Blogging / Et Al

Blogger's Guide to Feedburner, Part III: Optimizing

You’ve stuck through the first two Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner posts, and now the fun begins! Today we’ll optimize your feed, which is like putting a fresh coat of paint and shiny rims on a pimped-out car. To get started, log in to Feedburner, choose a feed to work with, and click the Optimize tab.

In the left column on the Optimize page is a list of services from which to choose. Some are very practical, and I highly recommend them; some are fun, and you may or may not choose to use them; and some aren’t necessary at all unless your feed fits into a specific niche. For each of the services listed below, I’ll provide a brief description, recommendation, and directions (if necessary). If you make changes to any service, be sure to click Activate or Save before going to another page.

  • BrowserFriendly: Recommended. Allows readers to easily preview and subscribe to your feed.
  • SmartFeed: Recommended. Makes your feed easy to read no matter what program your readers are using.
  • FeedFlare: Optional. Builds interactivity into your feed posts and into your site.
    • To add flare to your feed, select any of the options you want. Upon activation/saving, they’ll be automatically added to your feed.
    • To add flare to your site, select any of the options you want and add the snippet of code provided to your blog’s code. Simply choose a blogging interface from the drop-down menu and follow the directions provided.
  • Link Splicer: Optional. Collects bookmarked links from your preferred bookmarking service and inserts them into your feed.
  • Photo Splicer: Optional. Uses your preferred photo service and inserts your photos into your feed.
  • Geotag Your Feed: Optional. Adds your location information to your feed code. This probably isn’t a good idea if you’ve recently escaped from prison and are on the run.
  • Feed Image Burner: Optional for most of us, but recommended if you have a cool logo. Adds an image to your feed and helps it stand out among other posts in a feed reader.
  • Title/Description Burner: Not recommended if you’re using Blogger or WordPress. Allows you to change your feed title and description from Feedburner rather than from your blogging interface.
  • Convert Format Burner: Not recommended if you’re using SmartFeed.
  • Content-Type Burner: Not necessary for most bloggers.
  • Summary Burner: Optional. Allows you to only burn the first few sentences of your posts. If you tend to draw people into your posts with the first few sentences of your post, using the Summary Burner could possibly drive more people to your site.
  • Event Feed: Not recommended unless your feed draws content from an event or calendar feed such as Google Calendar.
  • Tickerize: Not recommended unless you’re publishing a financial feed or podcast.
  • Amazon ID Burner: Optional. Automatically adds your Associates ID to any link in your posts. Especially useful if you write a lot of music/movie/TV/book reviews and want to generate additional revenue.

So there it is, the full gamut of optimization options. For tomorrow, implement the recommended services and begin playing with the optional services. Write a test post or two to see what you like and what you don’t, and tomorrow we’ll take your feed out for a spin and start publicizing.

Other Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner Posts