You probably have a few favorite blogs you already follow if you’re using an RSS reader regularly.
Even so, I’m sure you’re always on the lookout for new reading material that either reflects interests you already have or introduces you to new things.
The great part of RSS is that you can keep up with content on your favorite sites without having to remember every single cool new blog or website that you happen to stumble across during your daily browsing.
But how do you find them?
In 2012, according to Blogging.org, there were 42 million blogs in the US alone. 42 million! Just based on numbers, finding new and interesting reads is not an easy task. And if you have more specific interests? Even harder.
Whether you want to give your feeds a little facelift, explore a new topic, or are simply looking to find some fresh sources – here are a 5 tips to make your search easier.
Blog directories can point you in the right direction
Blog directories, such as Alltop and Technorati, are online catalogues designed to make blog and content discovery easier. They also tend to simplify the process, since you can search by topic. Just type in a keyword for what’s grabbing your attention these days, and browse both blogs and posts to your heart’s content.
Many bloggers submit their blogs to these directories in order to help gain exposure and build their following. As a result, you’re likely to find a comprehensive list of high quality blogs and sites to read.
Here’s a list of 23 blog directories from Search Engine Journal to get you started.
Check out what your favorite bloggers are reading
Many bloggers include a list of recommendations or sources they like to read somewhere on their blog – this is a blogroll. Blogrolls are a great place to find new feeds to follow. Sure, in some ways, blogrolls are a way for bloggers to pat each other on the back and help out the community. However, we’ve always found them to be a great place to find new content.
Going to your favorite blog(s) and taking a quick inventory of what’s on their blogroll can reveal all sorts of exciting stuff. Bloggers might list other blogs to show some link love, but as a reader, it’s usually an easy way to find interesting feeds that suit your tastes or interests.
Comments often lead to some pretty cool places
Comments are a great way to discover new blogs and websites to follow. If you read an article or post that you really enjoy, it’s a good idea to scroll down and browse the comments (and not just for the lively discussion).
People who comment generally have an interest in the topic they are discussing, and this means you’ll probably share a common interest if you enjoyed what you read. Take a look at the who’s leaving comments, and if they have blog, go and check it out. You can also take a look at the comments left on this new blog – and once again, go investigate anyone leaving comments there. It’s a pretty airtight way to find an endless supply of engaging blogs to follow about your favorite topic.
Additionally, a lot of people like to leave relevant or related links in the comments. Visiting and reading these links is another way to find new reading material.
Ask a friend
One of the best ways to discover good blogs is to get a referral from someone you know. Ask your friends or colleagues what blogs they enjoy the most. Or, you could just do a general social network shout out to find out what everyone in your network is into at the moment, since most of the time our friends share the same interests or reading habits as we do.
Also, make sure you’re paying attention to what people share with you. If someone sends you an interesting article by email or posts one on a social network – be sure to note down its source.
Just do a simple search
We’ve found some of our favorite blogs by just going to Google (or insert your favorite search engine here) and typing in: “blogs about _____”. It’s simple, but sometimes that’s the best way to turn up fresh reading material.
Once you’ve found a new blog or website to follow, remember to add their RSS feed to your reader so you can stay updated on their new content.
If you’re looking to do a more specific search, you could try using a tool like Google’s Blog Search. This will allow you to check for topic-specific posts around your search keyword, and it will probably turn up some interesting news sites as well (a lot of them are being indexed as blogs these days).