4 Free Email Subscription Tools to Keep Readers in the Loop


Email Subscription Tools

Despite what some people say, email is far from dead. Although social media has become an incredibly popular way for us to communicate, use of email is still growing. According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, as of April 2013 there are 3.9 billion active email accounts, with 182.9 billion emails sent and received each day. Email subscription tools help keep us updated with our favorite companies or blogs, and chances are your readers would like the option to subscribe via email.

Recently, avid reader Andrew Kayode got in touch with us, and had this to say:

Why is it that you don’t have a subscriber’s list via e-mail? Please I need to be included if you have one.

While our RSS feed is linked at the bottom of every post, the ability to subscribe via email is not. However, thanks to FeedBurner, one of the first email subscription tools we will be getting into, the ability to subscribe via email has been here all along. Oops.

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This free RSS tool has been around since 2004, and was acquired by Google in 2007. While rumors of shutting down have circulated quite a bit in the past few years, it’s still ticking. FeedBurner is still used by thousands of popular blogs, and when you add your blog, it also gives you the ability to let readers subscribe via email. Under “Publicize,” “Email Subscriptions,” and then “Email Branding,” you can easily customize how new email will appear. [Read more…]

FeedBurner To Bloggers: Real Time Stats Now Included


After releasing live stats for their BlogSpot users, Google is now experimenting with live stats for FeedBurner fans (which users can access by clicking on the “Try out the NEW (beta) version!” link at the top of their screen).

Today, we will be rolling out a new, experimental interface for Google FeedBurner. The real story is what’s new under the hood, however: the new interface provides real time stats for clicks, views, and podcast downloads, which means you can start seeing what content is drawing traffic from feed readers, Twitter, and other syndicated sources as it happens.

Additionally, if you use the FeedBurner Socialize service, and your platform uses PubSubHubbub or you ping us when you post, you can for the first time get stats on how much traffic your feed items are receiving from Twitter, as well as feed reading platforms like Google Reader in one place. Again, all within seconds of posting your content. Ping? Pong! Yep. That fast. (Adsense For Feeds)

The new layout does take some time getting use to and there are apparently some features items missing in the beta when compared to the original (as you can’t even insert extra feeds to burn), although Google will probably insert these as time moves on.

As stated above PubSubHubBub is recommended in order to take full advantage of FeedBurner’s live stats feature, so self hosted WordPress fans will need to install a plugin in order to utilize this service (note: Google has already activated PubSubHubBub for BlogSpot fans).

Either way the real time analytics feature should give bloggers yet another reason to stick with Google, as well as give the company an edge over rivals (note: assuming there are any left that is).

Is Feedburner Still Relevant?


This is a guest entry by Jean-Baptiste Jung from Cats Who Blog.

Feedburner, the popular RSS tool, is used by many bloggers to serve feeds to their readers, but also in order to know how many people are currently subscribing to their blog using RSS. Despite the fact it can be easily hijacked, RSS subscriber count is one of the ways used to measure the popularity of a blog.

Back in 2008, Feedburner was bought by Google. It sounded interesting at first, but no significant improvements were made to the service, and shortly after Google took ownership, a major problem occurred, and millions of blogs saw their count dive from 5000 to 500.

Since last month, I have seen my subscriber count going up and down every day and show unrealistic numbers.
Look at the screenshort below:

On June 12, CatsWhoBlog had 1,730 RSS readers. Three days later, it had 1,110. And on June 21, according to Feedburner, only 437 were still reading my blog. [Read more…]

Finally, A Decent FeedBurner iPhone App! (Stat Fever)

I know, there are several other FeedBurner apps out there, such as Ego and FeedCount App. But Stat Fever is not only selling for $1 (instead of $2 like its rivals), but also boasts a nicer user interface (with graphs on the side).

Created by Paranoid Ferret Productions, Stat Fever allows bloggers to see how many readers are subscribed to their RSS feed or email posts (via FeedBurner of course).

With a tap of your finger, you can check out feed stats over the course of a week or a year, as well as see how many feed clicks you received. [Read more…]

Pingdom Says Feedburner’s Got 99.94% Availability

FeedBurner LogoFeedburner, the RSS feed service that Google now owns, is both loved and hated in the blogosphere. Some swear by it, others at it, but more importantly, a great many of us use it to get proper stats and whatnot. Every now and then there’s buzz around feeds being unavailable, but I must say that an uptime of 99.94% doesn’t sound too shabby. Sure, could be better, but still.

Check out the Pingdom report on the matter, along with details on how the tests were performed, along with this conclusion:

We have to say that Feedburner definitely gets a passing grade, although both uptime and performance has room for improvement. Google says it’s still working on improving Feedburner behind the scenes, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

Do you use Feedburner? Why or why not?

5 Alternatives to Truncated Feeds

Yesterday, Mark Ghosh at Weblog Tools Collection made an announcement that, due to the rampant abuse of their RSS feed, that the site would be moving over to a truncated, or shortened, feed.

However, the decision did not last long. After less than three hours, Ghosh reactivated the full feeds after many of the site’s readers posted comments objecting to the change. He instead said he would experiment with RSS footer and reopen the full feed.

Still, Ghosh’s frustration is more than understandable. With countless spam blogs scraping content without permission, the temptation to deny them access is understandable. However, users overwhelmingly prefer full RSS feeds and denying access to spammers is almost impossible without hindering access by legitimate aggregators.

The good news is that there are alternatives to shortening your RSS feed, practical ways to protect your content without cutting off your readers. [Read more…]

If I Could Start My Blog Over Again…

In August of 2005 I sat down to write my first few posts for a new blog, Plagiarism Today. It was my first attempt at a blog and at the time, it was viewed more as a side project than anything big.

Yet, with time it grew, not just in terms of readership, but also in terms of the amount of time I spent on it. First becoming my primary site and then a full-time business. Currently, I spent about 60 hours a week on PT-related issues and am very stunned by what the site has become.

However, with this experience came a lot of lessons, many of them hard. Some things I did well from day one, many things I did not. Though I’ve been able to go back and fix many of my mistakes there are some I haven’t and probably never will.

Still, if I could do it all over again, there are many things I would change. Here’s a list of five of the more important decisions that, if given a second chance, I would not repeat. [Read more…]

WTF Blog Clutter Design: How Many Feed Icons Do You Need?

RSS Feed icon

A question came up during this WTF Blog Design Clutter series asking how many feed icons to we need on our blogs. We looked at feed clutter on your blog but how many is too many and which ones do you need?

How many do you think you need?

The two most popular feed types are RSS and Atom. That’s it. How many feed icons do you have on your blog? Hmm?

These are the types of feed, the code that generates the feeds based upon XML formats. From here, there are different types of content that can go into the feed, various off-site alternatives for handling your feeds (called feed subscription services), and many colorful, cluttering feed icons that promote all the different feed readers. [Read more…]

Video: Simple hacking of Feedburner subscriber count

According to Joop Dorresteijn over at The Next Web, it’s possible to game Feedburner to artificially inflate the number of subscribers you have, simply by cutting and pasting an OPML file, using NetVibes, and waiting a few hours.

It doesn’t actually increase subscribers (that’s the whole point) but it does inflate the count shown on the chicklet, which could possibly then encourage other visitors to subscribe. [Read more…]

Adsense for Feeds Rolling Out for Select Few

As in Adsense for feeds via Feedburner. From the blog post:

We’ve been hinting at this for awhile, but it’s finally time to spill the beans: Starting next week, we’ll be rolling out AdSense for feeds to a small group of publishers, in anticipation of a full launch to all FeedBurner and AdSense publishers “coming soon”. If you start seeing “Ads by Google” on an ad in a feed somewhere, that’d be us.

[Read more…]