Hi friends! Often times, when people find out I am a blogger one of their first questions is, “How do I keep up with my favorite blogs?” When I first started reading blogs I had a folder on my browser bookmark bar where I would go and check each blog each day to see what was new…. my oh my did that take a LOT of time! Now I have found much easier ways to follow my favorite blogs … there are varying opinions on how to follow your favorite blogs, so I will discuss each with pros and cons so you can find the method that works for you:
1. Facebook: For the reader this is not my favorite option because FB as a company throttles (reads: limits to the extreme) what a reader sees of pages she or he “likes.” As a page manager I can see how many people like the illistyle fan page, currently 4,500+ people, BUT I also see how many people get to see any give post in their feed, usually between 100-400 people. So, on average, 2%-10% of my readers who have liked my page will actually get to see something that I post to the illistyle Facebook page… unless I want to pay FB to allow more people to see it. Since most bloggers are working for free (like I am right now as I write this post) or nearly free and therefore do not have the budget to promote (pay for) posts to be shown to more readers it is unlikely that you will actually see what is going on with the blogs you love. Major bummer for you, the reader, and major frustration for me, the blogger.
2. Twitter: If you are an avid twitter user and know how to set up lists, this could be a good option for you, since you will have a streamlined feed that shows what is posted by your favorite people in real time. Personally, as a blogger, posting to the illistyle twitter account is not super effective when it comes to getting people to actually click through and read a post, so I do not put very much effort into Twitter. That is a personal thing I do because as a blogger I have to choose where I spend my time and energy… but I know some bloggers who LOVE Twitter and the community. So if you love Twitter and use it regularly this could be great for you.
3. Instagram: I love to follow my favorite bloggers on Instagram. If you are a visual person, this is a great way to get a quick idea of what bloggers are doing because you literally get a snapshot of the post. I also like the fact that most bloggers will include photos form their everyday lives, so you get to know them through their IG feeds.
4. Newsletters: A lot of bloggers offer newsletters for their readers. I offer the illistyle newsletter with the promise only to bring you the best and to send it in non-annoying intervals (plus I will never share or sell your info.) Every blogger does their newsletter differently, some are just quick recaps of their most recent posts with links to read the whole thing, others have special offers or tell you what is coming up on the blog. The illistyle newsletter is a combo of the two since I like to give you guys a heads up (when I can) about upcoming posts or giveaways you might be interested in entering and to show you some of the posts you may have missed if you don’t use a service like Bloglovin (see #5). The only downside of this is that some bloggers are sporadic in their newsletters, others are way overboard and send you emails everyday, and still others will never send a thing… plus, you might end up with an inbox chocked full of blogger newsletters. Ain’t nobody got time for that… well, some people might, but I do not. Therefore I only subscribe to blog I absolutely LOVE.
5. Bloglovin: This is my absolute FAVORITE way to follow the blogs I love. I like it because a) I never miss a blog post from those I follow, b) it is a free service, c) I get to choose HOW I see my favorite blogs’ new posts. Here is a screen shot of the actual settings page on Bloglovin:
Personally, I choose to receive a daily email that shows the new posts made by the bloggers I follow. But you can also choose to get all new posts as they happen, or choose no emails and simply visit Bloglovin and read your feed to find out what your favorite bloggers are up to. Here’s an example of what the Bloglovin feed looks like:
Your Bloglovin feed (and the emails they send, if you so choose) will show the posts from your chosen blogs in chronological order with the newest post first. You get the title, a snippet preview, and the featured image. You can click the post title, image, or anywhere in the post preview box (the white box) to be taken directly to the full blog post on that site.
I love that each day I can read all the posts from my favorite bloggers without having to spend an hour checking each individual site to see if he or she had posted anything new that day. It is a HUGE timesaver. (if you want to follow illistyle on Bloglovin, click here)
However you choose to follow the blog you love, please know this: BLOGGERS THANK YOU! We do what we do because we love it. I love blogging. I am a maker, a communicator, and relational by nature. I love connecting with you guys, seeing your projects, reading your questions and comments, getting emails and messages that I have helped in some way. Thank you for supporting illistyle and allowing me to do what I love.