How to subscribe to a blog- the basics

Some time ago I got this question on another blog of mine: ‘How do I actually subscribe to one of your blogs?’ Actually there is more than one method to do this, depends what you prefer. So, doesn’t matter if it is a wordpress, blogger or whatever blogging platform blog, if you want to get a basic introduction in how to subscribe to a blog, grab a cool glass of something and enjoy the read 😉

What does ‘blog subscription’ mean?
Basically it means that ‘something’ alerts you when one of your favourite blogs (or web sites!) gets updated. If you are like me and spend a lot of time in the internet than you discover a lot of interesting things. In the beginning, you just book mark them and check back on them when ever you remember and/ or have time. This leads to a couple of problems: Your book mark folders/ bar are overflowing and you still have to manually check the blog/ sites for updates. Sometimes you check these blogs/ sites and they haven’t been updated in ages ;-( Wouldn’t it be nice if every time one of your favourite sites gets updated it automatically ‘alerts’ you to the fact? That is what happens when you subscribe to a blog.

Subscribe by email
That is one of my two preferred methods. If you subscribe to a blog via email you get an email every time the blog/ site in question gets updated. A new blog post from the writer triggers automatically an email sent to you. If you look at the top right corner of my blog you see a small envelope and the words ‘Email Subscription’ beside it. If you click it, it takes you to a new page where you can fill in your email address. After you did this, feedburner, which is the Google service that looks after my subscribers, sends out a confirmation email to that address. Click the link in this email and you are all set. Every time now when this blog, or any other you subscribe to, gets updated, you’ll get an email (which always contains a link to unsubscribe from this blog!). And no, I will never, ever spam you, big German promise!
That is a great subscription method if you follow a moderate amount of blogs/ sites. If you follow a lot of active blogs, than it might get a bit crowded in your inbox. Perhaps you would prefer in that case to

Subscribe in a reader

See the red icon in the browser’s address bar?
When you click on this icon it displays the feed, in the case of my blog that would be Now depending on the browser you are using it will also display several possibilities of adding the feed to an application like live book marks or a google page/ reader. You can also add this feed to your email program (no, that is not the same as subscribing by email), to a web based reader like bloglines or to one of the many available firefox reader add-ons/ plug-ins. The easiest to use might be, at least until you get the hang out of it, the google reader and bloglines.
The advantage of this method is that there are no emails filling up your inbox, the disadvantage that you still have to go to a certain place on the web to see if there are new updates. If you use Firefox as your browser, then I suggest also to have a look at their FireFox Addons section. There are several readers available that integrate seamlessly in your Firefox browser AND notify you unobtrusively when new updates have been posted to your subscribed blogs.

Subscribe to all comments
Does the same like ‘subscribe in a reader’ but instead of new posts, new comments the blog gets will be displayed. I am not using that, too general for me, I am using

Subscribe to specific comments
When you leave a comment in this blog, what I hope you will do, you might notice the little box ‘Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail.’ That is my most favourite subscription method of all! I explain: How often did you leave a comment or question on a blog post and forgot to check if it was answered? Yup, me too! I am always happy to have the possibility to subscribe to follow up comments on a blog, because then I get an email when my comment/ question gets answered. I am using a plug-in called “Subscribe To “Double-Opt-In” Comments” that adds this functionality to my wordpress blog.

So that was the basic introduction into subscribing to a blog. Did I miss anything? Anything unclear? Do you have questions? Just leave a comment and I’ll come back to you. And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog – it contains useful information, don’t you think? SY

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉

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