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Email Notification of new Blog Posts?

  1. unsettledskies
    Member

    My blog is unsettledskies.wordpress.com.

    I'd like a widget in my sidebar where readers can subscribe to my blog and receive an email notifying them of my latest scintillating post. I have done much hunting around for an answer for this, and I take it Feedburner is the ticket? Is Feedburner the ONLY way to accomplish this (with a free wordpress.com blog)?

    I currently have Feedburner functioning nicely as a subscription widget in my sidebar. The big problem with it is it sends emails out with my ENTIRE POST contained therein. Why is that a problem? I'm trying to get readers to COME to my blog, not the other way around! So I'm looking for a work-around that will send my subscribers a simple message notifying them that's there's a new post available, along with the link to my blog--not the actual post.

    I don't know HTML, but I'm guessing I could alter the code in Feedburner to achieve these 2 ends. Incidentally, a friend of mine who does know HTML tweaked the Feedburner code a little so that when a prospective subscriber clicks on the Feedburner subscription widget in my sidebar, the subscription form opens in a SEPARATE WINDOW. That way, when they've finished subscribing, they can continue browsing my blog. With the standard Feedburner code, there's no way to get BACK to the original blog after subscribing). If anyone wants to see that code, here it is (my friend also added spaces so that "subscribe to Unsettledskies by Email" wasn't all jammed together, as it originally appeared in my sidebar):

    <div class="textwidget">Subscribe to Unsettledskies by Email</div>

    The blog I need help with is unsettledskies.wordpress.com.

  2. unsettledskies
    Member

    Oh, it's not showing all the HTML code, unfortunately. I guess it won't let me post a screenshot here...

  3. You have to upload a screenshot to the internet somewhere. We can't view it on your computer.

    To post code here in the forums, put the code between backticks ( ` ) which is typically on the key to the left of the #1 key.

  4. unsettledskies
    Member

    Thanks for the info! LOL, it wasn't my intent for anyone to view it on my computer, thankfully that's not possible. I dragged the screenshot into the Reply box here and that's how it came out, showing that pathway. Can someone delete my name off here i wonder?? delete that whole reply?

    Here's the code again, between barticks this time: <div class="textwidget"><a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=Unsettledskies&loc=en_US" target="_blank">Subscribe to Unsettledskies by Email</a></div>

  5. That code is incomplete and I would suggest you head back to feedburner and get the code again. You are missing the feedID (shown as XXXXXX below) and location information

    <a href="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=XXXXXX&loc=en_US" >Subscribe to Blah Blah Blah by Email</a>

  6. unsettledskies
    Member

    Ok, thank you. Even if I go back and get the right code, I still have the original problem of Feedburner sending my entire post via email to subscribers. Can anyone help resolve that issue?

  7. What blog are you talking about?

  8. If you are talking about this blog, http://unsettledskies.wordpress.com/ , all you have is a single image in each post. The image cannot be broken in half so there is no way to show a partial feed.

    You might try going to settings > reading and setting your feed to show only an excerpt and see what that does. It may take a few minutes for your feed to update, but then check at http://unsettledskies.wordpress.com/feed to see it. The image should then be gone. What feedburner will actually end up showing is anyone's guess though.

  9. Over in your feedburner account, go to the "optimize" tab, then click on "browser friendly in the left side, scroll down to "content options" and from the pulldown select "list item titles only" and then click "save."

  10. unsettledskies
    Member

    I went into Reading Settings and changed the radio button from Full Text to Summary and then checked my feed. Now it shows just the titles of each blog post, and when you click "read more..." it opens up the whole single-image post.

    I appreciate your help with this, but my original question has not been addressed. Maybe I wasn't clear enough: I'm looking for a way to send subscribers a simple message notifying them that's there's a new post available, along with the link to my blog--not the actual post. I'm not really trying to send a feed--I just want to give notification to subscribers that there's a new post to check out. Is there no other widget, tool, html code, etc. to send email notification to subscribers, not an actual feed?

  11. On wordpress.com, there is no such tool available for instantly sending emails after a post has been published. With the Feedburner email subscription you can send out notifications once every day, e.g. between 8am and 9am, if there is a new post prior to those times. That works for the people who have subscribed by email via Feedburner. The best you can do is to sync your publishing schedule and your Feedburner email notification schedule to allow minimum delay between the two. Considering that you only post every few days that should work perfectly.

  12. unsettledskies
    Member

    Thanks, husdal. I figured Feedburner was the only game in town but just wanted to make sure there were no other options.

    The other part to my original question was whether it is possible to mess with the html code in feedburner to make it more of an announcement than a feed. I'm guessing that's a bad idea. I do think my friend (see original query) is on the right track, tweaking the code a little to make it open in a new window, at least.

    Thanks again, thesacredpath, for pointing out that some of the Feedburner code is missing. I'll go back and get it again, and I'll try your other suggestion under the optimize tab. Hopefully Feedburner will end up sending emails that's don't reveal my entire single-image posts. Hopefully it'll send the titles only.

    I wonder if it would help the situation if I added a brief line or two of text along with my single, comic-blog image. Maybe that way Feedburner could grab the text and leave the image alone. I guess I can play with that. If it still sends the entire post, I'll just remove the Feedburner subscription widget altogether from my blog...

  13. If you set feedburner to only show the title, that should take care of it.

  14. unsettledskies
    Member

    Yeah, I guess so. It just seems kind of crude, what the subscription email would look like in that case...

  15. unsettledskies
    Member

    Hey, thesacredpath, would you mind if I subscribe to your blog temporarily, so I can see firsthand what a text-heavy blog looks like in an email subscription?

  16. I've been neglecting my blog since April and probably won't post anything for at least another week. Also, I have mine set to only show a summary so the email will have the title, a short two-line excerpt and then a "read more" link.

  17. unsettledskies
    Member

    Okay, thanks, that gives me an idea of what a text blog email notification ought to look like, I was just wondering.

  18. My blog is text-heavy :-) if you want to have a text-heavy email notification with a full post.

  19. unsettledskies
    Member

    Thanks, husdal, I'll subscribe presently!

  20. I forwarded you the email notification for my last post.

  21. unsettledskies
    Member

    Thanks for doing that. That is a lot of text!

  22. uncoolmomdotcom
    Member

    This thread has been very helpful-- thanks very much to everyone on this. Unsettledskies, I'll bet you're still getting full posts in the email subscription, right? I was having the same problem. (When you check "show titles only" under "Optimize" on Feedburner, that only applies to the RSS feed, not the email subscription. ) But I took what thesacredpath suggested and figured out how to "get around" this problem. I changed the color of the email posts' body text to white on the color grid. Now, subscribers get exactly what I've been hoping for: A nice title, that's clickable and will take them to my blog (little do they know the full text is also present in that email-- they just can't see it!!!

  23. uncoolmomdotcom
    Member

    I forgot to mention that the color grid I'm talking about is the one offered by Feedburner, it's either under Publicize or Optimize.

  24. you can download the "subscribe 2" plugin and "quick subscribe" plugins. subscribe 2 Notifies an email list when new entries are posted. and quick subscribe Allows visitor to quickly register to your blog using only an email address. very easy to use and will do exactly what you asked for in the first place.

  25. I tried quicksubscribe by installing, activating and then dragging the widget into my sidebar, but it seems to be broken. It displays code in the input boxes etc. Can I upload a screenshot of this?

  26. uncoolmomdotcom, it's nice to hear what you're up to with this. that's a clever solution, because i have almost zero text in my blog (!), just one large image per post. the following solution might be a better way for you to go, although it sounds like you've achieved the same end...

    to answer your question, no, i have it running sweetly now, thanks to thesacredpath and husdal. as it turns out, i never needed to go into feedburner to set it to show only the title. instead, i followed thesacredpath's advice and got the exact result i wanted:

    "You might try going to settings > reading and setting your feed to show only an excerpt and see what that does. It may take a few minutes for your feed to update, but then check at http://unsettledskies.wordpress.com/feed to see it. The image should then be gone. What feedburner will actually end up showing is anyone's guess though."

    i made that one change and that took care of the problem. now my email notification is just the title and a couple lines of text. my blog is a little unusual in that each post is a comic comprised of just one single image, so the problem i was having was the entire post was being emailed to my subscribers, my entire comic.

    now, along with the comic image, i also type in a line or two about the post, which feedburner sends to subscribers along with the title. i couldn't be happier...

  27. uncoolmomdotcom, it's nice to hear what you're up to with this. that's a clever solution. it doesn't apply to my situation, because i have almost zero text in my blog (!), just one large image per post. the following solution might be a better way for you to go, although it sounds like you've achieved the same end...

    to answer your question, no, i have it running sweetly now, thanks to thesacredpath and husdal. as it turns out, i never needed to go into feedburner to set it to show only the title. instead, i followed thesacredpath's advice and got the exact result i wanted:

    "You might try going to settings > reading and setting your feed to show only an excerpt and see what that does. It may take a few minutes for your feed to update, but then check at http://unsettledskies.wordpress.com/feed to see it. The image should then be gone. What feedburner will actually end up showing is anyone's guess though."

    i made that one change and that took care of the problem. now my email notification is just the title and a couple lines of text. my blog is a little unusual in that each post is a comic comprised of just one single image, so the problem i was having was the entire post was being emailed to my subscribers, my entire comic.

    now, along with the comic image, i also type in a line or two about the post, which feedburner sends to subscribers along with the title. i couldn't be happier...

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