So, unless you've been living under a digital rock for the last week you'll know that as of July 1st Google are retiring Google Reader. This means that if you subscribe to Rachel Phipps either directly through Google Reader or via Google Friend Connect (or my beauty blog The Glossy Guide, or any other blog for that matter) you will lose your subscription on that date, which would be a very, very sad thing. This little snippet of news that rocked the internet last week did not bother me as much as some, as I Google Reader was not my reader of choice (I'd never actually used it), but after getting amused by peoples reactions on Twitter (my favourite was this Tweet. It is actually pretty mind blowing Myspace (and not to mention Livejournal!) has lived out Google Reader if you think about it!) I decided this might be the perfect opportunity to review for my readers how best to subscribe to my latest blog posts.
My reader of choice, the only way I have ever subscribed to blogs is Bloglovin'; I honestly don't know where I would be without it. It is designed specifically for bloggers, and it is just so much more than a blog reader. Subscribing to any blog or website with an RSS feed is really easy, you just type the URL into the search box and the top of the page and it will give you the option to subscribe. Bloglovin' have also made it really easy to transfer your entire Google Reader into Bloglovin'. All your unread posts will appear in one clear feed on your Bloglovin' feed with the top image from the post, the title and the first few lines of the post. It is easy to mark as read or click through, so you can work through posts you want to read. When you click through there is a Bloglovin' toolbar on the blog page, but you can turn this feature off in 'Settings' which is what I have done. I also live by the Bloglovin' iPhone app which makes it great for working through my feed on the go. You can also stick your blogs into categories for easy browsing; as you will see from the screen grab above I have mine organised by countries and cities. Bloglovin' is also great for finding new blogs, with blog rankings by subscribes in several countries and categories, up and coming pages and most popular post pages in the same categorised fashion showing the posts that have received the most amount of likes. There are some real gems of new blogs there. The best example I think I can give is I was reading The Londoner when it only had about 100 other readers and it was in the first month or so of its life. Now the incredible Rose writes the most popular lifestyle blog in Britain and in the top 20 in the world, and I knew about her amazing recipes and travel posts from the beginning, thanks to spotting her on the Bloglovin' up and coming page.
As a blogger, having your blog on Bloglovin' so you can control it is pretty great too. You can claim your blog really simply, and from there you can view really good follower analytics charts, write a description for your blog and reset its screen grab. You can also choose the category your blog will appear in. Also, while I don't really care how many followers other bloggers have, it is fun to set myself targets when I'm on a social media and marketing kick to see how high I can rise up through the Personal/ United Kingdom rankings! You can follow Rachel Phipps on Bloglovin' by clicking here.
Another feed service that you can instantly transfer all of your reader posts into I've been hearing a lot about since the announcement from Google is Feedly. Personally, I'm 100% happy with Bloglovin' so I have not had much of a play around, but you can read a lot more about it from Harriet who does use it in her post about the pros and cons of both Bloglovin' and Feedly as a Google Reader alternative. I have also been informed by my blogger friend Joy that the Feedly app for iPad is, I think her exact word was 'purrrty' (!) so I will have to check that out to see if I like it any better than Bloglovin' for iPad when I get home from the Apple Store this afternoon with my white, shiny new iPad (my 20th Birthday is today and it is my gift from my parents!) You can add Rachel Phipps to your Feedly feed by clicking here.
As for other alternatives, I post links to all of my new posts on Rachel Phipps' Facebook Page and on my Twitter feed. Also remember I have a monthly newsletter full of exclusive content as well as links to my favourite posts of the month you can subscribe to here.