The Busy, On-the-Go Momma’s Guide to Successful Blog Stalking

This Post is dedicated to my IRL* Friends
*IRL = In Real Life (defined primarily for my IRL friends)

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Every time I try to tell most of my IRL friends about my love affair with Google Reader I get the same puzzled looks and questions over and over:

  • A blog “delivery service?” Huh?
  • Never miss my favorite blogger’s posts without being sent an email??
  • AND it also works with my iPhone (or any phone that can access the internet), iPod Touch or iPad?
  • Really?

Yes!
(And every time I repeated this “Yes” their eyes get a little wider)

This concept changed my busy, On-the-Go Momma life as it related to blog reading.

(Because yes folks, I too am a blog stalker. There are certain blogs that I just can’t wait to read. And although I might not always leave a comment, I am always there with these bloggers, every step of the way.)

So in an attempt to educate the other busy, on-the-go, wanna-be-successful-blog-stalkers out there, I decided to create this beginners guide: The Busy, On-the-Go Momma’s Guide on Successful Blog Stalking How to Read Blogs

*If you blog you might already know some of this… but do your readers? Consider sharing this post on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook!
** If you already use Google Reader do you fully use all it’s features? Let me show you how I use it!
*** If you are a blog stalker reader like me… this post most definitely IS for you :)

Blog Stalking Made Easy

It is so simple really. Let me prove it to you! It all starts with Google Reader.

Google Reader isn’t an app. It isn’t a download. It isn’t even something that you need to purchase. It’s free and all you need is a Google account.

STEP 1: Go to Goggle.com > In the upper right hand corner click “Sign In” > Then either sign into your account or click “Sign-up for a New Google Account.”

Once you are logged into your Goggle Account you’ll have to find Reader. To do this:

STEP 2: On the top navigation bar of Google click on “More” and navigate down to “Reader”

Then I suggest adding the Reader site as a bookmark in your web browser (Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.)

And there you are. Voila! Google Reader!
Now all you need to do is add some blogs and you are ready for “Blog Delivery”

Add or “Subscribe” to Your Favorite Blogs

Once you have a google reader account. You can:

  1. Add Any Blog Site’s URL to It (See #1 on image below)
    Click the “subscribe” button in your Google Reader, type in the blog URL, then click “Add.”
  2. Organize Your Blogs into Categories (See #2 on image below)
    You can see some of my own categories listed under “Subscriptions” on the screen capture below – I use categories a lot to better organize the different types of blogs I read.
  3. Read the Blog (See #3 on image below)
    Read in Goggle Reader OR click on the blog title to go directly to the blog site.

Once you’ve read a post it will no longer be bolded (to indicate that it has been read). Each time a blog you subscribe to adds a new post, it will automatically be updated on your Google Reader page.

Google Reader Screen Capture

Other Great Google Reader Tools

At the top of Google Reader you will see areas to:

  • Mark All Items as Read (indicated by blue star on above image)
    Sometimes life happens and you can’t keep up, don’t be scared to click “Mark All as Read” and start fresh – that’s what it’s there for!
  • Search (indicated by yellow star on above image)
    Ever read a blog post then later want to return to it yet you’ve forgotten which blogger wrote it? You can enter a key word(s) into the search box and Google Reader will look through any blogs you subscribe to and find the blogs that have used this key word!
  • View Posts in the Way the Suites YOU (indicated by green star on above image)
    You can choose to view posts in your Google Reader as a list (of the blog and post title) or as a full post (with all the text and image content)

At the bottom of each post you read on Google Reader you can:

  • Star a Post (indicated by big & small red stars on above image)
    “Star” any post to add it to the “Starred Item” folder so you can go back to it later.
  • Add tags (indicated by big & small purple stars on above image)
    Instead of starring a post I often tag it. This allows me to further categorize blog posts I would like to remember. (Currently I have 5 common “tags” I use shown beside the small purple star)
  • Share the Post (indicated by orange star on above image)
    This can be done via Goggle + or by email directly in Reader. (A lot of posts will also add a link to Share on Facebook but if you don’t see this, just click on the post title to take you to the blogger’s actual site and use their site’s share tools OR copy/past the post link into Facebook.)

Stalk Read Your Favorite Blogs from Anywhere

And to top all this off, Google Reader can be accessed by any computer or devise that allows you to access the internet and a web browser.

There are also all sorts of iPhone and iPad apps (I use Feedler) which make using Google Reader via a mobile devise even better and easier to do! And they all sync. (Meaning if you read a post on your phone via your reader, it marks it as read when you view your reader elsewhere such as on your computer.)

For me, Google Reader has made my blog reading habit even worse much easier to handle.

So go ahead! Give it a try!
(And maybe consider subscribing to On-the-Go Momma while your at it?)

~

Leave a Comment: So what do you think? Will you give Google Reader a try? If you already use Google Reader, what do you love most about it?

*Oh, and if you are a fan of my typical On-the-Go Momma posts, don’t worry… Next week I’ll be back to the norm. Promise!

**Note: This IS NOT a sponsored post! Seriously, like anyone would pay me to write this anyway?!

This entry was posted in Blogging and/or Writing, On-the-Go Momma Guide and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Busy, On-the-Go Momma’s Guide to Successful Blog Stalking

  1. Aren’t you so nice! When I first saw this I thought you were talking about our conversation about stalking last week. Then I remembered it’s not always all about me. ;)
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Casey Kasem Said it Best

    • Kate says:

      HeHe Missy :) Although I might possibly say that our conversation might have influenced the title of the post?

      P.S. Adding you to my Blog Roll RIGHT NOW! How did I miss that – especially after linking up to it in this post???

  2. My reader is a MESS and it’s high time I reorganized it… your post inspired me to tackle that project. Tomorrow. ;-)
    Missy @ Wonder, Friend recently posted..Age Inflicted Aches and Pains

    • Kate says:

      Messy Readers are the worst! How do you function? :) Do you typically read from your reader, subscribe via email or just randomly visit the blogs that you like Missy?

      P.S. I always look forward to your posts :) I’m slightly picky about who I put on my blogroll, but of course you made it! :)

  3. Andrea @ The Penny-Roach's
    Twitter: ThePennyRoachs
    says:

    I love Google Reader too. I used to have all my sites bookmarked, but then I’d have to visit them all to see if there’s anything new, and then I’d have to send my bookmarks back and forth from work to home, and that just doesn’t work.

    So yeah, I use it much like you do, except I’ve never thought about categories. Good idea!
    Andrea @ The Penny-Roach’s recently posted..Man Of The House

    • Kate says:

      Once I discovered Categorizing my blogs in Google Reader, conquering my blog reading felt so much more doable. I could read in increments by the categories and also read the category that I was interested in at the time. I really do love it! (Can you tell? :))

  4. Brandy @ Momwich
    Twitter: momwich
    says:

    I love Google Reader. Good write!

    • Kate says:

      Thanks! It’s really hard to pare down all you can do in Google Reader so that (hopefully!) the non-blogger might understand! But the teacher in me just HAD to try (Google Reader is too good for any Blog readers to miss out on IMHO!) ;)

  5. I hate to admit it, but I had never looked into this because I didn’t realize it would tie in with my google account and be accessible on whatever computer I was using at the time. Thank you for schooling me. This is going to really improve my blog stalking experience!
    SleeplessinSummerville recently posted..We (All) Need More Support

  6. The Bearded Iris
    Twitter: TheBeardedIris
    says:

    Hi – here from Yeah Write. I so appreciate you taking the time to write this! I am ashamed to admit that I was totally clueless about readers before your post. Now I’m not so intimidated and will definitely give it a try. Thank you!
    The Bearded Iris recently posted..And the battle continues.

    • Kate says:

      Great! I really hope you enjoy it, it totally made my blog reading life so much easier. If you have an iPhone and/or iPad you should also look into the Feedler App, it is a great way to take your reader with you on the go. Thanks for stopping over from Yeah Write!

    • Kate says:

      P.S. I love your blog! It just got added to my Reader ;)

  7. Eric Storch says:

    I’ve been meaning to set up Google Reader to blog stalk, but I’ve become too lazy to leave my system of using a combo of Blog Lovin’ and emails.

    I think I will now.

    Tomorrow.
    Eric Storch recently posted..Book Lovin’

  8. my blog stalking has gone out of hand. Some days I have like a 1000 posts to read. Even on-the-go I need more time to read them all.

    However, there are times that I just marked them as ‘read” as I go by categories. It is a great tool.
    Mama and the City recently posted..I Did Not Know

    • Kate says:

      Yes, 1000 posts would be really overwhelming to me too! There are times when I might have 200 or so to catch up on if I was unable to get to reading for a couple days… but 1000?!? I would hit “Mark as Read” also! Whew!

  9. Alison@Mama Wants This
    Twitter: AlisonSWLee
    says:

    My Reader and I have a love-hate affair. I love it, I need it, but when I get caught up with life, my Reader is bursting to the seams.

    Thank goodness for the Mark All As Read button!

    I, too, organize blogs I read by reading priority – must read, read second, read last, read weekly (the last one is for blogs that only post once or twice a week). I also have categories for food blogs, blogging/ social media blogs.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..5 Fashion Don’ts

    • Kate says:

      I have become really picky about what I add to my reader. (With that being said I just counted and still subscribe to eighty-some blogs along with the two I write for – so “picky” is in the eyes of the beholder :)) Like you, I organized into tier 1, 2, 3 “reads.” A blog typically always starts at tier 2 or 3 and only works its way up if I find myself really enjoying a blog and anxiously awaiting their next post. If I find a blog that I don’t connect with after 8-10 posts I will delete them from my reader. I would love to have 50 million blogs to read and comment on, but it is more important to me that the ones I do enjoy reading actually get read.

      I hate marking “All as Read” but I will. Sometimes, you just HAVE TO!

  10. Sue says:

    I didn’t know about Reader until now. Off to get stalking!

  11. What a great idea for a post! I have found that I like to stalk my blogs through email. I think because it sends me a notice right on my phone the minute someone posts is what appeals to me. I hope this guide helps the stalking newbie!
    Laura@Catharsis recently posted..Back Pain Can’t Keep ME Down! Oh Wait, Yes it Can…

    • Kate says:

      I SO wish that Feedler (my Reader app that I use on my iPhone) would add a notification system! Except… well, maybe that would get overwhelming…??

      Email would not work for me :) I have serious issues with keeping my in box clean

  12. Jackie says:

    Ah man, one more thing for me to attempt to try and get organized! Thanks…I think?
    Jackie recently posted..A Friendly Reminder

  13. Jay- The Dude of the House
    Twitter: dudeofthehouse
    says:

    Thanks for the helpful info. I always see things about Reader, but never take the time to actually see what it is. Thanks for ‘splaining it to me. Very handy post!

    • Kate says:

      Great! Glad to be a help. I don’t normally write tutorial posts – yet my background as an adjunct college instructor came in handy here :)

  14. Kristin @ What She Said
    Twitter: SaidKristin
    says:

    ::Sigh:: I really need to revisit my Google Reader. I always forgot to check it so my unread posts piled up and up and up until they overwhelmed me. So, then I just started subscribing to my favorites via e-mail. That actually suits me better, but then again, I never really took the time to organize my Reader. So again, maybe I just need to revisit it. Or, maybe I’m just an e-mail kind of girl.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Little Girl Lost

    • Kate says:

      My problem with email subscribing to a blog’s posts is that I have “issues” (OK, that is an understatement) with keeping my email inbox clean. I tend to feel overwhelmed if my inbox is piled high with emails I need to “act on.” I think this is why Google reader works so well for me! Because I can ALWAYS hit “mark read” when I start to feel overwhelmed. :) Thanks for stopping over here Kristin!

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