Sunday, 18 July 2010
Most blog hosting sites come with the option to have an RSS feed or atom feed or both and this is one way to promote your site. With an rss feed people can subscribe to your blog,but there are also more advanced feeds,that show more updates and features. One such feed service is Feedburner. Feedburner is a free service that can be used to create your own feed and you can also choose your URL feed address. Feedburner is useful,especially if your rss feed URL is long and difficult for people to remember.
I have started using feedburner recently because Windows Live Spaces have changed RSS feed address for all blogs,including mine,and the new feed URL is very long and most people will not remember it. So I turned to Feedburner, and with this I can choose my own web address for my feed and I can create as many feeds as I want for the same blog,with a different web address for each one. For example my RSS feed for one of my Sites on Windows Live Spaces- Hezbollah and Andrea posts, which is as you can see very long and complicated. So I have my own Feedburner URL which is http://feeds.feedburner.com/hezbollahandrea and this is not only easier to remember but also Feedburner gives you the option to add subscriptions by email. Where readers can get email updates on new posts and also there are many different ways to promote your feed or create more feed address for the same site or your other sites. Feedburner is now part of Google so you can sign into Feedburner with your Google account and as mentioned before it is a free service. Blogger provides both an rss feed and an atom feed for blogs hosted there,but it also supports Feedburner. So you can have your blog redirected to your Feedburner feed by changing the settings in the menu. But I have not done this as I am quite happy to use both my atom feed and my Feedburner feed for my sites hosted here on Blogger.
And many other blogging services,such as Wordpress and others support Feedburner. I now have Feedburner for my You Tube channel and I still have the regular feed as well. So having feedburner and using it along side your other feed increases readers subscribing to your feed and site and also search engines pick this up and index your site too. The added bonus is also the fact that you can customise your feed,choose how many posts appear and Feedburner will even show your videos,where as regular rss feeds do not. There are also other feed services such as Feedblitz but this is not free and some others can create a feed for a site that does not have an rss or atom feed. But Feedburner cannot do this yet,it can only create feeds for sites that already have an rss feed at the moment. But Feedburner is a valuable tool which will make it easier both to create a feed and promote your site.