Do you use Google FeedBurner service for distributing your website content via RSS XML feeds? If yes, this unofficial FeedBurner FAQ guide should answer most of your queries that you may have as a FeedBurner publisher. You will also learn some tips to improve the visibility of your RSS feeds.

Solutions to Feedburner Feed ProblemsQ: I have two different blogs but want to offer one consolidated feed. Does FeedBurner allow combining of multiple feeds into one ?

A: No, FeedBurner won’t merge your multiple feeds into one but you can use external services like Yahoo! Pipes, SuperGlu or RSS Mixer to create a single feed from your various blogs and then syndicate the merged feed via FeedBurner. Watch this tutorial on using Yahoo! Pipes to merge multiple RSS feeds into one FeedBurner feed.

Q: I want to create different feeds for each WordPress Category / tags or Search Label in Blogger. Can FeedBurner assist me here?

A: Unfortunately no. You will have to manually create a FeedBurner feed for each category or tag. But there’s a small trick that will make your category feeds looks consistent.

Say your main feed address is feeds.feedburner.com/hello – then for each category, you may create feeds like feeds.feedburner.com/hello/category instead of feeds.feedburner.com/hello_category. FeedBurner supports the the slash separated directory structure in the URLs.

Q: My FeedBurner feed is not showing the latest content of my blog. How do I ping and refresh FeedBurner?

A: FeedBurner bots will check your feed for new content every 30 minutes. If the FeedBurner feed is out of sync with your main blog feed or not update at all, type your website address here and press Ping. If that doesn’t work, open the Troubleshoot tab from your FeedBurner dashboard and click the “Resync Now” button. This will solve the problem for sure.

Q: I am using FeedBlitz RSS-to-Email service for my blog newsletter. How do I shift from FeedBlitz to FeedBurner email without losing subscribers. [FeedBlitz vs FeedBurner]

A: Goto your FeedBlitz control panel and export the list of email subscribers as an OPML file. Then send this list via email to FeedBurner support (feedback@feedburner.com) and they’ll import your FeedBlitz subscribers into FeedBurner. Once the migration is complete, do remember to change the code of email subscription form on your website from FeedBlitz to FeedBurner and then deactivate FeedBlitz syndication. [Thanks Everton]

Q. My FeedBurner feed address is feeds.feedburner.com/boring. I want to change the feed URL to something like feeds.feedburner.com/interesting but without telling my existing subscribers to update their RSS readers. Can FeedBurner rename the feed address in the background?

A: It’s possible but a three step process. (A) Create a new “interesting” FeedBurner feed using your original blog feed as the source. (B) Update the source of your existing “boring” feed to point the feed created in previous step. (C) Delete the “boring” feed from FeedBurner control pane and use the 30 day redirection option.

FeedBurner offers a 301 redirect to RSS readers so most of them will know that the feed has moved permanently to a new location and they’ll start fetching the new feeds. Problem solved. After 30 days, the old “boring” feed will return a 404.

Q: How do I add advertise my FeedBurner feed in GMail or Yahoo! Mail signatures.

A: Grab the Headline Animator graphic here and then follow the guide to embed HTML Image Signatures in GMail.

blogger Q: I have a blog hosted on Blogger. How can FeedBurner help me.

A: You are lucky because both the services are owned by the same company and offer excellent integration. First, you can redirect your Blogger feed effortlessly to a Feedburner feed as described here. Doing so will help you know your RSS subscriber count, what feed readers are they using and how often are they clicking the items in your feed. You can also consider changing your default autodiscovery tags in the Blogger header.

Q: I am moving from Blogger to WordPress or vice-versa. Will this move be transparent to my Feedburner feed subscribers?

A: Absolutely yes if you remember to update the source of your existing FeedBurner feed. [My Feeds -> Edit Feed Details] It should point to the WordPress feed instead of Blogspot or vice-versa.

Q: How do I use FeedBurner to syndicate feeds from my own web domain (feeds.abc.com/rss) instead of the default Feedburner address which is feeds.feedburner/abc ?

A: You can use the free FeedBurner MyBrand service. Just activate the service in the FeedBurner control panel and they’ll send you instructions via email on how to change the CNAME entry in DNS records of your web domain. When you switch from standard FeedBurner to custom MyBrand feed, your existing subscriber base won’t be affected. Danny Sullivan has the details.

Q: Why does the RSS subscriber count calculated by FeedBurner vary every day – I have more subscribers on weekdays but the number drops on weekends.

A: Blame the Desktop RSS Readers because people aren’t checking the feed on weekends and hence the dip. Rick Klau had a detailed post on Darren’s blog.

Q: How do I cross-promote my feeds through FeedBurner.

A: The best option is FeedBurner Flares that show up at the bottom of a post in your feed. Maki has the details. If a feedflare is missing or not showing up in your feed, make sure the source XML is valid and that it’s enabled in the FeedBurner control panel. Then do a page refresh (Ctrl+F5) to see the feedflare in your feed inside the web browser.

Q: How many RSS subscribers do I have ? Can I change the FeedBurner graphic text ?

A: Here’s how to change the text of FeedBurner chicklets and here’s how to find the number of RSS Feed Subscribers for any blog that uses FeedBurner.

Q: Can I make the title of my FeedBurner feed different from blog title that comes in the source blog feed?

A: Yes, you can change the default title and description of the feed through Optimize – Title / Desciption burner. A good relevant title will attract new readers fast in blog search engines like Ask or Technorati.

Q: FeedBurner won’t burn my feed – it says my feed is invalid.

A: Check your XML feed against the free feedvalidator.org service and fix the whitespaces or any invalid characters. For WordPress, make sure that no-third party WP Plugin has modified the rss.php file that’s making the XML feed invalid.