I follow blogs the way I buy cookbooks.
I find a recipe I like, I read a little of the content and I decide if it is worth reading more.
No.1 reason: I find I like cookbooks that tell a story about each recipe and so that rolls over into the blogs I like.
I follow Pioneer Woman because I love her animal stories, her writing is very good, makes me laugh out loud. I can actually feel like I am right there as these stories are unfolding.
I follow many Italian blogs because I am interested in the way they prepare their foods. The ingredients in Europe, although may seem the same as the ones we have here, are so different that the tastes of one dish prepared here with similar ingredients is totally different then if it was prepared there. I like when the blogger lived in Italy for a time but moved here and can educate us on the differences.
No.2 reason: So I guess a blog that teaches me something is one worth following.
No.3 reason: I also follow blogs because of the pictures. I want to learn how to take professional-styles food pictures and the only way to learn is to copy.
I rarely cook a recipe from a blog. When I need inspiration I go to Bon Appetit or Food & Wine, Martha, Epicurious, MyRecipes.com (which has a database from 5 magazines) and lately Chow.com.
I keep thinking that maybe I should blog like a blog I would follow. Even though my recipes are about diabetes and eating tastefully, I also talk about everyday life things that get in the way and shape my day.
I write recipes for contests when I have time, I belong to a few blog food challenges that I love and I am constantly researching foods from other countries.
I have to think about how I can best get my diabetic recipes out there to people who think they have to eat blandly and limited and really can eat wonderfully flavorful and adventurous meals.
Maybe 1 recipe a week with a great picture and a funny story and history of the origins of the dish along with all the nutritionals and a picture of each step of that recipe is the new format I should adopt. This way I can spend the other days, promoting my site on places like Foodbiz, BlogHer, Tasty Kitchen, and sites that feature hundreds of other blogs. Enter their contests and maybe meet a few people along the way.
I do NOT want to make money off my blog, but I do want to show people who want to eat healthy, a way to do it reasonably.