So for the past two days my Feedburner RSS feed has been dead, which means I am missing my 1000 per day hits there for Google (so a very bad thing). I only realized that this was dead at the end of the first day, and then madly tried to figure out why there were no hits.
At first I thought it was due to me cleaning up my Google accounts, and maybe I had turned off my Feedburner access, but that turned out to be only a Red Herring. Feedburner was working fine, however, it did lead me to their Feed verification program.
I ran the feed verification and it BARFED at a specific line in Here Comes 2011 a post I did on Thursday (on my Mac). The error output was a little cryptic, but it seemed there was a character it didn’t like, so after I had backed up the HTML for the post in Notepad, I started removing characters, but nothing seemed to fix the issue. I finally lost my patience and deleted the entire post contents, and then the Feed went back to normal.
From this I figured that something in the post was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what. This morning I remembered that I was experimenting with an Old Mac a friend had given me and tried to write a post on it, and for some reason this may well have inserted an odd character, and sure enough I found it, after looking closely at the Notepad backup that I had. I have no idea what keystroke combinations on the mac created this, but after removing the bad character, I ran the Feedburner Feed Tester and it passed no problem, so my RSS feed is now back up and alive.
Other than that, I am finding Social media stuff helping, but it is a slow process. My Twitter and Digg readership slowly increases and I have not posted my own stuff onto Stumbleupon for over a week, so those goals are being met, but there does not seem to be a magic bullet for increasing readership (and thus revenues) just yet. Maybe there is a Tipping Point here that once I cross things will get better, who knows?