I thought I would let you all know how I personally use Bloglovin’. Ever since Google removed it’s Reader function, I’ve been struggling to figure out what to use instead for reading my favourite craft and lifestyle blogs. Yes, I know that it has been a very long time since Reader was taken away – but it has taken me a very long time to figure this out!
I tried a number of services and imported my RSS feeds from Google into all of the services I signed myself up to. I couldn’t figure out how to enjoy reading the blogs, though – I had loved Google Reader, and was very upset I couldn’t use it anymore! What I ended up doing was abandoning feed readers altogether, and simply bookmarking my favourite blogs in my browser.
I missed a lot of posts from my favourite bloggers, and lost out on the hours of pleasure I used to get from my blogging catchup.
Earlier this year, I decided it was time to give Bloglovin’ a try again. I deleted my previous account and signed up with a different email address so I had a fresh slate.
I then manually signed up the blogs I had bookmarked into the feed, deleting them as I went so I didn’t end up with duplicates.
Bloglovin’ also recommends blogs to you based on your likes. When I had entered all of my bookmarked ones in, I added a few of the recommended ones to my feed, and was set to go!
Reading your blogs
Once you have signed up to the blogs you want to read, it is fairly simple to read your feed. I always read on my computer – there are apps for smart devices, but I cannot comment on how good they are because I don’t use them. I did download the iPhone one, but I found it hard to work and don’t want to comment because I’m obviously not used to it and can’t give a good idea of how it works.
You can either check bloglovin.com every day by manually going to your feed and checking it – or you can install a widget onto your browser which will come up with a notification whenever there is a new post/s.
Once you have a few blogs in your feed, you can choose whether to read from oldest or newest first – I always go oldest first in case a blogger has written several posts since I last read their feed and I read them in the wrong order. Click on the title of the top post in the feed to start reading.
As you read the posts, you can share it on social media, favourite it, or interact with it as you would if you were just on the website without the Bloglovin’ reader. For example, I am logged into WordPress within Bloglovin’, and comments on WordPress blogs come out under my account, without me having to go to WordPress and do this myself. The same is true for Blogger blogs, although note that if you comment on a Blogger post through Bloglovin’, the page will refresh and take you out of the Bloglovin’ reader – so you’ll have to go back to your homepage to start again.
Bloglovin’ Feed Management
Now, I follow a lot of blogs. If I forget to read my updates daily, I have two courses of action that I follow – I either save them all up and have a blog-reading marathon on a Friday night when John is out with his work people, or I simply click “Mark all as read”. It took me a long time to accept this as a course of action, as it felt like I was deliberately missing out on the news – but when you go to read blogs and it says you have 350 unread posts, that can be extremely overwhelming!
Last Friday, I did have a blog-reading marathon. It took me 5 hours to read through over 500 posts – I worked away on a new laptop cover for my computer and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. It was kind of useful having this huge backlog – I realised there are a few blogs which I skip past without fail, so I went to their pages and unfollowed. Brutal, but it goes a long way to making it more manageable for me.
I also regularly add new blogs to the feed. I am very active on Twitter and if I check out a link to a blog and I think I will like it, I add it. It’s much easier if the bloggers put a button on their blog to let me do this (you can see mine to the right of this post!)
If a few weeks later I realise I’m not enjoying the blog – I unfollow. I’m liberal with my follow, unfollow and mark all as read buttons. I never used to be – and then realised that it was becoming a chore. Now, I have a huge number of blogs which I follow, enjoy, and always look forward to reading, without feeling internal guilt if I don’t read every single post.
If you would like to follow Plutonium Muffins on Bloglovin’, simply click the below picture and you will be able to do so. If you would like to know how to do this, or want me to send you the code for the button, let me know on corrie[at]plutoniummuffins.com. You can change the picture (you may notice mine isn’t the standard Bloglovin’ image) very easily.
I hope this helps you get as much enjoyment out of blog-reading as I do!