FeedBurner is a news feed management service providing custom RSS feeds and tools to bloggers, podcasters, and other web publishers.
I started using Feedburner to add an additional feed to this blog because of the statistical tools it provides for analyzing your traffic. Since then many additional tools have been added including the ability to embed advertising in your feed; thus earning income from it. Feedburner has recently been acquired by Google.
I would recommend you take a look at what is on offer as I think it is an excellent tool for gaining readers and retaining them.
I have put together more detailed information and working examples of a number of the services on my other site here. I would appreciate you having a look at it as it took me ages to put together. (please don't feel pressured in any way though!)
To summarize what is on offer by Feedburner for bloggers:
- Republishes your blog's RSS feed to provide a well styled alternative/ additional RSS feed for your readers; providing the potential to attract more.
- Email Subscription - Offers readers the choice of receiving updates to your feeds via email.
- Advertising content embedded in your feeds from quality advertisers (e.g. Wall Street Journal Online, Wired News, Ziff Davis), A-list bloggers and blog networks and individual publishers. You earn revenue from clicks on these ads. Read more - Feedburner Advertising Network
- Statistics - analysis of your visitors, what they looked at, what feedreaders and browsers they used …. The interface is clear and easy to understand. More detailed statistics are offered with TotalStats, their pro version.
- PingShot - You can set up Feedburner to automatically ping/notify directories and web-based aggregators when you publish a new post, increasing its chances of being picked up by search engines.
- FeedFlare places a 'footer' at the bottom of each feed item. You can configure this to contain an 'email to' and 'digg this' function as well as buttons for subscribing to a large number of feed readers e.g. newsgator, bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us, and personal pages e.g. my yahoo, google and pageflakes. This can help publicize your blog, increase readership and retain readers. You can include content from other feedflares too . Some ideas for this can be found in the Feedflare Catalog
- Feedcount - creates a small icon to include in your blog which shows the number of subscribers to your Feedburner RSS feed.
- BuzzBoost republishes your burned feed's content for inclusion in any site by creating an easily implemented code for you to cut and paste. I have a few ideas for using this feature I will experiment with it and will report back.
- The Headline Animator is a dynamically generated widget-like graphic that displays the 5 most recent items in your feed. In a small banner like format (various sizes available). Here is an example from a feed burned from my other blog - (the blog title needs to be shorter for this size box)
- The SmartCast feature makes podcasting easy in feeds that normally cannot support it. Link to MP3s, videos, images, and other digital media in your site content .
- Other tools include the Link Splicer, Photo Splicer, Geotag Your Feed, Feed Image Burner, Title/Description Burner, Convert Format Burner, Content-Type Burner, Summary Burner, Event Feed, Tickerize and Amazon ID Burner. I have not looked at all of these myself as yet but if the titles intrigue you, you can find out more Feedburner.
- If you change blogs, you can just point your new blog's feed at your Feedburner account and not loose any subscribers.