RSS Feeds – Easy Steps to Promoting Your RSS Feeds On Your Website

RSS is a great way to distribute your content, but what if you don’t have any subscribers?

Firstly, you need to be using RSS, short for Really Simple Syndication. A lot of people don’t subscribe to RSS because they don’t know what it is, but that’s changing. The beauty of RSS feeds are that they don’t fill up your inbox and you can’t get spammed.

Simply follow my steps to promote your feed and you should find you have loads of subscribers.

On a website, you’ll often see a little orange icon that is the RSS button. There is sometimes text that suggests readers subscribe. If a person hits on the button and they don’t have a reader, they will possibly see an XML document. That just confuses them and causes them to leave. Instead of allowing this to happen, you need to do something different to almost everyone else out there who is offering RSS feeds via the button.

Create an RSS information page.

For the many users who haven’t learned about RSS and it’s benefits, you should create a simple page that helps them learn quickly about it and why they need it. On your page you should have five simple elements:

1. A quick explanation of what RSS is. Add a link to Wikipedia’s RSS page for those who like in depth detail.

2. Three to five bullet points about how choosing an feed will benefit your readers.

3, A link to an RSS reader you like. For a really simple web based reader, I recommend using the one in Google + as it’s easy to understand. There are dozens out there, so research and choose what you like.

4. Include two or three different RSS options, web based, desktop download and even mobile device options.

5. A short paragraph on how to subscribe to your own RSS (and a link).

6. A short paragraph on why your RSS is a MUST for them!

7. Links to every RSS feed on your site, and any other relevant website feeds you offer

Now go and promote your new page!

Like everything on the Internet, you’ll need to promote it! Add your feed URL to your mail messages and in your ezines. Use something compelling to encourage readers to subscribe. Let them know how important it is to be subscribed to your site in real time.

Ensure that your subscription links are visible in every format. If they don’t see it, they can’t subscribe!

It’s that easy to promote your RSS feed to your website readers. Follow these steps and watch your subscriptions multiply.

RSS Feeds – Why Measure Your RSS Feeds

With any kind of advertising or marketing campaign, you measure the results. You analyse your web statistics. You should analyse your RSS feed results too. If you don’t measure the results, how do you know if what you’re doing is working or not?

There are three simple things you should be looking for when analysing your feed results and, if your results show people are unsubscribing, how to fix it!

Firstly, you need to know how many people are signed up, or subscribed to your feeds. Services such as Feedburner give you these figures. If you’re using Google AdSense you can find your subscriber figures there too. When you make an update, how many people have asked to be informed?

With that simple figure, you can use it against previous subscriber figures. If you’re just starting out, you can use it to monitor over time. Are the figures going up or down? Decreasing subscribers over a period of time are a cause for concern. That indicates there’s an issue. Check that the problem isn’t a technical one. Check you’re getting your own feed correctly. If not, and you’re using Feedburner, use its tools to analyse your feed for problems. If the feed is working correctly, then you must then look at likely reasons why people are choosing to leave your feed notifications and take steps to prevent it from continuing, It means your content is not attractive enough to keep your readers subscribed.

Here are nine reasons people unsubscribe from your RSS feed and steps to stop the problem.

1. Your topic isn’t exactly what they want. Are you making it too broad or too focused? Have you changed your topic from what it was when they subscribed?

2. Is your quality still the same? If you’ve lost quality in your thoughts, you’ll drop off readers. Make sure you keep to the same standard, or improve!

3. Try adding more suggestions on how to do things. People like step-by-step instructions on every topic imaginable.

4. Are your thoughts too impersonal? Or too personal? You want your personality to show, but not your whole life, unless that is exactly what you blog about. If your web internet site is a news internet site, analyze adding a few opinion articles to throw a personal touch. Include a personal note or describe how you’ve personally used a product to produce your thoughts an individual touch. Alternatively,if your thoughts are very personalised, perhaps you should study writing sometimes in the third person.

5. Are you publishing infrequently? If you’re not producing regular thoughts for your subscribers, they’re probably going to leave. If your RSS feed is only to update users on a particular piece of application, for example, that might not apply, but then you probably wouldn’t be reading a website article like this. You need to post at least one article a week to keep your subscribers happy. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring a ghostwriter or go copy and paste from article directories (leaving the authors resource box intact of course) as guest posts. Asking for guest bloggers is another way to get more content for your readers.

6. Are you over-publishing and overwhelming your subscribers? A news web site will publish dozens of new thoughts each day, but a general internet site should not. A couple of posts a day is more than enough for most readers. One is usually enough.

7. Are you rambling, in long, drawn out posts that take forever to read? If that is the style of your blog, then good, but make sure you have your RSS feed set to summaries, not entire posts. Why not try abbreviating your thoughts or breaking your thoughts into multiple posts.

8. Are you putting out really short updates of 150 words or less? Short posts should be sent to your feed in full format. Make sure you add a few regular longer posts to add quality content for your readers to appreciate. Your blog posts should not read like Twitter tweets! Your blog posts should definitely not be Twitter tweets. Leave them on Twitter.

9. Are you sharing yesterday’s news? Is what you’re delivering to your subscribers up to date and relevant? Make sure you’re keeping up with the trends. Outdated content loses subscribers.

There are other reasons that people unsubscribe, but the nine suggestions above are all things you can examine about your feed and make gradual changes. Try only one thing at a time and watch the statistics over a short period of time to learn if it makes a difference.

The second metric you want to know is who is reading the feed?

If your subscribers aren’t reading your feed, then your efforts are wasted. Are you using catchy headlines to your thoughts to draw them in? What about your first paragraph? Is it summarising the article in the most interesting way possible?

Finally, it’s good to know the click-through rate of your feed.

Are your subscribers clicking on the ‘read more’ button, or your ads? If they’re not reading more, then you’re missing out. Subscribers get the headlines and the first few lines of your website article and judge the rest from that.If they’re not getting interested from the lines, they won’t click through.

If you don’t get the time to use the statistics, you have no idea if your efforts are working. You have no idea if you’re being productive or wasting your time!

RSS Feeds and Search Engine Optimisation

RSS Feeds need to be optimised just like your HTML web pages. If you’re already doing any level of search engine optimisation, then you’ll find it easy to include your feeds into your projects. Better optimisation means better exposure and more subscribers.

Here are some simple steps to optimise your RSS feed for search engines.

TITLE

Like your articles, web pages and blog posts, the titles you use in your feeds should be keyword rich for search engines, while attracting people to read more.

LINKING

Links within a feed must use the full path, not a linked shortcut to ensure the link remains valid. If someone else is displaying your content, then there is always the risk that the link gets lost. If you’ve shown the full path, then a reader can copy and paste.

KEYWORDS

Keywords are not only for titles and within your content. Search engines like links to have keywords too. Ensure that any links to your website use keywords too.

SEARCH ENGINES

There is a secret to getting your feeds spidered fast by the major search engines. Create a personal account on My.Yahoo, My.MSN and Google+ and link your own feeds on the home page. Once you’ve done this, you can expect your feeds to be indexed by the search engines in around forty eight hours.

POPULARITY

Make your link popularity increase by submitting your RSS feeds, blogs and podcasts to directories. Go to http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm for a list of places to submit.

DESCRIPTIONS

RSS feed descriptions are short summaries of the article or blog content being listed. The purpose of the summary is to entice the reader to click on the link and visit the site containing the full article or content piece. Make sure you take the time to create quality summaries of your blog posts and articles.

ADS

You can use ads in your RSS feeds. Start with your logo on every feed. Branding is important, so make use of your RSS feed as another way to use it. If you’re using Google Adsense, then add it to your feed. Go to the “ads” section and click on “feeds”. Use a service like Feedburner to “burn” your feed, then use that URL as your reference, to ensure the ads get displayed in most readers.

SUBSCRIBE

A no brainer? Not really. Make sure you subscribe to your own feeds. An alarmingly large number of publishers don’t take this one simple step, so they don’t know what their subscribers are seeing. Subscribing to your own feeds lets you not only see how it looks, but you can work on formatting and adding other elements to your feeds.

A IS FOR SHOWING UP FIRST!

Feeds in aggregators are often listed alphabetically, so if your feed is called Zooligist Digest, it’s probably going to be at the bottom. You might not want to rename your site, but you might consider adding a keyword at the beginning of your name that moves it up the alphabetical list. Consider that you might rename the example to A Zooligist’s Digest to get it better placed.

Optimising your RSS feed is no more difficult than optimising any other part of your website and following these simple guidelines should help you to get your RSS feed placed better. Like all optimising, it’s an ongoing process and subject to the whims of search engine placement.

RSS Feeds and Article Marketing

RSS feeds are currently an under used way of marketing your articles. You can enhance your visibility and your readership through RSS feeds and gain more web traffic.

In case you aren’t familiar with RSS, it often stands for Really Simple Syndication and lets website owners quickly and easily publish syndicated content in real time. Though it’s been around for years, it’s popularity is still limited considering how practical and powerful it is. Not only can subscribers keep up with your content in real time, other publishers can link to your feed and use it on their site for up to the minute content.

Because of it’s sophistication, RSS is a powerful tool, still overlooked by many marketers. Because subscribers don’t share their email, multiple messages can be sent in a day, without being regarded as spam by an inbox monitor. Feeds are sent to a feed reader or aggregator and don’t use email addresses at all.

It’s not the purpose of this article to describe the full workings of RSS. If you do want to know, Wikipedia has a great, technical explanation. In simple terms though, a website author creates a feed on their website. They may use feed creation software, or they may use a web based resource like Feedburner to do it for them. Interested readers click on the link on the website. It might say RSS, Feed or XML. They then take the URL of the feed and paste it into a feed reader or aggregator, such as the web based ones found on My.Yahoo, My.MSN and Google +. The summaries of each post or update are then listed for the subscriber to read. If they are interested, they can click on the link and read the whole article on the publishing website.

How is Article Marketing achieved through RSS feeds?

As an author, create an individual feed for your site. If you’re publishing in article directories, it’s probably done for you. As a marketer, you need to take advantage of that and post the feed link to popular RSS submission sites. Once this is done, every time you publish a new article, it’s instantly added to the feed. In addition, add your own site’s feed link to every article you submit, creating more quality linking that search engines love, as well as encouraging readers to subscribe to your own site’s feed.

Using your RSS feeds via your article marketing efforts is an additional way to get potential new customers to your site. In addition, you can use Google AdSense in your feeds to gain an extra revenue stream.

The biggest advantage of using RSS feeds is that people who subscribe are interested in your articles and updates and want to know when you have published something new. It also can assist you with your website ranking in the search engine results, because search engines prefer sites with regular updates.

Now is the perfect time to start adding your RSS feeds to your article marketing efforts and start to reap the results.