The best alternative to Feedburner

The best alternative to Feedburner

For awhile now, we’ve been looking to move away from feedburner.  With google reader now defunct, I think it’s just a matter of time before Feedburner leaves us as well. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather deal with migrating to another platform now.

I’ve searched, and hunted down some alternatives but they either offered too much (FeedBlitz – not really bad at all, but more newsletter focused) or their entire site was too confusing (FeedCat) or I couldn’t get my feed to setup (Feedity).  The last two listed, caused me frustration, which in turn caused me to leave and look for better. This is a perfect example of having a website that is frustration and stress free for your potential customer…but that’s a different blog post. 😉

I wanted something simple, super easy to setup and with features similar to Feedburner.  This is not a long list of unachievable requirements.

Now, enter, FeedPress.

  • Simple to setup – check
  • Easy to use – check
  • Nice feed layout – check
  • Responsive layout – Bonus check!
  • Similar featured to feedburn (multiple feeds, analytics, subscriber counts) – check, check, checkity check
  • Free or pretty cheap – check

Their free version has enough features that I don’t feel like I’m really missing out on anything. The feed refresh rate is once every hour, while the premium version is every 20 minutes. I can deal with an hour. It’s not like I’m offering breaking news here.  For those that need the faster refresh, or click tracking, the premium version is only $3 per month, or $30 for a year. That’s beyond reasonable – it’s almost too good to be true.

Not sure what to do to make the switch? They offer an easy to follow migration tutorial as well.  Plus you can always contact us if you need assistance.

You’ll see in the top of our sidebar, the link to our new feed brought to you by, FeedPress. Check it out.

Are you missing out on local business?

Are you missing out on local business?

If you have a brick-and-mortar business, the most popular information on your site is your contacting information.  This is how potential customers will find your location, hours and phone number.

The following information should be on every page of your site:

1. Include the name of your town and state

Not all websites are meant for the entire world.  A lot of small town businesses only cater to customers in their town, so it’s imperative to include your town and state.

2. Your location, phone number and hours 

This information definitely needs to be in the header or sidebar of your site, on every page.  If someone lands on your about page or services page from google, they’ll have that information immediately available.  This is also helpful for mobile users so they can quickly see where you are located.

Optional, yet important, information to include on your local small business site:

1. Photo of your store front

People are visual by nature and when they’re driving around looking for you business, having a snapshot in their head of what the building and store front looks like is very helpful.  This can be great on the home page and/or contact page.

2. A map

So simple, but rarely used.  You can go to google maps, put in the address of your business and they’ll give you a simple piece of code that you embed in your site so a map of your location will show up.

So taking the above into consideration, we went on the hunt for local businesses in our town (Salisbury, NC) to see how they stacked up.  A few sites included this information on their contact page, which is great start.

One site we ran across has it all. Pottery 101, is including their location, hours, phone number, plus a photo of their storefront on every single page (big points!).  They also have a handy link to directions which includes a map!

All of this information is vitally important for small town businesses.  If customers can’t find you online, they won’t be able to find you offline.  Are you doing everything you can to ensure your customers can find you?

Finding new customers locally

As an online business owner, It can be very easy to over think your advertising and marketing strategies. Even worse, we tend to overlook the most obvious group of potential customers. Your local businesses.

Every week we visit these potential clients while running our normal errands, but how often do you introduce yourself and tell them what you do for a living? Do you hand out business cards everywhere you go? Probably not. One of the reasons we fail to do this is due to either being shy or out of fear of rejection. We think “What if they say no? I will be embarrassed and humiliated in public!” First of all. No you won’t. The worst case scenario is that they will say no thank you and guess what? You didn’t have them as a customer before so you lost nothing. The most successful people in history have been rejected many times before they succeeded. One of the best examples of this is Abraham Lincoln. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.

The best case scenario is that they will say “I’ve been looking to redo my website ( or hire a caterer, photographer or whatever your business may be). Or maybe their brother or neighbor is looking for someone. Just think about it. How many times have you been looking for a company whether it be a contractor, plumber or landscaper and asked around to your friends and family who they recommend? We do this because we want to do business with people we know or someone we know KNOWS. We feel more comfortable spending our money this way. The point is, you’ll never know unless you ask!

I have to be more mindful of this advice myself. Just the other day I was at a car dealership I used to work at, giving some former colleagues a few business cards and one of them said that a friend of hers owns a beauty salon and is looking to set up a website. When I got home I mentioned this to Melissa and it turns out that my sister in law works for the very same salon. Clearly, I haven’t been networking locally at my fullest potential! The moral of the story here is that as an online business owner, it can be easy to hide behind the keyboard and get lost in the vastness of the world wide web of Twitter and Facebook. So next time your at the local pizza parlor or dry cleaners, introduce yourself and hand them a business card. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get a discount on your shirts for providing them with such great service!