Every time I go to follow a blog, I find myself struggling with the internal monologue of “i like this content, but do I really need it in my inbox?” More often than not, I decide that no, I don’t need it joining the mess that is my email inbox, so I simply close the page without subscribing. If I like a blog too much to simply leave, I manually enter it into Bloglovin’ so I can follow it there.
Otherwise I’m gone.
Most of my blog reading is done in the WordPress Reader, which I am a HUGE advocate for. I didn’t move my blog over to being self-hosted until I was 100% sure that I would still be able to have my posts showing up in the reader, and until I figured out how to add a wordpress follow button to my sidebar. Right below my WordPress follow button, is what I consider the most underused button in all of bloggingdom (is that a word?): the Bloglovin’ Follow Button.
Bloglovin’ is an awesome FREE resource for bloggers, which they can use to spread their content across the web, no matter who it’s hosted by (as long as it’s not wordpress.com, which, sadly, they don’t support). Basically it allows me to create my own personal wordpress reader of blogs who are hosted with other blogging sites like Blogger (aka: ones that don’t show in the reader).
So why don’t more people use this awesome service?
Seriously, if I’m on a blog and I see a Bloglovin’ button I hit follow unless I absolutely hate the content! It’s just so much easier than dealing with hundreds of emails!
Of course, the end goal is obviously to get people signed onto your mailing list, which has the highest click rate of any blog subscription. So how does bloglovin’ play into that? Well if overtime I continue to like or love a blog, I’ll often go back and join their mailing list, while also staying subscribed on Bloglovin. That way if I ever get cranky and unsubscribe from a ton of mailing lists (which has been known to happen) I’ll still have them saved in my bloglovin’ feed.
How do I know you aren’t using bloglovin’? Because when I search your blog on Bloglovin’ I see this tell-tale sign.
How Claim your blog
Search for your blog by its URL
As you can see in the picture, I’ve already verified my blog (hence the little blue check mark), but your blog will just show up normally. If the blog you’re searching doesn’t show up just click add blog. Personally, I’ve never searched for a blog and had it not show up.
Then you’re gonna want to find the “claim it” button that I mentioned earlier, and click that. Then you should be given a snippet of code which you can copy and paste.
So, ummm, clearly that’s not my blog that you see there, so I can’t claim it, but at this point you just follow their instructions and make a new post with that code at the top of your blog. After that you can click “claim blog” and viola! It’s yours!
One thing you should pay attention to: some blogs show up twice. Like the Giraffe Files, which I used for my pictures. As you can see on the right, there are two accounts, both for the same blog, one of which is verified. This seems to just be a glitch if you use wordpress.com and have your own domain, but still host through wordpress.com. I played around with those two websites, and it seems like they both show all the same content, so if your blog shows up twice, you can either just ignore it and pick one to claim (personally, I recommend the customized URL, but it seriously does not matter).
Okay, I claimed my blog, now what?
Well, there’s only one thing left to do.
Okay, I’ll be serious now.
The first thing you should do is follow me on your shiny new Bloglovin’ account, because you love me, right?
Now we’re gonna set up your blog! Go to your settings, and click on your blog. We’re gonna do some of the boring stuff. No glitter here.
Click on your blog’s name on the sidebar, now you’ll see a big long list of things you can connect. I’d recommend connecting as many social accounts as possible, but its up to you. The most important thing, is getting the code for your bloglovin button. Once you’ve clicked the link from your blog settings (or visited this link) which will take you straight there, you can choose the style widget you want, and then follow their instructions to add it to your blog!!
WOOOO! You’re done!
Just kidding! There’s plenty more things to do with bloglovin. The best way to promote your blog – other than having the widget in the sidebar – is to follow other verified accounts that have similar content. (I say verified, because if its not verified, then there’s no person getting the notification that they have a new follower. Boo hoo). And then use bloglovin’ to find more blogs to love and comment on!
Bloglovin also has an app, which I recommend for following people on your phone or tablet.