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6.28.2013

{Bye Bye Google Reader!} How to customize Bloglovin'


Well, the dreaded day is finally almost here.  I've been clinging to Google Reader for the last 3 months, ever since they announced that Reader would be discontinued on July 1st.  I finally had my reader set up the way I wanted and I didn't want to have to switch!


But... I no longer have a choice so I took the time to make the transition easier by customizing my Bloglovin' page for both my blog and the blogs I follow.  It took me quite a while to get it the way I wanted so I figured I would create a little how-to guide.


This one is pretty self-explanatory but I figured I should be all inclusive.  

Creating a Bloglovin' account is easy and you do not have to have a blog to create an account.  Just go to www.bloglovin.com and click on the big button that says "Join Bloglovin"

You can create your account using your Facebook account or your email.  Just put in a few pieces of information and you are done!  That's it!  Super easy!


Begin by clicking here.  

Click on "Import from Google Reader" and you will be asked to select which Google account you want to import from.  

You will then have to authorize Bloglovin' to manage your account.

Once you click "Allow,"  Bloglovin' will being importing the blogs you follow.  I had 501 blogs to import and it took about 7 minutes to complete.


When I was reading about how to do this, a lot of tutorials claimed that your categories wouldn't transfer over with your blogs.  But when I imported my blogs this week, it did keep my categories from Google Reader.  This was REALLY nice because it made sure I didn't skip over any of my favorite blogs by accident.  I did end up re-categorizing them anyways (see step 5) but it definitely helped the process.




Bloglovin' actually provides some options for you.  You can also purchase different ones on Etsy or from a blog designer to fit with your blog design.  I just chose the regular ol' bloglovin' one.  I'm hoping to have my blog re-designed soon and will likely have a matchy one created then.

Once you've decided which one you want to use, click on "Get this Icon."  A box with the HTML code will pop up.  If you don't know what to do with the code, click on "How to put this icon on your blog" which is right beneath the code.  Bloglovin' has a great set of directions with pictures so I won't repeat them here.  

I also added the follower counter right beneath the Follow button.  The steps are exactly the same and the counter icons are available from Bloglovin' on the same page as the buttons.


**Seriously, ya'll!  1130 GFC followers and only 296 followers on Bloglovin'?!  Guess I need to add a follow button right here!  Go follow, right now!**

Follow on Bloglovin


I'm so glad I figured out how to do this!  The Bloglovin' URL for each blog has a bunch of numbers at the end!  Mine is: http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4894199  Not very easy to remember!

You can't change the URL for the individual blog but you can change the URL for your profile and each of the blogs you've claimed as yours appear underneath your name when you go to your profile.

So to customize your Bloglovin' URL, just sign in to your Bloglovin' account and click on the little triangle next to the search box in the upper right hand corner.  It might even have your little picture next to it.


From the drop down menu, select "Settings"

A screen with all your account settings will come up.  You'll see a spot about half-way down the page that allows you to customize your URL.  You can choose whatever you want, so long as its not already taken.  I recommend choosing something that is close to your blog URL so you (and your followers) don't have to remember another URL.  My blog address is www.carolinafireflies.com so I chose "carolinafireflies"


Make sure you scroll to the bottom and click "Save Settings!"  If you want to make sure that it took effect, you can sign out and then type in your new URL and it should bring up your Profile and your blog should be listed right under your name!


You can organize your blogs in many different ways.  I'm going to share what works for me but by no means is this the only way to organize the blogs you follow!  I decided to organize my blogs based on the priority I give them when deciding what to read.  As I mentioned, I have over 500 blogs to import from Google Reader and there is no way I can keep up with that many.

To create different groups and put blogs into each group you simply click on that little triangle up by the search box again and then select "Manage Blogs You Follow."  At the top of this page there is an "Add Blog" button and a "Create New Group" button.

Beneath that is each of your groups and the blogs that are currently in each group.  The blogs that don't have a group are listed after these.  You can add or remove a blog from a group by clicking on the "change group" button next to the blog's name and then selecting the group you'd like to add them to or remove them from from the drop down menu.

First off, I made a "FRIENDS" group.  This category I have reserved for my very favorite blogs - the blogs written by girls who are close friends (either in real life or in bloggy life).  These are the ones I wanted to make sure I keep up with on a daily basis.  If I only have a few minutes to scroll through, I check this group first.

Second, I made a "DAILY READS" group.  This is for my favorite blogs that aren't written by family or friends but ones that I want to make sure to read if I have time.

Next, I made some groups specific to the category of the blogs in that group.  For example, I have "WEDDING," "LEGAL," "COOKING," "FASHION," etc.  These are blogs that I may not get around to reading every day but when I have some extra time, I can catch up on them depending on what type of mood I'm in or the type of inspiration I'm looking for.

I also have a group specifically for Sponsors/Blogs of the Month.  I try to keep this group pretty updated but this allows me to keep all their posts in one spot.  This is also another group that I make sure I keep up with daily.  Once the sponsorship/month is over, I can then move that blog to another group depending on how much I liked it while they were on my sidebar.

Then, there are some blogs that I don't have in categories yet.  Usually this happens because I started following that blog because of a giveaway and I haven't figured out where I want to put them yet.  Every once in a while, I go through the list of blogs without groups and make sure I organize as much as I can.

So that's how I decided to organize the blogs I follow on Bloglovin'!  Do you have a particular way that works really well for you?  I'd love to hear it!

I hope you found these tips helpful!  I'm sad to see Google Reader go but that's only because I had it so customized to my preferences.  Hopefully with these changes I made to Bloglovin' I'll realize I like it just as much!
Also, don't forget to back-up all your favorite/starred posts from Google Reader!  You can do that through Google Takeout.  The directions for that can be found here.

{Check out one of my favorite bloggers}

4 comments:

  1. Awesome to have this! I was clinging to Google Reader as well and finally imported all my blogs into bloglovin. Hopefully I will be accustomed to it soon!

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been using Bloglovin' for a little over a month, but had no idea I could customize it so much! Have a fantastic day!

    everydaysouthernblog.com

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  3. I love Bloglovin-- it's great that you're sharing your tips! Alot of people moved over and didn't know how to customized it or even use it ;)

    SGBC

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  4. I recently created a Bloglovin account: http://www.bloglovin.com/euchrefun

    I set it up with my blog name. I see some other people on Bloglovin' have "written by" on their page in the top box to the right. I can't figure out how to do this. Is this option still available. Some seem to have a Bloglovin' with their name and a separate one with their Blog name!?! Thanks for any help you can provide!! Joann

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