6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your RSS Feed

I'm sure you've all heard the term “RSS Feed” – and you probably use Google Reader, Bloglines or a similar feed reader to follow all the blogs you want to keep up with on a daily basis. Let's face it, as much as we'd love to visit every blog we love everyday, there are just too many! So we turn to our feed readers… What does this mean to your blog? And to your site traffic?

We have a few quick tips to help you use your RSS feed to it's full potential, without loosing traffic.

RSS Feed Marketing for Bloggers

But first let's start with the basis – what is an RSS feed?

  • RSS = Really Simple Syndication. Without getting all technical on you, an RSS feed basically turns your blog posts into a file that can be read by a feed reader, allowing it to be easily distributed outside of your blog.
  • Feed Reader (also called an RSS Reader or and aggregator) – This does just what it sounds like, it reads the RSS feeds. A Feed Reader can be on the web or on your desktop or mobile device – it collects updated from all the feeds you subscribe to in one simple place.

And now – IFB's RSS Feed Tips for the Blogging Community:

  • Make it easy to subscribe to your feed. Have an RSS logo near the top of your blog (you've seen them – the little orange and white squares? In fact, check out the right side of our navigation bar – it's right there!)
  • Consider using Feed Burner. Feed Burner lets you track how many followers your feed has – it also tracks when your posts get read, and when your readers click through. This is all valuable information you can use to optimize your posts.
  • Share your photos. You have the option of leaving your images out of your feed – however, I think this works against you. When I'm browsing my reader I don't pay attention to the posts without pictures. It might seem like it would encourage people to visit your blog, but I find it upsets the flow of my reading.
  • Include extra links. Put your social share links right in the body of your posts – that way they can be easily tweeted from the Feed Reader and your readers followers have the chance to visit your site. Think about adding links to similar posts at the bottom too – giving people incentive you click over to the blog.
  • Ask a question. This is a good way to encourage engagement with your readers. It can help get a good comment chain going, and RSS readers will be intrigued to click through to comment.
  • Write snappy titles. This is a basic you should be doing anyway – but it holds true to RSS Feeds, the better the headline the more likely it is to get read!

 Do you subscribe to our RSS feed? Do you use a Feed Reader? Which one? What gets you to click out of your reader and over to a blog? Tell us in the comments!

[image by damon.garrett]

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13 Responses

  1. Courtney

    My advice would be don’t shorten/truncate your feed unless it’s been stolen/scrapped. I hate and almost never read blogs that shorten their feed.

    I’m reading from my feed for a reason–don’t make me come to your blog when it should be my choice of how I read everyday.

    • crissie.fuller

      I hate that too Courtney! There are other ways to get people to click through to your blog – plus if you use a service like Feed Burner you are still abel to track your readership!

  2. Nels

    Call me an idiot. Really, feel free. But how do you find your feed? Or create it? Or whatever?

      • Nels

        Thanks! I use Google Reader, where all you have to do is copy-and-paste the URL, and it finds the feed for you, so I’ve never had to find one let alone figure out what it is for my blog.

  3. Valentine

    Nice post.

    I use Feedly to read all the blog I follow.
    I love it because the design is clean and simple and it’s easy to use. I can add blog to my reading list without leaving the page thanks to their icon in my tabs. It also work on my phone so it’s perfect.

    For my blog I propose my rss feed from WordPress, and then feed burner for my email subscription that are sent through Mail Chimp. I read many times that it was better for Seo reasons to offer the two…

  4. Brittany

    I use google reader. Like Courtney said, I will unsubscribe from a blog that has a truncated feed. If I get overwhelmed and have to “spring clean” my google reader those are always the first to go.

    I’ve noticed that asking questions does draw some people out of the RSS realm and into my actual blog.

  5. RemakeStyle

    Thanks for sharing this post. I am just starting out so I don’t know pretty much about RSS feeds. I know the basic though.

  6. Sheryl

    I am using Feedburner to e-mail my WordPress posts. How do I get the social media icons to stay on my posts when they are fed through Feedburner? All I have are those blue text sharing words on my posts… The JavaScript is being stripped according to the plug-in developer.

    Fashion Development Group

  7. Leanne

    I have a RSS Feed for both my domain and wordpress blog.

    I am learning how to manipulate the features to get the most out of the syndication.

    The name of the page is Moments of a Black Queen and I find the best way to expand my readership is by exchanging RSS feeds with fellow bloggers.

    Check out my RSS Feed and subscribe if you like. Looking forward to sharing more cool info with you.

    See you in the blogosphere,