I just switched our RSS feed over to be tracked through FeedBurner (Stats! Woohoo! You have no idea what a stats junkie I am), and it was surprisingly easy, though you wouldn’t know it from the complete lack of any kind of useful Google-able help on the subject. So for anyone out there trying to do the same, here’s how to go about it.
I realized after writing this up that there's a lot of assumptions involved. Namely, this assumes that you're publishing your Blogger blog via FTP to a web server you have some control over (i.e. your blog shows up at www.yoururl.com/blog rather than at blogspot). And then it assumes that you have access to CPanel for your webserver, or can otherwise setup a temporary redirect. The process requires no particular tech skills, though it's a bit conceptually techie.
So just to start with, the goal here is to give anyone requesting the Idealware feed a FeedBurner URL, so FeedBurner can track visits, clicks, etc. If you already have a RSS feed, you need a way to redirect the URL for that feed to Feedburner, so you can track all your subscribers without making people manually switch feeds. Conceptually, this process does exactly that. However, we can’t just redirect from the original URL to the FeedBurner URL, because, well, the FeedBurner URL is looking at the original URL for the content of the feed. So Feedburner looks to your original URL, which looks to FeedBurner, which looks to your original URL… infinite loop. So instead, we’re going to setup a second feed URL which doesn’t do anything but provide the content.
Note that if you don’t have any feed subscribers yet, you don’t need to do all this – you can just create the Feedburner feed and put that in as your feed option for new subscribers, rather than fool around with redirects.
So here are the steps:
- In Blogger, change the name of your feed so that it is posted to a new URL. To do this, go to Settings -> Site Feed, and change the Site Feed Filename and Site Feed URL. My filename was originally atom.xml and my URL was http://www.idealware.org/blog/atom.xml; I changed them to atom_fb.xml and http://www.idealware.org/blog/atom_fb.xml. It doesn’t matter what you change them to as long as it’s different and the file name matches the URL. Remember what your old URL was.
- In Feedburner, create a Feedburner feed for this new URL. So just paste the URL from above into the giant Ready to Burn Your Feed field on the homepage. Or if you’ve already setup a feed, you can change the URL for the original feed by clicking Edit Feed Details on the top of your dashboard.
- Now all there is to do is to redirect from your old URL to the Feedburner URL, with the standard temporary redirect. To do this through CPanel (a utility offered by a lot of shared web hosts), go to Manage Redirects. Type in your old URL in the field on the left (mine was http://www.idealware.org/blog/atom.xml); type in the Feedburner URL after the arrow (mine was http://feeds.feedburner.com/idealware). Click Add.
- Done! Enjoy the glut of statistics on your feed. Wohoo!
Note that people say it’s not optimal for search engine optimization to create temporary redirects like this (though search engines aren’t doing much with RSS feeds now anyway). I think it’s highly preferable, however, to creating a permanent redirect which irrevocably links your public feed to FeedBurner, which is the only other option on most shared webhosts.