How to Organize the Blogs You Read in Feedly

If you enjoy reading blogs like I do, you probably use an RSS feed reader to organize the blogs you read. For several years, my feed reader of choice was Google Reader, but I’m a Feedly girl now.
Organize the Blogs You Read in Feedly
Sure, it took some adjustment to change from Google Reader to Feedly – anything does when you’ve been using a tool for years and it suddenly disappears – but I soon got the hang of Feedly’s look and style.

A few people have asked me recently, “How do you organize the blogs you read?” I mean, just because you use Feedly (or some other RSS reader) doesn’t mean that your blog feeds are organized. I am not an organization guru, but I’ve found a really simple system that keeps my Feedly neat and tidy. Perhaps this system will help you, too.

1. Group the blogs you follow into themes.

Take note of  the different types of blogs that you read. For example, I read blogs about

  • photography tips
  • small biz tips
  • social media tips
  • blogging tips
  • personal blogs

2. Assign each theme to a different day of the week.

I follow about 50 blogs, so lumping them all together in Feedly would be overwhelming. Instead, I organize the blogs into categories. My category names are simple: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Based on how busy that day of the week is for me, I put fewer or more blogs in those categories.

For example, on Monday, I read blogs with small biz tips. Tuesday is the day to read blogs with photography tips, etc. I have only 3 or 4 blogs in my Monday category, because that is a busy day for me. I have about 10 blogs in my Friday category because that is a less-busy day.

3. Determine to read the posts in that category on that day.

I try to read all of the posts in that category each weekday. This way, the number of un-read posts never becomes overwhelming.

When I say “read the posts,” I mean “browse through the posts.” Feedly has a nifty “Save for later” option that I use quite regularly. If a blog post title sounds interesting, I click the bookmark icon. Later, when I have more time to read the entire blog post, I open the “Saved for Later” group and read through several articles in one sitting. (The “save for later” function is similar to the “starred post” feature in Google Reader.)
Feedly save for later
Some days I get eager and read ahead to the next day’s posts, but my goal is to read at least the posts from that day.

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I created a video below for those of you who are visual learners. I hope it helps you organize the blogs you read. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have about my process. I’m happy to help if I can!

YOUR TURN:
What RSS feed reader do you use? Do you organize your feeds, or do you lump them all together and read them when you can? Please share your thoughts in the comments.Julie Signature

  

Melissa - I made the transition to Feedly but also have Bloglovin’. I’m trying to figure out which one I like best and is easiest to navigate. I definitely like the look of Bloglovin’ better than Feedly but I like you can organize by themes etc. with Feedly. I haven’t organized them yet by theme but I think I will now! That is a great idea! Thanks for the great post!

Julie - I haven’t tried Blog Lovin’ yet, but I have heard several people say they love it. Thanks for your comment, Melissa!

Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves - I use Feedly and I follow so many blogs! Probably more than I actually get around to reading. I have organized my favorite healthy living blogs into one group, and that’s the folder I usually go to first. After seeing your fabulous tutorial, I might try to organize them further. Thanks so much!

Julie - Thanks for your great feedback, Alison! I’m glad to hear that the article helped you! Best of luck getting your Feedly running like a well-oiled machine. :)

How to Add an Instagram Photo Widget to Your Blog

Want to share your Instagram photos with a wider audience? Share them on your blog with an Instagram photo widget!Instagram Photo Widget on Blog
Those who use Instagram know how fun (and addicting) it can be! I use Instagram to capture spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities, and I love the filters that give the photos even more pizzazz!

Although some of my blog readers already follow me on Instagram, some of my closest friends and family members don’t have a smart phone or even know what Instagram is! They are missing out on photos that they might really enjoy!

Sure, I can provide a link to my Instagram profile on my blog, but a widget that displays my Instagram photos right on my blog is even more fun!

So why should you consider adding an Instagram photo widget to your blog?
Sharing your Instagram photos on your blog is a wonderful way to provide fresh content, even on days when you don’t have time to write a regular blog post. Every time you post something new to Instagram, that photo will appear in the photo widget, and you don’t have to lift a finger or type a single character! Sweet!

Where should you put the Instagram photo widget on your blog?
Two great locations are (1) your blog’s sidebar or (2) your blog’s footer. Any blogging platform that allows you to add a text widget (WordPress.org, Blogger, etc.) will work well for an Instagram photo widget.

What tools/websites can you use to create an Instagram photo widget?
Read on for three options to add your Instagram photos to your blog!

Instagme

Instagme.com

Instagme is a very nice Instagram photo widget option with a simple, clean interface. You can display a grid of Instagram photos or a single photo (appearing via a slideshow or not). When you post a new photo on Instagram, that new photo will appear on your blog (once the page is refreshed). Visitors who click on your photos via the Instagme widget can add a comment via Facebook or several email venues, which broadens the reach of your photo.

Instagme is free, and there are no ads at this time. Another benefit about Instagme is the fact that those who click on your photos for a closer look have the option to follow you on Instagram directly from that page. Pretty nifty!

Snap Widget

SnapWidget.com (free and paid version)

Very similar to Instagme, Snap Widget looks great in a blog’s sidebar or footer. Snap Widget has a free and paid option.

One downside is that visitors who click on your image to see a larger version arrive on a webpage that includes ads (free version only). Most of the ads are harmless, but I have seen a few that I wasn’t crazy about.

With the free version, users are not able to follow you on Instagram directly from Snap Widget (the paid version allows this). A work-around for this would be to include a link near the widget that says something like “Follow us on Instagram” – and then link to your Instagram profile (instagram.com/yourusername).

Statigram

statigr.am

Statigram is another nice (free) option for sharing your Instagram feed on your blog. View a lovely example of this widget on the Fat Mum Slim blog. I like the navigation bar (left and right arrows) that Statigram provides with its slideshow option.

Click the Promote tab to see several options that Statigram offers. Not only can you create an Instagram photo widget for your blog, but you can add a feed tab to your Facebook page or create a lovely Facebook cover image with your Instagram photos. Statigram even has a WordPress Instagram plugin!

YOUR TURN:
Do you already display your Instagram photos on your blog? What other Instagram photo widgets have you used? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Julie Signature
P.S. Of the three widget options listed above, I use Instagme for my family blog. You can see the widget in action in my right sidebar here.

  

--David - New reader to your site. Thanks for the tips! Another way to post Instagram to one’s blog (and/or do hundreds of other things) is to use IFTTT.com (IF This Then That). You can create “recipes” such as “When I post to Instagram, add the item to my blog.” Hope this helps!

Julie - Thanks so much for your comment, David! I don’t use IFTTT much, but I’ve heard that it has wonderful helpful potential for bloggers! Thanks for encouraging me to experiment with it more!

Blogging Resource Roundup - Mrs. Monologues - […] Add Instagram Photos To Your Blog […]

Karen Main - Julie this was the exact information I was looking for and easy to read too. Thank you.

Julie - Thanks so much for your kind comment, Karen! I’m glad the post was helpful. Your blog is beautiful, by the way!

Jaron Smith - Thanks for the post, really helpful to me.

Now here one more site with much more options and functions available..

http://imageagram.com/

krisi - thanks for the tips!!! I appreciate the options you provided

Hazel - Thank you for posting this! Easy to follow and with so many different options! I now have the Instagram widget on my blog :) thankie!

Alexandra - Thanks for the post :) I went with Instagme and happy with the results :)

Hayley Painter - Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for this info!

JenB - wow – that was easy! (I went with the first option!) Thanks!

Julie - That widget looks great in your sidebar, Jen! So glad it worked for you!

Erin - Hi! Your blog is so pretty! I’m really trying to improve mine, and I wanted to add my instagram feed using one of the sites you suggested. I’m using blogspot, and none of the codes are working. It keeps coming up as empty space! I was wondering if you knew what was wrong or if anyone else had the same problem.

Thanks!

Gigglegoosey - Thanks, this helped me a lot, I’m new to all this blogging!

Claudia - Hi! I’m new to this. I got my code but I don’t know where to paste it… It doesn’t seem to appear on my blog… Can anyone help me, please?
Thank you!

beautopiaxoxo - Great post! Used Instag.me and it worked easily! :)

elly - Thanks for the suggestions – I had just tried using snapwidget but really wasn’t feeling it. Decided to give instagme a go, and it’s much better!

Linda - Thanks for the info this was super easy!

I chose instagame as you were right about snapwidget. The third option is no longer on the example blog, she has also gone to instagame!

Cheers!

Follow Art By Heart - Thank you so much! Instagme it is the best!

Carol - This site truly has alll of the info I wanted concerning
this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

Laurence - Just added Intagme slide to my French website thanks to you
It seems to be great, thank u :-)

Tamara - Hi, not sure if you can help. But when using any of these instead of coming u as the widget on my sidebar – it just comes up as a link. Do you know why this is? I use it in the text widget under my sidebar.

Claire - Thanks so much for sharing these. I’ve been trying to find some good options and these are great :)

instagram widget wordpress - Search Yours - […] How to add an instagram photo widget to your blog […]

Kyliegh - Did it thanks to you! Thanks for the great post!

lauren - thanks for this post – very helpful. cheers! http://www.laurensparkle.com

Mike - I would recommend http://www.widgetive.com You can join few Instagram accounts to one widget. Nice option.

Samantha Grain - Sound tips, thank you for sharing Julie!:) I’d like to add that using apps can and will make your instagram better, no matter what niche you’re in. Satigr.am – now iconosquare, is one of the most useful. Also i use fast-unfollow.com to get rid of those who won’t follow me back, it can do 5000 unsubscriptios per day, kind of statigram of unfollowing :) schedulers are very beneficial as well, postso is my choice. to showcase photos in the blog i use instagme just as you do. I wander how they managed to keep their name, as i know instagram has restricted usage of prefixes insta- and -gram. BTW thanks for suggesting Fat Mum slim, she’s funny as hell ;)

Vella Di - I also install instagram photo widget on my wordpress blog bt still not understand what to do…. :(

Kathleen - Thanks for this. I had installed the free version of Snap Widget on my website and was very unhappy with the ads. Instagme and Iconosquare were both great alternatives. I appreciate the information. :)

Add an Instagram Photo Widget to your Blog- The SITS Girls - […] Read the full post here: How to Add an Instagram Photo Widget to your Blog […]

Megan - Thanks for sharing – my website has a link to Instagram, but I’d love to show the photos, too. I look forward to giving these a try.
Megan
http://www.eagerentrepreneur.com/

Mofe - Thanks for the very useful advice with website examples, it really helped in my search.

I actually ended up using Instagram For WordPress. Really simple plugin and even I was able to configure the widget. Nice addition to my site!

Tegan - I love snapwidget! I always use it!
Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

Elizabeth@ Rustic Maple - Thank you! Worked like a charm!

Thevisualtraveler.blogspot.com - Thanks for the very helpful tip. I’ve added the widget using Instagme.com. works perfectly!

Photo a Day on my Family Blog – My Experiment

I’ve heard about Photo a Day challenges, but I’ve never actually tried one for my family blog. That’s all about to change.
Photo a Day Experiment
Like most family bloggers, I love to capture photos of my family and our adventures together. To keep my photography skills sharp this summer, I’m going to try a photo a day project for the month of July. For one month, I’m going to try posting one photo each day on my family blog, often with little or no journaling. I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves, for the most part.

I’m telling you, FBT readers, about my experiment for two reasons:

  1. to keep myself accountable
  2. to encourage you to try a photo a day project too!

Here are my goals for the experiment:

  • to practice my photography skills (and improve my craft)
  • to expand my creativity as I search for items to photograph
  • to challenge myself to be consistent with something every day
  • to document our summertime adventures

It helps to have a daily theme for the photo a day project. Coming up with my own themes might be fun in the future, but for this first month, I’m going to use themes that I found on Fat Mum Slim (I highly recommend this blog for photo a day project resources!).

At the end of the month, I will report back how things went. Head over to my family blog during the month of July to see how the photo a day experiment goes. I’m looking forward to it!

YOUR TURN:
Have you ever tried a Photo a Day challenge?
Julie Signature

  

Featured Blogger: Katherine Marie

Today, we are shining a spotlight on one of the most delightful family blogs I have ever read: KatherineMaries.com

Katherine Marie Blog
I’m not even sure how long I’ve been following Katherine, but she is truly an amazing mom, photographer, and blogger. Her love for her family and for life flows from her blog, her Instagram feed, her emails, etc. She is truly a delightful person, and an excellent example of a family blogger.

I asked Katherine a few questions about her blog, and I encourage you to read her responses below:

When did you start blogging?
I started blogging years and years ago… I think it may have been 2006?! I’ve experimented with several different blogging platforms, but WordPress is my favorite.

What prompted you to begin your blog?
I originally started two blogs . . . one for family and one as a business venture. I was looking for a way to connect with my faraway family and for a way to showcase my commercial and client work.

Maintaining two distinct blogs was a mountain of work! I eventually decided to combine my personal and professional life into one spot. This is when I fell IN LOVE with blogging. From the moment I dropped my self-appointed blogging rules and restraints, I found my creative voice. Blogging became my source for artful expression and joy. Blogging became my creative playground.

What is the primary focus of your blog?
My blog (and photographs) tell the stories of celebration, gratitude, and creativity that live in my heart.

What blogging struggles do you face?
Time! Time! Time! Even after all these years, it still takes me a great deal of time to put together a blog post. I don’t work on my computer during the day when my children are awake, so I spend lots of late nights putting together posts.

If you could share one piece of advice with a new blogger, what would it be?
If you are old enough to remember the movie Field of Dreams, you’ll recognize this quote: “If you build it, they will come.”

If you build a blog, your readers will come! If you share with your heart and soul, you will eventually find your voice. Once you find your voice, you’ll find your audience. Your audience will become like family . . . a beautiful and loving group of like-minded folks who love and enjoy what YOU do!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What I love about this blog:

I love the large, bright, whimsical photos. They draw me in and make me feel like a part of the family celebrations.

I love the minimalistic design. No cluttered sidebars — just big, beautiful photos and stories.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thank you so much, Katherine, for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us. What an inspiration!

Now, go forth and visit Katherine’s blog and her amazing Instagram feed. You won’t regret it!

Visit Katherine’s blog: KatherineMaries.com
View her (amazing) Instagram photos: http://instagram.com/katherinemaries
Follow her on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/katherinemarie/

If you are interested in being a featured blogger here at Family Blog Tips, please visit this page for details.

YOUR TURN:
What is your favorite part about Katherine’s blog? Please share some words of encouragement for her in the comments. 

Julie Signature

  

katherine marie - thank you so much dear friend!!!!! I am honored to be here. All my love and hugs to you today and always!! xoxoxoxo

How to Create a Basic Photo Collage using PicMonkey

How to Create a Photo Collage with PicMonkey

If you’ve ever wondered how to create beautiful digital photo collages like the ones you’ve seen on blogs or websites, I’ve got some tips for you today!

In my last post, I talked about using digital photo collages to show a child’s growth. Today, I’m sharing a screencast about how to create a basic photo collage using PicMonkey. Note that this is a very basic explanation of collages. We’ll get more creative in future screencasts. We’ve got to start somewhere, though, right? :)

Just click the image above to view the screencast. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

Happy collage creating! :)
Julie Signature

P.S. The Family Blog Tips YouTube channel is brand new right now, but I’ll be sprucing it up in the coming days. Please  subscribe to the channel so you’ll be alerted when new screencasts are posted.

  

6 Fun Ways to Show Your Child’s Growth in Photos » Family Blog Tips - […] Update: I’ve created a screencast explaining how to create a basic photo collage with PicMonkey. […]