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3 Post-Google Reader Preparations - Driving Traffic

3 Post-Google Reader Preparations

By on April 26, 2013
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When Google announced the soon-to-be eliminated Google Reader feature will disappear, how did you react?

Now that we know the day Google Reader will cease to exist (July 1), we can all start our mourning process and begin to give a favorite feature a long kiss goodbye. The response to the end of this seemingly well-used and well-liked blog and article feed has been mostly negative, but Google themselves made the argument slightly more understandable.

“Usage of Google reader has declined, and as a company, we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products,” Google said in an official announcement. “We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Okay, so there’s no way around this disappearance. Instead, smart business bloggers need to do some preparations that will hopefully keep their readers reading, and keep stretching content as far and as wide as possible.

The readership losses are going to happen, but if steps are taken ahead of time, you can make up for those losses in innovative and effective ways.

1. Retaining Readers

Email is going to be a front-running alternative to Google Reader lists, and should be a strategy already instilled in a successful blog. Sending email subscribers updates on recent blog posts, and even putting together a weekly Newsletter, will help maintain the level of traffic and engagement.

MailChimp is a good place to start learning about creating targeted landing pages that can be used to add email subscriptions, and their autoresponder feature will help automate the process.

2. Finding Alternatives

Just about every marketing and tech media outlet has offered up their suggestions for other RSS feed options, and most have come to similar conclusions on the best options.

Feedly has been the most popular choice, with more than 500,000 Google Reader converts in the first few days following the announcement of its end. The recommendation features are cutting-edge, and it has some great social media tools built directly into it.

NewsBlur is a free or paid service (depending on the volume you require) that is very similar to Google Reader, giving it a good shot at capturing many of the shifting content consumers. A lot of customization, including the ability to view text-only versions (cutting down on visual distractions), makes NewsBlur pretty attractive.

3. Keep Control

Most importantly, bloggers need to have control of the change and convey this to their readers. Keeping them involved in the decisions to replace or substitute for Google Reader will only help with transparency and objective.

Heck, it’s well worth it to flat out ask readers for their suggestions, or solicit ideas that they are already familiar with to make the transition smooth. Withhold that open line of communication, and you’ll be surprised at how helpful it can be for both reader and blogger.

Now that you’ve got some idea of the steps you can take to prepare, what are your thoughts? What else can be done? What other RSS alternatives are out there? What’s your overall plan for surviving the disappearance of Google Reader?

Leave a comment and get ready for some changes. T-minus three months from D-Day, so start working now to make the transition problem-free.

About Driving Traffic Contributor

6 Comments

  1. Greg

    May 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I was pretty angry like most marketers when google decided reader was going but i found a good free alternative…called ‘the old reader’

    Pretty much does what it says on the tin :-)

  2. James

    April 28, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I too have Feedly topping my list on a post with over 20 Google Reader alternatives. I think the change over is and should be pretty seemless. As for further preparation, who knows, might be a sign of things to come? Social may start integrating more features that function as such. Also a good opportunity to emphasis opt-in newsletter subscription.

  3. Kinya

    April 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    As someone who has to watch news feeds to keep up with emerging trends, I switched to Feedly. It is amazing, much better than Google Reader. It’s really simple and very easy to use. I’m sad to see Google Reader go, but it’s nice to know there are some great alteratives out there.

  4. Tim.Krupa@TSKClinDev.com

    April 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    As a reader, I will give Feedly a try. I do not like my email box fully with blog notifications. As a blogger I expect to lose followers

  5. Bruno Buergi

    April 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for the info. Until I read your article I haven’t thought a lot about it. I think I will have a close look Feedly and Newsblur.

  6. Dr. Alan S. Weinstein

    April 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I have created the perfect alternative to Google Reader. It is actually a personal RSS reader. Well actually it is much more than even that.

    Alex Mandossian is using it and there are other marketers coming on board. It is a simple App that allows you to own a piece of real-estate on every computer, smart phone and tablet so that whenever you post a video, an audio, a blog post, a podcast, or any other media it automatically shows up on everyone’s device and they can’t stop it. It totally removes the challenges of email, open rates, click through rates and gets you above the noise of Social media.

    It works with all the annotation upgrades that YouTube put into effect and also works with EZS3. Now here is the best part. It streams the Live Google+ Hangout Feed right in the App so that unlike webinars, if you do a Hangout you don’t have to worry whether people that sign up actually show up. They show up because you show up. Best of all as soon as the Hangout is over the live event converts into to a video in the App that can be search engine optimized and annotized. It is the perfect delivery tool for any membership site because you can deliver everything right to the desktop with a huge WOW factor.

    I would love to speak with Ryan about it.

    In the meantime you can learn more about it by going to:

    http://www.yourcontentbank.com

    If you are interested in speaking please feel free to let me know.

    Dr. Alan

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