The Great Feedburner Debate

Rather than write a lengthy post, I’d like to create an open thread for Performancing members to hash out their thoughts on Feedburner. Here are a set of questions to answer:

1. Should every blog have a feedburner feed? Or are there only certain blogs that should?

2. Does having a feedburner feed lessen your control over your own feed?

3. Is it worth keeping a link to your own feed on your site, along with a feedburner feed (see here for example)?

4. Does anyone really make any money off feedburner, and if so, under what conditions (type of site, number of readers, etc.)

13 thoughts on “The Great Feedburner Debate

  1. Although I think in aggregate with all my blogs in the HART-Empire Network (I have 55 feedburner feeds setup), I didn’t qualify on an individual blog basis, so Feedburner rejected me. I never bother to reapply to a person, although I’ve occassionally sent emails to that general email under the “Monetize” tab in Feedburner with no reply backs.

    Meanwhile – I setup feedburner and all the chicklets and counter that I’ve got a routine what to setup everytime a new blog is created .. I wish there was a better plugin to get all of the chicklets together – like the “Share This” plugin .. except, from Feedburner themselves that automatically update if they ever add or delete feed options. E.G. that rojo blank graphic was bugging me for the longest time!

    Also – What you are doing on HLWT is not needed – if you use that Feedburner Feed Replacement plugin as it re-routes all feeds and back door ways people can access your etc and toss them into your feedburner counter .. the count is more accurate – // Actually, the count is more COMPLETE .. it’s never accurate as it always fluctutes almost 25% plus/minus from one day to the next.

  2. I do not make any money from feedburner, and I have run into complications where I design websites for clients and initially set up the feed under my feedburner account. My lack of foresight made it difficult to transfer the feed to my clients feedburner account.

    On a separate topic, I have recently set up a couple of categories on my blogs with their own feedburner feeds, meaning I took the RSS feed generated by WordPress and I created a new feedburner feed with that category feed. I did this such that I could use buzz boost in feedburner to push those category headlines onto a single page on one of my websites. I found this helped that particular website quite a bit as the websites covered a product in the category described many articles with my experience using that product.

  3. I redirect my feed to FeedBurner so that I have the option to switch if I ever need to, but it redirects to feedburner.

    I agree with the comments about leaving it to experts to handle things you don’t do every day.

  4. I used Feedburner right from the outset at my blog – it was recommended to me, and not having much of a clue I signed up!

    On reflection I am more than happy with my choice.

    – Martin Reed

  5. Ditching the old feed, whether intentionally or not, causes ranking loss.

    Why won’t the cooperate? I don’t understand. Have you emailed support? What did they say? Setting up a new feed shouldn’t be an issue. There’s no limit to how many times you can Burn a particular source feed.

  6. Unfortunately, I’ve found that when buying new blogs, it’s very common to lose control of the old feedburner account. They really need to create an easy way for owners to cancel an old feed (such as, just drop an xml file onto the server to confirm ownership). I own several blogs right now and don’t have control over the feedburner account and feedburner won’t cooperate nor let me setup a new feed.

  7. Gerard is right, though you could create a new Feedburner feed for each category. It’s a lot of work, but if you keep your categories limited, then it’s okay.

  8. Feedburner feed transfer works something like this:

    (1) Email support with the URL of the blog and the Feedburner URL, as well as the name of the owner and their registered email. Specify the email address you are registered at Feedburner at, in case it’s different from the email address you’re sending the transfer request from.

    (2) If I remember correctly, they then contact the owner, who approves. The feed is then transferred to your Feedburner account.

    Feed transfer is a much better idea than starting a new feed, for numerous reasons.

  9. Ryan, you’ve got to contact Feedburner support – I did this with a blog previously and was able to easily initiate a transfer just by getting in touch with them. It was done in under an hour.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. Simply on the basis of easy reporting, every blog should get a feedburner feed. I understand that setting it up may be beyond some newbies, but it’s worth it. It also provides redundancy, so when your site is down feedreaders can still access the feed.

    2. Yes, Feedburner lessens your control. You lose the ability to have granular feeds for each category (or Tag if you use UTW), which means people can’t selectively subscribe. Granted, this may apply to larger blogs that cover a diverse range of topics, but it’s worth mentioning. Then again, it makes it easier to do things like merging feeds or transferring them.

    3. No, I agree with Raj on this one – you’re splitting your feed PR and risking confusing your users. Better to use Smart Feed to cater to the different reader types.

    4. The best money I made off Feedburner advertising was back in December with ~$400.00. Since then, advertising inventory has been thin on the ground so it has barely scraped $80.00. More to the point, the Networks feature they set up has had little to no effect and I wonder if the initial buzz has worn off slightly?

  10. 1. Pros have to, others maybe not so much. Personally, one of the things I’ve liked about the whole Web 2.0 thing is that it fits in with my overall philosophy: where possible, let professionals handle stuff you don’t do for a living. There are so many flavours of RSS and Atom, so many changes happening, so many different requirements for each feedreader! Why bother trying to keep up when you can have someone whose sole responsibility is feeds taking care of the show? Feedburner’s most attractive option, in my opinion, is their ability to detect the requirements of a reader and provide your feed in a compatible format.

    This is especially true for me because I also have non-blog sections of my website with feeds and I wouldn’t want to have to keep changing the code to match the arbitrary changes in RSS requirements.

    2. I don’t see how. If anything, it provides a ton of tools to make your feed more available instead of less. The feed image thing, for example, lets me keep my MySpace page updated without having to constantly edit it.

    3. This seems to be an invitation to a “duplicate content” ding, am I wrong? And for what reason, I can’t imagine. You’re only going to confuse your non-tech (and maybe even tech) readers.

    4. I’ve not had the chance to try, but I doubt it.

  11. A little off topic, but does anyone know how to transfer a feedburner account from owner to owner? Is there a way to push?

  12. 1) Yes, it’s the first thing I do before making a new blog live
    2) No, in fact it gives me more control
    3) I never split my feed
    4) Yes, around $1000 a month. Entertainment site Million plus uniques a month


    Andy (aka DarkUFO)
    DarkUFO & SpoilerTV

  13. My thoughts:

    (1) Yes, if you plan to have a serious blog, get a feedburner feed.

    (2) I don’t see why. Am I missing something? But if you have WordPress, there’s a plugin that redirects to your FeedBurner version – entries and comments, if you want. (Except it doesn’t work consistently.)

    (3) No. Don’t split your feed PR In fact, I think people who offer RDF, Atom, RSS and RSS2 are making a big mistake. Just have one, and use Feedburner’s “Smart Feed” setting to make it compatible with all readers. Very simple.

    (4) Certainly not me, but others apparently do, according to their posts.

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