Optimize your feed
No matter how inexperienced you are, you most likely know what a feed is. So, I’m not going to bore you with a long introduction.
Basically a feed (no matter if it’s RSS or Atom) is content published in a machine-readable way. You publish it, your readers subscribe to it, using a feed reader.
Burn your feed!
Instead of hosting the feed yourself, a lot of bloggers (including me) outsource it to Feedburner. There are some big advantages:
- No matter how many readers your feed has - you don’t have to care about serverload and bandwidth
- One address for all feed formats
- You have nice statistics
- You have an archive of your posts, should you loose your database
So, head over to Feedburner and burn your feed.
Why isn’t anyone subscribing?
Have you told them? Your blog still has it’s old links to it’s own feeds.
You could install the FeedSmith plugin, which insures that requests to your blog’s feed get redirected to your new FeedBurner feed.
Open the header.php of your theme. Look for something like this:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS 0.92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3" href="<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>" />
Change the href’s to your new FeedBurner address. For bloggersjourney it is href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/bloggersjourney”.
If you have a feed icon on your blog, change the link target.
You could get a feed chicklet from FeedBurner (look under Publicize).
Looking for a nicer icon? How do you like the black one in my sidebar? It’s from Bittbox. They offer free feed icons in 8 different colors and various sizes.
But people won’t visit my blog anymore!
Don’t worry. It’s true, some of your readers will read most of your articles in a feed reader. But where’s the problem? Is it that they don’t click your ads? Feed readers are web savvy. People like that have become nearly blind to ads. They wouldn’t click on them anyway.
Take Shoemoney as an example. He changed his feed to only show excerpts of his articles, but not long after that, he was back to full feeds. Why? Because Jeremy is smart enough to give his readers what they want. Are you?
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