The Value of Burning your Feeds

Last week I re-directed my RSS feeds for this site to go through FeedBurner. FeedBurner provides two main features that are nice to have for RSS feeds.

  1. I can know how many people are reading my RSS. As a gauge for traffic and interest having that number right there on my page makes it easy to see that not that many people are regular visitors to this site. It can be a powerful motivator to know that there’s still a lot of work to do before reaching the popularity of some of the other blogs out there. For perspective, I would estimate that if I had 2000 people reading my feed, that might be enough traffic to generate the same income that I do now in my full-time job.
  2. When the number gets higher it becomes possible to monetize the RSS feed by inserting advertising. FeedBurner only offers this to feeds that are consistently being read, and have enough of an audience that putting ads in there is feasible.

RSS is in general a great thing to have for a blog like this one. It gives people the ability to quickly know if there’s a new post to the site by going through their bookmarks, or if they’re reading through an aggregator, at least it keeps you on their radar.

So often what happens is that I come across a website that I’m interested in so I bookmark it. In general that bookmark stays in the bookmark list and never gets visited again. However I do check the feeds several times a day. The dynamic nature of a feed keeps me coming back to the site again and again, and the ability to quickly scan the titles makes it easy to check all of my favorite sites in less than 10 seconds.

I highly recommend that if you’re not using RSS feeds that you start subscribing to them. You’ll notice the RSS icon on the right column of this page. It’s an orange square. Click it and you will be able to bookmark the feed for this site.