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Blitz or Burn: Branding, Selling and Being Human


I’m about to launch a new blog venture with my virtual office mate (because we decided that’s the best way to describe us – though he’s much older than me, so sometimes I call him Grandpa just to piss him off), Ron Miller. It’s a blog with social media tips and how-to’s for the beginner and it’ll be launched in concert with our co-written ebook about finding your voice in a crowded online world. Very excited – but more details on that in the next week or so.

As things are getting set up, I decided it was time to walk away from Feedburner – my current feed client, the one that I use for the Writing Roads blog (where you are at this moment – in case you got lost).

Feedburner sends email alerts out up to 24 hours late. And it seems to have no earthly idea what my actual subscriber rates are. I’m so over it. I know that two folks that I really like (and who have been awfully successful), Guy Kawasaki and David Meerman Scott, use Feedblitz.

I have to say that I don’t love the way Feedblitz looks – in fact, I find the email alert layout to be a little, um, how do you say, ‘kinda boring’ as opposed to the polished look of Feedburner. Though they do list recent posts – the brand and look of the blog itself is lost. Check them out for yourself.




So, I’m going back and forth…and then I turned to Twitter. And what happened was a perfect display of how you can manage, market and communicate your brand effectively with Twitter. (and I made my decision)

I simply asked the question – Feedburner or Feedblitz? I got a number of replies, including one from a man named @phollows (Phil Hollows). We started a conversation where he asked me why I continued to use Feedburner (um, I don’t have any spare time to make the switch.) And then, when I said that the new blog presented the perfect opportunity for me to try Feedblitz, he said,

@writingroads That’s cool; start w/us on a new project and compare what we do vs burner side by side. I couldn’t ask for more :-)”

Come again? ‘We, Us, I’  At which point I went to his Twitter page to discover that Phil is the owner of Feedblitz. Nice.

Here’s what he did right:

  • He’s monitoring his brand.
  • He showed up to talk to a potential customer.
  • He answered some questions (like, is Feedblitz going anywhere anytime soon – and the answer is ‘no’).
  • He acted like a person, not a company.
  • His Twitter handle is his name, not his company’s.
  • He remained approachable and helpful.

For the record, I’ve heard nothing from Feedburner (hey, did I mention it’s owned by Google?)

If only there weren’t fees associated with Feedblitz. But, hey, to their credit, Feedburner, which is free, has done one thing well – they’ve proved the old adage: you pay for what you get.

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Ron Miller says:

    I am not *that* much older than Julie. Don’t let her fool you. Looking forward to our new venture, but it’s “You get what you pay for.” Geez, Kids these days. :-)

    And you kids get off my lawn.


  • Julie Roads says:

    Ha! That’s actually a Dave Matthews reference:
    Great song…maybe if I’d referenced Elvis you would have gotten it?

  • Lea says:

    You two are hilarious together! Good to see you back, Julie. And how VERY cool to hear about FeedBlitz’s rockin’ Twitter use. Looking forward to hearing more about your new venture… right up my alley, fer sher!

  • Phil Hollows says:

    There’s no getting rid of me now :-)

    Thanks for the mention; you can tailor the design of your update easily using the basic or the advanced template editor at Newsletters | Settings. You can change the email address it comes from and the subject lines in the same place – that’s the envelope editor.



  • Phil Hollows says:

    Oh – and choose the delivery schedule (if you haven’t already) at Newsletters | Mailings | Schedule

  • Julie Roads says:

    Phil! Now I’m going to have to add another section to my post about how you’re also doing everything right in the blogosphere as well! Thank you for this information – I’ll add that when I signed up, it took all of about 2 seconds…excited to get this whole thing started…

  • Anne says:

    Love the twitter interaction! Hope the feedblitz works for you. Sounds like you are getting good advice right from the source!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I am so beyond put out with Feedburner. I know I’m not the only one. It’s not just the technical glitches and what now seems to be the bi-weekly event of feed count chaos. No, it’s the outstanding LACK of response from anyone, anywhere on Feedburner’s end. It’s like talking to a wall to try to get any answers.

    I have held off on switching to a paid feed management service, but the customer service Feedblitz makes available may make it worth every penny.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • Very interesting. I may have to check out feedblitz. I’ve been wondering if the numbers are accurate with my feedburner.

  • But I like FeedBurner. Keep us posted!

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