You needn’t look past MYBlogLog, or the comments left here to see who typically reads this blog. This is a pretty low traffic, highly specific site. I designed it to engage RE.net. My own Facebook in many ways. Because of this, I never really thought about making available a way to subscribe by email. I just assumed that anyone who wanted to track this blog would do so by RSS.
Maybe that’s a mistake, even for this crowd. It would definitely be a mistake for a local real estate blog. When I revamped Den-Mod last fall, I added the ability to subscribe by email. Today, 78% of my subscribers (about 100) do so by email. It’s as if RSS doesn’t even exist.
From the relationships I’ve built with my readers over the last few months, I would consider that crowd to exhibit a higher than average grasp of the web. Yet RSS is not on the radar for most of them. A typical real estate blog reader, drawn more by location, could be even less likely to understand the benefits of RSS. One thought might be to try to teach these folks about RSS. But it seems to me that it makes just as much sense to allow them to subscribe by email.
To accomplish this, I use Feedburner’s email system. It’s free, and offers the appropriate opt-in/opt-out controls. Even if you don’t use their services to broadcast your RSS feed, this is a great little tool to manage email subscriptions.
To get started, register with Feedburner (free). Burn your RSS feed. From the feed details menu, click on the Publicize tab, then click on Email Subscriptions. There’s more to it, but you’re all smart enough to figure it out from there.