What I learned from FeedBurner TotalStats

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[FeedBurner](http://www.feedburner.com) offers two main options for RSS tracking, the first is StandardStats and the second is [TotalStats](http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pro-totalstats). Most people use StandardStats because it is free, but if you have an extra $5 per month to spare here is why I think you should upgrade to TotalStats.

Both StandardStats and TotalStats tell you the number of subscribers you have on a daily basis, but TotalStats also shows you your reach. The image above shows that this blog had a reach of 630 on Tuesday which is the number of people that engaged with the content. This number is useful because thousands of people might subscribe to your RSS feed, but it is important to know how many of those people are actually interested in your content.
###Item Use

Another great feature about TotalStats is that it provides a detailed item use. Item use tells you how popular each of your blogs posts are. Just because one of your blog posts receives a lot of traffic and gets a lot of comments, it does not mean it is popular with your subscribers. The above screenshot shows how popular each blog post was within the past 7 days. For example, the blog post “Using digg and Netscape to get traffic” was viewed 1843 times and clicked on 185 times.
And if you want more details you can drill down by clicking on a blog post.

I clicked on “Discovering a new Google design” which is a post that I wrote about a week ago. The detailed stats show that this post was viewed 1602 times and clicked on 62 times. It also shows which feed readers were used to view that blog post.
###What did I learn?
By using TotalStats I learned a good amount of information about my RSS subscribers (YOU).
1. Every Friday I post a [humor post](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/marketing-with-illusions.html). They do not receive too much traffic and there are not too many comments on those types of posts, but FeedBurner shows the interaction with those posts is high.
2. [Measure Map](http://www.measuremap.com) shows that the weekly [Catchups](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/category/news/index.html) bring in a good amount of traffic, but RSS subscribers are not into them too much. Because of this Cameron and I will be tweaking the Catchups in the near future.
3. I wrote a 5 part series called [Getting Ranked](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/getting-ranked-1-of-5.html); the stats show a normal traffic level for those posts, but according to TotalStats subscriber interaction was high. This tells me that I should write more 3 to 5 part posts.
4. When I write “how to” blog posts it seems that people are emailing others about them which creates a lot of web based email traffic and some what of a viral effect. Even though those posts are not being linked to heavily from other websites, people like them and probably find them useful.
All of the information that TotalStats provides helps you determine which blog posts are popular and how subscribers interact with them. By combining this data with the stats from a web analytics solution, you can figure out what you should be blogging about and what you may not want to blog about. A blog is nothing without readers, so you want to make sure they are happy by writing content that interests them. If you want to understand how your readers are interacting with your content through your RSS feeds, you should think about upgrading your FeedBurner account to TotalStats.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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