As a blogger, I’m always curious about my (precious few) readers. I want to know who they are, what they find interesting, why, when, and how.

Fortunately, these questions can largely be answered with Google Analytics, a tool I’ve been using since I started blogging. With Analytics, you can get all kinds of charts and graphs to help answer the all important question of  “Is anyone reading this? Anyone?“.

Unfortunately, Google Analytics ignores an important segment of the audience: RSS feed readers. WordPress (which has excellent RSS feed support built right in) also doesn’t seem to have an obvious way to track subscribers. Well, at least not obvious enough for me to find in a few minutes of poking around.

Isn’t There Some Kind of Google Analytics for RSS?

As it turns out, there is a great way of tracking RSS feeds and it’s called Feedburner. It’s very Google Analytics-y in that it’s also free to use, also has all kinds of charts and graphs to help you understand your readers, and is also owned by Google. All you have to do is register your feed and it starts tracking stats. Very nice.

What’s even better is that Feedburner integrates nicely with WordPress though a plug-in called FD Feedburner. Once you “burned” your feed with Feedburner, you need to redirect traffic from the original feed to the new one (Google has a whole page on how to do this). FD Feedburner automates the redirect in a completely transparent way.

Final Thought

With Google Analytics and Feedburner, I was finally able to understand just how many people read this blog. This understanding helped me reach an important conclusion: it’s a good thing I don’t do this for the money.

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This post got one comment so far. Care to add yours?

  1. matthew says:

    This cracked me up. Thanks for infusing some humor into this explanation.
    I expect I will find roughy the same disinterested audience using my RSS feed. 🙂