Recently I wrote a post about why it’s so important to offer RSS feeds on your author blog. Feeds enable your author blog posts to be automatically delivered to your readers’ email inbox or feed reader, so you don’t have to rely on people remembering to visit your blog periodically.
The best way to set up a feed is through FeedBurner. You may be tempted to use one of the feed widgets offered by your blog service provider, but they do not allow you to see statistics on your feed subscribers or customize your feed settings. It’s best to go directly to FeedBurner to set up your feed.
I recently logged onto FeedBurner to set up a feed for a new website I’m developing (more details on that coming soon!) and I noticed that there were quite a few changes on the FeedBurner site since the last time I was there. It seems that since Google purchased FeedBurner several years ago, they have continued to tweak the service by adding and deleting options that help you promote your blog posts, podcasts, and vcasts (video blogs).
I was happy to learn that MaAnna Stephenson has just updated her ebook, Just The FAQs: RSS Feeds, to reflect the recent changes at FeedBurner. If you offer your feed via email, you’ll want to check out all of the new customizing options for email format and delivery. There is also a new Password Protector option that helps keep your feed safe from hackers, but could negatively impact the delivery of your email feed. The new Socialize tool has customizing options for pushing your feed to Twitter, but the jury is still out on whether this tool works well for everyone.
Be sure to read the Publicize section to learn about an often overlooked link on FeedBurner that offers even more free ways to publicize your blog and help you rank higher with Google. Podcasters should pay attention to MaAnna’s explanation of the conflict between FeedBurner’s SmartFeed and SmartCast features.
If you aren’t yet offering feeds on your blog, get started today! If you’re already got a feed, it’s a good idea to log onto FeedBurner and check out the new features. From your home page, click on the name of your feed, then go through all of the tabs and check out the various features and settings.
To learn more about how to set up your feed on FeedBurner and take full advantage of all of its features, I highly recommend Just The FAQs: RSS Feeds. This ebook offers step-by-step instructions in plain English, and comes in several versions, designed for installing and configuring feeds on WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
If you use TypePad (like I do), read this article to learn how to find your TypePad RSS feed and connect it to FeedBurner, then order the WordPress.com version of the Just The FAQs: RSS Feeds ebook to learn how to configure your feed.
And be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any posts on The Savvy Book Marketer! In the right column of this page, under "Get Blog Updates," just enter your email address in the box to receive blog posts by email or click the "subscribe in a reader" link to have the feed delivered to your favorite feed reader or to the "RSS Feeds" folder in Outlook.