Ok. You’re reading my blog. That means YOU are a blog reader!
Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever looked at a blog before, or maybe you have several that you check on a weekly or daily basis. The blog reader I am referring to in the title of this post, however, is not you. It is a helper that keeps all your blog posts in one place and categorizes them however you choose. If reading blogs is something you enjoy, following the steps in this post can save you time navigating to and from blogs. It can also keep you from having to visit a blog just to find out there hasn’t been a new post since last time you visited. There are many “feed readers” to choose from (here’s an article showcasing several of the most popular options).
My preferred option (simply because my hubby is a Google-nut!) is Google Reader, so that is what I’ll be giving instructions for today. If you already have your email account set up with Google (email@example.com) then most of your work is already done. Either way,
Go to Google.com
Look at the bar across the top of the page. There should be several options running along the top of your screen (Images, Videos, Maps, News, Shopping, Gmail, etc.) Find the word “reader”, or find the drop-down box that says “more”. It should be on one of these 2 lists, however there is an “even more” tab at the bottom of the “more” menu should you need to explore further. Once you find “reader”, click on it.
If you are already a Google user, it is as simple as signing in with your email username and password (these are consistent on all Google applications). If you have your email with another provider (@yahoo or @hotmail, etc.), then you’ll need to “Create an Account”.
After your account is created, you must sign in. When you first arrive at the Google Reader homepage, they will have some “recommended items”. Just ignore them for now. Once you get acquainted with the reader, you can go back and look at these if you wish. Near the top of the page to the right, you’ll see these words: “Show: Expanded – List”. You can see more at a time by clicking on “List”.
Your account is created and you are signed in, but what comes next? The only thing I really use in Google Reader is the “Subscriptions” option on the left sidebar. In the above picture, you are viewing my “Explore” tab–these are the items google is “recommending” to me. If I were to have clicked on “Subscriptions”, then you would see all of the blogs I follow. Above these, you can see that I have 220 unread items in my reader. Right now, you probably have nothing there. Here’s how to fill your subscriptions. Simply visit your favorite blogs and look for this:
The most common place to find this is somewhere on the upper right side of the blog. Click on the icon and choose “Google” or “Google Reader” from the choices (unless you decided to go with a different feed reader). This will redirect you to your Google Reader page and you’ll notice that blog listed under your “Subscriptions”. You’ll also have a list of their most recent posts right in front of you. Now, each time that blog adds a post, it will show up, in bold, in that list.
You could also just click “Add a subscription” and type in the name of the blog you want to follow.
Add as many blogs as you want to your reader. You can even create folders to categorize them, such as recipe blogs, decorating blogs, just for fun blogs, etc. Once you finish adding all your favorites, you’ll have all your posts in one place—saving you TIME!
Just out of curiosity, how many of you use a reader? Which one?