I’ll admit it, I really love Feedburner. All my feeds for all my websites are ran through Feedburner.
What Is Feedburner?
At it’s most basic, Feedburner is a pretty simple concept. It grabs your RSS feed from your blog, and essentially re-posts the content … as an RSS feed.
So, unless your blog is so terrifyingly busy that you are getting hammered with a huge bandwidth bill every month, Feedburner at this level does very little for you. It’s all the extra features that make it so amazing.
First and foremost, Feedburner keeps track of your subscribers. A regular RSS feed does nothing of the sort. Sadly, however, it does for your subscription numbers what Google Analytics did for your traffic – it brings brutal accuracy. It tells you not only how many subscribed, but what percentage actually read their subscription.
Warning: Your tuned-in daily readers might not be as tuned-in, or daily, as you thought!
Optimization and Customization
With Feedburner, you can take your plain-Jane feed and add a bunch of nifty features. The list of features is long. One example is allowing people to submit your article to Digg or Delicious directly from your feed.
If your blog is a “company blog”, why not let people subscribe to it by e-mail. It’s like your company newsletter, only way too easy, and built-in to Feedburner.
If you are not using a program like WordPress that has all the great publicizing features built-in, Feedburner also has some handy tools like PingShot to help you (before you get wise and switch to WordPress).
Is your blog your retirement plan, because that whole lottery thing didn’t work out? Of course you can put ads on your blog, but these don’t translate easily (and often, at all) into your RSS feed. Seeing how Google owns Feedburner, they have a handy little tool to plug their ads right in using AdSense.
There is a handy little plugin for WordPress called FD Feedburner, which will redirect your standard RSS feeds to the correct Feedburner RSS feed in a fairly seamless manner.
Before you switch to Feedburner from your existing RSS feed, consider all the places where your feed is being used. I would suggest burning your feed first, then changing all the places that use this feed (i.e. your Facebook page or profile, your Twitter-feeding application, etc.), and update the RSS feed on your actual website last.