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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogging Tools Week: Feedburner

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Following on from my previous post on Technorati, I now want to cover the importance of using Feedburner for your blogging, and I feel the tools that this site offers are the most important in terms of bringing returning readers to your site.
Now, I will define the most important term first, as it can be quite tricky to understand:

RSS or Really Simple Syndication allows you to subscribe to the feed of a website, blog, or most media content sites. This means that when the website is updated, you are automatically sent the new content via email, without having to visit the site to check. What is more useful about RSS, is that you can subscribe to all the feeds you want, and then you can use a feedreading software like Bloglines to view all your feeds in one place, saving you time and increasing efficiency.

Where Feedburner comes in is quite simple. As a publisher of information, all I had to do was sign up, and then create my feed by typing in the name of my blog and its address, and by finally naming my feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Blogtrepreneur.
I was then able to publicize my new feed by adding a chicklet or button which you can see in my sidebar. To make things really easy for my readers, I put a completely free email subscription box at the top of my sidebar, so that readers can quickly subscribe to my content if they like what they see.

Now, every time I write a new post or article, Feedburner automatically detects the new post on my site, and emails it to my subscribers. I didn't even have to pay for the service.

In a nutshell, Feedburner's services have greatly improved my blog's readership, and it is readership that helps to build a fantastic blogging community which will hopefully spread the Blogtrepreneur name.

7 Comments:

  • Good point and nice series on blogging tools. I just recently blogged about RSS and feedburner. Its hard to believe how few people know about RSS. Such a nice tool.

    Feedburner is also cool. I use it to burn my feed too.

    By Anonymous Mithrill, at 3:26 AM  

  • Thanks Mithrill,
    Yes, even though many people use RSS and Feedburner, they still don't have much of a clue about how it works!

    By Blogger Adnan, at 10:32 AM  

  • I'm not entirely sure how it works. I know it involves an XML file that provides the basic info on the post and the XML file can either be written manually (no fun) or through some kind of script. I think the important thing for most is that RSS is used. A lot of blog people use RSS and feedburner, but outside of the bloggers and techie's few people seem to know a bad.

    By Anonymous Mithrill, at 12:03 PM  

  • Yeah, my XML atom feed is at http://www.blogtrepreneur.blogspot.com/atom.xml. I don't know whether anyone really uses it or not!
    Mithrill, I have a question, if I transfer my posts onto a Wordpress account, will I get penalised for the content copy rule for search engines? Will I have to delete my .blogspo account after I've got my new hosting?

    By Blogger Adnan, at 12:17 PM  

  • Adnan, I'm not sure. I doubt that you would get penalized, but it is possible. To be on the safe side I would delete the .blogspot account or just start with new posts on your new site. I just put a I've moved post on my blogspot page and started over. Unlike you though, I didn't have any posts worth moving over.

    I wish I read this posts first before writing my comment on your blogger vs wordpress post. I guess you decided to switch. You'll love wordpress. If you need help with the setup contact me through my blog and I'll try to help.

    If you need help finding a host let me know. I highly recommend Dreamhost. I was using Startlogic. Dreamhost is much better and offers a lot more services. The tech support is faster too. If you think you want to go with dreamhost let me know and I'll make you a promocode to save you some $$$.

    One code I already have made is mandl. It only works for 1 year of L1. The mandl promo code waives the $50 first time setup fee.

    By Anonymous Mithrill, at 12:21 AM  

  • Thanks for your offer to help Mithrill. I'll probably need some help if I get stuck in setting it up, so I'll contact you.

    I see that your blog uses wordpress, and it looks really neat so I'm definitely not going to stay with blogger. Did you modify the template quite a lot, because I really the like the footer bar?

    By Blogger Adnan, at 9:13 AM  

  • adnan: I didn't modify the template too much. The footer bar comes standard though it requires some plugins to get the latest comment activity, etc.

    Some basic mods that I can remember making are the title image, the green gradient mouseover on the top navigation (I think it is a solid blue mouseover to begin with), the CSS link styles, and other minor variations.

    Then I added some plugins. Most of the plugins are optional, but the unsleepable theme automatically detects if there installed so little code modification is necessary.

    Those changes might sound like a lot, but unsleepable is a great theme and doesn't require many changes if you want the basic look and feel.

    To view more details about my site setup and a list of plugins (with links) that I'm using visit: http://www.mandladventures.com/2006/
    05/19/my-wordpress-setup-plugins-etc/

    If anyone has any questions, just comment my posts so that I won't have to keeping checking this thread.

    Hope this helps!

    By Anonymous Mithrill, at 9:29 PM  

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