Dave, I’ve been blogging for a while now – partially thanks to your inspiration with this great site of yours! – and would like to include one of those neat FeedBurner graphics on my site so I can track RSS subscriptions. How do I do it?
Great question! FeedBurner is a very cool service that does exactly what you state, it lets you offer a wide variety of different RSS feeds from your weblog (or podcast site) with minimal fuss and it also lets you keep track of RSS subscriptions.
Even better, the basic service is free!
Signing up is pretty straightforward too: When you go to the FeedBurner home page, the first thing you see is “Ready to burn your feed? Start here.”
Enter your Weblog address, then click “Next”
Now you have to choose which of the following you want to sign up for:
- Standard Stats or Total Stats “Pro”
- Browser-Friendly Burner
- SmartCast (for podcasters)
- SmartFeed (makes your feed work in any browser)
- Google AdSense (you’ll already need an AdSense account and already have been approved for Google’s AdSense for Feeds program too)
- Link Splicer
… and on and on. A remarkably sophisticated set of options, actually. For me, though, I just go for the basics, Standard Stats and SmartFeed. Add a feed title and a feedburner URL that you’d like, and click on “Next” again.
Almost done. Create an account, click on “activate my feed’ and you’ll be ready to go! When I went through this process for my new Growing Your Business with Google weblog, it took about four minutes total.
Once you’ve created your feed, click on “Launch Your Publicity Tools” and you’ll be looking at a bunch of different graphical options, starting with FeedCount:
If you’re confident that you have lots of subscribers – or are going to have lots of subscribers – then this is a good choice. But if it shows that you have 7 or 13 subscribers, well, that might not be quite the message you want to convey.
A more entertaining alternative is what they call a Headline Animator, which some of my colleagues use to great effect in their email signatures:
Too enthusiastic or too big? You can do what I did, and just settle on a simple little graphical element by using the Feedburner Chicklet Chooser:
Click on that option and suddenly there are lots of different elements you can add to your blog template as easily as using cut and paste:
I picked a couple of these and added them to my own template. Have a peek at findability.info and you’ll see how it all fits neatly into the site.
I hope that helps you out getting started with Feedburner!