Why I moved from Bloglovin to Feedly to follow my favourite blogs

For the past few years, I’ve used Bloglovin to keep up with all the blogs I follow. I loved that I could see recent posts from my favourite blogs and organise them, simply!

With their main focus on beauty and fasion blog (not that I blame them as they started with a background in fashion web projects), the high promotion of bloggers in those categories, feature suggestions from users and other features they’ve started offering, I feel like Bloglovin’ is moving away from being a simple RSS feed reader and turning into a social networking / promotion platform for bloggers.

So I decided to try some alternatives and settled on Feedly, which is really working for me at the moment. I used this tutorial to export certain categories from Bloglovin and move them to Feedly instead. I now use Bloglovin when I’m looking for new blogs to follow, or want to catch up on my favourite beauty and fashion blogs but do all my daily reading in Feedly. Since Bloglovin’ is an feed reader, people can still follow your blog whether you have an account or not. I’ve had a couple of people asking about Feedly, so this post will explain it’s features.

Why I now use Feedly to follow my favourite sites

Why I use Feedly to follow my favourite blogs

It’s interface is pretty amazing, so clean and simple but very usuable. The features are so simple too – you can easily organize your favorite blogs, websites, podcasts and Youtube channels all within Feedly. There’s multiple layout options, auto-mark as read, tagging and organising features and keyboard shortcuts. It’s really easy to use, the focus is on the content and it’s pretty sleek!

Why I use Feedly to follow my favourite blogs

THE SIDEBAR
The sidebar is how you navigate around the different sections of Feedly. First, you’ll see a home link to your dashboard. The Saved for Later section gathers all the articles you have marked as saved. The Must Read section collects all the sites you have marked as Must Read so you don’t miss their articles. You’ll also see a Add Content section which I’ll discuss below.

Underneath this you’ll see your categories. The All Section has the newest articles from all of your categories. You can categorise each blog you follow, I do this by topic. Under that you’ll see a list of the tags you’ve added to posts, like labels or subcategories. I typically go through my feed and save the posts I want to read before marking the feed as read. I then go to my saved for later section and read each post. When I finish reading a post, I tag it appropriately so if I need to find it in the future it’s easily accessible.

At the bottom of your sidebar, you’ll see three little dots. This shows other links and settings. Here you can see your recently read posts showing your reading history, organise your blogs by categories, change your theme/colours and choose from a huge range of options including what you want displayed on your home page, how you want the read/unread to work and changing the colour of text for posts that are read/unread.

THE FEED HEADER + ACTION BAR
At the very top of the feed section you’ll see the feed (home/category) title and the number of unread items you have. On the right you’ll see the actions menu. Here you can mark all posts as read, refresh your feed, change viewing settings like changing the style of how your feed is shown (in a list, magazine showing thumbnail and excerpt, card is grid format, the new slider, etc) and how posts are shown (oldest or most recent first and only show unread items). The search bar is for quickly adding content, which I’ll discuss below.

HOW TO ADD CONTENT / FOLLOW A BLOG
Theres a couple of ways to add new content. You can click Add Content in your sidebar and add the site using the name or URL. Here, you can also search by topic or look through the editors choice of popular topics. The search bar in the actions menu works in a similar way, letting you search by blog name, URL or topic.

Why I use Feedly to follow my favourite blogs

Just like Bloglovin and other feed readers, Feedly uses the blogs RSS Feed to gather posts. You can follow any public blog with a valid RSS Feed. Your feedly link will look something like http://www.feedly.com/home#subscription/feed/YOUR-FEED-ADDRESS, hopefully they’ll allow custom URLs at some stage so it’s easier to share. You can share this link for others to follow your blog. You can also make a Feedly button for your blog or website here.

READING YOUR FEED
When you click on a blog it will open either with a summary or the full post, depending on how the author has set their RSS Feed. I love the look of the post view, it’s really easy to read with a clean perfectly sized font! Under the post title, you’ll see the author info. Sometimes a little number appears next to the author, this is the engagement number and is a combo how many times the article has been shared or saved. You’ll see a link to keep that article unread or to hide that article from your feed. You can preview what the post looks like on the actual site while staying on Feedly.

Why I use Feedly to follow my favourite blogs

Underneath that, before the article itself, you’ll see more options. Here you can save the post for later. To save an article for later you simple click the bookmark icon when reading the post. On your phone you can tap and hold the article or open it and click the bookmark icon. With the pro version, you can search through saved items for a specific post which is such a useful tool that a lot of Feed Readers don’t have! You can tag/label posts e.g. “read later”, “beauty”, “feature this”, “share on twitter”, etc and they’ll show in your sidebar under your categories. You can share posts on social media and send them to Evernote, Pocket, etc.

FEEDLY ON BROWSERS + PHONE
You can get a browser extension for Feedly but the new Feedly Mini extension for Chrome is amazing. It allows you to save, tag, share or follow sites as you browse the web. They are looking into extending this to other browsers too. Feedly is also available for iOS and Android and it makes reading posts on your phone so easy. Before I never used to read on my phone but now I do. There’s some extras options for phone users, including changing the size of fonts, changing the theme to be suitable for nighttime reading and more.

THE DOWNSIDE
I believe that Feedly doesn’t count in terms of pageviews, because you’re reading the article on Feedly and not clicking over onto the blog itself. It sucks but it’s very common when using an RSS Feed Reader. To force your readers to click through to your site you can set up your RSS Feed to only show excerpts instead of full posts.

Feedly is relatively new so they are improving it each day, but they want it to remain a reader application, which I like. They have a Google+ Community for users to chat, report bugs and suggust improvements and a blog where they discuss updates, plans and featues. All in all, I really like Feedly and at the moment, its the perfect solution for me.

What do you use to follow your favourite blogs? If you have tried Feedly, what are your thoughts?

14 comments

    • Elaine M on

      I hope so too as I do like to use it for certain things and I think turning it more social will ruin it – look at HelloCotton and Canopi for example, they started as site to follow blogs, post status’ and chat to other bloggers. It was kind of like Facebook and Bloglovin combined but it just didn’t work.

      Reply
  1. Saoirse on

    I made the switch very recently (yesterday, in fact) and I am so glad I did. As much as I love Bloglovin’ (it’s very simple to use) it has been glitchy lately, and they have a few silly aspects of the site that I don’t enjoy. At the moment I love using Feedly though it will take some getting used to, especially when the blog posts don’t open with the site graphics all around them (unless you can change that in setting somewhere). All in all, everything you said about Feedly is how I feel. Whilst I won’t be quitting Bloglovin’ completely (easiest way aside from Twitter to find new blogs and posts) I will migrate steadily, I think.

    Reply
    • Elaine M on

      Oh wow! Yeah some of the silly aspects where my reason for swapping, I noticed a lot of “follow for follow” stuff happening as soon as people moved over from GFC too, but I do love it for finding new blogs. I’m glad you’re liking it so far, personally I love that just the post opens but if you click preview the post will appear as if you are on the site 🙂

      Reply
    • Elaine M on

      I love using it to find new beauty, fashion and other types of blogs. I have a following on there myself so I still use it in that sense but I much prefer the reading experience on Feedly! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Miss Tulip on

    Great post- thank you very much. I’m going to go check Feedly out right now. I work doing blogger outreach so love new tools to research prospects. I find Bloglovin’ hard to use for prospecting as it lists based on popularity and has few category niche/theme options. As a blogger I don’t feel like I fit into any category so miss out on the right target audience for my blog. I want to be able to find other bloggers who talk about nature, the outdoors and personal finance but those options just aren’t there.
    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    Reply
    • Elaine M on

      Ah thank you! Yeah that annoyed me slightly, I really think they should greatly expand the categories and bring back the ‘up and coming’ section for new bloggers. They said they were going to expand the design category as at the moment it features everything from home decor to web development. I know they said they were going to include some other categories like crafting, gardening, Christmas, etc but they don’t seem to have updated it yet. Hope you like Feedly!

      Reply
  3. Lena Duffin on

    I use Feedly and BlogLovin. I use Feedly for blogs of friends, and ones I love to read, and read every single post. BlogLovin is for other beauty blogs, some of which I read just to keep tabs on the competitors! I much prefer the feedly interface.

    Reply
    • Elaine M on

      Much prefer the Feedly interface myself, it’s similar to Bloglovin’s but just that bit better. I kind of use the same way where Feedly is for my must reads and Bloglovin is just for some browsing and such.

      Reply
  4. Annie - The Ranting Latina on

    I remember having checked out Feedly a year-ish+ ago to look for an alternantive to the RSS feature on Blogger.com but I read somewhere that views on Feedly ≠ actual page views, which is kind of sad, as I really want to give that blogger that well-deserved view! Do you know if this is still accurate?

    I’ll probably join Feedly just to be able to tag/organize posts. I don’t like how on BL all my “Liked” posts are jumbled together, making it VERY difficult to find them afterwards w/o having to scroll forever. Thanks girl!!

    Reply
    • Elaine M on

      Yeah I love Feedly for organising saved posts, so handy! The lack of that on Bloglovin really puts me off. Ah, I apologise in advance for the essay but to answer your question, that is where things get confusing and shady. I believe that Feedly, like the majority of RSS Feed Readers do not give a pageview to the Blogger. Bloglovin give the site a pageview, because you have to click through to the site to read the article. However the iFrame feature they use is very suspicious (HTML frames are awful!) and I really doubt that with that enabled it gives the Blogger a pageview.

      There was a problem between Tumblr and Bloglovin over the summer. Tumblr blocked Bloglovin and some reports claim it was to do with this feature. A few weeks later the iFrame was being very buggy and I figured they were updating the site. A couple of days after that they announced that they resolved the issue with Tumblr so maybe something was changed but who knows.

      I do occasionally click over to their site if I have a few posts to catch up on to give them some views. Since the blogs I follow on Feedly are all my favourite I do try support them in other ways like purchasing from them or buying ad space, etc. Hopefully that makes up for it haha.

      Reply
  5. Savvy on

    When Google Reader dissolved I transferred my feeds to both Feedly and Bloglovin. I honestly almost never click on Bloglovin. I think Feedly reminded me more of Google Reader. And you are right about Bloglovin being all about fashion.

    Reply

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