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Making a blog with FeedBurner

As a seasoned ‘blogger, you’ve already got yourself a Google FeedBurner account, right? Hidden within could be a treasure trove of delights, waiting to be served up to your feed readers…

The Feedburner logoAs a seasoned ‘blogger, you’ve already got yourself a Google FeedBurner account, right? Hidden within could be a treasure trove of delights, waiting to be served up to your feed readers…

Knowing what to write about is an every day challenge for most ‘bloggers. Not being psychic, we can’t know for sure what out audience wants — or can we?

Feed your subscribers — serving up the right content

I’ve set my FeedBurner account up so that my bookmarks are part of my feed. It’s a standard feature of FeedBurner:

  1. Sign into to your FeedBurner account and click on the feed title.
  2. Click on the “Optimize” tab at the top.
  3. Click on “Link Splicer” menu item down the left.
  4. Select “” from the “Link service” options.
  5. Enter your account username.
  6. Click the “Save” button.

From now on, you’ll see your bookmarks appear in your feed along side your own articles.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting — after a while, you’ll notice that your subscribers will read certain articles more than others.

That is your cue. Still within FeedBurner:

  1. Click on the “Analyze” tab at the top.
  2. Click on the “Item Use” menu item down the left.
  3. To the middle of the page, take note of the number of Views and Clicks for the articles under Item Popularity.
  4. Take those top articles as themes and write around them.

Your subscribers are worth their weight in gold, so you must treat them with care. They are your super advocates, and by appealing to their tastes in a very specific way, you’re giving them more of the stuff they like.

However, this isn’t me telling you to abandon the topics that interest you. Oh no, or why else would you have subscribers in the first place?

Here’s me suggesting you make use of an invaluable resource, maybe helping you keep your subscribers sweet with a feed…

Recommended reading

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

6 replies on “Making a blog with FeedBurner”

I dunno Wayne. I can see several benefits, from the reader and blogger viewpoints, but when I subscribe to a blog’s newsfeed I want to read the content from that blog rather than follow links to what the blogger is flagging elsewhere, especially if the blogger is then going to write their own post at a later date based on which of those tasty morsels they found turn out to be most popular. I’m sure other people will have the exact opposite view in that they’ll prefer to read the morsels and ignore the actual blog posts 😉


I suppose it’s all about personal preference and choice.

When I look at the numbers for the articles that are being read via my FeedBurner account, I can see that my subscribers are reading a lot of my bookmarked articles on — thus me offering up this idea in the first place!

If your numbers vary, or show signs of people not reading your stuff, then it’s maybe as well to stop…

I think it just means that your newsfeed is not really reflecting your blog if it’s interspersed with or some other material. Couldn’t someone just subscribe to the feed for that if they’re interested? I know that’s an extra step and all. However, the fact that people are reading those links you point to in the extra feed also means they’re not necessarily visiting your site and not necessarily remembering that’s where they found the link.

It is just a personal preference though and I’ll eat my words when I spot something I couldn’t have lived without in your list next time I fire up Google Reader 😉


Hi David, I write four articles a week, which when compared to a lot of the major websites out there isn’t even close to what they churn out in terms of raw content.

I’m giving my readers a pool of related content that feel bolsters and often adds value to what I write about.

These are often the very articles I cite as sources, so I don’t see how these articles don’t reflect what my ‘blog is about.

The whole point of linking my feeds into my FeedBurner account is because they do reflect the themes of my ‘blog.

Also, having a second feed will only confuse matters. Sometimes, offering a choice is an invitation to leave.

The mantra is — don’t make me think!

Fair enough! Like I say, I do see the pros, but just from a personal point of view I want to read your blog posts when I read your feed (I mean that most broadly of course, not just referring to BBT) rather than from other sources that I may already subscribe to myself. And yes, it’s always worth thinking about the don’t make me think mantra.


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