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Follow.it Is The Best FREE Alternative To Google's Feedburner

published 319 days, 15 hours, 47 minutes ago posted by matthewpomarmatthewpomar 328 days, 17 hours, 16 minutes ago
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:38:45 PM GMT Monday, January 10, 2022 2:10:24 PM GMT

If you have a WordPress website, blog, or even a website running on another platform, the de-facto choice for publishing your RSS feeds was Google's Feedburner for the longest time. However, Google disabled the Feedburner email subscriptions feature in July 2021, leaving many website publishers in search of something to take its place. In this article, we will explain why follow.it is the best alternative to Feedburner and how it differs.

The Overview

Google's Feedburner is a popular platform for blogging. It provides many features that can be utilized to create a personalized RSS feed for each specific blog post. However, it isn't the only thing out there and has some drawbacks.

Follow.it is an alternative service from Quertime designed to provide all of the same benefits as Google's Feedburner but with more flexibility for bloggers and website owners. In addition, unlike other services, follow.it does not display advertisements on your RSS feeds or require you to link your blog posts back to their site in order to track statistics – everything is done via HTTP requests which means no extra work is required.

Follow.it is a web page where you can add and manage your RSS and Atom feeds, in the same way that Feedburner was used for many years to create and manage RSS feeds before its shutdown. Instead of having to use an external link such as Feedburner's own URL shortener service or Inoreader, follow.it offers its own URL shortener that redirects back to your feed without any ads or popups, which makes it unique when compared with other alternatives. However, this is not the only thing that sets follow.it apart from its competitors - we will explain more later on in this article.

If you tried using Feedburner today and found out that email subscriptions were disabled, you would probably start looking for a third-party alternative to take its place. Well, you're in luck. There are many alternatives available with their own unique features that set them apart from each other, and one such service is follow.it

So what is Follow.it? How does it work?

Follow.it is a super-easy way to integrate your RSS feeds (the ones you get from WordPress and other platforms) with your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus+. This gives you the ability to automatically share important posts that keep people informed of key events in real-time.

How good is follow.it?

Well, if it's anything like Feedburner was back when it was still functional, this free alternative should be just as good or even better than Feedburner was before they disabled their email subscription feature altogether. Why do we say this? 

Because follow.it offers similar features such as: 

  • Integrate your RSS/Atom feed into your favorite social media account. 
  • Displays the number of people that subscribed to your RSS feed via email (SEO value). 
  • Ability to add a Subscribe button on your website if you're not using WordPress.

The Pedigree

Follow.it was founded in July 2020 by the same person who created Feedburner in September 2005: Google employee Amit Agarwal. It has been around for two years, and thousands of satisfied users use it every day to publish RSS feeds on their website or blog. When compared to Feedburner, follow.it is free and doesn't require any credit card information (apart from when you want to add more than five feeds). 

As you can imagine, follow.it is the most popular option when it comes to creating and managing RSS feeds for websites and blogs.

When comparing these sites, we're going to list their features first and then explain why it's features make it unique compared with its competitors - similar to a pros/constable.

Feedburner

Feedburner is Google's RSS feed management and creation tool, which was used by millions of websites before Google disabled it's popular email subscriptions feature in July 2021. Although this might sound like a downside, there are other features that make follow.it better than Feedburner: for example, since 2014, Google has been charging $19 per month or $199 per year for each Feedburner account and has also managed to lose the trust and respect of many website publishers (something that can be seen on Twitter and various online publications). Because of its abrupt decision to disable the email subscriptions feature and the lack of alternatives available at the time, many website publishers lost their RSS feeds for a week or two.

Pros: 

  • Allows you to add a subscription button to your website that can be used by visitors and their friends (and thus increase the number of subscribers). 
  • It does not require any credit card information. 

Cons: 

  • Long wait before you'll be able to access your account since Google disabled it without any warning. 
  • Temporarily lose access to your blog/website feed if you don't know how to change its address.
  • There are no alternative services which mean no one else will lose their RSS feeds too
  • Require payments for each additional service. 
  • Subscribers won't get updates via email unless they subscribe using one of the supported services such as Feedly (in which case they'll still need to remember feed's original link address).

Follow.it

Follow.it is a free RSS feed creation and management service that can be used by anyone who wants to create an RSS feed for their website or blog without having to pay anything or fill out any forms. We started using it back in 2014 when Google first announced its plans to shut down Feedburner's popular email subscriptions feature, and we've been happily using it ever since.

Pros: 

  • Allows you to add a subscription button to your website that can be used by their friends (and thus increase the number of subscribers). 
  • Does not require any credit card information Has other features such as content marketing platform. 

Cons: 

  • Too many options available. 
  • It might seem confusing or overwhelming to many users. 
  • Require payments for each additional service. 
  • Subscribers won't get updates via email unless they subscribe using one of the supported services such as Feedly (in which case they'll still need to remember feed's original link address).

The Expectation

There are three main differences between follow.it and Google's Feedburner service. Firstly, the fact that follow.it does not display advertisements on your RSS feeds. Secondly, it provides a much better interface for users to manage their RSS feed, and thirdly, it does not require you to link your blog posts back to their site in order to track statistics.

Now, let's start with what to expect from a free service in terms of features and how they work:

Feedburner

  • Can't do things like show the number of subscribers or provide a subscribe box on a website without paying for Pro. 
  • Doesn't give much insight into who subscribes, so it limits their ability to market directly the types of people likely to convert/buy from them. It can be inferred from page views, but even then, there are no guarantees. 
  • Users can't unsubscribe from your email list without going to a different page. This can hurt your SEO and, thus, revenue if users who subscribed via email stop seeing you as a priority in their feed reader because they have to go searching for answers to questions that should have been addressed by following you via email in the first place.
  • Supports Atom format only.

Follow.it

  • Can do everything Feedburner could do. 
  • Shows users how many people subscribe via Follow.it. 
  • Provides a Subscribe button on every webpage, so there's no need to have one specific webpage dedicated just for Subscriptions if you're not using WordPress. This is good from the perspective of branding and SEO because subscribers are encouraged to follow more than just one website. 
  • Can be integrated with Atom or RSS, so there's no need to have two different feeds for each social media site, which can also hurt SEO/Revenue if your content is interesting enough for a user to follow you on multiple platforms.
  • Subscribe button can be added to almost any website.

Next up, let's compare the benefits of a paid service vs. a free service:

Feedburner (Paid)

  • Gets real-time analytics and insights into their subscribers. Data such as location, gender, occupation, income level, etc. These are data points that make it easier for marketers to sell more effectively by knowing exactly who is interested in their products and services. This kind of insight would cost hundreds/thousands per month in revenue for a business because they're not wasting resources on potential customers.
  • Let users manage their lists from one dashboard, meaning that it's easy to delete those who unsubscribe or change the email subscription preferences of those who have subscribed in the past.

Follow.it (Free)

  • Gets real-time analytics and insights into their subscribers. Data such as location, gender, occupation, income level, etc. These are data points that make it easier for marketers to sell more effectively by knowing exactly who is interested in their products and services. This kind of insight would cost hundreds/thousands per month in revenue for a business because they're not wasting resources on potential customers. 
  • Allows users to easily manage their list through their social media platform. This means that all those who unsubscribe will be automatically deleted from the email list.
  • Is simply an alternative to Feedburner and not a direct replacement. While it does offer some of the same features as Feedburner, it doesn't come close to what you'd get for $99 per month via Feedburner Pro.

Feedburner VS Follow.it: Which is better so far?

Based on features and benefits alone, we think Follow.it is clearly the best FREE alternative to Google's Feedburner service in 2021 despite their limited platform support (Only Atom or RSS). However, if you're willing to pay $100 per month, then, by all means, go with Feedburner Pro, but unless you're running a large website, you're better off with Follow.it for your email subscription service in 2021.

15 Reasons Why

Google recently announced its decision to retire Feedburner, which has been a staple of almost every blogger's suite of tools. If you recently learned about this and are looking for an alternative to Feedburner, we have good news for you: There is already a solid, free alternative available called follow.it.

Here are some reasons why follow.it is the best FREE alternative to Google Feedburner:

1. Customizable And Intuitive Design

Compared to other providers that market themselves as "Feedburner alternatives," follow.it puts an emphasis on having a modern design that makes it easy for anyone to figure out how the service works in just a few minutes.

You might notice that feed-reader services like Feedly or Flipboard have a similar design. This is no coincidence: they were both inspired by Google Reader, which allowed users to turn their feeds into an easy-to-read magazine.

A simple and intuitive interface makes follow.it the best free alternative to Feedburner because one of the main reasons bloggers switched from Feedburner to Feedly was that Feedburner was difficult to navigate and use. Nobody enjoys navigating complicated menus and options just to find something as basic as how many people became subscribers last month.

2. Convert Your Subscribers Into Customers With Email Marketing

Feedburner was made for managing RSS feeds, but following its retirement, it will be difficult for bloggers who rely on it to track metrics and to send promotional emails. For this reason, follow.it includes a free email marketing service that makes it easy for bloggers to continue using Feedburner's core functions.

3. Affordability

Even though Google no longer provides its services, you can still use Feedburner as long as your blog is hosted on one of the supported sites (WordPress, Blogger). Unfortunately, hosting alone costs $120 per year or more; if you want even basic features like link tracking and analytics, it costs an additional $200-500/year - and all without any guarantee that showrooming companies like Amazon won't block your links. This means that Google Feedburner might not be worth the money after all.

Follow.it is free to use, forever. If you still think that Feedburner is a better option, just remember that follow.it won't ever charge you a cent for any of its services or require you to pay for hosting - plus it even offers email marketing and link tracking at no additional cost.

4. A Reputable Company With An Established Track Record

In contrast with most "new" feed-reader services like Flipboard or Associated Press, follow.it is an established company with years of experience in the field and a great deal of knowledge about how RSS feeds work and what problems bloggers have been facing with them since their inception. This means they can provide more professional support than other companies that are just starting out, and their knowledge of the industry means they can make Feedburner-like tools without any major problems.

Follow.it has been around for five years now.

5. Increased Security

One of the best reasons to switch from Feedburner to follow.it is that blog owners will no longer have to worry about security issues related to having their RSS feeds hosted by a third-party company where all those feeds are gathered in one place. In addition, follow.it offers two-factor authentication as well as HTTPS, which means your data will be less likely stolen or altered during transport between your blog and the service's servers.

6. Better Analytics

Google Feedburner will no longer have access to the vast majority of blogs that use it, so bloggers who really want detailed analytics can now switch to follow.it. Because feed-reader services are becoming more popular, there's a good chance your subscribers are already using them - so you might even be able to get back some of those followers by moving to another service for tracking.

Moving from Feedburner to follow.it means gaining better visibility into how people find and read your posts. You'll know which posts receive the most views, where traffic is coming from, and much more - all without Google Analytics or any other 3rd party program.

7. Followers Can Subscribe To Your Blog On Any Service

If you're tired of trying to get your readers to subscribe via Feedburner, you'll love this fact: just like any other RSS feed, follow.it is fully compatible with all the major feed-reading services, which means your subscribers can sign up on Flipboard or Instagram without having to use a different address! This makes it easier for readers and bloggers alike.

8. It's Easy To Reach Your Followers With Email Marketing

Another great benefit of switching from Feedburner to follow.it is that blog owners can use email marketing schemes that are super easy to set up. Although some services require separate software, follow.it emails work with Gmail whether you're using an @gmail address or not.

9. It's Even Better For International Readers

Because follow.it uses the industry-standard Atom feed format for its data, and it's compatible with all non-Google RSS services - even international ones like Bloglovin' and Sina Weibo. This means you can make your blog available to more people in more countries than ever before.

10. No Link Tracking Fees or Geo-Targeting

You won't have to pay extra for link tracking when you use follow.it over Feedburner, but that's not the only reason this is better news for bloggers. Since geo-targeting fees vary from service to service, switching away from Feedburner could save you hundreds of dollars in potential advertising costs each year.

11. Easier Analytics For Advertisers

If you offer advertising as part of your blog, the fact that follow.it updates its feed instantly, which will make it easier to advertise without having to go through multiple steps and accounts. This means marketers can see higher returns on investment, and bloggers can spend more time creating content - everybody wins.

12. It's Easy To Find A Cheap Plan That Fits Your Needs

One of the best reasons to switch from Feedburner is that follow.it has a very wide range of plans available, including several excellent free options for those just starting out or wanting feedback from readers. In addition, because Google no longer runs Feedburner, budget-conscious bloggers can change plans or cancel subscriptions without worrying about missing updates.

13. Friends Can Easily Share Content And Build Readership Together

Another great benefit of switching from Feedburner is that you can work with friends and collaborators to find the plan that's perfect for all your blog needs. Whether you want a free option for new blogs, want to share data on a split-feed account, or just need more than the highest level offers, follow.it is willing to work with bloggers at all levels of experience and bank accounts.

14. It's Easy To Connect With Other Bloggers And Grow Your Audience

Of course, as part of your blogging strategy, it will be easy to connect with other people who are interested in similar content. Because follow.it uses Atom feeds; everyone in your audience - even people reading on international services like Flipboard - will be able to join in the discussion.

15. You Can Set Up A Testing Area To Keep Track Of Service Changes

Finally, if you want to test new features or beta-test changes to your RSS feed before committing them, it's easy and free to follow.it accounts. This allows bloggers and marketers more time to figure out whether a change is successful and try out new ideas without worrying about missing important statistics.

Follow.it and Feedburner: The Verdict

Although there are some excellent alternative services to Google's Feedburner, none of them offer the same kind of easy integration with social media, advertising options, geo-targeting, email marketing tools, and automatic updates as follow.it. These benefits come at such a low cost - or no cost at all! - it's easy to see why so many bloggers are making the switch from Feedburner to follow.it!

There you have it, folks! That is fifteen reasons why follow.it is far superior to Google's discontinued Feedburner service for blogging!

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