How Authors Can Survive The Death of Google Reader


In an announcement that seems to go against their “Don’t be evil” policy, Google has declared that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1.

Google’s official line was that they are shutting down Google Reader because it has decreased in popularity in recent years. The outcry on the internet suggests otherwise. Bloggers, tweeters, and even the community on Google+ are livid.

If you are an author and you blog, you need to care about this change. Even if you don’t use Google Reader, your faithful readers do. When Reader shuts down, you will take a hit in readership. Guaranteed.

It’s time to prepare.

Tips for Authors

  • Make sure your Google Authorship is set up.

    Google mentioned they were shutting down Reader to pay more attention to Google+. We know that there is a huge push by Google to get authors and publishers registered with Google+ and Authorship. In the Google world, it’s all connected. The death of Google reader isn’t collateral damage. I predict that Google already has a fix up it’s sleeve and is just waiting for the right time to reveal it.

  • Get MailChimp.

    If people want your content in their inbox, fill that need by offering them a newsletter. MailChimp is free until you reach 2,000 subscribers. Best of all, it has an RSS to email option which allows you, dear author, to sit back and relax while MailChimp sends those blog posts. Make sure that the sign-up space is prominent on your site. You want as many people as possible to sign up.

  • Communicate the change.

    Let your readers know that there are other ways to find you. When you make the switch from reader to another service, talk about it. Encourage others to do the same (while adding your blog to their reading list!). Cut down the number of people who will be surprised on July 1.


  • When Reader shuts down, you will take a hit in readership. Guaranteed. – Click to tweet.
  • If you are an author and you blog, you need to care about this change. – Click to tweet.
  • Was Google being evil when they decided to shut down Google Reader? – Click to tweet.
  • What RSS readers do you use? @AuthorMedia suggests 10. – Click to tweet.
  • Ten RSS reader alternatives to Google Reader. – Click to tweet.

Tips for Readers

  • Get on Google+

    Set up your circles to include the writers and blogs you used to follow in reader. Make sure your circles are distinct – Historical Experts, Fashion Gurus, Social Media Types, SEOs, etc. 

  • Start aggregating your own feed via Twitter.

    It may be a generational thing but more people are flocking to Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr to get their news and information sources than anywhere else. It’s time to curate your own news feed in real time. Set up a list.

  • Get caught up on Facebook’s upcoming changes

    Facebook announced that it was creating a personalized newspaper for every user based on their likes, interests, friends, brands, pages, and friends they followed. This means Facebook is going to morph to be a lot like your Google Reader used to be.

10 Google Reader Alternatives

Note: If you want to make the transition seamless, use Google Takeout to transfer your RSS subscriptions.

What do you think about Google’s announcement? Which RSS readers do you recommend? Do you think Google will replace Reader with something else in the future?


30 Responses to How Authors Can Survive The Death of Google Reader

  1. Danielle Forrest March 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    But feedburner will still be up, right? I don’t think I directly use google reader and still can’t figure out Google Friend Connect…

    • Caitlin Muir March 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Feedburner is dying. It’s still alive but if it were in the hospital, it would be in ICU.

      As an author, you’ll want to provide other RSS reading suggestions, and as a reader, you’ll want to find the Reader that works best for you.

  2. Julie Sunne March 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I recently started using Google reader and really like it. Bummed to find out it will soon be nonexistent. I know I need to get Mailchimp, and now I need to find another reader, too–more things to add to my ever-growing list. :(

    • Caitlin Muir March 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      You can hack the system a bit if you have an Android phone or tablet. Google Currents will put your Reader feed into a magazine style layout.

      • Krys @ Improving Krys March 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

        I heard a rumor that Currents isn’t far behind Reader…

    • Joyce Glass March 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      Get Feedly! It will take all of your google reader blogs and trasfer them automatically!

      Feedly is awesome and puts Google Reader to shame!

      Also, it is on the web, iPad, and iPhone! There is probably an Android app, but I do not know for sure.

    • Joyce Glass March 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      Go get Feedly Julie!

      See my other comments in this thread!

      Feedly is awesome and you can in a snap transfer all your google reader RSS feeds to Feedly!

      & No! I do not work for Feedly just love them!
      I will shut up now! 😉

      • Monica T. Rodriguez June 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

        I second Joyce’s comments! Feedly’s awesome. I switched after using netvibes for a long time. When I started reading on my phone more than the computer, I switched to Feedly, without using Reader. But Feedly will transfer all your Reader feeds easily. The interface works well and is pretty to boot.

  3. Kristen Stieffel March 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    As a reader, the thing that depresses me about losing Google Reader is that a lot of RSS reading apps use it as the back end. So now, to find a reader, I have to find one that will (A.) store the feeds internally instead of pulling from Google and (2.) be as easy-to-read as the app I’m using now (Feeddler). I looked at Google Currents and Flipboard, but I don’t want a magazine-style layout. I want a simple layout and big letters that are easy for a person with old eyes to read. Reeder looks like it may fit the bill.

    As a blogger, I don’t have that many followers (that I know of). Do you have a post about how to link Mail Chip to my blog, or will you have one soon? I have the “Subscriptions” module of Jetpack for my WordPress-based site, but I have no idea how it works.

    • Caitlin Muir March 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Kristen –

      The Old Reader might do the trick for you. It’s based on the old version of Google Reader.

      We don’t have a post like that yet but it sounds like it’s time!

    • Joyce Glass March 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      Feedly gives you the option to list your blogs like Google Reader – You have many options for layout!

      That is why Feedly is awesome!

      See other comments of mine!

      & NO I do not work for Feedly! Just love them!

  4. Christin Slade March 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    I don’t know but I’m struggling to keep up with all the change! Oy! Thanks for all the tips. :)

    • Caitlin Muir March 15, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Glad to help!

  5. Krys @ Improving Krys March 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Great tips! I’ve been a little proactive in getting some of that setup already, so I’m in pretty good shape, thankfully.

    As for an alternative to Reader, I’ve been using NetVibes for a few months now, and I really like it.

    • Caitlin Muir March 20, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Glad to hear you’ve found a solution already! That’s great!

  6. Grace Peterson March 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I’m a first timer here. I’ll be adding your blog to my Google Read…. oh wait. That won’t work after July. Darn it. I rely heavily on GR. I hope you’re right in that Google will launch a replacement for GR. And soon before I get all stressed out.

    Thanks for the info!

    • Caitlin Muir March 20, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Don’t add us to Google Reader! 😉

    • Joyce Glass March 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Go get Feedly! It is awesome! & puts Google Reader to shame!

      Many options! Beautiful layout! Email, post to FB, G+ & twitter – view the website without leaving the feedly app!

      Go get Feedly!

      Did I mention Feedly is awesome! :)

  7. Liz Curtis Higgs March 20, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    So, if it’s going away, should we take the “Subscribe to the blog via RSS” option off our websites ASAP?

    • Caitlin Muir March 20, 2013 at 10:38 am #


      RSS isn’t going away, just Google Reader. There are plenty of alternatives to Google Reader – the trick is gently nudging people into using them!

      I wouldn’t get rid of the “subscribe by RSS” button just yet.

    • Laura Bennet March 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Thanks, Liz! I was wondering the same thing. Thanks, Caitlin for the input. I feel pretty clueless.

  8. Sherrey Meyer March 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Notice that you don’t list FeedDemon in your list of top feeds. Any particular reason why?

    • Caitlin Muir March 21, 2013 at 9:56 am #

      Sherrey –

      Feed Demon is closing on July 1st as well. It relies on Google Reader to operate and the founder decided he’d rather quit than go through the headache of trying to make things work all over again. He also mentioned that Feed Demon hasn’t been paying it’s bill. It’s been quite the tumultuous week in technology!

  9. Julie H. Ferguson March 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Neither Feedly or Newsblur can post to Facebook biz pages. I need this feature.

    • Caitlin Muir March 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      I suspect that Feedly will step up to the plate soon. Keep your eyes open!

    • Joyce Glass March 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Rumor is Feedly is working on some additional options!

  10. Marina April 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    I use BazQux reader ( )
    It works fast and shows comments to posts.
    What do you think about it?

    • Caitlin Muir April 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      I haven’t used it but I’ll try to check it out!

  11. Ross Lampert May 8, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I’ve tried Feedly and The Old Reader and have been disappointed with both. The thing they both lack is the ability to go directly from the post listing to the blog the post is hosted on. You have to click once to open the post, then click on the title again to go to the actual blog (important if you want to leave a comment, for example).

    One of them also fails to resize some posts to fit a less-than-full-screen display window and Feedly has a horrible color for identifying links (pale green against a white background–darn near invisible). You can supposedly change this in Settings but I’ve never had the change take, and you have to know the HTML color codes to select the color you want.

    I’ve tried Reeder, NewsBlur, NetVibes, Feed Reader, and Feed Demon, too, and all were worse. One I looked at was actually CHARGING new subscribers to sign up.

    Bottom line: none of the Google Reader replacement candidates does the job as well as GR does. Unless someone steps up their game, we’ll all be taking a step backward in capability come July 1st.

  12. Helene Poulakou July 1, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    Alternatives to Google Reader is a hot topic right now — but, do you think that writers absolutely need to have RSS installed on their sites/blogs?