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What the Heck is Bloglovin’, and Do I Need It?

Necessary tool, or one more username and password to forget? The what, why, and how of bloglovin’.

Have you noticed images like this in the sidebars of blogs you read? Now you know what they're about.

Have you noticed images like this in the sidebars of blogs you read and felt like you were missing something? Now you know what they’re about.

While catching up with your favorite bloggers, you’ve probably seen an invitation to “follow me on bloglovin’!” in more than one sidebar.

What is bloglovin’? Don’t you already follow the blog in your Reader? Do you really have to sign up for another online account? Let’s take a look at why lots of bloggers are signing on.

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What is it?

Bloglovin‘ is a tool for keeping up with blogs — a way to manage feeds. Lots of bloggers turned to it after the demise of Google Reader. When you create an account there, you can follow any blogger on any platform, whether or not they’re also signed up. Then, you can log in and see the latest posts from all the blogs you follow in one spot. There’s also an app, so you can catch up with your reading on the go.

Unlike with Google Reader, you don’t read posts on bloglovin’. (Sort of.) Clicking a post title brings up the full post on the blogger’s own site; this means you can easily leave comments, and the blogger gets credit for a page view. Here’s a post on my personal blog, viewed via bloglovin’:

bloglovin 2

As you can see, it’s my site — but inside a bloglovin’ frame. A reader can close the frame and hang out on my blog, or use the tools in the frame to navigate between the other blogs they follow. Here’s a close-up:

bloglovin toolbar

(The settings also allow you to turn off the frame, so you can use bloglovin’ as a simple feed reader.)

Bloglovin’ also lets me explore other blogs I might be interested in. I can browse and follow blogs by topic…

bloglovin find blogs

… or look at popular posts in each topic:

bloglovin popular

In these cases, I’m limited to blogs that are signed up with bloglovin’ (in their terminology, blogs that have been “claimed”), so I’m not exploring the whole world of blogs.

Great… but can’t I just use the WordPress.com Reader?

Yes, you can! The Reader serves a pretty similar function:

(Not sure what the differences between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress blogs are? Here’s a primer.)

  • You can like and comment on WordPress.com blogs, and soon, you’ll be able to do that for self-hosted WordPress blogs too.
  • You can follow anyone in the Reader, including non-WordPress.com blogs. You can add any blog with a feed to your Reader — Blogger, Tumblr, whatever.
  • You can browse any topic. You can also explore a curated collection of WordPress.com blogs in popular topics like photography, travel, politics, food, and more and read great posts on a range of topics on Discover.

You might not want to log in to another site to keep track of blogs when you’re already logging in to WordPress.com regularly. That said, there are two good reasons you to consider using bloglovin’ in conjunction with WordPress.com:

  • To follow blogs and keep track of unread posts. Bloglovin’ shows you what posts have been published since your last login, making your blog-reading more efficient — no more scrolling through a list of blogs, wondering where the new stuff starts.
  • For a traffic boost. Shockingly, the whole world is not on WordPress.com.* Bloglovin’ users love blogging, and love exploring what bloggers have to say about the topics they care about. That is: it’s a community of potential new readers. “Claim” you blog, and it can appear in bloglovin’s topic and popular post pages.

Want to give your posts visual punch, but aren’t a photographer or artists? There are plenty of places to find high-quality, free-to-use images.

Bloglovin’ is a site full of people who want to find your blog. If they’re WordPress.com members, they might find you in the Reader organically — but if they’re not, bloglovin’ is a great way to get your posts in front of readers-to-be. Its highly visual, Pinterest-esque layout makes posts look extra-appealing and clickable. If you’re trying to grow an audience, creating a bloglovin’ account and claiming your blog is a free, low-hassle way to introduce your blog to a whole new group of fans.

* Yet. Bwahaha.

How do I sign up?

If you just want to use bloglovin’ to manage the blogs you follow, head over and register for an account. You can create a new account or log in with Facebook, and the site will walk your through adding blogs to its service.

To “claim” your blog, you’ll first need to register for an account. Once you’re logged in, hover over the blue heart in the top right-hand corner of your screen, and select “Add blog” from the drop-down menu that appears. Follow bloglovin’s prompts to find your blog, and bloglovin’ will generate a little piece of HTML code for you:

bloglovin claim

You’ll need to enter this snippet of HTML into a new post on your blog — this is how you prove it’s your blog. Select and copy this HTML, start a new post, and paste the HTML into the post using the Text Editor. Then, head back to bloglovin’ and click “Claim blog.”

After you successfully claim your blog, you can delete the HTML if you’d like. Now, when you log in to bloglovin’ and head to “My Blogs,” you’ll be able to see stats on how many people are reading and following your blog via bloglovin’. You can choose to use bloglovin’s reader capacity in addition, or just claim your blog and let it ride.

We also recommend that you spend a few minutes tweaking your profile and settings (also accessed via that little blue heart). Here, you’ll find tools to create a “Follow me on bloglovin'” badge for your blog, as well as all kinds of notification and email delivery settings.

So what’s the real answer to our opening question: “do you really have to sign up for another online account?” The answer is (don’t hate me!), “it depends.” WordPress.com, which most of you are already using, includes plenty of tools for finding, following, and promoting blogs. However, if you’re in serious audience-development mode, bloglovin’ is a low-effort way to expose your blog to a larger community.

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  1. I’ve been on bloglovin since I started my blog and they have a great service. I’ve found, however, that I get a lot more comments and interactions from people who have either signed up to my blog via email or wordpress!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a question, Michelle. How do I center the 150 pixel width (fashionchalet/eiffel) button in my sidebar? It’s leaning to the left so where do I insert the align=center tag?

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      1. Actually, Michelle, I placed three Bloglovin’ graphics and the REAL link to my account is the third one.If you’ve visited my blog (With A French Maid Fetish Whilst Musing) or if you do visit it to check what I’m referring to, you would see three graphics: A Bloglovin’ logo (official) of a naked gitl; second, an Eiffel Tower that I’ve googled to find: the third graphic logo (another official logo) is the real subject of my question. It’s another Eiffel Tower (black and white with one red heart) that keeps on remaining on the left no matter where I insert the aligncenter tag (or align-center/align=center). Please do check it again even if you already have 🙂

        (Note:You might see the girl logo as the third graphic but I’m changing it right back to the Eiffel Tower right now [ there would be two Eiffel towers there eventually] so you could see either the girl or the second Eiffel Tower when you look for the third Bloglovin’ logo there. Anyway,the alignment of the third logo is to the left, that’s the problem I came here to consult you about) Sorry to be bothering you again 🙂

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      2. Thanks. Well, if it’s a Bloglovin’ issue and not a WordPress one I would have to accept that it can’t be tweaked. I was hoping it was an issue with the Adelle theme and a little tweaking with the align tag might help. Still crossing my fingers 🙂

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I’m a big fan of bloglovin, it’s a great way to catch up on blogs and to discover new blogs. To sign in I just use my facebook login. 🙂

    Lennae xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh thank you! I’ve used wordpress for blogs I interact with and Feedly for blogs I only read – but bloglivin seem like a smarter way of doing things lol!

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  4. Thanks for your post. I just added that html code to all my posts but it looks kind of ugly and not the same on each post. I wonder if I am doing it right. I linked my most recent post to your article and wondered if you are willing to check it out for me. Or if anyone else who sees this can help. I understand if that’s asking too much. Thanks again for the tips.

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