RSS feeds are a fantastic way to promote your blog – if you do it right. You probably already know that blogging can be a great way to earn some extra cash, but did you know that having an RSS feed will help you make money blogging?
Unless you opted to not have a feed, when you first registered to your blogging website there’s a good chance that you did not disable the RSS feed option. A lot of new bloggers forget that they do have this capability, or they simply don’t know how to utilize it properly. Let’s start with the basics and begin by talking about what an RSS feed even is.
What Is An RSS Feed?
If you’re new to blogging and really have no idea what an RSS feed is, don’t worry; they’re easy to figure out, and once you do figure them out you’ll be able to promote your blog and generate traffic more than you ever thought possible!
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication,” though it used to be referred to as an RDF Site Summary. All that this type of feed is, is a web-derived news feed that will keep a subscriber to a particular website or blog up to date on what’s happening with it. So say you subscribe to a particular news website. When ever a new article or entry is put on that site, it will show up on the RSS feed. Sometimes the text that is included is the full story, or sometimes it is a summarized version of an article or blog entry.
In order to be able to read an RSS feed, a user will need to download feed reader or aggregator software. Then, a user can subscribe to a feed simply by inputting the feed’s URL, or you can click on a handy “feed” icon that may be provided on the web browser. The reader will then check all of the sites that you have subscribed to on a frequent basis, and it will tell you when ever there is an update.
So how can you take advantage of this to help promote your blog?
Update Your Blog, And Update It Often
The most important thing that any blogger can do is make sure that they are continually updating their blog. Nothing will kill off your traffic and ranking in search results more than having old, stale material. Keeping regular updates will keep you connected with your followers, as well as keep the search engines continually indexing your information.
Write A Unique Excerpt For Your Blog
The best way to optimize your blog in RSS is to write a unique and compelling excerpt for the feeder to pick up on. The excerpt needs to include links that will invite them to your blog so that they can check out the post, BUT you want to make sure that the excerpt does not actually have the same words or the same phrases as your original entry.
You may be wondering why this is important. There is a lot of blog post stealing out there, and people will hunt down your posts by keyword and steal them based on keywords their RSS feed is picking up on. If you have different words or phrases in the excerpt that are not in the blog, then their aggregator or reader will not be able to “steal” your blog post, but you will still be promoting your blog through RSS AND those who are trying to rip off your posts and other content will be giving you valuable backlinks.
TIP: It’s always a good idea to write your excerpts using well researched tertiary keywords. You can use a number of free tools such as Google Analytics and Google AdWords to come up with some great tertiary keywords.
It’s also a good idea to have content that will draw people in. Some ideas that are great for anyone with a blog to include in their feed include:
- Any information on what’s new with their website or company
- Their quote, picture, or thought of the day
- “How-To” articles
- Lists of anything (such as “Top 10 Travel Locations” or “The Worst Dressed Celebrities”)
Other compelling titles include information about offers that you may be making (i.e. “Join now to win a free trip to Jamaica”), or taking the time to advertise something that may be happening with your blog, like a blogathon or having a guest blogger.
Take Advantage Of RSS Autodiscovery
A lot of new bloggers have never heard of RSS autodiscovery. This neat feature will allow aggregators and web browsers alike to detect your blog’s RSS feed. In order to use this feature, all you need to do is include a bit of code to the head section of your blog’s template. The code is:
link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”RSS”
href=”INSERT YOUR WEBSITE HERE”
Make sure that you surround the code with “”, and you’re set.
Utilize Feedburner To Promote Your Blog
What you will first want to do is sign up for the Google-owned service, Feedburner. This tool will allow you to easily manage each one of your RSS feeds as well as track the feeds’ usage.
TIP: Try enabling the MyBrand feature in Feedburner. This will allow the feed to be hosted on your domain rather than the Feedburner domain.
Another neat feature to Feedburner is that it will allow you to count the number of subscribers you have, as well as allow you to compare that number to the subscribers on other blogs. If you have a lot of RSS subscribers (we’re talking a few hundred) then you should brag about it! Show the count on your blog. Having the social proof that you are at least somewhat of an expert in your particular niche will definitely drive up more traffic.