An acronym for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication,” RSS is an online tool that offers functionality to both site owners and visitors – and has become an essential component of online marketing strategies for many companies. RSS syndicates your latest content – whenever you add new information to your blog – to anyone interested in subscribing to your feed.
RSS Feed Readers
A feed reader is a browser add-on program designed to gather and display RSS feeds according to user-definable parameters. Popular RSS reader applications like Feedly, Feedbin, NewsBlur, Feed Wrangler, Inoreader, Fever, Selfoss, FeedReader and Flowreader allow you to follow your favorite websites without having to visit each one separately. The program checks for RSS feeds at regular intervals and alerts the user when a new article or message of potential interest is available.
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RSS via Email
FeedBlitz , AWeber, Mad Mimi, MailChimp, just to name a few, are third-party management tools which make it easy to distribute updates to your blog to subscribers via email as well as track your subscriber stats. Subscribe by Email is a free WordPress plugin allowing users to get email notification of new posts.
Partial vs Full Feeds
Some blog owners are concerned that subscribers to their feed will never actually visit their site, so they set their feed to show only a partial “teaser” of information. This forces the reader to click on the summary link if they want to read the rest of the post directly on the site. Partial feeds can be annoying for some people and can potentially turn them off from subscribing to your feed. Full feeds, on the other hand, give subscribers the choice of reading in the feed or by visiting your site directly.
Better Content – More Leads!
Social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook can also be updated automatically from your RSS feed by using a free utility like TwitterFeed. It saves time, enables publishers to bring content to a wider audience, and tracks subscribers through real-time stats. Learn more about TwitterFeed in the video below – How To Setup And Use TwitterFeed.
Promoting Your RSS Feed
Display a text link/Icon to your RSS feed in a prominent position on your site, such as in the header, in the sidebar (above the fold) or in the footer. It’s also a good idea to add a text link to your feed at the bottom of each article – After a visitor is done reading a satisfying post, they’re more likely to subscribe to your feed for more updates of your content.
The Blogging Bottom Line
The most important thing that website owners and bloggers need to do is regularly blog on their site. Regular postings will attract new RSS subscribers, keep loyal followers coming back for more, and keep search engines coming around to index your latest updates (improved rankings).
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