It’s The Feed Stupid (continued)

Almost a year ago, I wrote the orginal It’s The Feed Stupid post.

Since then I’ve seen ever more evidence that the bigger audience for blogs is via RSS instead of the web.  But it’s always been anecdotal until this week.

Early this week the Feedburner guys gave me a preview look at their Total Stats Pro offering.  They’ve always offered the best RSS stats reporting and its been a big reason why I run a Feedburner feed in the first place.  But now, they are preparing a premium offering which takes it to a new level.  They don’t have the pricing worked out yet and it won’t be broadly available for another week or two.

I also turned on Feedburner’s Overture service this week.  It allows you to run contextual ads from Overture in your RSS feed.  If you subscribe to my Feedburner feed, you are seeing those ads in my feed now instead of the old Amazon ads.

I can tell you this. If you run AdSense on your blog, you should sign up for Feedburner and get the Overture ads.  Also, if you care about your traffic on your blog, you should sign up for Feeburner and get the Total Stats Pro package when they make it available in the next couple weeks.

Here’s why.

  • The past three days, my web pageviews were 2650, 2700, and 2100.  On those days the RSS views on my Feedburner feed were 2500, 2550, and 1800.  But my Feedburner feed is only used by 30% of my 3200 RSS subscribers.  If you assume that the views are the same across all three of my feeds, my RSS views are three times my web page views.
  • The past three days, my Adsense clickthrus were 36.  My Overture clickthrus were 10 on just my Feedburner feed, which is 1/3 of my total feed.  If I was running Overture on all my feeds, it would be about the same as AdSense.  And this is for a service that hasn’t even begun to be optimized.
  • For the first time, I can see what is actually being "viewed" in RSS.  This is a really big deal.  I’ve got 3200 RSS subscribers.  I had no idea if they actually read anything.  Now I know exactly how many of them are viewing my feed daily and I also know what posts they are viewing.  For example 355 RSS subscribers to my Feedburner feed viewed my Shake Shack post yesterday.  This concept is similar to the "open rate" in email.  It’s a critical stat in a push/pull medium.

This is complicated stuff and I am just beginning to figure it all out.  But I can say the following without equivocation.

  • Most bloggers will have way more RSS readers than web readers.  Knowing the real size of this audience and what they read is critical.
  • The revenue opportunity for blog related PPC advertising in RSS is equal or greater than the opportunity for web-based advertising.  I assume the same will be true for large media properties once RSS becomes mainstream.
  • Feedburner is ahead of the curve in providing critical RSS services.  They are delivering what RSS publishers need.  Kudos to them.