RSS feeds allow people to subscribe to get updated about your site or blog’s newest posts, usually via tools called feed readers (Google Reader is a well-known, free option). This is a nice feature, but like all things web we want to be able to measure this metric too and know how many people are subscribing, and how they are using the feed.
Feedburner is the only tool available that allows you to measure the number of people subscribed to your feed. It also allows you to offer people an email subscription option, which automatically sends them new posts by email if they subscribe to that option.
In order to measure the feed subscribers via feed reader, you need to redirect your blog’s feed to a Feedburner URL. Most of the time, people use the regular Feedburner URL that looks like feeds.feedburner.com/MyFeed. But you can also have a branded feed URL like http://feeds.illuminea.com/illumineaBlog. Here’s how to do it:
1. Go to http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mybrand and login with your Google account. Copy the higlighted text after CNAME.
2. Go into your cPanel where your domain is hosted and open the Simple DNS Zone Editor:
3. Add a CNAME as follows. In the Name field, type in: feeds In the CNAME field, paste in the highlighted text. The cPanel automatically fills in info to create a subdomain: feeds.thedomain.com. Basically, Google/Feedburner has you set up a subdomain that points to Google’s servers so they can serve the feed on your subdomain.
4. Wait up to 24 hours for propogation to finish. You can tell when it’s finished by going to feeds.yourdomain.com and getting a login page instead of a 404 error page.
5. Go to http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mybrand and fill in your feeds.yourdomain.com where designated on the page.
6. Click Activate.
7. Check to see if it’s working. Your feed should look something like this: http://feeds.illuminea.com/illumineaBlog
8. Make sure to change the URL everywhere that a link to your RSS Feed appears but note that people can still sign up to your old URL: feeds.feedburner.com/illumineaBlog so you won’t lose out on any followers.