Using FeedBlitz’s RSS Feed Reports
So now you know what FeedBlitz’s RSS numbers mean, how to get at them? First, choose your RSS feed’s icon from the FeedBlitz navigation, and you’ll be taken to the feed’s home page at FeedBlitz. The top of that page will show the circulation / reach chart (unless your feed is so new we haven’t had time to consolidate its data yet “ metrics are calculated daily, overnight, US eastern).
How to get more information? For any particular day on the chart, click the bar for that day, and the detailed metrics appear for that day. Follow the links on the detail for more in depth data.
If you want more that a week’s worth of metrics, click the orange “Reports” button at the top of the feed’s main page. There you can alter the timeframe for the reports to show other time ranges.
Diagnosing Circulation Changes
One of the most terrifying things that can happen is when your circulation drops dramatically (it’s never terrifying the other way around, is it?!). What on earth can be happening? Here’s how you can use FeedBlitz’s RSS feed reports to figure it out. This is also a great way to figure out what hasn’t made the transition from FeedBurner, if the two services are showing radically different numbers.
Well, the first piece of good news is that, in all likelihood, FeedBlitz hasn’t suddenly “lost” those subscribers and cast them off into some Internet subscription purgatory. What’s more likely to have happened is that they’ve stopped being counted. There are a number of reasons why that might have happened, and you can find out! Here’s the process to follow:
- Go to your RSS feed’s home page in FeedBlitz, then click the orange “Reports” button.
- Change the range to cover the time frame of the circulation change you’re interested in.
- Click one of the days (say a “big” one). Note from the RSS aggregators detail the top few consumers of your feed.
- Click a different day (say the scary “low” one) and again look at the RSS aggregator detail.
If you’re diagnosing a difference between FeedBlitz and FeedBurner, perform steps 1-3 on your FeedBurner dashboard, and then repeat in FeedBlitz for the other data.
Big circulation changes are caused by one of the largest readers changing what it’s doing, and that will probably have leapt out at you immediately. So the question then becomes, why the change? Answers typically include:
- Broken feed redirects from your site. Make sure that any redirects are correctly working from your blog’s original feed to FeedBlitz. If it isn’t working any more, the traffic won’t be sent to FeedBlitz and we won’t see the feed readers to count them.
- FeedBurner feed deleted. FeedBurner’s 30-day deletion process simply redirects traffic for the first fifteen days, and then stops. You’ll need those folks to resubscribe “ the FeedBurner Migration Guide from feedblitz.com can help you there.
- Incorrectly edited feed URL. Say you have lots of users at FriendFeed, update it to point to the new feed at FeedBlitz “ and accidentally mess it up. Ooops! Now the traffic isn’t coming our way and we won’t count it. If you see a large centralized service “disappear” make sure that the URL they’re checking is correct.
Once you’ve identified the source of the mystery disappearing readership, take the appropriate actions. The metrics should reflect the effect of your changes the next day, since feed metrics are calculated once a day, only.