So, I suppose this post is a super basic run-through about that. The first thing that I should mention is Google Friend Connect. See that little widget over there --> with all the little icons and a "join this site" button? That is Google Friend Connect.
You probably see this same widget on a ton of other blogs you read. "Joining" or "Following" the blog is basically a way of both supporting the blogger by saying "hey, I like your blog!" as well as a way to stay updated on their latest posts (if you like). Clicking that button will allow you to "connect" to their blog by using one of many preexisting services such as your Google account, Twitter, Yahoo, and more (and yes, it is FREE of course!)! Making your connection "public" will display your little profile icon on that widget and help add to the blogger's GFC count so they know you care!
By connecting to a blog this way, you are also subscribing to their blog feed via Google Reader. You can jump on that site any time to see all of the latest feeds from all of the blogs you have joined! Pretty neat-o huh?!
You can also "subscribe" to a blog by visiting their RSS feed. A lot of blogs have a link somewhere on their page that says "subscribe" or "RSS". If you've ever wondered what that is, clicking this will bring up their feed (for example mine is here). From there, you can choose to add their feed to a feed reader, which basically is a place where you can read through all of your fav blogs at once.
*Update* I wanted to include a little something about Bloglovin' and Hello Cotton as well, but thought that the post might start to get confusing for some people new to the blogging world... information overload maybe? However, I've had it mentioned to me a couple times now by some of you, so I decided to include this info:
Bloglovin' is another blog network that you can use to follow your fav blogs. A lot of blog visitors prefer this reader over others for various reasons. If a blog author is signed up for Bloglovin, you can usually find a "follow me on Bloglovin'" link on their blog. Clicking this will add that blog's feed to your Bloglovin' list of favs and you can once again easily keep track of the latest posts!
Hellocotton is similar, and a bit newer than Bloglovin'. A lot of bloggers have jumped on this train so be sure to check out their Hellocotton profiles and follow them there as well if you like! Both Bloglovin and Hellocotton are also great places to discover new blogs!
Lastly, you can subscribe to a blog via email. Look for the "follow/subscribe by email" box on your fav blogs if you want to receive all of their latest posts right to your inbox. It looks like a newsletter subscription box usually.
So there you have it, a few super quick and easy ways to help support your fav blogs!