How to tell your RSS from your elbow!

by Lou Bortone - Date: 2007-11-28 - Word Count: 442 Share This!

RSS, which stands for "Really Simple Syndication," allows users to deliver articles, announcements or alerts to readers who subscribe to RSS feeds. The feeds are delivered automatically to an email inbox or a Web browser. RSS also allows people to add links to your content within their own Web pages. Primary uses of RSS, which has become the standard for syndicating content across the web, include:

1. Displaying news headlines or content from other Web sites on your site

2. Improving search engine visibility for your Web site or blog

3. Automatically notifying your customers about new content on your site

Here are some tips and tactics to help you sort it out:

Determine the content you wish to syndicate

RSS is a quick and easy way to distribute or "push" your content to subscribers. Your feeds could include product news, announcements, press releases or new blog posts.

Links and resources: offers an RSS tutorial and suggestions for RSS content.

Create and publish your feed

Your Web site's content management system or your blog publishing software may already have a built-in option to generate an RSS feed. Otherwise, there are several feed providers you can use.

Links and resources: FeedForAll is an inexpensive and user-friendly RSS feed creation tool. Others include Simplefeed and PRESSfeed.

Publicize/promote your feed

Include a "subscribe" or RSS button to your site or blog. Be sure to register your feed with various RSS directories.

Links and resources: You can download the ubiquitous "RSS" button at FeedForAll. Submit the feed to RSS directories and search engines with KSoft's RSS Submit software. Review a large RSS directory at the RSS Specifications site.

Use tools to optimize your RSS feeds

Use RSS feed validators to determine if your feed is valid, meaning it has been translated to code so it works properly. You don't need to know code, you simply enter the address of your feed and the "validator" does the rest.

Links and resources: Validate your feed with RSS Validator or Feed Validator. Lockergnome features tips and techniques. Track your feed Need to know how many people are subscribing to your RSS feed? Measurement and analytical tools are available from several resources.

Links and resources: SyndicateIQ offers management and measurement of syndicated content. Nooked can also track results of an RSS campaign.

Additional Tips & Tactics: - Your feed title is your headline and your hook. Use it to attract interest.

- A description is your "teaser" copy that should convince the reader to click through to the full article or entry.

- Include an image or graphic to make your feed more visually compelling.

- Be sure to subscribe to your own feed so you can see how it looks.

- Include "AddToMyYahoo" and "MyMSN" buttons on your site to expand distribution.

Related Tags: content, marketing, web, rss, blogs, subscription, feeds, really simple syndication, syndicated, feedburner

Lou Bortone is an award-winning writer, marketer and television producer who spent over 20 years in the television industry, including several years as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide in L.A. Today, Lou specializes in helping entrepreneurs create breakthrough video for the Internet. Check out his new collection of marketing and promotion "how-to" reports at . Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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