// Internet Duct Tape

FeedBurner Tip: Create a private area for your RSS subscribers only

Posted in Building a Community, FeedBurner, RSS Syndication, Technology by engtech on July 16, 2007

Reader SurveyWhen it comes to blogging the most important people are the ones who take the time to read your RSS feed. They’re your long term readers who are in it for the long haul, much more so than the people who stop by your blog because they found it through a search engine or a social bookmarking site. They’re the ones who promote your articles, and the ones who’ll let you know when you’re falling off your blog game.

It’s important to build a rapport with them, and one of the ways to do that is by giving them special offers that aren’t available to regular readers of the website. This could be an electronic book, information on how to submit reader links, or beta invitations to other websites like Pownce and Joost.

But how do you send these links to your RSS readers without displaying them on your blog?

FeedBurner to the rescue

customer feedburner feedflarIf you aren’t using Google’s FeedBurner service for your blog then you should be. (It has built-in integration with Blogger, and the rumour mill says that it will be added to WordPress.com at some point.) FeedBurner has these things called FeedFlares that show up at the end of your RSS feed. They can do things like dynamically list the number of comments on that post, or how many times it has been dugg or saved to del.icio.us.

It’s really simple to build your own FeedFlare that links to anything you want. Dosh Dosh has a detailed guide explaining how to do it. I wrote a list a while back explaining why I think FeedBurner is so great.

How to create a Custom FeedBurner FeedFlare

  1. Login to FeedBurner
  2. Click on My Feeds
  3. Click on the feed you want to edit
  4. Click on the Optimize tab
  5. Click on FeedFlare from the sidebar
  6. Under “Personal FeedFlare” cut-and-paste your generic feedflare link and click add to FeedFlare


I’ve created a Password-Protected Post on my blog for my RSS readers at http://internetducttape.com/easter-eggs/reader-appreciation/

So I would use the following custom FeedFlare:




That will give you something like this:

create a custom feedburner feedflare example

Thanks to Dosh Dosh for showing me how to do this. I had a previous hack in place where I had a del.icio.us account and I would use the FeedBurner splice with del.icio.us to share things with my RSS readers only. Using a FeedFlare is much more elegant.

12 Responses

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  1. Chris Garrett said, on July 16, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    I found feedflares a bit problematic when I wanted to put my ebook download link in my RSS so I wrote my own plugin which my friend Damian taken on development of. One of the problems with feedflares is they are so small, although even with the download link now in H1 there are still people who miss it :)

  2. engtech said, on July 16, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    @chrisg: I meant to link to your ebook as a perfect example of giving value to your RSS subscribers but then I got interrupted. :) Fixed.

    Agreed that the FeedFlare text is too tiny and often overlooked.

    Blogger lets you specify 500 characters for your feed signature and you can put any HTML. By far the easiest solution. The WordPress sig2feed plugin will do it also: http://www.smackfoo.com/plugins/sig2feed/

  3. Ali said, on July 17, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Thanks for this information. I was wondering how some of the feeds I read have that kind of thing set up.

  4. Alpesh Nakar said, on July 18, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Good one! I use sideblog plugin and that category never makes it to the homepage :-)

    I will try this one.

    I dish out more content for rss subscribers then for the home page :-)


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  6. Friedbeef said, on July 20, 2007 at 5:46 am

    Awesome find – thanks for sharing!

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  8. David Airey said, on July 29, 2007 at 10:26 am

    An alternative that I’ve just started trying out is for those of you already hooked up with a Text Link Ad account.

    You can set up a personal Text Link Ad to appear at the foot of your feed articles, linking through to any page necessary. It’s a little more obvious than an extra feed flare.

    Chris G uses his plugin excellently.

  9. […] In other news, has anyone noticed the little graphics and links FeedBurner is including at the bottom of their hosted feeds now? I believe they call it FeedFlare, but I find it somewhat distracting. I can picture this leading towards a PPC method, possibly competing with Google’s Adsense. Interesting to see how that turns out.FeedBurner Tip: Create a private area for your RSS subscribers only «.. […]

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  12. Xerox said, on December 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

    great sharing

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