Feedburner is probably the most recognized and utilized feed services available to Bloggers. Alongside Blogger and other services, Feedburner is owned by Google making this (and other services) increasingly well-integrated with other services which are useful to bloggers.
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Despite these close links, well-publicised documentation and ease of use, I am still surprised to see that few Blogger bloggers make full use of Feedburner’s free services. So in this post, I’ll explain 5 useful tips for Blogger users to enhance their blogs with Feedburner.
1. Redirect your blog feeds though Feedburner
All Blogger blogs produce feeds for recent posts; however in their native form these feeds are in Atom.xml format: one which is not compatible with all feed readers and which appears as raw xml unless viewed in an appropriate browser.
To ensure that anyone can view and subscribe to the feeds produced by your Blogger blog, it is advisable – and even preferable – to redirect your feeds through Feedburner.
This has many benefits to both blogger and readers:
- Ensure complete compatibility of your blog feeds for all feed readers
- Get statistics of your subscriber base
- Make is easy for readers to subscribe in their feed reader or via email
- Choose to use summaries of your posts if you prefer
- Make use of many other free Feedburner services, including monetization,”Feedflare”, clicklets, “BuzzBoost” and more!
Redirecting your Blogger feeds though Feedburner is simple and involves only a few steps:
- If you haven’t already done so, register with Feedburner and add your blog’s feed.
- Make a note of the Feedburner URL for your newly-burned feed (eg: http://feeds.feedburner.com/your-feed-name).
- Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on Settings>Site Feed
- On this page, type your Feedburner feed into the section titled “Post Feed Redirect URL”.
- Save these settings.
Now when you view your Blogger feed in your browser, you will see this is automatically redirected though Feedburner to ensure compatibility for all readers and ease of use.
For more information and a detailed walkthrough of this process, take a look at this page from the official Blogger Help site.
2. Set up Email Subscriptions
As bloggers, most of us are familiar with RSS and feed subscriptions. However, as blogs become more and more popular as a means of publishing online, the difference between regular websites and blogs becomes less easy to recognize.
Many visitors to our blogs may not even realise these are blogs, let alone how to subscribe for regular updates! To make it easy for anyone to receive updates of your newest posts, it is advisable to set up email subscriptions for your site.
Feedburner’s email subscription service is highly reliable and completely free to use, no matter how many subscribers you have for your blog.
The easiest way to encourage subscribers to sign up for email updates is to provide a subscription form in your blog’s sidebar. Feedburner make this especially easy for Blogger users to achieve as we can add this as an auto-install widget though the Feedburner dashboard.
Here is the easiest way to add an email subscription form to your Blogger blog:
- Log in to your Feedburner account and choose the feed you want to work with.
- Once you have accessed the dashboard for your feed, click the Publicize tab and choose Email Subscriptions from the left-hand column.
- Click the button to “Activate” this service.
- On the refreshed page, choose the language you prefer to use for your form, then scroll down the page a little until you see the section which says: “Use as a widget in…”. From this drop-down menu, choose “Blogger” and hit “Go”.
- You’ll then be redirected to Blogger which enables you to choose which of your blogs you would like to add this widget to as a “Page Element”. Simply choose the blog you want to add the form to and click “Add Widget”. The Feedburner email subscription form will then be added to your blog sidebar with no manual intevention.
3. Set up Feedflare for easy bookmarking and syndication of your posts
Feedflare offers an easy way for subscribers and readers of your blog to tag, bookmark and share your blog posts using a variety of services which you can choose.
When you choose to add Feedflare interactivity, you can choose to add links to specific social bookmarking services and other useful prompts to both your blog feed items and even beneath your Blogger posts:
In order to use Feedburner Feedflare you must first activate this service for the feed you prefer to use.
To do this, log into Feedburner and choose the feed you want to work with. Once logged into the dashboard for your feed, click on the Optimize tab, then on the Feed Flare option in the left column.
Click the “Activate” button to activate this service, and when the page refreshes you will see the many different “flares” which you can add to both your feed items and your blog posts:
Choose the options you would like to include by checking the boxes to the left of each Feed Flare item for inclusion in feed items or your site (which will display beneath Blogger posts).
Once you save these settings (by clicking the button near the bottom of the page) these new Feed Flares will appear automatically beneath each entry in your Feedburner-burned feed, making it easy for subscribers to bookmark, email and share your blog posts.
Site-enabled Feed Flares do not appear automatically. Instead you will need to edit your Blogger template to add the required code which will make these flares appear. Feedburner offer a very useful tutorial for this, complete with screenshots to direct you through every step of the process.
4. Monetize your Feeds with Google Adsense
Being part of Google’s family of services ensures that both Feedburner and Blogger can now be integrated with monetization options from Google Adsense.
As an extra income stream for your Blogger blog, you may want to consider adding Google Adsense units to you Feedburner feeds.
This process is mostly automated, meaning that you need not manually edit or add code to your Feedburner feeds.
To set up Adsense monetization for your Feedburner feeds, you need to first log into your Google Adsense account using the Google account as you do for both Blogger and Feedburner.
Once you have logged in to Google Adsense, choose Adsense Setup from the tabbed options near the top of the screen, then click on the Adsense for Feeds option on the refreshed page.
On this page, you can choose from many options for displaying your ads; manage channels to track the performance of your ad-units and choose which Feedburner feeds in your account will be monetized using these options:
When you have chosen all options and saved these settings, your ads will begin to display from the next update of your Feedburner burned feed (up to 4 hours later).
5. Publicize your blog anywhere with a Headline Animator widget
If you own more than one blog, another website, or are able to add a customized footer to your outgoing emails, you can publicize your blog posts using Feedburner’s Headline Animator.
This animated widget offers a stylish way to promote your blog and publicize recent posts anywhere that you can paste a few lines of HTML code:
To set up a Headline Animator for your Blogger blog, log in to your Feedburner dashboard and click on the Publicize tab. From here choose the Headline Animator option in the left hand column which will lead you to this page:
You can change options to make your headline animation blend well with your chosen medium and see a live preview near the bottom of the page.
Once you have made all changes, click the “Activate” button. The page will refresh and you will be able to choose which service you would like to add this widget to using options in the drop-down menu:
Your headline animation will appear as soon as it is installed in the medium of your choice, offering a new and useful method of promoting your recent blog posts when burned through your Feedburner feeds.
Which are your favourite Feedburner services?
Feedburner offers many free services for bloggers in addition to those I have listed above. Which are your favourite services, and how can they help enhance your Blogger powered blogs? Please feel free to leave your comments and your own suggestions below.
How to Generate More Leads from Your WordPress Blog
As a blogger and marketer, you need more leads except you want your business to fizzle away.
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In other words, lead generation is what everyone who cares about growing his audience base should never play with!
With effective lead generation, you’ll be able to capture those users by creating a communication channel between your website and the user.
Many successful bloggers and online marketers have confessed that their biggest mistake was not building an email list to capture leads from day one, which is also a mistake you wouldn’t want to make.
Additionally, studies have shown that “over 75% of users visiting your site from search engines will never see it again,” which is why collecting their email address (lead) from their first visit is important.
In this article, you’ll learn how to generate leads from your WordPress blog like a pro.
How to Generate More Leads: A Step-By-Step Guide
Getting Started with Lead Generation in WordPress
The first thing is to get a self-hosted WordPress.org site (if you don’t have one already).
After which you’ll register with an email marketing service provider, which are companies that specialize in sending email campaigns and broadcasts to your list. You can use Aweber or ConvertKit for this.
It’s also important to get lead generation software (marketing automation tools) such as Thrive Leads or Elementor. These services will help you create attractive sign-up forms for lead capturing.
Finally, your lead generation campaign will only be effective if you’re using the right WordPress plugin for this job.
Lead Generation Using Popups and Dynamic Optin Forms
One of the several ways of generating leads from your WordPress blog is to add a plain looking email subscription box to your sidebar. However, visitors don’t notice those forms, in most cases, and this is because they blend in.
This is where a lead generation software comes in. It lets you create and test multiple email opt-in forms for your site and determine the one that converts the most.
With a good lead generation software, your opt-ins can be personalized based on user behavior, so they can see the most targeted offer at the right time.
For instance, you can show customized email capture forms for:
- Different pages, blog categories, or sections
- Based on the user’s previous interactions with your site
- Based on their physical location
- Based on the user’s device (Mobile, Desktop, Tablet)
- Based on where the user is coming from (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.)
Lead Generation in WordPress Using Comments
According to research, comments are the simplest way to build user engagement.
However, the default WordPress commenting system is not very effective in bringing back the visitors who comment on your blog.
Now, one of the many ways you can capture leads from comment forms on your WordPress website is by adding comment redirect.
When a visitor comments on your site, they’ll see the same page again with a preview of their own comment. It’s nothing new, really.
So how about converting these users into subscribers?
This can be achieved by redirecting them to another page on your site after they leave a comment. This could be a special offer page or a thank you page like the example below:
Lead Generation Using Contact Form in WordPress
One of the most common ways of generating leads in WordPress is via your contact forms. However, most WordPress contact form plugins are either very tough to use or doesn’t integrate with your email service provider.
This is what WPForms can do for you. It’s one of the most user-friendly contact form plugins for WordPress sites.
With WPForms plugin, you can easily create stunning contact forms and effortlessly integrate them with email service providers like Getresponse, Aweber, MailChimp, etc.
Creating and Using Lead Magnets in WordPress
Lead Magnets (also known as incentives) are special offers given in exchange for the desired action.
This special offer could be anything from an eBook, a helpful resource, Amazon gift cards, discount coupon, etc.
Lead magnets work incredibly well because they are quick and easy, they offer visitors something valuable in return, and they don’t have to pay for the incentives.
Additionally, if you’re a blogger, then you can also use a “content upgrade” as your lead magnet. A content upgrade simply offers visitors extra useful content as an incentive for performing an action.
An easy way to create a content upgrade is by turning your best blog posts into an e-book.
Visitors may want to get a copy of your post so they can read it offline.
A tool that can help you do this is Designrr.
It lets you import your post and convert them into a different format (e-book, video, podcast). You can then edit and customize the presentation of the repurposed content and make it look better.
Now, for your visitors to get their hands on your e-book, they need to give away their email address in exchange.
This approach works as a lead generation strategy for a simple reason:
You scratch their backs, they scratch yours!
You get their email address and they receive the valuable e-book from you in return.
For this reason, this mutually beneficial approach to lead generation is one of the best.
Do you now know how to generate leads using WordPress?
Lead generation does not start and end with using plugins. Rather, it starts with building a comprehensive sales funnel and having a clear understanding of how all the different elements and pieces fit together.
Apart from using tools, you can equally leverage content and nurturing your current leads in order to close them into customers/clients of your blog.
Finally, here’s how to generate more leads for your business.
6 Ways Teachers and Education Bloggers Can Use Summer Break Productively
Once that final bell rings and the last scuffling footsteps of students running out the doors fades away, only teachers are left. After spending months working well over 40 hours per week, suddenly educators find their schedules considerably lighter for the next few months.
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Of course, some much-deserved rest and relaxation is on the menu—but even so, that teacher mentality doesn’t magically disappear. Chances are your brain will start whirring soon enough, reflecting on the past year and thinking ahead of the next one. This is when blogging and content creation can really come into play!
It’s only natural you want to use your summer vacation in a way that reinvigorates your mind and ensures you’ll start off strong next year. With this in mind, teachers and education focused bloggers are continually working throughout the summer to make sure they never lose a step.
Here are six ways for educators to utilize summer break productively.
Self-care is about more than pampering yourself; it’s about recharging the mental, emotional and physical “batteries” that you need in order to keep teaching well. Most educators end up putting their own needs on the back burner during the school year. So, summer is the ideal time to destress and regain some clarity. This will help you avoid burnout down the line.
Here are a few self-care tips courtesy of Edutopia:
- Spend time on hobbies: During the school year, it’s all too easy to abandon hobbies and creative pursuits. But summer is the perfect time to dust them off. Try drawing, baking, playing a musical instrument, knitting or sewing, cooking or gardening.
- Connect socially: Think about how many times you had to defer social plans during the school year. Now that your calendar’s wide open, you can reconnect meaningfully with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
- Unplug your mind: Take at least a few minutes per day to do, well, nothing. Walk without a destination, watch a new TV show, meditate, take a nap, read something light, listen to an album all the way through or try a new podcast.
- Exercise: Make time for regular exercise, be it your favorite intramural sport, yoga, running, dance, spin class, walking the dog, etc.
Continue Professional Development
Summer is also an excellent time to pursue professional development that’ll ultimately help you become a more well-rounded teacher and person. Look for local opportunities to take classes toward a degree or attend workshops for continuing education.
For teachers that enjoy writing, the option is always there to do some simple freelance writing work online, while also making some extra money in the process. Writing sites like Fiverr.com and iWriter.com make it easy to start getting paid for simple writing projects in your free time.
Go Over Feedback from Last Year
Once you’ve had an appropriate period of time in which to decompress, spend a day going over the feedback you received from last year—including any student evaluations, parent comments and employer assessments. Feedback is a great motivator to keep doing what’s working and switch up what isn’t.
If you have an active blog with real visitors, you can use the feedback form and commenting options on your site to get feedback on future lesson plans, or lessons learned from the previous year.
Plan Improvements for Next Year
Let’s be honest: Your mind is probably already thinking ahead to next year, even if summer break just started. It’s only natural. You can’t help but envision and anticipate teaching another class of students. Luckily, summer is an opportune time to plan improvements for next year.
Think in terms of teaching strategies and tech tools. What would help boost engagement and active learning in your classroom? For instance, many instructors nowadays are incorporating student response systems into their lesson planning. Plug-ins like Poll Everywhere integrate into presentation software and allow learners to answer multiple-choice polls, submit free-form questions and contribute to word clouds in real time. This has proven to be one strategy for breaking up long lecture classes and getting students involved—and it’s a straightforward addition to any teacher’s toolkit.
There are also likely some areas in which you can easily identify what you’d like to do better next year. Spend time reflecting on what fell short last year so you can improve it next time around.
Supplement Your Income
Teachers are notoriously overworked and underpaid. So, perhaps the most productive thing you can do this summer is use your skills to supplement your income. Try marketing your skills as a private tutor or writing coach for a reasonable hourly rate.
Again, if you have a blog that already has a nice following online, then why not explore your options with packing up a few creative lesson plans or education tools. There is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to sell such digital items to other teachers and schools throughout the country — as long as they are original and you have complete ownership of them.
Lead an Extracurricular
Missing school? Look for opportunities to get involved in extracurriculars. Maybe the cross-country team needs a volunteer coach. Perhaps the summer musical needs someone to help make costumes or manage props. You may even be able to start your own club! The possibilities are nearly endless here.
These are just six ways teachers can use summer break productively. Can you think of any more?
A Blogger’s Guide to Broken Link Building
The internet is broken (literally).
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Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.
That’s not good news for the respective site owners.
For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.
In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.
I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!
Why do broken link building?
Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.
And here’s the answer:
It’s all about reciprocation.
If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.
In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.
This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.
Let’s put it this way:
If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?
(Answer: probably not)
And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.
The site owner points to pages within the content that work. You gain a backlink for your effort.
It’s a win-win!
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.
Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:
Find resource pages
Have you heard of resource pages?
You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?
Here’s an example of one:
This page is a treasure trove for broken links!
The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.
However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.
And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.
Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.
By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!
More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages. This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.
But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.
Hop on to Google and use the following search query:
[Niche] resource page
Replace [niche] with your actual niche.
From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through. Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.
Find broken links from pages
Here’s an example of a broken page.
It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.
Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!
Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.
It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.
Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar. Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.
It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.
Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.
Find the email of the site owner
The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.
However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.
But what if they don’t have either?
Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!
It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.
By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.
To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon. It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.
Inform site owner about the broken link
Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.
Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.
However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.
Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.
Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!
In the email template, address the site owner by their first name. It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.
Next, talk about how you came across their page. You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.
After that, point out the broken link on the page. It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.
Now, here’s the most important part:
Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.
In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page. Just suggest your link to the site owner.
Give them the choice to either include your link or not. You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.
Here are other tips on help you write the template:
- Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
- Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
- Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
- Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.
Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using. If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.
As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.
Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.
They may link to your site on their resource page. They may not.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.
If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!
If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.
They will help guide you in the process of broken link building. This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.
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