Publicize your RSS feed.
There is little argument from webmasters and publishers that RSS
brings in traffic. So once you've made the leap and created a feed,
how do you tell your visitors about the feed?
1. Submit Your RSS Feed to RSS Directories.
This will not only increase the number of sites linking to your
website and increasing your link popularity, it will also increase
the RSS feeds profile. A number of RSS search engines and RSS directories
exist that allow you to freely submit RSS feeds. Feeds are generally
categorized and grouped together by subject. Web surfers looking
for RSS feeds about a specific subject will often search the RSS
directories, to locate a feed that matches their specific criteria.
Topic specific RSS feed and podcasting directories are also emerging.
Choose a web feed's category carefully and only submit relevant
feeds to topic specific directories.
A large list of directories is located at http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm
Example of Topic Specific - http://www.realty-feeds.net
2. Explain RSS
While you have finally figured RSS out, some of your visitors may
not have. The concept while brilliant, can be a bit confusing for
the beginner. The concept of RSS feeds might be completely new to
some of your website visitors. Hence it is generally good practice
to walk website visitors through the steps of locating, subscribing
and reading an RSS feed. It is generally a good practice to include
a page on your website that contains a general explanation on RSS
and details how website visitors can subscribe to an RSS feed.
Sample explanation page that can be used to on your
. RSS specifications has authorized the replication of this webpage.
It can be republished, simply insert your RSS feeds or otherwise
customize the material to explain RSS to your website visitors.
3. Graphic on Website
Since the conception of RSS, bright graphic flags have been used
to denote the location of an RSS feed. Now instinctively, website
visitors frequently look for a colorful flag on websites. The looks
of the flags have changed but a variety of options exists. When
you add the image, be sure to link to the location of the RSS feed.
Some webmasters use chicklets to indicate the presence of feeds,
web surfers click on the chicklet that relates to their RSS feed
reader or news aggregator and the feed is added to their list of
feeds. Others feel that the volume of chicklets simply add confusion,
and opt for a single relevant RSS graphic.
As with any important addition to your company, it is completely
appropriate to send a press release to let the media know you have
RSS feeds available for specific content. This will often garner
a little attention. Additionally, key news editors may opt to subscribe
to your RSS feed in order to stay abreast of your latest corporate
news. Considering the possibility of these subscriptions, makes
a press release to signal the availability of an RSS feed simple
common corporate sense.
Include a mention in your e-mail newsletter that content is now
available via an RSS feed. Many newsletters subscribers appreciate
an alternative subscription method and will subscribe to a web feed
6. Auto Discovery
Some of your website visitors might be web savvy. Be sure to include
an auto-discovery tag in the HTML header of each web page. Many
RSS Readers will automatically discover that an RSS feed is available
for specific content and notify the website visitor and ask them
if they wish to subscribe.
7. Brand a Newsreader
Distribute pre-loaded RSS readers branded to your company name.
The big benefit to brandable newsreaders is that you can include
all of your RSS feeds in it. Any downloaders will have immediate
access to your RSS feeds in the branded news reader.
Brandable Readers - http://www.deskshare.com
If you have a blog or know bloggers, be sure to share with them
that you have added an RSS feed for specific content. Blogs are
a great vehicle to spread the word. Marketers instantly understood
the power of word of mouth, but few marketers understand the movement
of blog to mouth. This growing phenomenon has added credibility
to online blog endorsements.
In order to reap the benefits of an RSS feed, it is
important the feed be properly publicized. Taking simple steps to
promote an RSS feed will go a long way in ensuring a feeds adoption.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.