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March 22, 2011

Keeping in Touch With Your Favourite Blog

Do you have a bookmark folder on your web browser that's exclusively devoted to all of the blogs you read? Whether it's a bunch of home-schooling blogs, video game blogs, political blogs, or what have you, it can sometimes be tough to keep track of everything that you're trying to keep track of.

I am a blog reader as well as writer, so I am in the same boat as you (though my cabin's up on the Ledo Deck).

I do have that folder, and it's got lots of blogs in it. Many of them which I don't read any more. Others that I read habitually.

If you're having trouble, though, keep in mind that there are lots of different ways to follow your favourite blogs, many of which don't require you to keep checking to see if the blogger has actually written anything that day.

For example, my friend Dawn's blog, Healing Morning, is one that I don't have bookmarked. (It's an excellent and inspirational blog, by the way, so you should definitely check it out). The reason is that she doesn't write every day, but instead when the spirit moves her. To keep checking once a day would get annoying after a while, not to mention padding her visitor stats count with a hit that's not engaging with her content (mainly because I already engaged with it when it first appeared, or shortly thereafter).

Instead, I've made it so I don't have to keep checking. I find out she's posted something whenever I want to. I'm subscribed to it through Google Reader, which collects all the blogs that I read in an easy to use manner. It's very easy, and it makes blog reading a lot more bearable.

I'll go through the ways that you can subscribe to *my* blog (because I'm selfish that way), so you too won't have to keep checking whether I've written something. Instead, it will come to you.

1) Subscribe through a blog reader

I find Google Reader to be the easiest for me to do this, though there are many readers out there that you can try. All you have to have is a Google account. You can log into your Google account and, not just do your email, but also follow your blogs at the same time. On the Google home page, there are a bunch of links at the top. One of them is "Reader". If it's not there, then there's a "More" pull-down menu right at the end. In that menu will be "Reader." Or you can just go to

One thing that I love about Google Reader is that it makes other Blogger blogs (Blogger is owned by Google) really easy to subscribe to. See that "Google Friend Connect" box on the right side of the page, about a quarter of the way down? The label is "Followers". That is where you can "follow" my blog through Google Friend Connect (I've got 58 and counting at the time of this writing!).

The cool thing is that, if you use Google Reader, it will automatically add any blog that you follow through Google Friend Connect. You don't even have to take an extra step.

It's not limited to Google blogs, though. You can subscribe to any blog in a reader. See the section on the left side of the page, labelled "Subscription"? That little button there will allow you to subscribe through any reader. It's a standard button, so you should look for it on any blog that you read. It should be there somewhere. You just add that address to your reader and voila! You are now subscribed to it.

If you want to go to the original post and leave a comment, there is always a link to be able to do that. Either it will be called "View Original Post" or the title will be hyperlinked so you can just click on it.

Even better is that Google Reader has its own iPhone/iPad app too! Don't know about Android and Blackberry, but I wouldn't be surprised. That way, you can read your blogs on the go.

2) Email

How would you like every blog entry I post to appear in your email Inbox the next day? You can also subscribe to my blog via email, and it will show up in digest form the next morning. That means if I do more than one post, you will still only get one email. All of the posts will show up in that one email.

This is really handy for those who want it hand-delivered to them (I literally do walk through all of the Internet wires and place it delicately in your Inbox. With a fluffy pillow and a piece of chocolate as well). That way, you never have to check the blog itself. You can just wait for my blogging awesomeness to appear the next day. Again, you can just click through the link if you wish to leave a comment.

On my blog, the email subscription link is on the left side of the page, just above the "Ask Me a Question!" Formspring box (speaking of which, none of you are asking me any questions, and I'm starting to get a complex).

Just click on the link, enter your email address, then respond to the confirmation email and you're in!

3) Networked Blogs

You can also subscribe through Networked Blogs, which is a Facebook app. That means you don't even have to be my friend on Facebook in order to see it. You can do that through the handy "Networked Blogs" button on the right side of the page. However, I believe you do have to go to the Networked Blogs page to see the blogs you're subscribed to. I'm not sure on that.

If we're already friends on Facebook, I believe the post will show up in your News Feed twice: once because it posted to my wall and once because you subscribed to it via Networked Blogs. If you don't subscribe, it will only show up the one time because it's on my wall.

I think that's the case, but one of my Facebook friends can chime in and tell me if that's how it works.

If you can stand the indignity of admitting that we're friends.

4) Facebook Fan Page

Finally, if all else fails, you can "Like" my page on Facebook! That's also on the right side of the page, and I would love it if you clicked that button. That way, you can just go to the fan page and see if a post has been added. It should also appear in your News Feed as well.

In fact, you don't even have to do it as a way to subscribe to the blog. If you just like the blog, click that button. You can follow me any other way you want. But the more "fans" I have, the less likely I am to sit in a corner and cry my eyes out because nobody likes me.

So get clicking!

There are other ways to follow blogs that I don't have enabled on here. At least I think there are. Since I don't use them, I haven't researched them.

But the most important thing is that you know how to follow *this* blog, so that's what I'm concentrating on.

They can find their own readers.


  1. Well, color me all kinds of flattered to merit a mention in your blog again! While writers write to be read, for some reason, it still gives me that little zing of "wow, really?" when a friend says they enjoy my blog enough that they look forward to each new post. :)

    I love the breakdown and explanation you've given of all the methods of following favorite blogs. This one should be posted over at AB blog also, if you're open to sharing it there, as it has so much good info. I fall into the email subscribe category as my preferred method to get my regular fix of favorite writers. I love having each new post hit my Inbox! I do have that Google Reader dealie alos, but I just haven't been able to warm up to it.

    Great post, as always, Dave!

    ~ Dawn

  2. Hey Dawn!!!!

    Of course you merit a mention! You always merit a mention. :) Though I do feel that I've used you a bit too much. However, your writing style and frequency fit perfectly what I was trying to say, so I thought "what the hell? Hopefully she won't mind another mention." :)

    Yes, I am certainly open to sharing it over there, though I'm wondering if I should edit it to remove the references to my blog (like where certain things are located). I can certainly do that over the next few days, maybe on the weekend.

    The spark for this blog was actually checking my Feedburner stats and seeing I still only have 5 email subscribers, and thinking "I wonder how many people know about that? Dawn couldn't find it on my page either. If she can't find it, why would any layman be able to find it?"

    Thank you so much for the comment!

  3. Will find you on FB! But I'm already tracking you on blogger!

  4. I have to admit that numbers make me feel good. They shouldn't, but they do.

    So having somebody "follow" me in all available places is always good! :)


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