Launched in 2004, Feedburner quickly established itself as the de facto RSS service for all bloggers. It provided traffic analysis, an email to RSS service, and built-in support for monetizing your feed via Google Adsense. Like most other bloggers, I used FeedBurner on all my blogs.
The service was bought by Google in 2007 for around $100 million. Most of it’s founders have moved onto other things. For example, Dick Costolo, is the current CEO of Twitter.
Despite FeedBurner being the number one RSS service on the internet for most of its life, the service has never been a priority for Google. Google have assured everyone that the service is here to stay. Their actions suggest otherwise. In 2012, they closed the Feedburner API, Adsense for Feeds, and said goodbye via their Twitter account. The blog is no longer updated either and the FeedBurner forum is not supported. And who can actually remember the last time Google added a new feature to FeedBurner?
Even the most loyal FeedBurner users are jumping ship to other services before the service joins the Google graveyard with Knol and Google Buzz. Don’t worry, there are many good FeedBurner alternatives available to you.
Today I’d like to show you the best options available to you for delivering your articles to readers and analysing your traffic. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.
I’ve divided the resources into different sections such as feed services, newsletter solutions and WordPress plugins. Most of the resources offer similar features; I have simply categorised the options in this way to make it easier for you to make comparisons. 🙂
1. Regular RSS Feed
There’s no need to look for a FeedBurner alternative if you don’t care about how many people are viewing your RSS feed and don’t want to offer your content via email. Your default RSS feed will do just fine.
It’s arguably the most reliable way to ensure your feed can be viewed by readers as your feed is not reliant on a third party service. The major limitation to this method is that you do not know how many people are subscribing to your blog. This restricts you from tracking the growth of your blog and displaying the number of RSS subscribers you have to readers and advertisers.
FeedBlitz have been aggressively promoting themselves to disgruntled FeedBurner users for some time. It is one of the most popular alternatives to Feedburner services available, with many top blogs such as switching to them.
It offers a lot of great features including the ability to integrate your feed with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It also offers reliable metrics and great support (support is something Feedburner users never had!).
FeedBlitz is also an email marketing service. Feedburner veterans may be aware of this already as FeedBlitz has powered the email delivery service for Feedburner since 2005. Many top blogs have switched over to FeedBlitz to handle their RSS delivery and email marketing.
If you only want to deliver your content via FeedBlitz and track stats etc., it only costs $1.40 per month. The price of their email marketing service depends on the number of subscribers you have. Prices range from $29.95 per month for 1,000-2,499 subscribers to $109 per month for 10,000 to 14,900 subscribers.
WordPress users can redirect all RSS queries to FeedBlitz using the FeedBlitz FeedSmart WordPress plugin, and they offer a free Feedburner Migration Guide for people who are thinking of switching from Feedburner.
UPDATE: If you want a full overview of the FeedBlitz service, please check out my articles FeedBlitz – Everything You Need to Know About The Perfect Feedburner Alternative and 4 Reasons I Stopped Using FeedBlitz.
Read more: http://www.kevinmuldoon.com/feedblitz-review/#ixzz2SXsjLfi4
FeedCat is a popular feed boosting service that is free to use. It delivers content in a more user-friendly fashion and provides a button to display the number of unique readers over the last week. It tracks page views, visits and the number of people who subscribe to your feed. Historical stats are displayed in a graph so that you can see the growth or decline of your subscriber count.
RapidFeeds offers two services: FeedManager and FeedEmbed. Their FeedEmbed service provides allows you to convert RSS to HTML whilst their FeedManager service allows you to manage your RSS feed.
Used by over 200,000 publishers, the FeedManager service boasts many great features such as advanced statistics, auto tweet new RSS updates, iTunes support for podcasting, password protection for RSS feeds, and branded feed URL’s.
Prices are very competitive. Their basic package allows up to 3 feeds and only costs $4.49 per month. The pro package costs $6.95 per month and allows up to 7 feeds, whilst their enterprise package allows unlimited feeds for only $13.95 per month. There is a 15 day trial for all packages to let you try the service out for yourself.
Feedity allows you to create an RSS feed from any web page on the web. It has support for delivering podcasts to iTunes.
A basic package for Feedity will set you back $6 per month. That allows you up to 20 feeds and 25 items per feed, with content delivered in 4 hour intervals.
If This Then That is a great social media tool that lets you set up actions to take place if a certain parameter is met. It’s known more for a social media updates, however there are lots of RSS integration options. For example, you can set it up so that a Tweet is sent every time your feed is updated.
Whilst IFTTT can’t be used to track your RSS subscribers, you can use it to manage how your content is delivered to other services, therefore it’s worth checking out.
Link: If This Then That
Simple Feed Stats is a free WordPress plugin from Jeff Starr that I have been trying out on KevinMuldoon over the last week. It allows you to track everyone who is subscribed to your blog. Your total number of subscribers can be displayed using a Feedburner style widget or as plain text. The figure can be inserted using PHP or directly into your posts and pages using a shortcode.
Apparently, the current subscriber count tells you how many people have accessed your feed over the last 24 hours, and the total subscriber count tells you the exact number of people who are subscribed to your blog. I’m not sure if I don’t know what the stats mean, or if the stats are unreliable, however as I was writing this article it told me the total number of subscribers here was 541, however in the subscribers breakdown it said the figure was 638.
Simple Feed Stats is very easy to use. Those of you who don’t want to use a 3rd party service to track RSS stats should check it out.
Link: Simple Feed Stats
The Jetpack plugin has a subscription module that allows subscribers to be updated whenever a new post is published on your blog. It also allows subscribers to be updated of the latest comments to a blog post.
Unfortunately, as the module is handled by WordPress.com, you do not the email address’s of the people who subscribe. In that respect, it’s quite limiting, however it is a reliable service that you should give a try.
Link: Jetpack by WordPress
Jetpack is an easiest email subscription solution to add to your blog. You simply drag the widget to your sidebar or footer; that’s all there is to it. Unfortunately, it gives you no control over those who subscribe; it doesn’t even tell you who has subscribed. Which is why I believe Subscribe2 is a better solution for most people.
The plugin allows you to send email updates to subscribers. You have full control over the email template and can choose to send email updates after a post is published, every hour, twice a day, once a day, or weekly. The address’s of email subscribers can be seen through the admin area, and you can add and remove subscribers to your list too. Emails can be sent to all registered subscribers, which is great for informing subscribers about important updates. Subscribe2 is the self-proclaimed “best WordPress email subscription plugin”. It is difficult to argue with this.
Subscribe by Email is one of the best alternatives to Subscribe2. It lets you search through all subscribers, however it offers very few options in comparison to Subscribe2. And whilst Subscribe2 is free to use, Subscribe by Email costs $19.
Link: Subscribe by Email
Aweber is a good way to deliver RSS content directly to subscribers. I use it to deliver updates to subscriber of this blog on a daily or weekly basis. It is very flexible with how often you send blog broadcasts. You can send broadcasts specific days of the day, week or month. Alternatively, you can choose to send an update to subscribers after a certain number of articles have been published on your blog.
You can try Aweber out for a month for just one dollar. It then costs $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers. Prices increase with the number of subscribers you have. 501 to 2,500 subscribers will cost you an extra $10 per month whereas 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers will cost you an additional $30 per month.
MailChimp’s RSS to Email feature is a reliable way to send post updates to subscribers. It works in much the same way as Aweber. You can choose the template that is used in each email and the frequency in which emails are sent out to subscribers.
Aweber is more popular amongst high-level bloggers, however MailChimp is a fantastic email marketing service that has a solid reputation. Their service is free up to 2,000 subscribers. Up to 12,000 emails can be sent every month for free. This is a huge saving for those of you who are currently building your blog and want to keep costs down. After you reach 2,000 subscribers, the cost of MailChimp is almost identical to Aweber (it is slightly more expensive per month).
MadMimi is an email marketing company that is growing in popularity. Their RSS to Email feature makes it easy to deliver posts to subscribers. It’s very simple to set up and there are lots of different email themes to choose from.
MadMimi is a very affordable email marketing solution. 500 subscribers will only cost you $10 per month, 10,000 subscribers costs $42 per month and 50,000 subscribers costs $199 per month. In contrast, 10,000 would cost you $69 on Aweber and $75 on MailChimp, and 50,000 subscribers would cost you
An email service that allows you to convert any RSS feed into an email newsletter. It is very easy to set up and even allows multiple RSS feeds to be combined into the one newsletter (those of you with multiple blogs may find this useful).
You can send up to 1,000 emails per month for free. Up to 5,000 emails per month costs $29 per month and up to 10,000 emails per month costs $75 per month. Pay attention to the fact that their prices are based on the number of emails sent, not the number of subscribers that are registered. So if you send a weekly newsletter, the 5,000 email package allows you to have around 1,167 registered subscribers. This works out to be more expensive that Aweber and MailChimp.
RevResponse promoted their RSS to Email tool last year with a campaign that promised $100 for every 1,000 subscribers you brought over from FeedBurner. The service includes priority im, email and phone support. It also provides templates and detailed reports.
One of the main selling points of this service is the option to monetize your newsletter using monetizes your feed by promoting magazines, ebooks or white papers.
Feedburner is still a live service. The signs are pointing towards it being removed by Google at some point in the future, though should that happen, it’s probably a few years away. Therefore, you need to first decide whether or not to stop using the Feedburner service. On the plus side, Feedburner still delivers content for thousands of blogs and websites. Unfortunately, no support is provided, and it is highly unlikely Google will ever add any additional features in the future. So as time passes, Feedburner will become more and more outdated.
On this blog, I have been delivering content to registered subscribers on a weekly basis using Aweber. It’s a reliable service and the support is amazing. I also allow people to subscribe to this blog via RSS. Currently, I am not using an external service.
Over the last week, I have been trying out Simple Feed Stats. It seems ok, however I am unsure how reliable stats are. Plus, I would like a service that showed me the historical statistics of subscriber growth, and one which enhanced my feed to make it more user friendly. This is important, as the default feed doesn’t handle styling such as images well.
As such, I am going to give FeedBlitz a try. I emailed their support department a few days ago and they were quick to respond. They have confirmed that, should I ever stop using the service, subscribers will be redirected back to my regular feed. I will write a detailed review of the service within the next week for all of you 🙂
Some other services worth checking out are :
- BlogTrottr – A real-time RSS service that delivers content to your inbox.
- Mint – An analytic’s service that shows you subscription patterns from the last week, month and year.
I hope you have all found this article useful. I would love to know what your preferred service or resource is for delivery content to subscribers. What set up do you prefer and why?
Thanks for reading,