As promised, here is the latest Blogs By Heather Q&A. Every week I would like to try and recap all the questions and answers as I feel many would benefit from the answers and I appreciate the questions and love to help!

Discussion This Week: Subscriptions/Followers


Many of us have newsletters, blog subscribers and follower-type gadgets on our blogs; but many ask or want to understand what each is for and how do they differ?

Newsletter Subscribers

In addition to your blog and other social networking sites, you may use a email marketing/newsletter service like Constant Contact, Aweber, MailChimp, iContact, or Vertical Response (to name a few).

This list of "newsletter subscribers" is separate from and in addition to your blog subscribers. Additionally, you can't simply export your blog subscribers (from Feedburner/FeedBlitz) and import that email list into your email marketing/newsletter contacts list w/o authorization from those subscribers.  Therefore, on your blog what you should have is a separate "Sign Up For My Newsletter" area (separate from and in addition to the regular blog subscription area). Then you can write a post to inform all your blog subscribers that you are starting a newsletter and direct them to your blog's sidebar and the new "Newsletter" sign up box!

Click here to learn how to add a sign up box to your blog using Constant Contact.

So with your new list of newsletter subscribers, you can send them weekly, monthly or periodic newsletters sharing with them new promotions, upcoming events, special coupons and announcements, etc.

Blog Subscribers

Blog subscribers are those who have signed up to follow your blog via their email address or by in a Reader (like Google Reader).  The two most popular "subscriber" widgets are Feedburner and FeedBlitz. FeedBlitz used to be free but now charges. Feedburner is owned by Google and continues to be free. The one thing I love about FeedBlitz is the delivery options where your subscribers can be updated as soon as a new post is published; where in Feedburner you set one delivery time and your subscribers are only updated once a day with x-amount of posts you may have published within the last 24 hour period.

Blog subscribers are updated when you publish new posts to your blog. (Again, this list is separate from your newsletter subscribers.)

Click here to learn how to add the Feedburner widget to your blog.


CM Capture 7 This is a popular Blogger gadget that TypePad had also acquired; however as a TypePad user you can still have the Blogger-like Followers gadget through Google Friends Connect. And if you are a Blogger user moving/transferring to a TypePad blog, you can bring that gadget along with you!!!!

A friend of mine, Dale Morin of Dale's Designs, uses the Google Friends Connect gadget in her TypePad sidebar here.

Click here to get started with Google Friends Connect.

So what is Followers and how does it work?

Basically what happens is if I go to a blog and click on the Followers (or Google Friends Connect) gadget, it adds that blog to my "I'm Following" area in blog's dashboard area and quickly get updated on their most recent post(s). It's just another way to keep updated with blogs you like, right in your own blog's dashboard and instead of or in addition to email subscriptions or readers.

Hope this post helps describe the differences between the different subscribers you may have on your blog and/or newsletter. 

Happy Blogging!

Heather Wright-Porto 

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