How can I add the orange RSS button to my blog so people can subscribe to my feed?

This button has become the standard for finding and subscribing to a site’s RSS feed. When a reader is interested in subscribing to your feed, he/she is probably looking for that button. You need to have that button! (I’m sure you can feel the urgency, right? RIGHT?!?) Never fear, I’m going to walk you through getting that button and linking it to your feed.

Before We Begin

You need to have the graphic you want to put on your sidebar. In this case it’s the orange RSS feed button. Follow these instructions to download the button and save it on your computer (this way you don’t pull from someone’s bandwidth and everyone’s happy).

  1. Right click this image:
  2. Choose Save As from the menu.
  3. Choose where you would like to save the image on your computer and click Save.
  4. For Typepad and WordPress you can use the image straight from your
    computer; Blogger users will need to upload the graphic to a secondary
    host (e.g., Photobucket). Blogger users, determine your image’s URL and copy it to the clipboard.

Finding Your Feed URL

Now we need to figure out your feed URL.

Blogger:

Generally speaking, the Feed URL for your site is

YOUR BLOG NAME.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=atom

Or

YOUR BLOG NAME.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

You can read an excellent tutorial on this at The Real Blogger Status.

TypePad users can read about your Feed URL in this tutorial from TypePad.

Putting It All Together

Blogger:

Blogger blogs have a footer that says, “Subscribe to: Posts”. 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 Add Page Element.
  3. Under HTML/Java Script, click Add to Blog.
  4. In the pop-up window, you can leave the Title field blank or type a title (e.g., Subscribe to My Blog’s Feed). In the Content field you will need to type in the following code:<a href=”YOUR FEED URL”><img src=”IMG URL” alt=”subscribe via rss” /></a>Make sure you change “YOUR FEED URL” to your actual feed URL. (Keep the quotes around the URL.)You must also change IMG URL to the URL you copied from step four above in Before We Begin. (Keep the quotes around the file image URL.)
  5. Click Save Changes.
  6. Click Save.

TypePad:

In addition to the instructions below, TypePad offers several widgets to help with RSS Subscription.

  1. Go to TypeLists and make a new Link typelist.
  2. In the NOTES field type in the following code:<a href=”YOUR FEED URL”><img src=”IMG URL” alt=”subscribe via rss” /></a>Make sure you change “YOUR FEED URL” to your actual feed URL. Also
    change “IMG URL” to the URL you copied to your clipboard earlier (see
    #4 under Before We Begin).
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click the Configure tab.
  5. Under Display, click Show Notes as Text.
  6. Save Changes.
  7. Publish to the appropriate blog.
  8. Order Content as necessary.
  9. Republish blog for changes to take effect.

WordPress (from Jordan McCollum at Momma Blogga):

  1. Find an orange RSS button and save it to your computer. (Here’s a really big one, which you’ll probably want to make smaller before uploading it: http://www.road2graduation.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/rss-big-small.jpg
    ).
  2. Upload it to your blog or a photo website like Flickr or Photobucket.
  3. Once you’ve uploaded the button, get the URL for the image. If you uploaded it to your blog, it will be under Manage > Uploads. Click on the picture of the button and the URL is displayed in the first box. Copy the URL of the image to your clipboard.
  4. Go to Presentation > Widgets.
  5. Drag and drop a new Text widget into your sidebar. If you don’t have a Text widget available, scroll down to Text Widgets, choose a higher number from the pull-down menu and click Save. Then drag the new Text widget into your sidebar.
  6. Click on the Configure box on the same line as the Text widget you just added.  This should open a pop-up window with two boxes.
  7. The first box is for the title of the Text widget.  You can make this “Subscribe via RSS” or “Read this blog in a feed reader” or anything else you want, or you can leave it blank.
  8. The second box is for text.  You can enter HTML here.  To get the image of the RSS button, enter<a href=”http://YOURBLOGNAME.wordpress.com/feed/“><img src=”INSERT URL HERE” alt=”subscribe via rss” /></a>This will display the image and make it a link to your blog’s feed.  If you would like to add some accompanying text, you can insert it before the “</a>.”
  9. Close the configure window (with the X in the corner of the pop-up).
  10. Click Save Changes.