Feedburner is Going Away...What Does This Mean for Me?

5:32 PM

 



Disclaimer: I wrote this post "in the trenches" as they say. I'm not a technology expert by any means, I simply wrote this to help my bloggy friends navigate this ocean of information out there. 

Greetings for the cave! 

I'm really sorry for leaving you guys out of the loop for a while. Things have been exploding around here - tempers, knees, the works. 

And no, I'm not kidding. I popped my knee a couple of weeks ago at work, and it collapsed over the weekend. Since then, it's been a storm of dealing with two-faced managers, workman's comp and...gahh

Anyway, I'm not here to commiserate about my body falling apart. I'm here to discuss a dilemma I've been facing for weeks. All because I found this ribbon on my Blogger dash which basically stated that Feedburner (Email Subscription) is going away. 

WHAT? 

CUE THE PANIC

Why Catherine, you ask? After all, Feedburner is just an RSS feed generator that looks like absolute trash from the early 2000s? That no one probably uses anyway? 

Um, well, here's the problem. 

Feedburner was easy. It really wasn't that hard to set up a feed and have it burn something for the email. For us hobby bloggers who had little to no coding skills, it was a nice easy-to-use (read: hands-off) platform to use (even if it looked like trash). It took care of all the lists and there was little that needed to be done with it. 

The other thing is that Blogger kinda built itself around Feedburner as its email platform. Most tutorials for email subscriptions on Blogger are for setting up Feedburner and the widget for email subscriptions only connects to Feedburner (and can't be edited). WordPress, on the other hand, has nice plugins for third-party email subscription services such as MailChimp. 

Now that the email subscription option is going away...I have the choice of either discontinuing my email lists or switching to another platform. 

As someone who is planning to publish a book in the next two years or so...I didn't think discontinuing the list was a good idea. The good news is that the RSS feed will still be there, I just need another platform to publish it via email. 

But a Google search into "blog email subscriptions" and "email marketing" has turned up an enormous amount of information that proved to be rather....overwhelming. And some of it quite technical too. So what is a poor hobby blogger to do? 

How I tackled that question was to find out what kind of email subscription services were out there. Fortunately, with the explosion of email marketing, there are many free plans to choose from. I found two articles that were really helpful: this one by EmailToolTester compares 15 and this one by Themeisle compares six. 

Even with these articles, sometimes it's hard to figure out just what you need. After a little more research, I figured out that the feature we need to focus on is the RSS to Email option. This is the exact option that Feedburner is discontinuing. It's not always advertised, but many services do offer this. An example of this can be found in this article: RSS-to-Email from MailerLite. I would also recommend reading articles and videos from each provider that give information about the options. 

When doing research, the two platforms that I was really drawn to were MooSend and Sendinblue. Had MooSend allowed personal email addresses to be used (professional emails with their own domain can only be used), it would have been a quick sale for me. 

The biggest hesitation about signing up for one of these services that I've been dealing with...is a very minor thing for most people, but for those of us who are hobby bloggers that value our privacy, it's a big deal. 

Due to some criminal shenanigans, a law was passed that forces people to publish a mailing address as a means of alternative communication. Great for businesses, but sucky for those of us living at home with parents who view digital privacy as a Very Important Thing. Like, covering the webcams, VPNs and the like. 

There are a couple of options available, such as doing a PO Box, or having a "virtual" mailbox. ConvertKit also offers their own physical address as a "virtual" address for their customers - an option that is tempting, not gonna lie. 

Now the hard part...coming to a decision. 

I've already decided that Working by Candlelight's email feed is going to disappear. There are only 8 subscribers and I think the majority of them follow the blog through other readers anyway. 

However, Rebelling Muse has 20 subscribers. Many of them are blogger friends, but I'm sure that about half of them don't follow my blog in the *regular* fashion. So that's something to think about. 

I don't really have the means or support to get my own domains or professional email addresses that the "experts" recommend. Frankly, at this stage, I don't believe it to be necessary either. I will probably get a ProtonMail account for my "author" address because then I can upgrade it without too much trouble, and it's one of the safest free emails available. That will also become my "public" email address. 

The idea of a PO box or a UPS box is tempting because of the fact that I do occasionally get things from other bloggers, like ARC copies. However, the USPS can be a real stickler for real name vs. pen name legalities, from what I can gather. Though, that might be solved by a simple "care of" line. 

Some other bloggers have solved the issue with another RSS feed, such as Follow.it. I may do that in the interim, as well as claim my blogs on Bloglovin'. 

What have you guys done about this situation? An email service? Another RSS feed? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine

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4 comments

  1. I know, I faced the same problem. The service I decided to use (for now at least) is Follow.it, which you can easily import your Feedburner followers from and is basically designed for sending out RSS feeds. So we'll see how that goes. I hope everything works out for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel ya. I know we're not the only ones either. That's good to know (actually, you were the person I referenced, LOL). I'll definitely be following to see how that turns out :)

      Delete
  2. Catherine!!! So glad to see a post from you! Work has been eating me up, but I want to email you as soon as I have the chance. This was very helpful because all these years on Blogger and I had no idea how this actually works. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to see you too, MC! I'm just now swinging back into blogging again after an unexpected hiatus. LOL, I getcha! Looking forward to your email :)

      Delete

How are you, dear friend? Come closer to the fire, and make yourself comfortable! I'd love to hear what you've been thinking about, even if it's an old post! I only ask that proper decorum be observed.

I always try to reply to my correspondence! Have a blessed day!
~ Catherine

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