Setting up Feedburner RSS and Email subscription for your blog

Lots of people have been asking me about RSS feeds and Feedburner over the past few weeks.

So I’ve decided it’s time to update my ‘how to’ Feedburner info so that:

  1. All the required instructions are in one post
  2. It is current for the latest version of Edublogs and Feedburner

What is RSS?

The easiest way to receive latest posts from your favorite blogs is to subscribe to RSS using feed readers such as Google Reader, Bloglines, NetVibes.

RSS (means Really Simple Syndication) retrieves the latest content from the sites you are interested and pulls them into your feed reader where you can read them all in one location rather than visiting each site separately.

Watch RSS in Plain English to learn more!

The presence of the orange RSS icon indicates a site has an RSS feed and means you can subscribe to it using a feed reader.

What is FeedBurner?

Most blogs have RSS feed which is detected automatically by commonly used feed readers when the blog URL is added to the reader.

However, if you want to make it more obvious and easier for readers to subscribe using RSS, or want to know exactly how many people subscribe to your blog  then the best option is to add a Feedburner RSS feed and email subscription to your blog.

Feedburner is a free web service which enhances bloggers and podcasters ability to manage their RSS feeds and track usage of their subscribers. Subscriber overview inside a Feedburner account

Setting Up Your Feedburner Feed

1.  Go to Feedburner and sign in to Feedburner with your Google Account (create a Google Account first if you don’t have one!).

2.  Add your Blog URL to the Burn a Feed Right This Instant and click Next.

Burning a Feedburner Feed

3.  Leave RSS 2.0 source selected and click Next.

Selecting the RSS feed source

4.  On “Welcome” page, make sure you are happy with the title and FeedBurner address (URI) of your new feed and then click Next. Feedburner title and URL

5.  On the Congrats! page click Next

6.  On the stats configuration page select Clickthroughs and I want more! and then click Next.

Selecting your Feedburner Stats options

Adding Your Feedburner Feed To Your Blog

This is used to add the RSS icon and easy subscribe options to your blog side bar using a text widget as explained below:

Example of Feedburner RSS feed in a blog sidebar

1.  Click on the Publicize Tab > Chicklet Chooser in your Feedburner account and copy the HTML code.

Copying the HTML code for your Feedburner Feed

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

3.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets) Please note: In new blogs sidebars in your dashboard are empty and adding widgets automatically removes the default Edublogs widgets

4.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets into the Sidebar area on the right.

5.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code from FeedBurner, click Save and then Close.

Adding Feedburner HTML to Text widget

Adding a FeedBurner Email Subscription

It’s important to add an email subscription option to your blog sidebar as some readers prefer to receive latest posts from blogs using email subscription.

1.  Click on the Publicize Tab > Email Subscription in your Feedburner account and click on Activate.

Activating FeedBurner Email subscription

2.   Copy the HTML code.

Copy Feedburner email HTML code

3.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

4.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)

5.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets into the Sidebar area on the right.

6.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code for Feedburner email subscription, click Save and then Close.

7.  Now readers simply enter their email address and then click on “Subscribe” and Feedburner emails your entire post to them on the day after it has been published on your blog.

Redirecting All Your Blog Feed To Feedburner

Unless you redirect all your blog feed to Feedburner you won’t get accurate subscriber numbers because some of your readers subscribe using your original blog feed.

If you’re an Edublogs supporter you can redirect your blog feed  as follows:

1.  Go to Settings > Feedburner in your blog dashboard

2.  Add your Feedburner address and click Save Changes.

Redirecting feed to FeedBurner

3.  Now all your feeds is automatically redirected through FeedBurner and you’ll be able to track subscriber numbers accurately.

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider feed-icon32x32 Finding and Adding Creative Commons Images To Your Blog PostsSubscribing For Free!

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

86 Responses

  1. Anant says:

    Easy and useful. I just set up my feed burner URL. Thanks.

  2. akhil says:

    Thanks for the tip….

  3. Pierro says:

    thanks a lot for this great tutorial, of late i have been searching for similar steps and yours is just the best. it is really a detailed one of course

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial

  5. tooktaall says:

    Thank you for article .It’s so good. http://www.tooktaall.com

  6. Geoffrey Hale says:

    Ah, Sue! This is wonderful, thank you! I’ve been struggling with RSS at http://www.halecollege.com. I tried the Subscribe2 plugin for email subscriptions and was very unhappy with it. I know RSS is old news, but this has finally cleared things up for me. Now I have to go implement this at my other blogs. Thank you!

  7. Sharon says:

    Finally, I got the email subscription on my blog. Thanks a lot.

  8. Jaysun says:

    Awesome article! I have been racking my brain trying to find this information and no one else provided it. Now I finally have my RSS feed set up on my website: http://www.jaysuneatstaipei.com thanks to you.
    Thanks so much, Sue :)

  9. candyfredric says:

    Thanks for helping to rss feedburner…

  10. Daniela says:

    Your post was very useful. Thank you very much!!!

  11. Toria says:

    Hello! I have feedburner activated on my Weebly Blog and I have about 20% of subscribers who have NOT activated their subscriptions. I have contacted a few of them an they said they never got an activation email?? Help! What can be done here? Is there a way for me to activate them? I have even tried deleting their email from my subscription list, re-entering it myself – hoping they would receive an email – but no, nothing at all. (And not in spam folders either)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Toria

      Unfortunately if they have entered the correct email address, and the activation email hasn’t been sent to their spam folder, then it indicates that the Feedburner activation email is most likely being blocked by the email domain. Occasionally domains will block from specific domains if they detect too much spam coming from that domain. There is nothing you can do about this because it is something that Google needs to follow up with the email domains (which is highly unlikely they would do).

      On Edublogs we use our own email subscription solution and will contact the email domain if this happens to get our domain unblocked.

      Sue

  12. Micah says:

    Will those currently subscribing to my blog via RSS feed be automatically moved over to the feedburner account? Will I be able to see retrospective data?

    • Elliott Bristow says:

      Hi Micah,

      Your users wouldn’t automatically be signed up via Feedburner, they’d have to do that themselves.

      Please note also, this post is now quite old so some details may not be based on the latest information.

  13. Sasi kanth says:

    Thanks for this useful tutorial.
    However i was initially confused at the Blog URL in your second point above.

    I thought that it must be the domain name of our website, but later i understood that the blog URL must be a path to an xml file in our website.

  14. Marc Willow says:

    Wow, this just helped me so much! I just couldn’t figure it out, how to set up the Email subscription tool, but now it’s all working, thank you!

  15. Catherine says:

    Sue, this was a very helpful post. I think I’ve got it on my blog now: neoevsmith.blogspot.com

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