Friday, January 11, 2013

Workshop #7: Using Google Reader for Blog Management

It's a new year and now is the time to get organized!  There are all manner of tools available to help you better organize your life.  We've found that many of these tools turn into yet another time sink.  However, there are a few software packages and services worth a second look.

Why are we focusing on Google Reader in this post?
As writers, we are all aware that the publishing industry is in the midst of rapid change.  Following industry insider blogs and Twitter feeds can help us keep a pulse on this evolution.  Since writing your next great book should be your top priority, finding a way to stay up to date quickly and efficiently will keep you informed without cutting into your writing time.

Just imagine being able to consolidate various blog posts into one cache.  Google Reader is a FREE, online application that helps you manage and organize all the blogs you read into one site.  Basically, Google Reader gives you the ability to create your own newspaper in real time.

How to get started:
If you have a Google account already (via Blogger, GMail, etc.) then just log in and go to If you do not have a Google account, you will need to create one.

To add blogs to your homepage view, click on the 'Subscribe' button and either paste in or type the link to your blog of choice and hit "Add."
Adding a blog to your Google Reader homepage.

Almost like an email account, your homepage will populate with the latest posts from each of your chosen blogs.
Example of a Google Reader homepage.  Looks a lot like email, doesn't it?

Just like email, to read a blog, simply click on the latest post or select the blog from your Subscriptions menu in the lower left of the screen.
Morgan's subscriptions.

Again, we know there are probably other ways to get this same information.  We've found this tool to be easy to access, FREE, and simple to use.  Plus, you get less emails in your inbox - BONUS!

Get Organized & Happy Writing!


  1. I've been using Google Reader for 3 years and probably have over 100 blogs in my feed but less than 1/3 are active daily. Out of 30-40 New Posts some are multiple posts from one site.
    Example: Powells posts 3 book reviews,, GeekMom, Smart Bitches, & Passive Guy will do multiple posts and are easy to scan. They are also really easy to "Mark All As Read" when I've been away and will have a few hundred posts captured in my reader feed.

    The beauty of Google Reader, for me, is I don't have to remember my author friends posting schedule. Whether they post a few times a week, a month, or once a year with a new book release - I see it as soon as it is posted.

  2. I can see how this works, but for me it is one more place to login to get information. Just like the blog feed in BLogger, I have to login to Blogger to get it.

    My answer has been to subscribe by email to the blogs I'm interested in following. In that way new posts come directly to my email. Yes, I have to open my email to see it, but I can also easily delete it if it's not of interest.

    Maybe I'm old-fashion. I still use email as my in-basket and sorting tool. Can you tell me what Google Reader provides that email subscribe does not?

    1. If email is what you like, stick with it.

      I'm into separating the personal, from the professional, and from the general interest stuff in my life. The inbox on my desk always had three bins so I could prioritize my time and focus while on the job. I've applied that same three tier process to what I do online.

      Google Reader works for me because it stores and records everything I consider of professional and general interest into a one tab choice. I don't have to Open or Delete anything. I just scroll... And my email inbox is not overloaded.

      Blogging is still a fascinating new venue that I've been active in for three years now. I tested a lot of the new craze social media options before I chose blogging as my thing, which means I read lots of blogs. To have all my activities in blog world in one place is a comfort zone for me and I've explored options to make it fit my routines and my lifestyle.

      I switched from Mozilla and a small webhosting service to GoDaddy and Goggle Chrome last year and my whole online experience has became a pleasure. But that's my experience and you will always have to pick what works for you.

      Working with a powerhouse of tools called Google gives me a daily giggle. I'll divorce them in a heartbeat if something better comes along. But maybe Google is just getting started - and for the internet moment - it works for me.

      It's up to you to test out new things and find what works for you.

    2. Hi Maggie,

      When you log into Blogger, there is an option to view your blog feed in Google Reader. It's on the right, next to a hot key that looks like a gear.

      I understand your point about email. Like Terri, I keep my personal correspondence separate from my professional and writing career focused emails. I choose to use my email inbox only for communications. (I have a separate "junk" account for advertisements.)

      Viewing the blogs I follow in Google Reader keeps my inbox cleaner and ensures that important emails don't get lost in the shuffle.

      Use the tools and methods that work for you.

  3. Good to know that this topic is being covered also in this website & there are a lot of developers working on this segment but this is one of the best innovative idea ever seen.

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  4. Dear Readers,

    I am sad to report that as of 01 July, 2013 Google Reader is now defunct. Though there were several online petitions and protests, Google made the decision to close this service citing declining use as the root of their reasoning.

    So, what are your options for the same service:
    - Google Blogger has a feed service. This option is particularly handy for me, since I use Blogger to host all of my blogs.
    - Feedly is another, non-Google, option that my limited research has shown to be a viable option.
    - There is also the old standby of subscribing via email, but this option can clog up your inbox if you subscribe to a ton of blogs.
    - The second old standby is to use your web browser bookmarks.

    The key thing is to find what works for you and which process takes the smallest bite out of your writing time.

    Now - go write your book!

    Ciao for now,

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    1. Thanks James! We are happy to know that our blog is helpful to you! Please visit us often and feel free to post comments and questions. Happy writing!