Going on a Blog Hunt: Finding Blogs to Read

Blog Workshop at Highland Park Public Library with Leora Wenger. Photo: Val Weidmann

Blog Workshop at Highland Park Public Library with Leora Wenger. Photo: Val Weidmann


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?

  1. Google Blog Search: http://www.google.com/blogsearch
    Go to Google Blog Search. It looks like this:
    Google Blog Search

    Then type in a keyword in the industry that interests you. I decided to try “homeowners insurance”:
    Google Blog Search Homeowners Insurance

  2. Another Google idea is to use related: in your search:
    As an example, you could try related: http://biz.leoraw.com/:
    related 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:
    cognitive therapy on paper.li
    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:

  1. Google Blog Search – see above.
  2. 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.
  3. Read comments. See above.
  4. Ask your friends.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Feedly

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?

40 Responses to “Going on a Blog Hunt: Finding Blogs to Read”

  1. Susan Cooper says:

    I had a duh moment when I was reading your post. It never occurred to use my own blog when searching for like minded blogs. That is such a simple thing to do yet I somehow missed that… LOL. All i could think was, gosh where were you when I first started out blogging. But the best part is we somehow found each other and our blogs. How cool is that. :)
    Susan Cooper´s last blog post ..Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Perfect Pairs

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Funny, how one learns something new and thinks, I could have been doing that already. Glad this is useful.

      When I first started business blogging, I had a very hard time finding similar blogs. Many bloggers were either already established or internet marketers who wanted to sell something or not interested in dialogue. Bloggers Helping Bloggers has been great.

  2. Catarina says:

    Great Leora! Have been thinking of holding such workshops. Is that you in pink? Will have to follow in your footsteps:-)

    Didn’t know about the related: http://catarinasworld.com kind of search on google blogs. Turns out people are almost cutting and pasting what I do. Have a look:

    http://www.wordsthatworkblog.com/2013/02/women-business-and-ambition.html

    Would have appreciated it if she had let me know that she more or less copied me. Anyway, now we know what Google means when they talk about original content. She must have been hard hit this spring:-)
    Catarina´s last blog post ..What’s the future of government?

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Yup, that’s me in the pink!

      Hm, I suppose there is a distinction between quoting someone and duplicating their content. I see bloggers that use other bloggers’ content, but they get permission to do so and fully credit and link to the other blogger. Sorry you are finding unpleasant surprises.

  3. Cassi says:

    I’ve never heard of the Google Blog Search. Thanks for sharing it!
    Cassi´s last blog post ..Am I a Tai Cheng Master Now?

  4. Some great ideas here Leora. I am always on the lookout for blogs. Actually I find a lot through my Triberr groups, because I often read what I share there. I also stumble across stuff on Twitter or Influencers that I have singled out on twitter. But as you have highlighted, you have to have someone to keep track of it all and I use Feedly in Chrome as well!
    Ashley Faulkes´s last blog post ..Google Reverse Image Search – What is that image?

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Ashley, I need to pay more attention to what you tweet – I bet you know some good bloggers I’ve never “met.” When I do write up the Feedly post, I’ll look forward to your feedback.

  5. Mary Slagel says:

    These are great ideas. I generally follow the links in comments on blogs that I like to other blogs, but the idea of searching Google is brilliant. I would have never thought to search my own blog to see what was related.
    Mary Slagel´s last blog post ..The Liebster Award

  6. Great ideas here Leora. I have to try the “related: search term.”

    Right now I use Google alerts which does a pretty decent job with “only best results” of bringing me blogs on all my key terms.

    For me I also like connecting with people through LinkedIn and Just Retweet to build a relationship when I find good content.

    Thanks for valuable ideas.
    Patricia Weber´s last blog post ..How To Boost Your Baby Boomer Energy and Vitality Naturally

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Google Alerts is a great idea for this use. I use Google Alerts for finding blog posts that talk about WordPress. Maybe I will add Google Alerts to this post, Patricia.

  7. Jeri says:

    It took me a while to finds a variety of blogs to read and respond to on a regular basis. The BHB group on LinkedIn really helped at first when it felt like nobody ever read my posts ;) From there, I started exploring the blogs of those who posted regularly to blogs I enjoyed. It’s a great way to engage and find new followers who are more likely to reciprocate comments.
    Jeri´s last blog post ..PNWA 2013: My First Writers Conference

  8. Leora – I am pleased to set up this weeks discussion link on BHB. I have been so blessed to be able to find wonderful blogs and meeting amazing bloggers. I have set to really search out blogs on Google. I am trying to make sure I have a great core that I support than I can add more as I go. Great article. :-)
    Elizabeth Scott´s last blog post ..Effective Blog Commenting

  9. What great tips, I love the one about using related with a blog you like, its an approach I had not used before.
    Debra Yearwood´s last blog post ..Saturday Morning Chit Chat – Can We Take DIY Too Far?

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Debra, however, as I pointed out earlier, related: was the least useful of the methods I tried. It seemed like it should have worked, but it really showed blogs that had links back to mine.

  10. Kire Sdyor says:

    I think I’m going back to reading magazines. They show up once a month and take a week to get through. Every time I think I may have a method to keep all my interests organized on-line it changes or I do. I need a iPhone wire that just plugs into my head and downloads all I want to read…and I want to read everything. Thanks for throwing paper.li and feedly reader onto my virtual magazine rack, the legs on it just broke.

  11. Leora, this is helpful as usual. I was very happy to find the Bloggers Helping Bloggers Linked In group. I am drowning in travel blogs to follow (one of my particular niches), but BHB has introduced me to blogs on a range of subjects in which I’m interested. I do find other blogs by reading other comments and following the author’s hyperlink back to their blog. I was unhappy about the demise of Google Reader which I had showing up on IGoogle. Of course, in November, IGoogle is going the way of Google Reader (i.e. extinction, like the Dodo bird). I enjoy reading and commenting on blogs (which has also boosted the comment count on my own blog). However, I do some of my blog reading in bed which is over-stimulating ( ;-) ) The problem is that there is only so much time in the day and I find that blog reading is taking over my book reading time. I’m still searching for a happy medium.
    Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer)´s last blog post ..Wassup with Google Reader? : – (

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Suzanne, thanks for your notes. Yes, I think many of us suffer from the too much to read problem. I do book reading late at night instead of blog reading. I don’t like to relax with anything work-related.

      Have you set up Feedly or another new RSS Reader? I’ve read a number of travel blogs because of you. Also, there seems to be overlap of photography sites and travel blogs. Maybe travel bloggers like to write and photo travel bloggers like to talk about their trip pics.

  12. I started using Feedly when the news of google reader leaving came out. I like it, especially on my IPad. Snippets of news throughout the day so I can pick and choose what I need to read at any time, it saves me quite a bit of time.

    I agree with Ashley. Since I have been dabbling in Triberr I have found so many new blogs and people with great content. I end up reading a number of the blogs I find in my Triberr stream.
    Jon Jefferson´s last blog post ..Just Another Day

    • Leora Wenger says:

      So you can provide good feedback when I put my Feedly post together. Glad Triberr has worked for you. Must be a certain type that likes Triberr – all my attempts were annoying and time-wasting.

  13. Lots of neat little tricks I never would have known or thought about Leora! Thanks for sharing. Like Susan I would not have thought of using my own blog to search others..and I’m going to try Feedly, that sounds like a great tool!
    Valerie Remy Milora´s last blog post ..How Much Freedom of Expression Should We Give our Children?

  14. Leora — all good ideas. When someone new comments on a post I always visit their site to be sure it’s legitimate with good content. If I find a post I like I will leave a comment. I have also subscribed to a few (not many, no time!) that I felt provided information that I could use. I think it’s important to comment on the blogs of leaders in your field. These are called “authority” site and while you won’t get the Google “juice” as they are inevitably “no follow” posts, you do have the opportunity for people to click through to your own site.
    Jeannette Paladino´s last blog post ..The Morphing of Journalism and PR Professionals into Content Marketers

  15. Geek Girl says:

    I never thought of searching for blogs like my own. Great idea!
    Geek Girl´s last blog post ..Midnight Velvet Sapphire Quilt: Product Review

  16. Carolyn says:

    Hi Leora, Great ideas to find blogs of interest! I never thought of doing a related search on my own blog. Brilliant!

    I use Triberr and Zite, an app that lets me choose my areas of interest and then finds content for me.

    I am giving a talk to a local women’s group in November and have to choose a topic. I gave them some suggestions but haven’t heard back yet about what they want me to cover. It’s a large group so the level of tech expertise is probably quite varied.
    Carolyn´s last blog post ..The 16 Most Expensive Apps for Your iPhone [Infographic]

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Nice to hear about your upcoming talk! You are good at speaking to those more and less knowledgeable – I’m sure it will be great. Talk about what excites you – the enthusiasm is contagious.

  17. Arleen says:

    Leora,
    When I put in my blog website in Google’s blog search, I came up with blogs that I have left comments on in the past.

    When you leave a link on a blog site, should the link be your website or your blog site?
    Arleen´s last blog post ..How We Can Learn the Power of a Name from Ashton Kutcher

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Arlene,

      Great question! As I have two blogs and a main website, I have to think this through. I almost always leave the blog site. If I am commenting on one blog, I have the expectations that visitors and the host of the blog might most like to go to my blog. If they go to my main site, they might feel like I’m trying to sell them a website. So I will rarely, if ever, leave my website as my url. If I think they might enjoy a post on my art and photos site, I leave that url. If commenting about business or tech, I leave this blog’s url.

      Wow, this was a good question, Arleen. Maybe at some point I’ll make it into a blog post.

  18. Susan Oakes says:

    Great tips Leora and I had forgotten about doing the related search. Thanks for the reminder.
    Susan Oakes´s last blog post ..How To Make Informed Decisions To Attract Customers

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Susan, I don’t find related: search in Google all that useful, but maybe you will. I found that paper.li method rather interesting. People use that platform to gather up all sorts of blogs and blog posts that they like.

  19. Becc says:

    Now I can’t get that song out of my head!
    I did not know this existed and am looking forward to doing the search and following your suggestions.
    Becc´s last blog post ..Sticking to her guns

  20. Mitz Pantic says:

    I just found this blog after seeing an interesting comment on another blog post about effective commenting…and here you are talking about how to find blogs to comment on….

    That just shows how important commenting can be. :)

    I never go into too mush detail when finding blogs to comment on.. I simply start at one and if I see a good comment or link that sparks interest for me I go there and check it out.
    Mitz Pantic´s last blog post ..29 Dollars a Month for Aweber – Profit $500 From One Email Message – Priceless

  21. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Hey Leora,

    So how did the presentation go? :D

    My best method has always been to use comments. I visit blogs that I know and trust and visit their comments – look for new commentators and visit their blogs :D

    The best thing about this method is that it is always filtered (other methods suggest all related blogs available). My target audience is like-minded bloggers and new bloggers (but my main focus is on established bloggers). The people who comment on the blogs I visit are usually established bloggers (and of course, sometimes the comments themselves will give me a clue of their expertise).

    I use feedly too. Isn’t it great? But I do hate the numbers (sometimes, the number of unread articles can just overwhelm you). But, I have managed to control that by assuring myself that I don’t need to read and comment on every article.

    Anyways, thank you for the tips, Leora :) Appreciate it!

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Thanks for commenting, Jeevan. Yes, following comments back to those blogs is a great way to discover new blogs.

      My next talk isn’t until December, so you can be assured that soon after Thanksgiving, I will be working hard at composing yet another slideshow on blogging, with the newest one being centered upon blog discovery.

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