What are your favorite blogs to read? When I gave a recent workshop on blogs (in which I emphasized commenting), I realized that 1) people need help finding blogs on which to comment and 2) people need help keeping track of these blogs. At the bottom of this post, I embedded the slideshow of my summer workshop. This post will cover the blog hunt process and ways to read blogs.
Going on a Blog Hunt: How to Find Blogs in Your Niche
You could be interested in blogs because you are a small business owner, and you want to read what your competitors are blogging about. Or you want to find out what similar businesses are writing on their blogs. Or you want to target blogs that could become customers. How do you go about doing this?
- Google Blog Search: http://www.google.com/blogsearch
Go to Google Blog Search. It looks like this:
Then type in a keyword in the industry that interests you. I decided to try “homeowners insurance”:
- Another Google idea is to use related: in your search:
As an example, you could try related: http://biz.leoraw.com/:
In other words, pick a blog you already like. Or your own. See what Google finds that is related to your blog.
- Read comments. This is huge! If you find a blog you like, please read the comments. Each of those blog links, assuming the comment is intelligent and relevant, is golden. Follow the blog links back to the blog and comment on those blogs. As long as you have one popular blog that you like, this method of following comments can take you on quite an adventure.
- Leave your own comments. As long as you have a blog yourself, or even a Google+ page with content, there is a place for people to find you. When you leave an authoritative blog comment, others may want to learn who you are. If they then comment on your posts, you have more to read and follow.
- Ask your colleagues. If you are in a certain industry, others in that industry may already know of blogs. Unfortunately, you may also discover that due to regulations there are few blogs in your industry.
- Twitter, Google+: You could try asking on Twitter or Google+. I’m guessing this will only work if you already have an active presence, so it may not be useful to those just getting started. You could join a community on Google+ in your niche of choice and ask in that community.
- Use Paper.li. Go to the Paper.li newstand – http://paper.li/newsstand – and search for your favorite keyword. I decided to search for cognitive therapy:
Click on each one, and you will find mini newspapers that people have set up. Some may link to blogs that you find interesting.
Going on a Blog Hunt: How to Find Blogs That Interest You
Some of us like to read blogs to relax. I used to skim magazines while waiting for the dentist; now I read blog posts on my phone.
How did I find those blogs? How can you find blogs that you like? Here are a few ideas:
- Google Blog Search – see above.
- Blogrolls – in the olden days of blogs, most blogs had a blogroll. Many still do! Use a blogroll on a favorite blog to find more blogs to read.
- Read comments. See above.
- Ask your friends.
- Ask for recommendations on Google+. Only works if you have been using Google+ already. You could join a community on Google+ in your niche of choice and ask in that community.
- Try paper.li. See above.
Using Feedly to Track and Read All These Blogs
I am going to present Feedly because (now that Google Reader is dead) that is the RSS reader I use. But I’m not going to say it’s the only or the best RSS reader out there. It’s happens to work well on a variety of platforms.
Subscribing by Email: You can usually subscribe to a blog by email. Many people like this approach. However, if you are reading over 1000 blogs, you might find the RSS reader method a cleaner approach. Imagine getting 500 emails each day whenever there is a new post on a blog – your email would clog up fast.
Go to Feedly to sign up. Want to learn ways to categorize your blogs, to read them, to mark a group read quickly? This post is long enough, so I’ll write a future post on the details of Feedly. Stay tuned.
Blog Workshop: the Don’t Forget to Comment Presentation
What are your suggestions?
How do you find new blogs? What would you suggest to someone who wants to read blogs? What would be your favorite source of great comments to pick at for new blogs to read?