RSS Chicklets in Sidebar Widget

Wait a miniute I thought I already read this, but now it is different.    Have you ever watched a movie over and found out they changed the ending on you since  you last saw it.   Well I’m changing this entire post.

RSS BadgeIf RSS Feeds are a mystery to you then welcome to the party.   It seems there  are certain badges of honor that are worn in the blogging community, like merit  badges for scouts.   You have to go through a certain amount of initiation and then you can join in the next level of fun.  

For  myself and probably many others, one of  the badges to earn is RSS Feeds.   While doing research for this post I  learned more about them, but I’m not  going to share it.   That might be taken as cheating.

I first read about RSS feeds from the Tomato:  What is RSS? What is Feedburner?   I didn’t understand it, I still go back and read it from time to time.   But I did learn about Feedburner.  

The place I continue to learn the most from is RSS Pieces   of course with that name, well duh!   Start with the category RSS Marketing   Read them and then read them again.

It isn’t the purpose of this post to explain RSS Feeds or Marketing.  

You don’t have to understand something to realize:

  1. it has value
  2. you need it.

Here are the steps to implament getting RSS Feed going on your blog.

  1. Download and  activate the Feedburner plug-in
  2. Go to the options menu and set up a Feedburner account
  3. Copy the code they provide for you in the option screen and save

Good so far, now we get to the chicklets.

chicklet gum

I now  understand that those small icons, are called chicklets, which when I was growing up was gum.  

Now there is also a literary grouping of books called chicklit, but that’s not the same things.  I know chicklets make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog by clicking on a chicklet and then adding your blog  to that particular RSS reader.

Lets go get just one chicklet, that is really all we need to get the job done.  

I like what Mary McKnights said on RSS Pieces about not cluttering up your blog with with too much eye candy.   You don’t need a big long list of chicklets to choose from.

Here is why.   Set up your Feedburner account with the “Smart Feed” option.   When someone clicks on your RSS Feed clicklet they will get an option to select where they want the feed to go.   You can try it using this chicklet or the one at the top of the left sidebar.

Setting up the Smart Feed

  1. log into your feedburner account.
  2. click on my feeds in the upper right hand corner.
  3. select the feed you want to work on.
  4. click on the Publicize tab and select Smart Feed and activate.

Next lets go get that chicklet.

  1. Click on the Publicize tab again.
  2. Select the Chicklet Chooser in the options down the left side.
  3. It default to the chicklet we want.
  4. Scoll down to the code window and copy the code.

You can see all the other chicklets that are there.   We don’t need them.   Since we set up smartfeed we only need this one chicklet to choose from.

If you are using the Sidebar widget, and I recommend you do if   you are using WordPress, copy the code into a text box.

Here are the steps.

  1. Click on Presentation
  2. Select the Sidebar widget
  3. Drag a text box to the menu (if you don’t have one available add one at the bottom)
  4. Click on the edit box and set your title and paste the code into the text box.
  5. Remember if you are using MyBlogLog to re-paste the code into the MyBlogLog box
  6. Save the sidebar.

Whew,   I know those of you that already have your RSS Badge of Honor will think this is pretty basic stuff, but for those that don’t, this will let those  who visit your blog  and want to set up an RSS Feed to their reader do just that with the click of a chick-let.

Oh Yeah, more chicklets

 chicklet chicks

Comments

  1. Dave,

    Thanks for the post and great blog! I’ve had Feedburner on my blog since day one thanks to reading countless blogs and articles from people such as Mary McKnight and others like her (such as yourself).

    There is so much to learn yet, so little time left in the day after work, family and life in general. Thanks for putting it in one place to make it convenient and for helping us all out!

  2. Hi Dave,

    Just found your blog and like how you’re positioning the Blog Lab… maybe add a wiki here? Feedburner’s stats always seem mysterious to me… the forums claim to make their interpretation transparent but I didn’t see the value in their PRO subscription service.

  3. Pat,

    Thanks for dropping by the Lab, “maybe add a wiki” Yeah, I can a wiki to the pile of “That’s a mystery to me” I’ll have to take a look at that, anyone know how to start a wiki? Drop by the lab and tell the rest of us, or at least point us to your post or resources.

    It seems there is enough confusing information from Feedburner for free, I agree the PRO service easily could just add to the confusion and the drain on the almost empty wallet. Is that an echo I hear in there?

  4. Wikis are cool. I’ve played some with one. Just don’t have the time right now. Once place to start: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki

  5. Jay,

    I installed wpwiki this morning, but I’m totally lost when it comes to what I’m looking at. I don’t even understand the basic stucture of the thing. I keep opening it up and reading, but I can’t find a starting point. Maybe tomorrow.

    Funny, I’ve got one installed, but I don’t know what it is or how to use it. So what is it for?

  6. Finally came across this and you saved me from a very long night. Thanks for making it simple and workable!