How does FeedBurner

Feedburner - the benefit of this RSS feed service for online communities

Feedburner is a blog service provider that creates and manages RSS feeds and was bought out by Google for a huge sum a while ago. More than 596,466 publishers now use the Feedburner.com service and have created 1,023,739 feeds (as of October 2007).

Especially in the time of the Web 2.0 boom, this service is one of the most up-and-coming websites of its kind. Since it was founded in 2003, the focus has been solely on the aggregation of RSS feeds. However, that has changed with the acquisition of Google. Google has also discovered the service as a new “advertising space” for its AdSense program. Buying from Google naturally also has new advantages for the user. Since then, some pro services (“TotalStats” and “MyBrand”) that were previously chargeable have now been available free of charge.

The advantages of the feed burner

There are, of course, reasons why more and more community operators are using a service like Feedburner. In contrast to most other RSS feed services, this one provides sophisticated and informative statistics on the created RSS feeds. After its rapid spread, especially in the blogsphere, this service is now becoming more and more popular in other areas. Which is partly thanks to the platform-independent format and the easy integration. The operator finally receives informative feedback on the reader behavior of his feeds. In addition, the RSS feed provides you with additional advertising space for Amazon Links or Google AdSense. Advertising specially tailored to the interests of feed subscribers is not only beneficial for you as a community operator in terms of income, but can of course also provide feed subscribers with added value.

The article is divided into two parts and will briefly explain the first steps in using the feed burner and show you how quickly you can convert your forum RSS feed into an advertising space. Part I deals with registering an account on Feedburner.com and integrating an RSS feed.

Part I: Setting Up an Account at Feedburner.com

Thats how it works

Step 1: You register for the service on the feedburner.com website with a user name and an e-mail address. Then you come to the “My Feeds” area. There you also get the opportunity to create a feed. To do this, simply enter a website URL or the feed URL directly into the input field. If you only enter the URL of the website, Feedburner is usually able to find an existing feed automatically. If this is not the case, you should check your feed for errors.

Then follow the instructions on the website and finally activate your feed to complete the first step of registration.

Step 2: With step 2 you get the option to upgrade to “TotalStats PRO”. For a small monthly fee, you can get additional feed statistics

  • the reach of the feed. You can see the number of people who viewed or clicked elements of the feed.
  • for the combined use of an element. This means that an overview and the history of the feed is displayed, showing how elements in the feed are used.
  • to use a single element. You get the views and clicks of a single element presented over time.

Who with the standard statistics of the feeds like:

  • Display of subscribers. How many people have actually subscribed to your feed?
  • CTR tracking for element. The number of times people click items on your feed to get to your website.
  • Optimized click rate tracking
  • Unusual use. A listing of other services or sites that use your feed.
  • Podcast downloads

is not satisfied, can think about booking the PRO version. The site statistics, which are included by default, include the following points:

  • Number of visitors
  • Top browser
  • Top cities
  • Top 10 Pages
  • Top 20 Incoming Traffic Sources
  • Top 10 outgoing links
  • as well as the top referrer domains
  • and an overview of the advertisements and the payout amounts.

If you have decided on the free standard variant, the generation of the RSS feed is already complete. "Your feed is now ready for the world." And can be integrated. In addition, you can now see the generated feed in your account analyze, optimize, publish, monetize or alternatively a Troubleshooting carry out. However, this only makes sense if the feed has been running for some time. In order to be able to evaluate the first statistics, however, you have to be patient for another 24 hours.

Tip: By the way, you can generate additional RSS feeds at any time via the “My Feeds” item.

Pimp your RSS feed

After you have registered and provided the necessary basic information, publish the code of your RSS feed in your forum at the desired location. To do this, you need to have the code block you need generated. Click on the “Publish” item and select the “Chicklet selection” service in the left-hand area. To display the standard RSS feed icon, activate it and then copy the generated code to insert it into a page template.

Optics is not everything - but it helps a lot ... As is so often the case, you have to present your offer as visually advantageous as possible. In this way, you can also increase the circle of your readership much easier. Of course, this also works well with an RSS feed. We therefore recommend that you adjust the appearance of the RSS feed a little. Especially if you want to publish excerpts from the RSS feed on an external site.

The “Headline Animator” service in the “Publish” area is well suited for this. Play a little with the design options. In the preview you can always see the possible result. If you are satisfied with a representation variant, you can have the code snippet generated.

Tip: The snippets produced with the “Headline Animator” can also be used as a “signature”. With the help of an appealing RSS feed, you can also advertise your offer in other forums or blogs. But of course only if they allow a signature and have nothing against the third-party advertising contained therein.

Corporate identity with a difference Community operators who have the option of configuring the name server with their host can publish the feed under their own URL. If you cannot change the DNS entries of your domain yourself, simply contact your domain registrar or web host provider. The option for the “MyBrand PRO” service can be found under “My Account”. Just follow the instructions there. The result of your RSS feed could then be, for example feeds.MEINEDOMAIN.de. The only thing that would still indicate the Feedburner service is the favicon used by Feedburner.com, which is displayed under the new feed URL.

Part II will follow soon.