Add Feedburner, Mailchimp & Google Analytics

This is part eight of the One Week Blog Challenge series.

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know thy self fans

Every professional blog should have RSS tracking for feed subscribers, an email list signup form, and an analytics package.

Integrate Feedburner for RSS

Sign up for Feeburner. It will allow you to track your RSS subscribers and standardize your RSS feed. I highly recommend setting up MyBrand (it’s a little advanced) so that you end up owning your feed brand in case you ever want to use a different service than Feedburner in the future. Here are some instructions and ones specifically for Dreamhost. You might also want to install Feedburner Feedsmith to make sure all your RSS subscribers are tracked properly and you don’t have any RSS leakage.

Once you get some subscribers, you can display a subscriber feedcount chicklet (to help with social proof). There are even a few ways to customize the way it looks on your blog.

Add Email Signup with Mailchimp

One of the most important long term goals for any online entrepreneur is to build a solid email list. Call it relationship building, building a list, whatever. Bottom line is that many bloggers forget this crucial (and arguably most effective) pieces of online marketing.

Feedburner has an option that lets you email your RSS feed to people who prefer to get them via email (Under Publicize > Email Subscriptions), but that’s a fairly bare bones solution so I’d go with something more feature-rich.

I highly recommend signing up with an email subscription management service like Aweber, Constant Contact, or my personal favorite MailChimp to start collecting and managing an email list. With MailChimp you can sign up for a free account (limit 500 subscribers) and upgrade as needed. Here’s a plugin to make it easier to integrate it into your WordPress blog. Mailchimp has one of the best interfaces out there and makes it really easy for you to create lists, signup forms, newsletters, and send out emails, while keeping everything CAN-SPAM compliant.

Add Google Analytics

The best statistics package out there right now (while KISSmetrics is still in beta) is Google Analytics. Another alternative (in case you’re paranoid about Google) is Mint. Added: Lorelle also suggested Woopra as an alternative. Google Analytics is FREE and feature rich, so I’d recommend installing it.

If you have both Mailchimp and Google Analytics installed, there’s a cool plugin that will show you stats for both in your WordPress admin dashboard.

If you’re running Thesis, paste the Analytics code in the box under Thesis Options > Footer Scripts (detailed instructions here).

If you want to know what your visitors are clicking on when they get to your site, Crazy Egg is a tool that will help you visualize that data, so you might consider installing that as well.

Next up – Some useful WordPress plugins

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Written by

AU Interactive with an interest in travel, photography, and social media.

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