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Why I'm Wary of Bloglovin' And Why You Should Be TooThe Newlywed Notebook

The Newlywed Notebook

Friday

2

May 2014

Why I’m Wary of Bloglovin’ – And Why You Should Be Too

Written by Lindsay Ropella

I want to preface this post by saying that this is one that will not interest everybody – this post is aimed specifically at other bloggers and avid blog readers who use Bloglovin’. However, I do have a short message for ALL  MY BLOG READERS at the end of this post, so please scroll to that. I typically never do this, but I did discover something that I think needs to be shared and it seemed writing a blog post on it was the easiest way to do it. If you are a blogger READ THIS! If you are not but are still interested in what I have to say, I’d love for you to stick around and read it though! Thanks for understanding! :)

 

This post is going to be as short and sweet as possible. I know that bloggers really don’t have to time to be reading through detailed and confusing posts, but please stick with me and read this post in it’s entirety – it could be very important to your own blog.

Now, let me just start by saying that I know I’m nowhere near a “great blogger.” I’m trying, but I know I still have a long way to go. However, I do know quite a bit about the technical side/SEO of a blog (side note: if you ever have any questions about the technical side of blogging PLEASE let me know! I’m a nerd and I love talking about and helping people out with that stuff).

Up until this week I did not have a Bloglovin’ account nor did I share a Bloglovin’ feed here or really promote it in any way. And let me tell you why that is. I don’t trust Bloglovin’. 
 
bloglovin takes your page views
 
When I first started researching BL, my first question as a blogger was of course, “do I get credit for the page views through Bloglovin’?” Some people were praising BL as the best feed reader out there because it was still giving bloggers their own page views. I was pretty unsure that was actually the case, since from a company standpoint I knew that was in no way beneficial to them (it seemed many others were wary as well), so I started to investigate myself. I quickly realized that although I had never put my blog and my content on BL, it was already there. Well, since there is absolutely no way for you to get your blog taken down, I figured if I can’t beat em’, join em’. I created my own account and claimed my own blog so that no one else could claim it (no idea why they would want to, but yano, better safe than sorry). Once I had an account set up, I started playing around with some different things.

Well, I’m 95% sure Bloglovin’ does not give a blogger their page views, which is pretty disappointing since it seems like they claim to. Now, I don’t want to make any straight up claims, since this was only from about 20 minutes of playing around, but let me show you what I found and you can decide for yourself. If you have any knowledge on this as well I’d love for you to share it with me in the comments.

This might get a little techie so bear with me, but here is my research that led me to that conclusion.

 
What I did was I went to Bloglovin’ from my phone (new IP address)  using the BlogLovin app. When you first use this app, mobile view is set to “on” under the settings (same as having the iframe on when you are viewing from a computer) I clicked to my blogs feed and opened up to a specific post (“My Week In Numbers“). Then I went over to my trusty Clicky Analytics and kept refreshing the visitors page to see if my phone’s IP address would come up as currently on the page I was viewing on my phone. I waited a good 5 minutes before calling it quits and nothing ever showed.

Next, I went back to the Bloglovin’ app on my phone, and went into settings and turned the mobile view to “off.” This is the same as turning the iframe off on a computer. I then went back to my blog and then went into a specific post (“Don’t Be That Kid This Mother’s Day“). I went back to check my Clicky web stats and almost in real time this showed up…
 
bloglovin takes your page views

 

You can see in the screenshot that in that very first line is shows an iphone logged in to “Mother’s Day Gift Ideas and Tips.” The time and IP address also matched my phone (I edited those out of the screenshot for privacy). You can also see though that it does not show another iphone logging in any time before that. You would think that if there was a little bit of a delay using either this tracking system or the app, the first one should have shown up by the time the second one did. I tried this a few times just to double and triple check and had the same results each time.

Additionally, when I was viewing my blog with the mobile view on (default) I did not show up as a “real time viewer” in my current viewers section of my analytics. However, when I viewed my blog with the mobile view off (same has having the iframe off) I did show up as a real time visitor.

So, it seems to me that Bloglovin’ does not give blog owners their own page views and their own stats in it’s default settings. The good news is that I believe BL is one of the only feed aggregators to at least give people the option of how they would like to view the blogs they follow, so I do want to make sure I give them credit for that. However, the bad news is that the average blog reader does not realize that these settings make a difference and just leave them to the default settings out of convenience. This seemly small action can be detrimental for a blog for many different reasons (if you don’t already know lol):

1. You are not receiving credit for people reading your blog. Not getting page views decreases your ranking in Google searches, and devalues how much people do actually view and read your blog.

2. Not being able to receive statistics about what posts readers are liking and not liking through your blog’s analytics tool can make it difficult to know what your community is enjoying and where you should focus your attention and content; especially if not many comments are being left.

3. From a financial standpoint, less views means less ads seen, which means a lower income for the blogger. Now, I know we try to not make it all about money, but whether we like it or not, the money we make is a valid and important part of blogging. Erin said in best in her recent post, “I Blog for Money, and Why You Should Too.” Speaking just for myself, I don’t think all blog readers realize hosting and maintaining a blog isn’t free. I make hardly nothing from my blog ads, but I’m grateful that it’s enough to cover the costs of running the blog at the end of the year, but that’s about all it will cover. Taking away from that means I have to pay a lot more to keep my blog up and running.
 
SO, I know what your asking next. “Well Lindsay, this is all well and great, but what can I do about it? I can’t take my blog down and I can’t make people stop reading it on BL?” Perfect question. And while it’s true that you can’t just remove your blog from Bloglovin’ (and really I’m not sure that you’d want to because a lot of people use it to find great new blogs to follow) there are definitely some steps you can take to reduce the hit to your own blog.

1. Share with your loyal readers the importance of coming to visit your actual blog site. Explain to them the negatives of reading the blog only through the BL iframe and how they really are supporting the larger company and not your blog by doing that.

2. Teach your blog readers how to turn off the iframe on their account as well as on the app on their phone. Thank them for doing so and supporting your blog.

3. Ask them that if they still are going to read your blog through the BL iframe, to visit your blog directly every once in a while and leave you some feedback in the comments.

4. Do things like giveaways and special promotions for your readers to reward them for sharing your posts on places like Facebook and Twitter to get more engagement and to find more readers to make up for the ones who only read through the BL iframe.

 

So to my own blog readers (if you are still out there at this point in the post), if you enjoy reading my blog and want to show me your support for what I do and what I write, do at the very least, this one thing for me:

 
1. Go to your BlogLovin’ account and click on your “profile.” Next, click “edit your profile” right under your name. Scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the “edit” page and where it says, “The Bloglovin’ frame” will you please change that to, “I don’t want the frame.” You can read all about exactly why this is important to me in everything I wrote above, but if you skipped that or didn’t understand it, here is the gist of it: If you are reading my blog through the iframe you really aren’t reading my blog. It’s like you never existed here. I do not see that you visited a certain post, I do not see which posts you enjoyed because you spent 5 minutes reading vs ones that didn’t interest you; and basically you are giving all that support and approval that you think you are giving me to the Bloglovin’ company.

If you want to help me out ever further, THANK YOU! Here are some other ways to help below.

2. Find another way to follow my blog that still shows your support by actually allowing you to click through to my site. I just wrote about a great technique to use here that still pretty much acts as a feed reader.

3. If you read blogs through the Bloglovin’ app, go into the app’s settings, and turn the mobile view off. This is essentially the same thing as removing the iframe.

4. If you do not wish to take the iframe off, can you at least leave me comments on posts letting me know what you thought of it, what you liked, and what you disagreed with or your different viewpoints. I LOVE reading your comments, and since I will no longer be getting feedback from your views on what posts you enjoy and what posts you skipped over, it becomes all that more important to me that you share verbally what you like and dislike so I can make sure I’m still heading in the right direction.

 

By doing this you are not only supporting me, but all the other bloggers out there that you love who work so hard to bring you great content on a consistent basis!

 

I hope you found this helpful, and if you ever have any questions about web design, SEO, etc please let me know and I would be so happy to help!

 

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  • http://themakeupsquid.com/ the makeup squid

    This is a great post! This makes a lot of sense, however I do not use bloglovin to read blogs because when i’m on my phone I cannot comment so I just basically use it to like and follow. I find it very hard to support my fellow bloggers through the Bloglovin app and I hate frames lol. thanks for this great read :)

    http://www.themakeupsquid.com

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com Lindsay Ropella

      Thanks so much! Ugh, I totally agree with you. I mean it’s a great idea in theory but if you are really just amping up a companies traffic and not giving support and feedback to the actual bloggers your follow, I just don’t see the point. I use it to get updates on which blogs have new posts, but then I will head over to the actual blog to read it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Sarah

    Thanks for this. Just changed mine so all the blogs I read can get their hits.

    xx Sarah | Loser Girl Wins

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com Lindsay Ropella

      Glad you found this helpful! I know it sometimes can seem like a trivial thing, but I know all the bloggers you follow appreciate your change. Hits certainly aren’t the most important part of blogging, but I know for me, I always prefer to support the “small guy” instead of bigger companies. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  • http://heleneinbetween.com/ Helene

    Really?! I find that hard to believe that you get no page views though. I would in seo and socal media nd like bloglovin simply because it does give pageviews and I have researched this for clients as well. it just might now show up as the exact source. but i could be wrong, hmmm that does scare me!

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com Lindsay Ropella

      Oh! That’s good to hear! Yea – I’m really confused by this whole thing. They say they do give you page views but through my little “experiment” it looks like they don’t. Granted, more research definitely needs to be done and it also might be something to do with my particular analytics program. Makes you want to take a second look though, right?! I really like bloglovin’ too for the ability to easily see which blogs have new posts up – one of the better feed readers out there in my opinion. I just wish we could get more information from them on this particular issue. I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing your experience! I’m definitely going to do some more “experimenting” – I’d love to hear if you find anything more out! :)

  • Brittany

    No one can claim your blog on bloglovin’ except for you. In order to claim a blog, you have to have access to that blog. Also, you can check statistics of your blog and what your readers like through Google Analytics. Blogger’s analytics feature is not very accurate but through Google, you can see where people come from (including from bloglovin’) and see what posts they are reading most.

  • Caitlin

    I am relitivley new to the blogging gane and was researching about bloglovin before I signed up, this really helped thanks!

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com Lindsay Ropella

      I’m glad you found it helpful! It’s one of those things that different bloggers feel differently about, so this is just my opinion and what I’ve discovered about it. Don’t get me wrong, I still use Bloglovin and enjoy it and am trying to build a following, but it’s much more important to me to grow my email list and my social media followings like Twitter and Instagram since I have much more control over those and how I can connect with people through those platforms. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.ribut.info Dian Ribut

    I’m almost register and submit my blog to BL before reading this article. Honestly, I’m curious about their frames too. So I decide to google it first and looking for other people opinion, and I found this article. Thank you friend, hahaha

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com Lindsay Ropella

      lol no problem!! Of course, this is just my own personal experience and other people may have found out something different, but to me it didn’t look like I was getting credit with the frame. Either way, I am a total hypocrite because I still totally use it all the time and enjoy it, I just make sure to have the frame turned off so that I’m giving other awesome bloggers the credit they deserve!!

  • Maximus McCullough

    I just wanted to let you girls know there is a solution to this. I laid out the tutorial here. https://a1websitepro.com/bloglovin-stealing-your-page-views-block-them/ :-)

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      Thanks so much for sharing! Will be sure to check it out! :)

      • Maximus McCullough

        Sure thing Lindsay I hope it can help out your readers! :-)

  • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

    haha, happens to all of us! Espeically when staring out – so glad it could help!

  • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

    Awesome – thanks so much for the love! So glad you found it helpful!!

  • V.Dotter

    Thanks for the input. Newbie blogger and I really appreciate this insight. Getting frustrated with my site feed on bloglovin’ – totally removing them.

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      Thanks for reading! Of course, just one person’s perspective, but I think it’s nice to be able to explore all sides of something before making a decision. I still use it but definitely don’t use it as a reliable method of stats and promotion. Best of luck to you and thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  • http://thelifeofspicers.com/ spicers1976

    thanks for the tip, I’ve just changed my settings.

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      Glad you found it helpful! And thanks so much for your support!! :)

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  • Meaghan Elizabeth

    I was really excited to learn about Bloglovin last year but it makes it impossible to comment on my phone so I stopped using it pretty quickly. I have it as a social media button in my header on my blog but I don’t advertise it or push people towards it. I’d much rather they subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates about my blog instead!

    • http://www.thenewlywednotebook.com/ Lindsay Ropella

      I totally agree with you! I have it with my social media channels as well, but never specifically try and get people to follow me there. I think it’s a good way to get your content in front of people’s eyes and get your name and reputation out there, but it doesn’t really help you much as a blogger.

  • Ashley Hill, paintedashley.com

    This has been so helpful. I’m a new blogger who can’t seem to figure out BlogLovin’ (I’ve tried, but now I’m not sure if I want to), and I often wonder about the page views I receive on my WordPress.com account. I have a free account that I do not host. My page views are rather low and seem a bit off when compared to my supposed visitors. I’m hoping this straightens up as I move on to self-hosting in the near future. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks again! Gonna check out the rest of your blog now. :)

    Ashley
    paintedashley.com

  • brooklynposh

    Thank you for this blog post. I will be doing a periscope about building your blog and what not to do and bloglovin is one of them. I will show your website in my periscope!

  • http://www.sweethings.net Pili Gomez

    Useful post, Lindsay! I just set up my account today and I though I wasn’t giving proper credit to the blogs… Nikky shared this post

  • http://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au sue

    What a great post and so informative! There are so many social media and ways to promote our blogs that it get so confusing. Thanks for writing something that is easy to follow and will help us support each other.

  • http://www.edenpureliving.com mary (eden pure living)

    Yeah… thanks for the tip on Clicky analytics. Ive been having trouble with GA bc of all the spam referrals skewing my stats- so I just installed. Anywho… I am also a techie nerd ;) I did your little experiment and unless I click thru to “view original post” I do not get any hits from it. sometimes I have gotten “iframe-bloglovin” in my WP stats as a referrer, but it doesn’t show up in either clicky or GA. it’s puzzling. And even thought I have the “snippet” box checked in my reader settings, in both Feedly and Bloglovin I still see the full post. still puzzling. At least feedly has a pro version where they are working on an API to let your ads come thru so you still get paid.
    Why haven’t more major bloggers with big followings on bloglovin not spoken up about this?
    You’d think they’d have a vested interest in preserving their hits and ad revenue…. Just sayin’

  • mibtp

    Yes, I didn’t realize it until today… I use Hootsuite to post to multiple social media channels and advertise my latest posts. When I went to look on it on twitter, the link was hijacked by Bloglovin and sent to their page! All this time I thought I was directing people to my website. I wondered why there were no comments! And Bloglovin doesn’t let you delete. They have a delete account option, but it doesn’t delete the account.

  • http://whats--hot.net/ Laura Hartley

    Thank you so much for this post. I had no idea about any of this stuff and thought that Bloglovin was helping my blog. Have turned the frame off now :)