You can ask any of my fellow bloggers about the one thing that is vital for any blog and I am sure most of them would assure you that it is ‘blog engagement’. It is no news that we bloggers love making friends and look out for the approval from our peers in form of comments and follows.
When I decided I would stay on top of the blogs I love and follow, I promised myself that I would have meaningful engagement with my fellow bloggers, not just for namesake. But I confess, I didn’t realize how difficult it was gonna be, given the humongous number of blogs that I ended up liking.
For me following means reading all of their posts and commenting on them. The number of followers doesn’t matter for me as much as the number of responses I receive, in the form of participation in the discussion through comments, likes or shares. If you think like me, then you might like the bloggers comment junction. Now getting on to the topic at hand.
Earlier in one of my posts, I started a discussion on why I would follow a blog and what you can do to make your blog more appealing to your readers. This post is kinda its logical continuation where we will discuss how I follow these blogs, bookish or otherwise.
Depending upon the number of blogs that you are following regularly your method might vary. Keep doing what works for you, and if it works well share it with us in the comment section so that we can try it as well.
Keep yourslf updated in three ways
- Social Media
- Visiting your blog regularly for updates
- RSS feed subscription
Following your social media
While there are so many social media websites that help you follow a blog, not all are equal right? As a book blogger I have my profile on all these sites but when it comes to using them to keep myself updated with the happening in the book blogosphere the following are my favorites.
If you are a book lover, then there is no better place to waste spend your time than Twitter. As an obsessive book blog reader, I love the community and to top it all, I get to read about all their bookish / bloggish and personal stuff here.
Type of update I find: Rants, New Post updates with link, what you are reading – All in tweet length.
While I do have a profile I visit Facebook for personal usage and my feed is filled with bookish posts and updates. I like it that way.
Type of update I find: Funny Memes, New Post link
The only problem I have with Facebook is not many of the book bloggers I know and follow have a Facebook page for their blog and if they do, they do not update them regularly If your favorite bloggers are on Facebook then you should definitely give them a follow.
These image friendly sites are usually the fastest way to know what my favorite bloggers are upto. I use them only to stalk their book shelves and know about their book hauls. Once I start on #bookstagram I usually end up with some serious book envy.
Type of update I find: Book haul, book shelves, What you are reading – pretty book covers.
Visiting your blog regularly for updates
To know what is happening in a blogger’s life, the no-nonsense method is to visit their blog regularly. Of course. But if you happen to like more than say 3 blogs, you know you can’t keep visiting them to get th updates. And here are simpler ways that I use or used.
I am sure even friends who do not have a blog would know about subscribing to blogs via email. I had been blogging for years before I even understood, why everyone (read as all websites) wanted my email id and kept offering an opt in or freebie when I sign up.
I know many of my friends still have subscribed my blog through email because it is the most convenient to read the post directly from their inbox as and when they are published or as a weekly digest. Well, this worked for me before I turned a blogger.
I used to mark the sites that I wanted to revisit as a bookmark on my browser. Well, it worked until the number shot up for obvious reasons. Also I never remembered whether I had checked a site in a while or not, let alone leave a comment on them.
When I was following about 25+ blogs I realized bookmarks may not work, especially when I was hoping to leave a comment on them regularly to boost engagement. You know, give and you shall receive has always worked for me.
I am a spreadsheet addict who uses it even to-do list, so no wonder I ran towards a spreadsheet to tackle this problem. This worked so well that I never even thought of looking for another solution. For a while.
My spreadsheet told me when I had to visit a blog and when I had left a comment recently. I almost had 35+ blogs on the list and religiously visited them for about six months, thanks to my sheet. Then something happened and that broke my system.
RSS based subscription
I moved to WordPress and my own domain, and shortly the number of bloggers I wanted to talk to, learn from and be friends with exploded. And that meant the end of my pathetic little system and I needed the big guns.
The Rich Site Summary AKA Really Simple Syndication AKA came in as a savior. After the closure of Google Reader I never found a good RSS reader and I had not looked hard enough. But now I had to find one.
Since I moved into WordPress, I tried using the default reader for sometime. While this did its work, but its feed works like Facebook. And I kept missing a lot of posts. Though I still look at it once in a while, I am not fully sold.
I should start with I love Feedly and I use it almost everyday. Feedly is a subscription platform that help you read and follow blogs without much hassle. It is pretty much everything that Google reader was.
I organize the blogs that I have subscribed into smaller groups and I hop unto the latest post from the unread list. It lets to add specific posts to boards, which I love.
There are more features like integration to Zapier and IFTTT (another tool that I love) and social scheduling apps on the premium accounts, which I am not using.
Bloglovin’ is almost similar to Feedly. It also allows a blog owner to claim their blog and lets them flaunt the number of subscribers. A few websites even let us read their full content without leaving the Bloglovin’ website itself. Of course we have to hop to the blog / website to make a comment.
Bloglovin’ lets us even to categorize the blogs you follow into groups and even share them from the app. I know a lot of bloggers swear by Bloglovin’.
Yet I had no luck on it, until recently. Due to some technical glitches I had not been able to claim my blog and that put me off for a long time. Now their support team has sorted out but I am already in love with Feedly and I might not make a switch any sooner.
Now that you are here and thinking about following book blogs, start by following my blog and me right nowBlog | Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram |
So what are your methods to keep yourself updated? Do you use Feedly or Bloglovin’? Which do you prefer? Are there any spreadsheet lovers like me? Let us chat.