How can I find out how many RSS and e-mail subscribers I have?

Today’s post is brought to you by the ever-popular and knowledgeable Jordan from Momma Blogga. She has graciously agreed to guest post for me all week while I bask in the glory that is a family reunion. Welcome Jordan (as you always do) and leave her many comments so she’s come back!

The easiest way to find out how many RSS and e-mail subscribers you have is to use a service like FeedBurner.  FeedBurner integrates fully with Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress, not to be confused with WordPress.com).  WordPress.com users can also use FeedBurner, though it may not “catch” all of your subscribers.

To integrate with FeedBurner, first you ahve to set up your feed with FeedBurner.  It’s pretty easy to do and quite self-explanatory, but if you’d like step-by-step instructions, see the MamaBlogga post 5 Steps to Getting Started with FeedBurner.

Once you’ve set up your feed with FeedBurner, you’ll need to make some changes on your blog to indicate that your subscribers shouldn’t use your default feed (which still exists on your blog and is the source for your FeedBurner feed).

Integrating your FeedBurner feed to your Blogger blog

After Google’s recent acquisition of FeedBurner, Blogger has more fully integrated with FeedBurner.

blogger

Go to Settings>Site Feed.  In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, type the address of your newly burned FeedBurner feed (http://feeds.feedburner.com/WhateverYouNamedIt).  Save your settings.

Integrating your FeedBurner feed to your self-hosted WordPress blog

Use FeedBurner’s own FeedSmith FeedBurner Replacement Plugin, which directs your subscribers to your FeedBurner Feed automatically (again, youíll have to enter your FeedBurner address).  Once your plugin is installed and activated, you enter the address under the Options>FeedBurner FeedSmith tab.

Integrating your FeedBurner feed to your WordPress.com blog

You can still use FeedBurner (which is owned by Google), but there’s a chance that people will subscribe to your blog using your “regular” WordPress feed instead of your FeedBurner feed.

Integrating your FeedBurner feed to your TypePad blog

Go to Configure>Feeds.  Find the FeedBurner section and click on the button to connect your feed with your FeedBurner feed.  You’ll have to enter your FeedBurner login information, then youíll be given the options to choose which of your FeedBurner feeds you want to associate with your blog.  Save the changes (twice).

FeedBurner numbers are only updated once a day, so you won’t begin to see accurate numbers right away, but soon you’ll be able to track how many subscribers you have.

Fluctuations from day to day are normal, so don’t worry or think that individual posts are necessarily turning off your readers.  As with all stats on your blog, feed subscribers aren’t the be-all and end-all of your blog, but it’s nice to have some idea where you stand.

11 Responses

  1. forgetfulone July 7, 2008 / 3:03 am

    Is there a way to do this with Bloglines if you already have an account set up with them?

  2. Michele July 7, 2008 / 12:12 pm

    Thanks for this post! I had started with Feedburner but hadn’t put the new URL into my settings on blogger. I’ve done that. Thanks for the tip!

  3. melissa July 7, 2008 / 2:00 pm

    great information! thanks.

  4. Jordan (MamaBlogga) July 8, 2008 / 11:25 am

    @forgetfulone: Bloglines is a different kind of service. Bloglines brings the feeds that you read together; FeedBurner makes your feed a bit more accessible to people who are going to subscribe to your feed in a program like Bloglines or Google Reader.

    Does that answer your question?

  5. Jordan (MamaBlogga) July 16, 2008 / 9:08 am

    @forgetfulone: Ah! Now I understand what you’re talking about. Bloglines does show subscriber numbers, but that’s only for subscribers using Bloglines. Only about 20% of my subscribers use Bloglines. From what I’ve seen, these numbers aren’t updated frequently (though that may have changed in recent months).

    Google Reader can also show how many subscribers you have in Google Reader; 50% of my subscribers use Google Reader.

    FeedBurner catches all these readers and more, which is how I know what proportion of my readers use them.

  6. skiiiiee September 23, 2008 / 11:55 pm

    How can I know who subscribes to my RSS feed if they subscribe via reader?

  7. Will March 20, 2010 / 2:22 am

    Without using any external service like feedburner, are there ways to check how many subscribers inside blogger or wordpress?

  8. Heather Kelly January 13, 2011 / 11:14 am

    I have feedburner, but I don’t know how to find out on blogger how many readers that I have, I am so clueless. HELP? Please.

  9. Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating June 13, 2011 / 8:04 pm

    My blog was started in March of 2011. I use Blogger, and have installed the widget to allow users to subscribe via RSS or email. Do I still need to burn it to FeedBurner manually? I’m pretty sure Blogger already has it burned, although I don’t know where/how to access it to find out about my subscribers. Also I’m confused about why I would need to fill in the “Post Feed Redirect URL” field that you showed above.

  10. Jro (travel blogger) August 3, 2011 / 6:09 pm

    I just use an RSS feed I write myself in Notepad. Is there anyway to find out how many subscribers you have if you use this method?

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