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5 Tips to Enhance Your Blogger Blog with Feedburner

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feedburnerFeedburner 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.

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:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, register with Feedburner and add your blog’s feed.
  2. Make a note of the Feedburner URL for your newly-burned feed (eg: http://feeds.feedburner.com/your-feed-name).
  3. Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on Settings>Site Feed
  4. On this page, type your Feedburner feed into the section titled “Post Feed Redirect URL”.
  5. 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:

  1. Log in to your Feedburner account and choose the feed you want to work with.
  2. Once you have accessed the dashboard for your feed, click the Publicize tab and choose Email Subscriptions from the left-hand column.
  3. Click the button to “Activate” this service.
  4. 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”.
  5. 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:

Screen-Shot01 Jun. 15

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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:

Screen-Shot03 Jun. 15

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:

Screen-Shot04 Jun. 15

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:

Screen-Shot05 Jun. 15

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:

Screen-Shot07 Jun. 15

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:

Screen-Shot08 Jun. 15

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.

Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

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Conquering Blogging Fears Sometimes Involves Shedding Blogging Tears

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Build a list. Publish posts frequently. Guest post. Work harder.

I did all that stuff. I still struggled. You did all of it, too. Some of you at least.

But I bet you we were in the same boat years ago. Perhaps you sit in the boat of blogging despair now. You did it all. NOTHING seems to be working. Create value. Make connections. No traffic. No money. I can advise good things take time. Or I can say to be positive and be strong. In truth, being positive, patient and strong all are effective means to conquering your blogging fears.

Shedding tears is the quickest, most direct, simplest way to conquer blogging fears. Every fear is scary because fear frightens you. Crying out fears literally dissolves the fear-fuel; as tears shed, so do fears. Chip away; be present, relax, and allow fears and tears to flow in a quiet room.

Guys; until you face, feel and release fears, you cannot be generous, abundant, patient, persistent and prolific. Why? Fear is an anchor leading to:

  • writer’s block
  • general apathy
  • laziness
  • indecision
  • sloth

I can advise you to generously help people but if you feel bogged down by fear, you will ignore me because you just want to help yourself. See how far you get blogging-wise helping yourself. Expect to publish a cyber diary. Nobody reads self-centered bloggers but the blogger themselves.

Crying Leads to Shining

Last night I worked through the evening. Sickness mixed with energy surges inspired me to work then to meditate at 3 AM. Fatigue and allowing unearthed sadness in me; I cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes. Guess what? I immediately felt better, peaceful, poised, calm, grateful and generous. Perfect energy for accelerating my blogging success. But not crying out those energies creates a fear-burden sapping my generosity and abundance.

From my trip to Oman.

Do Not Be Tough Because Repressed Fear Leads to Endless Struggle

I have seen many struggling bloggers work 18 hour days doing smart stuff but injecting work with fear-strain-force. Guess what? Struggles ensue because you cannot get over what’s still in you. Do not be tough. Do not repress fear because fear will destroy your blogging campaign. Every struggle is fear. Every failure is fear. Feel fear – however unpleasant – to move along the struggle, to be generous, to trust and to succeed.

In my eBook: Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger

I explain thinking, feeling and acting like a pro leads to professional results. How can you think, feel and act like a pro blogger if you fear running out of money? How can you succeed if you deeply fear failure? How can you be a generous, trusting person if you feel terrified to spend time building bonds and creating content?

Fear makes you a blogging fool. Blogging fools spam people, publish thin content and fail forever until they face, embrace and release fears.

Cry it out. Seriously. I felt such a purge last night. I continue to predominantly feel amazing, light and relaxed by feeling whatever emotions arise in my being. Nobody enjoys feeling sad, but in the same vein, you will be completely blind to and fabulously ignorant of good, successful blogging advice if you feel burdened by sadness. Nobody succeeds in a happy, abundant way being saddled by fear and sadness. Let it go. Process your emotions not from logic, but from raw energy.

Once the tears go, then fears go. From that energy you are free to become a highly successful, prospering blogger because you act from an abundant, generous vibe.

 

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Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

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Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.

I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.

Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:

7 Tips for Writing Successful eBooks Quickly

I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.

Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.

From my trip to Oman.

Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.

I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.

Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain

Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.

Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.

Write and ship.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger

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My eBook: 10 Tips to Be a Smarter and Richer Blogger

possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.

For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.

I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.

Smart and Prospering Means Different

Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?

From my trip to Oman.

I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.

Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different

Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?

But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals

Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.

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