Follow The Blogs You Love In One Place With Bloglovin

Competition is always a good thing, right? At least I think so, and this “finding a replacement for Google Reader” scenario presents us with this opportunity. It is good to have choices, to find what we like and don’t like and settle on something that works for us. I bet you can get ten different tech nerds in a room and they would all have their own opinions as to why they like their favorite RSS reader. It’s the nature of the beast and that is okay, it pushes developers to make quality products and apps.

Bloglovin is one that is just a little different than some of the others that I have reviewed. For one, their focus is on reading blogs, but don’t let that turn you away from this web app. It is more than just reading blogs and it takes a fresh approach to the RSS feed reading situation that some may actually like. Let’s take a look at it more to see what it is all about.

Getting Started

Of course the first question everyone asks now is, “Will this import my feeds from Google Reader?” and the answer to that is yes, it will. There are also a couple of other ways to start following different blogs that are out there. Bloglovin has a pretty extensive search feature where you can look through popular and top blogs that are on the site and you can start to follow them. If you are the type that knows what they want, you can specifically search for a specific site or blog and then add them to your feed.

Searching for blogs to read

Searching for blogs to read

The Reading Experience

When you are done adding all your blogs, you can now start to enjoy the reading experience that Bloglovin gives you. Their layout is somewhat different than other apps and it almost has a “Tumblr like” feel to it as you are reading through your posts. You get a short snippet of the article in your feed and you can click on the title to see the full view on the author’s website. The post can be “liked” and shared with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In full view you can also navigate to the post before and after it if you want to just stay in this view.

Reading a post on Bloglovin

Reading a post on Bloglovin

Adding Your Blog

If you are a blogger, Bloglovin has got a neat twist for you. You can add your own blog to the site where others can then follow it and read your articles. It is kind of their way of subscribing to your RSS feed, but you are doing it through Bloglovin instead. What is also nice is that they give you some analytics on the number of followers you have that subscribe to your feed on Bloglovin.

Adding your own blog to Bloglovin

Adding your own blog to Bloglovin

They also provide you with a small handful of buttons that you can put on your blog to promote following you on their site. Bloglovin claims that you will get more exposure by adding the buttons since they have a good amount of readers using their site. I am not sure how true this is or not, as I didn’t have a long enough time to test out this feature to whether or not that was the case. But, in the end it is a win for Bloglovin and the author that there is this medium to get exposure.

Follow buttons you can use for your own site

Follow buttons you can use for your own site

Just A Little Different

When I first started testing out the app, I thought it was just a different way for you to read your RSS feed, but as I realized it is much more than just that. Like I had mentioned earlier, their focus is on blogs and reading them through their site. They not only want you to read articles there, but they want you to be able to promote your own site through their web app. I like the idea of this and I am interested to see how this will work out in the long run. It would be nice if they could find a way to showcase different blogs each week and not only have the popular ones have the most exposure.

Overall, the reading experience is a little different and one that you will have to get used to. It definitely feels like you are reading a blog and not your RSS feeds, which for some, may be a deal killer. After I started using it for a bit, I realized that although I could import my Google Reader feeds, this isn’t necessarily the app for that and to be honest, that is not a bad thing. Bloglovin was geared toward people who want to stay up to date on other’s blogs and not necessarily for staying on top of reading lots and lots of news articles.

Final Thoughts

Although Bloglovin wasn’t the RSS reader app I was hoping it would be, it did present itself as a viable way to read and promote blogs that are out there. If you are looking for something to replace Google Reader, this isn’t necessarily going to be it, at least for most people. But, for the casual blog reader and one who wants to discover more, this may be a good app for you to try out. If you one who writes their own blog and wants more exposure, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to start using Bloglovin, if nothing else, to get more people interested in your site.

So, what say you? Is this something that would intrigue you or are you going to move on to the next RSS app out there?


Summary

Follow blogs, read them and be able to promote your own on Bloglovin

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