Last week, everyone was in a tizzy about Feedburner. Me too. Our stats dropped to zero and not too long ago they announced they were dropping the API.
I’ve seen the Feedburner bug significantly drop numbers before but never to zero. But it’s back!
Luckily, our subscribers are there. For now.
And Feedburner is still alive. For now.
While I don’t proclaim to have all the answers, I thought I could answer a few I’ve been getting or hearing lately. But first let me say this: Feedburner won’t be around forever. The most recent post to the Feedburner blog before Friday’s post? June 5, 2011. They also closed the Feedburner Twitter account back in July. And the Feedburner API will shut down October 20.
If that isn’t writing on the wall, I don’t know what is.
But don’t go freaky-freak out just yet. Take a deep breath. Break out a yoga pose. Then read this Q & A about Feedburner.
So What Exactly Happened Last Week?
A Feedburner glitch caused all subscribers to look like they were stripped down to zero. It was a glitch as our subscribers were stil there. Last week Google posted on the Feedburner blog to say they were working to resolve the issue. The issue is now fixed and your subscriber numbers should be there.
How Do I See My Subscriber Lists?
For RSS, you actually can’t see a list of people who subscribe to your blog. You CAN click on “See more about your subscribers” and see how many are subscribed through RSS feed or RSS-to-email.
For Email RSS subscribers, click the Publicize tab then click “Email Subscriptions.”
Can I Export My Email RSS Subscribers?
Yes! You see that image above where it says “Export: CSV”? Just click on CSV and it will download a file that you can open in Excel or Google Docs. (CSV means comma-separated values aka comma delimited- doesn’t matter what it means, just that you can open it as a spreadsheet!)
Does My Blog Already Have an RSS Feed?
Yep. If you have a WP blog, your feed URL should be: http://www.BLOGNAME.com/feed/.
If you’re on a Blogger blog, your Feed URL should be: http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss.
Keep in mind that typing that in will re-direct to Feedburner if you still have it set up.
The thing is that with your blog’s built-in RSS, readers can’t subscribe via email. It also isn’t as easy to subscribe to an RSS feed through the native feed. Plus, you don’t get any analytics, like how many subscribers you actually have. See why it kinda sucks?
If I Wanna Switch, Who Should I Use?
Aaah the golden question. With your RSS you have two things going on: your RSS Feed and your RSS to Email.
These subscribers most likely receive your feed in a feed reader like Google Reader. I’ve researched a few options like Feedity, RapidFeeds, Feedcat, and Feedblitz. Out of those Feedcat is free and Feedity has a free version but they say it’s “for evaluation purposes.” Feedblitz is only $1.50/month if you just use their RSS feed service. I’ll be switching to Feedblitz soon mainly because it’s the most well-known one (I’m time-crunched and know I can trust them).
These subscribers receive your RSS feed in their inbox. Now here’s where you’ll have an even harder time finding something that’s free. There are tons of ESPs (email service providers) that can do RSS-to-Email. I use Mailchimp. There’s also AWeber and Feedblitz. There are also a host of others but these are the big ones in the blogging world. Again, I doubt you’ll find a free place to host email. Sucks I know.
UPDATE: There are apparently two plugins for WordPress.org users to do RSS-to-Email for free. I can’t vouch for them but if you want to give them a try they are RSS-to-Email and SendFeed. Also, there is a widget in WordPress.com (thanks KeAnne!). No word on Blogger options yet.
UPDATE 2: WP.org peeps- You can also try JetPack. I hear good things but again, haven’t tried it. Thanks Meg for mentioning it!
If anyone knows of others (especially free ones), let me know and I’ll add them to the post.
Okay, this probably answers only some of your questions. But you’re in luck! I’ll have a special awesome guest poster here on Thursday to talk about her experience moving from Feedburner.
What do you all think of the Feedburner mess? Are you planning to move away from it?