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Sunday, February 8, 2009

I Disabled FeedBurner

I disabled FeedBurner.

My RSS feed is still You shouldn't need to upgrade your RSS client if you never changed it.

The FeedBurner feed is still active, but I'm no longer redirecting my traffic through it.

This should please the "**** AdSense" crowd (if you're still reading). You now may read my blog AdSense free via RSS. However, Blogger is still owned by Google. When I move to my own domain, you'll be able to read my blog 100% Google free via RSS. At that time, the only record of RSS access will be via my Apache server logs and my custom analytics tools.

I do plan to still use AdSense and Google Analytics until I find a better ad option. Only Google Analytics provides integrated AdSense and Analytics (such as revenue per page, although so far that's been mostly random noise). My page eCPM via AdSense is $5 overall, but only $4 so far in February, which means I make approximately $5 per 1000 pageviews. (In February, I've had more pageviews, but less revenue each.) AdSense gives me a baseline to compare other programs. If I get enough readers, I'll be able to directly sell ads.

The reasons I experimented with FeedBurner were:

  1. I thought that AdSense via RSS would be profitable. It was a surprising flop. My expectations were that AdSense via RSS would be 25%-50% of my total. It actually was 3% of my total, with $0 in February.
  2. I heard "FeedBurner is awesome!" from many other sources. It was on my "list of things to do".
  3. I wanted to know my RSS subscriber counts. When I move to my own domain, I can get nearly the exact same thing via Apache server logs.
The reasons I dropped FeedBurner were:
  1. FeedBurner is buggy. It was dropping posts larger than a certain size. I'm still going to continue my "2 Reader Mail posts per week" experiment that I'm about to start. (Going to 2 Reader Mail posts per week means I can make my other queued drafts last longer. There has been an increase in reader comments in the past few months.)
  2. If I edit a post after publishing it, catching a typo, then FeedBurner does not immediately update my feed. Previously, I did not have that problem.
  3. AdSense via RSS was a flop.
  4. The ad targeting for AdSense via RSS was lousy.
  5. The statistics FeedBurner generated were practically useless. For example, my subscriber counts would randomly increase and decrease every day. I believe that if you don't open your RSS reader for a day, then FeedBurner doesn't count you as a subscriber.
  6. Surprisingly, nearly half my subscribers use Google Reader. This means that the "subscriber counts" displayed in Google Reader are approximately half my total. That means I can just look at that number and multiply by two, as a substitute for FeedBurner.
I'm looking for other "Profit from RSS subscribers" options, but it isn't going to be AdSense.

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