I see lots of blogs that show the number of subscribers they have. How can I do this?

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 subscribers you have and is to use a service like FeedBurner.  FeedBurner provides some nice bells and whistles for blogs’ RSS feed syndication, including subscriber numbers.  You can show off your subscriber numbers with FeedBurner-made chicklets, which you can customize to match the colors of your blog.

To create your custom chicklet, log in to FeedBurner and go to Publicize>FeedCount.  Here you choose your options:

  • Animated/static: the animated option tends to draw people’s eyes more, but only if it’s visible when the graphic loads.  (If your readers will have to page down to see it, they’ll miss the animation).
  • Color scheme: here you can set the colors of the text and the background of the chicklet to match the colors of your blog.  You can use the rainbow chip or pull the color numbers directly from your blog’s CSS and enter them in the boxes to the right of the rainbow chip.

Click Activate.  The page will change, showing your chicklet and the HTML code you’ll need to insert the chicklet in your blog.  FeedBurner also has options to click through to TypePad or Blogger blogs to directly add your widget.  In WordPress.com, you’ll have to go to Design > Widgets.  Add a new Text widget.  Click Edit by the new Text widget and paste the HTML code for your chicklet into the widget.

If you use FeedBlitz for e-mail subscriptions, FeedBlitz also provides an e-mail subscriber count chicklet.  Again, FeedBlitz provides TypePad and Blogger widgets, but you’ll have to get the HTML code and paste it as above for WordPress.com blogs.

How can my readers get e-mail updates from my blog?

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!

E-mail subscriptions are a good option to offer your loyal readers.  Many readers haven’t yet begun using a feed reader, but still want to receive updates from your blog at their convenience.  Or maybe you prefer to get updates from your favorite blogs via e-mail, but they don’t offer that option.

There are lots of good RSS-to-email services to provide your readers (or you) the latest posts on your blog.  Two good services are FeedBurner and FeedBlitz.  Each service has its own advantages, of course.


FeedBurner

If you’re already signed up with FeedBurner for your blog’s RSS, you can easily add e-mail subscription options.  Go to Publicize>Email Subscriptions.  From here, you can choose which service to use, since FeedBurner offers all three of the services listed above.  FeedBurner’s own e-mail subscriptions offer a number of customizable options, including a (set) subject line, an image header, and some control over fonts and colors to help to make your e-mails look more like your blog.

FeedBurner also provides you with HTML code to create a form or a link to put on your blog to promote your email subscription.

FeedBlitz

FeedBlitz is especially good if you’re looking for a service to offer e-mail updates from your favorite blogs that don’t offer e-mail subscriptions.  Just go to Feedblitz’s homepage and enter the blog’s address in the box at the bottom of the page.

Like FeedBurner does for RSS, FeedBlitz provides a "chicklet" to display the number of e-mail subscribers you have.  FeedBlitz also helps you create widgets (if you’re on TypePad or Blogger) to promote your e-mail updates.

While FeedBlitz is free, the free option will include ads placed by FeedBlitz in your e-mails.  However, you can also place your own ads through private advertisers or services like Google AdSense to make money for yourself (I believe this service is a premium service, however, meaning that it does require you to pay a fee to FeedBlitz).

FeedBlitz fully integrates with FeedBurner to show your total stats numbers whether you use it as a stand alone service or through FeedBurner.

A third service, Send Me RSS, can e-mail you updates from your favorite blogs with the forms on their homepage like FeedBlitz does.