Is it time for your RSS feed to make the leap to Feedburner? It’s a great tool that can give you important analytics to help you see the success (we hope) and value of your RSS feeds.
So if you don’t already use it, you definitely should consider doing so. But if and when you do, I beg you to take one really important step to keep from losing your committed followers: Let them know that your feed has moved.
When you run your feed through Feedburner, it’s going to get a new URL – one that starts with http://feeds.feedburner.com… like my RSS feed. And when that happens, you’ll either have to maintain two separate RSS feeds – which you don’t want to do because you won’t have Feedburner analytics on the old URL – or your old feed will essentially break. Actually, the old URL will turn into something of an orphan or forgotten cousin; it might still be there, but it won’t get updated when you post new articles.
So the people who have signed up to follow your old feed will stop getting your content updates. And eventually, they’ll delete your feed from their RSS reader. And that will be the end of your relationship with them.
There’s an easy way to prevent this, though. Once you launch your new feed, post one final entry to your old feed, indicating that the feed has moved. Provide a link to the new feed URL.
See how simple that was? Now anyone who likes your content well enough to have signed up for your first RSS feed can still find you. You have not lost your most committed fans.
I’m amazed that there are Internet professionals out there who have not yet figured this out. But there are. Just minutes ago, I almost deleted from my feed reader the RSS feed of a fairly large, well-known vendor in the social media space because its blog hadn’t been updated in months. I have too many feeds in my feed reader to have space taken up with feeds that aren’t being updated. But I couldn’t really imagine this company had discontinued its blog, so I went to its website to be sure. And there was the blog, and its RSS feed – at a different URL than where it had been previously.
Don’t make the same mistake. Make sure your RSS followers don’t lose track of you.