The Slow Death of Feedburner Accelerates

by · October 17, 201213 comments

Like it or not, kiddos, FeedBurner is going away.

Cry, whine, kick your feet if it makes you feel better. Work your way through the five stages of grief, if you like. The smoke signals coming out of the Googleplex for the past months might as well be an airplane skywriting “Abandon ship, FeedBurners” across the horizon.

If you’ve got a blog with thousands of  subscribers, it’s time to take action.

Here at Social Media Explorer, we’ve migrated to FeedBlitz. It’s been a great experience; Phil Hollows and the team at FeedBlitz has gotten us past the few hiccups, which were user error on our (my) part, not a problem with the tool. They’ve also offered a really excellent free PDF eBook to walk you through the migration process. If you’d like a play-by-play, you could check out this post from Jess Ostroff at Convince & Convert.

If you’re using a blog as your content hub or digital home base, the eventual sunsetting of FeedBurner could seriously impact your digital marketing plan. If you’re blogging on WordPress or any other common blogging platform, it automatically creates a native feed for subscribers. People use FeedBurner to do a number of things that your native feed won’t, like:

  • Provide analytics on your feed subscribers
  • Allow visitors to subscribe to the blog by email
  • Monetize your feed through advertising

If Google sunsets FeedBurner before you migrate your subscribers elsewhere, the worst case scenario is that you lose all your subscribers.

The simplest and fastest option is to migrate to FeedBlitz. That’s what we’ve done, and we’re really pleased with the services so far. However, it’s a paid service, whose rates are based on the number of email subscribers you have. It’s still incredibly cheap–less than $10/month up to 500 email subscribers, and less than $30/month up to 2,500.

Other Options

Pheedo is another option that offers subscriber analytics and feed monetization, but they are only interested in blogs with 50,000 unique visitors per month or more. If you’re running a wildly popular blog with thousands of email subscribers and tens of thousands of unique visitors per month, it’s probably worth looking into Pheedo.

For smaller blogs, If you’re on WordPress, plugins like Feed Statistics and Jetpack’s Subscriptions can provide subscriber stats and subscriptions by email, although I haven’t found any plugins that offer the feed monetization options FeedBlitz and Pheedo do.

Some lightweight email marketing tools, including aWeber, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor, offer RSS-to-Email functionality at various price points and with slight variation in features. If you’re already using one of these tools to manage your email database, it could make sense to consolidate all email subscribers, either for blog content or newsletter and promotional content, into one tool. FeedBlitz will do this as well.

Takeaways: 

FeedBlitz is probably the best option for most serious bloggers. If you’re really determined to avoid a paid service, it can be done to varying degrees of success, at least on WordPress. Bloggers with very large subscriber lists might want to at least take a look at Pheedo.

Regardless of what route you take, now is the time to start migrating your subscribers from FeedBurner to something more reliable. Ultimately, managing your blog subscriptions through FeedBurner is “building on rented land.” It looks likely that the landlord is preparing to bulldoze the property. Make your moving plans now, or face the wrecking ball.

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About Kat French

Kat French

Kat French is the Digital Operations Manager at CafePress. An exceptional writer both on the web and in other genres, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in community management, SEO/PPC, social media strategy and program management. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, Optima Batteries and more.

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