FeedBlitz RSS Service FAQs

What is the FeedBlitz RSS Service?

The FeedBlitz RSS service is a service that makes your RSS feeds better. It enhances feeds with branding, detailed metrics, browser and mobile friendly serving, integrated third party content, easy viral marketing tools and more. It’s fully supported by FeedBlitz, and integrates with the FeedBlitz RSS and blog to email service for one-stop subscriber management and communication.

Is this an alternative to Google’s FeedBurner service?

Yes, for many bloggers and organizations, the new FeedBlitz service is a new choice they can consider as an alternative to FeedBurner. We have focused on building a service that allows RSS publishers much greater control over their feeds (content and branding), works better for SEO (search engine optimization), and for users who aren’t familiar with RSS, and will ultimately provide much richer reporting and stable metrics.

What are the key differences between FeedBlitz and FeedBurner RSS Services?

  • Our metrics give a more consistent and reliable view into your feed’s circulation and reach; FeedBurner’s volatility is legendary.
  • FeedBlitz delivers greatly improved SEO(search engine optimization) when compared to FeedBurner;
  • FeedBlitz has smart truncationwhich keeps links, images and formatting on partial feeds; FeedBurner’s truncation option removes all the images, links and formatting you worked so hard to put in.
  • FeedBlitz offers significantly more branding and graphic customization, at both whole feed and individual post level than FeedBurner.
  • FeedBlitz integrates click through tracking with your Google Analytics account; FeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz automatically delivers a mobile-friendlyversion of your RSS feed; FeeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz lets you merge in other feeds; FeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz enables you to add a custom footer(such as a copyright or sponsor notice) to each article in your feed no matter what blogging or RSS software you use; FeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz has live, contactable technical support. FeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz offers URL parameters to enable you to further filter your feeds; FeedBurner doesn’t.
  • FeedBlitz has reinvigorated splices to integrate your content from new social media services like Twitter, FriendFeed, Last.fm and Disqus, as well as YouTubeand others; FeedBurner hasn’t added anything in over 2 years.
  • FeedBlitz offers simple, graphical flares and promotional widgets to better help broaden viral distributionof your articles; FeedBurner’s are text-based and English only.
  • FeedBlitz minimizes your future risks by enabling you to own the feed url;

FeedBlitz is an affordable paid service, providing sustainability, funding development and live support. FeedBurner is free, hasn’t changed in 2 years and offers no in-person support. Draw your own conclusions.

Who should consider switching?

We highly recommend evaluating FeedBlitz before attempting any switch. Publishers who would benefit most from a switch would most likely be bloggers and publishers who:

  • Are using FeedBlitz’s email service and want a single service for RSS and mail;
  • Want to use FeedBlitz’s richer email offering but until now did not switch because they wanted a single service for RSS and email;
  • Use partial feeds and will benefit from the better SEO and usability of FeedBlitz’s rich partial feeds;
  • Want better (any!) branding on their RSS and browser-friendly pages;
  • Want in-person supportand the ability to phone someone if they have to;
  • Have experienced excessive latency in feeds updating and yo-yo metrics.
  • Have large or growing mobile readership.

Can I use FeedBurner and FeedBlitz together?

Sure – and this is one way to avoid losing RSS subscribers, and just like the email services we can interoperate. We have blogged about how to simplify migration and transitioning.

What is the relationship between the FeedBlitz RSS and Email services?

Unlike FeedBurner, we do not and will not require you to use our RSS service to use our email and IM newsletter services. To that extent the two services are independent. Just as you can now, you will be able to use any RSS feed from any site or service to automate your email newsletter marketing with FeedBlitz.

The FeedBlitz RSS service will report metrics from the FeedBlitz mailing service, however, and the two services work together to ensure that your emails continue to look as they currently do today.

FeedBlitz RSS services are only available to newsletter premium publishers on using or evaluating our tiered pricing plan.

So do I have to use FeedBlitz for email to use FeedBlitz RSS?

No – you just have to have an upgraded “Newsletter Plus” account. If you do not use it you’ll be charged the minimum fee, which is currently only $1.49 per month. If you are currently on our tiered pricing then FeedBlitz’s RSS services are, effectively, free, no matter what fee you’re paying.

Can I evaluate FeedBlitz RSS for free?

Absolutely! Register for your free account at FeedBlitz.com and then go to www.feedblitz.com/f?NewsUpgrade to start your 30-day free trial. If you are currently on our tiered payment “Newsletter Plus” plan then FeedBlitz RSS is available to you, right now, at no extra charge.

What is the minimum fee for RSS services?

If you don’t use FeedBlitz to send email then the fee is just $1.49 per month, our minimum. If you do use our email services and are already on our tiered pricing plan then there is no additional fee to use our RSS capabilities.

I am on an older flat fee plan. Can I use the RSS services?

We’re grateful for your business, but our new RSS management services are only available to those on (or evaluating) a tiered pricing plan. Publishers grandfathered in on the older Pro and Turbo plans should go to My Account | Upgrades | My Upgrades to review your current status. If your upgrade is not “Newsletter Plus” then you will need to cancel your old plan and then re-up onto the tiered pricing model at www.feedblitz.com/f?NewsUpgrade.

What happens if payment fails or I cancel? Will FeedBlitz stop serving my feed?

If there is an issue with your upgrade, or you cancel your servics, then FeedBlitz will:

  • Email you asking you to address the issue;
  • Automatically redirect your RSS feed visitors back to the source feed;
  • Revert any newsletters we send to ad-funded.

If your account is not in good standing after 30-days we stop sending your newsletters and, for 15 extra days, visitors to your FeedBlitz RSS feed will be presented with a single post asking them to change the URL in their RSS readers. After that we will stop serving the feed and return a 404, page not found error. So in the event of a payment issue or cancellation there is plenty of time to move away or get your account back in good standing.

How does FeedBlitz RSS help my Subscribers?

  1. If you use partial feeds the FeedBlitz version will be much better than what your readers are tolerating now.
  2. Better branding reinforces your visual identity in the RSS, browser-friendly and mobile-friendly versions.
  3. Scalable performance – we can easily add more servers to handle extra load.
  4. Splicing in your content from other services simplifies your subscription offerings to readers yet gives them a much richer view into you and your online persona.

How does FeedBlitz RSS help my SEO?

For a more detailed discussion on how the FeedBlitz RSS service helps your SEO, see http://www.feedblitz.com/2009/04/rss-and-seo-raising-bar_07.html

  1. FeedBlitz broadens the quantity and quality of your content and links for search engines to follow by integrating your tweets, comments and other content into your main RSS feed.
  2. For publishers using partial feeds to help monetize their sites, FeedBlitz keeps all links and emphases (such as bold fonts, headings, link and image titles) before the jump. These can then be followed by search engines, unlike the off-the-shelf post truncation offered by most blogging services and FeedBurner.
  3. FeedBlitz RSS services are compatible with CNAME DNS entries (i.e. you can map feeds.feedblitz.com/foo to whatever.mydomain.com/foo).
  4. FeedBlitz offers a “noindex” for advanced users that, when enabled, applies to RSS, browser-friendly and mobile versions of your feed.
  5. FeedBlitz automatically mobilizes your feed (e.g. m.feedblitz.com/feedblitz) which gives search engines another route into your content and links.
  6. You can add a custom footer, applied to full and abridged content, to point visitors and search engines back to your blog, feed or site. This feature also helps visitors identify spam blogs which have scraped your content and directs them to the correct location.
  7. The FeedBlitz RSS service always uses a permanent redirect for links back to your source content, ensuring that search engines properly credit you for the content they have found, not FeedBlitz.

I’m new to blogging and RSS and don’t have FeedBurner. Why should I use an RSS service anyway?

Great question. There are several reasons:

  1. If you’re on a third party service like Blogger / Blogspot, TypePad or WordPress.com, customizing your RSS feed the way FeedBlitz RSS services can is next to impossible, may require a relatively high degree of technical knowledge, and oblige you to integrate multiple tools, add-ins and widgets from different vendors. It can be time-consuming to cobble together a system like this, even if it’s possible.FeedBlitz gives you:
    • The convenience of a single vendor;
    • Richer, branded RSS feeds;
    • Mobile delivery and content customization options;
    • Enhanced content integration
    • Social media widgets
    • Easily managed using simple web pages.

    With FeedBlitz RSS you get a better, branded feed reaching a wider audience for less effort.

  2. We save your bandwidth. Your visitors and their aggregators ask us for your RSS feed and not you. You see lower bandwidth for your hosting, which means your site has less load to bear on a daily basis.
  3. Better metrics and reporting – most web based analytics tools aren’t geared to RSS subscribers, but that’s where many of your more advanced and committed readers will be. FeedBlitz metrics and reporting gives you insight into your subscribers, your RSS feed’s circulation and how it’s being used.

What is the mobile version for?

We provide a mobile version of your feed which can act as your “mobilized” web site. It uses the same RSS branding we apply to your core feed, but is altered for mobile readers to reduce size, dramatically improve load times and speed up content display. In our testing our mobilized feeds downloaded at least 2x faster than a standard RSS feed, and much, much faster than that when reading the same article on a mobile browser from a regular web site (your mileage may vary, of course).

Every FeedBlitz RSS feed at feeds.feedblitz.com/feedname has a mobile version at m.feedblitz.com/feedname

By default, FeedBlitz serves the mobile version when it detects a mobile browser. This feature can be disabled if you wish.

What are the plans for the FeedBlitz RSS service?

We’re only just beginning here! Our goal is to be the premiere one-stop RSS and social media management service for bloggers and online publishers.

So what’s next? We are going to be doing a lot more work on reporting and analytics. We will help publishers take control of RSS scrapers abusing their content. We will offer more control for RSS publishers, such as tag filtering. We’ll also shortly implement import, export and management tools for publishers managing many RSS feeds.