Subscribing to Blogs: What’s the Difference?
What’s the difference in subscribing? (via email or otherwise) What’s the best option to use?
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Subscribe (via email)
Subscribe (When someone clicks on your RSS icon)
Okay, there are two main sections in your list: subscribing via RSS and subscribing via e-mail.
Subscribing via RSS
If you subscribe to a blog through RSS, it means you follow the blog through an RSS reader. An RSS reader is an application that keeps track of all the latest posts you’re subscribing to. When you want to read new posts, you visit your RSS reader and you can see a list of all the latest posts.
There are many different RSS reader sites out there. These are all different applications that do the same thing. They just have slightly different interfaces, styles, or features.
For more information on RSS feeds, check out my post on what the heck is RSS?.
Subscribing via E-Mail
When you subscribe to a blog via e-mail, it means you get a new e-mail sent to your account whenever there is a new blog post published. Just like there are many different RSS readers for subscribing to blogs, there are many different e-mail delivery systems. The difference here is that while YOU, the reader, can choose your own RSS reader, you cannot choose your own e-mail delivery system. The e-mail system is chosen by the person who owns the blog.
The blogger can choose to have their e-mails sent out through FeedBurner (free), MailChimp (free up to a certain point, then paid), or Jetpack (free). There are many other options as well, but those three methods are probably the most popular.
The blogger has to choose the method they want, set up their account, and connect it to their blog. Then they can add a signup form to their website, where their readers can sign up to receive e-mail updates through that service. Then whenever they make a new blog post, the reader will get an e-mail sent to their e-mail account with the blog post.
What’s the best option?
As a BLOGGER, you should offer both options. That just means:
- Have your RSS feed link readily available. For WordPress users, that URL is http://www.yoursite.com/feed
- Pick an e-mail subscription service, set up your account, and add a signup form to your sidebar.
As a READER, there is no best subscription method. It comes down to personal preference 100%. If you subscribe to a ton of blogs, then you probably don’t want a ton of e-mails in your inbox every day, so RSS might be better for organizational purposes!
But ultimately, everyone has a different method that they like. I personally prefer e-mail subscriptions for my favourite blogs. 🙂
Getting involved in the blogging community
I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, and I have yet to really get into the blogosphere. And suggestions on how to make some new bloggy friends?
There are several great ways to get involved in the blogging community:
1. Get on Twitter!
You will make a lot of great friends on Twitter. I personally have a hard time being chatty on Twitter because I’m just not that social unless people approach me first… but I’ve heard that it’s a fabulous way to make friends, and I have actually met a few people on Twitter despite my anti-social-ness.
2. Comment EVERYWHERE!
This method is one of the best, I think. The best way to meet new bloggers is to follow them. Find blogs that you love and comment there OFTEN. Then the bloggers will notice you and hopefully reply to your comments and you can get to know each other. Maybe they’ll even stop by your blog too!
3. Participate in Memes
This is the best option if you’re having a hard time finding other blogs in the first place. Participating in memes like Stacking the Shelves, Top Ten Tuesday, and Waiting on Wednesday, will help expose you to more blogs. You can click on blogs on the Linky lists to visit them. I promise you will find SO many new blogs that way (probably too many!). It’s a great way for you to find blogs to comment on and subscribe to, and as I said before, the more you comment on the more people you’ll meet!