During my adventures of adding blogs earlier today, I found that quite a few did not offer the email subscription option. Guess what that means? I can't follow you. I mean, I can, but chances are I won't really read any of your posts. It's not personal, I'm just a bad blog follower. REALLY bad blog follower.
After complaining about it on Twitter, a few people approached me mentioning how they did not how to add such an option.... which is why I present you all with this blog post--and a possibly new feature--where I can address questions people may have about blogging or tweaking their blogs.
Please click on the "Read more" link below to continue reading this post. Be forewarned: this post is image heavy (which is why I added the cut).
If you're still reading this post, I imagine you're interested in learning how to add the email subscription option to your blog. First thing's first: what is this email subscription I talk about? Well, if you look to my left sidebar, you will see this:
The four icons represent my link to twitter, Goodreads, an option to subscribe to my RSS feed (which you can attain via Feedburner.com, and a link to my writing blog). Below that is what I want to focus on.
This is the email subscription option I mentioned. Most blogs will have everything centered, but on mine (I blame Artisteer), the text box has shifted to the left.
I think that, in general as a blogger, you want to make everything pertaining to social networking in an easily visible and accessible location. The higher up on your sidebar, the better. What I've learned--through my own personal experience--is this: people are lazy when it comes to following blogs. I've refused to follow blogs because the owner, whether knowingly or unknowingly, made it difficult to locate any follow button.
Let's say you have a review that a reader enjoyed and they're interested in coming back to see what you write at a later date. The easier you make it to locate the RSS, email subscription, and Google Friend connect, the more likely you will attain another follower. The less cluttered your images/text are, the better. The same applies to the Google Friend Connect option, which, if you look above this widget, is at the top of my left sidebar.
So, you all must be thinking, that explanation is great and all, but how do I add an email subscription to my own blog? It's simple, really.
NOTE: If you already have a Feedburner account, please scroll down to STEP 3.
Step 1: Go to www.feedburner.com
It will direct you to this page (click on the image to see the full size). You'll have to have a Google email to log in, but it's easy to do that. So, log in, and you will be directed to the following page...
Step 2: Register your blog
You're still on the above page. Below the two red lines (where I crossed out my other blog names and stats) is a text box. Above that in bold are the words: "Burn a feed right this instant. Type your blog or feed address here:" You'll want to get your blog's URL address. If I was registering Book Faery, I would type in: http://www.book-faery.blogspot.com and then hit "Next".
For now, I'll register my test blog so I can show you all each step to follow. If you entered your URL correctly, you will be directed to the following page:
It does not matter which option you choose. I pick RSS, but that's my preference. Pick Atom or RSS, and hit NEXT.
Pick your name, what you want your address to be (I suggest using your blog name) and hit NEXT.
After choosing your Feedburner name, they'll congratulate you and mention a few other things:
- Subscribe to your feed (and share with others!) at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BookFaeryTest
(This is your RSS/Atom feed address. If you want to have your blog followers follow you, this is the link you want to include)
- You have completed Step 1 of 2. In Step 2, you may consider adding additional free FeedBurner Stats options for a more richly detailed view of your feed readership.
Step 3: Adding the email subscription option
If you clicked the option I told you to follow (assuming you just registered), you'll be sent to the main Feedburner page. If you already have a feedburner account, log in and click the blog you want to add email subscription to.
There will be 5 tabs at the top of the page: Analyze, Optimize, Publicize, Monetize, Troubleshootize. You want to click on the PUBLICIZE option. Here is what you'll be presented with:
So click on "Email Subscriptions" and let's add that email option!
First you will want to ACTIVATE this feature. Then you'll choose the language you want. Below the language drop down menu is a huge text box. Above that the directions say to...
"Copy and paste the following code into any web page. Your subscription form will be automatically inserted each time the page is loaded. From there, readers can subscribe to receive daily email with your newest content."
You now have two options:
Option 1) Copy and paste the code provided into your sidebar HTML widget. You can adjust the dimensions of your subscription box (the tiny square outline surrounding the subscription option) along with centering everything via that code.
< input type = "text" style= "width:140px" name = "email" / >
Above is the sizing you want to mess with. Increase the 140 if you want your text bar and the box outlining the email subscription to be larger. Decrease if you want it smaller. Mine is 130px.
Save your widget, make any adjustments, and you will now have email subscription available on your sidebar!
Option 2) If you don't want to bother with copying/pasting that huge block of text, or if you are uncomfortable with HTML, Feedburner can do it for you. Simply look for the drop down menu below the text box where it says "Use as a widget in..." Here you will be able to choose which blogging platform you use: Blogger or Typepad.
Hit go, and it will direct you back to blogger.com and ask you whether or not to install your new widget. Confirm and you'll have your email subscription!
You also have the option further down on the page to be notified when people unsubscribe from your email notifications. Do whatever else you want on this page and be sure to hit save at the bottom left hand corner.
No email subscription sidebar
If you do not want to include the subscribe via email option in your sidebar for whatever reason, then not to worry! By activating the email subscription in general, you have a second option to offer your readers (but it requires more clicking on their part). See the image below:
What do you have to do to get this? Simply activate your email subscription.
If you no longer wish to offer email subscribing to your readers, you can DEACTIVATE that feature at any time. Click on the "EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION" tab under PUBLICIZE and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There, you will see in the lower right corner, the deactivate option.
Edit: 5:32pm EST 12/4
For Wordpress Users
For Wordpress Users
Feedburner has provided a tutorial for how to include the email subscription to your blog. Click here to follow their directions: http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?answer=78488&cbid=-b0u5uvxryrdf&src=cb&lev=%20answer
I hope this helps everyone who was curious! If you have any other questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment and I will explain it to the best of my ability.
Also, if you have other questions blogging related, feel free to ask them and I'll make another tutorial at any time! :)