RSS in Plain English and Feedburner for Email Updates

feedburner iconsNow that wordpress.com has an in house subscription service you can let people subscribe to your blog by adding the blog subscription widget, and the instructions for setting up email updates through Feedburner have been removed from the wordpress.com support documentation.  As I have been receiving requests from those who do wish to use Feedburner I  have revived the instructions formerly available and have posted them below.

RSS in Plain English

A short explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web. This video comes in an unbranded “presentation quality” version that can be licensed for use in the workplace. (If you are not accustomed to using an RSS feedreader you will benefit from watching this video, first.)

Subscribe through Feedburner (Setting up Email updates for your readers)

These instructions result in offering readers the opportunity to obtain email ions result in offering readers the ability to subscribe to your blog by email.
1. Go to FeedBurner www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home
2. Register there.
3. Burn your feed.
Your feed address is your blog name with /feed at the end. Like this – example.wordpress.com/feed
4. Click ‘My Feeds’ at the top of the screen on the left
5. Click the name of your feed
6. Click the Publicize tab
7. Click the ‘Email Subscriptions’ in the left column
8. Choose FeedBurner, FeedBlitz, or Rmail to be your feed-via-email service provider.
9. Click ‘Activate
10. You’ll be taken to the next page where you’ll need to scroll down to find the ‘Subscription Link Code‘ and copy the code in the box underneath
11. Paste that code into a text widget on your blog
12. Remember to save your options at FeedBurner!
13. That’s all there is to it. You are now offering email subscriptions!

Notes:

  • You cannot redirect your feed to Feedburner.
  • Questions about the email service should go to FeedBurner.
  • Offering email updates might cause a drop in feed stats if people switche ability to subscribe to your blog by email.

Related posts found in this blog:
How to Become Better Blogger 1

43 thoughts on “RSS in Plain English and Feedburner for Email Updates

  1. Okay, I have a question. I made a feed for my blog, but the feed address isn’t what I want. I tried to change it from http://feeds.feedburner.com/wordpress/sIDZ to http://feeds.feedburner.com/whatsonthemenublog/ to make it easier to for people to find and remember. When I try to change it to the latter, it says “The uri you entered was invalid. If the suggestion below is acceptable, press Next again.” I don’t know what this means. Do I have to buy a domain to be able to change it? Maybe this isn’t the right place to ask a question about FeedBurner. If it isn’t, sorry.

    • I’m sorry to say I can’t help with this. I have used Feedburner for years and have not changed the original feeds I burned there. I think you ought to contact Feedburner support for help.

  2. So you’re saying you have a Feedburner subscription. I understand the reasons why but I’m a little confused because the welcome message I got from one cool site had a WordPress logo on the bottom. I guess that happens automatically because your Feedburner code is in a WP text widget? Tricky stuff!

    The other thing that confused me was the lack of a verification link in the welcome message. I’m guessing that’s because I had signed up while active in my WP.com account. If that’s the case, then that’s a good argument for using the WP text widget too (as it reduces the number of steps req’d to subscribe, for some). Prior to this experience, I was planning on inserting a link that would lead to the standard Feedburner sign-up page. Thanks for taking the time to share, by the way. I appreciate it!

    • We wordpress.com members all have the ability to subscribe using the button is on our Admin bar.
      All of our blogs have bother RSS feeds for post and comments and anyone can subscribe and use a feed reader.
      In addition we can enable blog subscriptions bia wordpress.com blog subscriptions widhet. (I have not done this).
      The Feedburner icon is in my sidebar “Subscribe and Follow”. It’s the one with the image of the fire on it.
      I assume you subscribed by using the “subscribe” link on the gray navigation bar. is that correct?

      • To be honest, I subscribed accidentally (but I’m glad I did!). I meant to click the “notify me of follow-up comments” button but clicked the one underneath it which says “notify me of new posts via email.” This looks very much like a WP thing because I can manage the subscription in my WP dashboard.

        So, I suspect you have a small group of WP.com subscribers who aren’t showing up in your Feedburner lists. As a subscriber, I value the opportunity to set the frequency of email deliveries (via my WP dashboard). I’m not sure I can do that with Feedburner. As a blogger, it’s a little frustrating to have two separate groups of subscribers.

        • I didn’t realize that was appearing so I’m off now to check. You’re right about this separation of subscribers it is frustrating.

  3. TT, I just subscribed to your site and got a subscription message from WP.com. (The one that says, “Congratulations, you are now subscribed to the site ‘one cool site’ and will receive an email notification when a new post is made.”) Just curious – why do you prefer WP over Feedburner for managing email subscriptions?

    • I began blogging 6 years ago and began blogging at WordPress.com 5 years ago. At that time only Feedburner subscriptions were available. I did not choose to set up WordPress subscriptions on my blogs. If I had all of my subscribers would have had to switch and sign up all over again. Time passed and I discovered that the WordPress subscriptions were not transferable so I stayed with Feedburner. When my personal blog was moved to a self hosted WordPress.org install for two years and then back to free hosting at WordPress.com all I had to do was copy and paste the Feedburner subscription code into a text widget. So your answer is “transferability”.

  4. Oops, sorry, my code got parsed. But it did the same thing here too. All I get on my site is the “Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner”, with no place to type an email address.

    I think I will just switch to the “blog subscriptions” widget provided by wordpress.com.

  5. Hello TimeThief,

    First let me say I think you are an excellent tech support person.

    I am having problems setting up feedburner on wordpress.com. It used to work, when I was using wordpress on my own domain. Unfortunately, when I try to save the feedburner Subscription Link Code in a wordpress.com widget, wordpress automatically edit’s my code, making it not function.

    Here is my feedburner code:
    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    here is what I get after saving the widget:

    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    Any ideas?

  6. Hi TimeThief,

    I am trying to set up the email subscription widget. So my visitor can get regular updates; as opposed to me sending emails. What I have is a button that says “Please Subscribe” with Email Subscription on the top.

    I had added some description in the blog subscription widget but they don’t show up.

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  8. Hi Time thief,

    I am trying to get rss feeds to work not from other bloggers but from news sources. I would like to assign different rss feeds to different pages. i.e. news about egypt on the egypt page, news about pakistan on the pakistan page. I see that when I go into edit mode on those pages there is an rss button, but it seems only to be able to handle one or two feeds at a time. Other feeds simply don’t show up. What are the steps I need to take in order to get feeds from multiple news sources onto any given page on my site?

    Thanks so much for your help!!!

    • @Greg

      “I would like to assign different rss feeds to different pages.”

      This cannot be done on wordpress.com pages and posts. We can only display RSS feeds in our sidebars on wordpress.com blogs. This is because the primary tool of sploggers is the use of RSS feeds on pages and in posts. The blogosphere is full of splogs that lack original content and are filled with nothing but autoposted content from news feeds. They are most commonly found on the Blogger (blogspot) blogging platform. The bottom line is that as wordpress.com does not allow autoposting of content the ability to post RSS feeds on pages and posts is not a feature made available to wordpress.com bloggers.

  9. When I subscribe to some blogs, the email notice of a new post contains the entire post (email notices of your new posts appear like this). Other blog email notices contain only the first few lines of a new post, followed by “Read More of the Post” (this is how I receive notices from Always Well Within).

    Is this setting determined by the blogger or the subscriber?

    I am trying to change email notices my subscribers receive so that they contain only the first few lines, instead of the entire post, but can’t find how to change this. Can you help?

    Thank you, as always.

    Kathleen

    P.S. I now have a new challenge — learning about RSS feed, and you have given me what I need to know.

  10. (1) The benefit of offering RSS feeds to the site (blog) is attracting a wider audience of readers. The benefit to the reader is convenience.

    When one subscribes and uses a feedreader they have all the data in one place and can choose to read it whenever they have the time to do so. I frequently skim read posts from the blogs I subscribe to and return to read them in depth at a later time. Then I can click through and leave a comment.

    (2) All wordpress.com blogs are equipped with RSS feeds for both entries (Posts) and Comments. The URLs are predictably:
    Entries (Posts) http://thesteppingstones.wordpress.com/feed/
    Comments http://thesteppingstones.wordpress.com/comments/feed/

    The minimum effort an Administrator of a wordpress.com blog can make to make their readers aware that RSS feeds are available is to place the Meta widget in the sidebar. In fact, on some themes RSS feed icons are included in the templates themselves in either the header area, sidebar or footer of the theme.

    If they so choose the Administrator can set up a blog subscription widget or set up a Feedburner account for email updates.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/blog-subscriptions/

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/blog-subscription-widget/

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/email-subscriptions/

    (3) In the case of following another wordpress.com blog as readers we can simply add the URL to our blog surfer. If there is a wordpress blog subscription widget we can proceed as indicated at the links I posted above. If the blogger offers a Feedburner subscription the readers simply click and enter their email addresses to receive updates by email.

  11. I am gradually learning about putting up a blogsite. Could you explain or point me towards an explanation of:
    1) What are the benefits of RSS for the site? for the reader?
    2) What I as the admin of a site have to do to enable RSS?
    3) What would a reader of my blog have to do with respect to RSS?

  12. Although I figured this out by time I came across your post I still want to thank you for having this information available. Should I forget how to do this I now have a place where I can reacquaint myself with how to work with Feedburner.

    Happy New Year!

    Michael the Dharmapreneur

  13. Absotively. I don’t understand RSS, but it seems that all the new posts come to one site that you look at. In mac’s mail program, you enter the URL’s and anything new pops up just like new email. So I don’t have to go to any other site to see if my fav bloggers have anything new to say. Clear as mud?

      • I follow 14 “feeds”. I really am curious to know if my set-up is any different than subscribing to RSS feeds. Next time you visit someone w a mac, pls take a look. I think it’s probably identical. If so, it’s a good thing since computers are a pain for me (I’m an artist) and I’m happy w the way mac has it set up.

        BTW, your blog is terrific, as you must know. I’m slowly learning the ropes:-) Thanks.

  14. May your wishes coming true!

    You have a golden heart and soft mind, you are the best blogger.

    Blessings fly to you…

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