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Goodbye Feedburner, Hello Feedblitz

Google is phasing out the Feedburner API, which generally means that the company is getting ready to end-of-life the product sometime in the near future. It’s not imminent, no reason to panic, etc.

That said, we like to be proactive about these things, so we are moving all of our clients to Feedblitz. We looked at a couple of different solutions and selected Feedblitz because of its excellent social media capabilities. The service is free for burning an RSS feed ONLY. Monetization happens based on the number of email subscribers who sign up (more on that later) which makes the service essentially free.

The interface is a bit … funky. In terms of UI, we much preferred RapidFeeds. But RapidFeeds does not include social sharing buttons on its RSS reader and in the end that was enough to tip the balance.

Do you need a service to burn your RSS feed

Well. Yes and no. A native XML + ATOM feed will do fine but the results look something like this:

no style RSS

In other words, not very pretty when viewed in a browser. The reason to “burn” your feed is so the default view of your RSS feed looks like this:

Open Marketing pretty RSS

This gives a non-technical user a much better idea of why they should subscribe to your blog using RSS. In truth, RSS feeds are going the way of the dodo bird. I don’t use one anymore, depending instead on my friends and colleagues to curate content for me and present them in the form of referred links in my Twitter and LinkedIn feed. Still some tech users who have been around the block more than once (myself excluded) remain addicted to RSS as a fast and easy way to stay up-to-date on sites.

Implications for Inbound Marketers + Content Marketers

What does this mean for you. If you are an Open Marketing client, we’ll take care of the heavy lifting for you. There are multiple steps in moving to Feedblitz, so much so that the Feedblitz has authored a 30 page (!!!) book on how to make the move out of Feedburner to Feedblitz happen without skipping a beat. The book is available here:

[button link=”http://www.feedblitz.com/the-feedburner-migration-guide/” color=”orange”]Get the free migration guide[/button]

We don’t actually think that it’s all that hard unless you need to move over a lot of email subscribers to your RSS feed.

This turns out to be a question we are asked a lot, BTW, which is should I have an email subscription option to my RSS feed?. We think NOT. Here’s why. An email newsletter done correctly will drive a ton of demand back to your website. But people don’t like choices and data shows that if you give them too many choices you’ll gnarl up the works and paralyze people into inactivity. Which means you only have room for one email call-to-action on your website. Make it a subscription to your email newsletter. (Of course, you can segment people and have them sign up for multiple newsletters – but it’s hard to do that with an RSS newsletter subscription service.)