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Custom Feedburner feedflares

feedburner feedflare

Feedburner, the leading provider of media distribution and audience engagement services for blogs and RSS feeds which is now owned by Google, allows you to spice up your feed with feedflares. A fleedflare is something like "Submit to Digg", "Save to delicious" and so on. While it provides some already made feedflares, you may want to add some of your own, like "Follow me on Twitter", or "Visit our Facebook Fan Page" and basically anything you can think of.

To add your own feedflare for Feedburner, you need to create a .xml file (just use Wordpad or something similar and create any type of file, then change it's extension) which has the structure of something like this (below example is for "Follow us on Twitter"):

<Title>Follow us on Twitter</Title>
<Description>A custom Twitter feedflare
<Text>Follow us on Twitter</Text>
<Link href="http://twitter.com/webupd8"/>

custom feedflare

If you want to use this, just change the link to Web Upd8's Twitter page with your own. Then, upload this file to any host, go to your FeedBurner account, and on the "Optimize" tab, enable "FeedFlare" and then, under "Personal feedflare", enter the link to your custom Feedburner feedflare and click on the "Add New Flare" button. In the exact same way you can create a feedflare for your Facebook fan page or anything alike.

Now if say, you would like to create a feedflare to display a permanent link to each post, the .xml file would have to look like this:

<Description>Adds the permalink of posts to help verify as the original source</Description>
<Link href="${link}" />

I've added 3 such custom feedflares to Web Upd8's feed, so you can see them live by subscribing to Web Upd8.

For more advanced FeedFlares, visit THIS page.

Changing FeedBurner 302 redirect to 301

By having FeedBurner click tracking turned on and set on "complete item use statistics" (which is default), not only are you losing out on link juice from legit sites that use your feed for link references, you are also losing out on links from all the sites scraping your content. That is because having this settings, Feedburner uses a 302 redirect (Moved Temporarily). Changing this to "search engine rankings" changes the redirect to 301 which means permanent redirect. This way you will get link juice for your links.

feedburner 302 redirect

To set this the right way, login to your Feedburner account, and on the "Analyze" tab, click on "Configure stats" (the last link on the left). Then, on "Item link clicks - optimize for", select "search engine rankings". That's it. If your going to get scraped, you might as well get some link juice out of it.

Blogger (blogspot.com) tip: if you are using Blogger, go to your dasboard > Settings > Site Feed. Under the "Post Feed Redirect URL" enter your Feedburner url. This way, your blog's feed will be redirected through FeedBurner. Also, on the same page, under "Post Feed Footer" you can add some custom text or even code to the footer of your feed.

blogger feed footer

You can even use a tracking image to see how many people read your feed!
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