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The online world can be overwhelming. Each day, we discover or are introduced to at least one new blog or website that we vow to keep tabs on, because we know it can serve as a resource for bettering our businesses or personal lives.
So it doesn’t take long to become overloaded, keeping at least 15 tabs open in a Chrome browser at all times, and having 10-15 newsletters flood your inbox per day. Sustainable? Not if you want to stay sane.
RSS feeds to the rescue
There’s an answer to the overwhelm: using an RSS feed reader. Back in the day (okay, just last year), the answer likely would’ve been Google Reader, but once Google nixed that service -- to the panic of many-a-solopreneur -- a knight in shining armor took its place: Feedly.
What is Feedly?
Feedly, founded in 2008, is a news aggregator application where you can search for the news sites, online magazines, and blogs that you don’t want to miss a beat of.
It’s ridiculously simple to add new content to your Feedly -- simply paste the URL of the website or blog and Feedly will locate it, or you can use its search function and find the source by name. Once you’ve loaded your must-follow sites into Feedly, organization is easy. For the Type-A personalities out there (heck, I’m one of them!), being able to organize and sort by categories is a dream come true.
When it comes time to view and read, not only does Feedly easily aggregate updates, but it does so cleanly, with three options for viewing.
Personally, I use the Titles View most frequently, but each of the views are clean and intuitive, and the options are easy to toggle between.
How to use Feedly
While Feedly provides an in-depth tutorial on the mechanics of using the site, what One Woman Shop solopreneurs really need to know is how it can be used to better their productivity and business. Here are three ways it can do just that:
1. Content marketing + social media: By following news, your favorite blogs, or inspirational resources, your Feedly becomes a goldmine of posts to share via your social outlets and garner ideas from for your own content marketing and blogging. You can even share directly from Feedly, though I don’t often use this option, as I prefer to generate my own bit.ly links for tracking purposes.
2. Create a content library: Use Feedly’s “Save For Later” option to easily bookmark posts that you want to keep track of. This comes especially in handy if you’re a common curator of posts like One Woman Shop’s Weekly Finds.
3. Curate content + resources for clients: As a blogger and ghostwriter for several different companies, I find my Feedly invaluable to aggregating news, trends, and resources for each company I write for. I work with clients to find the best sources, do research on my own, then load them into a new category in Feedly. When it comes time to brainstorm topic ideas or find resources for posts, I have one place to go.
4. Consistent learning + updates: By cataloguing the news and blogs you want to keep track of most, you’re guaranteeing educational reading and consistent updates on your industry. It’s yet another way to satiate the need for perpetual learning, and a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on around your online space.
Feedly on the go
For the on-the-go solopreneur, there’s the free app for both iPhone and Android. And we promise you this -- the mobile app is just as good as the desktop version.
Even the Google Reader fanatics agree -- Feedly is an amazing tool, with a clean design, and an intuitive app to help you keep up on news and blogs from anywhere. It’s certainly our go-to, and after one day of set up, we're confident you’ll find it to be yours, too.