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Feedburner Tutorial: Replace your blog Atom/RSS Autodiscovery feed with Feedburner

Feedburner is an amazing feed management service offering plethora of features like:

» How many people have subscribed to your blog ?

» Desktop or Web based RSS client - How are people reading your blog ?

» Which posts are more popular among your readers (Click Through Tracking)

» Your RSS feeds look like a neat website when viewed in a web browser outside an RSS client

» You can control whether you want to syndicate full feeds or partial feeds, including number of words

» Feedburner lets your monetize the RSS feeds

» When your change your web address in future (including the default XML feed), the change will be transparent to your RSS subscribers

» Feedburner supports both RSS and Atom Formats

» Feedburner lets you insert your Flickr pictures or links automatically in your feeds.

» Feedburner Pingshot automatically pings major blog engines like Technorati as soon as you post new content.

» Feedburner is integrated with FeedBlitz and recently launched their own Feedburner Email - an RSS to email service.

For the above reasons, I recommend bloggers to switch from the default Atom based XML feeds to Feedburner. That gives you more control over you feed and an idea about your RSS subscribers - It is otherwise impossible to determine how many people have downloaded or subscribed to your Atom XML feeds since the server access is restricted.

Here's a short tutorial for those willing to take the plunge from Blogger Atom to Feedburner. I have been using it successfully on my blog for some time now and very pleased with the results.

Step 1: Create a feedburner account and type your blog feed address ( Next choose the Feedburner Feed Address and click Activate Feed.

Step 2: Congrats, your Feedburner Blogger Feed is now ready. Now we will replace the Blogger feed with Feedburner by modifying the autodiscovery HTML tags in your Blogger site template. Don't be frightened of the jargon - it's a very simple process.

Step 3: Search for the <$BlogMetaData$> Template tag in your template. It is responsible for adding all the meta information related to XML feeds in your blog. We will replace it with Feedburner.

Step 4: While you edit the blog template, make a note of the Blog ID available in the browser address bar

Step 5: Delete the BlogMetaData tag and replace it with the following text carefully. Substitute "Blog Title" with the actual Blog name, yyyy with the number your noted in Step 4, xxxx with your feedburner address.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true" />
<meta name="generator" content="Blogger" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Blog Title" href="" />
<link rel="" type="application/atom+xml" title="Blog Title" href="" />
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="" />
<style type="text/css">
@import url("");

Step 6: Do a preview. If you have the latest version of Google Toolbar or use Firefox, you will see the RSS icon activated. Click it to test the location of your feed. If everythings works as expected, click "Save Template changes" and republish your blog.

The above steps are for blogs hosted on the Blogger blogspot domain. If you are on Wordpress, MovableType or a different blog platform, you may want to consult the corresponding MetaData tags for replacing the blog RSS feed with Feedburner.

MSN Spaces and Yahoo 360° won't let you change the autodiscovery tags to feedburner but you can always setup an alternate RSS feed and promote it on the main website.

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