RSS Mania – Part Two – Outline of How to Create an RSS Feed

Well so now you kind of like, are in love, or are obsessed with RSS. Those little orange buttons are all over and you want to put one up in your web site or Blog or on your wall. That is cool, and it will demand a bit of technical knowledge, some writing, some research and some frustration. So here are the major steps to publishing your RSS feed and giving all that information to the world at large, which I will discuss in depth with examples in this series of articles. Right now we will outline these steps.

1. Sit back, STOP! & Think. (How is that for step one?)

  • a. Do you have information that should or would go into an RSS file? Remember that the unwritten rules of RSS is that you must update the file with “new” and more “current” information if not hourly or daily, but at least on a fairly common basis. No one is going to want to keep your RSS in their reader if the information they see every day for the next month is exactly the same as the day before it.
  • b. Additionally, though some people do this, it really is NOT good practice to put long essays into an RSS feed. What you want is the first line or description of an object, idea or news. Hook the person so he clicks on the topic in his reader, reads the summary, clicks again and finds himself on your web page.
  • c. Do you have the time to do it? There are millions of Blogs out there that were started with the best of intentions. One entry, two entries, three entries. And then they die. Why? Because the author/owners simply had no clue about the dedication demanded and time needed to update their Blogs on a regular basis. They also had no idea just how difficult he competition was to get people to read those Blogs. The same is true with RSS. You start a feed to get readers, or to pass on information to the web. You need to understand this is going to take time and patience and work. This is not a one-time one-shot one-pie-in-the-sky deal.

2. Your depth of Technical knowledge

You will need to become familiar with the following terms and understand them and perhaps learn some very simple things in how to program them.

  1. RSS
  2. XML
  3. HTML
  4. CSS
  5. Atom
  6. RSS Readers
  7. RSS Parsers
  8. RSS Validation

3. Now begins the Actual WORK!

  • a. Preparing the file – You will need a template RSS file (for the sake of these articles it will be called rss.xml though it can have any name you choose as long as it is in xml format.) Unless you are good enough to write one yourself this is critical.
  • b. Understanding the Template and what information goes where
  • c. Putting the information into the template – Each piece of information you have will go into specific [headers] and you must understand the RSS structure in the XML file to get that right.
  • d. Validating the Template – A crucial aspect. Unlike HTML, RSS is very, very, let me say this again, very unforgiving. It does not like deviations from the norm or from the basic format laid down. Getting it right can be the most trying and frustrating part of the process.

4. Okay now you wrote the RSS file, your XML file is ready and validated. Now what? Guess you think you are done. Think again.

  • a. You will have to place the rss.xml file on your web site or somewhere on the web where people can get to it.
  • b. Now you can steal, get, copy, make – whatever you choose – your own little XML/RSS or RSS – Valid button.
  • c. Hyperlink your file to the RSS
  • d. Submit your file under the correct category to RSS directories.

5. How many people will pick up your RSS? I will discuss this as well in a later article, but surprisingly, the answer here is still very vague. There are some ways of tracing the numbers, but none are foolproof, and most are very convoluted.

6. Go and get a good night’s sleep cause tomorrow you are going to have to start the process of adding information to your RSS (or changing it) all over again!

(This is a continuation from my first article on RSS – “RSS Mania Addiction – An Introduction to RSS and the Terminology”)

Using RSS As Part Of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

What's your strategy when it comes to inserting social media marketing into the mix of your overall internet marketing strategy? Do you plan on using Twitter? Facebook? Myspace? LinkedIn? Or Ning? No matter what your strategy is, you need a way to monetize these different services, and use your time wisely on these social networking sites.

But one form of social marketing that a lot of business owners don't use is something called "RSS marketing". This is a Web 2.0 strategy, and it's very simple to use. RSS stands for "really simple syndication", and it's a great way to get your content and articles on other peoples' website in a hurry.

One of the fastest ways to get an RSS feed is to start off with a blog. Now there is a very technical way to create your own RSS feed from scratch, but I'm ready to bet that you don't want to learn about this technique – especially if you're not a computer wizard. Luckily, there's a free service that can create your RSS feed for you.

This site is called Feedburner.com. And it's free to use, just like a popular blogging platform called Blogger.com. Both of these easy services can help you to get into a niche, make a name for yourself, distribute content all over the internet, and get tons of traffic in return for no cost whatsoever.

I like Blogger because they're easy to work with. But not only that, they can become quite possible. I know a guy who makes over $ 100,000 with his simple, plain looking blogger blog, but his information is incredible and he has a lot of subscribers. I'm willing to bet that RSS marketing played a hand in the role in having him make so much money also.

When getting your RSS feed from Feedburner, you have to make the decision if you want to use the default "Atom" RSS feed from Blogger, or use the one from Feedburner. I personally think you should use the one from Feedburner because it's simple, effective, attractive, and very easy to use.

Some people feel that RSS marketing will replace email marketing, but I don't agree with this notion. Email marketing has its place in the world, and so does RSS marketing. But to think that one will cancel the other one out is just ridiculous. Both of these techniques still work, and will work into the definite future.

If you want your subscribers to get fresh new content, start using RSS in collaboration with your blog everyday. It's the smart thing to do, and you don't have to spend a dime when it comes to setting this up and promoting your site or blog. I like RSS, and I think it's something that you should look more into.

The more you study about RSS marketing, the more likely it is that you will use it, and use it effectively for your business. Get started on it right now before you forget about it.

Be sure to put these RSS tips to use into your business today.