How to Use Google Reader to Keep Up with Your Favorite Blogs
I follow more than 200 blogs. I am often asked, “How do you do it? That would take me forever!” It would me, too—if I tried to visit all of these blogs daily. But using an RSS Reader, I can stay current by spending less than 30 minutes a day.
If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.
In this post, I want to show you how to set up Google Reader and then use it to keep up with your favorite blogs. This is not a post for “power users,” though even they might pick up a tip or two. It is intended for novices—people who are not even sure what RSS is.
Have you ever dreamed of launching your own self-hosted WordPress blog? If so, Bluehost, the company WordPress itself recommends, is offering web hosting for just $3.25 per month. This Black Friday Special is good for this weekend only. Click RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Before RSS, you had to bookmark your favorite sites and then visit them one-at-a-time. Maybe they had new content, maybe not. This was slow and tedious; it took forever. You could only follow a very limited number of blogs with this kind of workflow.
In 1999, engineers at Netscape dreamed up RSS. It is a simple technology that allows you to subscribe to your favorite blogs. Whenever one of your favorite bloggers posts new content, it is pushed out—or syndicated—to you and everyone else who subscribes (watch the embedded video above).
Subscribers read this content in something called an RSS Reader.
There are lots of RSS Readers on the market. I’m tried many of them. After trying most of them, I prefer Google Reader. Why?
Use the shortcut keys. You can find a full list here. The ones I use the most are:
j moves you forward one post; k moves you back. These are the keys I use the most. They allow me to scan through new posts quickly.
The space bar moves the page down. Shift-space moves it back up.
s stars the item; l likes the item.
v opens the post on the original blog site.
Shift-s shares the item with those who subscribe to your Google Reader feed. Here’s mine. (Yes, some people might be interested in reading what you find interesting.)
Shift-d share with the note. You can not only share the current item, but share why you think it is important or make any other comment.
e emails the article to a friend. I use this all the time.
Shift-t opens the send to menu. This enables you to Twitter the post or share it on Facebook. This is probably the feature I use the most. It makes it really easy to share posts that you find meaningful with your followers.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”