How many blogs do you follow on a regular basis? Do you follow these blogs via email? RSS reader? Or do you just have it bookmarked on your browser bar? Maybe you rely on Facebook or Twitter for updates on your favorite blogs.
As a blogger, I follow a LOT of blogs. Very few make their way into my email inbox. Instead I follow the majority of them through Google Reader (in fact even the blogs I subscribe to by email I also follow in Google Reader). If you are unfamiliar with Google Reader, the definition from Wikipedia is: “Google Reader is a Web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline.”
If that sounded like a bunch of gibberish to you, Google Reader is a place to read all the blogs you enjoy following in one place. You don’t have to go to the blog several times a day for updates because they show up right in your reader.
Here is how you subscribe to blogs via Google Reader:
- First you need to sign up/sign in to your Google account. If you already have an account, just sign in and go here. To sign up for a Google account go here first.
- Now that you are signed up, and at this link you should see a Welcome Screen for Google Reader.
- You can either add blogs by clicking the “Add A Subscription” button on the top left and inputting the blog web address OR by subscribing to the RSS feed of the blog right from the blog itself (directions follow).
[caption id="attachment_4096" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Click Picture To Enlarge"][/caption]
How To Add A Blog To Your Google Reader From The Blog’s Home Page
- Go to your favorite blog…for our example that will be my blog 😉 (you know since you are already here right now)
- Look for a symbol like this:
[caption id="attachment_4094" align="aligncenter" width="77" caption="This is the default RSS button "][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4095" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Click to enlarge"][/caption]
- When you press that button you will be taken to a screen that looks like this (9 times out of 10).
- You will want to choose the button that says “Google” —->On the next screen: Add To Google Reader
- You have added the blog to your reader!
This is super useful because it allows you to view all your favorite blogs in one place. It also keeps track of what you have read and what you have not read (which can be dangerous if you are a completionist like me!). Keep up with family blogs, funny blogs, tech blogs, news blogs, deal blogs…all in one easy spot.
Too many blogs? Try folders!
Now if you are a blogger, or even just a blog enthusiast, you might get to the point where your blog reading overwhelms you. Everytime you log in to your Google Reader you have so many unread blogs that you immediately shut it down. OR you aren’t in a tech blog kind of mood today. You want funny and you don’t want to weed through everything to find it.
Well you can break your reader down into subsections using folders! This is how I keep up with all the latest deals. I have a specific Google Reader folder filled with deal blogs and when I want to find out what deals are hot I just browse through that specific folder quickly.
Here is how you make folders:[caption id="attachment_4097" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Add a New Folder and title it whatever you desire"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4103" align="aligncenter" width="339" caption="Give Your Folder A Name"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4098" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Visit your existing folders"][/caption]
I created a new account with Google Reader to show you step by step how to do it, but here is a screen shot of my personal Google Reader:
I have a lot of blogs that I haven’t put into folders yet, so I’m working on that little by little. It has made my blog reading so much easier though!
You can subscribe to Family Friendly Frugality by Google Reader by going to this link. Remember though, that many conversations do take place off the blog itself! I am very active on Facebook and Twitter (as are many other bloggers), so Google Reader is just one great way of keeping up with the blogs you love. Be sure to follow the bloggers you enjoy on all the social media sites you enjoy!
Do you have any tips on Google Reader? Do you use another RSS reader? I’d love to hear about your experiences!