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One of the challenges of every blogger is obviously, bringing traffic to the blog, but most bloggers using the “generally accepted” methods for doing that, forget that there are simple, policy-compliant, easy-to-implement, and easy to overlook solutions.

While some of the social media sharing specialists like addit, sharethis, and others, do offer some form of “next article” or “similar stories” widget or popup for wordpress and other CMS-es, it’s quite difficult to implement some of their trinkets in blogger (blogspot) blogs, and if you do get to implement them, they greatly reduce the speed of the blog.

Image of Headlines by Feedburner snippet

A fast, policy-safe, and easy to implement solution is offered by none other then Feedburner (also a member of Google’s family of free services). Feedburner offers bloggers – among LOTS of other things – the possibility to create a customizable list of “related posts”, with titles and snippets from any blogger / blogspot blog, provided, the blog is linked to a feedburner feed.

IF you’ll look under any post on this blog (computershowto.pro), you’ll notice a block of text that only has a small portion of other articles, and a small “headlines by feedburner” logo on the lower left (img.1 here).

That portion of text has brought some good traffic on all my blogs (I blog in 3 different languages, with 10+ blogs), and even more when it’s combined with the related posts with images gadget (blogger only) ! So don’t overlook it as a potential way of bringing more traffic to your blog. (Actually, keeping the visitors you already have, more engaged).

Buzzboost tab in the Feedburner dashboard.
img 2. Buzzboost tab in the Feedburner dashboard. Click on the image for a larger version

To implement a snippet like this, go to your feedburner dashboard, click on the “Publicize” tab, and then click on the “Buzzboost” entry from the left column. SCROLL down to the bottom-part of the page, and make the necessary adjustments of the options offered by feedburner by default, to fit your particular needs, like, how many posts to show, do you want the favicon of your blog to show or not, in the snippet, and other options you’ll find most useful if you play around with them.

If this part of the service is not yet active in your feedburner account, then click on activate, then go ahead and copy and implement the script in your blog. If it’s already activated, make sure you click on the “Save” button, after every change you make, to make sure it’s reflected in how the snippet displays on your blog. NO NEED to re-copy and implement the script again once you make some changes, because the script itself doesn’t change, modifying the options only change how the snippet displays on the blog it’s implemented in.

Before you go ahead and copy and implement the script, there’s also a link above the script box in your feedburner dashboard, to a detailed article that teaches you how to apply your own styles to your snippet, to match the general styling options / layout / look of your blog. It’s worth reading 🙂

So, you go ahead and copy the script from the textarea. Then go to your blog, in your blogger dashboard, and MAKE A BACKUP of your template, just in case something goes wrong. Then click on “Edit HTML” to edit the html of your template. Press CTRL+F to bring up the search function of either the blogger template editor, or that of your browser (depending on whether you do or do not use the draft version of blogger, and what browser you are using to do the editing), and locate the first footer line in your template. In modern templates, that would be “footer-line-1”. So search for this piece of text in your template.

Make a little space BEFORE that line by pressing enter a few times, just to make sure that the code you’re going to insert is clearly distinguishable from the rest.

Because you’d want the snippet to ONLY show when the visitor is either on a post, or on a search/label page with less then a given number of results, or a static page, but NOT on the index pages, you’ll use the following combinations of conditional statements, to tell the blogger engine you only want the snippet displayed in certain cases.

To display the snippet only on post pages (the blogger template calls posts “items”), you’ll insert the snippet between the following two statements:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot; ‘>

…. snippet comes in here

</b:if>

To display the snippet only on search/label pages with few results, to fill the space below the results with useful content, you’d insert the snippet between these two statements:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.searchLabel’>
<b:if cond=’data:numPosts == 1′>

… snippet comes in here

</b:if></b:if>

Or, to specify that if search results are less then any given number:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.searchLabel’>
<b:if cond=’data:numPosts &lt; 3′>

… snippet comes in here

</b:if></b:if>

 

and replace the number three with whatever suits you best.

To display the snippet under static pages, you insert the code between these two statements:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;static_page&quot;’>

… snippet comes in here

</b:if>

The javascript snippet itself, in case you’ve had trouble copying it from your feedburner dashboard (or just for clarity’s sake):

<script src=’http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOUR-FEEDS-ID?format=sigpro’ type=’text/javascript’/>
<noscript>
<br/>
Subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed
<a href=’http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOUR-FEEDS-ID’/>
<br/>
Offered by FeedBurner
<br/>
</noscript>

Img. 3 Finding your feed's real ID in your feedburner dashboard
Img. 3 Finding your feed’s real ID in your feedburner dashboard

Obviously, you need to replace “YOUR-FEEDS-ID” with the real id of your feed. To find your real id, in your feedburner dashboard, and click on “Edit feed details” in the upper lines, below the feed’s title. Whatever comes after “feeds.feedburner.com/” , that is your feed’s real id (img. 3).

To apply a specific styling to your snippet (hopefully, you’ve read by now the article that details the whats and hows of that), do another search in your HTML template, and look for this text:

“</b:style” . That should be the end of the styling portion of your template. Click above it, and press again enter a few times, to leave space for the feedburner-specific styling. Here’s a styling I use on some of my blogs, that modify the default display style of the headlines/buzzboost snippet:

.feedburnerFeedBlock
{
page-break-before:always;
line-height:1.4em;
clear:both;
float:none;
display:block;
height:500px;
min-height:500px;
overflow-x:hidden;
overflow-y:scroll;
page-break-after:always;
}

headline
{
font-size:22px;
color:$(link.color);
page-break-after:always
}

Feel free to adapt the styling to your own needs.

Then click on “Save template” to save your template, and check the appearance of the headlines snippet for each case you’ve implemented it (post pages, static pages, label/search, etc.).

That’s it. Now you can keep some more of your visitors engaged with your content, and reduce your bounce rate.

Did this article help you ? Please do share it with your friends and social media circles. And if you’ve got questions, please use the comment box from below the article to ask your question, and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Thanks.