How I Organize Following Other Blogs

Posted on December 2, 2015 «
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The hardest thing for me when I was a new blogger was figuring out how to organize following other blogs, and commenting on blogs, both my own and others. I used to use Google Reader and then it went by the wayside and I struggled for a bit to find my footing again. There are lots of services and software out there to help you organize your feeds, but none of them seem to be exactly what I’m looking for. So I went old school and decided to manage everything via email.

How I Organize Following Other Blogs

  • Follow blogs via email.
    Once I identified my favorite bloggers, I subscribed to their posts via email. I’m fairly discriminating about who I follow. I follow bloggers who reciprocate comments/blog promotion or post content I’m interested in. I’m not afraid, after following a blogger for a few months, to unsubscribe.

  • Create filters in Gmail to move those subscriptions out of my Inbox immediately.
    You are probably thinking, you subscribed why aren’t you reading them first? Well, I get a lot of messages every day and while I love visiting, reading and commenting on blogs, I can’t do it every day! So I shuttle these messages into their own folder and hold them there until I have some time to read, visit and comment. Here’s the steps:

How I Organize Following Other Blogs

  1. Select the message(s) in Gmail you wish to filter by clicking the checkbox next to the message.

  2. Click the Label button (it looks like a tag) and select, Create new (you only have to do this the first time you set up the filter).
    following other blogs

  3. Name your label and click the Create button. Mine is called Blogs I Follow.
    following other blogs

  4. Make sure your message is still selected, click the More button and select Filter messages like these.
    following other blogs

  5. In the box that pops up, click Create filter with this search>> in the lower right.
    following other blogs

  6. Check the box next to Skip the Inbox (Archive it).

  7. Check the box next to Apply the label: and select the name of the label you JUST created.

  8. Check the box next to Also apply the filter to XX matching conversations. XX will be the number of messages that match your filter.

  9. Click the Create filter button.

Here’s what my final filter looks like:

following other blogs


And here’s what it looks like when I have blog posts to read:

following other blogs


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And that’s how I do it! I repeat steps 4 through 9 each time I receive a subscription message that isn’t being moved to my ‘Blogs I Follow’ folder. And then, I review the folder a couple times a week, read posts and comment.

So how do you do it? How do you manage following your favorite blogs? Let me know in comments!

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20 responses to “How I Organize Following Other Blogs

  1. Great post Terri! There are blogs I would love to follow but I don’t because my inbox is already out of control! I’ll be trying these steps 🙂

  2. Not nearly as well or as organized as you do, Terri! 😉 I follow everyone via email as well. It’s just easier for me. My inbox is always overflowing though. So I’ll definitely be taking your advice and following these instructions. 😀 I have a daily schedule for commenting – meaning, I have a list of blogs to visit and comment on for every day. That’s how I manage my commenting. Of course, I do get behind – particularly in commenting back on my own blog. It’s a work in progress for me…as with everything! *haha* Thanks for sharing the ‘how-to’!

  3. Since I am new to blogging this was terrific to read and I thank you!! I do alot of learning about blogging and I am truly enjoying it, so thank you for your terrific post!!

  4. Great post, Terri! My emails are out of control, too. I didn’t go so far as to actually set up a filter, but added another tab for all of these emails.

  5. Oh my gosh! Thanks for this tip, Terri! I hate having all the blogs I subscribe to go everywhere! Plus, I usually don’t have time to wade through all the junk in my email.

    And I am also not afraid to unsubscribe!

  6. I LOVE filters in my inbox. I use them for all the book-related newsletters I subscribe to. But for following blogs I use Bloglovin. I scan my feed every day or two and mark the posts I want to respond to, then get back to them when I have time. I have “collections” for different topics including one for comments, one for events, one for my monthly round-up, etc. Then when I’m done with whatever it is I unsave the post. It’s been a great system, but I’m really annoyed that Bloglovin is now cluttering up my feed with sponsored posts. Fortunately they’re pretty easy to spot and ignore. Thanks for the detailed explanation of your system!

    • I tried Bloglovin’ but just couldn’t get into it. I was so married to Google’s Reader and how it worked. 🙂

      Filters work for all kinds of things. It makes the project manager in me sing!

  7. WOW, this is impressive! I should probably start doing something like this. Here’s how it goes for me: Looks at email. Sees that there are 287 new messages. Just in the “important” inbox alone. Weeps. Walks away from email. 😀

    In truth, I try to keep the blogs I subscribe to pretty low in number. And I star them, so they DO appear in the important box. And several days later, I stumble upon them 😉 It doesn’t really work, but I am such an overwhelmed mess at this point that it doesn’t even really matter, I just try to stumble upon my favorite blogs as often as I can and return comments and such.

    Your plan sounds far superior. 😀

    • Try giving filters a chance or tagging certain emails to show up on the different tabs (if you use Gmail). I use the same practice with my Comments. The comments I need to respond to go into one folder and if a blogger has response emails that come in, those go to another. Then I can easily keep a conversation going!

  8. Bloglovin’ has really helped me organize the blogs I follow – I found that when I put emails into another folder, I just forgot about them for too long. (But that’s just me – I’m an out-of-sight out-of-mind sort of person.) 🙂

  9. I’m not as organized about it as you are! *laughs* My favorite blogs I follow by e-mail. And those posts sit unread in my inbox until I either have time to read/visit, or the number of unread messages bothers me enough I make time to go through them all immediately.

    Other blogs that I like, but not enough to want to read All The Things, get bookmarked and visited sporadically. I keep thinking I’ll have time to visit everyone at least once a week or more. And then realize that it’s been a month or three since I last visited my bookmarked list. I swear I have no time-sense.

    • Yes, usually that growing number causes me to go through and make a call very quickly on whether I’m actually going to visit. I find it quite a nice task some days when I feel like I’m not making progress on other things.

    • I realized last night that having all the subscriptions in one folder really allows me to focus on reading other blogs and leaving comments. I rarely get distracted when I’m reading, leaving comments and responding to comments. Last night I stayed up past my bedtime reading blogs and leaving comments. 🙂