If you're new to the blogosphere, let me be the first to say, Welcome! You can learn so much from other people and connect with genuinely sweet people through blogs. If you're a seasoned blog reader, or even a blogger yourself who wants a less chaotic and sporadic way to read your favorite blogs, this info might be helpful for you too!
There are a number of platforms out there that can provide you with a blog "feed" similar to that of a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feed, but my person favorite is Bloglovin' -- especially after the death of Google Reader (RIP).
I like Bloglovin' because it is blog platform agnostic. By that, I mean that you can follow blogs that are hosted anywhere -- Blogger, WordPress, Squarespace, self hosted, etc. It's a really easy to use platform that's great for anyone who likes to read blogs!
If you're like -- Uh... Bridget... I already know how to use Bloglovin'. -- No problem. I'll talk to you on Saturday. For the rest of you, I'm here to help!
Signing up for Bloglovin' is super painless. You can choose to create an account with your Facebook profile or create a profile with your email address. It doesn't cost anything, don't worry! I gotchu.
Creating Your Profile
Once you've created your account, you can fill out your profile. This is the point where you would fill out the little description box, add a photo, and take ownership of any blogs you write.
If you're a blogger yourself, note that having followers of your user account is different than having blog followers. The feed for your user account shows your activity on Bloglovin' whereas your blog's Bloglovin' feed will show recent posts.
To take ownership of your blog, click "Edit your profile" and scroll down to where it says "Blogs by me"/"Add blog". Add your blog and follow the verification steps.
How to Follow Blogs
To follow blogs, hover over your profile image in the top nav and then click "Edit blogs you follow." Then click the button that says "Add blog." You can add by typing the blog name or the URL. Click follow, and that's it! So simple.
Sort the Blogs You Follow
Within the "Edit the blogs you follow" page, you will notice that there is a "Change Group" button next to every blog you follow. You can create groups and categorize the blogs you follow however you want. I like to categorize mine topically, except for my one "Blogger Friends" list.
How to Follow Users
You can search for users or you can follow your favorite bloggers' user pages by going to their blog page and clicking on "Blog by Bridget McGahen." If a blogger has taken ownership of their blog, there name/profile will appear here.
The way the feed works is one of my very favorite parts. The feed is sorted naturally by most recent posts from the blogs you follow, but once you have read a post (or clicked the "mark as read" icon if you don't actually care to read it) it turns greyish. And when you refresh, it will have moved beneath the unread posts. This keeps you from missing out on content that you want to read. From the feed, you can also show your favorite bloggers some love by liking their posts (heart icon).
Yup. All of that functionality is available in a free mobile app too! Blog reading on the go!
Hope that was helpful!
Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin'!!