In the name of building a name and a platform and acquiring readers, I’ve done a lot of bloggy stuff over the last 2 or 3 years. I’ve talked elsewhere about moving to self hosted WordPress, moving back, forwarding to my own domain name, and what’s worked for me in terms of trying to garner readership. It’s been a really fumbling sort of process, more an issue of trial and error than much legitimate planning and execution.
Today I’ve been thinking about feeds. Now the free version of wordpress has an automatic feed. It’s just http://yourwordpressaddress.wordpress.com/feed. With the domain forwarding my feed seems to function from http://seanachi.wordpress.com/feed OR https://kaitnolan.com/feed. Which is all well and good. I have a handful of subscribers (I think), but no way to really track them or analyze anything.
When I did the self-hosted version of wordpress, I did the Feedburner thing. This was before Feedburner was bought by Google, and frankly, I never did understand much about it other than the fact that there were supposed to be all these nifty statistics you could use to track your feed, who was subscribing to it, who was clicking stuff, etc. I kind of forgot about it once I moved back to the free version of WordPress.
It came up this morning because I use Twitterfeed. This nifty service checks (allegedly hourly) for need updates to your feed, and then tweets the new post on Twitter for you. I love it because I get about a third to half of my traffic from Twitter. I wanted to go in and adjust something in there this morning and I noticed that it gave this little message saying something about it not being a feedburner feed, so no statistics were available other than the number of bit.ly clicks. So that sent me to Feedburner again (and what do you know, I still have an account there even though I have only like 4 subscribers to my old self-hosted feed). I went ahead and burned new feeds for Shadow & Fang and Pots & Plots. Then I made new AddThis buttons and put them at the top of my sidebars on each, and I’ve updated the feed itself in Twitterfeed. In theory, this should allow me to track subscribers and such. I’ll be interested to know how many I actually have who regularly visit my blog out of my daily traffic.
I have no idea how it will work for those people who are subscribed to the native WordPress feed as opposed to the Feedburner version that is now linked through the AddThis button. The native feed doesn’t go away, so I assume they’ll stay subscribed to that, and I just won’t get any stats on them. We shall see.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted!