[How To] Provide E-Mail Subscriptions For Your Blog Or Site
Description: This post aims to describe a way to provide Email subscriptions (daily) for your sites/blog’s readers using Google FeedBurner. The site used is my Blogging buddy’s blog, SoccerMatch. He asked me for advice on this topic, so I decided to write this tutorial in parallel to setting up subscription service for his site.
Firstly, new bloggers or site-owners might need to know what is a “feed”. There are several kinds of popular feeds on the Internet today, namely RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication” but sometimes “Rich Site Summary”) and Atom. These provide postings and updatings information for a “feed reader” that which can interpret can show that data as site content to the subscriber. These feeds need specific “readers”, either desktop-based, e.g. the Windows Vista “Feed” sidebar widget, or online-based, like My Yahoo! or Google Reader. FeedBurner can convert those feeds into emails so that the subscribers need not use a feed reader. To set up a email feed, follow the steps mentioned below.
First, set up an account at FeedBurner, or you can log in with your Google Account since FeedBurner is a subservice that Google acquired in 2006. After you login, type in your blog/site home page (including the slash “/” at the end) in the box provided (see screenshot on the right).
Click Next and the “initial options page” is shown. You can type in your feed title (i.e. the title shown in every email update sent), and the feed address, which is added to the end of “http://feeds.feedburner.com/.”
In our example, I typed in “soccermatch”, so the full feed address will become http://feeds.feedburner.com/soccermatch. After you’ve finished, click next again.
Here you can do anything you want with your feed, but, as to make it simple, we’ll just set up a sidebar widget on the blog for feeds. Different blogging platforms will make different methods to install a link, but we need to get the code first. To do this, click “Publicize” on top of the page.
Then, click “Email Subscription” on the side of the page (see screenshot for link location). Click “Activate” on the next page.
Now you have your code in the next page! There are two options. You can choose to insert a form or a link to subscription page. Inserting a form causes some problems with some themes, so you’d better choose link (the latter option on the page). Now copy that code, and paste into a new HTML/Text widget in WordPress. If you don’t know how to do this, see this page.
For other sites, you just have to copy the code on any site template, it’ll automatically show up.
After you add your code and widget, a link to subscribe to your site/blog will appear in your sidebar. Click the link and a form will appear to allow readers to subscribe to your blog/site. There are also a lot of additional features that FeedBurner provides. You can investigate yourself, or check back later to see a new article about the features of FeedBurner. To see what the resulting email looks like, subscribe to your own blog!