As we all know, Google Reader is disappearing on July 1st. I have written a list of alternatives for Google Reader.
In that post I mentioned that one of my favourite ways to follow blogs is by using Bloglovin’ so this post will explain how it works, how to set up an account, how to follow blogs and claim your own as well as how to export your subscriptions from Google Reader and import them into Bloglovin’.
What is Bloglovin’
Bloglovin’ is an easy way to follow blogs and get notified when they upload a new post. Bloglovin’ is a reader which updates using RSS Feeds. This means that you can add and follow ANY blog or website even if the owner doesn’t have an Bloglovin account, as long as the site has a valid RSS Feed.
Setting up an account on Bloglovin’
To set up an account on Bloglovin’, all you have to do is enter a couple of details on the signup page or you can sign up by connecting to your Facebook profile.
You will need to log into your email account and verify your email address. It will lead you onto a couple of introduction pages, which you can skip. You will then arrive at your dashboard.
In the top navigation bar, you will see a link to home/dashboard, as well as links to the popular posts and blogs (hovering over these will drop down categories).
You will also see you account image, with many options and settings. Beside this is the search bar where you can search and follow blogs. To add a blog, you can search for a word, a user-name or using the URL.
When you follow a blog, you can add it to a category. This acts like a folder in your sidebar to allow you to categorise/organise the blogs you follow. Under the navigation bar, you will see the blog feed.
This is where all new posts and updates appear. You can also change the viewing settings. To the right of the blog feed, you will see your different categories.
How to claim a blog on Bloglovin’
As I mentioned above, any URL with a valid RSS Feed can be added to Bloglovin’ as it is a reader, the blog owner doesn’t need to have an account for their blog to appear on the site. By claiming your blog, you are proving that the blog is yours. This gives you access to change the information associated with your blog.
To claim your blog go to Account > Claim Blog > and search for yours. Click on your blog title, copy the code and paste it into a new blog post on your blog. This is to prove that you have access to the blog account.
Once you publish it, go back to Bloglovin’ and click Claim Blog. It will search for the code and verify that you own it before adding the blog to your account. Once you’ve claimed your blog, you can go to Account > My Blog and edit your details, such as title, description and category.
How to claim you Profile Page
Set up a profile page here to display some information about you and a list of your blogs. Go to Settings > Profile Info and enter your unique username to be used as your profile page. Example http://www.bloglovin.com/misse
How to follow blogs on Bloglovin’
You can search for ANY blog or website (with a valid RSS Feed) and simply click “Follow”. You can then add them to a folder that you have created. I’ve set up numerous folders as categories to organise the blogs I follow.
How to move/merge followers when changing blog url
Write a new post on your old blog stating that you have moved to a new address. Include a link in the post to your new blog. Then contact Bloglovin’ via the support page with the appropriate information and they will move the followers for you.
Does the blog owner or Bloglovin’ benefit from traffic
Bloglovin’ sends the user to your blog address, meaning that you receive the traffic. There are some confusions about the use of the frame, which I briefly dicuss here.
How to turn off / remove frame on Bloglovin
To turn off the frame from appearing when you visit someones blog via Bloglovin, simply hover over your image in the top bar and click Settings. Scroll down to the Other heading and you’ll see the options for The Bloglovin’ frame there.
How to fix : images / posts not appearing – How to check if RSS is valid
The images needs to be .jpeg and must not be too large, otherwise it will not load properly. You must have a valid RSS Feed for Bloglovin’ to be able to gather your posts/images. You can check if your feed is valid here.
Your images need to be included in your RSS Feed to be able to show in Bloglovin’. Check the option for “Full Post” and not “Summary” in your feed settings, this will allow the images to be shown and content to be accessed in order to properly update. On WordPress, this is in Settings > Reading.
On Blogger, go to Settings > Other > Site Feed > Allow Blog Feed > Custom and set each feed to Full. I discuss this more in the post on RSS feeds and missing posts & thumbnails in the Blogger Dashboard.
How to fix : blog showing multiple times in search
If the blog is using more than one feed, it may be added multiple times to Bloglovin’. Simply contact Bloglovin’ via the support page and let them know the issue. They will combine them for you.
How to choose photo for thumbnail
Bloglovin always picks the first image included in your RSS-feed, this might not always be the first image in your blog post, it may be the first image you added to your blog post instead. The image needs to be .jpeg and should not too large or take long to load.
How to remove deleted posts or a deleted blog
Send Bloglovin an email via the support/help page and they’ll remove the post for you from your Bloglovin feed.
How to follow any blog from your browser
As I mentioned earlier, you can add ANY blog or website to Bloglovin without the author needing to have an account. As long as the site has a valid RSS Feed, which most do, you can add it!
The problem is not all websites/blogs have a link to bloglovin available so you have to open a new tab, sign into Bloglovin, search for the blog and then follow or add it.
Not too bad if it’s only a couple but if you’re like me and use bloglovin to keep up to date with a whole range of websites, blogs, forums, etc it can be a hassle.
I recently came across this bookmarklet that you drag into your bookmark bar, then when you are on a site you want to follow, click it and it will open bloglovin in a new tab. Pretty handy!
However, I didn’t like that it opened in a new tab. To open it in the same tab here’s what to do. Add it to your browsers bookmark bar, right click on it, click Edit Address. Change
Now bloglovin will open in the same tab with that website/blog, so you just have to click follow.
How to export certain subscriptions (blogs/groups) from Bloglovin?
Learn how to export specific blogs and categorised groups from your Bloglovin feed as backup or to import into a different account or feed reader.
How to export subscription data from Google Reader
How to Import Alternative Reader Feeds (such as Google Reader) to Bloglovin’
First open the import page > click Google Reader > Import from Google Reader > Allow Access or to do it manually, click OPML/XML and upload the exported Google Reader XML file.
To import from another reader, export the subscriptions as an OPML file and upload the file on the import page, choose the OPML/XML option.