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8 Hot Research Tips For Finding New Blogs To Read And Follow
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Finding blogs you like is great for anyone as a reader, and even more important if you’re a blogger yourself.
In order to grow and promote your blog, it’s important to make connections with other bloggers and find ways to help each other out.
Forming relationships can help you do things like:
- Get a larger reach on social media.
- Get introduced to others that you’d enjoy meeting.
- Get backlinks for SEO.
And so much more.
In the past, you’d find new blogs using directories like Technorati or Google Blog Search — but they have been closed for a while now. So, what are the best ways to research and find new blogs on certain topics?
I’ve put together every way of finding new blogs based on a topic you’re interested in that I could think of.
Some are basic, and others are a bit more clever or require a bit of extra effort.
1. Find Curated Lists of Blogs
The first, and most basic way to look for blogs is to use simple Google searches like:
- “Best [topic] blogs”
- “Top [topic] blogs”
- “Favorite [topic] blogs”
The top results usually consist of curated lists of blogs.
For some topics, you might find lists of 100 or more blogs, making your job of blog searching easy.
You can do all those variations of searches, but for the most part they’ll return nearly identical results.
Note those down in a spreadsheet or text file, we’ll be using them later on in the other methods.
2. RSS Feed Readers Are a Great Place to Start
RSS feed readers are designed to track new blog posts and keep up to date with blogs you like.
But they’re also good tools to discover new blogs, especially the biggest ones.
Arguably the biggest feed reader is Feedly, and it’s the one I recommend.
Once you create a free account, click on “+Add content” in the bottom left to go to the discover sources page.
You can search a keyword, or a hashtag if you have one in mind:
The search results should be a list of the 20 top blogs for that topic. You can choose to follow them if you plan on continuing to use Feedly, or just copy them down now.
There’s 2 ways to find even more blogs from these results.
First, you can click the rings icon for any site in the results:
This will do a new search for that site, which will bring up related sites.
Second, you can click on the suggested hashtags under your search term if you think any of them are related:
Again, you’ll get new search results with a few new blogs.
If you continue this process for 20 minutes or so, you should easily have a list of the 50-100 most relevant, popular blogs.
3. Social Media is the New Discovery Tool
One of the reasons that blog directories have fallen out of favor is that it’s easy to discover new content with social media.
Although any social network can be used in some way to find new blogs, the best ones in my experience are Pinterest and Twitter.
Use Pinterest Topic Searches
You’ll need to create a free account to use Pinterest if you don’t already have one.
Use the search bar to search for your topic of choice:
You’ll get back a grid of all the pins that are relevant.
Next, click any of the pins to expand it, and then click the link back to the website that the picture was originally posted on:
Searching different keywords can bring up significantly different results, so repeat this process with at least a few keywords.
Search on Twitter
For Twitter, again search for your topic.
The difference here is that you can filter out the results for “people”:
Click through to profiles of the people in these results, and you’ll usually find a link back to their website.
From there you can check if they have an active blog or not.
For some topics you’ll find hundreds of blogs this way, but only a few for others. It can be a hit-or-miss method.
4. Look at Comments of High Profile Blogs
This is the easiest way to find bloggers who are active in their community and are most likely to be receptive to a message from you.
Go to those popular blogs that you collected using any of the first few methods on this page.
Since they’re popular, they’ll tend to have at least several, if not hundreds, of comments on each blog post. Many of these comments are left by bloggers.
Go over each comment and see if the name links to a blog:
Some may not link to their blog, but mention it in the “name” section of the comment or in the comment itself.
I’d recommend going through at least 5-10 posts for each blog.
Ideally, the posts will be spread out across time and across different topics. This gives you the most diverse set of blog commenters.
5. Directories Still Exist if You Know Where to Look
I wouldn’t use directories as my only way to find new blogs, but they are fine to include as one method.
Here are some of the top directories that still exist:
Most are self-explanatory, just find your topic and you’ll get a list of blogs.
For Medium in particular, there’s an extra step.
Find a relevant topic in the list of topics:
This will give you a list of Medium posts, but not blogs.
Hover over the author icon of these posts to see the author bios.
Many of these will have a link back to the author’s main blog.
6. Blogrolls Aren’t Common, But Still There
This one’s dead simple, but effective for finding less popular blogs, which can still be useful.
Blogrolls are simply lists of blogs that someone follows.
In most niches, you can still find some by searching for:
“[topic] + blogroll”
Each blogroll usually has dozens of blogs.
If you find that the list is too old, filter the Google search results by year by going to “tools.”
7. Use The “Inurl” Operator to Find More Blogs
This is one of the best ways to build an exhaustive list of blogs, fast.
Google has tons of advanced search operators that can be used to get more relevant results.
One of these is really useful here, the “inurl” operator.
When you attach this to a search query, it only returns results that have the term you specify in the page URL.
For example, we are looking for blogs, so if we search for:
All the results will have the word “blog” in the URL.
Go to Google and search for:
“[topic] + inurl:blog”.
You can manually go through these results, or use a web scraping plugin to extract a giant list of blogs, with very few irrelevant results.
8. Find The People Behind Blogs
This is a great way to find blogs you otherwise might miss, but it does take a bit of extra work.
Instead of looking for blogs themselves, you look for influencers in the niche you’re interested in. Almost all of them will have their own blog.
We already looked at how you can do this on Twitter. You can do a similar search on any social media platform you use.
But the best way to do it is to head over to the books section of Amazon.
Then either navigate through the categories, or search for your general topic.
For example, I searched for “gardening”:
Then look at the authors of the books that come up.
A quick Google search of “Shawna Coronado” brought up her blog.
Repeat for as many books as you’d like, or until you start finding authors that don’t have blogs.
For most purposes, you won’t need to use all 8 methods to come up with a list of a few hundred blogs.
However, depending on your specific topic, some may work better than others, so try out at least a couple of them.
I recommend keeping your list in a spreadsheet so that you can use a built-in function at the end to remove any duplicates.
If you think of any other clever ways to discover blogs, please let me know!
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