Sunday, December 5, 2010

Encourage new subscribers by enabling Feedburner's FeedCount button

This article is about how to add the FeedCount icon, which shows viewers how many subscribers your FeedBurner feed has, and lets them subscribe themselves.   The information is targeted at Blogger users, but most of it applies to anyone who uses Feedburner.

What is a FeedCount icon:

Previously I've explained how to create a Feedburner feed for your blog and how to add a Subscribe to my feed icon, and how to use Feedburner to provide an email subscription option.

Feedburner also provides another tool that you can use to let people sign up for your blog.  This is the FeedCount icon, which shows the number of people who are currently subscribed to your RSS feed.

This is useful because of the "social proof" that it provides:  people are more likely to sign up for something once they see that other people have also signed up.

How to add a FeedCount icon to you blog:

Log in to Feedburner, using the Google account that owns the feed.

Click on the name of the feed you want to provide a subscription tool for.

Choose the Publicize tab.

Choose the FeedCount option, from the left navigation bar.

Set the options for your button:
  • Static or animated (I recommend static, because things that flick unnecessarily are annoying)
  • Font colour for the background
  • Font color for the text

At the bottom of the screen, click the Activate button.

  • Choose Blogger from the drop down list beside "use as a widget in", and click Go

    This takes you to a Blogger screen where you can choose which blog you want to add the gadget to (if your current login has more than one), and what title to use for it. 

    When this is done, click Add Widget

    This takes you to the Design > Layout tab, where you can drag-and-drop the widget to wherever you want it.  

Note:  if you want to re-generate the button at a later time with different colour or style options, just choose the options and click Save (which is at the bottom of the screen where Activate was originally).

What your readers see:

Your readers will see an item, wherever you put it, that looks like this:

It shows a count of the current number of subscribers to your Feedburner feed.

When someone clicks on it, they are taken to a screen where they choose which feed-reader software they want to use to subscribe to your site.

Related Articles:

How to create a Feedburner feed for your blog

Using Feedburner to give your blog a Subscribe by Email option

Adding 3rd party HTML to your blog

Why RSS / Subscribe to Posts is important to your blog

Displaying a gadget only on the home page

FeedFlare lets you add social tools to your Feedburner feeds

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