A few of my blogging buddies and I had an interesting discussion last week when Kristen asked, How do you keep up with the blogs you read?
It’s true: bloggers have a tough time keeping up too.
As a blogger, and most importantly, as a very busy pastor’s wife and homeschooling mama, I find it very challenging to keep up with the flood of “social media” that lands in my Facebook feed, inbox, and on every digital screen I own!
As I’ve been thinking about my priorities for this year, my commitment to cultivating a quiet heart, and trying my best to remove everything that is not absolutely “necessary” in my life, I realized I need to streamline my online time.
I’m not going to talk about Facebook or other social media in this post, but I do want to share a few ideas on how I keep up with the blogs I enjoy, and most importantly how I keep from getting overloaded with too much from bloggers.
Before I jump into the solutions that are working for me right now, I will readily confess that we bloggers tend to talk A. Lot.
Many bloggers are all over social media (“experts” recommend that we share something on Facebook every hour… every hour!).
It’s not uncommon for bloggers to post new content nearly every week day (again, “experts” recommend that we blog at least three times per week).
The newest thing in blogosphere is email newsletters, so now bloggers are doing everything but sell their firstborns to gain those coveted newsletter subscribers.
So how on earth can we readers (yes, I consider myself a “reader”, since I read blogs too) wade through all the emails and updates? How do we stay in touch with the blogs and bloggers that truly speak to us?
I recently came up with a few solutions for myself. Maybe something here will help you too-
1. Don’t try to closely follow too many blogs.
There are a lot of great blogs out there, but unfortunately I don’t have time to “follow” them all. I can’t possibly keep up with fifty bloggers who blog five times per week!
I keep my list of “blogs I read” limited to about eight or ten top favorite sites. (I’ll share more about those later.)
In order for a blog to “make the list”, it needs to be three things: encouraging, helpful, and real (versus too idealistic OR sales-y).
2. Subscribe to the ones you really love.
In order to keep up with the blogs I don’t want getting lost in the crowd, I subscribe to my favorites via email. (My friend Sara Elizabeth also recommended BlogLovin.) Again, that number is ten or less, since I can’t stand dozens of “updates” in my inbox every single day.
I generally also “like” my favorite blogs’ Facebook pages and “follow” them on Pinterest (that way new content shows up in my feeds).
If a blogger (or any website) ends up spamming my inbox with too many emails, or clutters my social media feeds with constant updates or sales pitches, I simply “unfollow”.
3. Create a Pinterest board for posts and articles you want to save.
I created a Favorite Reads board on Pinterest for this purpose. If I run across a really great or encouraging post, I pin it to this board so I can refer back to it later.
I also share some of my favorite articles from other bloggers in my Weekend Reads posts.
If you don’t want your “favorites” to be visible to everyone who follows you on Pinterest, simply create a “secret” board.
4. Cultivate time to read every single week (preferably, at least a few minutes each day).
This is so important! We ladies need some “down time” every day, maybe with a cup of coffee or hot tea and an encouraging article to help us stay on track.
I try to read something helpful or encouraging every single day. (Here is my reading list.)
Sometimes I read while my kids nap in the afternoon, while I nurse our little guy before bed, before I go to bed myself, or, on those rare days when I’m up way before anyone else, during the early hours of the morning.
Find what works for you, and do make time to read every day!
5. Determine to never read a blog post without leaving a comment.
I read this challenge from a big-time blogger a year or two ago, and I’ve been working to make it a habit. I can’t say that I always leave a comment on every blog post that I read, but I’m working on it!
By the way, bloggers love comments (maybe even as much as they love email subscribers!), so you will make some bloggers very, very happy if you adopt this habit! 🙂
Later this week, I want to share my top ten or twelve blogs (the ones I actually subscribed to and follow every week).
For now, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I’m beyond honored that you’re here reading.
And, if you’ve subscribed to my blog via email, thank you for that too!