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Chewie

How to use RSS and FeedBurner to promote your WordPress blog

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phatduckk turned me on to feedburner, so he deserves some of the credit here.

Anyway if you don't know what RSS is stands for Really Simple Sindication. What does that mean? I don't think I'm the one to try to translate that in to layman terms. It is really cool and handy.

Feedburner takes an RSS feed and helps promote it to a wider audience, basically giving some free exposure. One of the nicer features of the Feedburner feed in addition to using their bandwidth to syndicate your feed is that you can now track people who are subscribed to your feed.

So lets start with a couple screenshots of the entire process.

1. Head to the main page of your wordpress blog. In this case well feedburn Sterling's blog on the mm site as an example. Notice the RSS symbol in the Firefox Toolbar circled in red below.



2. Click on the RSS symbol and the following page will show up. Notice the address in the Address Bar. Copy that to the clipboard.



3. Now head on over to the Feedburner homepage and enter in the url you copied from the previous step and hit the next button as illustrated below.



4. Feedburner will automatically fill in the next page itself, but you'll have to log in or create a new account when you get to this step. I'm not going to explain how to do that as it is fairly self explanatory.





5. Once you have clicked on Activate you can skip any optional steps feedburner prompts for and complete the process. Take note of your newly created feedburner RSS feed address and keep it handy for later. Once completed the screen should look something like the following:



6. At this point you need to download the Feedsmith plugin for Wordpress. At time of this posting the latest version can be found at http://www.feedburner.com/fb/product...plugin_2.3.zip. Once downloaded, extract the zip file and upload the file plugin file to the wp-content/plugin directory on your webserver. I'm on Solaris so I used gFTP, but on windows, Filezilla should do the trick. Mac i think you should be able use Fetch. Anyway it should look something similar to below.



7. Login to your wordpress admin and click on the Plugins tab. Click on Activate for the Feedburner Feedsmith plugin.



8. Once done it should look like the following:



9. Now click on Settings and enter in your newly created Feedburner RSS feed and hit save.



10. At this point your done. Verify by returning to the main page of your blog and click on the RSS feed again. It should now list the feedburner RSS feed and not your original wordpress RSS feed.



That's about it. I'm sure I forgot something but I think this should be enough to get you going.

Here's an example of some usage of RSS feeds. I'm a big fan of iGoogle. My Firefox homepage is set to iGoogle and it has the RSS feeds from several sites I follow for easy reading. There are several other ways to take advantage of RSS feeds. My other favorite ones are Google Reader and Thunderbird. Here is an example screenshot of iGoogle with a subscription to Sterling's Blog shown.

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Updated 06-27-2008 at 02:36 PM by Chewie

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