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Like many things to do with the web, Google tries to make it better. That's where FeedBurner comes in. FeedBurner is a free service from Google that lets you take an RSS Feed and it optimizes it. The good news is, is that FeedBurner can track usage of your RSS Feed and fix common problems. Here is what it does. With FeedBurner, you just paste in an existing RSS Feed. And what it does is it streamlines the republishing content. You can get a box for your website that allows people to subscribe via e-mail to your RSS Feed or simple widgets for one click adds for things like Facebook and Twitter and RSS Readers.
feedburner.com is an absolutely free service. It used to cost money, but Google bought it and rolled it out absolutely free. And what's really nice is the detailed statistics that you get about how things in your RSS Feed were accessed. You can get details by country, you can see which stories were the most read or most clicked and this all really comes in handy. Another thing that I like about FeedBurner is it could serve like a post office box. You could take your Podcasting Feed or a Feed from Twitter or Facebook and run it through FeedBurner as an intermediate middle ground.
What happens here is you take that new URL, the optimize URL that FeedBurner makes and then publish that to the re-syndication services. Why would you do that? Well, sometimes you can't update which RSS Feed is used. For example, if you submit an iTunes Feed, it's only going to let you submit it once. What happens if your hosting company goes out of business and you have to move to a different server? Well, you would lose all of your iTunes Subscribers, because you would have to submit a new Feed and start a new Podcast, unless you used FeedBurner.
You can go ahead and take that initial RSS Feed, run it through FeedBurner and assign it basically a post office box. Then when you move, you just update the post office box and it will continue to serve that new Feed out of iTunes, keeping you from losing customers. Now other services are going to be the same way, and FeedBurner is a great middle ground. It also adds things like the ability to splice in Amazon affiliate codes or recommended links. Let's take a quick look at the interface.
All you need to do after you login to your account is paste the RSS Feed and click the Next button. If it specifically for a podcast, just click the, I am a podcaster button. So, once you click the Next button, you just need to give it a Title. This title is for your benefit. And you can give it a new URL here as well, like I could say youtuberhedpixel, I then click Next.
And it adds it to Feeds that you are tracking. You also have great controls here. If you take a look at a Feed, you'll see that you have a lot of options. For example, you can optimize it and make it friendly for browsers, or automatically integrate links or photos. You can go ahead and put in additional information about it. You can choose to Publicize and target things like Email Subscriptions or allow it to be Social with social media, or make Chicklets for your website that are going to promote it and make it one click access, for popular RSS Feeds.
You can even Monetize the content and of course they needed one more ize, so they added Troubleshootize. But this tells you common errors and how to fix that. What's really nice is the FeedMedic option which will automatically email you, if there is an error with your RSS Feed. When your podcaster or bloger, the last thing you want to see is a problem with your website. Of course what's worse is to find out about it from your readers or your customers.
By using something like FeedBurner with its FeedMedic service, you'll automatically get an alert when your RSS feed starts to act up. This is a great way to spot a problem and then it even offers useful links to how to fix it. And of course, you can combine with the earlier service we mentioned and take advantage of Feed Validator to further refine and fix the problem.
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