I bet one of the reasons you wanted to start a sewing blog is because you’ve been reading some really amazing ones. People access blogs in a lot of ways — right from their browser, from apps, from emailed updates, and more. In order to reach the maximum amount of readers, you want to be present in all the right places! Over the next few weeks we’ll talk about what that means from a social media standpoint, but we’re starting today with feed readers.
What are feed readers? Well, I’m kind of using it as a catch-all term for any way people pull together the blogs they like to read in one feed — RSS or otherwise.
By native feeds, I mean the feed that you can create from your account with whoever hosts your website. I know that WordPress and Blogger do this. As a WordPress blogger, I can follow other WordPress blogs and have their posts automatically appear in a feed in my account — I assume it’s a similar method for Blogger. This is so easy for both the blogger and the reader. No extra steps on anyone’s part! Still, I wouldn’t rely on readers using this feature. I know I rarely switch to the part of my account where I could see blogs I’m subscribed to, and I don’t get the impression others really use it. Although if you’re a WordPress subscribers (or the equivalent on Blogger), I’d love to hear about why you love it in the comments
Bloglovin’ is one of the most popular feed readers/aggregators out there. It’s the one I use and love! Users make an account and follow blogs there. All the posts appear in their feed, and they can be loved and saved to collections the users create. Plus, the blogs appear in a side menu with their number of unread posts, which is clutch for me. I love being able to scroll through and read all my faves when I’ve been off for a few days, or catch up with someone I haven’t “heard from” in a while.
There’s a few catches to Bloglovin’. The major one is that bloggers must embed code into their blog to ensure that readers can subscribe. It’s pretty easy to do from the blogger standpoint — once and you’re done! I think the payoff of spending a few minutes to do it is there.
Another big problem with Bloglovin’ is from the blogger standpoint, rather than the reader’s. Posts on Bloglovin’ open automatically in their proprietary layout, as opposed to yours. You can easily change this in the settings, which I’ve done on my account because I prefer my site to theirs! I’m also unclear as to whether or not post opens in their format count towards your page views. I’m hopeful that forcing it to open my site makes them count.
I’m not sure where I stand on RSS feeds. RSS stands for Rich Site Syndication, and was basically the first way that people could pull together all the things they were interested in into one feed. In my mind, they’re something that kind of fell out of favor five years ago. That’s when Google stopped supporting Reader, their RSS feed aggregator. Many people feel like RSS feeds have been replaced by things like social media, apps like Bloglovin’, and streamlined commenting accounts. Still, this article makes a good case for why RSS feeds still matter. It seems to me that you’re either devoted to RSS or you couldn’t care less.
I’ve never been much into RSS feeds — but are you? Again, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so that I can start posting to them! And if you’d like to post your blog to an RSS feed, I think the easiest way is to sign up for a big RSS reader like Feedly. There, you can sign your blog up to be posted as an RSS alert. It seems like it’s similar to how Bloglovin’ needs you to place code to pull your posts.
That’s it for a quick intro to feed readers. There are a few more posts on the subject in my Pinterest board for the topic! One suggestions: make sure that any article you read is up-to-date, and I’m pretty sure all the ones I’ve pinned are. Plus, here are a few of my favorite articles on feed readers!