If you have a blog, you probably have heard of Feedburner and are probably using it to some extent. Even though Feedburner is simple to use and setup, it seems that tons of people are making mistakes that are causing their subscriber rate to grow slowly. If you use Feedburner, here are all the settings you should be using to ensure that your subscriber growth is increasing:
BrowserFriendly – The browser friendly option makes your feed look pretty. This option may seem dumb, but there are tons of people who don’t know what RSS is and they are probably more likely to convert into a subscriber when seeing a pretty looking page that is easier to read compared to a raw XML page.
SmartFeed – Some feed readers look for specific XML formats such as Atom or RSS. By using the smart feed option Feedburner translates your feed on-the-fly into a format (RSS or Atom) compatible with your visitors’ feed reader application. If you don’t use this option you may lose some subscribers.
FeedFlare – If you want to gain traffic from social media sites like Digg or StumbleUpon, you need more votes. An easy way to get more votes is to use the FeedFlare feature which allows your RSS subscribers to easily promote your website throughout the social web. You probably won’t get tons of votes through the FeedFlare option but every vote adds up.
Email Subscriptions – Not everyone is going to be sophisticated enough to subscribe to your RSS feed through a feed reader. Because of this, I recommend giving people an email option so that they can subscribe to your feed via email.
PingShot – Blog search engines like Technorati can provide a bit of traffic if you leverage them right. If you want to get tons of traffic out of them you have to blog on what’s hot and most importantly you have to ping them. If you don’t ping them your blog posts probably won’t be found in these blog search engines.
NoIndex – This option prevents your feeds from getting indexed by the search engines. This setting goes both ways because if you get tons of search love you probably don’t want your feed being indexed because it will cause Feedburner to also have the same content indexed within the SERPs. On the other hand, if you did something shady with your site in the past and it currently isn’t getting any search love this can help. Your feed will be indexed by SERPs so that searchers can find your RSS feed when they do searches that are related to your content.
I know some of the above stuff was a bit basic so here’s a bonus tip: If you want to increase your RSS subscribers I would find all the top bloggers that aren’t using FeedBurner and register their FeedBurner URL under your account. Once you setup the feed with their content you’ll notice that after a while it will start gaining subscribers and usually after it gets to roughly 100 or so you can email FeedBurner and request them to redirect the subscribers to your blog feed. Granted, the content will be different but people are lazy and most won’t unsubscribe.
There are probably tons of other ways you can increase your RSS subscriber count, but before you look at other options I would make sure you check your FeedBurner settings. Anyone have any other tips to increasing their RSS feed count?