Sometimes, you visit a blog and like it. So you want to follow it. Luckily, you have options! You can follow the blogger on social media, of course. But you can also follow the blog itself by its feed. Often, bloggers will have multiple options for doing this: You can follow via email, or via a site such as Bloglovin, Feedly, Networked Blogs, etc. They all have different pros and cons, various degrees of user friendliness and popularity. And I kind of want to know: How do you use them?
Bloglovin is the first that always comes to my mind when I think of following a blog. Most bloggers seem to have it, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and since I already know how to use it, it’s kind of a no-brainer. But it also has complications. So let’s visit some of the pros and cons, at least for me:
- Popularity means you can follow pretty much any blog you want. If you’re looking for a one-stop place to catch up on blog posts, this makes good sense. No one wants to have to log into thirty different sites just to read your favorites. Plus, if “everyone else” is using it, it makes sense to list your blog too.
- It’s quite easy to use. It doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to set up a Bloglovin account, and they do have help on the site, so you can contact them if something is jacked up.
- You can transfer followers if your url changes or your name changes. This is handy if you purchase a domain name, or switch to or from WordPress, etc.
- It has a nice enough design so it’s easy to find the posts you’re looking for- whether by individual blog or by most recent posts in all blogs you follow.
- Here’s the biggest one: They can straight up steal your content and pass it off as their own. This is not cool. And it has made me wonder about a whole host of other things. Ashley @ Nose Graze did an awesome post a few months ago, and it’s worth reading.
- They have their own comments and “love” buttons and Idk, I don’t really like it? Because let’s be real, I am never going to see a comment on Bloglovin, because that is just not how I use it.
- What happens to pageviews when someone reads a post on Bloglovin? Does BL get the view? I seriously don’t understand this and I find it unsettling.
They kind of have a good setup going on here because even though I am extra salty about their practices, I have yet to find a better solution, and I am sure they know that. Their monopoly kind of ensures that people will still use it, despite their shady tactics.
Val @ The Innocent Smiley uses Feedly. She likes the cleanness of it, the lack of the “extra” nonsense. She tried to convert me for a hot second. But then I realized why Feedly and I would never work: My blog straight up doesn’t show up on Feedly. Go ahead, try it. Or take my word for it. It Starts at Midnight doesn’t exist at Feedly. And that’s just rude. I know I exist. I googled, I asked questions, and tried for way too long to try to make myself appear. Also, there is no support unless you have a paid membership. Which I had no plans of doing, obviously.
So if you like minimalism, this could work for you. But you won’t be able to see my lovely blog, and that’s a straight up shame.
Networked Blogs/Linky/ Others
I see some blogs use these other sites, and I will be honest, I don’t know enough about them to form a solid opinion. But I noticed that I only follow a very small number of blogs on any of these sites. Frankly, they just aren’t as popular in the book blogging community. And with so many other ways to connect to my fellow bloggers, I am far less likely to use one of these.
An email is probably my favorite to follow the blogs that I read the most. While I am incredibly picky about who I follow by email, when I do follow someone, it is because I want to read their content every day, and emails are hard to ignore. Not impossible, but harder 😉 Plus if it is something that I really need to read and know I want to comment on later, then I can just star it, and boom, I will (maybe) remember.
The con to email following is pretty clear: Your inbox can get clogged very quickly. So if you’re the kind of person who loathes a messy inbox, maybe go the feed site route.
Do Feed Followers Matter?
I have always kind of wondered this: Does the amount of followers I have on Bloglovin mean anything? Like, would a publisher care when granting ARC requests? What is a “good” number? This has always confused me. I don’t think it’s something people often talk about (it’s apparently the blogger equivalent of “how much is your salary”, or something), and I have always wondered.
Alternatively, does feed follower count matter more or less than social media? Is it all weighed similarly? Or am I still right that publicists choose you based on your Twitter interests or Instagram profile pic, or some equally random motivation?