One of my biggest resolutions for 2017 is to get more involved, organized, and strategic about my blogging. Blogging can be an incredibly time consuming hobby, and between reading books, creating content, keeping up with my corresponding social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, etc.), and responding to comments, it’s hours of dedication per week. That’s not even including the time to visit other bloggers and engage with their content. Therefore, I decided I wanted to try a new approach this year to better organize myself when it comes to interacting with other bloggers.
When I first began book blogging, I predominantly used the wordpress.com reader to keep up with and follow blogs. Soon I became active on Bloglovin’ as well, which serves as both a blog reader but also a social network site of sorts, as you can claim your blog and become notified of how many followers you have and who is interacting with your posts. While I still frequent Bloglovin’, I’ve recently started using Feedly as well and I have to say I am loving it.
Feedly has a super minimalist look and approach and I find it to be a bit less overstimulating than Bloglovin’. I was easily able to transfer over all of the blogs I follow via Bloglovin’ to Feedly so I can follow all of them on both platforms. It even kept my separate categories, or feeds, in place. I was thrilled to find that Feedly can now easily tell me how many unread posts I have overall, and in each category as well. There’s also a nifty “Read Later” function to remind me of posts I want to look more closely at another time. I’ve found that Feedly also works super well for me because of its ability to show posts in different formats. Below is the “Title Only” view, which almost mimics the look of an email inbox. I LOVE this view because it allows me to quickly scan and see all of my unread posts and decide which to initially bookmark, visit, or mark as read. I don’t have to scroll through multiple pages, images, and thumbnails to get a sense of what I want to read.
There’s also the “magazine view” option, which is a bit more similar to Bloglovin’s layout. I usually use this view when looking at my specific feeds that aren’t as overwhelming and large as my general “All” feed that includes updates from all the blogs I follow. There’s also a “Cards” view option that shows posts in larger tiles, similar to how the view on Bloglovin’ is if you go straight to someone’s profile to look at their posts or the posts that they’ve liked.
Another thing I love about Feedly is the ability to create Boards. I like that I can see all of my board in the left hand side bar and that they’re all really easily accessible. These are similar to Bloglovin’s collections, but in a much more convenient layout for me to navigate. I’ve started building boards not only for topics to put posts in that I want to revisit, but also for posts I enjoy from a particular month. Then at the end of the month I can do a much better job of quickly finding all of my favorite blog posts from fellow bloggers and sharing them in my monthly recaps. Honestly, the left hand sidebar in Feedly reminds me a lot of my Outlook email inbox and I love how I can see everything at a glance and file things away like I would with my email for future reference.
I’ve also found the Feedly app for my phone to be a really streamlined and beautiful user experience, and it’s really easy to mark posts as read and review my feed while on the go, and its integration with the website is seamless. Now my blog reading routine is two pronged: I continue to use Bloglovin’ to engage with other bloggers in a way that notifies them, and use Feedly to streamline and categorize my feed and save posts that I want to reference later much more effectively.
I’d love to hear about how YOU use RSS readers to keep up with the blogs you follow! Do you use one or multiple? Feedly, Bloglovin’, or something completely different? How do you keep up with all of the various duties that come along with blogging? Let me know in the comments!