Yaro Starak confessed in his Blog Blazers interview that he rarely reads books and instead prefers to study ebooks and audio from experts. I have always encouraged BloggingTips readers to subscribe to good blogs within their niche but it really depends on what you are blogging about.
For example, there is no need to subscribe to any blogs if you’re just posting on your personal blog but if you run a video games blog you should pay attention to the latest gaming news from some of the more popular blogs. It’s not all about news either. Blogs are a fantastic source of inspiration for articles and can greatly reduce the chance of writers block.
Note, I would always recommend subscribing to a few quality blogs rather than dozens of average or below average blogs.
Here are some of the kind of blogs you should be subscribing to 🙂
News Breaking Blogs
The top blogs in a niche are frequently the ones which break news first. Due to the popularity of their website companies tend to approach them first when they have an announcement to make. They usually have a high RSS subscriber account but it isn’t always the case, sometimes the owner of the blog will just have good connections.
You cannot assume that your readers are subscribed to all these newsbreaking blogs and websites so you should pass on important news and information to them, making sure you give your own opinion of the subject. If you post about current events regularly then you may attract a lot of subscribers who look to you to bring them the latest news and views. As your blog grows you are more likely to break news first yourself.
In this situation I would describe a popular blog as one which has a loyal following and one where blog posts frequently get a high volume of comments. The posts on a popular blog can indicate what’s hot at the moment and what type of posts readers tend to like.
I encourage you all to develop strong relationships with the owners of popular blogs. You never know, they might subscribe to your blog in return and link to your blog every now and then.
Influential blogs don’t always have a lot of subscribers but when the blogger says something, people listen. They have a habit of generating fresh and unique discussions and their articles inspire other bloggs to write about the subject as well.
It won’t take too long for you to recognise the blogs/bloggers within your niche which are influential. Pay attention to what they are writing and if you have time, contribute to the discussion in the comment area or alternatively, write a post on the subject on your own blog giving your views and continue the discussion there.
Filtering the Information
The more blogs you subscribe to, the most information you have to process so it’s important to organise your feeds so that you are not overwhelmed.
How you organise your information really depends on what service you use to read RSS feeds. I use NetVibes which has a tab feature. This allows me to categorise all of my blog posts. In each category I add 8 RSS feeds or less, which means I don’t have to scroll down the page to view more feeds. If there are more feeds in a category I simply add another tab for it.
For example, I have a News Breaking category with feeds of blogs which are known to break news. Once I subscribe to a 9th news breaking website I will add a News Breaking 2 category and so on and so on.
I subscribe to a lot of blogs because of BloggingTips and each blog is categorized. I have a Making Money tab, a Domain Names tab, a Search Engines tab etc. This is what works for me but you may find a different method works better for you. It really depends on what type of RSS Feedreader you are using and how you want to filter the information to suit you.
For a lot of bloggers, blogs and websites are the main inspiration for their posts and the main source of their news posts. Therefore it’s important to subscribe to blogs which will help you with your blog posting.
Try and subscribe to a good mix of news breaking, influential and popular blogs and don’t subscribe to too many or you may suffer from information overload!
Good luck 🙂