How I Organize Google Reader for Blog Commenting

As some of you may know, I recently launched a photography blog, Photostry. And one thing I discovered very quickly about the photo community is if you want comments, you better start giving comments first.

I started out on sites by photo bloggers I met at a photowalk in downtown Phoenix and branched out from there with people in their comments and on their blogrolls. In just a few weeks, I have found a lot of great photo bloggers to interact with. Once I started interacting, I saw my own comment numbers start moving in the right direction as well.

Blog Commenting on Photostry

So how do I organize all of those blogs? In Google Reader, of course.

And naturally, after I organized my photo blogs, the next step was to organize the rest of the blogs I wanted to comment on. So after a full weekend of removing feeds that hadn’t updated in a year, I began to slowly collect feeds from new bloggers I have connected with since the last time I did a full sweep of my RSS subscriptions.

The result? I now have a total of 538 blogs, appropriately categorized by the potential Fetching Friday topics they would fit under.

Google Reader RSS Subscription Organization

Why I Use Google Reader

The main reason I use Google Reader is convenience. I can access my RSS feeds on any computer I am logged into my Google account. This comes in quite handy since I have a computer at work and two at home. And I can access my RSS feeds on my phone via the Google Reader app for Android.

Plus, I get to do a lot of other nifty things in Google Reader like:

  • Star posts I want to use for my Fetching Friday mashup. On Thursday evenings, I can just click on the Starred Items link and see everything I’ve marked throughout the week.
  • See what posts have the highest engagement on any of my feeds with the PostRank Chrome Extension. This comes in handy if you want to subscribe to those blogs that have several articles a day just to see which ones are the most popular and skip the rest.
  • I can share posts with others, or maybe mark posts I’d especially like to save beyond just Fetching Friday.

Google Reader & Blog Commenting

When it comes to commenting, the obvious bonus of using this system is that you get alerted to when your favorite site has a new post. That way, if you are trying to get in that first commenter spot, you have a better chance of doing so by jumping on the post when it goes live.

You don’t even have to go check Google Reader all the time – it will show you the count of new posts in the tab of your browser!

Also, I know what you’re thinking. How does one keep up with hundreds of RSS feeds? It’s easy. Most feeds won’t have something that you want to comment on every time they update with new posts. So you can take a quick peak at the title, summary, or even the first paragraph or two to decide if you want to visit the post and comment, or just mark it read and continue on.

Keeping Track of Twitter Handles

Whenever I comment on a post, the next step I like to take for most is to tweet it to my followers. I also generally include the blogger’s Twitter handle in that tweet. Some blogs, however, still don’t have social sharing buttons, or maybe they do have a tweet button but it doesn’t put their Twitter handle in the tweet.

And worse, on some sites, you have to search long and hard, or even resort to Google search to find that blog’s Twitter.

So I do the Twitter hunt once, and it’s when I subscribe to the blog. Then I rename the blog subscription as the blog owner’s Twitter, hence why all of the subscriptions you can see in the screenshot earlier are @username. That way, when I go to tweet a post, I have their Twitter username right where I can find it quickly.

As an added bonus, it might help you recognize blogs that you may interact with the blog owner on Twitter often, but their blog title and Twitter username are different.

Getting Started

The biggest roadblock to getting your Google Reader organized is taking that first chunk of time to do the cleanup, find blogs to subscribe to, subscribe to the, and then do the Twitter renaming, if you choose to do. I will admit, it is very time consuming.

But once you do get it up and running, you will find that your daily hunt for places to comment and the latest news in your niche or industry will be much simpler to keep tabs on. Trust me on this one!

I would also suggest using little bookmarklets like the one on Feed Preview. Drag over the Auto-Detect RSS link to your bookmarks toolbar and you will never have to hunt for the RSS subscription button on any site. Just click on that link in your toolbar when you are on a blog you want to subscribe to, and it will find the RSS feed for you.

Feed Preview

And, as you notice, it conveniently gives you the option to add the feed straight to your Google Reader!

Results

Before you invest the time, you want to know what the benefits of doing a lot of comments are, right? I’ve only been at it a week or two, but what I can tell you is this. On average, my traffic to Kikolani has jumped by about 34%. I have also gotten comments from people saying they found my site from a comment on ProBlogger or another blog.

As far as my photo blog, I went from zero to an average of 15 – 20 comments per post. The traffic has been great, so much so that I got an email asking how a blog only a month old has an ok Alexa ranking. And thanks to sites that have the Recent / Top Commenters links sitewide, Google Webmaster Tools reports it to have 1,297 links already. Not too shabby for such a new domain.

Just remember that *these results are not typical* and that you won’t see any good results if you are not leaving valuable comments on the blogs you visit.

If you can’t write a great comment, just don’t bother and move onto a post where you do have something great to say. Great comments are the ones that get the click thrus back to your site! Bad comments are likely to get stuck in moderation.

Your RSS Subscriptions

Now it’s your turn. Do you use Google Reader, or RSS subscriptions in general? Have any other great organizational tips? Please share them in the comments!

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Comments

  1. says

    Kristi, take this post off your blog now!!!

    Breathe!!!

    Put it in an e-book and sell it!!! I am buying.

    Lol, I wanted to organize my Google reader since I started using it (recently). It confused me. I used FF extension for catching up on new posts but I crashd my FF hard and I am using it only for Firebug now. Chrome is my browser now.

    So, I am a doer and although it is 2 AM now, I am going to start getting all those RSS feeds I subscribe to into Google Reader and organize them like this.

    I love that you actually explain it in terms of your niche site cause I lost count with my niche sites since I started the blog.

    Love it and I don’t need to star this post in my Reader, since I am saving the link this instant for my round up!!!!
    Brankica just posted The War Of Art – Three Lessons For Beginner Bloggers

    • Brankica says

      Update, it is 4.45 AM and I went through my bookmarks and added them all in Reader. Installed the Chrome ext. Created folders for feeds. Went through about 100+ posts, was really easy to scan them in Reader. Found 2 I want to include in my round up. Decided to figure out how to display full posts in Reader for my blog (I think if someone wants to read it in reader I should make it possible).

      This is definitely a great lesson, I can already see how organized it is and how much I can improve keeping up with my favorite blogs. I haven’t been reading much lately and this will help a lot.

      I guess all I have left now is to add niche sites I want to comment on for my niche sites link building. But this “strategy” is just great.

      • says

        That’s awesome Brankica! I know the initial setup is painful, but trust me – it makes life so much easier from here on out! :)

    • says

      Haha… I saw your comment, and I thought – oh my goodness, what did I do wrong!?! :)

      Thanks Brankica! I used to have mine in categories that didn’t make sense, and it made it harder to get into commenting on them. Now that they’re more organized, I can get into the mind frame of blogging, social media, etc. before I start going through the articles to comment.

  2. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Blog commenting is indeed very important, but I’ve never thought of that before! Organizing the blogs you wanna comment on in Google Reader? That’s a very good thinking-out-of-the-box! :)

    Thanks for sharing PostRank. I now have it installed. I really should start organizing blogs for commenting in Google Reader, and Kikolani is going to be in the list. :)

    Best Regards,
    Gloson
    Gloson just posted The BlogEngage 500 Guest Blogging Contest

    • says

      I had done this kind of organization before Gloson, I just let it get out of hand and kind of lost interested in keeping up with it. Now that it’s organized again, it’s much easier to tackle. :)

  3. says

    Hey Kristi,

    This is an amazing tip. Actually I don’t use Google reader to the extent you have explained here and you seem to track a great number of blogs in your reader. That’s awesome. To be honest, I was not that comfortable with the appearance of the reader to get it organized in my commenting routine.

    Well, you have made me think again. I am surely going to give it a try now. To start with I am going to add 50 blogs on it and give it a try.

    Great post as always.

    Cheers,
    Jane.
    Jane just posted Effective Blog Commenting to build high quality backlinks

    • says

      For me Jane, Google Reader seems to have the simplest interface, or maybe it’s just because I’m so attached to Google products (Gmail, etc.) that I’m familiar with it. I hope you find a way to make it work for you!

  4. says

    I agree with Brankica, excellent post about organising Google Reader. I’m a doer too, and have just spent half an hour sorting out my own Reader like this.

    I don’t usually read using Reader though; I found I like the magazine layout of Feedly (http://www.feedly.com) for checking the latest news and updates. However, using them in conjunction may work well, so I’ll try it now Reader is organised better.
    Ryah Albatros just posted Daily Action Working When Tired

  5. says

    I have always been interested in reading your article Kristi, a few days ago I also wrote about this blog (Kikolani.Com) on my blog.
    Regarding the photo blog, I’ve been 3 times to make posts like a comic. Picture story on the article. This gives me new experiences and informed and if I can make people laugh a little. I plan to create a new blog for my comic article.

    I seem to have much to learn from you, thank you for this article.

  6. says

    Like you, I use the Google RSS Reader and I also use Hootlet in the Browser Bar to tweet links and that further simplifies sharing links. Nice post

    • says

      I use Bit.ly in my bookmarks toolbar Ychange, but Hootlet might be better since I always end up putting everything in HootSuite anyway.

  7. says

    Hi Kristie, I love the PostRank extension for Chrome, thanks so much for introducing me to it! I had the PostRank Plugin for WordPress installed on my blog but I went on a “Plugin Diet” last month so that one got chopped. On my Blogger blog I added a PostRank widget to the sidebar and it’s a handy tool to have over there.

    Nice way to track comments, thanks for sharing.

    Btw – best wishes with Photostry! It’s looking really lovely.
    Ileane just posted You Do NOT Need SEO To Blog – Told you!

    • says

      Ileane, I did the same thing with my plugins recently. I realized if I had PostRank in my RSS feeder, by subscribing to my own blogs I could get a quick overview of all of my scores just like I did in the WordPress dashboard. And thanks about Photostry – it’s my hobby passion right now, so I’m really loving it!

    • says

      Is it something you can access online Pankaj? That is why I like Google Reader – it goes with me where ever I go, as opposed to having to be on one machine all the time to access my feeds.

    • says

      Glad you like it Hart! I thought it might be a little weird at first, going with the Twitter handle over the blog name, but I find it helps me interact with the blog owners on Twitter easily as well.

  8. says

    Great advice Kristi,

    I organize my Google Reader in a very similar way. But, I also have created a folder in Google Reader that I have labeled “Comments”. This is where I put all of the blogs that I like to comment on regularly. This has become my first check folder.

    Thanks again!
    Fred Leo just posted Online Business Roundup – April 30- 2011

    • says

      I used to have one giant folder for that too Fred. Then I just decided that I would only subscribe to blogs I’d want to comment on, and for ones that I wanted to subscribe to but not comment on, I’d put those in their own folders – usually it’s a topic based thing. But having them broken out that way means each folder doesn’t get too overwhelming.

  9. says

    I did my own weekend-long Google Reader housecleaning and organizing about a month ago. I broke mine down into blog topics, and I created one folder specifically for “comment luv” blogs that I cared to follow. I figure if I’m going to use the plugin, I might as well take full advantage of it now and again.

    I love the idea of using the Twitter ID as the ‘name’ – Another add-on I’ve found handy is Read It Later. It places a bookmark ribbon right next to the name that I can click to save on a reading list.

    Isn’t getting organized such a freeing feeling? :)
    Gayla Baer just posted The Key to Affiliate Marketing Success – It’s Easier Than You Think

    • says

      I’ll have to check that add on out – I hate it when I end up marking an item as read but then don’t have time to go visit the post and comment. That should help out. Thanks Gayla!

  10. says

    I’ve been a Google Reader fan for a while now and have spent nearly as many hours organizing and categorizing my feeds as I used to spend organizing my record collection (you do know what records are, right?:)

    I love the renaming with twitter usernames suggestion. I’m a huge fan of your Fetching Friday posts. I just wish I could take more time dig deeper into your excellent recommendation.

    Great advice as always.
    Ray just posted The Tao of Twitter – Review

  11. says

    You can bet your patootie I’ll be tweeting this post! Thanks so much for this information. I’ve always commented on blogs and just bookmarked the page so I can check back. But I’ve really been putting some effort into blog commenting lately and it’s getting confusing trying to keep up. I don’t use Chrome though. Do you know if there’s a similar ranking system for FF?
    Donna Anderson just posted You Might Be A Pompous Ass If… I’m Not Following You On Twitter

    • says

      Thanks Donna! It looks like they only make that extension for Chrome and Safari. Maybe Firefox is in the works?

  12. says

    This was a timely post! So glad Brankica retweeted it! I have some blogs going into my Google reader but am not seeing them as they update. Have to click on google reader and then I forget and am the 100th comment on that post. Will make sure the notifications are seen in my tool bar!

    Well written and will allow me to organize my blogs easily!

    Also I agree with you on the commenting on blogs and am glad I found you through: John Falchetto, Brankica, And Gini!
    Take care,
    Rajka

    Thanks so much
    ExpatDoctorMom just posted It’s in the way you act- “Older” Mom Vs Young Mom

  13. says

    This is a terrific post! I haven’t subscribed to many blogs because I didn’t want my Google Reader to get out of control. Many, you make it so easy to read a lot of blogs and posts so quickly, and easily.

    I’ll have to go back to my Google reader and start organizing my feeds properly, and install the Chrome extension.
    Paul Salmon just posted 5 SEO Tips for the Technical Blogger

    • says

      Hi Paul. One thing you have to remember with your Google Reader is constant maintenance. If you come across a blog feed that you’ve checked out their last 10 – 20 posts and haven’t really gotten into them, you should go ahead and unsubscribe. That way you keep your feeds down to just those sites you like the most!

  14. says

    I love the idea of renaming a blog with the Twitter handle… I love to tweet great content, but like you, sometimes I struggle to find the Twitter handle and/or the name on Twitter and the name of the blog don’t match. Thanks for the idea!
    Ashley Pichea just posted Caffeinated Conversations 042911

    • says

      Thanks Ashley! I actually started doing that because one section of the bloggers I like to keep up with were notorious for having no mention of their Twitter handles. Some I only found because other bloggers were following them. But once I got them in Google Reader, I didn’t have to worry about finding them again. One search mission is about all I have time for! :)

  15. says

    Man, I’m SO glad I stumbled upon your post here Kristi.

    The way I’ve been following blogs I want to keep up on is the equivalent of cavemen using stones and bones as tools. Geesh.

    I love the idea of putting my bookmarks to google so I can see them across all computers but I never thought to do my RSS through them for the commenting thing. Today that’s all changed.

    Congratulations on the success you’re having with your new photo blog and thank you for sharing your strategies here for helping it get exposure.

    • says

      Thanks Lewis! I had used Google Reader for awhile, but it was when my husband was having frustration with organizing his favorite blogs and I helped him get organized that I realized I needed to do the same for myself. :)

  16. says

    Thank you for the ideas! I’ve been trying to figure out a perfect system for keeping track for keeping track of blogs to comment on. I love the idea of changing the blog subscription name to the writer’s Twitter handle.
    Excellent tips as always. Much appreciated!

  17. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Here’s something you might find useful.

    If you < + J through all the blog post in GR, you can see in the top left corner how many have liked or shared the article.

    I do this with all the HBR posts, for example.

    Then I note the ones that get real high shares, look at the topic, style etc and use this as a starting point for future posts.

    One trend – great headlines get lots of shares.

    Not sure everyone is really reading them but they’re getting shared, which does help.

    Ivan

  18. says

    Google reader is a great tool for blog commenting because you get notified as soon as new blog entries arrive from the blogs that really interest you and you can briefly scan the title if it sounds like something of interest to you. It is basically the newspaper 2.0

  19. says

    Hey Kristi, thats awesome, I actually got to this post using the same Google reader method, Thanks for sharing how to organize it and loved the idea about the twitter handles, gotta go set that one up.

    The hard part is as you said, going through the rubbish ocasionally and adding new blogs. once it is going though its pretty cool and easy. Hadnt thought of using the stars to mark posts I want to reference later.

    Awesome article. great week.
    James Pruitt just posted 5 Essential Rules to Running a Successful Online Business

    • says

      Adding new blogs has been pretty easy for me James. I’ve been pulling them from my comments, Twitter lists, etc. My issue will eventually be having too many blogs! :)

    • says

      I don’t think there’s any way to actually comment in Google Reader Mani. I was just thinking that you could preview posts in Google Reader, and if you find that you don’t want to comment on them, at least you can just move onto another post in your feed instead of having to go to and then back out of a website.

  20. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Using Google Reader for my network campaign improved my effectiveness by leaps and bounds.

    Putting all your blogs in 1 spot and organizing them with your techniques helps us accomplish much in little time.

    As for leaving value-packed comments, it’s my favorite traffic generation strategy. Add value to each post you read, be seen as valuable.

    Like yourself, many new readers pop in after reading one of my comments on other blogs. Yep, people do read the comments, and many find immense value from our insights as well.

    Thanks for sharing Kristi!

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph just posted Peep My New Inspirational Blog

    • says

      You’re right Ryan! Lots of people are reading the comments, especially when there are only a few of them and you’re one of the first in the bunch! :)

  21. says

    I have been using Google Reader for a number of years now and love it. Indeed it’s often the first thing I check when I log on to get into the right frame of mind for work – I read through som interesting, thought-provoking posts (like this one!) and it reminds me there are plenty of other passionate people out there, working online, trying to help other people with their writing.

    The on frustration for me is that I’d love to be able to comment from inside Google Reader rather than having to click through to the individual posts I want to leave my comments on. If anyone knows of a WordPress plugin that will make your comment form appear in an RSS feed please let me know – I reckon your comment numbers would go up significantly as there are times when I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to click through, wait for the page to load, scan down and *then* write my comment and there must be plenty of other people who experience the same thing.
    Richard just posted Article Marketing Secrets- How I Get Up To 58 Of People Who Read My Articles To Click The Link To My Website

    • says

      If you find that plugin Richard, definitely let me know! I know they can make plugins that work with Google Reader because I’ve seen the Tweetmeme button in some of Mashable’s posts. Not sure how else that could’ve gotten there aside from a plugin.

  22. says

    Hi Kristi.

    I’ve been thinking about cleaning up my reader since I launched my photo site, just hadn’t gotten around to it and I’m glad. Now that I’ve come across your post here I can do this in a more strategic manner than I would have otherwise.

    Good stuff!
    Jimi Jones just posted Across the Pond

    • says

      Procrastination stopped me for awhile too Amy. Much easier to get past that block once you’re organized!

    • says

      That’s a great way to find new feed Dana. But do you keep up with the bloggers’ other posts that don’t make it to Blog Engage?

  23. says

    I have been using Google Reader for a while now. Before I got into blog reading, I mostly used it for forum sites and new sites that I visited daily. Now I use it all the time.

    I tried to organize it better, but I made it worse. So over the next few weeks, I plan on following your advise after I clean out the blogs by removing those blogs I do not read anymore and remove the folders I setup, so I can setup something that is more user friendly.

    Thanks for sharing your tips Kristi!
    element321 just posted The New Klout – Preview

  24. says

    Very timely post, Kristi. I just got through organizing and cleaning up my feeds in Google Reader this weekend. I picked up two tips from this post that I love and am going to go put in place: the postrank extension and adding the twitter name to the blog description. Those two tips will be extremely helpful to me in the midst of my 90 day challenge which includes making 3,000 comments. As always, thanks for the great tips.
    Brad Harmon just posted When People Don’t Respond to Your Blog

    • Brankica says

      Why is everyone on my …. today :)

      Brankica spent the whole night doing it, so she ain’t all that smart obviously. Ha ha, and yes, if I can do it, everyone can :P

      I did get 6 first comments on the first day though, just wanted to try how all this works. I mean, I definitely think Kristi is the most practical advanced blogger ever. I am even scared to miss some of her tips anymore.

      Ok, Alex, stop calling me out, LOL

    • says

      I did the same Alex. Feels much better to have it organized and getting back in touch with others again!

  25. says

    I just LOVE the idea of using Twitter handles to organize– that’s brilliant!

    I wrote a post similar to this a while back and two things I did that may help:
    I laid out a commenting schedule: Monday- outdoor bloggers, Tuesday- mom bloggers, etc.
    I also “star” posts in reader once I commented on them to keep track.

    I wish I could say I’ve been great about commenting lately but I haven’t. I comment on maybe 10-20 posts a week but I used to do much more. Maybe this will be the little kick I need.
    Melissa {momcomm} just posted Six Non-Spammy Ways for Bloggers to Engage with Other Facebook Fan Pages

    • says

      I thought about doing comments per subject too Melissa, but then some subjects I get very few posts in daily and others, I get a LOT of posts in. So in the busy topics, if I don’t keep up with them on a daily basis, it gets to hard to manage catching up. So I just free float across everything, and try to end each day with everything read.

  26. says

    I also use Google Reader and have it organized pretty much the same way as you, I work NetNewsWire for my Mac and iPad into the mix which makes going through my list even faster.

    As a matter of fact i think Im even going to subscribe to a bunch of the bloggers that commented in your post, I need some new quality blogs and networking bloggers to connect with.
    Extreme John just posted Check Out The New KloutCom

    • says

      The last time I though about a shared Google Reader for myself and my colleagues, I had just planned on creating a new Google account that everyone could log into. Definitely wouldn’t want to give full access to a personal login, and this way everyone could feel free to update it at will. That would be nice if it had more collaborative features like Google Docs and the Calendar though.

  27. says

    Hey Kristi, you said at the beginning of your post;

    And one thing I discovered very quickly about the photo community is if you want comments, you better start giving comments first.

    Surely you knew this to be true of all blogs and not just those involving photo community?way ;)

    Speaking of your photo blog I have to admit I’m very impressed with the quality of your photos. You are a really talented woman.
    Sire just posted Failure Is The Next Step On Your Journey To Success

    • says

      Thanks Sire! Yes, I guess I knew… sometimes it’s nice to start from scratch like I did with the photo community and be reminded again. :)

  28. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I have only been blogging two months and your name keeps popping up. So I had to stop by to learn from you. I sure did! This post shows me I need to also Spring Clean my Google Reader. I usually subscribe to RSS in order to keep up with the amazing posts bloggers are writing daily.

    I know any type of organization takes time but on the other hand, I personally know the importance of commenting. I had mentioned that commenting is as much a part of writing posts. I completely agree that you need to go out and do the commenting before you expect any comments on your site.

    I will read this post again over the weekend and take the steps to clean my Reader! Thanks for all the insights.

    All the best,
    Diana
    Diana Simon just posted Opt-In Is Finally Up!

    • says

      Glad you stopped in Diana and got some good ideas on how to use Google Reader to simplify all of that commenting! :)

  29. says

    “Just remember that *these results are not typical* and that you won’t see any good results if you are not leaving valuable comments on the blogs you visit. ” I love that tidbit of disclosure. LOL

    Great post Kristi! Lot’s of new information that I hadn’t thought of. I’ve used Google feedreader for a while, but have been so disorganized about it. This post inspired me to get my act in gear. I really like the idea of using twitter handler for the name.
    Also Feed Preview is a great tool! Definitely will come in handy.

    I agree with you blog commenting has been a big source of traffic for me as well as utilizing Twitter. I noticed that when I slack off in these areas it reflects in my traffic numbers. Just the nature of blogging I guess.

    Thanks again. Cheers! :-)
    Michele Welch just posted The Power Of Social Networking- Have to Read it to Believe It!

    • says

      I felt that little bit was important Michele. I’ve seen businesses that talk about how commenting did no good for them, and I’ve taken a peek at their comments to see they were not doing them in a way that was valuable to the discussion at all. No wonder it wasn’t working for them! :)

  30. says

    Hi, guess what I’m reading this post from my android phone while using google reader. It’s a very useful tool. It helps you find more blogs, and people to communicate with. Each niche I work on has a google reader feed. It’s really convenient to browse quickly and get updates. It’s like having a full time secretary giving you a report on things to keep track of.

  31. says

    I have used Google Reader for a year or so – but not like this. This is some serious pro stuff here, Kristi. The Twitter is a nice touch.

  32. says

    I use Google Reader too but at this stage, I’ve only had less than 10 blogs that I like (mostly do-follow blogs/comment luv enabled) – so I can read their new posts (including yours) for myself while at the same time build a bit of linkings :)

    I find that if you are the first commentator on the latest posts, most of the time there will some people visit your site (of course, quality comment too)
    Michael Aulia just posted How to add a Facebook Like and get the right thumbnail

  33. says

    Hey Kristi, this is a great post! I am really impressed with the level of depth and detail you go into in understanding rss feeds and tools reader. I have been using my reader for about 6 months and love it! I thought I was overwhelmed with 50 subscriptions, but you have given me new hope that with a re-organization I can keep adding great blogs to my reader! I have reallyenjoyed your blog and always make sure i check out new posts in my reader! Thank you for all of your time and effort! :)
    Cheers,
    @TyrellMara

  34. says

    I’ve used Google Reader for years but LOVE the tip on the Post Rank Chrome Extension and your tip on how to use Twitter handles.

    Similar to Fred’s idea of having a “Comments” folder, I keep a folder called “Follow Closely” whose blogs I make sure to visit first when I’m checking up on blogs.

    Another thing I do is have iGoogle as my home page and have Reader set up as one of the Gadgets always visible which helps keep blog commenting front-of-mind in a usually crazy day.
    Elge Premeau, Internet Marketing Consultant just posted Telling Stories on Myself- Time Management Part I

    • says

      I try not to let my reader overwhelm me Kesha. I accept that I can’t keep up with it all the time (like the 252 new items I have in it now from over the weekend). At times like these, I’ll just skim, star items I’d like to check back on, and then mark the rest as read so I can start my week fresh! :)

    • says

      Hi Stacy. That tab alert is just like my Gmail – love that you don’t have to keep switching back and forth to know if something new just hit the pipeline!

  35. says

    Hello, this is my first time here. I saw link to your post at Live your Love. After I have read it, I can say that I really like your writing. I am quite new with all this blog topics ( I have just started my first blog), so i didn’t heard about Google reader so far. But it seems like a great tool. So, I decided to follow your suggestions and will try it right away. Will visit your blog more often from now.
    Daca just posted My so-called garden

  36. says

    Great post. As a google reader myself, I can definitely appreciate your way of using it to get what you need from it and your sharing has inspired new users.

  37. says

    Hi Kristi, you are so clever and organised! I’ve been trying to master Google Reader and really failing. You see I did add loads of blogs to the reader but then I never check it because there are too many!

    I like your star system for flagging interesting posts and also naming the blog by the Twitter handle is genius.

    I have two twitter accounts now – @getinthehotspot for my first blog and @BloggingMentor for the new one.

    You have made me more determined to give it another go so thanks for the inspiration and tips;) Hope to see you at BWE again next year!
    Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging just posted Review of ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

  38. Trina says

    Great tips indeed. I had not heard about Post Rank until now.
    I am having problems trying to install it though. I also can see in the download page that several users complain of it not working after the latest updates on the browser.
    Is it still working for you?

  39. says

    Great tips indeed. I had not heard about Post Rank until now.
    I am having problems trying to install it though. I also can see in the download page that several users complain of it not working after the latest updates on the browser.
    Is it still working for you?
    I cannot even download it.
    Do you know if there’s anything similar for other readers?

    Thanks!
    Trina just posted Decoracion 14 de Febrero

  40. says

    THANK you Kristi for sharing your secrets to success for Google RSS reader. I am finally taking the time to do some serious organization and it does pay in the long run – or even short run…. when we are organized. I feel the biggest waste of time is sometimes just looking for information!!!
    Farnoosh just posted The Power of Human Connection

  41. says

    Truly a very convenient way to organize things around. I have to try this one and I’m really glad I was able to read this post! Thank you.. :D

  42. says

    Your really one of the kind Ms. Kristi.
    I love your Articles, I follow you on my Twitter, you really cool writter. I wish I could write like you do. :)

    I saw your Articles in 2 different site, and it amazing how you did it.
    A big fan! Thanks :)

  43. says

    I use Google Reader in a very similar way to you – lots of categories so everything get’s sorted as it arrives.

    The best thing for me about the categories is being able to just read the topics I have time for rather than sifting through everything.

    I have a category for “friends” that I always read first, and one for “New” that are sort of on probation – I liked a post enough to bookmark them but I’m not sure whether I’ll keep them in my list.

    Every now and again I do a bit of a cull too. I figure if I haven’t been interested enough to read someone’s blog for months then it can go.
    CraftyMummy just posted Seamingly & a Giveaway

  44. says

    This is something that I need. I wish that PostRank was still available. I have most of my social media systems based around my RSS feeds. Now if I could just get someone to come in and organize all of them. That would be awesome.

  45. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I’m pretty much organised like you and have been from day one. A lot of the blogs posts I share are from bloggers in the States and many of them must be blogging in the evening or late at night.

    So the first thing I do in the morning is look at fresh content suppliers by my US ‘content suppliers’ while I was sleeping. Within 30 mins I have found the interesting stuff and share it with my audience. I’m pretty sure I’m one of the first to share here in Europe.

    Every morning I clear my RSS feed and then I might look one or two times for more stuff to share during the day. I have found just like you that if you see a count of say 300 or more it becomes a daunting task.

    I also find that it is quite easy to determine if a new feed is providing what you want. Within a couple of days you have skimmed perhaps 10-20 blog posts and if there’s nothing there of interest in unsubscribe. Right now I have 37 feeds.

    I have also found that bloggers starting with K does not provide value so I have unsubscribed to their feeds. Sorry Kristi. Just kidding :)

    I have also added buffer to the send button at the bottom of each post. So I can either right click on a post in reader and ‘buffer this page’ or choose to click ‘send to’ at the bottom of a post and click ‘buffer’.

    Jorgen

    ps. sorry for the long comment but it would take me too long to write a short one.