What is RSS and why the consistent call for you to subscribe? Well, it happened that last week, I wanted improvement in my blog overall performance, so as is my custom, I cried out for help with a post. Guess what, the response was encouraging. There were several suggestions, but one of them that really got my attention was tips on how I can improve my RSS feed subscriptions. Ok, enough ramblings lets talk about RSS.
What is RSS?
RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary. It is a simple way of getting the web content of a site to users of such site regularly once there is an update (such user must have subscribed).
Why do people subscribe to RSS?
- It is a simple way of getting updated information regularly from your favorite websites.
- It saves time, you don’t need to pay individual visit to all the websites that you have bookmarked.
- You get more information in much less time.
- Getting a feed reader is easy. Some browser even have feedreaders inbuilt. Eg. Mozilla Firefox.
- It is better than receiving junk mails.
- It allow you to get content from websites without given out your private details (this may help to reduce the number of junk emails you have to contend with).
What tools do you need?
You need a Feed Reader that will allow you to grab RSS feed from sites that you have subscribed to. Some browsers (e.g. Mozilla Firefox) and email client softwares (e.g. Microsoft Outlook 2007) have RSS feed reader integrated into them. You can also use a web based Feed reader like Google Reader.
Next you need to subscribe to sites that you find their content interesting and you want to get updated every time there is new content. You can easily subscribe by clicking buttons like this or a link provided for such like this RSS feed.
Why do webmasters ask people to subscribe to their RSS?
A higher RSS feed subscriptions shows that the website has a lot of readers. That translates into better revenue from advertisers who wishes to place advertisements on such websites. So, you see why I ask you to subscribe after reading my post. Why should I shy away from telling you that you are helping me make more money? If I make more money, it will only motivate me to generate better contents so that you will keep reading (it is simply a win win situation).
Tips for Webmasters on how to make optimal use of RSS.
- Make the RSS button beautiful and visible enough (I am looking for a beautiful graphic, that is why I have not changed mine). I will actually appreciate it if you tell me about the most beautiful one you have come across.
- Allow users to choose between Feed Reader Subscriptions or having it delivered into their email box.
- Send out full content. Do not send out half-content or only headings. A lot of people will simply unsubscribe. Give the full content, if it is good enough, they will come back to the site for more details. Also, you can place links within the content that refer to other contents on your site. That is a better way of baiting than using half-content.
- At the end of each post, ask readers to subscribe. Place something like “Did you enjoy this post? Why not subscribe to my RSS feed. That way you’ll never miss out on new blog posts. Click here for the feed.”