How to subscribe to blogs (Or, why you shouldn’t panic about Google Reader’s demise)
There was a season when I was too busy blogging to read blogs, but then that started feeling weird and wrong, so I started reading them again. (I learned my trick: I need to write first, producing before I consume.) So I started reading blogs again, after I’ve written my day’s personal quota, and reading them reminds me continually why I love this blogging thing in the first place. I have a carefully-curated lineup of favorites, and add more as I find them unmissable.
By far, the easiest way to keep up with blogs is to subscribe to them—it’s free, you don’t have to constantly check to see if there’s something new, and if you want to click over and read on the actual site, you can—the link comes to you, in whatever inbox you use to receive the blog’s feed. (“Feed” is fancy web talk for frequently updated content, if you were ever too afraid to ask.)
And like many of you, I used Google Reader for years, and was shocked to hear its ultimate demise by July 2013. So I started exploring, found my new favorite way to subscribe, and now I can’t imagine ever going back to Reader, even if it were sticking around.
So consider this your primer for how to subscribe to blogs—whether you’ve never subscribed to a blog before, or whether you subscribe to hundreds and are looking for a new place to do it.
There are essentially two ways to subscribe to a blog—via a feed reader (more on this in just a sec), and via email. If you don’t want to manage a second inbox, subscribing via email is the way to go. That way, your favorite blogs come to you in your email inbox, which you check regularly, anyway.
(For this blog, you can enter your email address in the left-hand sidebar, or below, at the end of each post.)
Depending on your email client, you can also create filters and tags to send all your subscriptions to a file and bypass your inbox, thereby creating a lineup of feeds in one place, much like your own personal feed reader. It’s a great option.
The other option is to use a secondary feed-reading client, such as Google Reader—except that Reader is going the way of the dinosaurs. So if you’d like to know where you migrate your blog feeds, might I suggest what I now use?
I feel like i need to start with this disclaimer: I’m in no way associated with Feedly. I’m just a user who loves their service.
When you head to Feedly, you’ll first see this screen:
If you already use Google Reader, click on “Connect to Google Reader.” Voila—your feeds should have seamlessly migrated. Hooray!
If you’re just now subscribing to feeds, create an account. Then, start subscribing. On the right side, you’ll see a magnifying glass icon. Click on that, then add a blog:
Then click on the plus sign next to the blog’s feed, and it’ll ask you what to name the feed and where to put it (more on folders in a sec).
There you go—you just subscribed to a blog!
Now, when you head to Feedly, you’ll see a personalized screen, like this:
And if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see this:
It’s all your feeds, shown by most current. BUT—you can organize your feeds by topic, helping you read according to your mood and what you’re after:
You can read all your blog subscriptions at one time by clicking on your folder’s name, such as my “Paleo” folder above.
Or, you can toggle each folder, found in the left sidebar, and you’ll see all your subscriptions listed individually. Then you can read just one blog at a time:
I love Feedly’s clean, simple interface. I don’t miss Google Reader one bit.
The mobile app
Feedly’s also got a great app, making it easy to read blogs while I’m waiting in the carpool line.
You can read your blog subscriptions in order of publication, or also by your folders.
There are other feed readers, too. Laura Tremaine recently wrote about her switch to BlogLovin’, though her reasons for using that service are my reasons for using Feedly (I didn’t experience the “Ikea-ness” of Feedly that she describes). There are others out there, too.
So, your takeaway?
1. If you like keeping up with blogs, subscribe to them—it’s an easy way to keep up with latest posts, and it’s free.
2. Subscribe to blogs via email if you don’t want a separate inbox. That way, they’ll come to you wherever you check your email.
4. If you haven’t yet subscribed to Simple Mom, why not give it a whirl? No pressure, of course, but we publish new posts Monday-Saturday, and we do our best to keep them short and useful. Head here to subscribe via email (or just use the spot at the bottom of this post), and here via reader. And it’s always free.
Your turn—how do you read your favorite blogs?
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