Long before I ever wrote a single word on this site I was a voracious reader of blogs. Years ago it was mostly American blogs with a handful of fabulous Australian sites that grabbed my attention. Over time I added more blogs on different subjects including how to be a better blogger plus those blogs of all the wonderful people I was now connected to through home Life Simplified.
A sad side effect of starting a blog is the amount of time it takes. As someone who loves to read, learn, and be inspired I found it hard to let go of my extensive collection of blog subscriptions that seemed to grow monthly. As a champion declutterer I culled this collection regularly, but still found many that lingered and needed to go.
Recently I went hard core with my decluttering efforts and managed to unsubscribe from 150 blogs in an hour. This was not done casually as I went through my categories carefully and broke them down until I arrived at the essentials. Since I have shared tips on how to declutter your wardrobe and declutter your spaces I thought I would share some tips to declutter your blog and newsletter subscriptions. Just the same as our clothes and possessions need regular editing so does our information – books, newsletters, blog reader, etc. Our interests change and the sources change in what they are delivering. It is nothing personal – as I have learned from watching people unsubscribe from my own blog.
Top 10 tips to declutter and simplify your blog reader
1. Delete blogs that have not updated in a long while without any notice (ie having a baby or going away).
2. Delete blogs you do not even recognize – often so much time has passed that you don’t even remember following them in the first place. A blog that you enjoy or learn from will usually stay fresh in your mind. If you have a huge number of blogs you may rediscover some as you cull so consider that an exception.
3. Organise blogs into clear categories if you follow more than two or three dozen blogs. Folders in a reader are the same as having an organised filing cabinet. (Go to feed settings, new folder to create folders to store similar blogs together.)
4. Have one or two key categories (labelled as such) that you visit first when your time is limited. This is your prioritizing system and saves you from getting overwhelmed. In the photo above of my own reader you can see I have a folder for “essential reading” which are my personal favourites and “my tribe” which are the blogs that I am truly connected to, comment on and supported by regularly. If I only have 15 minutes I will check there first.
5. Get rid of the “shoulds” and obligations of the blogging world.
- big blogs you don’t genuinely love but feel you need to stay on top of (you don’t)
- blogs of people you like personally, but don’t actually connect with their blog (you can still be friends)
- blogs on topics you want to be interested in, but really can’t be bothered (let it go and focus on what you truly enjoy)
6. Follow some blogs on Facebook instead if they have a fan page as it is easier to scan your news feed for images and headlines than to go through blog by blog in your reader.
7. Know that “more” does not equal “better” and limit the number you follow in any category. If you love to craft, having 50 craft blogs to follow and keep up with (or not) can be overwhelming. This can lead to a lot of “mark all as read” defeating the purpose of following them. Limiting that same category to maybe 10-20 blogs would allow you to keep tabs on your favourite blogs that consistently provide you with tips, tutorials and inspiration that you can actually put into practice.
8. Limit the number of aspirational blogs. If you are a beginner sewer or blogger it is great to follow some blogs that are more advanced than your current level, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down in information and ideas that are beyond your level. Make the majority of blogs at a level that will be useful and then have several above level to push and inspire you (and not the reverse).
9. Make and follow your own rules that work for you.
- It’s okay to cut blogs that only give partial feeds if it annoys you.
- It’s okay to keep a blog just for the pretty pictures even if you never attempt any of the tutorials. We all need some pretty in our lives.
- It is okay to mark all as read and move on with your day.
10. Follow facebook pages that curate information you are interested in and trust the right information and resources will find you (or Google if you are looking for something specific). One reason my Google reader is so huge (even reduced it stands at 207 blogs) is because I track a lot of blogs that my readers will be interested in. They trust that I will keep the good links coming on my Facebook fan page and I work hard to deliver every day.
When was the last time you decluttered your reader / subscriptions? How many blogs do you follow right now?
Find your simple,
I am linking up with Jess for IBOT – head over there and check out a range of blogs. Checking out link ups is a great way to enjoy blogs without committing to subscribing!