Google Reader is simply a place online that is your unique “container” of blogs and websites that you’ve subscribed to. Better than bookmarking and more efficient than a spreadsheet or other type of list for your favorite content, Google Reader keeps the latest blog posts and articles from your favorite websites ready for you to “thumb through” – all in one place.
How to Set Up Google Reader
I have to assume that you already have a Gmail account. If not, go here to set up your free Gmail account. Your Gmail account is like a passport to a world of tools and resources and apps that help you either manage your business and/or manage your life, if you want it to.
Login to your Gmail – by doing that, you’re actually logging in to Google. You should see a black menu at the top of your browser window:
By the way, all Google tools operate better within Google’s browser, Chrome. But you can still use Internet Explorer or another browser.
This is a screenshot of Social Media Strategist Laura Rubenstein’s website and blog. To subscribe to her blog posts, simply click on the RSS link (the orange icon) and add to your Google Reader. (See the next step for what to do next.)
Click on “Subscribe with Google”:
Click on on “Add to Google Reader”:
Explore all your subscriptions by clicking on “Explore”:
Content Marketing Strategy for Using Google Reader
You can either spend an hour going to each of your favorite blogs and websites and adding them into your Google Reader by subscribing to their RSS feed, like I showed you above or you can do it more organically, over the next several weeks and add them one at a time as you read them.
After you have a few subscriptions in your Google Reader, use Google Reader’s search box and type in a topic that you want to be known as an expert in. For example, if you want people to follow you in Twitter (or another site) because you frequently share content related to Colorado wineries, then type “Colorado wine” or “Colorado wineries” into your Google Reader search box. All the blogs and websites that you’ve subscribed to that have that articles pertaining to your keyword search will then appear. You can quickly read the article and decide if you want to Tweet it or share on Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+ without even leaving your Google Reader. Very convenient and efficient.
As you decide once a week (or daily) which articles to share with your followers, come here to your Google Reader and you’ll save a ton of time. Time is money. That old cliche has never been more true than now.
How do YOU use Google Reader? Do you have a suggestion or ninja trick you’d like to share? Please write a comment and share your tip.
UPDATE: March 24, 2013: How ironic: a few days after I wrote and posted this post, Google announced it is going to retire Google Reader. I suggest you consider Feed.ly. Here’s a brief article about it at Mashable. I’m trying it out now, myself. If you have any comments about Feed.ly or suggestions for other substitutes, please do comment below.
Lori Gama is The Online Visibility Expert and founder of DaGama Web Studio where she guides entrepreneurs and corporate managers on increasing online visibility through services she offers such as web design, SEO, social media marketing consultation, video marketing, e-mail marketing and other Internet Marketing related services. She enjoys speaking to groups about the power of the Internet and technology.