Thoughts
Blogging,  Great information,  Handy Tips,  Reading,  THOUGHTS

I’m Taking #Reader’s Opinions about #Blogging

thoughts on

 

Okay guys and gals, I seriously am in need of some suggestions on how to manage blog reading in a more efficient manner. It seems as though as the days go by, my inbox is is filling up faster than I can keep up with. I know I’ve asked a few of you, from time to time, how you manage to keep up with blog reading, yet I’m still looking for an effective method to keep up with reading blogs and still having some semblance of a life.

 

I know many of you use the WordPress reader instead of having notifications come into your inboxes, but I’m wondering if I can trust WordPress these days, to show all the blogs I follow in the reader? And if I were to miss a day, will it only show me blogs from the current day?

 

Because I enjoy reading so many blogs, I seem to have caused myself an influx of notifications. I’d have to say that I follow at least 75 blogs! Some bloggers post several times a day, so I do have to pick and choose which of those are my favourite topics of interest, as I couldn’t possibly read 20 to 30 blogs a week from just one person.

 

When I open my email each night, there are typically 50 to 80 notifications of blog posts daily I receive. Those are just the ones I chose to receive daily. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I can’t even tell you how many roll in from those notifications I ticked off to receive weekly! So naturally, I’m at a point where I have to restructure my reading process. And that’s why I thought I’d ask you for suggestions how you schedule your own blog reading notifications and time.

 

Currently, my system is in an overwhelming state of affairs to say the least. If I don’t change things, I’m sure to lose the plot! I have an idea why things have gotten out of control. There were various times, which we’ve all encountered, when I wasn’t receiving notifications from WordPress for blogs I chose to follow. So I had gone ahead and subscribed to many blogs to receive their posts. Consequently, I now receive duplicate notifications from both WordPress notifications and from subscribed email notices. I need not tell you the math on how many emails I receive because of that. It’s madness!

 

SOLUTION? 

 

Here’s what I’m thinking of doing to start the process of simplifying the mayhem. I’d appreciate your feedback on my idea and any other tips you can offer.

 

Please know that with this plan, I’m not abandoning any of the blogs I already love to read, merely trying to restructure.

  • I’d like to start using the Reader. By doing so, I can shut off the notifications request by email in ‘manage’ blogs in the Reader.

  • I may start out by keeping subscribed to blogs in the meantime and see how that flows. I especially don’t want to unsubscribe to those bloggers who are self-hosted. I know there are blogs I follow and some that follow me who aren’t offered to ‘follow’ from the WordPress little box that offers to do so on the bottom corner of a blog, so I’ll keep those subscriptions going.

  • I plan to test the waters and see if this plan works. And if any of you notice I’ve unsubscribed, do know that I’m not abandoning your blogs, it just means I chose to read them in the Reader. 

 

I just need to clean up my shabby system I’ve created because I’m overwhelmed.

 

Now, I’m not going to start this cleanup until I start receiving some helpful tips from you readers. Please share in the comments, what method of following blogs works best for you. Thanks!

 

Follow Me on Social Media!

D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

62 Comments

  • adeleulnais

    Hi Debby, I too love reading blogs and have subscribed to loads, couldn’t tell you right now the total. I’ve been at the point where if I miss a day, it happens, and I log into my e-mail, I`m faced with up to 800 notifications. I don’t know what to do so if you have success with reader please let me know. Thank you x

  • Tina Frisco

    Glad you’re asking for help, Deb. Two things I know (that I can’t believe you don’t!): 1. WP will show you blog posts ad nauseam, so you don’t have to worry about missing a day. 2. You don’t have to follow most self-hosted blogs by email. Just copy and paste the url into the box at the top of the reader. The only time this doesn’t work is if WP can’t find an RSS feed (which isn’t often). Once you stop (most) notifications and simply use the reader, your life will be so much easier ❤

    • dgkaye

      Thank you, Tina, my other overwhelmed friend, lol. You got me on that one T! You see, you too are helpful with tech stuff! I didn’t know about copy and pasting a URL in the reader! And perhaps you should be taking some of your own advice, as we’ve touched on this subject together many times, lol. 🙂 <3

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, your post came at just the right time! ? I was feeling equally overwhelmed and have also been trying to sort out my blogging. Often I could be on for an hour or two and not even notice the time has flown – not that I’m complaining – it is fun and interesting to share – but I’m struggling a bit. What I am doing is still have email notifications for those that I want to read/comment on. I will then flag ones I want to comment on for when I have time – and this seems to be working. Many who post often during the day I will follow through the reader and scan through those at intervals – this seem to be working better…fingers crossed. Let us know how you get on.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Annika for sharing your method. I know there are many of us overwhelmed with this dilemma. Like I said, I’m not eliminating all email notifications, for reasons you suggested, and for the self hosted blogs I follow too. So I’m going to take the plunge and try out the reader protocol. 🙂

  • Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

    Most blogs don’t have to be read the day they come out. I find readers checking a post over a few days or a week, as they find time to settle in and see what I’m on about this time.

    So I’d say this.

    1. Create an email folder that is called Blogs or Blogs To Be Read
    2. Every day, tag ALL the blog posts that come in and stick them all in that folder, but read none.
    3. If you get 75 blog notices a week, that’s about 10 a day, and since most blogs can be read in a few minutes, that’d be about 30 minutes of reading – at your convenience.
    4. When YOU have time, scroll through and read your faves first. If you don’t get to a certain blog, that probably mean you aren’t as interested in it as the others. No biggie, but that happens.
    5. Each day as you scroll through, you’ll seek posts from some blogs and others will get pushed down the list. That’s okay.
    6. At the end of the second week, delete all of the prior week’s posts, read or unread. (If you feel as though you’ve missed something important from a particular blog, you can always click over to it and find out.

    This will allow you to de facto prioritize but still not miss out. If you only have a certain amount of time, budget that time and stick to it, and you’ll see you seem to get to the blogs that matter.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Dan. Thanks so much for sharing your process here. It makes sense, although I have a question or 2. Are you saying to keep the email notifications and make a folder for them, or mail them from the reader? Also, I get 75 a day! Not a week. 🙁

      • Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

        Right, I saw it was 75 a day after I posted my reply. The system still holds. I find that when I take all the notifications in my email box and push them aside, I do it to find the other more important things in my email. Then at my leisure I decide I have one hour to read blogs, I’m going to pick the ones that I like the most and read them first. But I’m not getting 75 each day and I don’t feel compelled to read each one that I get. I have a handful of people I read every single time they post, and many many other friends who I can only get to about once a month. That doesn’t mean I won’t read six of their posts when I do!

        I don’t usually use reader at all. I prefer email notifications. Then I can quickly find the blogs I want to read. So everything comes into my secondary email account, and I grab them and throw them in a folder in the email account.

        When I want to use reader, I will just scroll through it. But the ones I enjoy reading, my top priority blogs that I prefer to read, those come to my email account.

        • dgkaye

          Thanks again Dan for re-iterating. I like your system. Will go back tonight and re-figure things. 🙂 I tried a little experiment last night: I made sure I was following blogs so I wouldn’t lose them in the Reader, then ‘unsubscribed’ in the email. I noticed fine print under the unsubscribe pop up box – ‘to unsubscribe, click unfollow’, duh, what’s the point? If I unfollow then they’re gone from the reader, so I wouldn’t do that. Consequently, they’re all back with new posts in my email again! ARgg!

  • Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

    Oh, here’s one other tip. If you can access you mail from your phone, then any delay during the day can become blog reading time. Waiting in line at the bank or grocery store? Click and read. I’m able to waste a lot of time on my phone that way, but if I wanted to read ten blogs during car line every afternoon, I sure could!

    You’d be surprised at how many gaps we have during the day. That can now become blog reading time.

    • dgkaye

      Great suggestions. Believe me, I utilize my time with every moment I can spare for reading or writing. With that said, all those moments you’ve just covered, I use that time to read books while I’m in lines and waiting at appointments. I’ve turned off email notifications on my phone to avoid distraction, lol. 🙂

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Oh, do I struggle with this! I get about 200 email notifications a day of different sorts. Debby, I have definitely noticed that WP sends some things to email that don’t show up in the reader, and some reader notifications don’t make it to email. I have to check both and cross reference. This is a definite WP glitch.

    Here’s what I do, not perfect but it helps (I’m going to number like Dan did).
    1. I get written email notifications for blogs I don’t want to miss – like yours. Since not everyone posts every day, this is about 30 emails a day. These I get to at some point during the day. (I do not include bloggers in this list who post multiple times a day).
    2. I go through reader notifications and respond to all comments. I visit the sites of anyone who commented who isn’t on my above list. (I delete any the duplicates from my email).
    3. I go through reader notifications and open the sites that “liked” my post and return the visit. Because reader only shows the ten latest likes, I have to return to email, delete the ten duplicates and see what’s left, open and visit those.
    4. Twice a week, I browse reader for a couple hours and visit sites I follow that I haven’t interacted with in a while.

    I find that this method works for me because it prioritizes and gives the greatest amount of time back to those who interact with my blog. It takes me about 4 hours a day not including preparing posts.

    • dgkaye

      Wow Diana! I see some similarities in our methods, and some food for thought for me to try, but in the end, like you said,it is still 4 hours a day! And yes, WP does present a problem with their numerous duplicates. Some blogs I get notifications duplicated in different sections of my inbox. How many times does WP have to send the same post? It’s annoying. And yes, we are constantly cross referencing, deleting and re-finding some posts in new notifications, which doesn’t help the issue. But it seems from your idea, and that of others, and my initial thought that keeping notifications by email on for those blogs we follow daily is a good idea and the reader to check the others. I’m going to solve this, this week! I’ll keep you posted, lol. And thanks for keeping me in yours! <3

      • D. Wallace Peach

        I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I was considering a plea to the blogosphere too when I saw your post. As my blog grows, I have to keep adjusting, and I always feel guilty that I can’t get to everyone.

        • dgkaye

          It would be so much easier if WP wouldn’t send duplicates. I’ve just been looking into my emails. I have 2 gmail addresses I use. One was originally SUPPOSED to be just for blog notifications. Ironically, notifications are sent to both sporadically, which has halted me from unsubscribing because I’m not sure if they’ll stop altogether. Grrr! Some I’m following only by reader, continue to come to my inbox even after unsubscribe. These are things that make the process so much more agonizing. I’ll keep you posted, lol. 🙂

  • garym6059

    I would trust the Reader as much as I would trust a rabid Pit Bull. It can be quite overwhelming at times when the inbox fills up faster than you can read everything.

  • Jacqui Murray

    I have most of the blogs I read on the weekly notification system. that makes Mondays busy, but lightens the load on other days. I do check my fvorite bloggers when they drop by my blog–I usually can’t resist seeing what they’re up to. Then, I read, comment, laugh. That means when those posts show up on the weekly feed, I skip them.

    It works well, but I don’t follow 70+ blogs. That might overwhelm my system. I like Dan’s suggestion for putting blog emails in a separate folder. That’s easily done by creating a rule that does it or creating the folder Dan suggested and then a right-click lets you ‘always move’ to that folder.

    Good luck! I’m eager to see how you resolve this.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing Jacqui. I do like the idea of still receiving notifications for the blogs I frequent most. And Dan’s idea is also appealing to do so. I’m going to figure it out this week, and be sure I’ll let everyone know; especially if I find an effective method that could help others too. 🙂

  • John Maberry

    Happy not to have your problem, my friend. On the other hand, if I really want to engage with people to help move books along, then I need to have a system. The catch 22 is that I am having trouble getting the writing done to promote by engaging–hahahaha or LOL for the modern or younger persons. Right now I’m making progress on the short story collection but not yet ready for beta readers, which means likely not going to be out for the holidays. Oh well, the silver lining is that I avoid the competition. Not much of a comment on your question, sorry–but at least I’m responding to a notification. 😉

    • dgkaye

      Lol John. Believe me, I do know that it’s a tough balance trying to write, keeping up with blogs and social media. I struggle with it all the time and try to be everywhere, which seems to be working, only I have no moments to breathe, and many time the writing gets missed. 🙂 You will get there with your book. Look how many delays I encountered this year with my new book, but it finally was born! 🙂

  • Sherri

    Ahh…dear Deb, the age-old question. One so many of us struggle with. I’ve done many things all the blogging experts say never to do, one of which is take long gaps. Although, as you know, these are enforced or because I make a conscience decision to do so because it’s the only way I can fully concentrate on my writing. During my last break, knowing I was going away for a while to write – I turned off all my email notifications because like, you, I missed a day or two and I had 800 plus emails. Crazy!!! I was getting so stressed and overwhelmed. I tried pulling out the ones into a seperate ‘blogs to be read’ file so that I could go back to visit them, but I was spending entire days just blogging and no time left to write. Now I still haven’t turned my notifications back on, except for very few. The others I use the Reader for, although I’m not really keen on it. I do my best to keep up with those bloggers I really want to, but there are many I can’t because they post too often and I just don’t have the time. I find I end up giving so much time to blogging and nothing left for writing. One thing I have tried lately and seems to work nicely for me is I visit 5 blogs a day. No reason for that number, it’s just one I feel comfortable with. That way, I’m not stressed, have time to comment and ‘invest’ in my favourite bloggers – you included, naturally lol! – and still have time to write off blog. Until my book is written, I can’t do much more than that. I’ll be eagerly awaiting news of what you decide to do, but I hope you find a solution that helps you… 🙂 <3 xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Sher, thanks for sharing your insights here, much appreciated! I know we all have to find what’s comfortable for us, and it’s certainly been enlightening to read how others here handle the same situation. I’m taking notes from everyone’s contributions here and I know I’m going to find resolution soon. And yes, I’ll be happy to share! 🙂 Big hugs! xoxo<3

  • EDC Writing

    Okay lets first state the obvious … I’m a man and completely disorganised … Dan I feel is a bit of an anomaly in the male gene pool (I say this as a friend!). I get email notifications and I’m going to be completely honest I delete most of them unread! I’ve come to rely on Reader, I get to see everyone I want to, even those who haven’t posted for months and restarted, I do not have a sense of missing anything (but how would I know?). I never have a sense of being overwhelmed with Reader, I’ll frequently go back a few days, but rarely more than a week, but I do log in to WP several times a day, I don’t do Twitter or Facebook at all though so apart from LinkedIn and real life no other vices (okay lets not go there). I guess the thing for me is I see plenty and I have no real hang ups about what I don’t see, I guess I’m weird as well as English. Eric

    • dgkaye

      Lol Eric, I love your candor! As I just can’t find it in me to delete notifications, this is part of my dilemma. But I love that you don’t sweat over missing a few blogs, where I always feel I’m missing something because many I follow have some interesting tidbits to share which helps me in my writing career. I suppose some of my OCD is part of my own problem. 🙂

  • Janice Wald

    Hi Debby,
    I skimmed the comments here. I agree with Dan and some others.. I have a folder called “Blogs to Read.” When I have time, I look in the folder.
    Also, I will keep it in my inbox. As I clean it out, I see something I wanted to read. When I have time, I read it. This is why I kept it in the inbox.
    I also agree I wouldn’t trust WordPress’s Reader. I imagine it would get pushed down by newer articles too.
    Janice

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for chiming in Janice and sharing your words of wisdom. It sounds like you do what I’ve been doing all along, although mine has grown out of control, making me feel I can’t just ‘wait’ to read because of the alarming rate notifications come in. So far I’m thinking I will keep ‘subscribed’ to those I follow, such as yours, and use the reader for those I follow solely through WordPress. This will still give me incoming, but at a more manageable rate. Hopefully! 🙂

  • Robin O. Cochran

    Debby, I usually work 45-50 hours a week so my weekends are mainly my catch up days. I try to visit people who comment on my posts and the newest followers.
    Lastly, I go to my Reader, once a week. I love blogging but I write posts to connect with people who like to read, write or enjoy the arts. I have thousands of notifications so am not great at keeping in touch. Hugs, Robin xo

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    So many fabulous ideas! I utilize many of these. I also adjust the frequency of emails depending on the bloggers schedule, instant, daily, weekly. those are my “don’t miss” bloggers. I follow the reader occasionally and I also brouse through the wordpress weekly photo challenge thumbnails each week. this is very much conundrum. I read on the days I post, and some other days, I only read the emails, which may be 20-30 a day. I also skim through on my tablet or phone and perhaps delete if the subject doesn’t catch my interest. I’m glad you brought up this subject. Good luck, Debby, we all need it ?

  • Bun Karyudo

    I think a lot of bloggers will know exactly how you feel. I’ve always found the WordPress reader a little unreliable. I’m not sure how everyone else copes. I use gmail filters to put notifications of new posts into separate folders. It helps to some extent, because it means when I have time, I can easily find the most recent or interesting-looking posts by someone I follow rather than trying to respond to every single one. I still can’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, though. There just isn’t enough time in the day. 🙁

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Debby I so relate to this one.. and after not turning on my PC for a period of 4 days have over 1,000 sitting in there at the moment..
    I like to react to comments on my blog firstly and then I repay a visit if I have not already caught a post from them… And I am often surprised at the amount of likes and like to repay this likes in kind when I get the opportunity..
    I do not want to unsubscribe to blogs either, So I found reading what your followers suggestions were very enlightening and I am at least along similar lines, though I do like the idea what Tina suggested doing too.

    Good luck in trimming down your email listings.. As I too am on a mission to declutter .. 🙂

    Love and Hugs xxx

  • Hugh's Views and News

    I’ve written about this subject so many times, Debby. In fact, one of the posts is my top commented and most liked post on WordPress.

    Here is what I do.

    1. I don’t use the WordPress reader at all. Why? – Because I found it unreliable but, my biggest problem with it was that, I found using it was like me being a hamster running on one of those hamster wheels. All I was ever doing was trying to get to the top of the reader but, as fast as I was reading posts, more were being added. I never ever made it to the top of the reader and I was also skimming posts just to try and get to the top.

    2. I’ve said many times that I don’t ever try and read every single blog post of the blogs I follow. I follow over 250 blogs and I’d be reading blogs 96 hours a week if I tried reading all of them. I stop feeling guilty about not reading all those posts ages ago and, better still, I feel so much better for it.

    3. I have a select few bloggers whose posts I do read. These are the bloggers who visit my blog often and who leave comments (and I’m not talking about comments such as “Great Post”). It also includes bloggers who reblog and share my posts on social media.

    4. After a month, I put new blogs I follow into one of four groups. Group A are those who come and say hello often. Group B are those who visit less often. Group C are those who only paid me one visit during the first month they followed me. Group D are what I call ‘Ghost Followers’ – They follow your blog but never leave a like or comment on a post despite you commenting on their blog and them commenting on other blogs.

    5. I unfollow blogs. I’ve made mistakes in following blogs. However, I’m not afraid to unfollow them if the content is not to my liking, interest, or they are posting lots of poor quality posts on a daily basis. In fact, the unfollow button should be every bloggers friend. I have a good clear out of blogs at least once every six months.

    I’ll end it there, as I could go on and on about this subject, but I hope I’ve helped, even if only a little?

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Hugh for your contribution. I do remember your post about that. It seems that many commenters here don’t really like the reader. I tried it last night after keeping my favorite notifications opened for email and seeing how I could manage the reader. I agree, it’s like a hamster wheel, perhaps good for an occasional scroll. I’ve un notified several blogs already, and going to go back through them all to add back those I enjoy daily and those who are loyal followers and add from there. My problem is with gmail now. I was trying to create some folder last night and suddenly the blogs I thought I was moving, disappeared into the ether. Can you tell me how to make these folders please. I always appreciate your insights. <3

  • marianbeaman

    Seventy-five blogs – I don’t know how you do it, Debby. I follow less than fifty and the ones on Twitter just get a brushing nod from me. Yet, I do enjoy the connection to like-minded folks.

    I have taken only one hiatus from blogging; that was when my mother died. As long as the ideas keep coming, I guess I’ll keep blogging though a good post requires at least 4 hours’ time. Like you, I find sustenance when followers reply.

    Writing is a solitary occupation. Online writing friends supply companionship and nourish my soul. I do appreciate bloggers who faithfully read, comment, and even share my posts – a good description of YOU, my friend! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for your kind compliments Marian, and for sharing your thoughts. I don’t think I’ve taken a break from blogging in 4 years, through sickness and holidays, but I’m proposing to try it out on my next winter holiday. We all need a break sometime, no matter how much we enjoy writing blogs and the engagement. 🙂

  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    I’ve used Feedly for years, and have the blogs I follow separated into a handful of categories. There are days I will mark all as read for the sake of time. It’s impossible to read everything. I’ve used the WordPress reader just for photo blogs, but I do prefer Feedly overall as an RSS reader.

  • balroop2013

    This is a very interesting and enlightening discussion! Many thanks for initiating it.
    I refuse to be stressed by notifications or e-mails, the moment I get that feeling, I quit my boxes and browse Facebook to relax. I don’t follow so many blogs as you do dg but the moment I land on a good one, which appeals me, I make a mental note of visiting it once a week. Any one who likes my post gets an instant response…only if I happen to be online as I too have switched off all notifications.
    I don’t visit Reader much as many of my favorite blogs don’t show up there. I click delete all button and then unclick the mails that I want to keep and read those at leisure. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      HI Balroop! I’m flattered that you took the time to come by and comment. 🙂 And I appreciate you sharing your method of blog organization, not to mention, I admire it! 🙂 I’m not sure I could shrink my system to yours, although I admire it. But I have gathered from most of the comments here, that many do not rely on the reader to show all blogs they follow, so I’ve already decided to can that idea. 🙂 Thanks. 🙂

  • elainemansfield

    I don’t have a clue. I sink under the weight and have to pull back so I can get my own writing done–and take walks in the autumn leaves. Thanks for good tips here. I’ll check into some of them.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Elaine. It seems the general consensus is that we’re all overwhelmed. But there are some good ideas offered here by many. I’m still working on it. 🙂

  • Sarah Brentyn

    I can relate to this: “my inbox is is filling up faster than I can keep up with…” I have no suggestions, I’m sorry, but I’m looking forward to reading through the comments here. I personally think the WP Reader is not user-friendly but…maybe I’ll try that. I hate opening my inbox and being drowned in notifications but the Reader seems a bit like twitter where the recent posts are at the top and you could easily miss some.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for chiming in Sarah. I’m still not organized but I did try going through the Reader before I re-organized my notifications and I didn’t like it either. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: