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.
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]