5.02.2021

subscribe-by-email is going away. bloggers, what are you going to use instead?

Blogger will soon stop supporting the function that allows readers to subscribe to blogs via email. This is occurring because Google is killing Feedburner. Like the deceased Google Reader, Feedburner is very popular, used by millions, but Google has not been updating it, and is now officially killing it.

There has been some concern that Google might kill Blogger, but over the past several years, they have been answering Blogger-related questions and upgrading some Blogger features. I am still waiting for an update that will allow me to restore 14 years of lost comments! But it does seem like that will happen, and it appears that Blogger will survive.

However, as of July of this year, Feedburner and Subscribe by Email will be no more.

I very much want to offer readers a subscribe-by-email option, and I also want to use that option for several blogs that I read. I've tried many alternatives, but email subscriptions work best for me. 

Things I will not be doing: switching to WordPress, using Twitter instead of blogging, turning my blog into a newsletter. 

I've been researching alternatives to Feedburner, and there are many good ones out there. However, most are paid subscription services. 

I'm not in the camp that expects everything to be free. I subscribe to many paid services: a ridiculous number of streaming platforms, plus software licenses, news sites, and apps that I use frequently and want ad-free. But my blog is not a commercial venture; it is simply my writing outlet. My blog is not monetized, and never will be. So adding a monthly fee so that a few hundred readers can subscribe by email seems wasteful.

I think the simplest solution is IFTTT. IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That (a coding expression), allows you to create applets that link various apps and services, enabling you to do things that neither app alone will do. (This is a good explanation.) I've used IFTTT before, and it has always seemed simple and reliable.

IFTTT lets you create three free applets, This free option allows you to connect an RSS feed to a Blogger blog

I'm pretty sure I'm going with this one. But if you blog and you've found a solution that you like, please share! And I hope all the bloggers I read will all provide some kind of email option.

10 comments:

Dusty said...

I follow via Feedly, so I'll still be here.

laura k said...

Good to know, thank you!

Amy said...

I follow by email, but also when you post on Facebook. I have Feedly, but I rarely look at it because there's too much on my feed. I am sure I will find you.

Canada's Magic said...

I hadn't considered IFTTT but will now look into it. Thanks for the tip!

I'm testing Follow.it. Seems like a solid turn-key Feedburner substitute.

Thoughts so far:
- uses feed directly from Blogger / Blogspot and not the Feedburner feed (which means I've lost the feed snippet feature created by Feedburner)
- free account emails are not configurable (much like Feedburner)
- unable to configure specific send time for the emails (appears to send approximately the time the user signs up for the email subscription)

- company has a whole page on GDPR compliance
- the free default emails sent out have the Follow.it physical mailing address on the footer


The emails that get sent from a service like MailerLite are much more customizable and can be made to look very professional.

There may be an option to do this on Follow.it with a paid account, but I don't know.

I'm not in a rush to move subscribers over. Using this time to learn more about options.

At the risk of losing some readers, I'm going to make them subscribe to the new service, in lieu of importing them into a new service. (And if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll potentially send emails to the folks that haven't subscribed, encouraging them to.)

I'm looking forward to reading other people's thoughts and experiences!

laura k said...

Thanks, Amy. I am going to have a follow by email option. I was just deciding which one to use.

Your issue with Feedly is why I don't use feeds. Every time I tried it I became instantly overwhelmed.

Canada's Magic said...

In case you are interested, Adam at Too Clever By Half has a couple of posts about this topic:

https://too-clever-by-half.blogspot.com/2021/04/subscribe-by-email-will-end-in-july.html

https://too-clever-by-half.blogspot.com/2021/04/in-search-of-subscribe-by-email.html

Amy said...

Good to know I am not the only one! I know people who use the WordPress blog reader, and I could never do that for the same reason.

No matter where you end up, I will be reading!

laura k said...

Canada's Magic, thank you! I will definitely check that out.

johngoldfine said...

First I read JoyofSox (I have a shortcut on my desktop) (and I have a legacy desktop computer. no phone, no tablet, no FB.) Then I click the link to Tested by Research because I worry that my blood pressure may not be adequately triple-digited unless I read the latest horrors as only your partner can present them. Then, every few days, I click Allan's link to WMTC because even though we've never met, you've become an acquaintance I want to keep up with.

laura k said...

I have and love my desktop computer. I do use a phone and a laptop, but I love my desktop and would not want to be without it.

John, I think of you as a legacy member of the JoS/wmtc community. It wouldn't be the same without you -- your dogs, garden/farm, horses, students, Jean.