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Monday, November 29, 2010

Importance of RSS Feeds

Sharing With RSS
Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, feeds are an easy way of sharing content. The blog owner is in totally control of what is shared and it makes keeping up to date a really easy task.

Increase Return Visits
For the blog owner, it can increase traffic back to your website. Primarily it is increasing the repeat traffic to your blog, which is very important traffic. If a reader is willing to come back time and time again to see what interesting new content you have placed, they are valuable dedicated readers. Not only does this increase your traffic levels, but they are then also likely to start joining in by placing comments, book marking with sites such as Digg and Stumble Upon and sharing your ramblings with their friends directly and through sites such as Twitter.
Best of all, because they are long term readers not only do you get to interact through comments and replying to their comments, but they also have more trust in what you say and are more likely to respond to affiliate promotions.

Increase New Visitors
But RSS Feeds are not just about existing visitors. Some websites like to share the content of other websites and they do this by utilising the RSS feeds. By displaying your RSS Feed content on their website they are possibly showing it to new readers, who might become your visitors.

How Do You Install RSS?
So, how do you use them if they are so fantastic for generating traffic? Well any decent blog software will have an RSS feed built in, but there are also tools such as Feedburner that gives more options.
Then, make sure you have a big, obvious RSS Feed icon on every page. Make it obvious, somewhere that people will look to and always notice it. Also, add a page about using the feed - how to subscribe, what it does and so on. Invite your readers to subscribe and keep up to date.

You Choose Your Options
It is up to you how you run your feed. Options will permit you to have, for example, just the most recent 10, 20 or whatever number of posts you want to include. Some people like to just include a summary of the post, fearing that others will use the feed to steal content, whilst others like to share as much as possible to get the best advantages.

You can also use tools to exclude certain categories from your feeds. I like to drop the uncategorised posts from my feeds - I categorise every main post so anything filed in uncategorised is usually off topic and I don't want to trouble regular feeders with them.

It is up to you how you use the RSS feed, just make sure that you do as they are invaluable in building your website traffic.

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