How to Read More Blogs in Less Time
(Announcing our drawing for a KINDLE FIRE! See below.)
Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
How are you reading this blog right now? Was it delivered to your email box? Is it in your Google Reader, or does it appear on your Internet home page? Maybe you clicked a link through Facebook or Twitter.
Or… perhaps you have it bookmarked and you clicked directly into the Books & Such website?
I’m sure most of you have a system of blog reading that works for you. But just in case you’re still reading blogs willy-nilly with no established method, I wanted to share with you some ways to stay on top of all the information that’s important to you… without being overwhelmed and without ever missing anything.
Would it surprise you to know that I follow over 50 blogs? It’s not a burden, it doesn’t take up an inordinate amount of time, and it’s incredibly easy. Here’s how I do it:
I’ve chosen about half a dozen blogs that for me, are the most important to keep up with, and I’ve subscribed to receive each of them in my email box. Whenever these blogs put up a new post, it appears in my email box. I’ve also set up a filter on my inbox that sends all news and blog posts to a separate folder that I call “Things to Read.” That way, the blogs don’t clog my regular inbox where I do business with clients and publishers, yet they’re plainly visible. Whenever I have a few moments and I want to catch up on my reading, I open that folder and quickly see all the latest news and blogs. (All my publishing newsletters go directly to this folder also.)
How do you subscribe to receive a blog in your email? Most blogs make it very easy. Here on the Books & Such blog, the link to subscribe via email is toward the top of the right-hand sidebar. Just enter your email address in the box and click “Subscribe.” Easy!
2. A Reader
There are quite a few different RSS Readers you can set up. I use Google Reader because it’s simple, it allows me to organize my blog subscriptions by category, and it syncs between my laptop, my Kindle Fire, and my smartphone.
Honestly, Google Reader has revolutionized my life! It makes it possible for me to follow over 50 blogs, organized into categories: Publishing. Clients. Christianity. Agents. Self-Publishing. Blogging. Technology.
The Google Reader automatically updates with new posts, and once I’ve read them, it makes them disappear. It allows me to “star” particular posts in case I might want to come back to them later. It keeps all my important reading in one place.
The best thing about the Google Reader is that, since it’s synced to my phone and Kindle, I’m able to do a lot of blog reading while “on the go.” Waiting for my kids at school is always good for skimming a few blog posts. Waiting in line at Starbucks or the bank. Waiting in the dentist’s office, sitting at a sporting event…wherever I am, I can quickly open my Google Reader app and keep up with my favorite bloggers.
What this means for me is that I almost never read blogs while actually sitting at my computer, except for when I’m on Twitter and I’m clicking on links my friends share. I’ve been known to have my Kindle Fire propped on the kitchen countertop while making dinner so I can read a blog post or two while waiting for the pasta water to boil.
How to set up Google Reader? You need to be signed in to your Google account. Then go to Google.com/reader to set it up. You’ll see a “Subscribe” button. You can enter the URLs of your favorite blogs there. When you want to create a “folder” to organize your blogs by category, click on the name of the blog you’ve added, then click “Feed Settings,” then click “New folder” and create a folder. For example, “Agent blogs.” Once you’ve created several folders, then it will be easier to add new blogs to each folder.
An even easier way to add blogs to your Reader is to click on the RSS icon on the blog itself. Here on the Books & Such blog, at the top of the sidebar you can see where it says, “Subscribe via RSS.” If you hover your mouse over it, you’ll see many options, the first one being Google. Choose which Reader you’d like to use, and click it. If you click Google, it will give you the option of having the blog appear either in your Google Reader, or on your Google Homepage.
By using the combination of email and RSS feeds, you can access an amazing amount of information in surprising little time.
Drawing for a Kindle Fire!
We want to encourage our readers to subscribe to our blog so that it comes to you automatically every time we post. Starting today and continuing through April 30th, everyone who subscribes to our blog via email or RSS will be entered in our drawing for a Kindle Fire. If you’re already subscribed, you’re already entered in the drawing. We’ll do the drawing in the first week of May and announce the winner on the blog. Contest is open to everyone in the United States and Canada, Books & Such clients included.
What’s YOUR system for reading blogs? Tell us in the comments, and let us know if you’ve subscribed.