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5 Tips to Enhance Your Blogger Blog with Feedburner

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feedburnerFeedburner is probably the most recognized and utilized feed services available to Bloggers. Alongside Blogger and other services, Feedburner is owned by Google making this (and other services) increasingly well-integrated with other services which are useful to bloggers.

Despite these close links, well-publicised documentation and ease of use, I am still surprised to see that few Blogger bloggers make full use of Feedburner’s free services. So in this post, I’ll explain 5 useful tips for Blogger users to enhance their blogs with Feedburner.

1. Redirect your blog feeds though Feedburner

All Blogger blogs produce feeds for recent posts; however in their native form these feeds are in Atom.xml format: one which is not compatible with all feed readers and which appears as raw xml unless viewed in an appropriate browser.

To ensure that anyone can view and subscribe to the feeds produced by your Blogger blog, it is advisable – and even preferable – to redirect your feeds through Feedburner.

This has many benefits to both blogger and readers:

  • Ensure complete compatibility of your blog feeds for all feed readers
  • Get statistics of your subscriber base
  • Make is easy for readers to subscribe in their feed reader or via email
  • Choose to use summaries of your posts if you prefer
  • Make use of many other free Feedburner services, including monetization,”Feedflare”, clicklets, “BuzzBoost” and more!

Redirecting your Blogger feeds though Feedburner is simple and involves only a few steps:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, register with Feedburner and add your blog’s feed.
  2. Make a note of the Feedburner URL for your newly-burned feed (eg: http://feeds.feedburner.com/your-feed-name).
  3. Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on Settings>Site Feed
  4. On this page, type your Feedburner feed into the section titled “Post Feed Redirect URL”.
  5. Save these settings.

Now when you view your Blogger feed in your browser, you will see this is automatically redirected though Feedburner to ensure compatibility for all readers and ease of use.

For more information and a detailed walkthrough of this process, take a look at this page from the official Blogger Help site.

2. Set up Email Subscriptions

As bloggers, most of us are familiar with RSS and feed subscriptions. However, as blogs become more and more popular as a means of publishing online, the difference between regular websites and blogs becomes less easy to recognize.

Many visitors to our blogs may not even realise these are blogs, let alone how to subscribe for regular updates! To make it easy for anyone to receive updates of your newest posts, it is advisable to set up email subscriptions for your site.

Feedburner’s email subscription service is highly reliable and completely free to use, no matter how many subscribers you have for your blog.

The easiest way to encourage subscribers to sign up for email updates is to provide a subscription form in your blog’s sidebar. Feedburner make this especially easy for Blogger users to achieve as we can add this as an auto-install widget though the Feedburner dashboard.

Here is the easiest way to add an email subscription form to your Blogger blog:

  1. Log in to your Feedburner account and choose the feed you want to work with.
  2. Once you have accessed the dashboard for your feed, click the Publicize tab and choose Email Subscriptions from the left-hand column.
  3. Click the button to “Activate” this service.
  4. On the refreshed page, choose the language you prefer to use for your form, then scroll down the page a little until you see the section which says: “Use as a widget in…”. From this drop-down menu, choose “Blogger” and hit “Go”.
  5. You’ll then be redirected to Blogger which enables you to choose which of your blogs you would like to add this widget to as a “Page Element”. Simply choose the blog you want to add the form to and click “Add Widget”. The Feedburner email subscription form will then be added to your blog sidebar with no manual intevention.

3. Set up Feedflare for easy bookmarking and syndication of your posts

Feedflare offers an easy way for subscribers and readers of your blog to tag, bookmark and share your blog posts using a variety of services which you can choose.

When you choose to add Feedflare interactivity, you can choose to add links to specific social bookmarking services and other useful prompts to both your blog feed items and even beneath your Blogger posts:

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In order to use Feedburner Feedflare you must first activate this service for the feed you prefer to use.

To do this, log into Feedburner and choose the feed you want to work with. Once logged into the dashboard for your feed, click on the Optimize tab, then on the Feed Flare option in the left column.

Click the “Activate” button to activate this service, and when the page refreshes you will see the many different “flares” which you can add to both your feed items and your blog posts:

Screen-Shot03 Jun. 15

Choose the options you would like to include by checking the boxes to the left of each Feed Flare item for inclusion in feed items or your site (which will display beneath Blogger posts).

Once you save these settings (by clicking the button near the bottom of the page) these new Feed Flares will appear automatically beneath each entry in your Feedburner-burned feed, making it easy for subscribers to bookmark, email and share your blog posts.

Site-enabled Feed Flares do not appear automatically. Instead you will need to edit your Blogger template to add the required code which will make these flares appear. Feedburner offer a very useful tutorial for this, complete with screenshots to direct you through every step of the process.

4. Monetize your Feeds with Google Adsense

Being part of Google’s family of services ensures that both Feedburner and Blogger can now be integrated with monetization options from Google Adsense.

As an extra income stream for your Blogger blog, you may want to consider adding Google Adsense units to you Feedburner feeds.

This process is mostly automated, meaning that you need not manually edit or add code to your Feedburner feeds.

To set up Adsense monetization for your Feedburner feeds, you need to first log into your Google Adsense account using the Google account as you do for both Blogger and Feedburner.

Once you have logged in to Google Adsense, choose Adsense Setup from the tabbed options near the top of the screen, then click on the Adsense for Feeds option on the refreshed page.

On this page, you can choose from many options for displaying your ads; manage channels to track the performance of your ad-units and choose which Feedburner feeds in your account will be monetized using these options:

Screen-Shot04 Jun. 15

When you have chosen all options and saved these settings, your ads will begin to display from the next update of your Feedburner burned feed (up to 4 hours later).

5. Publicize your blog anywhere with a Headline Animator widget

If you own more than one blog, another website, or are able to add a customized footer to your outgoing emails, you can publicize your blog posts using Feedburner’s Headline Animator.

This animated widget offers a stylish way to promote your blog and publicize recent posts anywhere that you can paste a few lines of HTML code:

Screen-Shot05 Jun. 15

To set up a Headline Animator for your Blogger blog, log in to your Feedburner dashboard and click on the Publicize tab. From here choose the Headline Animator option in the left hand column which will lead you to this page:

Screen-Shot07 Jun. 15

You can change options to make your headline animation blend well with your chosen medium and see a live preview near the bottom of the page.

Once you have made all changes, click the “Activate” button. The page will refresh and you will be able to choose which service you would like to add this widget to using options in the drop-down menu:

Screen-Shot08 Jun. 15

Your headline animation will appear as soon as it is installed in the medium of your choice, offering a new and useful method of promoting your recent blog posts when burned through your Feedburner feeds.

Which are your favourite Feedburner services?

Feedburner offers many free services for bloggers in addition to those I have listed above. Which are your favourite services, and how can they help enhance your Blogger powered blogs? Please feel free to leave your comments and your own suggestions below.

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1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific

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I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.

I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.

A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.

Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.

Not super shabby.

I am kinda prolific.

If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.

Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.

Do not wait to create.

Do Not Wait to Create

The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.

Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.

Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.

I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.

Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.

No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.

All because I chose not to wait to create.

Being Prolific Impacts Folks

Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:

I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.

Tips to Be Prolific

  • Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
  • Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
  • Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
  • Do not wait to create
  • Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.

Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.

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How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck

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I lose blogging momentum sometimes.

You may be in the same boat, being human and all.

But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.

I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.

You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.

1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive

I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!

Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.

What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.

If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.

2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles

Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.

Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.

I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.

Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.

3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers

I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.

Each day I:

  • do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
  • exercise for 1 hour
  • usually take an icy cold shower
  • focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes

I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.

You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.

Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.

Wrapping it Up

Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.

 

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1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting

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Have you missed me?

I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.

A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.

The Problem

Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?

I did. For a minute.

Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.

If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.

Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.

Google Image Search

The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?

5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.

The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.

I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.

Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.

Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.

Why this Strategy Is So Powerful

I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.

This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.

Downsides

Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.

Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.

Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.

The Verdict

I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.

If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.

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