A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to: add an email subscription to your blog

Okay, so, as you will see in tomorrow's post, I've made a new resolution: to start visiting more blogs and commenting. In general, I only stop by one or two paranormal blogs and my visits are rare at best. When it comes to commenting, it's pretty nonexistant. For me, talking on Twitter is a lot easier. My lack of comments are about to change, though! I've added a bunch of blogs to my email subscription in the hopes that, since I check my email daily, I'll start reading more blog posts in my spare time (and commenting).

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.
Click the option beside NEXT (Skip directly to feed management).  This is where the fun stuff happens...

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

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! :)


  1. Question - I have the Feedburner widget on my sidebar. It shows the number of people who have sub'd to receive my blog posts via email. Is there a way to change this widget to show actual number of Feed Subscribers (i.e. people who follow my feed via Google Reader)?

    Speaking of observations, I noticed how quite a few bloggers do NOT have any contact information on their blogs. No email. No form. Nothing. Not even in their Blogger profile. I was shocked! Every blogger should have a way to be contacted and it should be displayed on their blog in a place highly visible to readers.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I am pretty sure I don't have this on my blog. I'm going to print out your instructions and try to add it.

  3. I follow most people via Google Reader, but I wouldn't mind adding this option to my blog. The only thing is, my blog is on Tumblr and my contact info is on my About page. I don't know Css and such, to make all my stuff show up on the same page as when people are reading posts.

  4. Book Vixen- I can't remember how I got the option to show up... I feel like there was a box I checked to display those followers.

    Do me a favor and go to Analyze -> Subscribers, and tell me if you see the option: Google Feedfetcher. Google Feedfetcher is the option that reveals how many people follow your blog via the Google Reader.

    If you do, and if it lists a number, then your chicklet should display that amount.

    Also, regarding contact information.... I was shocked too. The most prevalent thing I noticed today was how cluttered sidebars are. Those sidebars and blogs reminded me why I like to try and avoid visiting so many different blogs. Too many pictures on them makes my computer lag :/

    Book Pimp, you're very welcome. Good luck!

    Hannah, you're welcome!

    Almybnenr, for people like me, I prefer email subscription. I'm bad about checking my Google Reader, which is why also offering the email is great. The more choices, the better :)

    Unfortunately, I'm clueless about Tumblr, so I don't think I can be much help.

  5. It shows only 1. I know there's more than that. Any ideas?

  6. I'm not sure if this will directly affect your chicklet, but it's a good option to have activated anyway if you use Google Analytics. I'm pretty sure I check marked that option and it began displaying my readers.

    Try this:

    Analyze -> Configure Stats. I have the first 3 boxes checked. Most won't have the third box, which says "Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics".

    See if that works and let me know.

  7. Added! Thanks for the walk through Tori :)

  8. I have those 3 boxes checked already. Dang it!

  9. I have my feedburner option up, but I guess I never suspected that it was a big hit in terms of people following. I love using Google Reader and have only subscribed to a FEW people via e-mail.... I guess it's just a matter of personal preference.

  10. Thanks Tori for thr step by step instructions!

    I already have this option, however seems my old Follow me on twitter button doesn't work anymore and I was wondering if you could tell us how we can do that widget with the small icons for Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads/RSS Feeds? That would be great! :-)


  11. You are brave to have all those posts come to your email! However, I am happy to hear you will be out and about in blogland. ;)

  12. Hi :)
    Thank you for the EXCELLENT post.
    I've added the email option to my site. You made it easy to follow along.
    Much appreciated!
    All the best,

  13. Thanks for the great tip. I've been wanting to put an email subscription up for awhile, but haven't had the time to search for how to do it. ^_^

  14. I followed the directions and it worked great. Thanks again!

  15. You're welcome Cem!

    I'm sorry BV :(

    Jessi, I know a lot of people prefer their Google Reader. I'm one of the weirdos who prefer to receive emails haha. Really, whenever I receive something in my inbox, it's more of a push to check it out. The Reader is an easy excuse for me to ignore once I get swamped with college work.

    Hey Stella, I'll make that my next post topic.

    Smash, watch, I'll be unsubscribing really soon LOL. Nah just kidding. We'll see what happened.

    RK, I'm so glad that this tutorial helped you!

    Orchid, I'm glad this was able to help you. It's really easy once you see what you have to do :D

    Book Pimp, glad to hear that!

  16. I did not know how to add that feature and thanks to your post I was now able to add that feature to my blog. Thanks so much Tori....^_^.

  17. I found myself in the same position recently. My google reader has about 100+ new posts every time I go on it. I've decided that the best way to keep up on some of my favorite blogs was to subscribe to email. That way I do not lose track. Great idea in helping others with it. Very thoughtful.

  18. Done! Now you have no excuse for not being able to hang on my every word...lol


  19. Skyla, I'm glad this helped!

    LJ, exactly. I think when I get a break next week, I'm going to go through my Google Reader and get rid of the blogs I don't follow. We'll see if I actually look at my reader after that.

    Karen, consider me your new fan ;)

  20. Thank you for this. It really helped. I have trying to figure out how to do the feed burner and email subscription for a while now, thanks =D

  21. This is great. You should do one on how to link your twitter, facebook, etc. like you have in your sidebar. :)

  22. Mariya, glad it was helpful!

    MRB, I'm going to be doing that next once I'm done with finals :)

  23. Thanks for the help! I've been meaning to do this but I wasn't sure how to set it up.

  24. Thanks SOO much for this walk-through, Tori! I'd been trying to figure this thing out for a long while now, especially since I'm one of those ppl that prefers email subscription instead of a RSS,google reader etc. When I read your post, I knew I had to do it and finally found the time to do so tonight! My goal is to get my blog as concise and user friendly as possible, I just need to learn more as I go. Thanks for the help, you're awesOme! :)