I’d like my blog readers to by notified by email whenever there’s a new post on my blog. Is there an easy way to do this?
This question was asked to me by Marcus Troy, who runs a blog focusing on fashion and gadgets. Quite interestingly, he popped in to have a chat using the Google Talkback feature I had added to another blog. Worked quite well too.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. It’s actually quite easy to do, using a website that is now part of Google arsenal, called Feedburner. If you go to the website, the first thing it will prompt you for is your website URL. It will then figure out the RSS feed for the website and offer you a host of functionality you can add on easily to your website. You can then replace your feeds with the Feedburner ones so you can track and control your subscribers. There’s even a WordPress plugin to make things even easier for WordPress users.
Once you’re all set up there are a myriad of functions you can add to your blog including:
- Feed Stats – showing you how many subscribers you have to your feed
- Optimise your feed – by making it more readable, adding pictures or Geotags
- Feed Widgets – Show how many readers you have straight on your blog
- Headine Animator – Get an image for your website or email showing your latest posts
- Monitise – Add adverts to your RSS feed to earn some money from it
And, as per the question, you can also set up an email subscription service for your readers. If you click Email Subscriptions under Publicize, you will be given some HTML code to add to your blog that will allow users to subscribe to your feed. You will end up with this section on your blog:
Users can now key in their email address, after which they will be prompted for confirmation before they are added to the list. They can also remove themselves at any time through Feedburner’s website. It’s a free service that is run transparently for you and the great thing is .. it just works! It doesn’t matter if your website is all about chimps, about Leptovox or about job listings, if it’s got an RSS feed, you can use this service.