FeedBurner basics
Since starting up the Homeschooling Network, I have received a number of questions ranging from "What is a feed?" to specific questions about redirecting a feed through FeedBurner. This entry is an attempt to answer these questions and help you navigate through the process if you are interested.

What is a feed?

Essentially, it is an easy way for people to keep up with your content, along with the 1000 other blogs they read. You likely already have one. And if you have readers, you likely already have a subscriber or two. That largely depends on your audience's familiarity with blogging.

How do I find out what my feed is?

For Blogspot users, it should be one of the following:
Substituting "yourblogname" for your blog's name. (Mine is gottsegnet, not Principled Discovery, for example. You need to look at the url.)

If not, somewhere in your sidebar, you likely have something that says, "Subscribe" or "RSS" or something of that nature. If you right click that, you should be able to copy your current feed to run through FeedBurner. If you cannot find that, you can also sign up with a feedreader such as Bloglines and just subscribe to your blog. It will tell you the feeds available in the subscription process.

So if I have a feed, why FeedBurner?

FeedBurner gives you a variety of information that you cannot find out by other means. If you publish a feed through FeedBurner AND redirect your feed through it you will have access about your feeds "health." Some things you can do with FeedBurner:
Find out how many subscribers you have. Actually, FeedBurner does not actually know how many people have subscribed, but it does know how many people have accessed your feed. So you could have 300 people subscribing to your blog, but if only 30 people open up their feed reader and take a look at your content, FeedBurner will show 30 subscribers. Thus the number fluctuates and generally drops off on the weekend.

Once you know that, you have the option of publicizing that in your sidebar.

Find out how many of your readers click through to your site.

Create a headline animator for your blog. This rotates the last few titles in your blog and you can put it in a sidebar and, depending on your email provider, use it as an email signature.

Set up a form for email subscribers. I have two since setting mine up. One is me. Yeah!

Or, if you are weird like me, it is just sort of fun to play around with all this stuff.
How do I sign up?

Go to FeedBurner. In the upper right hand corner should be a little button that says Sign in or Register. You want to register. From there, just follow the directions. Once you sign up, it will give you a screen that says, "Burn a feed this instant" and a box to insert your current feed address. Follow those directions and that is all you need to do to burn a feed. It is also all you need to join the Homeschool Network. But there are so many other neat things to do with FeedBurner, you may as well begin tinkering around.

So how do I redirect my feed?

Since Google took over FeedBurner (and already owns Blogger) this is amazingly simple for Blogspot users.
1. Log in to your blog.
2. Choose "Settings" from your Dashboard.
3. Choose "Site Feed."
4. Find where it says, "Post Feed Redirect URL."
5. Insert your FeedBurner feed.
6. Remember to save your settings and Blogger should do the rest.
It will take 24 hours before anything shows up, but then you should have an estimate of how many subscribers you have.

If you are not on Blogger, you will have to get into your code. I will do this for HSB later and post instructions once I figure it out. Or if one of you HSB users has already done so, let me know. I can either post the instructions or provide a link to your post on the subject. Same for Homeschool Journal.

If you are using another popular platform, once you log in you can visit the forums. Type "redirect" in the search bar and you will be provided a number of discussions on the topic.

If you have any other questions...

Please ask. I will try to answer them here in the comments or as an update to the post to benefit everyone. Once you figure it out, you will wonder why it was so confusing to begin with, but we all start somewhere. Don't think your question is too simple.