RSS notifies your reader of new content; saving them time because it means they can read their latest news in one location, their feed reader, rather than having visiting each web site separately (if you currently don’t use RSS — watch this video).
As a blogger you want people to read what you write by subscribing to your blog. A common way bloggers make it easy for readers to subscribe is using Feedburner.
Feedburner is a free web service which enhances bloggers and podcasters ability to manage their RSS feeds and track usage of their subscribers.
Most blogs already have RSS feed which is detected automatically by Feed Readers like Google Reader, Bloglines, NetVibes when the blog URL is added to the reader. The trouble is not all Feed Readers can automatically detect the RSS feed from the blog URL.
Having a Feedburner feed means readers can click on the RSS icon and subscribe to your feed by selecting their Feed Reader.
Using Feedburner means you can also analyse your subscriptions e.g. number of subscribers, Feed Readers they use.
Setting up your Feedburner Feed
You’ll need to register for a free account with Feedburner, if you don’t have an existing account.
In Your Feeds section of your Feedburner account add your Blog URL to the Burn a Feed Right This Instant box and follow the instructions in the diagram below.
If the Identify Feed Source page gives you the following message “FeedBurner discovered more than one feed at that address. Please select one to use as your source” — select the RSS 2.0 feed i.e. looks like this http://theedublogger.edublogs.org/feed/
Adding Your Feedburner Feed To Your Blog
- Open up your Feedburner account. Click on the Publicize Tab > Chicklet Chooser and copy the HTML code.
- On your blog dashboard, go to Design > Widgets
- Scroll down to Text widget in your available widget area (left hand side of dashboard) and click on Add.
- Click on Edit on the Text widget that has been added to your current widget area.
- Paste code for Feedburner in the Text Widget. Click on Change.
- Click on Save Changes at bottom of Current Widget area (right hand side of dashboard).
I recommend you refer to Feedburner Quick Start Guides for Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, MySpace, Podcasting for blog platforms other than Edublogs.
Please let us know how you go adding a Feedburner feed to your blog; especially if you have additional questions on using Feedburner.
Our next post will explain the different ways you can set up a subscribe by email feed to your blog. For accurate statistics on your subscriber numbers you should redirect all your blog feed to Feedburner!
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