On Wednesday, Google surprised denizens of the Internet with the news that they would be discontinuing Google Reader. This was a sad day for people like me who consume most of their blog content with this simple, easy-to-use RSS aggregator.
The goal of marketing is to attract more customers. Businesses make an enormous investment to get people in the doors the first time. But what happens after that?
If the customer walks out the door, never to return, the investment is wasted. “Blood on the ground,” as they say. Instead, marketers want the customer to come back—and, hopefully, bring a few friends.
I am a very loyal person. I have been married to the same woman for 32 years. Most of my close, personal friends have been friends for a decade or more. I have gone to the same church for 27 years. Once I let you into my life, I almost never ask you to leave.
I follow more than 200 blogs. I am often asked, “How do you do it? That would take me forever!” It would me, too—if I tried to visit all of these blogs daily. But using an RSS Reader, I can stay current by spending less than 30 minutes a day.
If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.
In this post, I want to show you how to set up Google Reader and then use it to keep up with your favorite blogs. This is not a post for “power users,” though even they might pick up a tip or two. It is intended for novices—people who are not even sure what RSS is.
Recently, I switched my blog’s email subscription service from Feedburner to FeedBlitz. Why? Because I listened to the feedback from my readers.
Feedburner is owned by Google and it’s free. It provides a simple way for bloggers to offer both RSS and email subscriptions to their readers. It’s free, but it is a one-size-fits-all approach. You don’t have much control over the formatting, especially for email subscribers.
If you have been reading my blog for the last week or so, you know that I recently set up a Resources section on my blog. This is a place where I share some of the resources that I have found useful in my personal and professional life. These include books, podcasts, quotes, software, videos, and web tools.
These resource posts are usually not more than a paragraph long. It makes it easy for me to post one or two a day. Some of my subscribers love this sort of thing, but a few have complained. They didn’t like getting so many posts.
Making the change from TypePad over to WordPress has not been without its challenges. The biggest issue has been subscriptions. Before the change-over, I had more than 5,000 RSS subscriptions and more than 1,600 e-mail subscriptions. If you were one of these, please keep reading.
I am working with the TypePad tech support team to try and resolve the RSS problem. So far, they have been very responsive. In fact, Mark Simmons, the head of Marketing and Customer Satisfaction, wrote to me personally to express his disappointment over my decision to move to WordPress. He was gracious and offered to help in the transition. You can’t ask for more than that. I am still hopeful they can help me resolve this issue. We’re now going back and forth with their tech support.