Welcome back to our Beginner’s Guide series. This is part 2 of the series to help you quickly get up to speed with some tools to help you build your business.
Today we’re exploring a great tool for staying on top of your industry and finding useful content to share with your clients … Feedly. It is one of the programs we recommend all small business owners use in their business.
What is Feedly?
Feedly is a tool that collates into one place all the blogs and websites in your industry that you read so you are not jumping from website to website. It is a brilliant tool to help you maintain your expertise and keep in touch with knowledge leaders while saving you heaps of time.
Also, if you do any social media for your business, you know how tough it can be to find content for your social media pages.
A great way to gain traction on your pages is to share popular content from other sources. This changes up your content and uses other people’s popularity to boost your engagement and reach.
However, finding content related to your industry can be a challenge.
Feedly is a freemium content aggregation service that lets you put all the content from your favourite sources into one place. This saves you the hassle of searching the web each time you are looking for relevant content.
According to Feedly, in 2017 1.2 billion articles were read on the platform, which has over 60,000 users on its pro plan.
How Do You Set Up a Feedly Account?
Like many social media tools in use today there are multiple different ways to sign up for a Feedly account, ranging from the standard use of your Facebook, Google and Twitter accounts, to more unusual ones like your Microsoft Office, Evernote and Enterprise accounts.
If you want to use your email address to sign up, then the option is somewhat hidden. Click on the Continue with Feedly option and you will be able to set up your account.
Feedly Features – Feeds and Boards
Once you have set up your account, you are taken to a page where you can set up your first feed and start gathering content.
What Is a Feed?
A feed is the foundation of your Feedly system.
Feeds pull content from your favourite websites and blogs like this one using a technology known as RSS Feeds. The pulled content is then aggregated into a list of articles which are organised with the most recent at the top, so you always have up to date content. (With paid options, you can adjust how this looks).
How to Add a Source to A Feed
To add a source to your feed, click the search bar at the top of the page and click on a category to search for, input a title or URL (e.g. https://www.heartcomms.com.au/blog/) or #topic to search for.
You will be asked to set up a new feed and to name your feed something meaningful for you. In the free plan, you get to set up three feeds and up to 100 blogs or websites.
So, we have set up our Feedly with feeds for Small Business, Electronics, Friends Blogs, Google, HR, My stuff (for my websites), Life, Marketing, Neuropsychology, SEO, Trends, WordPress and Stuff I Want to Read (usually funny or quirky authors). We also have feeds for each of our social media clients.
We then add each blog or website we want to follow into one of our Feedly feeds. Once the source is added, the most recent content from that source is added to your feed for you to read.
What Is a Board?
A board is a clipboard or scrapbook for your feeds. If you find a piece of content that you like and want to hold onto it for later without going off the platform to store it, you can save it to your board. You can call your boards something meaningful to you, and you get three boards with the free plan.
There is no limit to the number of content pieces that you can have saved on a board, so it lets you build up a great catalogue of content.
While the free version of Feedly is great for most businesses, you are limited to only three free feeds and three boards. If you want more feeds or boards, or if you have a team of people that you want to share content with, then you need to look at paid options.
Feedly has two levels of paid plans – Feedly Pro and Feedly Team.
Feedly Pro gives you access to an unlimited number of sources, boards and feeds along with a variety of useful organisational and social media planning tools. Here are a few of the top Feedly Pro features:
- Google keyword alerts – Allows you to filter your feeds by keyword to speed up the content finding process. This is great for monitoring mention of your company across the web.
- Notes and highlights – Lets you make notes and highlight relevant sections of articles and save it for later use. This helps you keep track of interesting and important information.
- Integration with LinkedIn, WordPress, Buffer, Hootsuite, Evernote, Pocket, Zapier, IFTTT and OneNote – This integration gives you the ability to schedule posts directly to your content scheduling systems. We extensively use the Buffer integration feature! (Read more about Buffer).
- Export – You can export your boards and a list of your sources, so you have access to your main content sources even when you aren’t on Feedly.
- Save to Dropbox – If you find a particularly useful article, you can save it as a PDF or HTML to your Dropbox account.
- Removal of ads – Feedly is a freemium program, so there are some ads on the free version to help cover operating costs. Feedly Pro removes the sponsored advertisements that appear in the free feeds, to make your browsing experience smoother.
- Sort by popularity – The free feed is a great tool when it comes to sorting as it gives you the latest content first up in the feed. However, this can also make it hard to pick trending posts out of the slew of other content pieces. Sorting by popularity puts the most popular stuff at the top of the feed which makes sharing popular content and identifying trends simpler.
Feedly Team is designed for multi-user organisations and is designed for sharing information across your team. For example, with the Feedly Team plan, you can create a newsletter style board of articles related to your business or industry which you can then share with your team to keep them across latest developments in your industry.
The value of this comes when you combine your board with the highlighting function, so you can highlight the important bits of each article. This makes it easy for your team to understand why you chose each content piece and what is important for them to know.
How Can Feedly Help Your Business?
Feedly’s main strength comes from saving you time.
By pulling all the website blog feeds into one place, you get to read the headlines and an introductory paragraph of each blog to help you figure out if you want to read the article in depth.
If a headline interests you, simply click on the headline to be taken to either an excerpt or full copy of the article. You can also click through to the website where the article first appeared to read it on that website.
This means you don’t have to jump from website to website to find and read what you want – it’s all in the one place.
When you need content, just pop over to your board and find the article you have saved, click on it to bring it up in your browser, then copy the URL. Go to your favourite social media platform and add the URL along with a few words to describe why your clients should read the article.
If you take up the Feedly Pro plan, you can share content directly to your content scheduling or social media. This saves you even more time as it cuts out the need for boards. You can read and schedule it as you go through your Feeds. We use the Feedly Pro plan in our business, and it saves us at least an hour each week.
How Much Does Feedly Cost?
Feedly is a freemium program which means that there are free and paid options available on the platform. There are three main plans: Free, Feedly pro, and Feedly Teams.
The free version is ideal for small users who are happy with the default offering of 100 sources, three boards and three feeds to tailor to your information. It is perfect for businesses that are looking for simple content aggregation without all the bells and whistles
The Pro plan caters to those who need extra features such as more feeds, sources and integrations. Feedly pro costs $84 US per year or roughly $7 a month (January 2018 rates).
Feedly Teams is designed to accommodate teams. With a Teams account you get all the functionality of a Pro account alongside the ability to create newsletters, share boards and annotate articles to share with your team. There is no limit to the number of people that you can add to a team. However, each member costs $18 US a month.
Whether you stick with the free version or subscribe to Pro or Teams relies entirely on your needs and the features you want to to use.
Time is a struggle for most businesses. Finding the time to stay up to date with your industry and discovering great content to share with your clients is made a lot easier with Feedly.
If you would like to test Feedly, click here to visit Feedly’s homepage.
Earnings Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. We get no benefit or kickbacks for this review. We just use and love Feedly!