Burning your feed? Blogging Tip # 3

Novice bloggers: I don’t want you to wait until one year like me to do something as simple and useful as this for your blog, so read up on how to allow FeedBurner to add value to your blog/site.  It is not complicated; at least hopefully it will not be after you read through.

First up, let’s study Feed 101: what is RSS and RSS feed?
RSS = "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary".  Syndicate in English language can be simply defined as a group of something brought together at one place or sent out together at once.  That’s what RSS format basically does – automatically syndicates content.

RSS feed = There are various ‘RSS readers/feed aggregators’ (applications) that allow ‘feeds’ (new posts/emails from blog/websites).  For example, if you go on my blog’s feed address (unique link to my blog feeds), you’ll see some icons of readers.  This means if you are registered on one of those readers, and want to ‘subscribe’ to an ‘RSS feed’ of your favorite blogs/sites, then any updates from the sites will automatically show up at one place on your reader or sent to your inbox.

I use Google for everything.  So when I login to Google FeedBurner, I see this page, with a Feed Title (to change my blog's feed settings)  and a number (of my blog subscribers).

Clicking on the link opens a page with several tabs and numerous settings for feed preferences.

Tab: Analyze
Check your feed statistics, the number of feed subscribers, what posts were most read, email subscriptions, and configure stats to track

Tab: Optimize
I have activated only BrowserFriendly, SmartFeed, FeedFlare, and Summary Burner among the others.  I don’t use Flickr (yet!) and am not interested in other options.

Tab: Publicize
Useful stuff is all in here.  Among the other services, I have enabled e-mail subscription, customized my preferences on e-mail delivery and confirmation e-mail message.  Add one of the icons from Chicklet Chooser on your blog for visitors to subscribe.  I prefer using the standard icon than a specific one; why limit your options?  A Yahoo user might not be using a Google reader, who knows.

Simple activation of PingShot, whatever it does.  Enabled to publicly display the number of subscribers on my page using FeedCount (you can see the animated button on left hand side).  And connected the feed to my Twitter account, also customizing how I want the tweet to appear.  I activated the Creative Commons license but I don't think it makes any difference; some people still plagiarize and publish without permission..sigh.

Tab: Monetize
If you have a Google AdSense account, you can link your feeds to it so anything earned from clicks on ads on your feed gets counted.

Tab: Troubleshootize
Feed issues and solutions/tips to resolve them.

So, how do feedburner, RSS, and subscriptions help your blog/site?
  • For one, say if you are on Blogger – there are several visitors who may not have blogspot account to follow you.  So such millions of potential visitors have access to your updates using either one of the RSS readers (possibly) or via e-mail (everyone has e-mail, at least).
  • Subscribing to an RSS reader gives a visitor more privacy than subscribing via e-mail – which e-mail address enabled or disabled e-mail subscription can be seen in the database.
  • You can analyze how many subscribers are reading your blog, from what countries, what posts are most read, and learn other stats to know what people are interested in and what you can offer better.
  • When you have a high number of RSS or e-mail subscribers, it [partly]* means you are popular, your content is worthwhile, people are interested in your work, your blog has a wide exposure, and that associating with you is valuable.  All this is an assumption, mind you.  Some blogs may have a huge readership just because of the conditions they put on giveaways ;)
*[partly] because this is not the only determining factor; there are other things like PageRank and Alexa Rank, too.  More on that later.

It’s your turn now:  Did all this make sense?  Was this post simple and useful?  Do you already know/have feeds or subscriptions enabled?  If not, will you now?

And while you’re here, feel free to subscribe to my RSS feeds or subscribe via email.  No conditions; absolutely your wish.

More Blogging Tips:                                                                                                

If this post helped you and if you will apply this blogging tip in future on your blog - leave me a comment to tell me about it (it will make me feel proud to know this post was worth my time).  If you find this tip and this blog useful - share the link with people in your network to let them know too (it will make me happy!).
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  1. Very useful post Nisha..learned a lot from it!waiting for your next post on blogging:)

  2. That's a very useful tip... I've got to put the RSS on my blog... It's been a while since I realised I should do it but have been putting it off... i'll do it right now... :)

    1. ...And I have now subscribed to Flavours! :)

  3. A very very useful post Nisha! Now, anyone can subscribe to my blog (if interested). Thanks :-)


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