One of the features I have appreciated on WordPress is the email subscription “widget” (which you can see on the right side under the search box). This function allows readers to subscribe to my blog and receive new posts via email. My book review blog, which has been hosted on Blogger since 2010, has never had an email subscription option, but as I was thinking about how important this was, I decided it was time to figure out how to add it.
I figured it out, but also discovered that setting up an email subscription field in Blogger takes a little more work to set up than it did in WordPress. If you use Blogger, though, and do not already have this set up, it may be worth the effort. Allowing your visitors to subscribe to your blog keeps them engaged without having to come back and visit your page everyday to see if anything new has been posted.
Blogger’s version of a widget is called a “gadget.” Blogger provides instructions on how to set up an email subscription gadget here; however, I will walk you through the steps and what I learned when I set this up on my blog this week.
The Blogger instructions provide a code that you can copy and paste into the “Content” box of the new gadget you are setting up. Do not enter anything into the Title box.
Before you click to save your new gadget, there are a few very important things you need to do in order for your feed to work properly:
1) Set up a feed in Feedburner. Go to Feedburner.google.com, enter your blog URL into the appropriate box and walk through the steps to set up your feed.
2) Activate the feed. Once it is set up, click on the feed name to open the feed settings and then click the Publicize tab. Click Email Subscriptions. At the bottom of the page, make sure the service is active (if not, click to activate it).
3) Set up the feed link in your gadget. In the Preview Subscription Link… box, there is a code that looks like this:
<a href=”https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=blogspot/eoEYn&loc=en_US“>Subscribe to Read & Tell Reviews by Email</a>
Copy only the portion of that code between the quotation marks (shown in blue text above). Keep in mind your exact link will be slightly different from mine.
Paste that link into the gadget to replace the portion of the code highlighted in blue on the Helplogger page (where you originally got the code).
4) Replace the name of the blog. Looking back at the original code you copied from Helplogger, there is one word (helplogger) in purple. Replace this word with what you want it to say for your blog. In my case, I replaced “helplogger” with “ReadAndTell.”
5) Save and test. Save your gadget and then open your blog in another window. Your new gadget should now appear on the page. Test it by submitting your email address. Follow the steps and then check your email. You can make changes to the email language from within Feedburner. You can change the location of your gadget from within Blogger.
Easy, right? Okay, it’s not that easy. Blogger makes a lot of things easy, but this is not one of them. Once you get through it, though, you will be offering your readers a great way to receive instant notification of your new posts.