08. We seek feedback for continuous improvement

7 Useful Feedburner Features for Bloggers

For those who have a blog you will want to read this article. With Feedburner, visitors can subscribe to your blog and shortly thereafter be notified when new content has been added. This works especially well as new content is what draws visitors back to your site. Basically, it takes your default RSS feed and applies functionality including integration with Twitter and Flickr. Here are seven features that will convince you to put Feedburner to work for you.

1. Are your subscribers finding interest in you...

Foremost, lets introduce you to an interesting feature that analyses the demand for your feed. When logging into Feedburner one of the first screens you will notice is the Feed Stats Dashboard. The dashboard provides various details about visitorís interaction with the feed. Here it gives you a breakdown of your subscribers; how they subscribed, views, clicks, and more. Of course, try not spending an immense amount of time analyzing these stats and focus your attention on increasing your subscriber count.

View of Feedburner's Feed Stats DashboardView of Feedburner's Feed Stats Dashboard

A brief overview of connecting to Feedburner...

Going back a step here, letís see how Feedburner connects to your blog. Look at the following example. The articles on your blog are converted to a feed and then Feedburner grabs the content. If you find your feed missing from your site contact your website development team. Either you canít find it or one will need to be created.

Articles on the blog can display in your feed.Articles on the blog can display in your feed. Example of a feed.Compare the feed to your blog and you will notice it doesn't have all the flare and glitter. Screenshot of adding an URL to Feedburner.Adding the feed's url to the Feedburner is quick and easy. This is what your feed will look like after configuring it through Feedburner's interface.This is what your feed will look like after configuring it through Feedburner's interface.

2. Optimizing the feed...

Feedburner has advanced integrated features that format your feed to increase its compatibility with many RSS Readers and browsers. This provides an edge over a standard feed and enables it to be read by many applications.

Screenshot of SmartFeed from Feedburner.As it says, reach the widest possible audience with only useing one feed. Screenshot of BrowserFriendly from Feedburner.Feedburner creates an appealing appearance for the XML feed along with many subscription options.
3. Socialize with Twitter...

Maybe your company has a mix of loyal Twitter followers whom do not subscribe to your RSS feed? Ideally you want to reach out to these people. Feedburner easily integrates with Twitter and in doing so it perpetually tweets your latest blog articles for you!

Connect your feed to Twitter.Easily connect your Twitter profile to Feedburner to automate status updates.
4. Shortened URLs..

When you visit Twitter you might have noticed many short and strange urls. These are called short URLs and are favorable by Twitter because each tweet is limited to 140 characters. Google has their own short URL service and when using Feedburner they are created automatically. Yet again, another time-saving feature thanks to Feedburner.

Goog.gl being used on Twitter.Twitter is limited to 140 characters which makes Google's shortened URLs ideal for tweeting.
5. Flickr and Feedburner...

Flickr is used by millions to manage and showcase photographs, digital art, website design portfolios and much more. The advantage of using Flickr is that the images will invite traffic to your site. Images uploaded to Flickr can appear on your site as your photo gallery, but thatís a different story. See Mashing Flickr, Facebook & Your Blog for more details.

Feedburnerís Photo Splicer can connect to your Flickr Photostream and automatically add them to your RSS Feed. Your subscribers and Twitter followers will automatically be notified when photos have been uploaded. When first starting Flickr you might have to promote itís existence and this is one way to accomplish the task at hand.

Using Flickr with Photo Splicer.Connect to Flickr and your subscribers will be notified when new photos are added.
6. Many ways to subscribe...

Because your grandmother might say, "what the rhubarb torte is an RSS feed", the option to subscribe through email is available. Then there are many other readers available. After getting accustomed to RSS feeds you might notice how many applications, that you currently use, have a reader built into it. For instance, the newer version of Microsoft Outlook is one of them.

Along with email many web-based news readers are available.
7. Add a link and subscribe form to your website...

After Feedburner is configured and ready to go the next steps is to promote it. Without promotion no one will know of it. In the example below visitors can subscribe via email or choose to add the feed to their reader. Feedburner provides a cut-and-paste script that can be embedded in your site. In the example below we decided to spruce it up a little.

Subscribe form and link to RSS feed.Embed a subscription form on your website and visitors will find it easy to subscribe.

Automatically notify subscribers when new articles are added to your blog and site. Notify your followers on Twitter and promote your photos on Flickr. Feedburnerís powerful features add yet another tool to your marketing arsenal.

  • Aaron

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