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?
Lol about Bloglovin, exactly. I use it probably the most just because I get that daily email and when I open it I scroll through. But I did see Ashley’s post a while back and yeah was not amused. Shifty bastards. 🙂 And I’m always flattered when I see a like or something on BL, but I’m the same- I’m not on the actual site probably enough to even see those half the time. But I don’t want to ignore them…
Feedly- that’s weird! Never really used it. I don’t follow very many by email for exactly the reason you give- inbox issues. I hate having a zillion emails every day. So I guess it’s mostly bloglovin for me, actually, and a lot of just good ole fashioned blog hopping. I’m not very organized. 🙂
That Bernie GIF! And people said SHE was gonna be investigated up the wazoo if she was elected. Um… she kinda looks like a choir girl now, yeah?
This is a great question. And about feed followers(that sounds like a post apoc zombie/ vampire thing don’t it?) do they matter? IDK really lol.
Bloglovin is so EASY. So it’s hard, because it’s like, do I stand by my convictions, or just cave and use the damn thing? Spoiler, it’s the latter 😉 And YES- what is one supposed to DO with likes and such? I have no idea! So yes, they make me smile, and then I move on.
I do a lot of blog hopping too- most of the blogs I comment on are either pre-existing faves, or ones that comment on mine. And for my faves, it’s easy to just type the first two letters into Chrome and have them pop right up. I am also not organized, but I sometimes like to try to kid myself into thinking I am.
The Bernie GIF made me laugh and then cry. I contemplated not using it because I wanted to scream about emails, but in context, it was too funny not to haha. I think someone should write a book called Feed Followers now- it can be about how bloggers ate their friends during the apocalypse. You should get on that 😀
I always follow other via Bloglovin because, I don’t know, I like seeing that number rise, but I also always subscribe via email, because I read my email everyday, twice a day without fail. I feel like Twitter has become more important to publishers than email subscribers, etc, because I see some blogs that have well under 1000 subscribers getting all the physical ARCs. You check their Twitter, and they have like 5000 followers. That will never be me, because Twitter is too ugly a place for me to spend much time.
Sam @ WLABB
DAMN, that is impressive! And I have seen people with NO Twitter followers OR Bloglovin followers who get super popular ARCs so… I assume it must be puppy pictures or something 😉 Twitter is SO UGLY. I was just talking to a friend about it- how damn toxic Twitter has become, and how we have both stepped WAY back on posting to it. I feel you SO much there.
I follow a number of blogs on Bloglovin to keep my inbox less cluttered. I follow a few (yours is one) by email.
You ask “What happens to pageviews when someone reads a post on Bloglovin? Does BL get the view?” I’ve wondered about this too so whenever I go to a site through a Bloglovin link, I click on the X in the upper right of the Bloglovin banner. This reloads the page without the banner and so the view is counted toward the blog stats. It’s worth the extra click to make sure the Blog gets credit for my visit. It also eliminates clutter at the top of the page and gives a better page view.
AW! You totally made my day, that is SO sweet! I am the same way with email- I try not to get carried away, because soooo much clutter- especially if you’re unorganized like me and end up with tons of old emails haha.
I have my Bloglovin set to NOT have the Bloglovin bar, so I *think* that means that since it directs to the blog URL, the blog gets the view? But I think it depends on the viewer’s settings, and there’s nothing the blogger can do about it. That is really nice that you make sure the blog gets the view, you are too sweeT! ♥
Bloglovin is my go to. I just find it the easiest for me and I am used to it. I have a Feedly but I never fully got into it. I did move over all the blogs I follow so its set up. I actually don’t like following by email so I normally don’t. After the whole Bloglovin mess with the stealing content I set for my blog to only show an excerpt. Not sure if that helped though. I don’t have a ton of followers on anything – following feed sites, Twitter, IG or whatever. I have no idea what publishers care about but I am pretty sure I don’t have it lol!!
I like to follow the blogs I KNOW i need to read by email, but for the most part I stick with Bloglovin too. I started to set up Feedly, but then I was like… eh, why bother? Hahha. I contemplated doing the excerpt thing, but then I didn’t want to make it harder for people to read stuff, plus, does any of it even matter? And if it helps, I definitely don’t have whatever it is either- but I think we’re both awesome, so screw ’em 😉
I use Bloglovin too! I feel like it’s the easiest for me but I’m slowly hating it, especially when I try to read on mobile. They just make it hard for us to conveniently read posts. Now, I just rely on my Twitter feed.
YES! Oh my goodness, I could have made a whole separate post about mobile! I hate the mobile site- I always mark stuff as unread so I can read it on my laptop. I KNOW on mobile the blogger doesn’t get the view. Which makes me a bit stabby. I miss SO much on Twitter, so I know that won’t work for me, so I guess I will have to keep using weird Bloglovin tweaks 😉
I’d be lost without Bloglovin’, even though I hate their shadiness. I also suspect that some of the blogs I follow don’t show up in my Bloglovin’ feed. I haven’t tried any other way of following blogs. I can’t imagine following by email. My inbox is insane as it is. I don’t need more stuff in there.
Ooooh that is a really good point- I notice that especially in mobile on Bloglovin, some posts only show sometimes, and if I go back to read it later, it vanishes- but then will come back on my laptop. Bloglovin is shady, but it sucks that it is the only damn reasonable solution. Ughh.
I love Feedly! It’s the only way I read blog posts (although I click the link so I actually go to the person’s page). Unfortunately, it’s also why I so often miss your posts. >.< I just checked again, though, and it looks as if you're there?!
It is so funny, people have been telling me that Feedly now shows my blog! It’s like I wrote this post, and Feedly KNEW I was badmouthing it hahahah. I am glad it works for you now- and that you’ve found a good solution in general! 😀
Jumping in here to say I moved from Bloglovin’ to Feedly to follow blogs a few months ago and I’ve always been able to follow yours with no problem! 🙂
I don’t get them.
I have like 39 followers on Bloglovin and I don’t have a button for it on my page bc I honestly don’t know how to make one. I don’t know about RSS or anything else. Everyone I care to follow – I get an email when they post. If it’s content I want to read, I read it, and I’ll comment, and if it’s not or I don’t have time, I skip it. I feel this way I get more interaction from all the blogs I follow. I get to see what everyone posts and I don’t miss out.
The only caveat? I get backed up on emails if I don’t check it every day. I came back from BookCon with 1300 emails. Let’s just say most of those got deleted. But I try to interact with everyone who I care about. Like you. ?
I don’t use feeds nor do I follow blogs by email. I have bloglovin & I set up my blog for people to follow it that way but I don’t actually use bloglovin’s service to read & follow blogs- tried it once, didn’t care for it.
I usually read blogs directly by going to the blog as I have a reading list. I occasionally subscribe to emails but only for some type of newsletter or additional stuff that aren’t posted on their blog.
I don’t know about number counts because I sometimes see a blog being followed at bloglovin by about a thousand people and yet, I don’t know if that means that blog is popular or people simply click on follow and doesn’t do anything. If I make money from my blog than I would worry about stats but I don’t so.
stats and popularity probably go together but who knows? some of my favorite blogs has very few followers, at least, it appears that way because who can tell who reads your blog if they don’t give notice?
have a lovely day.
I signed up for Bloglovin, but only have a few followers on there. I did not really look into it or it’s limitations, but I could see that as a downfall on not really seeing comments. Great post and this has some good points I need to look into more.
Great post. I prefer to follow blogs via email. I also follow them other ways too, but I really check Bloglovin’, NetworkedBlogs, or other places. My email is my go to.
I use Bloglovin, but lately I haven’t been checking out. I’ve mostly stuck to email or I created a folder in my browser’s bookmark bar and I added the links to all the blogs I love. It’s been easier that way 🙂 But again, these past few months I’ve barely blogged and commented on blogs so I haven’t checked much. This month, I’m trying to change that.
I always try to follow by email first, then choose bloglovin and networked blogs because these send me daily emails of blogs i follow there. I really liked this post and learned so much. Thank you!
Out of all of these, I literally only use Bloglovin’! I had never heard of Feedly or Networked or any of those types of sites, and Bloglovin’ was one of the few I knew about before I started blogging. It wasn’t super helpful to me when I started out, but now I follow a couple of blogs there that I can’t follow any other way, and I’ve started gaining a legitimate following on the site, so I’ll continue using it! I honestly don’t care if Bloglovin’ is stealing my views since I get SO MANY PAGEVIEWS on my blog, it doesn’t matter to me if I don’t get the seven views I got on the site, to be honest. I don’t know why, but I don’t like e-mails??? I get minimal e-mails, and I’d like to keep it that way, but that’s personal preference. I just hate when it’s so crowded. XD
Wellllll that is weird because I am able to read your blog through Feedly! haha. I’m not sure how I did it, but I basically have this Google Chrome add-on where you can add any blog/link/URL to Feedly and subscribe. Here’s a link you can use maybe? https://feedly.com/i/subscription/feed/http://itstartsatmidnight.com/feed
I use Bloglovin, but I have like 3 followers? Something like that. I don’t think I’ll ever get ARCs, and for whatever reason, I am okay with that. I definitely can’t handle email subscriptions/following, because I can’t live with an intensely crowded inbox. I haven’t been book blogging for that long, so I don’t really know how these things work just yet. But, wow, so many things to think about. *Cries* Oh man. This is intense.
I tend to use Bloglovin myself – I love that I can see everything right there.
I use Feedly – don’t like Bloglovin’ and your blog totally works in Feedly. That’s how I’m following you.
This is such a great post Shannon! For me, I use Bloglovin for the blogs I absolutely LOVE (like yours!) – the ones I know I’ll visit every day and read each post. Then I use the WordPress Reader for all the other blogs I like, ones that I’ll comment on but aren’t necessarily my top favorites. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3
I use bloglovin because it’s definitely awesome for following multiple blogs.
I use Bloglovin for my followers but I myself use Feedly. Nevertheless, I found it funny you should say that your blog doesn’t show up on it, bc that’s how I see your posts lol. I find Feedly user-friendly, I’m an organized freak and I can put different categories and organize accordingly “Book Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers, Teachers websites and so on”.There are even boards as well. But my most favorite part is that I can read a post and put it in my comment later folder. I sometimes at night read posts but don’t feel like typing up a response so this is a perfect way for my sleepy self to get back to it later. Great post post xoxo
Oh, am I supposed to have a system? Whoops.
I don’t really get any of it. My followers are in the two dozen range, so it kind of doesn’t matter. If I come across a blog that seems good, I often follow it on bloglovin’ just so I have some record of “blogs I found interesting once.” (Kind of like my TBR shelf, now that I think of it.” Blogs I really like I subscribe to by email. If I find myself repeatedly deleting the email without reading their post, eventually I unsubscribe, but keep subscribing via bloglovin’ so they don’t think I hate them.
I have occasional flashes of “I should be getting my subscriptions organized and seeking subscribers for my blog,” but then I think–why? I’m not trying to get ARCs. I don’t want to feel pressure to post any more often than I am in the mood for. I have more than enough good blogs on my radar to keep me happy. The handful of people I interact with regularly are pretty awesome. I’M OKAY. That being said, I still appreciate posts like this, because it’s good to get a better understanding of how stuff works in the blogoverse. Blogosphere? Blogging world.
I follow blogs through Bloglovin! I use it only on desktop so I can stop by and comment but i don’t know, i’m not the hugest fan of it either! I haven’t tried other blog following feeds and I wish it was as simple as Instagram or Twitter because there are so many different ways to do it! I know a lot of people use wordpress to follow blogs too but I find that doesn’t work for me as my blog is on blogger! I found even though Bloglovin has a lot of flaws, it’s the best way to do it (especially since you can add blogs when bloggers themselves haven’t added their own blog)
I technically follow a bunch of people on Bloglovin, but I only check in there once in a while. If I want to see something regularly, I subscribe and get emails because my inbox is the only thing I check consistently. I’m fairly picky about which blogs I get emails from too for similar reasons. 🙂
I read all that about Bloglovin a while back and I’ve seen a couple of comments on my blog appear on there and I hate it. I’ve been trying to find a good replacement ever since. I mean, I would love to find a way to make sure they can’t steal my shit (like seriously, back off Bloglovin) but it’s gonna take some Googling to do it and I’ve not got the time.
I had heard of Feedly before and you know, I might give that one a try instead and see how it works. I mean, if it does awesome! I would like to say I just searched your blog on there and found it. Maybe they’ve fixed whatever problem it is? What I don’t like with Feedly is I have to follow a link to the blog post to comment. That means I’m far more likely not to.
I do hate following folks by email. I have enough crap in my emails without adding to it with other people’s blog spam. It would work if it wasn’t that I only read blog posts two or three days a week so I don’t really want emails clogging my inbox for me to ignore and probably delete before I get to a blog reading day.
It’s hard figuring out the best way to follow folks. I like the convenience of Bloglovin but after everything that’s happening with that I’ll give Feedly a shot and see how it goes.
I love Feedly. It’s the only way I follow blogs; well, that and following their Facebook feed if the have one.
I really don’t understand what you mean by your blog not showing up on Feedly. I jus tried, and am now following you, and your blog shows up just fine in my feed; even better than some blogs I follow. Of course, Becky is right, I DO have to click thorugh to the blog if I want to leave a comment. But that is a minor inconvenience to me.
I mostly just keep track of blogs I want to regularly visit in a blog list. It’s pretty easy. I do subscribe to things via email but I really need to weed through those. I tend to delete most of them to be honest. I’m on Bloglovin and I do think it’s pretty handy. I don’t know how the views work though. I don’t read it in the bloglovin view though, so maybe that’s what the difference is.
Shannon I DO follow your blog on Feedly, but you just have to add “feed” to your blog url, or something. OK??? I would never switch to a website that didn’t let me follow you 😛
Also I don’t think anything matters anymore lol.
What Val said about Feedly! You have 50 followers on there!
I tried using the WordPress reader but it was glitchy with non-wordpress blogs (maybe it’s better now?) and I severed ties with Bloglovin for the same reasons you mentioned. After seeing Val mention Feedly I decided to check it out myself and I am never looking back. It’s definitely the best feed reader I’ve found.
I think anyone can follow a blog through feedly, that’s just an option YOU have for how you want to follow other blogs, just like all blogs can be followed through Bloglovin.
I obviously suck at keeping up with blogs, this is the first time I even check it in over a month (sorry!) but I do like Bloglovin the most. I like the original BL without all the new stuff like the comments and all that other stuff that I just don’t need. When I do check blogs, BL makes it the easiest for me.
I’ve always followed blogs by Bloglovin, and a few by email. The email option is perfect for me tbh because I check my email so often, haaaa. I’ve literally never heard of Feedly until now, so don’t me while I jump to Google.
I use bloglovin, and I love it because I’ve followed enough people it’s like an index of blogs that I have easy access to when it comes to blog commenting back. It’s super useful and the most people use it. I never thought about its shadiness, and it does make me wary. Although, I do think the views come to you even though they keep track of it. Because my statistics mention bloglovin as being one of the highest view attracting websites for my blog.
As for email, it’s the way I only follow a handful of blogs. It’s the select few that I want to read all the time. And I love that.
I know bloglovin has been really shady lately, but tbh it’s one of the easiest and aesthetically pleasing following feeds to use, which is why I think a lot of people use it. I tried Feedly once, but Bloglovin just clicked more with me. Maybe when there’s something better than Bloglovin in the future I’ll move, but for now, I think I’m sticking it out. As for views, I think it counts to both our bloglovin and growth, since bloglovin always appear as one of my refferals in my blog stats…
I exclusively use bloglovin. The new comment thing is kind of annoying but not a lot of people have done that on my posts yet, and I’m too lazy to really care. I don’t even know if those stats matter, though? Again, I’m too lazy to care about it hahah I don’t even want to get arcs because it’s just more stress but I feel like its more based on social media followers on IG and Twitter? but I’m not sure.
I’m fairly certain that Kim over at Caffeinated Book Review said that the Bloglovin’ stealing thing was a bug that was fixed as soon as it was realized (relatively quickly) and apologized for. I’ll admit that I didn’t look into it too deeply, though, because I knew I wasn’t going to get rid of Bloglovin’ either way, so I was lazy. Honestly, this is one of those cases where laziness in general just wins out for me because I LIKE Bloglovin’ and it’s easy to use. Now I’m curious if I show up on Feedly … hmmmm….
(P.S. Just for curiosity’s sake, I just did an incognito search for my blog and for a couple of posts and I didn’t see any cases where Bloglovin’ came up instead of my original posts. I guess if they ARE stealing, they haven’t been stealing from me. 🙂 )
I used to use Bloglovin but I read blogs on my ipad and for some reason now Bloglovin crashes every time. I switched to wordpress reader for following. You can add nonwordpress sites. Mostly though I follow people on Twitter and rely on them to post to twitter when they have a post on their blog. I don’t like to clutter up my email with following by email.
I prefer to follow via email. I have a filter set up to put all the emails into a specific folder and then, when I have a chunk of time, I go through them, review them and share away!