How to Setup Email Subscription for your Blog through Feedburner
On this blog, you’d see more tutorials/guides like this one aimed to help people who are new to the world of blogging. Most of them were requested. If you would like to request for a tutorial/guide, contact me.
I’ve got tons of blogs I follow and have listed on my browsers’ bookmarks (I use Chrome and Firefox). But, because of my very hectic schedule online and offline, I don’t get to visit all of them as often as I want to.
I’m just glad that most of these blogs that I follow and enjoy reading offer this email subscription option to their readers. I don’t like subscribing through other feed readers (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc). I still prefer getting updates through my email so I can easily get access to them since checking my inbox is on top of my daily to-do list.
Why Should I Put a Feed Subscription on my Blog?
You might be asking yourself why you should place an email subscription form on your blog when you’re not even sure if there are loyal readers of your blog. Trust me, just because you own a personal blog doesn’t mean no one would want to keep track of your blog updates. You might be posting about topics that seriously interest people so I suggest you give them that option to subscribe.
Why Would I Offer Feeds? Wouldn’t that Affect My Blog’s Traffic?
Some bloggers may prefer not to offer this option because they want their readers to visit their blogs instead of reading their new contents through email. But, there’s actually a workaround for this – by setting your feeds to summaries only. I’ll be covering that near the last part of this guide.
Trust me, offering feed subscriptions can even boost your blog’s readership / traffic. Some may argue that if your readers don’t see anything interesting on your feed updates, they won’t visit your blog. Now, consider this – if they have no idea you have new content, that’ll definitely decrease your blog’s readership. So, interesting or not, let your readers decide.
For all my blogs, I use Feedburner to handle feed subscriptions. It’s pretty simple to use and set up. It’s also under Google so you know that you can really rely on their service.
What’s good about Feedburner is you can have all your Atom or RSS feeds in one place. It’ll automatically convert your blog’s feed based on what feed reader is used.
So, for this guide, I’ll show you how easy it is to setup your feeds on Feedburner and I’ll share some tips along the way.
How to Setup Feedburner (Initial)
For this guide, I’ll be using a dummy Blogger account:
1. Sign up on Feedburner. If you already have a Google account, you can use that to login.
2. After logging in, if it’s your first time to use Feedburner, you’ll get this page:
Just enter your blog or feed address into the field and click on Next.
3. Select your feed source. For Blogger blogs, you’d usually have 2 options: Atom and RSS. You can choose whichever you want. We can setup Feedburner to convert and forward any version/format anyway. Click on Next.
4. Change your feed’s Title and Feedburner.com address. I suggest you use something you can easily remember. Then, click on Next.
5. That’s it! Your FeedBurner feed is now live!
We’re done with the initial setup. If you want to link or direct anyone to your feeds, just use the link http://feeds.feedburner.com/YourFeedBurnerAddress
You still have other things to configure though so just click on Next or Skip directly to feed management.
How to Setup Email Subscription on Feedburner
Now, here’s how to setup email subscription for your blog. You can either use a text link or the subscription form embedded on your blog’s sidebar to direct your visitors or readers to the email subscription form.
1. Once you’re done with the initial setup, you should see the following page and tabs on the top of your feed management page.
2. Click on the Publicize tab. Then, on the left side of the next page, click on Email Subscriptions.
3. Click on the Activate button at the bottom of the Email Subscriptions page.
You will then have additional settings activated under Email Subscriptions.
4. Under Subscription Management, you can see the codes you need to use for the email subscription form on your blog. You can use this to manually place the email subscription widget anywhere you like, especially for self-hosted WordPress users. For Blogger users, you can do this automatically. Scroll down for the tutorial.
Note: Read on for the guide on what values on this code you can change to your preference.
You can also use the email subscription text link codes:
For Blogger users:
You can use the automatic method to add the email subscription form or text link to your blog as a sidebar widget. Follow the steps below:
a. Select Blogger on the “Use as a widget in” option. Then, click on the Go! button.
NOTE: Make sure you’re using the same Google account linked to the blog where you want to add the widget.
b.You’ll then be directed to the Add Page Element page. Select the blog you want, the title of the sidebar widget, then, you can also edit the content or code (see guide below on what you can chance).
c. Click on Add Widget button. You’ll then be directed to the Page Elements page on your Blogger account. You should see the message “Subscribe via Email (or whatever title you set) has been added to your page”. You should see the new widget on your sidebar.
Feedburner Email Subscription Form Code:
Since we use different themes, you’d want that email subscription form to suit the colors you use on your blog. This is a sample of the code. Just replace CertifiedFoodies with your blog’s feed name. Take note of the parts that are in red. Those are the ones you can change.
<form style=”border:1px solid #ccc;padding:3px;text-align:center;” action=”http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify” method=”post” target=”popupwindow” onsubmit=”window.open(‘http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=CertifiedFoodies’, ‘popupwindow’, ‘scrollbars=yes,width=550,height=520′);return true”><p>Enter your email address:</p><p><input type=”text” style=”width:140px” name=”email”/></p><input type=”hidden” value=”CertifiedFoodies” name=”uri”/><input type=”hidden” name=”loc” value=”en_US”/><input type=”submit” value=”Subscribe” /><p>Delivered by <a href=”http://feedburner.google.com” target=”_blank”>FeedBurner</a></p></form>
border: 1px solid #ccc
- 1px = The border size. You can set this to 0 if you don’t want any borders, or set it to something thicker.
- solid = The style of the border. You can set it to dashed, dotted, double, ridge, inset, outset or groove.
- #ccc = This is the color HEX code. You can change this to whatever color that suits your theme. Click here for the list of HEX codes you could use.
- Change the width of the field or box where they type in their email address. This will also resize the width of the whole widget.
This is where you can change the Email “From” address. For instance, you don’t want to use your Google email account. Then, just change it to your preferred email address.
You can also change the title and contents of the confirmation email that’ll be sent to your reader the very first time they subscribe to your feeds through email.
Here, you can select the correct timezone based on your location and also change the schedule email delivery. Some bloggers take this schedule into consideration when they want a newly-published post to be sent immediately to their feed subscribers.
And this marks the end of the tutorial on how to setup email subscription for your blog’s feed on Feedburner. Now, if you want to know other settings you can change on Feedburner, read on.
Other Feedburner Settings
Here are other settings on Feedburner that you can configure. There are actually others, but I’ll only mention the basic and important ones.
Under Optimize Tab
Activate this if you want Feedburner to translate your feeds automatically depending on your visitor’s reader application. Very helpful if your feed is Atom and the reader app only reads RSS.
b. Summary Burner
This is extremely useful if you’ve set your feeds to only show summaries of your new contents. You can include a message at the bottom of every feed item instructing your readers to go to your blog to read the rest of the content.
Under Publicize Tab
If you want to show off the number of your feed subscribers, then, activate this.
You can then change the colors and simply copy the codes or do it automatically (just like the email subscription form widget) to where you want to display them.
Add your Twitter account (supports multiple accounts) so Feedburner will automatically publish a tweet whenever you post new content.
Under Monetize Tab
Link your Google Adsense account to your Feedburner account so your feeds will also have Google ads and you can earn from them, too. I’ll cover this in a separate guide on Adsense.
Under Troubleshootize Tab
This shows solutions to most common issues with Feedburner. But, most importantly, it has the pinging Feedburner fix, which is extremely useful when you have updated your content/post (e.g., changed the date or post title, corrected some info, etc) but your feeds are not updating.
Tips on Feed Management and Increasing Subscribers
Show Summaries Only
If you want your visitors/readers to keep coming back to your blog for your contents, then, make sure you’ve set your feeds to only show summaries.
For Blogger users, you can do this by going to Settings > Site Feed > Set Allow Blog Feeds to Short.
For WordPress bloggers, under Settings > Reading, just change the feed option to Summary, as shown below.
I’ve already mentioned a few paragraphs ago that you can include a footer message to direct your readers to your main blog for the contents. Let them know that they’re only seeing a portion of your actual content.
Add an Email Subscription Form after your Posts
If most of your visitors come from search engines, then, most probably, they’ll just take the information you’ve got and leave without any trace. To gain them as a reader, I strongly suggest you add an email subscription form just below your posts. If you don’t know how to do this (I’ll post a guide on this next time), you can simply add an email subscription text link or the code itself MANUALLY at the end of your posts.
That’s about it on Feedburner feed management. I hope you’ll find this post informative or useful. Don’t forget to comment if you do. ^_^