Writing

How to keep up to date with your favourite blogs in a single place

I’ve just been resting in bed this afternoon after overdoing it, yet again. You don’t need to chastise me, I have already done that to myself, and I am now being super-nice to yours truly – queue my favourite PJs, my favourite tea, and a promise to schedule another dinner with my friends as I’m missing out on one tonight – specifically, I’m missing out on a ginger and white chocolate cheesecake that had my name on it. Completely outside the realms of my MS-controlling diet, but heck, a girl’s gotta live!

When I’m resting in bed, I will alternate between taking some time to close my eyes, listening  to some guided meditations on Youtube if I can’t switch my brain off, and reading.

I thought I’d start perusing some blogs that I like to follow, but it became relatively energy-consuming trying to remember what my metaphorical sack of ‘blogger delights’ contains, let alone navigating these blogs on my internet browser.

And then readers, and then…I realised something. Most of the blogs I like to read are based on WordPress, a type of platform that bloggers like to use to build their websites. For those who are not website-building-savy or bloggers-world-savy, please do not fear! Please keep reading! You do not need to know anything else, other than the following: because of this fact, you can download the WordPress app and then ask it to add the blogs of your choice to your ‘Reader’ – which is kind of like the Facebook News Feed – and hey presto, a super-lazy and joyous way to keep up-to-date! Plus, it allows you to ‘like’ blog posts and make comments.

The WordPress Reader display of the WordPress mobile app. The Reader is a newsfeed of blogs.

The WordPress Reader display of the WordPress mobile app. The Reader is a newsfeed of blogs.

In order to be able to do this, you need to have a WordPress.com account (for those who tinker with websites, notice this is not the same as a WordPress.org account). Unfortunately, you cannot sign up to WordPress.com unless you ‘have your own WordPress.com website’. But note how I have strategically used these speech marks! You can get by this requirement really easily.

Ok, I’m intrigued, how hard is this to do? Instructions please!

I’ve just gone through the sign-up myself to test it out, and all you need is to choose a couple of things in order to make up your ‘imaginary’ wordpress website. I use the term ‘imaginary’ to mean you will officially have a website, but nothing will happen to it, you will not be liable for anything (as long as you choose the choices that are ‘free’ which is easy peasey, see below), nor will you be charged for anything, it’s just a means-to-an-end. Of course, if you choose to use your website in the future, that’s your choice, it’s all yours (note that you can change the theme at a later stage). So, to get your WordPress.com account:

 

  1. Using your Safari or Internet Explorer browser (at the moment, it doesn’t seem to be compatible with Chrome for some reason), navigate to wordpress.com and click ‘Sign Up’ in the top right of the page.
  2. Fill in all the details they ask you for, which, bar a password and your email address, just includes:
  • choosing a nice theme for your ‘imaginary’ website out of the free ones they show you – this is how your website will be displayed if you decide to use it later on.
  • choosing a domain name. ‘Domain name’ just means website name for all intents and purposes here. It’s like choosing an email address – you just have to make sure no-one else has it. Go for <yourchoiceofname>.wordpress.com and it will be fabulously free!

 

You’ll get an email from WordPress.com asking you to confirm that yes, you really do want to have an account with them and your own ‘website’ to boot. That’s it. You now have a WordPress.com account.

Right, I have my WordPress.com account, how do I get the blog Reader set up?

Just follow these steps to set up your WordPress Reader on your phone and then you can scroll through all of your favourite blogs:

 

  1. download the wordpress.com mobile app

    The WordPress App, found in the Apple App Store and Google Play

    The WordPress App, found in the Apple App Store and Google Play

  2. Open the app on your phone and sign in, using your spangly-new WordPress username and password

    Wordpress App sign-in screen

    WordPress App sign-in screen

  3. Click on the ‘feed’ icon, located at the bottom of the display. It looks like this:
  4. Click ‘Menu’

    The WordPress Reader Menu. It is currently set to display your Followed Sites in the Reader

    The WordPress Reader Menu. It is currently set to display your Followed Sites in the Reader

  5. At the top of the screen you will see a textbox ‘Enter a url or a tag to follow’. Enter the website address of the blog you want to follow in here. Wait a few seconds for the app to do it’s thing. A notification that states’followed’ will appear on the page  for a second or two if this has been successful.
  6. Repeat step 4. for any additional blogs you like to follow
  7. Ensure the ‘Followed Sites’ displayed on the menu is ticked; if not, click it and it will be selected.
  8. To see a list of the blogs you are now following, swipe right twice whilst you’re on this Reader menu screen (there are 3 swipeable screens to the Reader Menu. The 3 pips at the top of the screen indicate which of the 3 screens you’re on)
  9. Hit ‘close

 

Et voila! You now have a feed set up which contains all the blogs you like to follow, all in one handy location. Let the scrolling commence!

A note, dear reader: now you have no excuse for not following my blog posts 😉 Seriously though, in case you fancy some blog-follower inspiration, I shall very soon be creating a list of the bloggers who I rate highly. Watch this space.

As always, don’t forget to sign up via the ‘Notify Me’ button on the right hand side of this page if you’d like to receive an email when the next blog post is available. Rest-assured ManyLemons.com never spams.

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