Why It’s Important to Claim your RSS Feed
I wish someone had told me all about feeds when I first starting blogging. Back then, I just went about my day posting random blog topics, hoping that people would read my ramblings & would follow me via Google Friend Connect. But, other than that, I never really understood feeds. Until about six months or so. When I read a tutorial devoted to the topic. And it was at that point that I realized I was missing out on (most of) the blogging logistics.
See, when you start a blog, you have an RSS feed assigned to your blog automatically. An “unclaimed” RSS feed, if you will. And when your readers subscribe to your GFC feed, it is that unclaimed feed that they are subscribing to. Which means that when, for instance, you move your site to WordPress and you correctly redirect your feed to your new url, your loyal followers get left behind. Cuz they’re still following your “unclaimed” feed on your old blog. And you may say to yourself, heck, I ain’t ever moving to WordPress, so I don’t need to learn this. Well, never say never, folks, cuz you never know what the future holds. I urge you to claim your feed today and, just as important, redirect your newly claimed feed to your blog. It only takes a minute or two. And once you do that, all new followers will be subscribing to your claimed feed, and when/if you do move your blog, those followers will come with you.
Ready to learn how to do it? Okay, well, first of all, go to Feedburner.com and log into your google account, if you aren’t already logged in.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to enter in your blog address (you know, http://yourblognamehere.blogspot.com):
On the next page, you’ll be asked to confirm your feed, and then you can click on your feed account, at which point the following page appears. There’s a lot of info on this page, but for this tutorial’s purpose, we just need the top section, where you’ll click the tiny gray RSS button to view your feed:
And then obviously, your feed will open up. Copy the URL to your claimed feed:
You’re not done yet! Cuz these are the most important steps. Once you’ve copied your claimed RSS feed URL, go to your Blogger dashboard > Settings > Site feed. Paste the copied URL in the POST FEED REDIRECT URL box & save your changes:
That’s it! It’s really that simple! I promise.
And what does this do? Well, quite simply, it forces all of your GFC followers to follow your newly claimed feed, without them even knowing it. It also gives you a good idea as to how many new followers are following you anonymously. Cuz while you can’t see who they are, you can see the subscriber count in your feedburner account. And, as mentioned above, if you ever move your blog over to WordPress (or another blog host), those followers will come with you when you re-route your feed!
In a follow-up post, I’ll teach you how to add an RSS icon in your sidebar so that people can easily subscribe to your claimed feed.
But in the meantime, go forth and start claiming (and redirecting) your feed. And if this tutorial has helped you in any way, please leave a comment. Cuz even I love me some blog comment love.
P.S. WordPress bloggers should claim their feeds, too. Just sayin’! Cuz Feedburner is not just for Blogspot bloggers, you know…
P.S.S. Have you signed up for Gravatar, yet? Just checking!