As a marketer, keeping on top of the news can be a daunting task. Add to that the requirement to keep up to date with your industry, your competitors, the latest trends and topics that are of personal interest to you. Who’s got the time to be across it all?
This is where Feedly can save the day. Feedly is a free news and blog aggregation service which lets you choose and collate sources which of interest to you. It then delivers those news feeds directly to your smart phone, tablet or desktop through the Feedly app.
I have been using Feedly since Google Reader was unceremoniously dumped a couple of years ago and I can’t imagine how I’d otherwise keep on top of the news.
Managing email overload with Feedly
I don’t know about you, but I come across hundreds of news sites and blogs that I want to monitor at least weekly if not daily. If I subscribe to every one of those sites, my inbox gets jammed with daily, weekly and digest emails. I can’t deal with the volume of information overload, and end up deleting many of the posts from feeds which I really want to read.
Now, if I come across a blog or news site I’m interested in, I add it to Feedly, categorise it, and read the posts at a time which suits me.
Categorising feeds with Feedly
Categorising feeds with Feedly is easy enough – simply pull in the RSS feed address from the RSS button on the website or blog, click the Add button in Feedly, assign a category and you’re ready to go. All this is free, by the way, although there is a premium service, which I’ll explain shortly.
The screenshot below shows a sample of my Feedly categories. Each category hosts about 15-20 blogs and news sites. I can add as many as I like. If I click on All, I can scroll down through the most recent posts from each feed and scan through hundreds of posts on my way to and from work, or whenever I have a spare moment.
I find that Feedly’s “card/thumbnail” view as shown in the screenshot, is a great way of scanning for the most relevant articles. It also shows how important visual content is – newspapers have known this for years, but I’m more likely to skip a post if there is no image.
If I’m interested in an article, I simply click through and read the full length article. From the article view, I can perform a number of common tasks using the icons at the top.
I can share to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and pretty much any social media platform.
The little icon to the right of the LinkedIn icon in the article below, lets me send the article to Buffer, for sharing on my various social media sites. If you’re doing any kind of content curation, the combination of Feedly and Buffer is invaluable.
While the Email icon is not shown in my feedly configuration, I could set it up to email a link to the article to myself (or any email address) or do a range of other things with it.
The free version of Feedly worked perfectly well for me for the last couple of years, but as I’ve come to depend more on Feedly, I recently upgraded to the premium option. This lets me save articles directly to Evernote, the tool in which I save pretty much anything which may be of interest to me now or in the future.
It also has other integration options which I’m yet to fully explore.
Feedly is limited only by your imagination
I use Feedly mainly to track and monitor news sites, and sites about marketing, social media, public relations, personal development and productivity. If I wanted to track industries or competitors, I could simply create new categories, find some relevant websites or blogs, and add them to my Feedly account.
One of the things I love most about Feedly, is that I can access it from any device, any where and any time. If I upgrade my phone or change my email account, I just have to log in to my existing Feedly account to access my feeds.
If I read articles about such as the “Top 10 blogs in marketing”, I scour those blogs, see if they’re relevant for me, and add them to my Feedly account. This is how I ensure that my Feedly account remains relevant and targeted for my needs.
Once you’ve got your own collection of blogs, Feedly will recommend others which it thinks may be of interest to you. This discovery element is really valuable, and I’ve subscribed to some awesome sites which I may otherwise not have come across.
My Call to Action for you – try Feedly this week
If you’re not already using Feedly, I challenge you in the next week, to set up an account, select 10 sites which are of interest to you and start scanning your feed everyday. You would be surprised at how much you can pick up just by scanning the headlines.
Over the next few months, I will be posting lists of some of the sites I follow, and which I think all marketers can benefit from. Setting up Feedly now sets the foundation upon which you can start to accelerate your learning, keep across the news, monitor your industry, clear your inbox and better manage information overload.
If you’ve got any thoughts or questions about Feedly, feel free to comment below.