When I first started blogging, I used live bookmarks instead of a feed reader, but eventually I was following too many blogs to keep up with, and it was too much work to check for new posts.
I then switched to Bloglovin’, but it seemed like they weren’t showing me all the posts from blogs I was following, it was difficult to organize the blogs, and I couldn’t figure out a way to remove posts I’d already read or wasn’t interested in.
So then I switched to Feedly, and WOW. It honestly made such a difference for me. Blog hopping is so much easier now! And I’m finding so many awesome posts that I would’ve been missing out on before.
That’s why I wanted to make this post, to let everyone else who’s not happy with their current system know about another option that I think works great. I’m not going to get too technical with how to do everything since you can probably figure that out or find tutorials, but hopefully this post will help you with the basics and show you all why it is that I love Feedly so much!
The Basics of Feedly
Here’s what the interface looks like. On the left (which I have blurred so that no one will be offended by how I’ve organized things), you have all the blogs you follow. In the middle, you have the latest posts. There are a few different layouts you can choose for that, but I like the “magazine layout” shown above so that I can see the post title, a bit of excerpt, and the image.
If you hover over a post (I’m hovering over the first one in this image, though you can’t see the cursor), you have options to mark a post as read (the checkmark), mark it as read and hide it (the X), save it for later (the bookmark), or add it to a board (the star). If you click, it brings up the post/excerpt. I just right click and open in new tab, and that opens the post for me on the actual blog.
If you go to the column on the left, you can choose to show posts for all blogs, just one of your categories, or a specific blog. There are more option and things you can do, of course, but that pretty much sums up the basic uses!
And now for all the great things you can do with Feedly that make it my favorite…
Import Blogs You Already Follow
If you already use another feed reader, like Bloglovin’, you might be able to export the blogs you follow from there and then import them into Feedly. I recommend this helpful blog post for more in-depth information on how to do that :-)
Add New Blogs
You can also add blogs the old-fashioned way ;-) There’s a search bar at the top, and all you have to do is paste the blog’s URL, hit enter, then click “follow” when the blog comes up! You can also choose if you want to put it into any categories, which leads me to the next point…
Create Categories and Organize the Blogs You Follow
Categories are great for organizing. If you follow different kinds of blogs, you could create categories for topics. Or you could create a category for your favorite blogs in case you only have a little bit of time to blog hop. And you can put blogs into more than one category if you want.
There might be more than one way to add new categories, but here’s how I do it. Click on any of the blogs from their column on the left. Click the button at the top right that looks like 3 dots (“more options”), click “organize,” and then you have the option to change which categories that blog is in or to add new categories (“new feed”).
Mark Off Posts You’ve Already Visited or Aren’t Interested In
This, to me, is the most helpful thing about Feedly. I can quickly and easily go through the list of unread posts and X out the ones I’m not interested in. This leaves me with a nice, manageable, easy-to-see list of the posts I am interested in. And if I don’t have time to visit them all now, no worries, I can come back later, and it keeps things how I left them. There will be new posts, but I just do the X-ing out again, and I’m once again left with only the posts I’m interested in and haven’t read yet. You can also mark posts to read later, but I’ve never even had a need to use that feature.
Save Posts to Boards
You can create a board for posts you commented on so that you can check back, for your favorite posts, posts you think might come in handy later—anything that might be useful to you! The button to create a new board is right in the column on the left, near the bottom.
Easily Remove Blogs that Are No Longer Active
In the left column, right next to where it says “feeds,” there’s a little gear symbol. When you click that, it brings up a page that shows you inactive and unreachable blogs so you can easily declutter your list by removing them (although you may not want to unfollow all the inactive ones since sometimes people go on hiatus and comes back!). It also allows you to batch edit by selecting multiple blogs and unfollowing or moving them to a different category all at once.
If you’re already on Feedly or this post has convinced you to sign up, don’t forget to give my blog a follow—here’s my feed!