I often get the “How did you do … on your blog” questions via email. Rather than posing the answer for one person, I figured other people may also be interested. The question I received was: How did you add the email subscription option on your blog.
At a high level, a blog creates what’s called an RSS or XML feed of your blog content. This is essentially a file that gets updated whenever a new post is created and contains your post title, content, date, etc. A service called FeedBurner will allow you to optimize, publicize or monetize your blog feed and then republish it. One of the optimization features is the ability to provide email subscriptions.
The first thing that needs to be done is to create a FeedBurner account. Feedburner was acquired by Google, so you can use your gmail account to login. Next, you will want to enter your blog address under the “Burn a feed right this instant”. If you already had a FeedBurner account, you will be provided the option to “Claim your feeds now”.
The next step is to name your new FeedBurner feed.
After you have successfully created your new FeedBurner feed, you can “dress” it up with link flare, change description, show comment count, etc. Feel free to explore those options on your own 😉
To add the email subscription option, click on the “publicize” tab from the feed home page. On the left hand side, click on “Email Subscriptions”. Click on the “Activate” button to start the service. You will then be redirected to a “Subscription Management” page. This page has the code needed for the Subscription form as well as a subscription link.
On the right side of my blog, I used the subscription form code. To add the form to your blog, you will need to copy the code in the box and then paste it into a blog widget. In WordPress, I added a new text widget and pasted in the subscription form code. The result looks like:
For detailed instructions on how to add the code to your blog software, see:
That’s it. With a couple simple steps, you could provide readers the ability to follow your blog via email.