Create Alerts & Subscriptions [Day 10 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog from Problogger]

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

Here’s my notes on Darren Rowse’s Problogger Free Podcast on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. You can listen to Darren Rowse’s free podcast here Day 10 Create Alerts and Subscriptions. The complete list can read here on Day 0 – Welcome and Introduction.

Become A Problogger with Darren Rowse

In order for us all to get the full benefit of this series, I’m going to go at a slower pace posting going forward in September on Tuesdays each week. I hope with this challenge we are all able to improve our blogs and websites. 

So lets do this together! Day 10 here we go! Subscribe and check back often! #31DBBB

Day 10: The challenge today is to create alerts and subscriptions to other blogs!

Today the challenge is to read, learn, and listen to others. Today is about creating a steady flow of great input. To fill your cup and to become aware of what is going on in your niche. This will assist you in producing good content and building community.

You might have heard saying: 

What You put in QUote

Darren says he can see a real correlation between when he was outputting his best content and the times he was doing the most reading, learning, and listening to others.

Darren also says he can see a correlation between the times he was struggling about ideas to write about or burnt out and not really reading, learning, and listening to others.

Why is setting up alerts a good idea you might ask?

5 Reasons Setting Up Alerts Are A Good Idea

Aerts Phone

1. It will give you a whole heap of ideas for your own blog posts. This will be a great source of ideas. These will be good ideas to try for yourself and share your experiences.

2. This will help you to be aware of breaking news in your industry. For some this may be more important than others. Anything related to news for example is important to be aware of. You don’t want to recommend obsolete.

3. This gives you credibility in your niche.

4. Will allow you to build relationships with other bloggers.

5. Great for reputation management. If you get an alert when someone is talking about you, you are able to respond in a timely manner and manage your reputation.

Google News Alerts

Google Alerts

Go to www.google.com/alerts/ you need to be logged into your google account. Be careful with how broad your searches become. Refine the searches or alerts over time.

You can be alerted by email or as the alerts come in. You can set up the language and the region you want to track. You

You can set up an alert for your name and your blog name. The other things you want to set up alerts for are the key words for your niche. For example, you might have an alert for “Personal Finance” or “Blogging Tips”.

Twitter Alerts, Searches, and Lists

blog_twitter-alerts

You can also go to www.twitter.com/search/advanced/ to set up alerts for hashtags or that come from certain locations for example. Find out how here. Twitter also allows you to save searches and perform advanced searches. These are useful if you know there’s common questions in your industry. For example, “Where can I find {insert product}?”

You can also create lists to follow specific users and respond to their posts or questions. Think about the input to come into your life.

RSS Reader

feedly

Set up an RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) reader such as FeedlyBloglovin‘, or Flipboard for example. This will help you connect with other bloggers and keep on top of key topics in your niche. It will also provide positive input into your life.  The most important thing is to actually use this list. Following a whole bunch of bloggers but never actually reading their content is not exactly useful.

Facebook Lists

facebook-create-new-list

Another idea is to create a list on Facebook of relevant public figures, bloggers, websites, or blogs to your niche. You can set these Facebook lists to public, friends, or only me. Check around to see if others have already created useful Facebook lists for your niche.

Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what app you use. Probably a good idea to set up a regular alert on your weekly or daily calendar to read your RSS feed. Otherwise you will do what I did initially and only look at it once or twice a month.

Darren often listens to podcasts while walking 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. I’ve started doing that myself and found it very helpful.

Two Final Cautions

Balance

1. Don’t overwhelm yourself with input and create no output. Try to get the balance right.

2. Don’t just subscribe to information provided for your specific niche. Darren suggest to listen to general topics of entrepreneurship, creativity, health, blogging, and subjects related to your niche. A mixture of inputs will help you be an overall healthy person and a better writer.

Remember to fill your own cup!

What ways will you set up alerts and subscriptions today? What alerts did you set up? What did you subscribe to?

Further reading: 

 
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{Click to go back to day 9 here} {Click to go forward to day 11 here} *Coming Soon*

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

34 Comments

  1. Alerts are great, but what annoys me are blogs that have pop up boxes to get people to like them on FB or subscribe.

    • I think Mailchimp counts Andi. Isn’t that primarily for alerts for new subscribers an information related to your blog? I think the point of this is to get notifications and alerts on other blogs in your niche. Thanks for commenting!

    • Glad to help Shannon! Yes, I find subscribing to other blogs and getting alerts on new content is helpful to stay current with my niche. It also helps my writing as well as a bonus. Thanks for stopping by

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