The discussion about knowing how many people read your blog was started the other day by James Green. I quite like the idea of waiting for people to tell me they’ve read my blog, or referring to it in their own blogs, or posting a comment on my own one. But feedburner can be useful too.
If you’re using Community Server as your blog engine (as I am), there’s a trick to this. First, you need to go to the Syndication Settings page and look to see what the private RSS feed is. This is the one you tell feedburner to use. Then you should tell Community Server that you’re using an external RSS feed. On this same Syndication Settings page, you tell it your feedburner feed. Then anyone who’s subscribed to your normal feed will be redirected to the feedburner one, which in turn will redirect to the real one. No-one should really notice, except that you’ll start to have feedburner record that extra bit of information for you.
But it still doesn’t help tell you how many people read your blog through other aggregators, like TechTalkBlogs (which I really like, and use, but then people like James Green don’t see me as a subscriber).
And why is it actually quite important to have an idea about if people are reading your blog or not? Well, if you feel like your audience is a worthwhile one, then your quality of posts will improve, which will improve your audience, and soon you might be getting a laptop. Umm… I mean, soon you might find that you are a better writer, with a higher profile, more confident about your views, and generally stronger in your field.