If you are blogging already, or you are considering starting a blog, I’d encourage you to get a blog reader account and start following some blogs.
For me, my greatest inspiration for my own blog is other people’s blogs. I’ll often read a post on someone else’s blog, and be inspired to spin my own post off that one.
In addition, with my crazy life, I pretty much never have time to take courses (although I’m taking one online right now!), and while I try to read as many books on business as I can, that time is also somewhat limited.
So reading blogs is a form of education, in some ways, because the information is usually much more up-to-date than books.
Finally, if you are considering starting a blog, subscribing to a bunch of blogs and reading them is a great way to get familiar with the blogosphere: both the etiquette and the people who are out there writing.
All blogging software supplies you with an RSS Feed. The best way to describe this is as a newspaper subscription. Every time the blog you are subscribed to publishes a new post, it automatically gets sent out via its RSS Feed. You can subscribe to this feed either via email or by using a blog reader.
Here’s a list of the top 9 Blog Readers, but I for ease of use, I just use Google Reader. What I’ve noticed, however, is that recently it’s been harder to find blog’s RSS feeds. If you don’t have a button on your website that makes it easy for people to click and sign up, you might be losing out, as a recent trend with Internet Browsers is to hide RSS feeds. Most of them used to feature the RSS symbol:
…right in the browser’s URL bar if that website was a blog with an RSS feed.
But not so much any more. Now, if you are using Firefox, and you want to find the RSS Feed, you need to click on “Bookmarks,” then “Subscribe to this Page,” and then choose whether you want to subscribe to posts or posts and comments.
If you’re using Chrome, you’ll need to download an extension. Safari makes it quite easy for you to find RSS feeds: they do actually show up in the browser’s URL bar.
I don’t use Internet Explorer, but I understand that feeds are also hidden in the newest version, IE9. There is an icon in the browser’s URL bar, but it is off by default. Here’s directions to finding a site’s RSS feed in IE9.