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Readers Hungry? Redirecting your RSS Feed

Feed Me: Redired your RSS Feed

This great graphic came from a blog called Marketing Coffee & Pretzels

Have you ever thought about moving your blog? For many of us as our blogs grow, we think about moving to a different URL or to a self hosted site (like using wordpress.org which allows you to use the wonderful framework and blog designs of wordpress while having your own personalized domain) if we are not already self-hosting. But if your blog has been housed at one location for a while, how do you move it without losing your feed subscribers? This is a question a lot of people don’t ask until they are faced with the issue.  So if you are asking this question then you have likely moved your blog and discovered that your subscribers are no longer getting their RSS feed.

When I moved my blog from smcubedconsulting.com to laurenmacewen.com I spent a lot of time looking into redirecting the URL.  I was concerned that people who knew my web address would have difficulty finding the site. Plus I did not want any outside links to unlink because I moved my blog. Eventually I chose to do a 301 redirect. What this does is when  you go to the old URL it takes you to my new site automatically. Using the 301 redirect I don’t lose the SEO work I have done, page ranking I have gained in search engines and people would still be able to easily find my blog.  However, that 301 did not seem to work on my RSS.  Now that is strange.

The research that I did indicated that it would. However, though some feedback from subscribers I found this not to be the case. That is because I was using feedburner to manage my RSS. Apparently the 301 redirect does not affect the feedburner feed because that feed is through an outside source and you cannot redirect a feed that is not your own, though if you are not using an RSS manager the 301 will work perfectly well.

Thankfully, there was an easy fix. I grabbed the feed URL for my new domain name and replaced my old feed URL with the new one. This then solved the issue of my existing subscribers missing out on my feed. Now my new website is feeding to the new feedburner RSS and the old one. So new subscribers and existing subscribers alike will be able to read the feed.

 

 

Hello..Hello…Hello…Is anyone out there? and Other Blog Traffic Questions

Blog Traffic

Is your traffic quality or quantity?

Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. This is what everyone wants. You want to know how to get it and how to get more of it. Of course you do. You don’t want to write and feel like the sound of crickets chirping are the only thing coming back. So lets look at how you get traffic; how you understand your traffic; and why you shouldn’t care.

How do you get traffic?

The best way to get traffic to your blog is to post frequently. You should be blogging AT LEAST 3 times a week. Many people don’t like this answer. But content if content is king then frequency is the entire monarchy. The more you post the more current and relevant you appear. You will also get better SEO results, because the search engines will crawl your site more frequently. Also frequency builds familiarity. People will start seeing your content more often and will be more likely to start reading you.  The top blogs in the world all post more than 5 times a day. Not saying that you have to become Mashable, but if you want traffic you need to generate content.

Other things that help are using keywords to boost your SEO. Give yourself the “thumbs up” on Stumbleupon. Give yourself a “plus” on Google+. Tweet out your blog posts at least 3 times a day and post it on Twitter. Social sharing is a very powerful tool for getting the word out there and getting people to your site. But still…mainly get out there and write.

Understanding your traffic

I admit that I have spent many hours pouring over my analytics on Google and Statscounter. I have gotten really excited when I see a post cause a spike in my traffic.  But these numbers are not the end all be all of your traffic. Despite what many people say, blogs do not live and die by these numbers.

Analytics are a great way to understand the flow of traffic to your site. You will see a lot of information about where you organic traffic is coming from, like Google, Twitter and Facebook. However it does not account for all the ways in which your readers can consumer your blog.

Every blog has an RSS feed. RSS stand for really simple syndication. People can use RSS readers to subscribe to your feed or they can receive it by email. People who use readers or get your blog via email are called subscribers. Services like Feedburner are RSS managers, making it easier for you to track your subscriber traffic. They will let you know how many people are subscribing. However, this is not entirely accurate. There are readers, like Mac mail, that are not counted by Feedburner.

Subscribers are not counted by your analytics unless the person actually goes to your blogsite. Subscribers have the ability to read your posts in their email or through their RSS reader without ever going to your site. So they are still consuming the information, they are just not giving you the hits to your site.

Why you shouldn’t care

Quality is what matters not quantity. If you have a small but dedicated following on your blog, then you don’t need thousands of hits. Hits don’t mean that people are reading. Hits just mean that people are coming to the site. You want readers. Readers will come in the form of subscribers. They are the people who comment on your posts or retweet your links on Twitter. They are your newsletter recipients and the people who comment on your Facebook posts.

So stop dwelling on the numbers. Focus on creating quality posts and the traffic will come!

Facebook: Becoming a Blog?

Facebook is always trying to find new and interesting ways to promote content and make it more easily accessible. Social share features have increased the reach of Facebook, by integrating them with websites and encouraging people to share sites on their wall and on their friends’ walls.  To further increase their reach, Facebook has announced that they are adding a new feature: RSS feeds for fan pages.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is usually reserved for blog posts. It’s what allows you to receive updates in blog readers like Google Reader, where you can easily see all posts by their headlines.  Many people use RSS readers for their favorite blogs, so they can keep up with them without having to go to the blogsites. Some readers allow you to receive blog posts in your email, sending you the contents of the posts. But why does Facebook want to add an RSS feed to fan pages?

Facebook RSSIn theory this will let someone essentially subscribe to a fan page. Not only will you be able to see updates in your news feed, you will also be able to receive posts in your RSS reader. This is good for people who need to monitor certain pages, like politicians or large corporations.  If you are closely watching what a competitor is doing with their social media, this creates an easy venue in which to do it. However, the RSS feature is not likely to be valuable to people who are not using Facebook for professional reasons.

Some of you may be thinking: Facebook had an RSS feed for pages already, so why is this news?  You are right, they did. But recently Twitter and Facebook quietly removed their RSS feeds. Now Facebook has added it back in, along with a link on fan pages to subscribe. Will Twitter follow suit and bring their feed back? Good question. I think they will. An RSS feed provides another way for people to consume content, and ultimately that is key to social media social media success.

Spooky Social Media: Have you subscribed to my pumpkin?

We social media types might be techy but we are also creative!  …sometimes we are even creative in ways that extend beyond the computer.

Did you do a social media pumpkin?  If so send us the pic! We want to see!

Happy Halloween!

Pumpking carved with the RSS symbol

Have you subscribed to my pumpkin?

Pumpkin carved with the Twitter Fail Whale

Even my pumpin can't tweet

Laser cut pumpkin with a face and Digg carved into it.

How many Diggs does your pumpkin have?

Pumpkin carved with the Reddit alien

Did your pumpkin make the news feed?

Wordpress logo carved into a pumpkin

Not only did WordPress host my blog, they are hosting my pumpkin

Pumpkins carved with the firefox and internet explorer, IE, logos

How do you browse your pumpkins?

Plaxo logo carved into a pumpkin

Does your pumpkin know your address?

My RSS Feed is Gone!!

cartoon man sitting on a bench reading an oversized magazine with an RSS symbol on the coverI was doing some basic maintenance on my blogsite and suddenly realized that my RSS feed subscribers dropped down to zero.  You can imagine my “WHAT THE F*%$!!!!” reaction.  Once I got a grip, I decided to leave it for a day to see if maybe it was just some horrible dream.  So I came back and checked and nope, it was real.  All of my subscribers were gone.

I checked my RSS address and it was no longer registering my RSS feed, which was totally confusing and frustrating.  I actually had to go into my wordpress site and eliminate my custom feed.  Then I deleted my feed on Feedburner and reclaimed it. THEN I had to assign a new feed url and redirect my wordpress to the new feed address! Thankfully I did not have many subscribers…

Ok, wait, not really –  I am thankful for every subscriber!  What I mean is that I just offered a subscription box on this site, so I hadn’t yet gathered many subscribers.  But for people who have been managing subscribers for a long time, having your feed url get tanked could be devastating!

I hope that by fixing the RSS feed the subscribers I had will find me again.

Of course after I did all this I started doing some research on feedburner, specifically for this post.  I originally wanted to talk about what feedburner counted and what they didn’t, and why it is not always the most accurate form of traffic stats for blogs.  I found out that Google has been doing some algorithm adjustments and my RSS tanking was most likely because of this.  A post was written talking about feedburner possibly being one of the sources to people having RSS issues. Apparantly Techcrunch and Mashable both had issues with their feeds because of this update.

If it can happen to Mashable, it can happen to me! and you!

So go out and check your feed and make sure that all is well in your blogoverse.