March 27, 2011

An Official "Follow by Email" Gadget for Blogger (Easy set up for Feedburner Email Subscriptions)

Many blog readers prefer to receive updates of new posts by email (rather than subscribing in an RSS feed reader). To make it even easier for our readers to stay in touch with our sites, the Blogger Team have developed a new, official gadget: Follow by Email.

Using Feedburner technology, this new gadget offers a one-click solution for adding an email subscription form to our Blogger-powered blogs. We don't even need to sign up with Feedburner or visit the Feedburner dashboard to configure this for use in our sites!

To begin using this new gadget, go to Design>Page Elements in your Blogger dashboard and click "Add a Gadget" in the section where you'd like the email form to appear.

In the following menu, select "Follow by Email" from the list of default gadgets which will bring up a pop-up box like this:

When setting up the Follow by Email gadget for the first time, a Feedburner Feed URL is created for you. Usually this is based on the name of your blog (so long as this feed name is not already in use).

We can change the name of the feed URL in order to:
  • Create a new Feedburner account using an alternative feed name to the one suggested
  • Use the name of an existing Feedburner feed if you have already set up Feedburner for your site
Once added, the Follow by Email gadget will appear like this in the blog layout, using a grey "Submit" button and text input field which stretches to fit the available space:

This appearance should blend with your existing colour scheme and other gadgets in our blog in the same manner as other Basic gadgets.

What do you think of the Follow by Email Gadget?

Will you be using this new gadget to encourage readers to subscribe by email? Do you prefer this to Feedburner's original email subscription widgets?

Please feel free to leave your comments and opinions below.

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