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Overview of RSS Feeds

OVERVIEW of RSS FEEDS

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication (sometimes referred to as Rich Site Summary) is a means by which blogs can broadcast their content to a number of services and individuals easily. Some have gone so far as to argue that RSS is one of the chief reasons why blogging holds so much potential. An RSS feed collects the content of your post (depending on your software, you can opt to syndicate the entire post, just a headline, or some other combination) and then sends it in readable, plain text, to any of the targets you might choose.

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Bloggers often submit their RSS feeds to popular blog directories, RSS directories and search engines. Users can then find the feeds in which they are interested and “subscribe to them,” reading them with an RSS feed reader. They may also simply read your feed and then hop on over to your site. RSS feeds are a great way of promoting your blog. There is also some evidence to suggest that RSS feeds can serve to boost the results of your blog in search engine rankings. They are also a wonderful way of getting noticed by at least one of the major search engines.

CREATING AN RSS FEED

Your blogging software will probably handle the process of creating an RSS feed for your blog automatically. For instance, those blogging at Blogger.com are automatically “given” an RSS feed (in Atom format) that they can burn and use. Other blogging services provide RSS feeds, as well.

If your blog service provider or software doesn’t automatically create an RSS feed for your blog, you can build one yourself. Those experienced with HTML may want to hand-code their RSS feed. Those of us who prefer a quicker solution can choose from a variety of software tools (many of which are freeware) to accomplish the goal.

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SUBMITTING YOUR RSS FEED

Having a feed will not do you much good if no one reads it! Thus, you must share your RSS feed with others. This can be done, in large measure, by using one of the multiple site ping services mentioned earlier. Pingoat, for instance, will request your RSS feed and will transmit it to a number of sites that aggregate these feeds.
You can also opt to submit your feed to any number of other RSS aggregators. A relatively long list of options, for instance, is currently available at http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm.

A great place to manage your RSS feed needs is at Feedburner, which can be found at http://www.feedburner.com. This free service provides you with a number of tools that can make sharing your RSS feed easier and more effective. It also offers free circulation traffic (just in case you want to know how many people are tracking your feed) and a lot of handy ways to help other subscribe to your feed.

You can skip manual submissions by using a service to submit your rss feeds to, I use an Automatic RSS Submission service that submits to over 200 rss directories.

RSS FEEDS AS A WAY INTO YAHOO

There is a now well-known technique that may enable your site to be discovered and indexed by the Yahoo search engine in record time. This technique makes use of your RSS feed and is a relatively simple thing to do.

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You must have a free Yahoo account in order to do this. Create an account if you do not already have one. The sign up procedure is fast and simple.
After logging into your Yahoo account, go to the “My Yahoo” page. There you will find an option to add content to your page. You can add content in the form of your blog’s RSS feed. It is a simple and intuitive process that will only require you to have the URL of your RSS feed (which is easily locatable via your blogging software or service).

One you add your RSS feed to your content page, Yahoo will track the RSS feed in order to keep your page updated with developments. As a result, you have instructed Yahoo to find and note changes made to your blog.

This strategy has successfully allowed many blogs to find their way into Yahoo results in record time. It has been referred to as the Yahoo backdoor and is now a practice commonly used when launching a new blog. With greater use by more people, its effectiveness may have diminished somewhat (especially in terms of search engine results), but it still is the fastest way to crack into any of the big three search engines.

BONUS TIPS
1. Don’t forget to update! Make sure you remember to either ping using a mass-ping service or to manually alert RSS aggregators about your feed every time you update. Otherwise, you are losing some of the potential value of the feed.

2. Make your feed a moneymaker! Some bloggers who are particularly interested in making their blog pay may want to consider using their RSS feed as a vehicle for advertising. Google’s Adsense program has operated a program to allow some Adsense publishers place ads in their feeds and other means of feed advertising are growing.

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  1. […] are so many ways to use rss feeds, I really suggest you spend a little time each week getting to understand rss feeds and what you can do with them! Social Bookmarking Tweet This […]

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