A Newbie Blogger Lesson: RSS Feed
It’s really simple.
You don’t need a degree in computer science or Internet marketing to promote your blog like a pro. With just a few quick tips, you’ll be on your way to learning the ropes and amping up your blog’s visibility and traffic.
Really Simple Syndication or RSS is a stripped-down version of your blog posts. The formatted page can be easily syndicated and distributed by online aggregators like Google Reader or directories like FeedBurner. Managing your RSS feed and distribution is a great way to build traffic and page rankings.
A feed is a collection of posts that can be browsed without traveling directly to the site. Feeds can be accessed through large directories, organized by categories; and they can also be created by browsers and managed in personal readers.
If you aren’t familiar with RSS, click on the orange and white icon on this page to view the format. (Simple, right?) If you have never used RSS feed to keep track of your favorite blogs (or your competition), you can try it out right now by clicking ‘Subscribe’.
Your aggregator options will be listed depending on your browser. If you have a Gmail account, it’s easy to use Google Reader. Play around and experiment as a reader before you begin developing and managing your blog’s RSS feed.
Adding your RSS to directories.
By adding your RSS feed to directories , you are adding your blog to a database of feeds. These feeds are usually divided into categories based on keywords and will publish a link to each of your blog posts and update correspondingly.
Each time you share your RSS feed with a directory, a new link is built. This means if you sign up with 20 different directories, each post gives you 21 links. It’s free and relatively painless exposure.
However, managing your RSS feed takes some work, so be prepared for a lot of copying and pasting. There is also quite a bit of work involved with creating new accounts, managing passwords and keep track of which directories you are using.
Some directories are hubs for cross-platform syndication. Take advantage of this by creating Tumblr or Delicious feed. These can serve as bridges to your blog’s link.
The key to getting browsers to subscribe to your blog is by providing engaging, reliable content. Content is the king of the marketing world right now, but RSS has multi-media limitations. It is, after all, called “simple syndication” for a reason.
When a feed lists a post in its entirety, key design and visual elements are barred. This can be managed by tailoring your feed to suit your needs or by incorporating your YouTube and FlickR feeds into your directories.
Customizing an RSS feed to include photos and other features is a little more advanced, so we won’t cover that in this article, but here is a link to get you started.
Getting subscribers just isn’t enough! Make sure that you are encouraging interaction from your readers, such as asking for opinions and feedback. You can even promote interaction through contests and giveaways. If your audience is viewing your blog only on a personal reader, you must give them a reason to visit your site.
A freelance writer and blogging extraordinaire for seven years, Alvina Lopez now mainly contributes her expertise about online colleges to accredited online colleges. Her ultimate goal is to help future students discover their potential by enrolling in the right program for them. She also writes about trends in education, personal finance, and sustainable living. She loves getting feedback from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.