Writers, journalists, and bloggers don’t typically produce good work in a vacuum. Pertinent, up-to-date information is crucial to our craft.
If you often discuss a particular topic in your articles, then you likely want to see what other writers and commentators are saying about it.
You can make this task easier by automatically monitoring the web for any new news or blog articles that discuss a topic you are following.
By using Google Alerts!
Once you’ve set up an alert, you’ll get notified when new results for your topic show up in Google.
For example, if you write about environmental issues, you could set up an alert to monitor the web for any mentions of climate change.
Or if you write about cryptocurrency, you can monitor for Bitcoin-related news.
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The possibilities are endless. You can even set up an alert to monitor mentions of your own name should you be so inclined.
You can select the source, language, and region for your alerts and choose whether you want all available results or only what Google deems the most relevant.
And, don’t worry about getting your inbox flooded with alert emails. If you don’t want to receive alerts as they happen, you can choose to have them combined into a daily or weekly digest.
If you prefer, you can receive the alerts via RSS rather than email.
Setting up an alert is easy:
- Go to the Google Alerts web page.
- Enter your keywords or phrases into the “Create an alert about” field.
- Click the “Show Options” down arrow and configure the alert to fit your needs.
- Hit the “Create Alert” button.
Now, you should begin receiving emails (or RSS notifications) when new mentions of your chosen topics are picked up by Google.
If you want to edit or delete your Google Alerts, you can return to the alerts page and click the pencil or bin icons. There should also be an “edit this alert” link at the bottom of the alert emails you receive.
I have several alerts set up for topics I follow, and I find them very helpful.
A previous version of this article was published by Brett Christensen on the blogging platform Medium.
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