Blogging consistently is so important, especially for those of us that blog for our businesses. Keeping up with others’ blogs is also important, because it keeps us connected to those in our community and niche. I make it a daily practice to read, comment, and share as many blogs as I possibly can, because I genuinely enjoy it. I really enjoy learning new things, reading someone else’s take on a particular subject, and being able to support them in doing so. This is why, today, I’m sharing my secret for how I keep up with and read the many blogs I follow daily.
My big secret: Feedly! Yes, Feedly is what I use to keep up with and read over 200 blogs a day, if not more. In my humble opinion, I don’t think there is any better RSS feed reader out there, speaking for both the desktop and mobile versions. While I do occasionally use Bloglovin’, its layout, organization, and efficiency pales in comparison to that of Feedly. With Feedly, I can browse through articles and posts in no time, as well as share via social media right within my browser or the app on my phone. Its clean, minimalist design keeps the focus on the content and it integrates easily with Google, which make signing in and out of it a breeze.
The Bells & Whistles
For starters, Feedly has a nifty browser extension that works across all of the major browsers. Whether you fancy using Safari, Chrome, or FireFox, installing the extension makes accessing Feedly quick and convenient.
Another great thing about Feedly is that you can completely customize your user experience directly in the Preferences. You can choose exactly how you want content presented, down to the link color, font, and text size. Its integrated with a sleuth of social media sharing services, in which you can choose up to 6 to display directly in your article toolbar. Feedly also allows you to save your favorite articles, and the best thing is that you can back them up using Dropbox with Feedly’s Pro service.
Feedly even let’s you select a color scheme for your reader, with over 20+ themes to choose from. Its one more thing that allows you to personalize and make your Feedly reader your own.
I could spend an entire post talking all about the cool features of Feedly, but this post is about me sharing with you how it allows me to read, share, and connect to so many blogs a day.
I make checking Feedly part of my morning blogging/social media routine. This means that after I check my email, hop over to my blog to make sure my scheduled post went up, pin it, and check my stats, that the next thing I do is check…you guess it, my Feedly. I usually do everything from my phone, which allows me to focus on my work once I pull out my laptop. When it comes to Feedly, I scroll through all of the posts that are in my reader via my phone, save the ones I want to read in full once I get to my desktop, and mark all others read.
The great thing is that I can see all of the headlines and click to see either the excerpt or full version of the article right on my phone. I can pin and tweet articles right from the mobile version, as well as saving (or bookmarking) them to reference later. I can go directly to those saved articles and reread or click through to the to comment or read other posts from the blog. Using this method allows me to quickly access new content in a much more organized fashion than having 10+ tabs open in my browser at a given time.
The less tabs I have open, the more organized I am, allowing me to be strategic in starting my work for the day. Also, as you all know the less programs and such you have running on your system the more power it preserves. This allows your computer to run better and faster, and lesses the likelihood for freezes or it running slowly. The last thing you want to do is have your computer freeze in the middle of writing a post or doing a project and having to restart it or shut it down.
The Reciprocation Effect
If you find yourself overwhelmed at the idea of keeping up and visiting many blogs a day efficiently, using Feedly might just be the answer. Reciprocation builds community, so if you’re not stopping over to visit, share, and comment on other’s blogs than you can’t expect for people to do the same for yours. One way to build readership is to comment on other’s blogs, because you’re not only communicating with the blog owner, but everyone else who visits. I receive a good portion of my referral traffic from blogs I comment on, and many times its long after I’ve commented. The thing is that when you comment, for the most part, it will always be there. No matter when someone stops by, there is always a chance they will see your comment and click through to learn more about you. Of course not all site owners have comments enabled or the ability to leave a link behind, but at the very least you’re communicating with them.
The key and secret to my method working is that Feedly fosters organization, which is so essential to me as a business owner and blogger. My time is very limited, especially when it comes to balancing it between working on my blog, business, and being a full-time WAHM. It doesn’t leave much time for me to do a lot of recreational things online like checking social media and scrolling through a litany of blogs several times a day. Using Feedly allows me to keep up with the blogs I follow a few times a day, and with the features it has I can keep everything saved right in it. I don’t have to worry about bookmarking a post in my browser and not being able to find later. I can’t tell you how many times I’d done that prior to using Feedly and not being able to ever find that post again, because it gets lost in the shuffle of my other 100+ bookmarks.
I think one of the things that adds to my success and efficiency as a blogger is using a service like Feedly. Being a good blogger is about more than just posting several times a week, its about building and contributing to a community. As I always say, you have to give to receive, and anything that enables me to help and give more, is beyond okay in my book. I’m able to achieve all of these things with just the basic, free version of Feedly, but they do offer a pro version. Its integrated with even more services to help you be more organized and efficient with keeping up with your favorite blogs. You can find out more information, including pricing, about the Pro version of Feedly here.
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How do you keep up with the blogs you follow? – Do you have any tried and true practices and services for doing so?