Monday, April 16, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 16

Well, we're now past the half-way point in this challenge. In a little over two weeks, we've connected to four social media sites, written at least two blog posts, defined ourselves and our goals, and quite a bit more. Time to hit the second half!


Deliver your blog posts to readers via e-mail.

For today's challenge, add an e-mail feed to your blog. There are many ways to increase traffic to your blog, but one that has paid huge dividends for MNINB is adding Feedblitz to the blog.

As the subscribers to my e-mail feed have increased, my blog traffic has increased as well. In fact, after great content, I'd say that adding share buttons (from Day 7) and an e-mail feed are the top two ways to build traffic.

Click here to view QuickStart Guides for Adding Feedblitz to Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, MySpace, Podcasting.

Though I have an account on Tumblr, I'm just not sure if it offers some kind of e-mail/RSS feed service.

The reason I think e-mail feeds are so useful is that they pop into my inbox whenever a new post is up, which means I can check it very easily on my phone when I'm waiting somewhere. In fact, this is how I keep up with several of my favorite blogs. It's just one more way to make your blog content accessible to readers in a variety of formats.

If I remember, this task didn't take me long to add, but I've been grateful for finally getting around to adding it ever since.

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Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.

In the webinar How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself, super freelance writer I.J. Schecter teaches writers how to avoid the most common social media pitfalls, how to respond to others strategically, how to get work for yourself by talking about others, and more.

Click to continue.

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Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here the most recent:

109 comments:

Misky said...

Done. I've added one icon for feedburner next to the Share icons, and added another near the bottom of the page near the default Wordpress subscribe link.

Lauren Miller said...

I've got one in my sidebar but I'll look into adding by the Share buttons like Misky's doing. :)

Kirra said...

Done

Karen said...

Question: If your readers get your blog post through their e-mail, does that lessen the number of views on your blog? In other words, if all my readers got my post on their email would I suddenly have no page views on my actual blog? I have an email icon but wasn't sure how that worked.

Daughter1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

I agree with the email feed. It has been a great way for my blog to be seen by a lot of people. So this challenge is done! :-)

J. B. Everett said...

Done

bolton carley said...

Apparently, I'm the clueless one. I'm struggling. I got the Feedburner part done, but my Wordpress account looks different than what they're showing. Am I the only one? Will be back to figure it out later today.

Lynn said...

Done. I'm not sure I totally understand what I did. Now am I supposed to add this on my blog as an icon? I'm sure you just love people who aren't very savvy with all this stuff.

Claudine Jaboro said...

Done! Now to do Day 15 task.

Rebecca Barray said...

Done. ;)

Mary Bauer said...

I am done.

RobHalpin said...

What's the advantage to using Feedburner vs. the built-in RSS and email subscription services provided by most blog hosts?

De said...

Done!
I already had an email option, but today I finally figured out how to move it up in my righthand feed, so it appears next to the newest poem, instead of way down at the bottom. Moved the share buttons, too. Yay.

I do have to note that I have trouble receiving email updates myself, for any blog that isn't Wordpress (like mine). Anybody else have that issue? Some Blogger blogs, in particular, I just never get the notifications.

Thanks, Robert. Feels like I enhanced my blog's "userability" today. :)

Joseph Lalonde said...

Has been done for awhile. I use MailChimp for my email subscribers and it has been steadily climbing in subscribers.

Kasie Whitener said...

Done.

JRWoodward said...

Done! The absolute earliest POSSIBLE I could get a MINIB task finished.

Gerry said...

Uh oh. Here's what I wordpress "help" says about plugins on Wordpress.com: "Plugins are not permitted here at WordPress.com for various security reasons..." So unless I can figure this out, I guess I fail today's challenge.

Anybody else have a self-hosted blog at wordpress.COM, not wordpress.org, who might have tips for me? Drat.

Jen McPeek said...

As a couple of people already mentioned, I'm done...I think. I followed the stuff for Blogger, but I can't really tell a difference. Where it says to find something in a subscription form, I'm completely lost. I've looked everywhere on my formatting page and I have no idea what it's talking about, which is sad because I'm usually at least passable with these kinds of things.

Joe O. said...

Hi, I'm using FeedBurner as opposed to FeedBlitz, but I'm glad you pointed me toward this resource, albeit a paid one. I'm told my FeedBurner is delayed as much as a day in how it transmits updates, so the small fee might be worth considering if my reader base ever gets large enough to invest in.

Twitter: js_orozco

Dana Dampier said...

Done!!

Lynn Daue said...

Ooh, I did this not too long ago with Feedburner. It's in my sidebar, but I like Misky's idea of adding an icon to individual posts as well.

Romelle Broas said...

done?! Is this the same as simply adding the "subscribe by e-mail" link? Or is the feedburner a different entity I add to that link? Not quite sure I understand. I'll snoop around and read more.

Stevie Libra Allen said...

Done. But Feedburner takes their jolly time sending them out. Last time they took three days! My settings are for them to check four times each day.

Anne Kimball said...

I second Rob's question:

RobHalpin said...
What's the advantage to using Feedburner vs. the built-in RSS and email subscription services provided by most blog hosts?


I also second Karen's question:

If your readers get your blog post through their e-mail, does that lessen the number of views on your blog?


I have wondered the same thing as Karen. If my Mom, for instance, reads my blog post when it shows up in her inbox, is that one less view to my blog for the day?

E. B. Pike said...

Already done. :) It helps me as a blogger, too, to keep abreast of my fellow blogger's posts. It's a good reminder for me to pop by their blog and comment.

Hey, fellow MNINB challengers. Want to step it up and follow eachother's blogs by email? It could be a great way to step up traffic at our "baby blogs." :)

I'll stop by and check out all the commenters' blogs before mine. After that, just drop me a note on my blog and I'll stop by.

E. B. Pike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kiril Kundurazieff said...

Done!

For both blogs.

I've added the button near the share buttons in the sidebar, as well.

On Typepad, if I understand it right, the link from typepad, stuck, in the bottom right corner of my sidebar, is automatically tied to Feedburner, so i don't need to add a button down there

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Using Feedburner, Feedblitz, MailChimp, built-in feed tools, etc.--all are fine. I just mentioned a version that includes instructions on how to add to multiple blogging platforms.

To answer the question about traffic, I'm not sure if you do get a hit if someone views the post in their e-mail. But for me, I don't care if I do or don't. I just want to stay visible and connected to my audience.

I can say that the subscriber total on my e-mail feed has nearly quadrupled since the beginning of the year, but it hasn't hurt my traffic. In fact, as of today, I've already matched my traffic--over the course of the whole year--from 2011.

Needless to say, I have complete faith in using feeds.

Beth Stilborn said...

Done. Long ago.

For those with wordpress.com blogs which don't allow plug-ins, simply use the email subscription widget available in the standard widgets. It may not be the particular one that Robert suggested, but it does the trick. That's what I used when I had a wordpress.com blog. (I've switched to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog because I wanted to be able to use plug-ins.

To take a look at the subscription possibilities I have on my blog, to give you ideas for your own (if you can add plugins), you can look along the sidebar of my blog at http://www.bethstilborn.com (Click my name and you'll automatically be taken to my blog)

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

This one was really hard. In fact, I'm not even convinced it's useful for a brand new blog that nobody's following. However, i committed to learn this, and I am (more or less) learning. Today I couldn't have done it without my daughter and her boyfriend helping. I was ready to give up, but they persisted.
Gerry, we had the same problem. You have to be sure to click on the wordpress.com selector. I wish I could give more specific advice, but I still don't really understand how they got it to work.
Hate this challenge. It's like eating vegetables, or exercising.

Diane said...

Done :)

the whatnot shop said...

Done

Rhonda Parrish said...

Done.

~ Rhonda Parrish

Khara House said...

All done. And in figuring it out, I found out that I have more subscribers through FeedBurner than what appears as subscribers to the blog itself; only 37 and 33 respectively, but still ... that's a big number in my book!! :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Done - because I already had a subscribe by e-mail button on my blog. Today was an easy day!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Jane, including an e-mail feed when you don't have as many readers is the perfect time, because it should help you build a readership. :)

Andrew Kreider said...

Done. I already had the blogger email feed widget, so I'm assuming this is as good as using Feedburner?

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Done.

Gail Kushner said...

I don't know if I'm "done" or not. I have a website with a blog so the information for "Blogger," etc. doesn't work for me. However, I have both a "Subscribe to my e-mail list" tool and an RSS feed on my blog. Are those the same as feedburner, etc.? I don't know if people get my blog automatically or if they can just check the feed to see if anything is new. I'm a bit confused . . .

caryl said...

Done. (already had it)

Brooke Ryter said...

Already done! =)

bolton carley said...

Thanks, Beth!

I think I figured mine out, but I am obviously not the computer savvy type!

Julia Tomiak said...

Already done! I also recommend going into your feed settings and tweeking how people see your blog when it goes to their inbox.

Michelle said...

I had one on my blog but it was further down the page. Now, I've moved it up to the top right, and I've also got a button that comes up in the share buttons as well.

Thanks for another great tip!

Lauri Meyers said...

Done!

Monique Liddle said...

Done!

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Done.

Jen, (for Blogger), sign in to your Dashboard and click on Design. Then Add a Gadget. The e-mail option will be one of the top choices because it's "New." Then move it around in Design mode to where you want it and click Save.

Rob and Ann, I didn't realize this before, but Subscribe/RSS is for people to follow your blog in an online reader, such as Google Reader. Which means they have to make the effort to go look at their reader, and they may miss your post. The e-mail option delivers it to them and reminds them about your post.

I signed up for my own blog. I didn't realize that Blogger e-mail and FeedBurner are the same. I liked the witty e-mail interaction.

Susan P said...

I have the same question a lot of other people have - if I already have a subscribe by email button on my blog - is that the same as a feedburner? I seem to have all the stats collection info, email notifications, etc already.

Still - I went through the process of subscribing and it told me I had done so successfully but nothing changed on my site.

Hmmm...this is the first techno thing I have been unable to figure out.

Susan P said...

Ahhh...After reading Elizabeth Saunders' post - I think she answered my questions.

Muddy said...

Hooray! Something I've already done! I will look at putting it at the bottom of my post too.

I'm with Claudine...back to Day 15!

Mry said...

I was following 3 favorite blogs through their RSS feeds before creating my own website, so I add the feed to my own blog at the get-go.

Lara Britt said...

Done,....I think. I will know for sure when someone subscribes or tries to. I haven't tried to link the multiple accounts yet, just Writing Space (larabritt.com)

Susan P said...

Wow! I did it! You learn something new everyday!

Diana said...

Added, but still not sure if it's right, though there is a little feedburner icon at the top of the page. I guess that part's right anyway!

John Morris Benson said...

I took the weekend off because of nice weather in the PNW. Today, I put a new face on my web site http://www.tincupnomore.com because we had morning rain. The next rainy day, I'll try to catch up with 14, 15 and 15, but I think I am already close.

I do get a hit on my primary e-mail when someone comments on my blog and have hits from Twitter, LinkedIn.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for creating a challenge that I can actually succeed at, Robert...essentially because I've already completed several of the "assignments" (like this one)!

Erika D. said...

Like a few others, I found today's challenge a bit more complicated than it sounded. (Meaning: I couldn't accomplish it before leaving for the day job this morning!)

In my case, I had to check in w/my website's designer (I've tried to make my site a hub for everything I do, including my two blogs). So there IS a subscribe by email option now, but we're still tweaking some other changes in the layout that may be needed to accompany the accompanying changes, if that makes any sense.

In other words, the task is done, but some after-tasking remains. But I think all of the effort will be worth it. Robert, you make a convincing case for the e-mail subscription option! Thank you.

Pat Walsh said...

Done. I've often wondered how those "Follow me by e-mail" boxes got onto my favorite blogs; now I've got one of my very own!

Anne Kimball said...

Robert-Not-Bob said:

I'm not sure if you do get a hit if someone views the post in their e-mail. But for me, I don't care if I do or don't. I just want to stay visible and connected to my audience.


WTH, Robert?! Just because YOU have 13 THOUSAND followers on your blog doesn't mean us peons don't overanalyze every measly hit we get! Call me petty, but this peasant from the bottom of the bloggy food chain wants to know if my blog will still get a hit if a person reads my blog on email or a reader or whatnot instead of clicking onto my blog.

The 99% want answers!

(This message contains nothin' but love)

hcfbutton said...

Okay, that was something I've never done before, I just hope I did it right. I'm going to have to start modifying all the widgets on both of my blogs because now there seem to be too many. (hcfitzpatrick.com & myquirkycity.blogspot.com)

So, any tips for how to streamline widgets to the important ones?

Claudia Karabaic Sargent said...

I couldn't make FeedBurner work because I didn't have a way to install the chiclet, BUT I already had a FOLLOW THIS BLOG BY EMAIL widget, so I moved it up the left column. MUCH better now!
Soooooo, DONE!

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

It's done. Again, I spent an hour trying to follow instructions that were irrelevant, since almost all the work had already been done by Wordpress for penny pinchers like me who use the free version.

imunuri said...

Done on both blogs, though still a little confused about what this does. The comment thread is helpful, though.

Jennifer said...

Done. Now I just need more subscribers. 8 just isn't enough.

hcfbutton said...

So after updating to Feedburner, Wordpress is now saying that I'll get more through their email subscription feature. I guess I should stick with them?

Kirk said...

Done.

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

Done! I actually did this yesterday when I finally sent the blog link out. Yay!

Nicole said...

Hey Nicole here. Already done.
Until tomorrow

Veronica Roth said...

Better late than never! Thanks Beth Stilborn, struggled with this for a while and am giving up for today. Fresh eyes and Beth's advice saved for tomorrow.

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

Not sure I did this right, but I did try and I have some RSS feed buttons on the blog now. So I will call it done.

Kendra Merritt said...

Done. Took all day but look, look, look! It worked!

Dianne said...

done! I had this in place already :-)

Kyle Robinson said...

I have this, but I didn't know how to check it for the number of subscribers. I learned that which is cool. Now to increase that number.

Pamela Toler said...

Done.

Meena Rose said...

Done!

Meg Miller said...

Done

Brandi Amara Skyy said...

done!

Evelyn said...

I am totally overwhelmed by this one. So many instructions! Maybe I will do it after today's chat.

Paul Ellis said...

I've had this functionality for awhile. Sweet! Call it done!

Madeline Sharples said...

I already had an email feed, but I didn't set it up completely. Thanks for this directions. Hope it works now.

Madeline Sharples said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AMelodyGalloway said...

It's done. Took me quite a while. I added to all four blogs, but my daughter (test subject) said one of them isn't working. Guess I missed a step. Back to the drawing board.

Barbara Morrison said...

Done. I did this a few months ago when a reader requested it.

Joy Weese Moll said...

I did this during Bloggiesta a few weeks ago. Feedburner was my solution.

Sabrina said...

This took me awhile to figure out, but sense of accomplishment is there in full. Done!

Stephanie Puckett said...

Done.

Janann Giles said...

Done

Cameron said...

Added to two primary blogs. I think I'm close to caught up now.

Blyth McManus said...

Finally figured it out. Done! Thanks!

Susan Craig said...

Wow. Went to my Wordpress blog and a subscription box was already there! Cool. I am done.

Marian O'Brien Paul said...

Susan Craig, or Bob, where is this subscription box that you mentioned located on your WordPress blog? I am really having trouble with this task, maybe I'm just blind : )

Thanks

Marian O'Brien Paul said...

Update for Susan Craig, or Bob:
Hmmm, I hopped around on the Wordpress site and I think I found the subscription box you mentioned, Susan, so I clicked it and it brought me to a Yahoo page I sometimes see (an alternate? I think to the one I usually open).

Maybe I've done the task, then again, maybe I haven't???

Sierra Steele said...

OK, done.

CERN Wife said...

Done! I'm catching up here after a week's holiday. So I now added FeedBurner, but the same thing is happening that happened before: the email content doesn't show the details of the blog, and what comes through is an email with photos. At least now there aren't automatic "typos" which happened before. But how can I get my blog to look like my Blog, rather than looking like an email, to get to people who sign up to receive it?

Sheila Good said...

I already had this but rechecked everything again. Thanks. Another day down. Still playing catch-up.

Carol A Stephen said...

I think I have done it but not sure. I already had an email subscribe widget on my Wordpress blog, and an RSS feed for both posts and comments. I activated through Feedburner just now, but nothing seems to have changed. Still, I have the functionality so I say I am done!

:)

Charley said...

Wordpress has Email Subscribe service. Done.

Kerry said...

I have an email button on my blog already.

Denise Stanley said...

I already had this on my blog. I wish every blog I follow would have this feature. I've actually asked one of the bloggers to add it.

Claudine Jaboro said...

Done! :)

Kerry said...

I know I added the email icon to my blog, but don't see where I submitted my acknowledgement. So many posts, so little time.....

Rena J. Traxel said...

Done. I did this not that long ago after a reader told me she wish she could follow my blog via e-mail. Blogger makes it so easy to add a feed burner.

allysonyj said...

Can you please explain
what an "email Feed" is and how is this is different from what happens when someone subscribes to my Wordpress site? Is the subscription on Wordpress good only if the subscriber already has a wordpress account? I have subscaribed to some other wordpress blogs and I get a feed directly to email - if i add this will folks who don't have a Wordpress account get something better than they can get now?

GoingVeggie said...

Finally done to my satisfaction. I had an email "join" option, but it wasn't as automated as I would like. Now moving to MailChimp and fixing Mr RSS feed (cuz FeedBlitz had a really cumbersome interface). Onward!

Shirley is not my name said...

Done! However, I'm not sure it was done correctly or that I completely understand or that I will be able to remember how to do it again later. (smh and shrugging shoulders) :/

Fred Shrum, III said...

Hmm. I think it's done. I'll check the stats in a few days.

Monica Miller said...

Done. Used the built-in email feeders on wordpress and blogger.

Pennie De Witt said...

I did it! I did it! I can't BELIEVE I did it! It was scary and confusing. I just don't jive with a lot of this technical stuff, but I got through it and succeeded! Thank you!