The paint is dry, the rims are in place, and I’m not getting any better at this car analogy, so let’s get to work. To review, so far we’ve set up your feed in Feedburner, familiarized ourselves with the web site, learned how to analyze and troubleshootize your feed, and picked out some sweet options to really make it shine. Today, we’re going to publicize your feed. To get started, log in to Feedburner, select a feed, and click on the Publicize tab.
In the left column of the Publicize page is a list of services you can use to publicize your feed. Just like the Optimize services, some are practical, and I recommend them; some are fun, and are optional; and some aren’t necessary unless you have special circumstances. For each of the services listed below, I’ll provide a description, a recommendation, and directions (if necessary). If you make changes to any service, be sure to click Activate or Save before going to another page.
- Headline Animator: Optional. Creates an animated headline that rotates through the titles of your recent posts. After you “design” the animation, Feedburner provides the snippet of code for you to add to any web site whose HTML you control.
- BuzzBoost: Optional. Republishes your feed in HTML according to your specifications so you can republish your feed to any web site whose HTML you control.
- SpringWidgets Skin: Optional. Merges your feed with a SpringWidgets widget, which you can then add to any web site whose HTML you control.
- E-mail Subscriptions: Recommended. Offers an e-mail subscription for readers who don’t use a feed reader (i.e. my sisters-in-law Kimberly and Jennifer—they don’t know that I know they read my blog).
- Subscription Management: You can offer e-mail subscriptions with a form, a link, or both. Follow the directions on the page, and insert the provided code into an e-mail or web site.
- Communication Preferences: You decide what you want the confirmation e-mail, which is sent to subscribers to confirm their subscription, to say and from what e-mail address it comes.
- E-mail Branding: You design the e-mail that goes to subscribers. No sweat. It’s just fonts and colors.
- Delivery Options: You decide when e-mails leave the station and arrive in your subscribers’ inboxes.
- Ping Shot: Recommended unless for some god-forsaken reason you don’t want people to read your blog. Notifies web services that you’ve updated your feed. Feedburner notifies some services automatically.
- Feed Count: Not recommended if you have self-esteem issues. Creates an HTML graphic that announces to the world how many subscribers you do (or don’t) have.
- Chicklet Chooser: Optional. Creates a chicklet (yeah, sorta like the gum) for any given RSS reader and provides the HTML code for you to add to your site.
- Awareness API: Not recommended. Allows outside developers to display, promote, and analyze your feed traffic.
- Creative Commons: Optional. Allows you to specify the Creative Commons license for your site and feed and provides the HTML code for you to add to your site.
- Password Protected: Not recommended unless you’re a CIA agent. Requires readers to type in a user name and password before being allowed access to the feed.
- NoIndex: Not recommended unless there’s a reason you’re blogging and don’t want anyone to read your profound thoughts. Requests that search engines do not index your feed.
There you have it: all the services Feedburner offers for you to publicize your feed. You’ve probably noticed that many of them involve adding snippets of code to sites you’re responsible for. Let me advise you in this: Be selective about the widgets, badges, chicklets and other flare you add to your blog and feed. Just like all the flare (pins and buttons for those of you who haven’t seen Office Space) on the servers at Outback Steakhouse can cheapen their uniforms, HTML flare can cheapen your blog.
For tomorrow, go forth and publicize! That is your homework. Tomorrow we’ll networkize and monetize your feed.
Other Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner Posts