How to Easily Outsmart Facebook and See the Posts YOU Want to See

Have you noticed you’re not seeing Facebook updates from friends and pages as much as you used to?

There are many reasons this is happening. One is to be expected: If you have a lot of friends and like a lot of pages, you’re just not going to see all their updates unless you’re on Facebook 24/7.

Another reason? Facebook wants pages like Honest Mom to pay to reach their fans (impossible for blogs like mine, small businesses, and nonprofits). This means just because you “like” a page doesn’t mean you’ll get to see what that page posts, unless the page pays big bucks.

Annoying, right? My prediction is that everyone’s Facebook news feed will eventually become a useless feed of ads, sponsored posts from big brand pages, and a smattering of content that Facebook deems worthy of your eyes.

But there is a way to see what you want to see from the pages you like and the friends you have. It involves a little-used, super-awesome feature of Facebook that I discovered ages ago, but never used properly. Now I’m using it correctly and it’s life-changing. Well, Facebook-life-changing.

how to outsmart facebook and see posts you want to see

Let me start off by saying this: I’m talking about seeing the posts (aka status updates) you want to see from pages and friends. I’m not talking about “Get Notifications” (learn how to do that here). That’s a nice feature and another way to not miss stuff (go ahead and Get Notifications from Honest Mom!).

But the problem with Get Notifications is that you can’t see the whole post. You have to click to see the post and be able to like/interact with the post. Then you have to go back to your notifications and repeat for each post. Not exactly user-friendly. And not a solution to the crappy news feed problem.

So I have two magic words that beautifully solve the problem of Get Notifications: Interest Lists!

How to create Interest lists in Facebook

Go to your news feed. You know that left-hand column that’s always there? Look at the way bottom of that column, where your favorites, pages, groups, etc. are listed. At the bottom is something called “Interests.” (If you don’t see Interests, you just don’t have any yet. Keep reading – I’ll tell you how to fix that.)

interests at bottom of column

Click on Add Interests. You’ll then see a little button that says +Create List.

create list

Click that, and a box with all your likes and friends will appear: pages you follow, people you follow, and friends.


There are also categories such as art, books, business, etc. to browse and discover new pages and people. Plus there is a search box to find pages and people, whether you’ve liked them/friended them already or not. But we’re going to stick with things we’re already liked.

Let’s say you want to create a list of your favorite blogs. I’m calling mine Bloggers Who Rock. Within the Pages section of the box you’re looking at (see pic above), click on a blog you have liked or type its name in the search box. When it appears, click it. A check mark will show up so you know you’ve selected it. Here’s how it’ll look if you searched in the search box:


Keep clicking on blog pages or searching and adding until your list is complete. When you’re done adding pages to your list, click the next button at the bottom right. Create a name for your list, decide if you want it to be public, seen by friends only, or private, and click done.

List name

Voila! You now have a list of your favorite blogs. And their posts will appear in chronological order (none of that “top stories” crap). So far it seems that every post of my friends and pages I like appear in the lists I made for them. Success!

If you make a public Interest list anyone can follow it. You can follow my Bloggers Who Rock list – I bet you like a bunch of the blogs. Now you can actually see what they post!

How to easily find your Interest lists

Your list will appear in your Interests, but of course your Interests are waaaaay down at the bottom of the sidebar where Facebook hopes you’ll forget about them (because Facebook wants you to see its ads, not the content you want to see).

So I give Facebook the virtual finger and move all my lists up so I see them right away. Here’s how to do that:

Hover just to the left of the name of your new Interest list and a little pencil will appear. Click on it and select Add to Favorites.

Add to Favorites2

It will now appear at the top of your left-hand column on your news feed for easy access.

ta da2

When you like a new page, be sure to add it to one of your Interest lists. (If you don’t have any Interests in your left-hand sidebar on your main Facebook page, do this first. Then Interests will appear.) Here’s how:

If you’re on the actual Facebook page, click the Like button. Then hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists… (go ahead and click Get Notifications too, if you want them)

add on fb page

If you are looking at your news feed and like a page within your feed, you can do the same thing. Click the Like button, hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists…

Things to think about when making Interest lists:

1. Keep them small-ish. Better to have a lot of lists than a ton of people/pages on one list, or you’ll end up with another useless, crowded feed.

For example, if you follow a lot of blog pages divide them up into different lists: mom bloggers, food bloggers, humor bloggers. Maybe have another list for all the music pages you like, and another for TV shows. Whatever floats your Facebook boat.

2. Organize your friends. Interest lists are great for keeping up with your friends’ Facebook pages. I once tried to organize them within the Friends section in the sidebar, but doing it that way requires you to type in every name you want to add. Painful. Now I have a private Interest list of my closest friends on Facebook and I actually know what’s going on with all of them!

3. Don’t forget about your Interest lists! Be sure to add them to your Favorites as I described above.

Now go make some Interest lists and see what YOU want to see on Facebook! It’s magical, I promise!


Are you going to BlogU? It’s THE conference for writers who want blog better, earn money, and build an audience. Newbie and experienced bloggers welcome! Come pick the brains of a host of successful bloggers at this small, affordable, & fun conference. I’ll be there (and speaking)!

BlogU Conference

Blog tip Friday: If you don’t like a blog, keep your opinion to yourself.

keep your opinion to yourselfThere has been a lot of noise out there lately about the “right” way to blog.

Some bloggers have made it known that they take issue with other bloggers writing about topics they don’t like, or in a style that doesn’t sit well with them.

This blogger is too crude. That blogger is too silly. This one writes too much fluffy stuff. That one is too damn serious all the time. She writes too many sponsored posts. She blogs sunshine and rainbows and smiling unicorns and it’s sooooo annoying.

To these critics I say: Instead of broadcasting your views on which bloggers you deem “good” and which bloggers you deem “bad,” why not just pick up your mouse and click away from the blogs you don’t like?

It’s perfectly okay not to like a blog. Or even a blogger. But let’s be kind and keep these types of opinions to ourselves, okay?

Every blogger has a right to be herself and write in her own style. There is room on the big old Internet for all kinds of bloggers – just as there is room in this big old world for all kinds of moms.

Life is very stressful for most moms, whether they are pinching pennies or well-off. Working or not working. Have one kid or five kids. In the blogging world, many women cope with the stress by writing about it.

And every blogger has a right to write about her stressors in a way that helps relieve her of the stress – and connect with others who feel the same way.

So if you are not fond of a particular blogger’s style? Then don’t read that blog. Move along.

Now if you think someone’s done an injustice on their blog and is hurting someone by what they posted, I urge you to speak up! The power of the Internet to do good is very real. I’m a big believer in that. Obviously.

But let’s not tear each other down for our differing writing topics and styles. That stuff is not worth broadcasting to the reading public. It makes us women bloggers look small and petty.

Let’s turn away from the meanness and build each other up. Let’s support the blogs we love and let the ones that aren’t our style do their own things for their own fans. Let’s co-exist and celebrate the diversity of the blogging community instead of griping about it.

Let’s high-five the fact that there’s room for everyone’s voice.

Because that’s something to make some noise about.

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Blog Tip Friday: Create your blogging tribe

HonestMom Create your blogging tribe.com2Blogging can be lonely and isolating. Which seems weird to say in this world of social media, but it really can be.

You write a post and throw it out there into the interwebs, essentially hoping if you post it (and promote it), they will come. It can feel very one-way. The opposite of social, really.

Sometimes it can seem like you’re shouting out into empty space, Hellllooooo? Anyone hear me? Anyone reading my posts that I slave over?

Well, there are tons and tons of other bloggers thinking the same thing. And I think the way to combat this feeling is to form your own blogging tribe.

Everyone always talks about “the blogging community” and how great it is. And it’s true! For sure. But having a blogging tribe takes the idea of the blogging community one step further, and makes it even more supportive, amazing, and personal.

Here’s the difference between the general mom blogging community and having your own tribe: I consider the community to be like a large college. You choose to be there because you think it’s a good fit for you. There are lots of great people there, many of whom you have a lot in common with. You love it and are so excited to be a part of it!

But it’s also really, REALLY big. Just like a large school, the blogging community can be overwhelming. Sure, you make a bunch of casual friends whom you chat with here and there (Twitter, Facebook). You sometimes hang out (visit and comment on each other’s blogs) and you enjoy it. And you go to big rah-rah events (BlogHer, other conferences) where you meet even more fabulous people.

It’s awesome, right? But … it’s not exactly personal. When you make a great connection in one of these large settings you might think to yourself, I wish I could hang out with this person. We share the same blog topics. We have similar senses of humor. We are both completely awesome. We’d totally be besties!

(Or maybe I just think things like that.)

Anyway, it’s like back when you started college and you craved a group or two of girls that you knew you could depend upon for support and laughs. And when you found them, these groups became your tribes – where you ultimately made your best friends. For me, one tribe was my school’s dance organization. The other was my roommates.

In the blogging world, my tribes are my Facebook groups.

One is a private Facebook group (“secret”) and one is the kind you apply to (“closed”). The private one was formed by one of my blogging friends who invited a few bloggers she knew. The other is Boston Parent Bloggers, which any parent blogger in the Boston area can join.

These groups are where my closest blogging buddies are. I found BPB through one of my very first blogging friends, Jessica at Don’t Mind the Mess, and I have made some great personal and business connections through it. The other group also has some of my first blogging friends in it, and it’s a place in which I learn, laugh, and vent.

A big part of both groups is supporting each other’s blog posts, giveaways, etc. Having a critical mass of bloggers post, tweet, and pin each other’s blog posts is HUGELY helpful! It vastly expands even a small blogger’s reach and as a result, my little blog has grown leaps and bounds in a short amount of time.

Not only that, but these groups are places where I know I will always be supported when something big is going on. When I was going on Katie Couric’s show, the women in these two groups were instrumental in spreading the word and supporting me emotionally. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my tribes!

Do you have a tribe? How do you help each other? If not, is starting a Facebook group something you’d be interested in? Tell me in the comments and in another post, I’ll go through the how-to’s!


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