RSS Series: How do I set up my blog’s RSS feed via e-mail?

If you have a blog or web site, you likely have an RSS feed your readers can subscribe to via a feed reader so they know when you’ve updated your site with new content. Traditionally, RSS feeds are read through a feed reader or news aggregator. Lately, though, more and more people are asking for feeds via e-mail. Answering that request is easier than ever and I’ll show you how.

Feedburner is the most popular tool for sharing your RSS feed. Feedburner is free, allows you to manage multiple feeds, and it’s easy to use. To include an e-mail version of your RSS feed follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your Feedburner account. If you don’t have one, you can follow these instructions on creating a Feedburner account.
  2. Click on the feed you want to edit. A new page appears with the stats for that feed. This page also has tabs at the top: Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize, and Troubleshootize.
  3. Click the Publicize tab. A new page appears with a list of services in the left sidebar.
  4. Click the Email Subscriptions link in the left sidebar. The Email Subscriptions page appears.
  5. Click the Activate button. The Subscription Management page appears and gives you a choice of either creating an e-mail subscription form or offering e-mail subscription via a link. You can place either option in your sidebar.
  6. Choose either the form or link option.

    • If you use TypePad or Blogger, Feedburner can create an easy-to-install widget for you (just choose your blog platform from the pull-down menu and click the Go button).
    • If you use WordPress, copy the code and create a new sidebar widget for your blog.

    If you choose the form option, it will look similar to this:

    Your readers can simply type their e-mail address into the first box, then click the Subscribe button.

    If you choose the link option, it will look similar to this:

    Of course, {Blog Name} will reflect your blog’s name. When your readers click the link, the Feedburner Email Subscription Request page appears:

    Your readers will need to supply a valid e-mail address and type the CAPTCHA to complete their e-mail subscription request.

  7. Click the Save button.

If you ever want to deactivate your e-mail RSS option, just follow the above steps, but at step 4, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Deactivate button.

Are you using e-mail RSS subscriptions in addition to traditional RSS subscriptions? How do they compare (in other words, do you have about the same number of subscribers for each?)?