RSS Series: How do I find and install a custom RSS button on my blog?

This button has become the standard for finding and subscribing to a blog’s RSS feed. When a reader is interested in subscribing to your feed, she is probably looking for that button. She can find it in the address bar of her browser (where the site’s URL is) or she may look for it in the blog’s sidebar. It’s a good idea to have the icon in your sidebar just in case your reader doesn’t know it’s available in the address bar of her browser. By putting the icon in your sidebar you make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your feed and you can customize the look of the icon. Today I’ll walk you through finding an icon you like, downloading it, placing it in your sidebar, and linking it to your feed.

Step 1: Find a Customized RSS Icon

Before we can start, you’ll need to find the icon you want to use. Doing a quick Google search for “free social media icons” will net you some places to start, but for the sake of time, I’ll point you to a list of links for those icons: Mega Collection of the Best Free Social Media Icons for Bloggers and Designers via WPBeginner. That list has over 50 links to designs that will surely speak to you on some level or match your blog more closely than the standard orange RSS button. When you find the one you like, click on the link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can download the icon set. Once you’ve downloaded the icons, make a note of where they’re saved on your computer so you can find them later.

You may find that the images you’ve downloaded are too large for your needs. If that’s the case, you can use an image editing program to re-size the icons.

Step 2: Find Your Feed URL

Now we need to figure out your feed URL. In a previous article I showed you how to set up a Feedburner account for your blog so you could track your subscribers and offer e-mail RSS feeds. Today’s instructions assume you have a Feedburner feed. You’re going to use your Feedburner feed address when we link your new icon.

  1. Log in to your Feedburner account.
  2. Click on the name of the feed you want to work with.
  3. Click on Edit Feed Details.
  4. Make a note of the Feed Address (

Step 3: Put It All Together

Using a Custom RSS Icon with a Blogger Blog

Blogger blogs have a footer that says, “Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)”. This is a link for readers to subscribe to your blog with their feed reader. However, I think you’ll agree that having the subscription at the bottom of the page is not optimal. We want it to be easy and obvious for your readers to find your RSS feed and subscribe. It should be placed at the top of a column for easiest access.

  1. Log in to Blogger and click Layout.
  2. Click Page Elements.
  3. Click Add a Gadget in the sidebar. A new page appears with your Blogger Gadget choices.
  4. Scroll down and choose Picture. The Configure Image page appears.
  5. Type your Feedburner feed URL into the Link text box. (You can leave the Title and Caption boxes blank.)
  6. Choose the image you want to use, either from your computer (if you downloaded the image to your hard drive) or from a URL (if you saved the image to a third-party image host like Flickr or Photobucket).
  7. Click Save. You return to your blog’s Layout page.
  8. Click Save again.

Using a Custom RSS Icon with a TypePad Blog

  1. Log in to your TypePad account.
  2. Upload the icon you want to use to your File Manager. Once it’s uploaded, find the name of the icon in the list of files and click on it. Make a note of the URL. You’ll need it in step 4.
  3. Go to Library > TypeList and make a new Notes or Links TypeList (either is fine).
  4. In the NOTES field type in the following code:

    <a href=””><img src=”IMG URL” alt=”subscribe via rss” /></a>

    Make sure you change “YOUR_FEED” to your actual feed URL. Also
    change “IMG URL” to the URL you noted in step 2 above.

  5. Click Save.
  6. Click the Publish tab.
  7. Click to check the box next to the blog(s) where you want to publish this new TypeList.
  8. Click Save Changes.

You’ll most likely need to visit your blog’s Design tab so you can organize your content. Go to Blogs > Design > Content and then you can drag and drop the new TypeList to the sidebar position you want. Be sure to save your changes so they aren’t lost.

Using a Custom RSS Icon with a WordPress Blog

If you’re using as your blogging platform, I strongly suggest you set up an intuitive filing system for FTP. For instance, you may want to have a folder called images where you place all your icons and pictures. A filing system that makes sense to you will help you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.

  1. FTP the icon you want to use to your images folder (or wherever you upload your images). Make a note of the image’s URL (e.g.,; you’ll need it in step 6.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  4. Drag and drop a new Text widget into your sidebar.
  5. Type a title for your widget (e.g., Subscribe to RSS) in the Title text box or leave it blank.
  6. Type the following code into the larger text box:

    <a href=””><img src=”IMG URL” alt=”subscribe via rss” /></a>

    Make sure you change “YOUR_FEED” to your actual feed URL. Also change “IMG URL” to the URL you noted in step 1 above.

  7. Click Save.

More helpful RSS articles:

7 Responses

  1. scott June 20, 2011 / 7:58 pm

    This is great info but I have a question. RSS feeds have been around for a long time I have never used them myself. I hear they can help improve your website traffic. The problem I guess is how many people actually use them to get to your site? I am just wondering because I would like to do this but only if it will really help get my site more traffic.

  2. Nancee Kemper September 23, 2011 / 3:10 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I find myself wandering around in the darkness so much of the time. You are a shining light for a newbie website/business owner. I really learned something useful from you today!

  3. Svetlana February 15, 2012 / 2:17 pm

    Thanks so much for these useful tips! They solved all my RSS questions, everything works like a charm!

  4. Pam February 16, 2012 / 2:16 pm

    Thank You, Finally! you had the best directions, i wish i had found you 4 hours ago!

  5. Paula August 4, 2013 / 10:18 am

    I have a question about this. I have the feed up and running, but I also want to give the option to subscribe via a link. This is the option from feedburner: “You can also offer email subscriptions from a link rather than a form. Just copy the following link code. Users who click it will be prompted to enter their email address in the form that appears.” To do this with my own icon, do I enter the subscription link instead of my actual feed link?

  6. Melanie Nelson August 4, 2013 / 3:55 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve used Feedburner, but I believe so, yes. You use the link code instead of your actual feed link. However, Feedburner is not being kept up by Google and I suggest you move to another tool like Feedblitz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *