

  5. Totally agree with all your points.

    I got really annoyed when I received the email about the competition thing. In my head I was like, “Since when was blogging a competition?!” Nowadays though, I feel like people are blogging for the free stuff and so they churn all these posts that aren’t quality. Kind of sad to see the direction blogging has taken.

    Oh well, there will always that part of the blogging community that blog for themselves! Like you :)

    I wouldn’t suggest the most popular blogs either because they literally post the things all the time. I do have Bloglovin’, but I don’t really use it.

    • Holly

      There is nothing worse than begging for free stuff. We had nothing like that back when I started blogging, and I have to say that there was a lot less bitchiness and competition then too.

  6. You are so right, I have never once looked at a ‘blog I might like’ recommendation.

    • Holly

      I always look but there are never any blogs that interest me in this section, or they’re no longer updated.

  7. Jamie

    Like everyone else, I thought that the email for a blogging competition was really wrong. Not everyone is going to be popular, and those that aren’t are only going to be more insecure about their blogs, if they aren’t already. I just trashed that email, as that’s not fair to those of us who isn’t popular.

    I do agree with all of your points though. Some sound a little familiar to that of blogmatter.com (or did). I think that website kind of went the wrong way as well. No offense to Kya or anything. Obviously, the owner of bloglovin does NOT feel that it’s wrong to make someone popular. I mean what are we? Back in the 90s where everyone wanted to be popular and wasn’t? Blogging should be used for fun. Not something as a competition. I vote Holly to be the leader of Blogvin’. I haven’t gone back to it after that email by the way.

    • Jamie

      I also can’t help but feel this is the same route that Twitter is going as well. It’s really sad. Again, we bloggers like you and me and everyone else, blog for fun. Not to gain popularity. But there will always be people who has to be popular.

      • Holly

        Haha, thanks for the vote. It’s a complicated situation really. I’m all for bloggers becoming popular but it should be because they produce great content and have reads who genuinely love reading their content, and not because they beg for follows.

  8. Cat

    Well uh… I’m going to be the weirdo that says something different. First, I agree that there shouldn’t be a competition on gaining the most followers. Blogging isn’t about competing in followers, and only popular blogs have a chance at this anyway, so it’s not fair.

    At the same time, it doesn’t surprise me that they’d want to do this. If you look at the blogging community, it’s become common for a follow on Bloglovin to be a giveaway entry. It’s also common for people to repeatedly promote their Bloglovin account and to have a follower count goal. When you step back and look in on the blogging community, there is way more focus on gaining followers than there have been in the past. This competition is pretty much going with the flow of what’s already happening.

    I definitely agree that their recommendations and explore algorithms could be improved though. The sidebar has even recommended my own blog to me before, which is pretty dumb. At work, we ran into similar problems with showing popular items, and we went with the Reddit algorithm that bases it off of both recency and popularity – with recency having the heavier weight. This way newer items have a better chance of being seen. I think this is more helpful to the smaller blogs who don’t get much exposure.

    Overall, I use Bloglovin a lot and don’t mind it that much, though I feel like it’s really buggy at times.

    • Holly

      Admittedly I promoted my Bloglovin’ account on Twitter a few times but after the email from Bloglovin’ about the competition I realised I was being just as bad as the rest of them, even though my intention wasn’t to increase my following but to suggest a way that other’s could follow along with my blog.

      Bloglovin’ recently admitted that they only employ 2 people to work on the popular posts/recommended sections, so it sounds like this issue is because they’re understaffed or haven’t found a better system.

  9. I either didn’t see that email, or didn’t get it… If it went to “promotions” in Gmail, it probably got deleted haha. The only reason I use Bloglovin is to “follow” the blogs I love reading. I guess I could get an RSS reader like Feeddemon., I just haven’t gotten around to it since I whatever the reason was I uninstalled it. I like Bloglovin’ because *most* of the blogs are there and I can follow them in one place. I follow so many people on Twitter that watching out for a “I blogged!” tweet is near impossible (especially with time differences, I’d have to go back a few hours!).

    I agree with the changes you’d make. I hate going to explore blogs and they’re all about “ten rules for blogging!” “Ten rules for this!” “Recipe that is generic and easy! But i took good photos of it!”.

    Infact, if I recall correctly, there’s isn’t even a category for Personal Blogging… Which is what *I* am. I blog about a lot of different things, but mainly my personal life, and that category isn’t even there!

    • Holly

      I normally just send Bloglovin’ emails to trash but I think the subject contained the word “competition” so I clicked on it.

      I used to do “follow for follow” on Bloglovin and then I realised that it was silly and I didn’t want to follow all those bloggers just for the sake of it. So now I only follow the blogs I want to follow.

      The personal category needs to be added! I have to class myself as a lifestyle blogger but really I talk about many different topics and I shouldn’t feel like I need to narrow it down.

  10. Bloglovin has a good basic concept, but getting there seems a bit bumpy. I use it to keep track of the new blog posts as well as look at whatever is on the “explore” tab. The only problem is that they favor too much on the burnt out topics/blogs, “50 ways to spend a sunday!” “10 ways to have healthy skin” so finding new underrated blogs might be a bit hard unless you go through people’s connections.

    I think they got swallowed into the money-making/popular-spreading phase. I’m not a fan of their “shop” section either, it doesn’t make sense for a blogging-network site. The one thing I want is a “pinterest-style” categorizing section where I can “save” posts accordingly. I think there is, but it’s not working to the way I like..

    • I agree. It’s handy for following along with blogs but not so practical for finding new ones.

      The shop is so out of place! I think they do have this feature of categorising now, or at least something similar.

  11. Tim

    As a very vocal detractor of Bloglovin, it would take a lot for them to get me to care about their platform ever again. Throwing away their antiquated policies on language used in blog posts would be a good start, as would a complete revamp of their customer service teams. The frilly things like contests and awards are extremely minor in comparison.

  12. […] When it comes to picking a category for my blog I almost always pick “Lifestyle” because 99% of the time “Personal” isn’t an option, and I would hate for my blog to be categorised as “Other”. I mean, on Bloglovin’ you can’t even see blog posts from the category “other” on the Explore and Find Blog tabs. But don’t even get me started on Bloglovin’. […]