Improving my Sidebar Subscription Gadgets

Book bloggers do a lot of backend work for their blog. When we don't post or update in social media, it does not mean that we are taking our readers for granted. Most probably, we are still doing or thinking about blog-related stuff. So today, I would like to share what I've been up to lately to improve Rurouni Jenni Reads. It has something to do with my 2019 goal of growing my blog's following. This is ultimately a shameless self-promo post, lol.

Putting up Google Friend Connect (GFC)
Yep, I am tinkering again with the look of my blog. December 18 last year, Gayathri @ Elgee Writes tweeted about the lacking "Follow" button on some Wordpress blogs. I am using Blogger as my blog platform but I took her advice just the same. I put up GFC in my sidebar. Following a blog in GFC means adding it in your Blogger reading list, in case you are not aware.

I didn't know then if taking her advice would do the following in my blog any good. Now with the gift of hindsight, I am confident to report to you that yes, adding the GFC follow feature is a good decision. On that date, I only have 22 followers. As of to date, with less than just a month since I put it up on my sidebar, I went up to 32 followers. I gained 10 more beautiful book wanderers that I wouldn't otherwise have if I don't put up GFC in my sidebar!

Learning about Feedly and RSS
Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books mentioned in her comment to my 2019 opening post, that she follows blogs via Feedly. She also mentioned something about RSS.

I am like, what on earth are Feedly and RSS?! The curious cat in me starts googling and I definitely learned new things. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication – a cool acronym that has zero-value in contributing to my understanding of it. What's really neat about RSS tho is that it lets you aggregate in one app all the posts from your fave blogs and news sites. One of those apps or readers is Feedly. So knowing that, I decided to put up the RSS and Feedly icons in my sidebar. (I am still learning about the other reader apps available.)

About the Wordpress clique thing
Let us address a particular blogging elephant in the room. For the record, I am not overly salty about this. It's just that I feel that I am not allowed to join in on the fun when I see Wordpress follow trains that I cannot board on. I feel a slight case of being alienated and othered from the reading community, TBH.

But as it turns out, most of the Wordpress peeps are just not aware that they can include bloggers from other platforms in their reading list.

So in my lofty noble goal of not depriving the good people in Wordpress of my awesomeness, I will show you this little-known blogging magic called cross-following. (But seriously, the Wordpress clique thing is still going strong in Twitter. I am getting ready to yell myself hoarse and continue preaching the good word of cross-following in the near foreseeable future.)

Lessons learned: Listen to other bloggers and make my blog accessible
If I didn't listen to Gayathri, I wouldn't gain more followers in GFC. If I didn't take notice of Sam's comment about RSS and Feedly, I wouldn't know about things that can make my blog more accessible.

The thing is, we are different people and we have varying ways of subscribing to blogs. I realized that I should acknowledge the diversity of our preferences by putting up all the options that a person has to access my content. Give the readers the choice. Give them the convenience. Make it easy for people to subscribe to my blog.

With these things in mind, I neatly arranged my subscription gadgets in my sidebar. Follow, subscribe, and share, if you are feeling up to it.

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I'd love to hear from you!
How do you subscribe to your fave blogs? Is there any other tips you can give me to improve my following?
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