Feeding the (feed)Reader

Yesterday was odd. I had pretty good readership according to FeedStats, but MyBlogLog, Google Analytics and the stat thingy that comes with my server told me I had two visitors on January 12th, aside from myself. Two! Not kidding! Also yesterday, one person added themselves to this blog’s MyBlogLog Community, and two others went to my MyBlogLog member page and added me as a contact. Someone must have thought I was doing something right! Thank you, especially for doing it yesterday!

Let the Full-Text Hoopla Begin

For those who prefer to access me via feed, I’m going to switch to full text. I’ve done excerpts up until now because I wanted to cut down on vulnerability to scrapers until this site is better established. If 70-95 percent of you are seeing this via feed, am I doing myself any favors? Let’s consider some statistics:

  • Referring Sites 81.62%
  • Direct Traffic 15.62%
  • Search Engines 2.76%

70-95 percent from feeds trumps just under three percent from search engines, hands down, no matter what the search terms are. Besides, paying attention to my stats is paying attention to my users is a branding statement. Thar ye be.

Falling For FeedBurner

I’ve resisted FeedBurner. Some of my past experience has been with email based newsletters, and I didn’t want to use a service that took over management of email-based subscription. FeedBurner doesn’t do Customer Relationship Management (CRM) type list management stuff. Asking users to register separately seemed like a pain in the patoo for the user.

That was before considering yesterday’s stats led me to a new attitude.

Since I am in a surrendering to enlightenment sort of mood, I, well, surrender. Point blank and with abandon. There are now feed reader generated “Subscribe” links in my sidebar, but I didn’t stop there.

Surrendering came with some seductive benefits. In the options of my brand spankin’ new account on FeedBurner’s site, over and over again, I said “yes!” I was expecting stats and chicklets, but I got a lot more. I found a configurable bonus linky thing to paste into my WordPress theme. The end of each post will now contain links for subscribing, Stumbling, Emailing one’s self a copy, sharing on Facebook and saving to del.icio.us. Handy. I found a way to have Feedburner automatically add my affiliate code to any links I make here to Amazon. Also handy – I’m likely to link to books, and also likely to forget to add the code.

To top it off, FeedBurner can export a list of subscribers into a CSV file that I can then import into CRM software. If I do ever decide I need to add permission-based email newsletter, I could send out a round of emails that offer an option to subscribe. My privacy policy already covers me with this text: We may infrequently pass links and information about other services on to you, but we will never share information about you with others.

It took a while to get through FeedBurner’s many options, and I’m still fixing things. All the various tabs and options are a lot to get through! Their FAQ are pretty good, and I’m determined; I’ll live.

FeedBurner Resources

FeedBurner FeedSmith Plugin

Helps to set up Feedburner.
By FeedBurner
Set up at Options > FeedBurner

Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.