One of my favorite things about blogging is the community, which is why I always make time for bloghopping (visiting other blogs & commenting on posts where I have something to say). I recently switched to Feedly for bloghopping and it literally changed my life; I want to pay it forward.
Unfortunately, my health issues have drained me of nearly all my spoons and my blog hopping has suffered. I’ve always used WordPress Reader for my hopping, which is great if you keep up with your hopping on a daily basis. The truth is, I am no longer capable of consistently hopping daily, so I needed to find an alternative to the WordPress Reader.
Using an RSS Reader for Bloghopping
Last year I wrote a guide on how to set up RSS Readers and why you should use them. I’m a longtime RSS user for news but only recently made the move for blogs.
Feedly honestly changed my anxiety-ridden blog hopping life! I love being able to set up various hopping lists, being able to favorite posts, and even save for later. OH AND NOT MARK THEM AS READ UNTIL I HAVE DONE SO. https://t.co/sy5mN3g9ed
— Kal is a ⛈️ #Stormling (@kalventure) June 20, 2019
My Issues with WordPress Reader
Every person is different, but let’s take a brief moment to share the specific limitations that I find anxiety-inducing.
- There is just one feed that continuously loads. Neverending pages with no end in sight = anxiety.
- Unable to just view ‘unreads’. This is actually my biggest beef with the WP Reader: there isn’t a way to just view unread posts. My workaround was using Likes to mark posts as read. Which is fine but honestly not what the Like feature is for. This means I would scroll endlessly to find the first post in the reader that doesn’t have a like on it.
- No way to reliably save anything for later. Sometimes I would see a post I want to read later or share it in my monthly recaps. This means more often than not I forgot to copy the URL and put it in my draft monthly review post (sorry!).
The biggest anxiety inducer for me personally is not knowing how many unreads posts I had. Sure, knowing there are 200+ that I haven’t checked out yet is daunting. For me, I find comfort in having an end goal that I can work toward. This won’t be the case for everyone.
Feedly (or another RSS Reader) Can Help!
While WordPress Reader is wonderful, especially for exploring related content, it leaves much to be desired. Especially if you want to follow non-Wordpress blogs. Yes, you can add them manually but it never seemed to work right for me. Plus with all the other issues, I needed something better. Last year, Lauren mentioned to me that she uses Feedly for hopping so I decided to give it a try.
Feedly is a news aggregator that pulls together content into one place for you to view them. The reason I am really a fan of Feedly is that it shows how many Feedly followers a blog has, in addition to checking all of my boxes! More information about what an RSS reader is in my all about RSS readers post!
📝 Related Post: How to Set Up RSS Readers and Why You Should Use Them
Big bonus: there is also a Feedly app for iOS and Android! You can add Youtube channels, news sources, anything you want, and set up different feeds accordingly.
Set Up Your Feedly Account
Feedly is super easy to set up, but if you follow a lot of blogs it will take a little bit of time to get going. But it is honestly worth the extra effort! Sign up for an account at Feedly, and then follow along with this post to get started… and know that all of the features I am talking about in this post are available in the free version.
First, I recommend that you navigate to the settings page to customize your page. Appearance will allow you to change the font face and size for accessibility purposes. I also was able to change to a dark theme on the appearance page.
Set Up Your Feeds
I’m going to be honest: I set up my feeds based on a tier system because of my limited spoons these days. I have three tiers: Top Priority Hops (my closest friends), Extra Time Hops (blogs that comment often on my posts), and All Followed (which I still need to bring over). My reasoning is I will read everything eventually when I have the time, but breaking it up has helped my anxiety.
Importing Your Followed Blogs into Feedly
Sure you can manually add all of the blogs that you follow if you want to (see next step), but I about died when I realized you could export your OPML from WordPress Reader!
Go to Manage your Followed Sites and click on the three dots next to the search bar on the right.
Once the file is downloaded, click on the gear icon in the Feeds area to access your Organize Sources page. From here you can select Import OPML and upload the file that you just downloaded from WordPress.
Not all of them worked the first time, but I was able to refresh and get most of them added just fine. The ones that didn’t I just manually added after the fact, which was a little bit of a bummer but significantly better than doing all 170 from scratch!
They were added to Uncategorized, so I had to manually move them to the correct feed still, which I did via the Organize Sources page. Sort by uncategorized, then click on the name to change the feed(s). Based on the amount of editing this is, you may choose to just manually add every one… which is the next step!
Adding New Blogs to Feeds
Once you have your feed(s) established, it is time to add the blogs! Click the + ADD CONTENT button and you can search using the blog name, URL, or the feed address (or by keyword if you want to find new blogs!).
When you find the blog you are looking for in the dropdown, click on it and select which feed(s) you want to assign it to. You can also see how many others follow on Feedly and the number of posts they put out per week on average.
Rinse and repeat until you have all the blogs/websites added that you want!
Hopping Via Feedly
You can go into a specific feed or an aggregate of all of them depending on time. The screenshots below are based on the All page, and the feeds go back a month. You can change the order from oldest to newest in settings.
When you click on a title that interests you, a window pops up with the full post content and a lot of social sharing options at the top.
You won’t be able to interact with the post in the reader. Be sure to click the post title or the “visit website” button at the bottom to visit the post directly in a new tab (give them a view), like, and/or leave a comment.
You can mark a post as read if you are not interested in reading it by hovering your cursor on the right of the post and clicking on the ‘x’ that appears.
I love that I can essentially leave posts unread here for a month until I get to them. And if you need more time, click the little bookmark icon to add it to your Save for Later feed.
Boards are places where you can save various posts together in one place. Right now I only have one for Excellent Resources, but I will add a monthly link round-up board!
Click the star icon to add a post to your board(s)! Never lose track of those awesome resources again and save the internet browser folders/bookmarks for another day!
And there you have it: how Feedly has honestly saved my bloghopping life! What are your thoughts? How do you organize your bloghopping?
💖 If you like the work that I do here at Reader Voracious, consider fueling my pumpkin spice latte and black tie addiction by buying me a ko-fi! ☕
Let’s go on another adventure together!