How Not to Keep your Subscriber Stats Secret

Feedburner count

Publicizing your blog’s subscriber base with one of those cutesy Feedburner animations, could be the worst thing you do for your blog unless you already have several hundred subscribers and even then some readers may simply feel your boasting. After all, if the number is low because you have only recently launched your blog, then new visitors who do not realize may simply think you have a low readership because the site is not worth reading, after all, they think, who wants to subscribe to a blog that no one reads? Once you have a few hundred, or a few thousand subscribers, then that question changes to, why didn’t I subscribe to this brilliant blog sooner, everyone else has?

So, you may be thinking, is that why ScienceText is not showing us the Feedburner chicklet? Well, it could well be, the site is relatively new, so subscriber numbers have not yet passed the safety threshold, once they do, I will implement the counter and let you all know just how many people are sharing the visitor experience with you.

Okay, so you’ve taken my advice and removed the counter from your blog, so how do you get to see your visitor numbers without logging into the feedburner dashboard every time. Well, before you remove the chicklet, save the code and make the line that looks like this – – into a bookmark in your browser. Now, when you fancy checking up on your count, it is simply a matter of loading the bookmark, no need to login.

Just for interest, here are a few Feedburner counters for a few other sites that do display their subscriber numbers proudly regardless of size:

  • – Sciencebase
  • – SciScoop
  • – JohnTP
  • – Chaos Laboratory
  • – TechCrunch (yes, that’s 300k+ 400k+, 605,000!
  • – Digital Inspiration

    Smart ScienceText readers will by now have realized that even if a site has opted not to display its feedcount, there is a simple way to find out just how many subscribers the site has, all you need is the feed name and the URL I pasted above, simply swap out “Your-Blog” in that URL for the feed on which you want to spy. Of course, it relies on the blogger having enabled feedcount for their site. Actually displaying these images might be breaking somebody’s rules somewhere, so apologies if that’s the case. It surely cannot be breaking any T&Cs to use this URL trick offsite though.

    Of course, I’ve essentially given the game away on Sciencetext (the feed is called Significant-Figures), as you can now look up our subscriber numbers. Just to emphasize, irrespective of the number of subscribers, the content here is we hope informative and entertaining enough that you will want to subscribe.

    For a deeper discussion on whether or not to display your feed count check out Fighting to Stay Awake.

    Author: David Bradley

    Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.