Month: October 2008

Setup your RSS reader – Google reader

RSS is Really Simple Syndication, or should I call the vital part of the blog, the content. As a blogger, you must like to read lots of blogs daily, in average 10-20 blogs. Reading lots of blogs in different topics is a great quality of a successful blogger. But if you try to browse 10 different blogs, it will be very hard for you to search every blog, load every page to find out the new updates. A feed reader is a great solution for getting new contents from you favorite blog.

There are lots of RSS feed readers available on the internet but I prefer Google Reader. Just go to Reader.google.com and sign in with your google account. Now add your favorite blogs as your subscription. To add a blog, click on ‘Add subscription‘ on the center left of the page. Now put your favorite blog url like, ‘blogkori.com‘ and click ‘Add‘ -your reader will get all of the articles of the blog.

Now scroll down and you can be able to read all of the articles of the blog, even the older ones too. This way you will be able to read all of the contents in one page and you don’t have to visit the blog either.

Once you read all of the articles, you can now go and do your other works or could add more blogs in your list. Each time a new article has been puyblished on the blog, it will appear on your feed reader and you can check the blogs with new updates just like your email account.

You can get lots of other informations from Google reader and can share your feed items. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed by clicking on the Reader icon in different blogs.

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Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 2

This is the second part of the series, if you missed the previous part then you can sure read it here: Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 1

To optimize your RSS feeds to the next level, you have to add some services from feedburner and have to turn some options on. Read this article if you need to know how to setup a feedburner account and burn your RSS feeds.

Go to FeedBurner.com and ‘login’ to your account. You will see your feeds in ‘my feeds’ menu. Select your feed and you will be directed to your feed ‘analyze’ tab. You will see your feed status and total subscribers count(if you have already some readers) This is my blog, tamalanwar.com’s feed history,

You can also see further details about your daily feed subscribers,

Who are the daily RSS readers?
Your daily RSS readers/subscribers are the total amount of readers who have read your feed yesterday. I mean the total number of visitors who got your blog articles via feed/ RSS reader/ email yesterday.

Now add turn on these services from feedburner,

Go to ‘publicize’ -tab

Chicklet chooser

Start getting new RSS subscribers by adding the RSS icon on your blog. Click on the ‘chicklet chooser’ from the center left from the window and select an RSS icon.

You can choose a verity of icons from the list or you could also upload your own image with the link pointed to your feed(feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori) Place the icon on the top of your blog, so that readers will find it and then your visitors will subscribe.

Email subscriptions

Email delivery is a great option from feedburner to give your reders another way to get your blog articles. When your readers will subscribe via email, they will recieve updates in the email whenever your blog gets updated. Most of the people who don’t like to read RSS from feed readers choose this option. Click on the ’email subscriptions’ -button and ‘Activate’ this service.

Get the email subscription form and add it to your blog. Adding an email subscription form will attract more email subscribers. You can also choose other options from this menu.

Feed Count

Feed counter is the social way to attract more subscribers for your blog. Go to ‘feed count’ and ‘activate’ this service.

You can choose different colors to create your own RSS feed counter. You can show of on your blog, how many daily RSS readers you have. Please note that, if you add a counter with having a low number like, 7, 10, 15 etc, this will make your readers unsubscribe from your blog because people like to follow a crowd. Add your counter to your blog when it reaches at least 50.

Buzz boost

This is another service which allows you to republish your feed in HTML. Activate this service and create a buzz boost.

Set your options like the headlines and other options. With this service you can create a link list of your latest articles like you see on BlogKori’s ‘What’s new’ tab. You can add up to 25 latest articles with this service but keep it simple by limiting it to 5, 8 or 10 latest articles.

Ping shot

Ping shot is a great service which will allow you to ping different search engines when you update your blog.

You can manually ping with Ping-o-matic when you update your blog but in case you forgot, activate this service. Select all of the services like, technorati, my yahoo, newsgator, blog lines and 5 more services.

Go to ‘optimize’ -tab

Feed flare

This is the cool way where you can use your readers to promote your blog articles. Activate this service and click on the feed flares you want to use.

Add the ‘comments’ flare to show the total comments on the feed item. If you use digg and stumble for your blog, add those buttons too! You can add more services but make sure to add only the services you and your readers use to promote the content.

Additional services

You can choose other services to further optimize your RSS feeds like, Browser friendly, Smart feed, Headline animator, Spring widgets skin and many more.

What do you say?

  • Was this article helpful?
  • Will it help you to get more RSS subscribers?
  • Did you liked it? or
  • Did I missed anything?

I would really like to get feedback from you and to know how you feel about this topic.

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Low numbers and lots of widgets can put a negative effect on your blog

As a blogger you must make your blog and its design as simple and helpful as you can. The reason you need a simple design with less widgets because you have to make your blog loads faster. People will avoid your blog if it takes much more time to load, so cutting down some widgets can help you to make your blog load faster.

There are some set of social tools which will show up some numbers. Showing up some numbers are great but if it shows low numbers, then your readers will go away. Here are some examples,

Social votes

Some of the sites like Digg, Sphin, Mixx and Yahoo Buzz have a button which you can add to your blog. These buttons will show the votes you got for that article on that site. Its a nice way to show your article’s importance in that site but if it shows low numbers, your reader will not be interested to read it. If your Digg button says 1 or 2 diggs, then don’t add it to your blog. Add the button when the digg counter is around 50 or more.

RSS feed counter

Many of the bloggers like to show off their daily RSS readers. I showed up my RSS counter too, but it was only 5 RSS readers. If you show up such a small number on your blog, your readers will lose their interest and un-subscribe from your blog. This is because people loves to follow a crowd. They will follow your blog when they will see hundreds of people are subscribed. So my idea is to show up the counter when it reaches 50 or more subscribers.

Hit counter

Yes, this is one favorite tool for many webmasters. You should not show up a hit counter to count your visitors. There are other ways to count them like google analytics. If you show up your counter, your readers will know how much traffic you are getting. If its a low number, many readers will go away from your blog.

RSS buttons

I have seen this in many blogs. You can add all of the RSS buttons to promote your RSS feeds. But doing this will make your blog messy. I call this, ‘Chewing gum wrappers.’ People will be demotivated if they see a long list of RSS buttons and will not subscribe. Your readers are not dummies and they know how to subscribe, just put one RSS button and the interested people will sure subscribe. Adding all of them will make your blog loading slower.

Live traffic feed

I like this widget from Feedjit. It shows the live traffic feed from different countries and sites. It will impress your readers if you have regular visitors coming to your site. You should remove this widget because your readers can access the live traffic feed dashboard by clicking ‘Show in real time’ You should not allow your readers to access your blog’s traffic data.

Clock widget

I don’t like it because it takes more space in your blog and it takes more time to load. The clock will always show the local time so when your reader will come to your site, they will know the time and they will think about other things to do. Its a common theory, when you will know the time, you will remember about things to do. Your blog should be the place where people will stay for hours. A clock widget will simply make your readers go away.

What do you think?

You are the blogger and you know what is better for your blog. You know what to add and what to remove. But be practical, your blog is not your personal page where you can put all of the things together. Add the things which are required for your readers and will make your blog slim.

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Optimize your blog’s RSS feed for maximum results Part 1

If you are still trying to figure out about RSS(Really Simple Syndication) -then this article is specially for you and how you can get maximum results from it.

Every blog has its own RSS feed/XML feed. There are many platforms to burn your RSS feed and one of the popular service is called google’s FeedBurner.

The reason to choose feedburner is because its fast, easy and has lots of features. Now let me explain the RSS feed to you. Take a look at the picture,

The top page is your blog with having title, blog post, ads, links, widgets and lots of things which you have in your blog. When you will burn your blog RSS feed, it will look like the second window with having only the blog post/content. And it will have no other links, widgets, ads and no other things. Because RSS feeds only have the content, these loads faster on the browser and this is why most of the people likes to read blogs in their RSS readers.

When you will burn your feed from feedburner, you will get your feed address which will look like this, feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori. You have to set it up with your blogger account.

Go to your ‘blogger dashboard’ > ‘settings’ > ‘site feed’

Now select ‘full’ -as ‘allow blog feeds’

Now add your feed address(eg: feeds.feedburner.com/blogkori) on ‘Post feed redirect url’ -so that every feed on your blog will redirect to your feedburner RSS feed.

This means your readers can read the full article on their RSS reader. If you select ‘short’ -then they will be able to read few lines in the RSS feed and then they have to come to your blog to read the rest of the article. If you want to build up a strong readership, you will have to provide ‘Full RSS feeds’ because professional bloggers offer full RSS feeds.

Why should I provide Full RSS feeds?

  • To keep your subscribers connected to your blog
  • To make it simple for your readers to get the updates
  • A big readership is far more better than having lots of visitors
  • To turn your visitor into a regular reader
  • More readership means more blog status
  • RSS readers will promote your blog
  • To make your reader remember your blog

I hope after reading the above article you now know,

  • What is RSS and how does it work?
  • Why it is important for a blog?
  • How to set it up with feedburner?
  • Why should you provide Full RSS feeds?
  • How RSS helps you to get regular readers?

If you still having any question regarding with Feeds and RSS, then you could ask me anytime. This article has been continued with more advanced tips on the next part.

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Removing the blogger navigation bar from a template

There are only few built in templates in blogger platform and one reason I don’t like them becasue of the top blogger navigation bar on every template. There are other cool templates can be found on the internet and but many of them have the same un-professional nav bar. If you could remove the nav bar from the template, the template will look great and professional.

Actually every blogger template could be customized as a great looking template but before we went to that part, lets remove the boring nav bar from blogger.

Go to your blogger dashboard> layout> edit HTML. Search this code,

]]></b:skin>

Now add this code above the code,

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}

It will look like this, and save the template

#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}
]]></b:skin>

With this trick, you can remove the navbar from any blogger template.

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