One of the most important tasks of any marketer or blogger is to know what is going on in his/her niche and read the most important pieces. Considering how much content usually comes per day, it is crucial to find an efficient method to master the incoming content stream.
Keeping up with all the content being published in our niche is usually a fight we lost before we started. But as marketers we have to keep up with what is going on in our space, what new tools and mechanisms come up, what hot topics are discussed and what our audience is interested in. Every few days I visit the most important blogs I love to read and take a look at what they have published. But there are more outlets, blogs, channels I have to have on my radar. I need to see if something important is happening there. I have to know about conversations, discussions and events going on. I need more food for our blog, new topics to cover and methods and apps to try.
How can I keep an eye on everything that is going on in my content stream?
It is basically impossible to visit all the blogs and outlets regularly. It would eat up all my day and I would never get any work done. I have to do something else than visit every single interesting blog every day.
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There are ways to easily keep up with the blogs and outlets you want to follow – and even discover some new blogs and outlets on the way. How? Here are 4 ideas I use to follow my favorite blogs
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1. Build Twitter Lists
Following blogs (or authors) on Twitter is a good start. But once your account grows, your feed will get crowded and you will start to miss tweets and content you did not want to miss.
The way around this is to create lists for the most important topics you want to follow. I have a list on Content Marketing, where I follow some of the best bloggers I know. The benefit is, I can discover new blogs as my favorite content marketers on my list tend to retweet some other great shares once in a while, thus bringing new outlets to my attention.
If you do not want to build your own list you can also follow lists others have already built. In my case almost every marketer has a list of marketers.
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To follow the feeds of the lists I recommend using Tweetdeck.
2. Follow blogs or magazines on Facebook
I am fan of some of my favorite blogs on Facebook. Thus I get many great blogposts directly shared into my feed. This way I do not get all of the updates, since Facebook only shows a selection in my feed. But I get a broad overview of what’s going on. This might not be perfect to follow every post of your favorite blogs but it is a nice way to follow some of the niche online magazines and blogs without having to actually visit their site every day.
Facebook also offers a feed especially for the pages you liked. In this feed I get much more updates even from pages whose posts I rarely respond to and which Facebook usually leaves out of my feed.
3. Build topic hubs on Feedly
Feedly is an app that lets you read your favorite blogs and newspapers all in one place. Simply add a blog to your list of outlets to watch. You can sort the outlets into different topics.
I follow several marketing blogs with Feedly, and I can browse all the new content that has come in via these blogs in one place and easily scan what is happening in my space in a few minutes. I only stop at pieces/topics that really catch my attention.
There are several other apps where you can collect either blogposts or follow blogs, magazines and topics. On most of these you do not even have to build your own collection but can also follow other people and see what they collect.
4. Subscribe to newsletters
No, I do not believe that all newsletters are a nuisance. Fact is with a good newsletter I get the latest wisdom of good bloggers directly to my inbox and often I also get additional tips and special invitations I would not get by just visiting the blog. The subject line tells me directly if the current edition of the newsletter is of interest to me, if not, I simply ignore the mail.
Subscribing to newsletters can be very beneficial, if the sender of the newsletter gets his job done right. I am aware that some newsletters are just promotional bullshit, and I am the first to unsubscribe these. But there are people I gladly follow even if they send me an insane amount of two mails per day – simply because these mails are very useful and often contain very helpful information.
Part of the job of any marketer or blogger is reading other peoples’ content. To find the best content and never miss an important update, idea or story, you need to figure out the most efficient way to browse the heaps of great content that get published every day.
I use a combination of the four methods described in this post. Which do you use to conquer the content overflow?